Somehow, it’s become trendy among the right to call yourself a libertarian. Glenn Beck has boasted himself a libertarian as well as Mark Levin. The new addition to the conservative, wanna-be libertarians is none other than the war trumpeter, Sean Hannity.
On his radio show on Wednesday, Hannity jumped on the bandwagon, declaring himself a libertarian. Perhaps Hannity does not understand the libertarian perspective on privacy, foreign policy and immigration. If he did, he would realize calling himself a libertarian is like calling Castro a capitalist.
The recent conservative trend toward libertarianism makes sense. Libertarianism is enjoying a new-found popularity, due in a large part to the efforts of former presidential candidate, Ron Paul. But most importantly, the trend makes dollar sense as proved by the ratings of Fox News’ Glenn Beck show.
But to understand why libertarianism is so popular, it’s important to understand the rise of what is called the liberty movement.
The liberty movement was birthed during the anti-civil liberties and pro-war years of the Bush regime. The movement’s first joiners were disillusioned conservatives and former Republicans. The PATRIOT Act, ‘war on terror,’ bailout of Wall Street and numerous other actions by the Republican administration caused many former right-wingers to take a long, hard look in the mirror.
However, the liberty movement didn’t stop with the right. The anti-war and civil liberty aspects also appealed to many on the left. And when Ron Paul began his grassroots bid for the presidency, peoples of all leanings began to join.
Sadly, the momentum continued up until the election of President Barack Obama. Assuming “change” had arrived, many of the loudest anti-war advocates on the left disappeared. Liberal media voices that previously served as civil-liberty watchdogs under the Bush administration lost interest in such matters. However, what is happening on the right is of much more concern.
Former Bush-supporting, PATRIOT Act-loving warmongers are suddenly “converting” to libertarianism. The first was self-described conservative Glenn Beck. Since Beck’s transition to Fox news, his rating have soared. His show is quickly dominating the 5 p.m. timeslot.
Beck, perhaps in a stroke of genius, has tapped into the liberty movement. With his claim of libertarianism and promotion of events such as the “9-12 Project,” Beck is attempting to become the poster boy for the disenfranchised, former Ron Paul supporters.
Conservative talk show host and author of best-seller, Liberty and Tyranny, Mark Levin, is also channeling the liberty movement. In a recent interview with Pajama TV, Levin declared:
“I’m not a party guys down the line. I’m a conservative guy when it comes to economic matters. Frankly, I’m more libertarian.”
However, Levin went on to reveal his true conservative colors saying liberal newspapers in America are “working overtime” to get Democrats elected.
“We’re facing a force in this country that requires us to take back, from my perspective, the Republican party as Reagan did,” he said.
In the same interview, Levin talked about President Barack Obama’s weakness in dealing with, what he described as, “Nut job, genocidal regimes.” He labeled President Obama the “quintessential appeaser” saying “He talks and talks, that’s what he does.”
Levin also referred to the glory days when America was considered the “greatest force on the face of the earth.” Speaking of Presidents Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy and Franklyn D. Roosevelt he said:
“When these guys would talk about America, they talked about America in the most glowing terms. They did think it was a special country. They were really were honored to be president of the greatest force on the face of the earth.”
Such rhetoric could not be further from the libertarian mindset.
Like Levin, the newest addition to the “libertarians,” Sean Hannity, is a poorly-hidden wolf in sheep’s clothing. Not only is libertarianism at odds with these men over issues such as the ‘war on terror’ and civil liberties, it has little, save economics, in common with them.
Take, for example, this excerpt from the Libertarian party’s Web site on the issue of immigration:
“Yet our system offers no legal channel for anywhere near a sufficient number of peaceful, hardworking immigrants to legally enter the United States even temporarily to fill this growing gap. The predictable result is illegal immigration.”
Such a common sense, humanistic view of immigration would undoubtedly be labeled liberal propaganda by Beck, Hannity and Levin.
While it’s doubtful staunch Ron Paul supporters will be swayed by these men’s deceitful attempts, many pro-liberty conservatives that “saw the light” during the Bush administration are already buying in to them. Glenn Beck’s ratings are proof.