20 Nov 2011
by Gary C. Huggins, USMC
There is a faction within the GOP that points to Ron Paul’s libertarian views as a basis for the erroneous claim that Paul is neither a Republican nor a conservative. This is absolute nonsense. There has always been a strong relationship between libertarianism and conservatism.
In an interview with Reason Magazine in July 1975, prior to his second candidacy for the GOP nomination, Ronald Reagan, the icon of conservatism, stated, “I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism”.
He further asserted, “The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is”.
Reagan confidently added, “I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are travelling the same path.”
Reagan clearly understood and acknowledged the relationship between conservatism and libertarianism.
The following passage is an excerpt from Senator Robert Taft’s book, A Foreign Policy for Americans. The book was written in 1951, during the height of the Korean war. Taft, who earned the nickname, “Mr. Republican” was the chief ideologue and acknowledged leader of the conservatism of the Republican party from 1939 to 1953. He led the Conservative Coalition against Roosevelt’s New Deal, believed in a strong national defense, opposed the draft and alcohol prohibition.
Like Robert Taft, Ron Paul is the only candidate that advocates a true Republican foreign policy. Here is an excerpt from Taft’s book along with a link to the full text:
“War should never be undertaken or seriously risked except to protect American liberty. Our traditional policy of neutrality and non-interference with other nations was based on the principle that this policy was the best way to avoid disputes with other nations and to maintain the liberty of this country without war. From the days of George Washington that has been the policy of the United States. It has never been isolationism; but it has always avoided alliances and interference in foreign quarrels as a preventive against possible war, and it has always opposed any commitment by the United States, in advance, to take any military action outside of our territory. It would leave us free to interfere or not interfere according to whether we consider the case of sufficiently vital interest to the liberty of this country.”
There are a few old-school Republicans, like Cal Thomas, a Fox News commentator, conservative columnist, and syndicated author, that can actually recognize a true Republican when they see one. During the 2008 GOP primary, Cal Thomas correctly noted that:
“The only one behaving like a real Republican is Ron Paul, who actually wants to cut spending and get government out of our lives. He won’t get the nomination because too many Republicans are into handouts and redistribution, just like Democrats.”
Cal Thomas, January 17, 2008 Commentary
Gary C. Huggins served with the United States Marine Corps from 1974-1988.