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From Ron Paul to Bernie Sanders
It's interesting to me that CNN is running an op-ed by Edwin Lyngar, a former Ron Paul delegate to the Nevada state convention in 2008 who has switched his support over to Bernie Sanders in 2016 and 2020. The establishment media does not like Sanders, but we know that they hated Ron Paul during his two presidential runs as well.
Sanders, despite being robbed of the nomination in 2016, and what looks like an attempt at a repeat given what happened during the fraudulent Iowa caucus this year, has never faced the overt contempt that Ron Paul faced in 2008 and 2012. There's a reason for that. Sanders would, admittedly, be a pain for the Democratic establishment and the establishment media, but Paul would have been a threat to the Republican establishment's and the establishment media's very existence based as it is on warmongering and an all-powerful American government. That's why not only did they rob Ron Paul of his win in Iowa in 2012, as they did Bernie in 2020 and probably 2016, but they also refused to cover him at all as this clip of Jon Stewart shows.
So it's not that surprising that even in 2020 when Ron Paul is retired from the U.S. Congress and will certainly never run for President again, CNN would run a piece critical of him and libertarianism in general from a former supporter.
It might sound odd to support a libertarian like Paul and then go for Bernie just a decade later, but it's much easier than it seems. True libertarians are supportive of LGBTQ rights, drug legalization, criminal justice reform, reproductive rights and a host of progressive social issues. The anti-government side of the libertarian wing is more problematic, and I spent much of my youth bleating about "freedom" while holding rabidly anti-government views, a common stance for naïve white kids.
My first question to Lyngar would be, "true libertarians" according to whom? Him? He's openly repudiating his previous support for Ron Paul and libertarianism, so how would he be in a position to say what "true" libertarianism is? If "true" libertarianism is, as he explains it, everything he seems to like now then why is he running away from the label?
It's true that "true" libertarians may support everything that Lyngar claims that they support, but in some cases they may support the opposite of what he says and still be true libertarians. The only criteria for being a libertarian is that you oppose the initiation of violence against peaceful people. So yes, that means that libertarians are opposed to laws that target the rights of LGBTQ people to live their lives in peace and as they see fit, but it doesn't mean that a libertarian has to be supportive of how LGBTQ people choose to live their lives or that a libertarian would have to associate with any LGBTQ person in any capacity. It simply means that they don't support harming an LGBTQ person in any manner.
For example, a libertarian would not support a law that made consensual homosexual relationships illegal, but they would also not support a law that says that businesses must do business with gay people. In both examples the law is compelling people to either associate or not associate peacefully and within the confines of their own property. Banning the homosexual couple's relationship is an act of violence against them and their property, but forcing the business owner to associate with the gay couple professionally would also be an act of violence against the business owner and their property. You can call the hypothetical business owner's position bigotry and condemn it as such, but bigotry in and of itself is not violent.
I don't really know what to make of Lyngar's claim about anti-government views being "naive," as he correctly attacks the government later in his column, stating, "the government finally stepped up, offering unlimited funds not to help us, but to save ... Wall Street?" This is after also stating "that government is the only tool available to level the playing field..." So which is more naive in this confusing narrative: opposing government intervention at all levels because it only ever makes things worse and constitutes violence against peaceful people, or seeing government as a panacea to social ills while acknowledging that this isn't what happens in practice?
And Lyngar's claims regarding the 2008 recession are equally contradictory. On the one hand, Lyngar says, "Paul's laissez faire economics nearly destroyed America in 2008," but then also says, "That recession proved to me that we live in the most socialist society on earth, but it's only available to the very rich." So a recession in "the most socialist society on earth" is the fault of "laissez faire economics" and the cure is more socialism? The logic doesn't follow.
Ron Paul and all libertarians opposed the bailouts that Lyngar is so bitter about in his column, on the basis that they would prolong the recession and constituted outright robbery of regular people like Lyngar. From a speech Paul gave on the floor of the House of Representatives, November 20, 2008:
At least 90 percent of the cause for the financial crisis can be laid at the doorstep of the Federal Reserve. It is the manipulation of credit, the money supply, and interest rates that caused the various bubbles to form. Congress added fuel to the fire by various programs and institutions like the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FDIC, and HUD mandates, which were all backed up by aggressive court rulings.
The Fed has now doled out close to $2 trillion in subsidized loans to troubled banks and other financial institutions. The Federal Reserve and Treasury constantly brag about the need for "transparency" and "oversight," but it's all just talk--they want none of it. They want secrecy while the privileged are rescued at the expense of the middle class.
Paul, along with the rest of the Austrian school of economics, was one of the few people who correctly predicted that a recession was coming before it happened. From another speech in the House, May 17, 2007:
Despite the long-term damage to the economy inflicted by the Government's interference in the housing market, the Government's policy of diverting capital into housing creates a short-term boom in housing. Like all artificially created bubbles, the boom in housing prices cannot last forever. When housing prices fall, homeowners will experience difficulty as their equity is wiped out. Furthermore, the holders of the mortgage debt will also have a loss. These losses will be greater than they would have been had government policy not actively encouraged overinvestment in housing.
And here's a video compilation of Peter Schiff, who advised the Paul campaign in 2008, repeatedly predicting the housing crash was coming while being literally laughed at by other financial people.
Lyngar is free to ignore and ridicule the people who predicted the housing crisis that made his life a living hell, but he doesn't get to rewrite history to say that the policies that they support were to blame when it's clear that government intervention was the problem all along. And he can call it "caring about people" and "economic justice" when he gets the bailouts if he likes, but in reality it's just theft and a continuation of the same policies that have been going on for decades with a "Democratic Socialist" veneer.