Liberty vs. Leviathan

Chronicling Liberty's battle against Leviathan


To all my pro-life, tea party, conservative friends:

If there’s any doubt that the GOP establishment takes your energy, concern and vote for granted, look no further than this SPIEGEL Interview with Karl Rove for confirmation.  He makes clear that pro-lifers and liberty minded conservatives are his lessers and fully expects them to be co-opted and to toe the party line.

SPIEGEL: Are you convinced, then, that the Republican Party will be able to integrate the Tea Party without drifting too far to the right?

Rove: Sure. There have been movements like this before — the Civil Rights movement, the anti-war movement, the pro-life movement, the Second Amendment rights movement. All of them popped up, insistent, loud, and relatively unsophisticated. They wanted everything now and for politicians to be with them 100 percent of the time. And after an election or two, people wake up saying, our system produces mostly incremental progress and takes time and compromise. That’s exactly what’s going to happen here. I meet a lot of Tea Partiers as I go around the country, and they are amazing people. Most have never been involved in politics before. This is their first experience, and they have the enthusiasm of people who have never done it before.

SPIEGEL: Is the Tea Party movement a repeat of the Reagan Revolution?

Rove: It’s a little bit different because the Reagan Revolution was driven a lot by the persona of one man, Ronald Reagan, who had an optimistic and sunny view of what the nation could be. It was also a well-organized, coherent, ideologically motivated and conservative revolution. If you look underneath the surface of the Tea Party movement, on the other hand, you will find that it is not sophisticated. It’s not like these people have read the economist Friedrich August von Hayek. Rather, these are people who are deeply concerned about what they see happening to their country, particularly when it comes to spending, deficits, debt and health care.  (Emphasis added.)

Mr. Rove needs to know that people have and still do read Hayek.  Proving you don’t have to be “sophisticated” to appreciate Hayek, it was my first reading of The Road to Serfdom fifteen years ago that opened my eyes to the true nature of politics and, as Walter Williams said about Bastiat, “created order in my thinking about liberty”.  Reading Bastiat‘s The Law brought even more clarity.

To echo Taking Hayek Seriously, Rove is the first person I’ve ever heard to refer to Hayek as Freidrich August von Hayek. Maybe it’s Rove who has never read him.


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3 Responses

  1. Joseph says:

    Outstanding post. I think this highlights the underlying problem with the Republican party, which ironically could be partially explained by the Austrian marginal utility theory (one that us simple minded folk aren’t sophisticated enough to understand). The Repulicrats (not a typo) like everyone else, operate at the margin, based on subjective assessment of utility. The theory of marginal utility basically indicates that someone will continue using some thing until they reach a point where one more unit of it is not longer as useful or attractive as a different object. Applied to politics, this means that as long as they can retain power while operating in their true form, which is slightly more conservative democrats, they don’t need change their ways. They have little or no utility for real conservative ideals, since they apparently don’t need them to be elected, until now. It is then in their best interest (so they believe)to marginalize all that threatens their power base, such as things like, truth, life and real liberty. The reality is that Mr. Rove’s condescending treatment of those liberty minded people in all the categories he mentioned is proof that he feels threatened precisely by their core understanding of the issues at hand. The issue that the republican party is but a shadow of what its platform claims it is. I will close with a thought from Florida’s new rep Marco Rubio. In his victory speech he sent a message loud and clear to the republican party. He explained that this election cycle was not a mandate for the Republican party – it was a second chance to return to the fundamental values the party was suppose to represent. Sounds like a pretty sophisticated response to me.

  2. Jefferson says:

    Joseph, very well said. However, I am a bit worried that despite Rubio’s sophistication, he is still a big govt politician a la Brown in MA. Time will tell, hope I’m wrong.

  3. Joseph says:

    I am not endorsing Rubio, as much as conscripting his comments. 🙂

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