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W. James Antle, III at the American Conservative has a intriguing article on what if the Tea Party turns anti-war. 

Antle features Rand Paul, the GOP candidate for the US Senate in Kentucky, and his clear non-interventionist position.  Rand makes the point through budgetary and debt reasons:

But what Rand Paul has done is make the one antiwar argument with potential to resonate with more conventional conservatives: “Part of the reason we are bankrupt as a country is that we are fighting so many foreign wars and have so many military bases around the world.”

It is my contention that the Tea Party/Ron Paul libertarian political alliance can indeed save the Republic.  it is not a perfect situation but it is better than the status quo or the continued statism our nation is headed towards.  If you add followers of Christ to thsi mix, it would be an almost unbeatable combination. 

Ron Paul is very admired by Tea Partiers, according to Antle:

Although the Tea Party has an identifiable antiwar wing—one poll found that the elder Paul was the group’s second-most admired politician, after Sarah Palin—by and large the Tea Partiers’ instinctive patriotism makes them a tough audience for criticism of U.S. intervention.

But this might be changing, due to the enormous cost of wars:

But there is a limit to their willingness to spend American blood and treasure, especially as the nation teeters at the brink of insolvency. Many of them are tired of paying for the defense of Europeans they regard as fairweather friends and freeloaders, propping up foreign welfare states that serve as the model for everything they oppose at home. Neither do they want their tax dollars spent indefinitely in Middle Eastern countries whose populations don’t greet us as liberators and whose governments look more like the sharia states we claim to oppose than the democracies we are supposed to be creating.

Exactly my point!  Afghanistan is not a democracy and there is persecution of Christians in this nation.  Iraq could go that way as well.  The EU is growing in strength; this is not good for the United States (even if elites like it).  Their ideas about crime and punishment as well as liberty are not favorable.  But we have subsidized Europe’s defense as well as Japan’s and there is simply no reason to do so. 

The factors voters decide on are not necessary pure libertarianism or non-interventionism.  However, they may be won over with an argument like this:

Today, there are millions of ordinary Americans who will be turned off by academic discourses on blowback but might be persuaded by the argument that Hamid Karzai and Nouri al-Maliki are the new welfare queens.

There is blowback off the battlefield. But it is obscure.   A lady I admire greatly asked me why I felt the Swiss let Roman Polanski go.  I had wondered if US tax bullying of Swiss sovereignty was part of it.  But I asked her first.  (Mind you she is not into politics or libertarianism)  She astounded me by saying maybe it was our forcing the Swiss banks to open their accounts to us.  Yes Polanski may be blowback but most Americans won’t see it.  But portray the EU and Karzai and Maliki and Japan as well are queens and potentially dangerous adversaries might just work. 

There is a certain amount of suspicion between Tea Party activists and Ron Paul libertarians.  When I went to my first Tea Party rally in Richmond, only a few there had Ron Paul items on.  At this year’s rally, it was much increased.  But, think about what can happen if we work together.  Antle concludes:

The Tea Party movement is a promising place to look for conservatives who want a strong national defense without bankrupting America. Those already on the antiwar Right should want to reach them, not repel them.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. SamFox says:

    Ron Paul is right. The US needs to follow the Founder’s advice & mind our own national business. All who say we cannot afford the ‘blood & treasure’ are also correct.

    “Blow back” is a very serious thing. We must stop pulling the ears, so to speak, of other nations by overstaying our welcome, if even we had a welcome to start with. Look up what Ron Paul says about blow back & then the CIA & 9-11 Commission reports.

    One of the reasons for perpetual war, where we are finding our selves in the midst of these days, is to get people so sick & tired of war that we will capitulate to “peace at any price”. A very foolish place to go. Trading liberty for ‘security’ will cost us both.


    • SamFox gets it! I have long felt that it is wrong for the US to mind the business of other nations. Even comments on such things as elections etc are counterproductive. (That does not mean it cannot be brought up in private but not publicly) I think we invite other kinds of blowback such as trade wars and bad legislation through non-war meddling.

      Please come back again and invite your wavering friends!


  2. Stan Crenshaw says:

    Packaged in a reasoned and principled way and communicated to the world exactly this way could VERY well lead to support from conservatives. After all you have this defense hawk thinking…

  3. This is a superb direction to pursue; this is one area where the “far left” and the “far right” actually come around and *meet* each other. It’s yet another example of where the one-dimensional left-right axis fails to capture the complexities of diverse viewpoints.

    The Bush administration let their idealism override their pragmatism as they sought to remake the middle east in our image. The grand irony of the Obama administration, which won its initial support by portraying itself as the “anti-Bush” administration, is that they are following the same overly idealistic path. Obama has tripled the number of troops in Afghanistan.

    Imagine some “latte-drinking liberals” such as myself and conservatives (but not neocons!) such as those on this blog *working together* to move towards a more sensible, fiscally sound, and Constitutional (what happened to that clause that said Congress had to vote to declare war?) foreign policy. Doing so would involve taking on an entrenched military-industrial complex; perhaps it would take both the “Left” and the “Right” working in concert.

    Could it happen?

    Or will the war machine churn on while we keep yelling at each other? 😉

  4. Venu says:

    There’s a fine line between pre-World War II America and “Team America: World Police”. The U.S. should be able to walk along that line, not becoming an enabler to the attrition of human values, promoting global partnerships and respecting national sovereignties.

  5. SamFox says:

    Here is the Southern Avenger on ‘blow back’, one of the reasons Ron Paul said we were hit on 9-11. From TAKI Magazine-

    Blow back is the result of our occupation on middle east nations. It is as I understand one of the big reasons the US is kinda un-popular around the world.



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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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