“the main ideological split between Palin and Paul has less to with the social-conservative agenda and more with the direction of American foreign policy. “As many frustrated Americans who have joined the Tea Party realize, we cannot stand against big government at home while supporting it abroad,’ “
“Let’s hope that libertarians and conservative who understand the relationship between U.S. interventionist policies and the rising U.S. federal deficits will succeed in neutralizing this danger by explaining to the new generation of Republican lawmakers that any effort to reduce the power of the federal government will have to include major cuts in military spending”
Will Anti-Interventionist Congressional Republicans Please Stand Up
huffingtonpost.com Since the inception of Tea Party movement, pundits– including yours truly — have been trying to deconstruct the foreign policy direction of what is a coalition of many local and national groups that seem to share a commitment to libertarian economic policy agenda.
Indeed, a recent study prepared by the Cato Institute refutes the popular notion that the movement is dominated by social-cultural conservatives. As David Kirby and Emily Ekins point out, “Libertarian attitudes are fueling roughly half the tea party activists” who believe that “‘the less government the better’ and don’t see a role for government in promoting ‘traditional values.'” This is a big reason “why the movement has largely focused on economic matters, resisting attempts to add social issues to its agenda,” the two analysts note.
“Tea party libertarians are somewhat younger, better educated and almost twice as likely to ‘never’ go to church than tea party conservatives,” Kirby and Ekins write. “On the issues, tea party libertarians are less concerned than conservatives about the moral direction of the country, gay marriage, immigration, job outsourcing and abortion,” they conclude.
That split between libertarian and conservative tea partiers has been noted by other observerswho have described it as a division between two camps: The conservatives who support former Alaska Governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and the libertarians who back Representative from Texas and former presidential candidate Ron Paul.
Interestingly enough, the main ideological split between Palin and Paul has less to with the social-conservative agenda and more with the direction of American foreign policy. “As many frustrated Americans who have joined the Tea Party realize, we cannot stand against big government at home while supporting it abroad,’ Paul posted recently on ForeignPolicy.com Tea partiers cannot talk about fiscal responsibility and about the budget deficit and spiraling domestic spending while giving a green light to “spending trillions on occupying and bullying the rest of the world” and “without looking at the costs of maintaining an American empire of more than 700 military bases in more than 120 foreign countries. ” Tea partiers cannot pat themselves on the back “for cutting a few thousand dollars from a nature preserve or an inner-city swimming pool at home while turning a blind eye to a Pentagon budget that nearly equals those of the rest of the world combined, ” he stressed.
Not surprisingly, Paul like other libertarian figures and organizations, including the Cato Institute opposed the Iraq War and a possible war with Iran and has called for military disengagement from Afghanistan. On the other hand, Palin has been repeating the neoconservative foreign policy mantra since the day she was selected as John McCain’s running mate: America needs to…