I know it’s early to talk about the 2016 presidential race, but that’s only true for normal people: ideologues of one sort or another like me and my Twitter followers are already deep into it, and with good reason. That’s because the stakes have never been higher. It’s important who sits in the Oval Office, yes, but this time around it’s crucial – because the survival of our republic, the future of constitutional government in America, and the peace of the world hinges on it. And that dark cloud on the presidential horizon, which is already casting a huge shadow over the political landscape, is none other than Hillary Clinton.
Hillary is bad on … everything. From foreign policy to civil liberties to you-name-it, she’s the ultimate Un-libertarian. And I’m not just talking about her formal positions on the issues, although those are horrific enough: it’s her self-righteous mien in taking those positions, her moralistic preening combined with a sensible-shoes "pragmatism" that really does more than merely irk. Indeed, it points to a fanaticism with religious roots which, as Murray Rothbard pointed out in a trenchant essay, energizes Saint Hillary with a theological fire aimed at remaking the world by stamping out "sin."
Now you may think this impulse is limited to the Religious Right, and, indeed, they are the most well-known proponents of this faith-through-politics approach, but what our "mainstream" media leaves out of this pat theory is the existence of the Religious Left – an equally fanatic ideology that has its roots in the nineteenth century "Social Gospel" epitomized by the pious Methodism that infused young Hillary when she was just a wee harridan.
Methodism was the chief expression of a peculiarly American religious movement: post-millennial pietism (PMP), which holds that Christ will not return until and unless the thousand-year Kingdom of God is established on earth. Not only that, but it is the duty of all Christians to ensure that the Kingdom is established, and, since failure to do so threatened their own salvation, the PMP’ers did not shy away from using the State to bring about this happy event. Human beings, not God or His Angels, will usher in the Kingdom, they believed, and by their actions provoke the Second Coming. That’s the theology: its political expression was the stamping out of "sin."
In the old days, this meant, as Rothbard put it, outlawing "virtually any form of enjoyment." Our modern day secularized version, however, defines it as eradicating any sort of political incorrectness: e.g. "greed," "inequality," high-sugar drinks, "racism" (very broadly defined, to be sure). In the foreign policy realm this means a holy crusade against “terrorism” – and indeed any government or non-state actor anywhere on earth that defies Washington’s diktat.
Hillary the crusading harridan is the perfect embodiment of this tenacious evil. It was she who hounded Bill into bombing the Serbs in the name of "humanitarianism," which resulted in the murder of over 5,000 people – and culminated in the establishment of the very first European state whose chief executive could credibly be charged with organ-trafficking. It was Hillary who carried the banner of the War Party during the 2008 Democratic primaries, refusing to repudiate her avid endorsement of the Iraq war – even when it was politically expedient to do so, and long after the rest of the country had rendered judgment on that unmitigated disaster. Her tenure as Secretary of State was marked by a series of "humanitarian" interventions, not only in Libya – where a phony never-was-going-to-happen "humanitarian disaster" supposedly threatened Benghazi (of all places!) if we failed to overthrow Qadaffi – but also in Syria, where she angled to get the Obama administration to sign on to full-bore regime change. Out of office, she did not disappoint: while Obama was fulfilling her Syrian agenda, or trying to, her quasi-religious post-millennialism came right to the fore:
"The Assad regime’s inhuman use of weapons of mass destruction against innocent men, women and children violates a universal norm at the heart of our global order, and therefore it demands a strong response from the international community, led by the United States."
Ah yes, Our Global Order – otherwise known as the Kingdom of God on Earth.
And because the Guardians of Our Global Order are charged with such a heavy responsibility – the enforcement of Global Virtue – we’ll have none of this nonsense about "civil liberties," which is, after all, just shorthand for License to Commit Sin. Hillary quite naturally hates the Internet, as her response to Matt Drudge’s outing of her husband’s dalliances made all too clear:
"We’re all going to have to rethink how we deal with the Internet. As exciting as these new developments are, there are a number of serious issues without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function."
Word choices are important: they tell us everything we need to know about what somebody is really thinking, and in this case the word "gatekeeper" veritably leaps off the page at us: it’s Saint Hillary standing guard at Heaven’s Gate, warding off Satan and his legions.
If you thought the NSA was invading your privacy in the Age of Obama, just wait until the Reign of Queen Hillary is inaugurated. The Clinton Restoration will mean the effective end of any effort to "reform" or abolish the NSA’s massive data collection: indeed, the Panopticon is the perfect device for a left-postmillennial pietist like Hillary. How else can we enforce Virtue unless the State knows everything about everyone? When the Snowden controversy arose, she was quick to condemn him and his actions as "outrageous," even going so far as to berate China’s authoritarian regime for not acting in character and detaining him.
With these illiberal opinions, one wonders how Hillary imagines she’ll get the nomination of a party supposedly dominated by the "left." The answer is because the left today has nothing to do with liberalism as it’s been understood historically: the movement, renamed "progressivism," has been taken over by technocrats, Goldman Sachs, and the "left"-wing post-millennial pietists referred to above.
Ditching the old liberalism for identity politics and a neoconnish foreign policy, the Clintonian Democrats are revving up their engines for Hillary’s 2016 run, with the organizational apparatus already being moved into place. Combining an insufferable moralism with mind-boggling corruption, the Clintons and their supporters represent the darkest – and most depressing – future imaginable.
The idea of Hillary’s inevitability as the Democratic nominee seems to me indisputable: there are too many urban "hip" feminists named April and Heather and their multitude of boyfriends who just can’t wait for The First Woman President. This is their idea of "making history" – just as the election of Barack Obama made the kind of history no advocate of peace and civil liberties could possibly celebrate.
As Julian Assange put it:
"The only hope as far as electoral politics… presently, is the libertarian section of the Republican party. The libertarian aspect of the Republican Party is presently the only useful political voice really in the U.S. Congress… [I] am a big admirer of Ron Paul and Rand Paul for their very principled positions in the US Congress on a number of issues."
Notice how quickly what passes for the "left" dropped Assange after this endorsement. And note how both the Pauls have been subjected to a blizzard of vicious attacks by people who have made a cottage industry out of smearing libertarians. The Rachel Maddows and Jamie Kirchicks of this world have a lot more in common than is readily apparent.
Both the "right" and "left" wings of the War Party are united in their hatred for libertarianism: from the neocons to the neo-liberals, from Jennifer Rubin to Joan Walsh, the libertarian-haters are out in full force, these days – and that’s a good thing.
It’s good because of Raimondo’s First Dictum: By their enemies shall ye know them. Our enemies are some of the worst, most corrupt authoritarians in this country, and their apologists are working day and night to destroy what Assange rightly calls "our only hope." We ought to wear their undying enmity as a badge of honor – and work tirelessly to mobilize an awakened America against them.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).
You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.