Thursday, July 20, 2017

Why Rand Paul May Be the Last Hope for America

By Robert Wenzel

Rand Paul, the last hope for America?

Tom Woods recently conducted a sobering interview with Robert W. Merry of The Amercian Conservative. (The full interview is here.)

Tom had Merry on the show because of an article Merry wrote, What If Trump Fails?:Get ready for an American version of socialism.

The article begins:
It may be time to contemplate the political fallout in America if Donald Trump fails as president and the American people decide to expel him from the White House. The most likely result will be a pronounced lurch to the left. Get ready for an American version of socialism.
It is an indication that smarter Trump supporters are starting to get it.  As Tom indicates on his show, Trump is the perfect foil for the Democrats.

If things stand as they do now, the Democrats are going to gain a large number of congressional seats in the mid-term elections and they will win the 2020 presidential election.

Strategically for Democrats, they should continue to punch and punch at Trump but not impeach him. They should want to run against him.

But here is the thing, Woods and Merry both acknowledge that
the direction the Democrats will move in is the direction of socialism. Voters do not want establishment Democrats like Hillary Clinton. But because the masses have no understanding of basic economics they will welcome the change from Trump buffoonery and the Democratic establishment toward Bernie Sanders-type socialism. The perspective, "It's time for America to move socialist," will be big.

I have refrained from throwing "I told you so" at Libertarians for Trump but I must point out that immediately after the election I warned about gains for socialists.

On November 10, two days after the election, I wrote a post, The Problem With the Donald Trump Victory for LIbertarians.

I began that post this way:
Heading into the election, I felt that for strategic reasons Hillary Clinton was the best alternative for libertarians. Not because she is good on many issues, she is not, but because she would come with a ready-made opposition that would listen to libertarian arguments against her.

It would have been a great opportunity to reach out to Trump supporters and spread the libertarian message. That opportunity is now gone with the Trump victory. Trump supporters are rabid, they will likely follow him down almost any hell hole.

These people are not going to listen to our arguments for smaller government. Their man is in power.

There will be opposition to Trump but it will be coming from the left, not the Trump right.

The left is all about expanding the state. Thus, it will be very difficult to reach out to these people and present state shrinking anti-Trump ideas. They are a perfect target for the socialists.
Boy did I hit the nail on the head. I have lost readers because of my anti-Trump stance. My anti-Trump posts, where I point out that he is anti-free trade, that he is surrounded by military generals and Goldman Sachs operatives and that he has escalated wars, get the fewest hits.

The comments to those posts usually carry twisted logic to justify Trump's interventionist positions as some kind of master scheme that will land us in a world of freedom and free markets. It makes me wonder if I have somehow landed in the middle of the film Being There.

It doesn't look good.

I hope that those who should know better start to now turn on Trump. This is not the time to be quiet and occasionally point out a negative direction he is going in. He needs to be abandoned. He needs to be bashed viciously.

The world needs to know there is opposition to Trump from those who advocate liberty, It might not be enough to stop the move toward socialism but it may be our last hope. If the wrong socialist gets into the White House, as opposed to the plodding, boring and obviously crony Hillary Clinton, it is possible that the America we know will slowly die. We could face anywhere from 10 years to 50 years of severe decline. Banana America should not be ruled out.

The only shot we may have is if Rand Paul can get himself elected president. I was a severe critic of his 2016 presidential primary run but as I look at the presidential field and what is lurking on the Democratic side in 2020, Rand may be the last hope for America.

It is going to be very difficult for a Republican to get elected president in 2020 after Trump, as Merry points out. Rand has a slim chance. But he has to stop objecting to interventionist measures on procedural grounds. He looks wimpish when he does this. He needs to object to interventions on principle, quoting the Founding Fathers when he can. It was the tough guy persona that got Trump elected and it is his lack of ability to pull off the tough guy promises that is causing him to dive in the polls. Rand needs to be the real tough guy---taking on anyone who wants to abandon the course set by the Founding Fathers---with a bit of Clint Eastwood in his swagger.

It appears that Trump respects Rand. They have had numerous conversations even though Rand has objected to the GOP/Tump healthcare plan. But if Rand is serious about a 2020 presidential run he is going to have to distance himself from Trump in a much harsher manner so that the media takes notice and starts writing, "Rand, the first Republican to distance himself from Trump."

The sooner Rand does this the better. Republicans who stick by Trump will not stand a chance in the presidential general election in 2020 and no one can bring forth principled opposition to Trump the way Rand can if he attempts to deliver the message of freedom and the American Way.

Many presidential elections do not matter in terms of setting significant trends, which side gets elected is often of little consequence, but the 2020 election may be different. Rand beating out a Democratic socialist may be the last hope for America.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of and Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn. Also subscribe to his youtube series, Sunday Morning with Robert Wenzel.


  1. You can't cheerlead over the importation of 50 million 3rd worlders and counting only to then turn around and complain about how the country is becoming borderline Socialist. These two things are directly related.

    1. Reading comprehension problem? I have consistently said that a Welfare wall must be put up so that those crossing the border would not be eligible for any type of welfare, which would eliminate their support for such welfare.

      Further, on more than one occasion I have stated that those who cross the border should be able to work and exchange but not vote.

      It is people like you who distort the message that result in yahoos supporting Trump instead of real libertraian principle.

    2. Libertarians have no principles on immigration.

      Hart Cellar is just groovy for most of them.

      If Libertarians had principles they would be against immigration until such time as birthright citizenship is abolished.
      If Libertarians had principles they would be against immigration till all welfare, health, education and language benefits were abolished.

      Instead we see headlines about how Trump is a clown because he wants to deport a few illegals.

      Libertarians are just shills for the Oligarchs and their lust for cheap labor.

    3. What an obnoxious reply to someone who took the time to respond to you! Being rude doesn't make one a better libertarian, it just alienates people who value civil discourse. Let your arguments carry the day, not your arrogance!

      Secondly, it seems highly unlikely that the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election is already a foregone conclusion. There will be many events and opportunities between now and November 2020 that could affect the outcome. In recent decades, incumbent Presidents have had better than even odds of being re-elected and even higher odds of being renominated. Senator Rand may be well advised to wait a bit longer.

      Finally, I share concerns about America's likely further movement toward socialism, notwithstanding the evidence provided elesewhere of the foolishness of the system. But I am more concerned about an ill-educated and poorly prepared electorate than I am about a particular candidate. How do you persuade them to think when they're offered "free ice cream" by others?

    4. The libertarianprincipal is self ownership. There are not different libertarian principals for different issues. The fact that some of your neighbors have passed assinine laws gives you no right to use violence or aggression to remove people from land or territory that is not your property. The immigrants are nor responsible for the welfare state. They didnt build it. They just got here. Its like kicking your. Dog because you lost your wallet.

    5. Re: FormerThinkingPerson,

      --- Libertarians have no principles on immigration. ---


      --- If Libertarians had principles they would be against immigration till all welfare, health, education and language benefits were abolished. ---

      That's idiotic. You're asking for a standard of perfection that is absurd, not unlike asking for every person to be virtuous and free of sin before they can enjoy freedom.

      Robert wasn't exaggerating when he said only yahoos support Trump. You're the living, breathing evidence of this.

    6. The problem with libertarians on immigration:

      1. There is no possible "clean" libertarian policy on immigration into the USA under present laws. Immigrants do get welfare and ultimately get to vote creating a demographic problem that does not exist under AnCap.

      2. Libertarians as a group have historically avoided noting that libertarianism means no laws and no lawsuits against private discrimination. There seems to be no interest in arguing for the creation of private neighbors RIGHT NOW which could discriminate based upon whatever the owners wanted. It has bothered me for 40 years that there is no outreach to religious conservatives who could live in their own enclaves as they like at which point they could be told to STFU about hassling dopers and trannies. And vice versa. Private neighborhoods in the same town with private schools, sidewalks and streets solve all of these stupid lifestyle disputes and solves the drug problem with no black markets. With these neighborhoods, immigrants (and everyone) can be vetted. No mean streets. Let's not mention all that for the next 40 years.

    7. While we have welfare for illegal aliens, Wenzel favors violence against us rather than the illegal alien, preferring stranger over his own family.

    8. A welfare wall does not prevent immigrants who believe in socialism (yet fled from it) from voting in socialism. It simply prevents them from receiving welfare until they are eligible to vote.

    9. Any argument you might make regarding immigrants and welfare is just as true kfor American newborns. The immigrants are no more responsible for Americas silly welfare laws than a newborn baby is.

      The number of third world immigrants in the past generation is roughly equal to the number of American abortions over the same time period. Were just importing the people we didn't birth.

    10. Our least welfare using population, Asians, vote left wing at a rate of 80%

      The welfare wall concept is flawed, and doesn't not stop the active political subversion of the American population. Immigrants don't give half a shit about individual Liberty. Not even our early European immigrants cared for our founding principles...the brought Progressive politics to our shores from their home countries


    11. A 2015 Pew survey showed that whites approve of US drone attacks by 66% and Hispanics by 39%. You don’t see Hispanics group’s fearmongering and propagandizing for US wars and Empire.

      The border nationalists who go on and on about the welfare state immigrants didn’t create, aren't really bothered by the US wars and vast empire that exist today. That's why they could support Trump.

  2. Except leftists and the masses do not care about legitimate reasons to oppose Trump. Worse they either agree with Trump on them or at least agree with Trump that it is a legitimate power of government. That's why it's "Russia, Russia, Russia" because people are just fine with expanding civil asset forfeiture and many other real actual bad things Trump and company are up to.

    People support HRC and then are offended by Trump's disconnection with the truth. They simply don't care about anything but their feelings and their team. As a result liberty arguments are only a matter of convenience to the fans of the Ds and Rs and are forgotten the moment their team is in power.

  3. I agree, your analysis has made sense in the past and this one also seems to be true. If Rand is going to do this, he needs to do it right. And he needs to go back to hardcore libertarian principles and solid free market economics. He doesn't need to become an anarchist, but he needs to 'hate the state', in Rothbard's words, and make principles arguments about the evil of using violence to accomplish ends as opposed to just some technocratic arguments. The reason for this is because if Rand wins, he needs to do more than just make some incremental changes or delay socialism for 8 years. He actually needs to change the minds of the American voters. He needs to teach them, day after day, how government is violence is inherently immoral, and day after day how the free market works and why it is better. Just forming a coalition of voters' existing ideas isn't enough. all that will do is delay the inevitable.

    My question to you is, if you were interested in writing a post about it is, how does Rand run in 2020 or must he wait until 2024? Running in 2020 is risky. People might see that as a betrayal of the Republican party and Trump voters may try to destroy him permanently. He will have to run a primary against a sitting president.

  4. Will Rand have the courage to tell the sheeple the truth?

    1. No! He will not because not even our illustrious host Robert wants to talk about the oligarchy elephant in the room that drives so much of the economic ruin infesting this country.

      Until you call it out and analyze it (ala Charles Hugh Smith) and call it what it is so many issues such as immigration are superfluous talking points.

      The machine is too big and inertia is too massive

  5. Libertarian ideas seem to be loosing the traction they got when Ron Paul was running.. I hardly see Rand as an opportunity. The left is too powerful and easy to sell

  6. Sure there might be a lot of talk about socialism but there actually be very little sign of it on the ground. that is because the Military industrial complex wants that money for itself. the democrats in the latest round of budget fighting showed thay are quite willing to give the MIC what it wants as long as they get some crumbs. However the current financial situation is that they won't even get that.

    1. It's hard enough to convince an HOA to follow its own rules, much less be more libertarian. The consultant-management complex is alive and well throughout governance structures. Free money (inflation and debt) makes it easy to not care.

  7. I don't think doctrinaire socialism (State ownership of the means of production) is a threat at all. 99% of the 99% don't even know what doctrinaire socialism means or that they already live in a country deep in the throes of what William Anderson defined as "secondary socialism" (high taxes, social insurance, etc.).

    The America we know? We've been living in Banana America for some time now. The main goal of TPTB is always privatized profits and socialized losses. In other words, an elite oligarchy that is implicitly fascistic, including the promotion of an extremely militarized society, heavily subsidized via gov't monies, including an emphasis on public-private "partnerships", and explicitly corrupt. Bailout is the name of the game, a la the latest talk on the Hill about Obamacare.

    Rand Paul as a last hope. We're toast.

  8. In terms of the ability to persuade, Rand has zero ability. DT is very skillful at this. Scott Adams blogs about this.

    1. Yes, I saw Scott Adams sitting in the chair on the right in the second video and he is a wonder of powerful observation:

  9. ---- If the wrong socialist gets into the White House, as opposed to the plodding, boring and obviously crony Hillary Clinton, it is possible that the America we know will slowly die.---

    Many times I said here and elsewhere that a Hillary win would have meant the probability that the economy would go kablooey in her face, yet no one would be able to seriously blame Capitalism for it. However with Trump at the helm awith his wooly ideas, a crashing economy would lead to an even worse socialist as president.

    The thing that is clear is that Trumpistas couldn't care less about free market principles and personal freedom, going by the commentary from some of them here. For instance, Trumpistas really believe that immigrants are being "imported", rather than immigrants making the decision to come to improve their own situation. The way they seriously argue that libertarians are beholden to "oligarchs" is proof that Trumpistas are not interested in truth but in slander. You read that kind of absurdity in lefty mags with their frowsy rants. One should not be judged negatively fof concluding that Trumpistas and Marxians are fellow travelers in their war against markets.

    1. They have always successfully blame the free market for the bust phase while giving credit to government for meddling for the boom phase. This is why libertarian arguments are so difficult to make effectively because step one involves teaching people what they "know" is not so.

  10. I've said before that Rand Paul needs to start talking up the Constitution, and how almost everything the US govt does is not allowed per the Constitution. I know that libertarians are not big fans of the US Constitution, but if the government actually followed it, about 90% of what it does would be eliminated. Sounds good to me!

    He will obviously be questioned about why he is opposed to this legislation or that legislation, and he can offer the philosophical reasons, and also ask why the questioner doesn't want to follow the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. For those already in government, he can say that they swore an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution. He can say Jefferson would be rolling in his grave that members of Congress want to do this or that or bomb this country or have military bases in 170 countries...

    A lot of Americans still look fondly on the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, and he can use this to his advantage to push the US in the direction of liberty away from socialism.

  11. "For instance, Trumpistas really believe that immigrants are being "imported""

    In some cases, they are. See Syrian Refugees...
    I do agree with the idea that in the presence of a welfare state, libertarians should be against illegal immigration until that proverbial welfare wall is established. Importing people who usually lean to the left and then allowing their future American citizen children to grow up believing the same thing will only expand the lefts voting base. It is like setting ourselves up for permanent defeat.

    On the bright side, I have read in a few places and even have some anecdotal evidence that the younger generation, 16 and below, lean more to the right that the previous generation. A lot of those kids are Pro-Trump, but really that just means Anti-Hillary/Lefty agenda. Trump is just in the forefront because he won the election.

  12. Rand is who he is. Expecting him to be much more principled than he’s been since he ran for the Senate is wishful thinking, IMO. Also, IMO, he doesn’t have the swagger most Republicans want their nominee, President, and leader of the US Empire to have.