Tag: libertarians

Randolution: The Peoples Choice, For Now.

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Engaging in any speculation of the 2016 presidential election is, for the most part, theater of the absurd. It keeps the media busy and preoccupied from focusing on their exhausted fad and current occupant of the Oval Office. On January 20th, 2017, a new President will take the Oath of Office and on January 21st the media will start pontificating on who the front runners are for each party in 2022. At this point in George W. Bush’s second term, Barack Obama was a still ?largely unknown outside of Bill Ayers’ living room.

However, something of note is happening right under the feet of the RNC and their massive rebranding effort that have larger implications then just the election in 2016. The party is being rebranded and they seemingly aren’t even aware of it.

This was evident this past weekend at CPAC 2014 (Conservative Political Action Conference) when Rand Paul, the senator from Kentucky took the stage. This is certainly not an endorsement (no one should be tied by blood to anyone at this point), just an observation of the landscape a new generation of young conservatives is crafting. The waves Paul is making among? youth of all political parties have been growing for some time. Now they are becoming undeniable.

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The RNC had better be paying attention. They claim to want to attract more youth voters. They should then listen to what they cheer for the most. They claim to want more minority voters. Look at what even the most ardent media critics with disdain for the GOP are saying. The RNC is taking giant steps to reach voters, finally catching up to Team Chicago on data mining. The question has to then become how to keep them?

Rand Paul thinks he has the answers. Young people crave rebellion. It’s in their DNA and they don’t care what political party that person stands for when they feel it, see it and most importantly hear it.

The only person they are hearing it from at this moment is Paul.

Marco Rubio is the best young conservative speaker since Ronald Reagan and is beginning to branch out but sweeping generalities don’t win elections at the moment in time that they are held, the issues at hand do. For all of the soaring grandiloquence?Barack Obama bellowed out in 2008, it was the financial crisis and the suspension of the McCain campaign that swept him into office.?There must be more than soaring rhetoric after 10 years of empty soaring rhetoric.

Rick Perry can cheer on a good old-fashioned Rebellion, but when anyone under the age of 30 sees Rick Perry in hipster glasses, they see a walking Cialis commercial and a return to Michael Bay-style politics of nuke first and ask later.

Scott Walker has the bruises, the record and the conservative appeal but whether or not it plays nationally is a mystery, as well as his intentions.

Chris Christie still has bridge issues and he will until the year 2038 (Ready For Chelsea!) if MSNBC has their way.

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Ted Cruz has a firm grip on the hardcore base but not the support of the entrenched overall party. That doesn’t mean it’s fair and it’s not an excuse but that makes it hard to raise money and convince donors. The most personable Ted Cruz ever got was when he appeared on The Tonight show which allowed to him to show the country he was not the simple caricature?the media was making him out to be. He has proven himself an able and charismatic warrior but the question has to be asked is if he is ready or will he be pushed into a race before his time by a base frothing at the mouth for a Sarah Palin replacement.

The only person reaching into the deep well of conservative and libertarian youth at this moment in time is Rand Paul. But nothing Rand Paul is saying is unique to Rand Paul. Everyone remembers Rand Paul’s filibuster but what no one talks about is who joined him.

Both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

The RNC has to start listening to the applause and the GOP has to start paying attention to the crowds. None of the issues Rand Paul is addressing are issues that buck conservative and constitutional philosophies. It’s because he is the only one addressing them that the crowds flock.

The GOP can get behind Paul’s mandatory minimum sentencing legislation. This is the single most important policy change in decades for minorities regarding Republicans and one that would open the floodgates for minority voters and especially minority young voters. Not Amnesty. Reaching out to black communities doesn’t mean just telling them to work hard. It means showing them that someone is looking out for them when they enter an economy and a system that they already feel is rigged against them. They have been betrayed by Barack Obama’s great promises. Paul’s mandatory minimum legislation will do more for black communities than any single policy of Barack Obama’s in six years. This is the kind of forward thinking young people want and that makes progressive network media nervous, because they know they can’t oppose it.

The same goes for legalization of marijuana. In the same CPAC straw poll that crowned Rand Paul the people’s choice, an overwhelming amount of CPAC’ers voted in favor of legalization. If Marco Rubio can get behind Public Enemy, he can get behind this or at least not oppose it in overwhelming fashion and leave it as an issue for the States.

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The entire party can pick up the issue of NSA domestic spying. The GOP, for all their posturing about the being the party of the Constitution, has remained largely silent on our privacy rights guaranteed under the 4th Amendment. There is a youth base out there that watches The Daily Show and Jimmy Fallon and reads Upworthy and Buzzfeed and also owns a cell phone that is being monitored by Barack Obama’s NSA. That’s right, Barack Obama’s NSA. Say it again and repeat it often.

It’s a slam dunk.

This issue is untouchable for the Democrat Party. To go against NSA spying would be rejecting Barack Obama. As of now they are not a party willing to do so. However, sometime in late 2015 or early 2016, when a 70-year-old Hillary Clinton is lagging behind with youth voters and college students, expect the loyalist media to?plant the idea of pardoning of hacker hero Edward Snowden in Obama’s head at the benefit of her. This is why jumping on this issue now and owning it is imperative.

The only potential candidate willing to explicitly address NSA domestic spying is Paul. Why are so many voices on the deep bench of Republican hopefuls quiet on this? Why can’t Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz or a handful of Governors of independent states, articulate the illegalities of a massive dragnet of surveillance of Americans is unconstitutional? Rubio would certainly be better than Paul at doing so. The silence of the GOP on this equals compliance in the minds of young voters. That is why Rand Paul’s line at CPAC, ?You may think I’m talking about electing Republicans, I’m not. I’m talking about electing lovers of liberty? resonated with so many in the audience and not boos. Revolution is more attractive to youth voters right now than Conservative rhetoric, because they have no idea what modern Conservatism actually ?is.

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When Rand Paul speaks of Madison and the Constitution, people can smell gunpowder. They hear taps. When Rand Paul speaks of rebellion, people believe it, because they watched it happen already. They watched a Senator from Kentucky stand up for 13 hours and recite our?inalienable rights?to a President who feels he can drone any human being he feels like off the face of the Earth – Even those born under the country that elected him.?It’s doubtful that anyone has stood up to Barack Obama for 13 hours on anything in his entire life.??Voters who at the time of Barack Obama’s emancipation were 12-14 years old are now blooming into the defiance stages of their lives.

To them Barack Obama has always been the authority and Rand Paul is the most prominent face standing up to him. Gestures like the grandstanding on the Senate floor or suing the office of President, as ?symbolic as they only may be, resonate. The idea of an electoral revolution is palpable and Paul knows it. He knows when to pick his battles and with whom. He’s the only voice putting Bill Clinton in his rightful place in the war on women, a war the Democrat party will magnify tenfold in the coming two years. He pegged Hillary Clinton on arms trafficking through a consulate in Benghazi, long before reports surfaced. Good political instincts don’t assure Paul the Republican nomination. It doesn’t even mean he’s going to run (he is) but at the very least he’s showing the GOP where the fight can and should be. The crowds cheer for Rand Paul because GOP leadership gives them nothing to cheer about.

The Democrat party finds themselves defending very unpopular ideas all of a sudden. Obamacare, the NSA and the IRS (something both Paul and Cruz are in favor of abolishing altogether). Big government imposing it’s executive will with a phone and pen on a people, born free and protected by a founding document. This will become painfully evident to them in 2014 and Rand Paul will be right there reciting The Federalist Papers. Progressive media might roll their eyes at recollections of revolution. The new millennials thus far, are not.

Between now and 2016 there is going to be a passionate fight for the soul of the GOP. It’s already started. This is a good thing. Voters watching the theater unfold before them don’t want the docile unity of complicit group-think. Not this time. They want a street fight and for the strongest person to come out of it. What currently sets Rand Paul apart from the other potentials, and the GOP at large, is that he is actively recruiting a youth army to stand with him.

And they are ready to march.

 

 

 

– SM –

 

YOUTH REVOLT: The Rise of the Counterculture Conservative

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Rebellion is not controlled by political parties. It’s built in human nature. The natural urge to push back against ‘authoritah’. The problem for someone like Barack Obama in the arena of political governance in accepting the cultural standard bearing of what cool and relevant is, ultimately he is going to have to come to terms with the same rules of cultural fads as anyone else like movie stars or pop singers.

People will move on. Fads will die.

This explains this recent past ongoing progressive obsession with JFK on the heels of Barack Obama’s failed Healthcare roll-out. He was never given a chance to become old, uncool or unwelcome. He never was really given a chance to betray the image he was elected on in the eyes of the people that elected him. JFK is the Democrat party’s Kurt Cobain.

Young people eventually grow out of and even ridicule pop stars they once had plastered on their bedroom walls, like a snake shedding its own skin and then eating it. That’s exactly the precipice Barack Obama and the Democrat party find themselves on right now.

They are the old poster on the wall.
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There is a cultural sea change happening and it’s not just happening online or on message boards. Rebellion against Barack Obama is becoming cool and it’s not because of any idea put forward by conservatives or GOP policy. The question that remains is if older generations of conservatives are willing to cede the social narrative of a younger generation burned out on Hope posters and intolerant of their phones being monitored and being taxed for not buying a health insurance plan they didn’t sign up for.

The answer is they might not have a choice.

Without delving too deeply into a distant 2016 Presidential race, the GOP’s bench of possibles is stacked with youth. The Democrat lineup is old, worn and could possibly be relying on a 70 year old woman who actor Matt Damon once hypothesized would have a one in three chance of not even surviving her first term. It should go without saying that the youth vote is essential in 2016. More essential than in 2008 even because young voters won’t be looking for another person who can simply string together buzzwords and platitudes through a teleprompter and reverb. In 2004, the Democrat party was left for dead and looking for a message. A war weary country hounded daily by a progressive media complex was sold a phony message of hope. This phony message won’t sell again.

Swings like this don’t happen from arguing ideologues on both sides in social media. It’s the completely natural shift in culturnomics. The natural instinct to gravitate toward the alternative of whomever is in power.

And it’s already happening. It’s happening in television, art, fashion and even in video games.

Ron Swanson Educates A Young Individual On Government from Benjamin Grant Bartholomew on Vimeo.

The most recognizable if not the overall most quotable character in TV sitcoms is none other than the tax hating Libertarian Ron Swanson of NBC’s Parks & Recreation. Swanson is a throwback to the Teddy Roosevelt Conservative whose popularity has grown beyond the weekly NBC time slot and is littered in gifs and memes over Tumblr and Pinterest posts, despite the writers trying to craft Swanson as the cliched punchline of the show, similar to Dwight Schrute, who incidentally also seems to be over this President’s antics. More young voters are learning about Conservatism and Libertarianism from Ron Swanson than anyone in the GOP has put forward.

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This past October, Forever 21 released a shirt with the quote “The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me.” from none other than counter culture Libertarian idol Ayn Rand. Was the company aware of the meaning or the origin? Who knows. The shirt was quickly pulled from shelves when web media was alerted but the experiment is fascinating. Somebody in Forever 21’s marketing department obviously thought this was an empowering message they could sell to young people.

Gone are the faded distressed screen printed images of soviet lite pop art.

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Grand Theft Auto V became the the highest selling video game of all time and the first to pass the billion dollar sales mark, grossing $800 million on its first day. The game features the ability to play as three different characters driving, flying and running around a mock Los Angeles causing unimaginable mayhem and havoc with a built in story that rivals Michael Mann’s crime saga Heat. GTA as a series has always had its conservative detractors for its overuse of ultra violence, sex and drug dealing story-lines but the game has grown immensely in creating a satirical universe that lampoons the celebrity and political saturation of our own culture on all sides of the aisle.

Enter protagonist Trevor Phillips (voiced and motion capped by actor Steven Ogg). Trevor is a psychotic profanity spewing ticking time bomb of unpredictable brutality. He’s the absolute culmination of everything Grand Theft Auto; playing as a character that horrifies the gamer while also making them laugh hysterically. He’s everything someone would love and hate about say a young manic Jack Nicholson and is the most popular character in the game, if not any major game in recent memory. There are innumerable ?videos on You Tube and memes on Reddit honoring his antics. Trevor also happens to be wildly, unabashedly Conservative. He believes in freedom of entrepreneurship, the elimination of unions and their representatives, limited government and strong border security. He is also unquestionably principled and loyal to his friends even at the expense of his sidekick who is convinced of big bother and chem trails. It was enough to drive Ed Shultz even further off the deep end of sanity.

Because of the success of GTA V, gamers can no longer be written off as a basement dwelling subculture the way they could when they were busy sharing tactics on 4Chan message boards, worshiping Shephard Fairey and wearing Guy Fawkes masks and they certainly should not be written off by Conservatives. No one on the right has to admire a cult figure like say Julian Assange. You don’t have to agree with his politics or tactics but Assange has a rabid, devoted following. A fringe disenfranchised with 4th amendment abuses and the policies of droning-at-will. When Julian Assange says someone on the right is the only hope for American politics, his followers listen. So should conservatives. This is not a movement clamoring to line up and vote for Hillary Clinton, this is a movement asking to be led.

The Democrats are going to be stuck trying to energize a disengaged youth culture that is watching Ashton Kutchner talk about hard work and Carrie Underwood making fun of Obamacare to thunderous applause while pushing the hip credentials of a senior citizen.

Good luck.

libertarian-graffitiThese are all examples of themes quietly bubbling up and into the mainstream culture not necessarily because of anything Conservatives or Libertarians are saying, but simply because Barack Obama’s message is becoming tiresome, like a losing sports team tuning out a coach because they know next season they will get to have a say in his replacement.

This is why young people on the right don’t get offended when a 74 year old Harry Reid or a 73 year old Nancy Pelosi calls us Anarchists for opposing the massive growth of and overreach of the Federal Government. They appear as every bad “Get off my lawn” cliche imaginable, the people who don’t go out past 5:00 pm because they’re afraid teenage lycan hybrids will track him down and eat them.

These examples aren’t about culture embracing a new found conservatism. It should be more conservatives embracing the culture of anti liberalism. The question is if the GOP has the bravery to step out of the way of it.

Millennials coming to terms with the broken promises of Barack Obama aren’t necessarily looking to the GOP for an alternative answer the way they turned to Ronald Reagan, but they might be looking to a new generation of speakers and leaders who can articulate that conservatism is simply the natural alternative to the false promises and hope of big government liberalism. If those leaders tend to be more socially libertarian then we should accept them and the talents they can bring with them with no reservations. Yes, all of them.

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Older conservatives will argue that counter cultural and libertarianism isn’t conservatism at at all. Libertarians will argue against anyone trying to co opt their beliefs.?They both are aligned on the same horizon, running parallel to each other. But no truce offering of mine or anyone else is going to bring them together. It’s going to take the collective disgust with what the Democrat party and progressive media has wrought on all of us?and the realization that these changes are happening around us regardless of what either of their demands are. The larger point to be made is that progressives don’t want anything to do with either of us. Ron Swanson was meant to be a comedy sitcom punchline. He’s turned into a national internet hero. Forever 21 never meant to sell a message of self empowerment and limitless opportunity, but they did. No one is supposed to laugh when Trevor Phillips is threatening a public sector union board member with jumper cables, but they do.

Conservatives have a great deal to learn about culturnomics from Libertarians. They should listen. They might not have a choice BUT to listen. Libertarians have a great deal to learn about what plays politically in the arena; The art of the give and take at the expense of actually winning something that matters. There are palatable examples where these two ideologies can merge and its happening already all around us.

And the left will be helpless to stop it.

 

– SM –