Let’s give the “libertarians are nasty racists or naive enablers” slur another couple kicks in the head, shall we?
- Iowa and Ron Paul: How the Rockwell strategy harmed Ron Paul (Classically Liberal)
You should click through and RTWT, but the gist of the post is that (back when he was writing Those Newsletters), Paul subscribed to Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard’s paleolibertarian strategy of appeal to sociocons to build a base. He probably still holds some paleolibertarian beliefs, which isn’t geared to make me happy but which ought to have grabbed some support among the sort of Iowans who voted for Huckabee in 2008 and Bachmann in the 2011 straw poll. In fact, Paul ratcheted up his anti-abortion views this time around, aiming for those sociocons and trying to gather their support. Instead, those folks voted for Santorum.
Paul’s support, however, came from young Republicans (stereotyping outrageously, we can expect young people to be less racist in the same way we can expect old people — like Ron Paul — to be more racist). It came from Republicans who hadn’t attended the caucuses before. It came from independents. It came from voters who self-identify as “moderate” or “liberal”. From the article:
Look at each group where Paul did well and you see a consistent pattern. They were not the kind of bigoted voters that Lew Rockwell was trying to appeal to with this paleolibertarian strategy. Ron’s support came from voters who were most like the libertarians that Rockwell has consistently slandered.
The very kind of voters that Rockwell would dismiss as “hippies”—the young, independents, liberals and moderates—were the people who made up the majority of Ron Paul’s supporters. The people that Rockwell tried to appeal to were far more likely to vote for Santorum.
The flaw in the paleolibertarian strategy was that the people they tried to win over like big government. They are not libertarians. The very kind of people that Rockwell and Rothbard attacked in those newsletters, and in other places, were the ones willing to vote for Ron Paul.
In other nomination news, I expect Romney to mop up Santorum when the race gets to Florida.