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Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Dead Hand of Rothbard Republicans

Not the first 30 -- the last 34.  As I said in my handout in Denver:

Murray Rothbard, who had long been active in Republican politics, defended Richard Nixon for President in 1972 over the alternative of George McGovern. After first opposing the creation of the LP, Rothbard joined it by 1974 and quickly helped orchestrate a complete rewrite of its Platform, replacing a compact moderate minimal-government platform with an abolitionist one that became bloated with quasi-anarchist positions like personal secession, completely open borders, privatizing all streets, and immediate non-enforcement of all tax laws. Within a few years, the LP's initial meteoric growth stopped in its tracks. Rothbard used vicious personal attacks to push out the LP's moderate leaders, who in 1983 took refuge in the Cato Institute. In 1989, Rothbard himself abandoned the LP he had hollowed out, and by 1992 was back in the GOP supporting Pat Buchanan for President. His lieutenant Bill Evers, an anarchist who helped Rothbard rewrite the LP platform in the 1970's, ended up as an adviser to George W. Bush, and worked in Iraq in the occupation government before taking his current position in the federal Department of Education. The entire leadership of the Rothbard-era Radical Caucus -- Rothbard, Evers, Garris, Raimondo, Costello, Hunter, Rockwell -- abandoned the LP for the GOP and its candidates. The Platform Committee's proposed 2008 Platform will move it back toward its original character: a compact statement of the shared Libertarian principles that unite all of us who seek to dismantle the nanny state, without either mandating or ruling out anarchism as a destination. Support the 2008 Platform, and help rebuild the LP's big tent. Free the LP Platform from the grip of the dead hand of these Rothbard Republicans.