As libertarians participate in a trans-ideological and trans-partisan effort that may overturn the warfare-police-surveillance state, the old media leaders seem to be taking on a mission to tame libertarianism’s adherents by defining them as mainly a subgroup in the Republican Party.
First, the Associated Press and Washington Post ran articles, respectively, in June and July absurdly portraying Libertarian Party candidates as “spoilers” for Republican candidates — as if Republican candidates have an automatic claim to the votes of people who desire to support libertarian ideas.
With August upon us, the New York Times takes its turn, publishing Thursday an article “Has the ‘Libertarian Moment’ Finally Arrived?”
The Times article is open enough in its presentation of this supposed libertarian-Republican natural bond that it mentions briefly US House of Representatives Republican leadership’s consideration in 2010 of denying then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) the chairmanship of a monetary policy subcommittee in which Paul had served as ranking member under Democrat control of the House. But the article’s sanitized retelling leaves out entirely the history of the Republican leadership’s earlier successful actions to twice — in 2003 and 2005 — deny Paul a monetary policy subcommittee chairmanship.
This historical truncation related to the former libertarian representative and current RPI chairman conveniently makes more palatable the article’s message that libertarians support the Republican Party. Here, the article briefly states that message:
But not since the days of the Vietnam War and Nixon’s imperial presidency have libertarians seen much profit in an alliance with the big-government Democrats. Instead, ever since a newly inaugurated President Reagan declared, “Government is the problem,” politically practical libertarians have been more apt to cast their lot with the G.O.P.
This characterization of libertarians as bound to supporting Republican Party candidates permeates the entire article. For example, seven of the most talked about potential Republican presidential candidates are presented as potentially appealing to libertarian voters. Meanwhile, the article names no potential candidate outside of that purported libertarian electoral “home” as having any appeal to libertarians.
Like the AP and Washington Post articles, the Times article provides no real evidence to support its grand assertion. The Times and its counterparts seem to be following the tried-and-true course of repeatedly stating a false message to make it become conventional wisdom. With the rise of alternative news sources and the internet, this is a strategy that should with time be less and less successful.
The reality obvious to people familiar with Paul’s House campaigns, terms in the House, and presidential campaigns is that that the Republican Party leadership often acted to stifle Paul’s political efforts — from opposing Paul’s campaign to return to the House in 1996, to denying Paul his seniority for time served in the House in the 1970s and 80s after he won that 1996 election, to suppressing Paul presidential nomination votes at the Republican National Convention.
Continue reading at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.