There was time when names like Murray Rothbard or Ron Paul would never get a mention in a large publication such as The Washington Post, but times have changed. Libertarianism and the works of past great libertarian academics have been made more available than ever thanks to the internet, with sites like mises.org, fee.org, and Ron Paul for capturing the hearts and minds of millions of people with his 2008 and 2012 feisty presidential campaigns. The “liberty movement” or “paulites” (as some of the thought controllers like to use) cannot be ignored. We show up in comment sections, social media, radio, podcasts, new outlets, magazines, the blogosphere, etc. We are everywhere. This annoys “thought police.”
With the Trump presidential campaign in full swing, the thought controllers from the left and the right are trying to figure out “How could this happen?” Trump’s penchant for anti-PC rhetoric and his populist approach to attracting angry middle class voters has made the thought controller’s uncomfortable. Of course, this will get you the “racist” label, their favorite word. It’s an age-old tactic that is used to squash any debate, and force someone with a dissenting opinion into obscurity or a tail tucking apologist.
Today, the Washington Post dropped a post from blogger Matthew Sheffield titled “Where did Donald Trump get his racialized rhetoric? From libertarians.”
It’s hard to say how many libertarians support Donald Trump, but its safe to say most libertarians are not lined up, excited about the thought of him as president. But this article doesn’t even take the time out to investigate that, the entire premise of this article is basically to find someway to link libertarians of the past, with paleoconservatives of the 80’s and early 90’s , to the modern day “alt-right.” The writer of this article is unable to provide one solid piece of evidence of this connection of course, this is purely his opinion. Yet, he used this to spend 90% of the article to tell us how libertarians are racist. It only took one quick read to see all of the mischaracterizations, misrepresentations, and blatant lies by the writer. Make no mistake, this is a hit piece. It has less to do with Trump, and everything to do with trying to extinguish the small progress libertarianism has made over the past 10 years. Lets take a look at some of Mr. Sheffield’s claims.
At the Democratic convention, several speakers said Trump represented a complete break from the conservative traditions of the GOP. Last month, Clinton delivered a similar message in a speech linking Trump to the white-nationalist political movement known as the “alt-right.” “This is not conservatism as we have known it,” she asserted.
According to Clinton — and many conservative intellectuals who oppose Trump — the conspiratorial, winking-at-racists campaign he has been running represents a novel departure from Republican politics.
Take a look at the links for his references to “many conservative intellectuals who oppose Trump”, you see the “intellectuals” are people like George Will and Bill Kristol, some of the worst of the worst Neo-conservatives. Considering these are the people who helped put George W. Bush in office, and bring about the pointless and destructive Iraq War (among others), I would hardly say that them not liking Trump is a negative. Clearly this guy doesn’t understand Trump’s base. Note: The link to the Bill Kristol reference was actually written by Matthew Sheffield’s sister, Carrie Sheffield, who seems a little more libertarian friendly.
That’s not quite true, though. Trump’s style and positions — endorsing and consorting with 9/11 truthers, promoting online racists, using fake statistics— draw on a now-obscure political strategy called “paleolibertarianism,” which was once quite popular among some Republicans, especially former presidential candidate Ron Paul.
Some how, we go from Trump, to Bill Kristol, to Ron Paul (even though Dr. Paul has been vocal in his dislike of Trump). He does this by linking Ron Paul with “paleo-libertarianism”, a strategy created by Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell to create a coalition between paleoconservatives and libertarians in hopes to create a political push to move to smaller government and a non-interventionist foreign policy. This political strategy had absolutely nothing to do with race, but paleoconservatives consisted of lightening bolt personalities, such as Pat Buchanan, and David Duke, whom still to this day carry the “racist” stigma assigned to them by the thought controllers. Duke, at least, has some factual reasons to be considered racist, although at the time of his political aspirations in the 90’s, he presented himself as a reformed racist.
The figure whose ideas unify Pauline libertarians and today’s Trumpists is the late Murray Rothbard… Nowadays, many libertarians like to portray their ideology as one that somehow transcends the left-right divide, but to Rothbard, this was nonsense. Libertarianism, he argued, was nothing more than a restatement of the beliefs of the “Old Right,” which resolutely opposed the New Deal and any sort of foreign intervention in the early 20th century. Many of its adherents, such as essayist H.L. Mencken, espoused racist viewpoints, as well.
Scheffield is all over the place. In his early years, Rothbard considered himself a part of the non-interventionist, small government early 20th century Old Right, but somehow, Sheffield links this to racism. Rothbard was a fan of Mencken, who was a small government advocate of that time. H.L. Menckens is still considered one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century, who wrote for decades on a wide range of subjects, yet Scheffield digs up some diary he kept, in which some racially insensitive remarks were made. Are we supposed to be shocked a man born in the late 19th century held some views on race that would be considered “offensive” in the 21st century? He cares not to mention Rothbard’s attempt to embed himself with the New Left movement in the 1960’s to find a way to work with them to build a coalition between the right and left to push for a non-interventionist foreign policy, or that Rothbard “valorized the “heroic” Malcolm X and denounced Martin Luther King for calling for federal troops to put down black “rioters”. That would require research, Sheffield would much rather copying and pasting from Wikipedia entries.
There had always been some sympathy for racism and anti-Semitism among libertarians — the movement’s house magazine, Reason, dedicated an entire issue in 1976 to Holocaust revisionism and repeatedly editorialized in defense of South Africa’s then-segregationist government (though by 2016, the magazine was running articles like “Donald Trump Enables Racism”). But it was Rothbard’s founding of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in 1982 that enabled the fledgling political movement to establish affinity with the neo-Confederate Lost Cause movement.
Ahhh, the good ol’ “neo–confederate” label. First of all, no one even knows what that means. Second, The Mises Institute, the intellectual scholarly institute for Austrian economics and libertarian political theory, has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with “neo-confederate,” whatever that means. Let’s ignore Murray Rothbard was a Jewish New Yorker. The only reason Sheffield uses this “neo-confederate” label is due to many Austrian scholars taking a revisionist view of the Civil War. They don’t buy the 2nd grade reasoning given by mainstream historians. They point out the fact that the Civil War was largely about the Federal Govt of the United States maintaining the Union, which is a fact. Is that racist?
As far as the Reason article, they have already demanded a retraction from Washington Post for their false accusations in this article.
Of course, Sheffield uses the libertarian view that you should not be forced by government initiated violence to associate with individuals you choose not to associate with as an example of racism, but it is simply an extension of the non-aggression principle. But, maybe Sheffield doesn’t mind baking Nazi cakes.
Then he uses the tired “Racist Ron Paul Newsletter” trope to paint Ron Paul as some raving racist. Please wake me up when they get a new tactic. Oh, we can’t forget the guy who runs some white nationalist online forum donated 500 bucks to Paul’s campaign. Surely he’s racist! I also donated to Dr. Paul’s campaign too, does that absolve him? So did countless military members, Ed Snowden, people sick of pointless wars and the federal reserve. But, according to Sheffield its all about RACISM.
Ron Paul, a man who has said he’d rather see the Constitution not ratified than have it created with slavery as a compromise, a man who has spoken in front of the NAACP about the justice system to raving applause, who you wouldn’t be able find one remotely racist thing in all of the books, articles, and speeches he’s given over the past 3 decades, is supposed to be racist? PLEASE!
This was a hateful smear piece by Matthew Sheffield, and he should be ashamed of himself. He makes no attempt to challenge libertarianism on its merits or debate issues. He has no desire to do so because that would require giving legitimacy to a movement that challenges everything little Mr. Sheffield has learned in his life. He would rather take the typical thought policemen tactic, call everyone a racist.
Source: The Afro Libertarian