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article imageOp-Ed: Rand Paul 2016 — The collapse of Libertarianism is coming soon

By Alex Allen     Mar 12, 2013 in Politics
Voting for Rand Paul in 2016 will only help to destroy the Libertarian movement and merge it with mainline conservatism and the status quo.
Last month, we released an op-ed piece on why Libertarians shouldn't vote for Rand Paul in 2016 in the case that he decides to run for president. [1] With growing support for Rand Paul following his recent filibuster on the Senate floor, I would like to take this idea a little further and provide some insight on what I'm calling the "Libertarian Conspiracy."
Because more people have gradually been becoming fed up with the status quo and the two-party system in America, several grassroots political movements have been popping up all across the country. The two most notable, however, have one thing in common: they didn't last. The Tea Party movement started out as a Libertarian-leaning grassroots movement started by Ron Paul and like-minded individuals. Over the course of time, however, it merged with mainline conservatism and mainline Republicans such as Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann were calling themselves "Tea Party" members. The same thing happened with the Occupy Wall Street movement on the other side of the political fence. This movement started out as a grassroots, anti-establishment socialist movement, but eventually fizzled out and merged with mainline Democrats and Obama supporters. So with the Libertarian movement gaining traction and more and more people calling themselves Libertarians, what would prevent the establishment from attempting to infiltrate this movement as well?
Rand Paul has, on many occasions, admitted that he is not a Libertarian and has distanced himself from his father on many issues. He is, however, close enough to the Libertarian side of conservative politics that he is appealing and will most likely appeal more to Libertarians and constitutional conservatives. On the other hand, he is close enough to the mainline Republican party that he would most likely gain the support of many establishment Republicans and would not be as much of a threat to the status quo as someone like his father, Ron Paul or a third party candidate.
Rand Paul's success (not necessarily a win) in the 2016 Republican primaries, specifically among Libertarians, would give the establishment the traction it needs to pull the Libertarian movement closer to the status quo. Voting for Rand Paul despite his lack of many important Libertarian principles would be "throwing in the towel" for Libertarians. It would be saying "Okay. We're not going to get someone like Ron Paul or Gary Johnson, so let's just vote for this guy because he's the best we're gonna get." This is the exact attitude the establishment wants Libertarians to have and is the attitude that will ultimately lead to the destruction of the Libertarian movement. If Libertarianism is going to win, it must continue to fight hard from the outside instead of giving itself up to the political machine.
[1] Rand Paul to make official decision on presidential run in 2014
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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