February 19, 2008

Two weeks ago Murray Sabrin announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey. Sabrin is a business professor at Ramapo College and a high profile fixture among right-wing super-libertarians, having moonlighted at their outfits”€”FEE, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, LewRockwell.com, and so on. He’s run for office in New Jersey in the past, once already for the Senate in 2000 and for governor in 1997. He’s had typically libertarian levels of electoral success each time, peaking with his five percent of the vote statewide in his gubernatorial bid.

This is 2008, however, and the horizon lying before libertarians, paleoconservatives, classical liberals, and other politically homeless citizens is significantly different than it was just a short time ago. Maybe drastically different. They have Ron Paul to thank for that.

Moreover, Sabrin suddenly has a new identity that will undoubtedly attract fresh attention and create excitement that wasn”€™t there the last time he ran for office. That identity appears on his campaign website, printed on a picture of a gold bar”€”Sabrin is a Ron Paul Republican, representing the gold standard of political honesty and integrity.

What a luxury this new label is for right-wingers of all varieties! “€œLibertarians”€ are kooky and overeducated. “€œConstitutionalists”€ are probably racist theocrats. “€œConservatives”€ are rednecks and hawkish super-patriots. No one has ever heard of a “€œpaleoconservative,”€ much less a “€œTory anarchist.”€ But call yourself Ron Paul Republican and you might get a friendly greeting from people who would hate you in any other of your political postures. You put yourself at risk to be considered hip, even. And you definitely make it clear that you have out-radicaled all those canned radicals who enthuse over dismal candidates like Barack Obama.

It also is worth noting that people around Sabrin’s campaign are making noises that will please those cranky paleos who have had a quibble or two with Ron Paul’s campaign. Sabrin is by habit more aggressive toward his Republicratic counterparts than gentle Dr. Paul. And he is running to win, surrounding himself with experienced apparatchiks without compromising his Pauline gospel. His campaign is being managed by Max Consulting, Inc. and Patrick Donohue. Donohue, young Max Raskin tells us, “€œran Pataki’s fundraising operations since 1994 and has raised over $400 million for Republican candidates and causes over the past 13 years.”€

When Ron Paul supporters get taunted it’s often because their candidate has no chance of winning. That may be the case. But Ron Paul’s supporters aren”€™t the ones who should be blushing. The fact that Ron Paul is drawing such insults at all is a mark of progress that even tin-foil-hat libertarians couldn”€™t have dreamed of a year ago. He has assembled a serious opposition that threatens our odious two-party establishment on its right side. And that opposition will still be responding to Ron Paul Republicans years from now, annoying whatever miserable Republicrats are running for office. Readers of this website will have no trouble adjusting to this new situation.


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