Sen. Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, often moves (sometimes quixotically) between libertarian and conventionally conservative, Republican positions.
Still, there’s unquestionably some libertarian in him, and in his libertarianism he shares a dynamic philosophy (if not party label) with a huge number of other Americans (about 22%, or just under one-in-four people).
Here’s what Paul, speaking to GOP activists, had to say about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
“Chamber of Commerce is fine, I was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, but a Chamber of Commerce Republican is not going to win a national election….I’m not saying we give up on what we believe in, but we have to expand what we believe in….
The interesting thing about it is, as I go around the country, no matter who I talk to, whether it’s the establishment — the wealthy who support our party sometimes — or the poor, people say it’s time, time for this libertarian moment, this liberty moment,” he said. “It’s no longer something that scares people, it’s what [makes] people say, we can’t run the same-old same-old, we’re not going to win with the same-old, same-old.
Part of this is an appeal to an expanded base on issues beyond business issues.
But there’s much more to it, as small-government advocates like Nick Sorrentino well understand:
The big companies, the ones which have long partnered with the government to get a piece of the taxpayer pie would prefer that the true blue small government types just stay home and leave the “governing” to the party and industry hacks….
being pro-business and being pro-market are not the same thing. Big business likes government and regulations (often) because big business controls government and the regulatory process to a large extent. The Chamber of Commerce and the big companies which run the show there like government involvement. The Chamber might say that it is a champion of “free enterprise” but it is far from a champion. Free enterprise is actually pretty much NOT what many members of the Chamber of Commerce want.
Free enterprise, free markets, free prices are however increasingly what a very large portion of the American people want. They see an economy which is stagnant for most, while those who are entrenched in the crony class do well. The too-big-to-fail folks are sitting pretty these days.
The sloganeering of big-business and government cronyism is increasingly ineffective, and awaits a reckoning before a public sharper and fairer than a self-promoting, bloated clique comprehends.