I keep hearing this phrase Libertarian Populism and how it’s the magic solution to the GOP’s problems. Let’s first consider that the original populist rose up in reaction to the kind of Laissez Faire capitalism that dominated America after the Civil War.
Keeping that little historical fact to one side, what are we really talking about here if not traditional populism? Are suggesting the GOP has not been rabble rousing enough? Are the Republicans not running on enough hot-button social issues?
How would Libertarian Populism be any different than Reagan Conservatism, which the GOP has ran on since 1980? Would Libertarian Populists support traditional populist ideas like tariffs, raising the minimum wage, public works projects? I doubt that.
So if it’s basically the same GOP economic program of cutting taxes, eliminating regulations, and getting rid of social programs why is saying that again going to suddenly get people to the polls who didn’t turn out the last few times it has been tried?
I am sure someone will tell me that Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are such a big change from the last 33 years of GOP economic policy. Maybe they are new in the sense that they want to go even further than Reagan or the Bush family but to most people that’s not going to sound new. In fact, it might end up sounding a little old by 2016.