Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Is Rand Paul the Next Ronald Reagan?

During LaTi's coverage of Rand Paul's trip to Iowa, LaTi reported:
He wrapped the message in a tone of optimism about the future more reminiscent of Ronald Reagan than Ron Paul.
WaPo reports that
 Later in May, Paul plans to deliver a formal address at the Ronald Reagan Library in California laying out his vision for the future of the party.
 Wapo also reported on Rand's Iowa to:
David Lane, a longtime organizer of evangelical pastors and voters, who orchestrated [Rand's] Israel trip and the Friday lunch, said Paul was seeking to demonstrate that he can be a comfortable fit for Christian conservatives despite the more unconventional views of many of his most fervent supporters.
“He’s closer to our philosophy than he is to what I would define as the hyper-libertarian position,” Lane said.
Got that? Rand is the new softer libertarian reminiscent of Ronald Reagan. He will even, egads, be speaking at the Ronald Reagan Library! So is Rand the new Ronald Reagan, the libertarian-type that MSM can cheer on?

I'll let Murray Rothbard explain who Ronald Reagan was:
 I am convinced that the historic function of Ronald Reagan was to co-opt, eviscerate and ultimately destroy the substantial wave of anti-governmental, and quasi-libertarian, sentiment that erupted in the U.S. during the 1970s. [...] Reagan was wheeled into performing this task by his Establishment handlers.[...]

Obviously Reagan did not suddenly descend out of the clouds in 1980. He had been the cherished candidate of the conservative movement, its chosen route to power, ever since Goldwater’s defeat. Goldwater was too blunt and candid, too much an unhandleable Real Person. What was needed was a lovable, manipulable icon.[...]

A reconstituted conservative movement would have to drop any libertarian ideology or concrete policies, except to provide a woolly and comfortable mood for suitably gaseous anti-government rhetoric and an improved foreign policy that would make sure that many more billions would go into the military-industrial complex, to step up global pressure against Communism, but avoiding an actual nuclear war. [...]

The Reagan candidacy of 1980 was brilliantly designed to weld a coalition providing the public’s instinctive anti-government mood with sweeping, but wholly nonspecific, libertarian rhetoric, as a convenient cover for the diametrically opposite policies designed to satisfy the savvy and politically effective members of that coalition: the neocons, the Buckleyite cons, the Moral Majority, the Rockefellers, the military-industrial complex, and the various Establishment special interests always clustering at the political trough[...]

If the media were willing to go along with Reaganite duplicity and hokum, then so were our quasi-libertarian intellectual leaders. It is true of the libertarian-inclined masses as it has been always true of the conservative masses: they tend to be not too swift in the upper story. During the late 1970s, libertarian intellectuals and free-market economists were growing in number, but they were very few, and they had not yet established institutions with firm ties to journalistic and mass opinion. Hence, the libertarian mood, but not the informed thought, of the masses, was ready for co-optation, especially if led by a charismatic, beloved President.

Does Rand Paul sound like the next Ronald Reagan? I am afraid much too much so.


  1. Ronnie Reagan is their god Robert (whether we like it not). Smart move by Rand to praise him, speak like him and throw his words at them

    He even quotes Lincoln another of their gods !

    That doesn't mean he's going to start a civil war.

  2. The problem is that bringing Rand on doesn't change the electoral equation much. It brings the more republican libertarians back on board but the weak tea libertarianism will be see as not very different from republican austerity as normal by independants and disaffected democrats.

  3. Kind of agree with Mr. Duncun above, but I would say the state is their god. Reagan was like an idol of that god or a sub-god. For the state dictates their morality, and if you take away the state, they'll have no morals.

  4. His effigy should be burned in the street for selling out the Middle Class to Big Business. Reagan has a legacy so distorted by the Conservative idolization of him that we may never have a clear picture of the real man behind the television set beyond the elaborate myth now concocted around him. Did he really rid the world of commie scum? Did destroy or save our economy? Check out my portrait of The Gipper and help me figure it out on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/02/happy-100th-gipper.html with some Cold War Hollywood!