I have said many times that the “anti-war left” is unreliable. They are willing to “take it to the streets” on Republican wars but in the age of Obama they have disappeared into the Democratic Party someplace and are silent. Oh you may have a few Marxists and other fringe groups who may write the occasional strongly worded letter or essay, but the leftist anti-war movement is comatose for now. One of the very few good things that could come from a Romney administration is that the “anti-war left” would be back in force yelling and hollering about the Romney administration’s war crimes. That would be welcome, but the hypocracy of it all would dampen the message considerably.
The Democratic Party itself is useless these days. Can you think of any great anti-war voices in the Democratic Party? I can think of some loud and vociferous warmongering hawks off the top of my head. So what about the GOP? Give me a break! The GOP is the War Party. Their reaction to the non-interventionist Ron Paul should tell you all you need to know about the professional, political leadership of the Republican Party.
The American two party system is designed to keep the national discourse within a small range and to give the appearance of choice. We all like choice! But if an anti-war movement appears, like the Ron Paul movement, then both parties will do whatever they can to marginalize and to destroy. So, do we give up on politics altogether? War is far too important a topic to just answer glibly.
I think there is a place for political involvement as long as we don’t get lost and allow our involvement to become and end in itself. The Ron Paul movement was a protest movement inside the GOP rather than in the streets outside the halls of power. Dr. Paul was able to be heard and to take high moral ground on the anti-war issue. There were other important issues of course and not being a one-issue candidate helped broaden his appeal considerably. But in the end, the GOP played dirty and fraudulently in the nomination process. So did we “win”? Hell yes we “won”, to a degree anyway, but it is not over.
But now what? Now is not the time to give in and go away. Now is the time to protest the Romney forces fraudulent treatment of the Paul forces. Time yell and scream about the situation in Maine, Massachusetts and Louisiana where Ron Paul delegates are being illegally kicked out and Romney people put in their places. We need to continue to demand the the Ron Paul delegates be seated in Tampa and we need to continue to demand that the GOP change to conform to the Ron Paul message. When the Romney campaign falls apart as it will do without the Ron Paul voters, the GOP will need to change or embrace a future of being a minority party.
What about the long term future of a movement that is basically libertarian? The future is notoriously hard to predict. I can tell you that the movement needs to become broad based and include people from the left to the right. I hope that we can continually preach the government-is-evil message as we preach the basic Ron Paul message. In the end, the future depends on what the young people in America today come to believe. We old, tired anti-war radicals from the Vietnam era are dying off. It is time for new leadership to appear on the scene. Perhaps it is time to try to take the Libertarian Party away from the comfortable beltway crowd and turn it into the radical party of liberty that it was when it was founded so many years ago. Perhaps there are other tactics and strategies that you can think of.
In the end, we need new leadership. You may be one of those leaders. If so, remember that you must remain radical. We continue to push on every front we can. We take what we can get but we never settle for anything less than the total abolition of the war machine. We want to destroy the coercive, brutal, immoral force in our lives called “government”.
Good luck to you and the future.