Huckabee seems to have re-declared war on Libertarians. He really is a mixture of totalitarian social control, Christian views, the worse economic "libertarian" populism, and a smiling face. Do not underestimate this man.
While Next Right wants the libertarians back into the GOP fold: they see the decline of "Goldwater Republicans" and the rise of "Bush Republicans" (Christian social democrat-social conservatives) as a bad thing. McCain, they see, as in the Progressive Republican vein but isn't cutting with big statism OR Bush Republicanism hard enough.
Now, with Bob Barr, alienating the Ron Paul-wing, Ruwart-Radical-wing, and the left-libertarians in the LP, things are going to be interesting: are we libertarian-leaning leaving the fold of the right? It's hard to say, but the controversy of the LP and Bob Barr has been interesting, almost all the comments on Reason about Barr have been negative. The LP faithful largely don't trust him. It is important to remember that the LP, however, has rarely had a hold of even all Libertarians--the CATO-wing and the Milton Friedman people don't see it as effective (I tend to agree) while the Rockwell AND David Friedman wing don't see it as ideologically consistent. So what effect this has on larger libertarian movements is unseen, but the Left Libertarians don't seem particularly happy about it either.
There has been a lot of talk about Liberal-Libertarian realignment, but it has been largely shot in the head since the 2006 election of the Democrats and the return of hyper-statist rhetoric in election. It seems that opposition to centralization was, merely, opposition to centralization UNDER Bush.
Discussion, apparently, serious about the different factions of libertarians finding a new name so we could leave each other out seems to be happening here at libertarianism.
So that brings me to this speculation of the Left Libertarian "FreeDem" (Libertarian Democrat):
John McCain Wins: Senator John McCain would be given a four year opportunity to continue to reshape the Republican Party. Don’t expect neoconservatism to be pushed out of the party, but you may very well see a return to a level of “fiscal conservatism”*with a push for school vouchers, earmark reform, and the like. More importantly, he’ll be setting up his VP as the standard bearer for the party in 2012 (should he opt for only one term) or 2016. Either outcome for 2012 with McCain running for reelection would probably result in his VP being the front runner for 2016, unless the VP were too old(unlikely given McCain’s age that he’d pick someone like Cheney) or incompetent like Dan Quayle.
*As defined by the Republican Party circa 1994.
McCain Loses: This comes with two options. Bob Barr provides the margin of defeat, thus giving ammunition for the libertarian-conservatives still in the party, or Bob Barr is irrelevant. The GOP spends four years in the wilderness trying to find a new way to form a national coalition. Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and others start to look at a 2012 run. McCain’s VP probably starts with something of a head start.
All this makes the question of John McCain’s VP a very interesting topic of discussion. John McCain may want to find balance in his ticket with someone more socially conservative, like Mike Huckabee. But doing so may diminish his own ability to impact the direction of the Republican Party in the long term. The VP prognosticators have to get into McCain’s mind to determine just what is negotiable for him. A non-interventionist like Ron Paul will never get onto the ballot with McCain. But just how willing is McCain to embrace Huckabee’s right-wing populism?
The libertarian-conservatives over at the Next Right would much rather see someone like Governors Jindal, Palin, or Sanford. This is a major prerequisite for the hopes of a libertarian-conservative revival.Bob Barr acting as a spoiler may be insufficient if the argument that wins the day within the GOP halls of power is one of pushing even stronger to pick up populists. The lib-cons need a standard bearer, and right now they don’t have one.
But then again, the same can be said of left-libertarians looking at the Democratic Party. The Republican Party is at least going to have a fight over the future of libertarianism in the party. There’s not even the opportunity for that in the Democratic Party. What prospect then for political action by left-libertarians, as opposed to direct action?
Some Left Libertarians in the "Rothbard tradition" think Rovolution should be more than a metaphor, but probably not violent
John McCain has “sealed” the Republican nomination. The hope that Ron Paul gave us, that we could restore our Constitution peacefully,through the use of the ballot box, was a faint hope. Too many of this year’s elections have been corrupted. The scales of justice have been unbalanced, against our will.
Our elections are now “digitized”,“computerized”. The same technology which has worked toward humanity’s benefit has now made it possible for the true result of an entire election to be concealed and unknowable. There is no longer any “paper trail” which we can follow. The nightly news result is the result, take it or leave it.
Though this charge (the Ron Paul Campaign) has been deflected, I do not propose that we give up. The 1st American Revolution was not won through the ballot box. But it was won. And Our revolution will not likely be won any easier.
The focus of our campaign cannot be traditional electoral politics(as advocated by the Libertarian Party) because our elections have become controlled and fraudulent. We must adopt diverse tactics to counter the diverse tactics (i.e., subversion of our elections) of our enemy.
Small LOCAL organizations are clearly the answer. The problem with D.C. is that it is not where you are, and not able to conceive or comprehend the problems of your locale. Only local organizations can do that. You (all who read this) must become leaders in your own station.The Revolution will never be won FOR you. If you ever believed that Ron Paul - alone - would be able to correct the current level of corruption in our government you were sorely mistaken.
So, my libertarian readers, if it even good that the Libertarian-conservative alliance be re-started with semi-libertarians like Jindal and Palin? Has the LP made itself more relevant or less relevant with Bob Barr? Is the Reagan coalition dead?
Or are the internal conflicts within libertarianism just as volatile as the conflicts with the "Right coalition"? Are classical liberals going to be able to reconcile with liberals in general after all (my recent conservations are not hopeful for that, if anything resentment over the last eight years has led to entitlement and delusion). (Non-Marxist) Left-libertarians still have more politically in common with right libertarians than with most "Progressives."
It seems to me that there are more "libertarian" leaning on both sides of the "political spectrum" than in 2004, yet we seem less able to agree on where to move now. That doesn't surprising me given Libertarianism history, but where do we go from here? Or is all this politics just distraction anyway (a sentiment, I increasing see at true).