By Justin Raimondo
The Romney campaign is making a major effort to reach out to the Tea Party, grassroots conservative activists, and Ron Paul’s libertarian supporters. They’ve not only invited Rand Paul to speak at the Tampa convention, they’ve also scheduled a “Tribute to Ron Paul” video to be shown to the delegates. However, these are mere crumbs: the video is not likely to highlight Paul’s more interesting positions, such as his vociferous opposition to the American empire and its endless wars.
No, the real cake, complete with quasi-“libertarian” frosting, is Paul Ryan, whose addition to the ticket opens up the prospect of having Ayn Rand, the late novelist and philosopher of “Objectivism,” become a campaign issue. I can’t wait for someone to accuse the Republicans of endorsing “terrorism” on the grounds that The Fountainhead, Rand’s best-selling 1943 novel, climaxes with the hero blowing up a home for mentally challenged orphans. Oh wait …
That some “libertarians” are ready, willing, and able to swallow this guff, I have no doubt. They claim Ryan “gets the free market.” Well, whoop-de-doo! So does the Chinese Communist party, these days.
However, he doesn’t really “get it” at all, not even to the extent that the heirs of Deng Xiaoping do, because he thinks we can still have an overseas empire and a “limited” government, with low taxes and “free” enterprise. The Chicoms — to use right-wing Republican phraseology — are “isolationists,” i.e. their foreign policy amounts to minding their own business and making as much money as possible. Ryan, on the other hand, is all about maintaining “American leadership” in the world, and the way he tells it, “leadership” is a polite euphemism for domination.
In a speech before the Alexander Hamilton Society — where else? — Ryan gave full-throated expression to what American foreign policy would look like under his watch, and while the vice-presidency is an office with little power, from the tone of the speech the office of the Vice President in a Republican administration would once again become a nest of neocons lobbying for more and bigger wars.
Ryan may be a neocon drone, but he’s no Dan Quayle: he realizes, as he put it in his talk to the Hamiltonians, that “our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course; and if we fail to put our budget on a sustainable path, then we are choosing decline as a world power.”
Translation: we can’t have an empire, given our present financial straits. So what’s the solution? To any normal American, who never wanted an empire to begin with, the answer is simple: give up the imperial pretensions to “global leadership,” and tend to our own ill-used and leached-out garden. Ryan, however, is a creature of Washington, and this is unthinkable inside the Beltway: it would be a most grievous blow to the self-esteem of these worthies if they had to exchange the imperial purple for a plain republican cloth coat.
Read the rest here.