In Baby Steps, CPAC Re-Learns Conservatism – The Libertarian Republic
There was a period where a group of socialist intellectuals came out of the University of Chicago and laid ruin to Washington DC and American political life by joining the Republican Party and making their way into positions of leadership.
When these most unconservative of folks started going by the term neoconservative, they also had an effect on American intellectual life, particularly as it relates to conservatism. Instead of creating a new term to describe themselves, they temporarily co-opted an existing term and made American Conservatism into a bigger government movement. By co-opting this term, they caused disarray for their intellectual opponents rather than confronting them head on. A neo-conservative though, is the opposite of a conservative.
CPAC, the annual political gathering of conservatives near Washington DC has been an important front in the intellectual battle in American conservatism and intellectual trends across the West.
When Ron Paul started winning CPAC straw polls a few years back, you could feel CPAC getting a little less neoconservative. It’s principled conservative, paleo-conservative, constitutional conservative, and libertarian core was alive and well at this place. It was a place where values could reliably matter in a D.C. where values meant so little. Rand Paul did the same at CPAC, dominating the straw polls and energizing the conservative movement along with many others. Then the world took a back seat when a bunch of silverbacks entered the room and pushed their way around.
Trump and crew. They may not be my favorite intellectually, because they miss some important points, but damn am I happy to have them raging at the left in this moment of intellectual revolution we are in the early stages of. I’m damn happy to have them in the bully pulpits they have but more importantly, happy to have them on the Internet, in this terrain of freedom and voluntary association that the world has been gifted. For anyone who wakes up every morning with a burning desire to do the work of a public intellectual – reading and writing with and for others – what an amazing time it is to be alive.
Ron Paul was a threat. That’s why he got shut out so much and his supporters so harshly dealt with.
The Republican party is slowly but steadily being reclaimed by principled conservatives. This process of reclamation and intellectual/political enlightenment is a big contributor to the chaos we see in politics now. They are the birth pangs of a great revolution and birth pangs are messy and often violent. But it’s the beginning of something brilliant if it’s not smothered by Liberal fools. Now if only the Left could wake up and embark on a revolution of their own.