Friday, September 11, 2015

Never in the Field of Political Conflict was so Little Accomplished by One Who had been Given so Much*

“Trump Will Be President” says one of my respected political sages. “Of course, Trump will win the nomination. That has been clear for some time.  But now I am saying he will be the next president.

After citing some concerning positions held by The Donald, the political sage offers (emphasis added):

“There is only one unalloyed happy note. Trump will rein in the empire. Even the power elite realize the empire has gotten out of hand. Under Trump, who is, after all, not a neocon, there will be fewer wars, maybe no US wars. Call his governing philosophy ‘antiwar fascism’.”

Despite the very regular setbacks, I have always tried to hold on to my view that the elite – the string pullers above the visible players – are as concerned about an out-of-control military empire as many of us are.  Few will survive the next nuclear war, and those who do will not enjoy the lifestyle of several generations in the bunker (well, unless they have secretly invented this).

Obama did not come out of nowhere eight years ago by happenstance.  Either Hillary or McCain were perfectly fine tools.  Yet, the (relatively) peaceful candidate was selected for the voters.  Even more than a year ago, I felt that this upcoming election would give us some clues about the desires of the elite:

Another clue will be offered by the next US presidential election; will a war hawk be chosen (there are many candidates) after the relative respite of Obama, or will it be one with a slightly more passive, yet acceptable tone?

At the time of this earlier post, and despite his already very visible shortcomings to most of the libertarian supporters of his father, I felt that Rand Paul could be that candidate – the one to move US foreign and military policy toward a less interventionist stance.

Which brings me to the title of this post.  I have written very little about Rand in the last two years – less than ten posts labeled as such; he has become just another politician, not a topic that regularly draws my curiosity.  If not for his father, I would have never even noticed him (how many posts have I written on Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio…).

Most recently I commented on his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal – the event that seems to finally have awakened Justin Raimondo (although I cannot say this condition is permanent); before that, I offered a RIP for his candidacy.  For me, his colors began to show more than three years ago.

Not counting those whose personal dalliances were made an issue for some political take-down reason, it is difficult for me to recall any single political player who so completely and absolutely blew it.  Rand had the most enthusiastic political base in the country behind him.  Rand had the political winds on his side – both from above (the elite) and below (the people).  He may never have become president if he had stuck to his father’s knitting, but all signs were pointing to the continued growth of both of these constituencies.

In every single step Rand blew it (and continues to blow it, although it may not matter even in the long run as he may have ruined his ability to re-energize his father’s base forever).  He completely misread the global situation; he completely misread domestic politics; most importantly – and going back to the note from Lew Rockwell – he completely misread the concerns of the power elite.

He was playing yesterday’s game with players who don’t matter.  Even if getting elected president was more important to Rand than anything approaching a consistent philosophical platform, he couldn’t have done worse.

With all of this said, I do not claim to know that Trump will win; frankly, I haven’t followed him closely enough to make much of a comment about his views on foreign policy and US military adventurism.  But I doubt Lew would have posted the subject item from someone who was less than credible in analyzing and understanding the political scene.

Which reminds me, once again, of the picture I will forever have about Rand (from an above-referenced post):

The best picture I have is from Marlon Brando, On the Waterfront  
You don't understand, I could have had class!
I could have been a contender.
I could have been somebody.
Instead of a bum...
...which is what I am. Let's face it.

Never in the field of political conflict was so little accomplished by one who had been given so much.

*HT Winston


  1. Nice piece.........Lew needs to go back and read his lysander Spooner
    Or Carlin

    1. "Lew needs to go back and read his lysander Spooner Or Carlin."

      Why does Lew need go back and read their writings?

  2. I am not so sure the Iran deal is good for peace. I think it will used to buy time while Syria is dealt with. In the mean tome it will allow inspectors to gain intelligence on Iranian capabilities. Finally, we will find "violations" that will be used to justify military action while allowing us to claim we gave our best effort for peace. Finally, Netanyahu will get an extra $2 billion a year.

  3. It makes sense that even the string-pulling elite are getting nervous about the consequences of the American military rampaging all over the globe. The long term horrors of a nuclear war are probably not the elite's only nightmare.

    Just as ISIS, a creation of the American government, has gotten uppity and broken free of its handlers, the U.S. military may likewise do so and endanger the power and even the lives of the string-pullers. What is to prevent our puppet President or even some rogue general from ordering late night military raids on the homes of major banksters? Of what use is one's immense power and wealth with a gun in one's face? Will millions of demonstrators demand the banksters be released from prison?

    One wonders why Rand Paul threw away his father's huge and growing libertarian following in order to kiss up to the Republican leadership. As I recall, there was evidence eight years ago and much more so four years ago that energetic Ron Paul enthusiasts were infiltrating the Republican Party at the local grassroots level. In the meantime, the aging Republican elite has gotten eight years older and that much closer to loss of power.

    There was no reason for Rand to compromise libertarian principles. He had demographics on his side and gained absolutely nothing from doing so. All he had to do to inherit his father's growing following was to adopt Ron's uncompromising libertarian posture. As BM pointed out, Rand could have been somebody. He could have been a contender. But he decided instead that it was more important to get along with losers.