Last week the CPAC was held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. CPAC also known as the conservative Woodstock is the annual major gathering of grassroots conservative activists in America, despite the presence of some Bush supporters from K Street. While a lot of buzz was focus on Scott Walker the anti-labor Wisconsin governor and increasingly hawkish Republican presidential candidate even National Review attacked the darling of the Club for Growth whose problems don’t seem to be his lack of a college degree rather his lack of real foreign policy credentials. The Straw Poll winner was Rand Paul who was able to win because of an important presence of libertarian college students that on most issues disagree with the GOP. One wonder what could happen if Rand Paul loses the nomination. Brink Lindsay vice president of the Cato Institute said in the Bush years that conservative movement with the exclusion of libertarians had become identity politics of the right for angry straight middle age white males.
While there is some speculation that Jeb Bush could get Latino voters because his wife is Mexican and his pro-immigrant positions however probably Hispanics distrust of the GOP anti-immigrant base could cost high for the former governor of Florida. Ted Cruz is a Hispanic senator from Texas however the grassroots favorite seems to be at odds with most Latinos with his anti-immigrant remarks. Ben Carson is an accomplish Afro-American neurosurgeon however without dealing with issues like police violence or the War on Drugs it seems difficult for him the get the support of the Afro-American community. Scott Walker, Rick Santorum and other contenders would had even more problems with minority outreach. The Ron Paul movement was very diverse especially against a homogenous GOP establishment. Now his son is the only Republican candidate who can appeal to Blacks, Hispanics, Arabs, Asians and other minorities. His anti-interventionism is attractive across the board and his criticism of police power is welcome when the minorities are whom suffer the most from these kind of violence.
If in the 90s Pat Buchanan was able to change his nixonian views on foreign policy despite that he wasn’t even able to change his nixonian views on police power. To their credit the paleoconservatives of rothbardian influence also known as paleolibertarians like Justin Raimondo are among the most prominent critics of the Police State. Rand Paul also made a call for demilitarize the police.
Immigration is another hot issue for libertarians over CounterPunch Tom Barry argued that the neoconservatives are not the only anti-immigrants in the right. In fact Ron Paul was suspected to be a restrictionist until more recent times when Tom Tancredo had denounced Dr. No for not being in favor of deportations. His rallies are much more diverse of any Republican meeting or Libertarian Party convention. His college supporters don’t share the confederate nostalgia of some of the elder Paul supporters.
I am skeptic at some degree of Rand Paul despite my sympathy for his criticism to War on Drugs and the prison system since I think some of his hawkish statements to please to most establishment wing GOP could made him walk a dangerous path in the case of being elected. Sadly with the most hawkish Democratic front-runner in years Paul could look like a dove in front of Hillary. Without Paul the GOP would become just identity politics of the right.
On the Democratic side liberal identity politics had become just a way to get more votes but if liberals were really concern about people of color they weren’t backing the drones in the Middle East that kill innocents in the desert neither backing a War on Drugs that in Latin America endanger especially the poor indigenous population.
An Empire abroad means an Empire at home that’s why Imperialism and racism are connected meaning that real social justice struggle is not for liberal identity politics instead is to build a diverse coalition for dissent against the liberal interventionist and neocon alliance.