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“I’d like to see a Republican Party that embraces a lot of the libertarian ideas.”

So would I, Senator DeMint.  That is why I, like you, agree that our presidential candidates need to listen to the Texas Congressman:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said Wednesday the Republican presidential candidates need to listen to Ron Paul and would benefit from integrating some of his libertarian ideas into their platform.

“One of the things that’s hurt the so-called conservative alternative is saying negative things about Ron Paul,” DeMint told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. “I’d like to see a Republican Party that embraces a lot of the libertarian ideas.”

Bruce’s senior Senator put this notion of respecting libertarian ideas in the debate on the direction of the GOP:

DeMint also said that while he didn’t fully agree with Ron Paul – especially on foreign policy – that rejecting libertarian ideology would prevent Republicans from regaining majority party status.

“If Republicans don’t understand the important aspects of what Ron Paul is saying, we won’t be able to exist as a party, certainly not a majority party,” DeMint said. “The debate in the Republican party needs to be between libertarians and conservatives, that’s what our party needs to be about. There’s no longer room for moderates and liberals because we don’t have any money to spend, so I don’t want to be debating with anyone who wants to grow government.”

Now, I have my concerns with Senator DeMint, but at least in his discussion of Mitt Romney’s work at Bain — -and understanding of free-market capitalism — appreciate the ideas which can help strengthen the GOP, increase opportunity and grow our economy.

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32 Comments

  1. The main philosophical problem with this idea is that many rib-rock Republicans dismiss “Libertarian ideas” as progressive…and dismiss their proponents as “moderates” and RHINOs. The Social-Right is built around their being able to interfere in all-sorts of private matters; the board room, the classroom and the bedroom. Their need to dictate their social and economic views upon the public is antithetical to the perception of Libertarian ideals.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — January 12, 2012 @ 1:27 pm - January 12, 2012

  2. The thing with Libertarians and Rupaulians is they get fanatical about their Randian ideal and aren’t willing to work incrementally. The small government/fiscal restraint/deregulatory/Constitutional part of the Libertarian agenda fits easily in with conservative and Republican policy goals. But that isolationist foreign policy stuff isn’t going to fly, so they should be willing to moderate on that. But, they don’t, and acknowledging that the USA has global interests and needs a strong military gets you called a Bilderberger and a Tool of Israel. And the drug legalization, abortion, and legal prostitution parts aren’t going to fly, nationally.

    So, pragmatic libertarians ought to focus on those parts of their agenda the GOP will adopt and quietly put aside the crazee stuff… or at least decide to move forward on it more gradually… and without the name-calling.

    Comment by V the K — January 12, 2012 @ 2:00 pm - January 12, 2012

  3. // Rant On. //

    So, pragmatic libertarians ought to focus on those parts of their agenda the GOP will adopt and quietly put aside the crazee stuff… or at least decide to move forward on it more gradually… and without the name-calling.

    V… Are you really going to lecture anyone about name-calling?????

    Would anyone want to have dinner with that dizzy English bint?

    // Rant Off //

    I have to go work, but, as the resident libertarian on this forum, I do want to respond. Be back around 4 PM or so.

    Comment by sonicfrog — January 12, 2012 @ 2:11 pm - January 12, 2012

  4. “The Social-Right is built around their being able to interfere in all-sorts of private matters; the board room, the classroom and the bedroom.”

    Just don’t say that too colorfully, or you’ll be attacked. Words will be put into your mouth that you never said, and ideas ascribed to you that you never espoused.

    “…as the resident libertarian on this forum, I do want to respond.”

    Is that it? There’s only allowed to be one (or two?)

    Gary Johnson got shouldered out of the GOP race. He had some views that were not mainstream Republican, but the media didn’t want to ask him about anything but his more colorful views. I wonder if he even got any questions about subjects other than marijuana. Doubtful.

    The crazy views will not be implemented. We all know that. But those who oppose libertarian candidates will continue to talk as if every libertarian has a magic wand.

    Comment by Lori Heine — January 12, 2012 @ 2:32 pm - January 12, 2012

  5. So DeMint is a libertarian on some things while Big Brother social con on others, eh? I’m not impressed.

    Comment by JohnAGJ — January 12, 2012 @ 3:58 pm - January 12, 2012

  6. If Republicans don’t understand the important aspects of what Ron Paul is saying,

    Like the Mossad were responsible for the WTC bombing, legalizing weed and FEMA concentration camps in the housewares department at Kmart?

    Comment by TGC — January 12, 2012 @ 4:01 pm - January 12, 2012

  7. Ted B.,

    As a social conservative, I am very concerned about the classroom. It is overwhelmed by liberal ideals. The conservative viewpoint is deemed regressive, politically incorrect and uncaring.

    In my ideal world, the public school classroom would be free of social engineering and students who do not come to school prepared to learn would be shunted off to a daycare and whatever-learning-possible facility where they would not be a drag on the students ready, willing and able to be taught.

    I know, as is stereotypically thought of a social conservative, I should be insisting on prayer in school and the The Commandments. But, I don’t. However, I do pretend to be amused that anything resembling religion in the slightest way must be exorcised from the public square by the High Coven of Atheism and Rectitude Society. As a culture and ethic steeped and inseparable from its Judeo-Christian roots, I find trying to deny any familiarity with those roots to be pitifully laughable.

    I still oppose bestiality for no intellectual reason I can identify and I oppose orgies that get fired up with too many mood enhancers for the participants to still be of sound enough mind to say “no” or respond to the word “no.” I am not a proponent of date rape or knock out drops. So, I guess my social conservative nose is stuck in the bedroom.

    I would like to know more about how the social conservative pushes his way into the boardroom and what the stereotypical social conservative is after in the boardroom.

    This is a mystery to me:

    Their need to dictate their social and economic views upon the public is antithetical to the perception of Libertarian ideals.

    Are libertarians free of social and economic views?

    What is the stereotypical social conservative economic view?

    Can you be of any help here?

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 12, 2012 @ 5:10 pm - January 12, 2012

  8. Crap. I don’t have time to write the response I wanted. Have a gig tonight and my amp needs some workin’ on.

    Quickly. TGC says Ron Paul thinks this:

    …the Mossad were responsible for the WTC bombing

    Source that please. I want to see the quote where Ron Paul said he believes that.

    Have to go. I’ll leave you with this quote from RR on his thoughts concerning libertarians.

    If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals—if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

    Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to insure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are travelling the same path.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 12, 2012 @ 6:57 pm - January 12, 2012

  9. The Reagan quote is from here.

    http://reason.com/archives/2011/09/07/ron-pauls-reagan/1

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 12, 2012 @ 6:58 pm - January 12, 2012

  10. 1. It’s not name-calling if it’s an accurate description, sonic.

    2. Since my policy objectives do not require winning the dizzy English bint to my side, (which is not possible anyway), I have pretty much all the latitude I want.

    Comment by V the K — January 12, 2012 @ 7:18 pm - January 12, 2012

  11. “The Social-Right is built around their being able to interfere in all-sorts of private matters; the board room, the classroom and the bedroom.”

    Oh, jeez get off the cross already.

    As a member of the Social Right, let me tell you, nobody cares what you do in your bedroom… until you start wanting whatever it is you do in there to form the basis of public policy.

    Similarly, to the extent the social right is concerned about the board room and the classroom, it’s only push back against what the social left has been doing in terms of using those arenas for indoctrination and promoting their social agenda.

    Comment by V the K — January 12, 2012 @ 7:21 pm - January 12, 2012

  12. As a member of the Social Right, let me tell you, nobody cares what you do in your bedroom… until you start wanting whatever it is you do in there to form the basis of public policy.

    Exactly.

    To turn the question back on the Obama Party puppets who were moderating last Saturday’s debate and were obsessed with contraceptives, I would have responded as follows: “What you do in your bedroom is your own business. However, when you expect me to pay for or manage the consequences of what you do in there, THEN it becomes my business.”

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 12, 2012 @ 9:19 pm - January 12, 2012

  13. Bilderberger… a new term for me. Thanks V.

    And I admire your breezy handling of the usual sf static ;-) (The attempts to change the subject to personal matters real or imagined, rather than answer the other guy’s points.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 12, 2012 @ 9:48 pm - January 12, 2012

  14. I am a social conservative in my rejection of social liberalism. That’s it, really. And it is social liberalism that requires the government to enforce social liberal “morals,” not social conservatism. Leaving things as they are, essentially (minus the social engineering, which actually covers a lot), is generally sufficient for social conservatism, as I understand it.

    I acknowledge that there are social conservatives that wish for the government to enforce their morals, but social conservatism, like most ideologies, consists of a spectrum of beliefs. And for those who would enforce a great deal of morality using the government, whatever sort of morality it is, I have a hard time seeing them as conservative. They’re more akin to fascists, at least mild ones (with respect to social issues).

    Comment by Rattlesnake — January 12, 2012 @ 10:32 pm - January 12, 2012

  15. ““What you do in your bedroom is your own business. However, when you expect me to pay for or manage the consequences of what you do in there, THEN it becomes my business.”

    I don’t know what mental image I was supposed to get from this, but the one I got was of the driest tumbleweeds sauntering with resignation across the floor of a Bay Area bedroom, yet again, just like every night…

    Comment by Evan Hurst — January 13, 2012 @ 5:18 am - January 13, 2012

  16. I guess English isn’t everybody’s first language.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 13, 2012 @ 9:08 am - January 13, 2012

  17. Unfortunately, I think we need to do the impossible. Grab the wheel and steer us away from the cliff. Unfortunately, reality is it has to be done incrimentally, and I don’t know if we have the time.

    The attacks in Bain are the result of the “Everyone’s a winner” mentality. There are losers.

    Back in the 90′s my employer laid off almost 10% of its employees and shipped some work overseas. Did this mean people lost their jobs? Yes. But these steps kept the company from bankruptcy. So 90% of us remained employed. That’s a win.

    Comment by The Livewire — January 13, 2012 @ 10:59 am - January 13, 2012

  18. ILC… ????

    Comment by sonicfrog — January 13, 2012 @ 11:29 am - January 13, 2012

  19. Of course.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 13, 2012 @ 12:01 pm - January 13, 2012

  20. Just to spell it out (which might be going too slow for everyone else – My apologies)… V #2 made these points:

    - Ron Paul libertarians tend to be fanatical and unwilling to work incrementally.
    - Part of their agenda fits nicely with conservativism and Republicanism, and part doesn’t.
    - Their isolationism is what doesn’t. Also drug legalization, etc. They should be willing to set that aside, to pull together with others on fiscal conservatism.
    - But they don’t. Instead, they call people names.

    In response, you addressed a comment to V… that did not respond to any of his points. Instead, you questioned his integrity, then discussed your personal situation. Both of which may be valid (or not), but nonetheless “change the subject”.

    You can say what you want, mind you. And I don’t necessarily agree with V’s points, mind you. But I think your tactic is mildly interesting, so I touched on it in a side remark. Whereupon you asked me for a fuller explanation. I have now obliged you by giving you the explanation you requested. End of my involvement.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 13, 2012 @ 12:13 pm - January 13, 2012

  21. ILC.

    If you will note, I said I didn’t have time to do much concerning this thread. Still don’t. However, given that Dan had asked for civility, and I’ve been thinking about that, examining where I to may have crossed the line (and I know of one recent incident), that comment by V was the only thing in this thread that stood out. Was it an attempt to “change the subject”? No, which is why I wrapped it with the // rant // tag.

    Quick response to a couple of things:

    - Ron Paul libertarians tend to be fanatical and unwilling to work incrementally.

    And Conservative are no different! Wasn’t the whole mantra of the last year concerning the Tea Party led House that there will be No Compromise on core principles? They are fanatics because they are sick of watching both parties dither and not respond to obvious problems and failures of both government and long held political philosophies that, when you look at the numbers, have been a disastrous waste of money and resources.

    - Their isolationism is what doesn’t. Also drug legalization, etc. They should be willing to set that aside, to pull together with others on fiscal conservatism.

    And Conservatives should be willing to set aside their absolute resistance to letting the Bush tax cuts expire so things can get done. If Conservative are dead set against relinquishing some of their core beliefs, then why should Libertarians? Because it hurt the Republican party????? See my comment above.

    Crap… Already stayed longer than planned. Will finish this later this afternoon.

    Comment by sonicfrog — January 13, 2012 @ 12:48 pm - January 13, 2012

  22. The thing with Libertarians and Rupaulians is they get fanatical about their Randian ideal

    V, first of all, I’m not sure Paulians are necessarily Randians. There is some overlap on the Venn diagram, but also some disjoint space. Rand routinely condemned libertarians as subjectivists (i.e., crypto-lefties). In foreign policy, she favored a muscular U.S. stance – IF she could see that it was clearly in the defense of freedom and U.S. interests.

    She opposed the Vietnam War – on the grounds that it was a sacrifice of 50,000 precious lives, “sacrifice” meaning not really in defense of U.S. interests / not really gaining us anything. So I don’t know for sure (I can’t speak for her), but it’s possible that in foreign policy, she would have bridged the gulf between Santorum and Paul (who BTW are both Christians, again unlike Rand).

    The small government/fiscal restraint/deregulatory/Constitutional part of the Libertarian agenda fits easily in with conservative and Republican policy goals.

    Agreed.

    Tool of Israel

    Israel is an interesting case. Either we (U.S.) want it to survive – it is, after, the Middle East’s one country that values democracy and at least some forms of freedom, including gay freedom – or we don’t. If we’re committed to its survival, then the Bush foreign policy (which Obama has partially continued) is correct in principle. But if we’re not committed to making it survive, then we should shut down Israel and import all of its citizens to the U.S. now – because they can’t survive without us. They will otherwise be wiped out in the new Iranian Holocaust.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 13, 2012 @ 2:37 pm - January 13, 2012

  23. And Conservatives should be willing to set aside their absolute resistance to letting the Bush tax cuts expire so things can get done.

    And what things would those be?

    If the government can afford to fund lavish parties and travel on separate jets for multimillionaire Michelle Obama, chocolate-dipped strawberries and top-shelf liquor for multimillionaire Nancy Pelosi on her weekly transcontinental taxpayer-funded private-jet jaunts, six-figure SEC workers that watch pron all day, $60-plus BILLION annually in Medicare fraud alone, and food stamps for millionaires, it doesn’t need another dime of my money.

    Our government does not have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem caused by trying to purchase votes. It does not need more tax money; it needs to prioritize on what it’s spending and get rid of roughly half of what it’s doing.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 13, 2012 @ 3:02 pm - January 13, 2012

  24. “V, first of all, I’m not sure Paulians are necessarily Randians.”

    Thank you, ILC. Ayn Rand was a vehement atheist, who thought that religious belief of any sort was a weakening force in society. There are many, many Christian libertarians who just as vehemently disagree with that.

    Comment by Lori Heine — January 13, 2012 @ 4:04 pm - January 13, 2012

  25. If the government can afford to fund lavish parties and travel on separate jets for multimillionaire Michelle Obama, chocolate-dipped strawberries and top-shelf liquor for multimillionaire Nancy Pelosi on her weekly transcontinental taxpayer-funded private-jet jaunts, six-figure SEC workers that watch pron all day, $60-plus BILLION annually in Medicare fraud alone, and food stamps for millionaires, it doesn’t need another dime of my money.

    None of which are the consequences of libertarian theory or policy, and, only recently, have Republicans tried to shy away from this… And failing. Or did you miss the part where earmarks came back, only they renamed it so it couldn’t be called “earmarks”?

    Comment by sonicfrog — January 13, 2012 @ 6:23 pm - January 13, 2012

  26. Libertarianism was my way-station on my way out of liberalism back in 2000 or so. Saved me from the horror of being thought conservative! (That thought even horrified me back then.) But the Party’s open-borders take on illegal immigration put me off. When I read John Kekes a bit later I realized why I had become more of a conservative than a libertarian: 1. even though I am a thinking-type, I realize that the world is too complex to be governed by a simple idea like non-aggression or a single value like liberty and 2. libertarianism has a hard time dealing with the reality of culture, that people are individuals within cultural groups, tribes and nations, etc and in fact cannot be well understood or governed singly and outside it.
    Nevertheless, I remain very supportive of libertarian desires to reduce government power and reach. I’d take a libertarian over a liberal any day!

    Comment by EssEm — January 13, 2012 @ 7:11 pm - January 13, 2012

  27. Ayn Rand was a vehement atheist

    Lori, not to be picky, but I can’t tell what “vehement” means for you there. Rand said of herself:

    I am an intransigent atheist, but not a militant one. This means that I am an uncompromising advocate of reason and that I am fighting for reason, not against religion. I must also mention that I do respect religion in its philosophical aspects, in the sense that it represents an early form of philosophy.

    On another occasion, Rand said:

    Faith, as such, is extremely detrimental to human life: it is the negation of reason. But you must remember that religion is an early form of philosophy, that the first attempts to explain the universe, to give a coherent frame of reference to man’s life and a code of moral values, were made by religion, before men graduated or developed enough to have philosophy.

    She believed that faith is not a means of knowledge; reason is. I think that’s at least partly right, precisely because we have “faith” as a word separate from “knowledge”. The things that you believe in via faith, are by definition *not* the things that you believe in by reason/knowledge. If you could believe in them as certain knowledge (or via reason), then you wouldn’t need to believe them by faith. But I digress. The larger point is that atheists come in various shades of militancy, and Rand herself disclaimed being of the “militant” shade.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 13, 2012 @ 8:18 pm - January 13, 2012

  28. Our government does not have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem caused by trying to purchase votes. It does not need more tax money; it needs to prioritize on what it’s spending and get rid of roughly half of what it’s doing.

    Well said!

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 13, 2012 @ 8:25 pm - January 13, 2012

  29. She believed that faith is not a means of knowledge; reason is.

    I would agree with her partially; there are aspects of religion I like and there are aspects of it I don’t like. I am sometimes put off by people who do things I would consider foolish or irrational in the name of religion. I think religious faith serves an important purpose in society, but it can be dangerous to take it too seriously and ignore reason. But perhaps I’m only saying that because it is easy for me to say that I don’t believe in God and not think about it further or to base any of my actions or thoughts on the possibility of God existing and judging me. I think I’ve been to church once in my life when I was a kid, so I have no understanding of religious faith. I am therefore reluctant to judge people who have it.

    In addition, I am even more put off by “militant atheists” who steadfastly believe what they think is the absolute truth and demean anyone who doesn’t believe what they believe.

    So, I don’t think religious faith is necessarily incompatible with reason, it only is if reason is completely ignored. I guess that is in agreement with what Rand was saying to an extent, but not completely. I don’t want to live in a world without religion; I think it has a net positive force on society when combined with reason.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — January 13, 2012 @ 8:36 pm - January 13, 2012

  30. I know that religion does a lot of people a lot of good. I know people who would collapse into cynicism without it. Rand never managed to develop her philosophy into an effective replacement.

    Having said that, if we narrow the issue to epistemology i.e. how you know things – well, how do you know things? Faith? Or reason? Faith is an intensification of hope; you hope it’s true and you live your life as an affirmation that it’s true; you don’t *know* it’s true. Thinking that your non-rational conclusions are 100% certain and rational, may be one definition of insanity.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 13, 2012 @ 10:41 pm - January 13, 2012

  31. [...] “I’d like to see a Republican Party that embraces a lot of the libertarian ideas.” [...]

    Pingback by Right Wing Extremists: January 13, 2012 | REPUBLICAN REDEFINED — January 14, 2012 @ 1:50 pm - January 14, 2012

  32. [...] “I’d like to see a Republican Party that embraces a lot of the libertarian ideas.” [...]

    Pingback by Right Wing Extremists: January 13, 2012 | An Ex-Cons View — January 14, 2012 @ 3:11 pm - January 14, 2012

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