FLORIDA, December 25, 2012 — Ron Paul has had quite the impact on American politics.
Many people believe that his brand of libertarianism represents the center-right’s future. If this indeed is the case, can it be described as a positive development?
Third parties have played a historic role in our country’s political theater. However, they rarely find long-term electoral success. That has led no small number of people to view challenges to the bipartisan establishment with an odd hybrid of suspicion and disdain. Do third parties stand a reasonable chance of challenging the aforementioned duopoly?
Wayne Allyn Root is one of our country’s most recognizable libertarian commentators. In this second part of our discussion, he shares his answers to such pertinent questions. He also tells us about why he recently left the Libertarian Party, and the reason for his endorsing Republican Mitt Romney during this year’s presidential election.
Joseph F. Cotto: Libertarianism, specifically the Ron Paul variety, is often hailed as being the center-right’s future. Do you think that this is the case? If it indeed is, would this be a positive development, in your opinion?
Wayne Allyn Root: Look I am a Tea Party Reagan Libertarian with many Ron Paul influences. I love Ron. I think he’s one of the great fiscal conservatives of all time. I think he was right about so many fiscal issues and problems. I think he is such a fine and honorable man. A true “citizen politician.” I hope to carry on his tradition. And Rand Paul and I are exactly in tune.
But I have one difference with Ron. And it really damaged his career and kept him from mainstream popularity. It ruined his chances for the Presidency. Israel. That one issue would have changed everything for Ron Paul. You cannot get conservative or Christian mainstream support without a great love for Israel- as I have. Whether Ron Paul’s supporters understand this or not, that one issue prevented him from being President. There needs to be moderation on that issue. And I have the common sense moderate solution for that issue. Let’s leave that for another discussion in the future. Call me a Pro Israel Ron Paul citizen politician.
But I’ll say this…you have to love a country that has 6 million Jewish citizens, yet is #1 per capita in every economic and entrepreneurial measure in the world…and #3 in the world for venture capital, behind only USA and China. And #2 in the world for companies listed on NADAQ. And #1 for female entrepreneurship. And #2 for business startups behind only America. The only capitalist economy in the Middle East. Filled with such energy and life. A country that treats it’s Arab minority better than any Muslim country in the Middle East- by far. And our best friend and ally in the most critical region for our country (because of the oil that fuels our entire economy). I love Israel and will always treat her as America’s most special friend in the world.
The other thing the Ron Paul movement needs to understand is that politics is basically a combination of show business and sales. Principles are very important…but if you can’t sell them in a dynamic, charismatic, colorful, and entertaining way, you will never get your message across. That’s why a Hollywood actor named Reagan was the only guy to successfully sell conservatism and smaller government in our lifetimes. I hope to follow in the footsteps of Reagan, Goldwater, Kemp and Ron Paul. With a little Ross Perot thrown in- I think TV infomercials with simple colorful charts explaining our positions is the way to elect the next Republican President.
Cotto: In 2008, you were the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential nominee. For a few years, you even seemed to be the frontrunner for the Party’s 2012 presidential nomination. However, you eventually chose to endorse Republican Mitt Romney and return to the GOP. Why?
Root: The Libertarian Party is not going to win the Presidency, U.S. Senate seats, or a Governorship in my lifetime. Not in a political system like ours that makes it impossible for third parties to compete. And some of its views are just too radical and extreme to gain acceptance in America. The GOP was painted as extreme and demonized for wanting small tax and spending cuts. For wanting school choice. For wanting to reform Social Security and Medicare. I believe I can sell all of that as a future national GOP candidate.
But I’ll tell you what can never be sold…some “pure” Libertarian views…such as ending Social Security and Medicare, getting rid of public education altogether, legalizing heroin, open borders, ending America’s relationship with Israel. If you think those can be sold…I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn!
I believe the combination of strong principled conservative and Constitutional fiscal policies, combined with moderate common sense views on social issues can be marketed to America with great success. But always with personality!
Cotto: What, in your opinion, is the future for third parties in our country? Do they stand a reasonable chance of taking on the bipartisan establishment?
Root: Third parties have never succeeded in a big way in modern history. Maybe a Tea Party type combination of conservative and Libertarian can take hold, if things get much worse under Obama…and in response, the GOP under House Speaker Boehner continues to act weak-willed and agree to terrible compromises that damage the economy and betray the GOP’s most loyal supporters (small business owners). Maybe. We’ll see how bad things get and what the GOP response will be. If the GOP stands up and defends small business and capitalism, I think it will continue to be the only game in town.
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