Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Mike Huckabee and the View from Planet Rockwell

Guest post:

In my Buchananite days I avidly read Lew Rockwell (anarcho-capitalist protégé of the late Murray Rothbard). But one of the things that gradually turned me off was his gratuitous antagonism towards all politicians except those who fit his very narrow, Jansenist-like, political philosophy. Only a few are saved, sola anarchia, while the rest of the unenlightened belong to the massa damnata.

So I'm hardly surprised that Rockwell is gunning for Mike Huckabee, a candidate I've increasingly learned to admire and respect. Huckabee is an intelligent communicator and a principled man who will state in his campaign ads that "life begins at conception." Some give him low marks for his economic views, but considering that we haven't had a real fiscal conservative president in nearly 80 years (Calvin Coolidge, who was in office from 1923-1929) I'm not going to get too worked up. After all, Ronald Reagan was berated for his "voodoo economics." But then we learned that there was more to conservatism than just economics. There are also foreign policy and social issues.

But others thought Reagan was "basically a cretin." Who was that? Some splenetic liberal at The Washington Post or The New York Times? No, it was Murray Rothbard writing about "eight dreary, miserable, mind-numbing years, the years of the Age of Reagan" that were coming to an end in 1989. I guess he was piqued that no one had chosen him to lead the Free World. Rothbard presumably could have told everyone that the fall of the Berlin Wall, and subsequent roll back of Communism, was no big deal because Soviet Russia had never been a threat in the first place. Instead, it was his wisdom that disarmament and isolationism would bring world peace. So now we know where Lew Rockwell is coming from when he complains that Huckabee is no more than a backwoods religious zealot who believes in, of all things, the state-sanctioned death-penalty!

Now I realize that conservatives have many opinions on the viability and quality of the Republican candidates out there. They may not share my enthusiasm for Huckabee. But this example (once again) of anarcho-libertarian contrariety makes me wonder why anyone cares what Rockwell has to say about anything.