Nonintervention must be part of a ‘libertarian populist’ agenda

“This strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought, “ Christie ominously warned, proceeding to cite the surviving victims of the 9/11 attacks as proof that the GOP should get back in line and support the national security state unquestioningly.

In an interview published this week in the New Republic, chief Republican hawk John McCain condemned Rand Paul as an “isolationist” and even suggested he wouldn’t know who to vote for if it comes down to Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul in 2016.

As Christie and McCain see it, there’s no room in the Republican Party for people who oppose big government when it comes to national security. Christie would rather continue to buddy up to President Obama, while McCain ponders supporting a Democrat in the White House in 2016.

The bipartisan establishment is already leading America into waging dangerous economic warfare on Iran. We’re slipping into another brutal Middle Eastern war in Syria. We’re setting precedents for the White House to wage secret wars without checks, balances, or observance of the Bill of Rights. And a massive, unrestrained domestic spying apparatus is threatening the very foundations upon which this country was founded.

The American people don’t support this. Huge majorities oppose another war in Iran or Syria and polls show strong disapproval of the NSA’s spying capabilities.

Tim Carney and the libertarian populists are right about the way forward. Strongly opposing crony capitalism will not only be helpful to Republicans at the ballot box, it is as libertarian as the First Amendment.

But the fight has to be on multiple fronts. The political opponents of Rand Paul and Justin Amash will approve, however superficially, of anti-bailout talking points. Where the GOP’s new libertarianism will have its real battle is on foreign policy and civil liberties issues.

How about we capitalize on that emerging consensus?