Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How Rand Paul Could Help Advance Libertarianism Toward Its Next Great Leap Forward

By Robert Wenzel

The scenario I am about to outline is admittedly a very long shot, but I believe it is a theoretical possibility. I wouldn't mortgage the house and bet on this outcome developing, but still I do not believe the possibility is zero.

The one thing that struck me the most about last night's debate was how confident Donald Trump appeared. It seemed to me that he believes that he has a very good chance of gaining the Republican nomination.

At one point, he was even willing to state that he would not run as an independent.

This is Donald Trump, of course, and I am sure that if the circumstances point in the way of an independent run, he will do so, despite this declaration. But the fact that he was willing to make the statement committing to the Republican Party suggests to me that he believes he has a great shot at the nomination. And he is probably right, depending if he can withstand whatever attacks the establishment sends his way between now and the Iowa caucuses.

The question immediately comes up though of a possible brokered convention, since neither Trump nor any of the other candidates is likely to gain enough delegates in the primaries to put them over the top on a convention first ballot.

But Pat Buchanan explains why there won't be a  brokered convention:
Which brings us to that dinner last week at The Source on Capitol Hill where Republican Party elites discussed how Donald Trump, even if he wins the lion’s share of votes and delegates, might be denied the nomination in a “brokered convention.”

The absurdity of such a conspiracy would be matched only by its stupidity.

Has the GOP establishment learned nothing from history?

Deadlocked conventions — like the 1924 Democratic convention, which went on for 104 ballots — virtually ended with the elimination, by FDR’s party in 1936, of the two-thirds rule for nomination.

That rule kept ex-President Martin Van Buren, who could not muster 67 percent of the delegates, from capturing the nomination in 1844.

After eight deadlocked ballots in a three-way contest, that Baltimore convention turned to a “dark horse,” Speaker James K. Polk, who promised immediate annexation of Texas by the United States and that he would take us to war with Mexico to guarantee it.

With the two-thirds rule dead, the only way to have a convention without a nominee on the first ballot is a three- or four-way split in delegates.

But assume at the GOP convention in Cleveland that Trump runs first, Ted Cruz second, Marco Rubio third and Ben Carson fourth.

Rather than wait for Karl Rove & Co. to tell us whom the party shall nominate, Trump would phone Cruz, offer him second spot on the ticket in return for his delegates, and if Cruz declined, ask for Rubio’s phone number.

Candidates who have gone through a yearlong campaign, and sustained the defeats and suffered the abuse, are not going to let a Beltway cabal decide the nominee.

And, indeed, Trump appears to be very friendly with Carson and Cruz. During breaks in the debate last night they seemed to very comfortable together:

So let's say the race gets very close and the establishment rallies around Rubio and he cuts deals and gets the delegates of Kasich, Fiorina, and Bush. Trump cuts deals and gives Carson the vice-presidential spot and promises Cruz the Secretary of State position. He promises his buddy Chris Christie the top DOJ spot.

But with these deals in place, Trump still comes up three delegates short, but along the way, this guy managed to pick up three delegates:

Rand Paul would become the most powerful man in America.

It's negotiation time for Rand. But what should he ask for?

None of the cabinet positions that would be offered Rand are going to be appealing. If Cruz gets Secretary of State, the Treasury position would be open, but Wall Street would vehemently object to Rand in that position. The military-industrial complex would object to Rand in charge of the Defense Department, And as much as Trump likes to portray himself as independent, when he starts to see the presidential finish line, he is not going to rock the military-industrial complex and the crony parts of Wall Street.

I think Rand's best move, because he will have negotiating power, is to ask that his father be named to head the Council of Economic Advisers and Walter Block be named to head the National Economic Council. Remember, at this stage, the most important thing that advocates of Austrian economics and libertarianism can do is look for the best pulpits from which to educate.

What better place than within a presidential administration where papers and statements could be issued on every damn thing going on in Washington D.C.?

I would imagine Rand would consider it a great tribute to his father to get him the position of head of the CEA and Dr. Block has been one of Rand's most loyal supporters. It would be a great thank you to Walter to put him in charge of the NEC.

Can you imagine the statements that would be coming out of the CEA and NEC? Can you imagine their testimonies before Congress?

And, keep in mind, Trump does not appear to have any deep theory holding him to any of his current views. With regular exposure to Dr. Paul and Dr. Block, he may start to understand the value of free markets and all out liberty.

As for Rand, he could stay in the Senate, with the daily statements coming out of the CEA and NEC and the attention they will draw, he could become known as the man with "access" to the top of the CEA and NEC and the most significant senator,

If Rand went further and put Lew Rockwell in as his chief of staff, libertarian ideas would rock in America.

This is my dream.


  1. The Assistant Attorney General at the Justice Dept. is usually in charge of antitrust operations. I await the call to serve...and end all on-going and future antitrust prosecutions. Walter Block as head of the NEC? That's a wasted opportunity. Walter would be my choice for the Federal Reserve where he could really do some damage. Let's not waste our heavy hitters.

  2. wow, this is a long, long shot. but one can dream, i suppose.