Republican Party

Rand Paul, Justin Amash, and Grover Norquist are pushing the GOP in a more libertarian direction

Rand Paul and Grover Norquist

More Americans are embracing the ideals of liberty and limited government, Michigan Congressman Justin Amash suggested in a recent interview with Reason. “The public is more libertarian, the public is saying we want people who are going to be independent and not bow to leadership in either of the major parties,” Amash said, noting the House Liberty Caucus has seen steady growth over the last few years. Expressing optimism, Amash continued:

Things aren’t going our way when it comes to the votes right now… But we are seeing things change at home in our districts and we are seeing things change with respect to the newly elected members in both parties. There is a belief in liberty that is deeply ingrained in Americans, and when we see it starting to slip away, we push back against the system.

Though Amash suggests also that there are streaks of liberty in both parties, both Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and American’s for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist hope voters embrace the Republican Party in their quest to advance liberty.

Writing at Reason, Senator Paul notes:

I believe a Republican Party that is more tolerant and dedicated to keeping the government out of people’s personal business would be more appealing to the rising generation and libertarians alike.

Millennials are over Obama’s Democrats in 2014, but they aren’t sure which party to call home longterm

Disappointed Barack Obama

Most Millennials became politically aware in the waning days of the Bush Administration and the “Hope & Change”-iness of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. According to a Pew Research report, Millennials supported Obama over John McCain in 2008 by 66%-32%, and Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012 by 60%-36%.

POLITICO suggested in its 2012 election post-mortem that Romney likely would have won had he split the Millennial vote evenly with Obama.

But a Harvard Institute of Politics poll out today shows a dramatic shift in support by Millennials in the 2014 midterm elections (emphasis mine):

A new national poll of America’s 18- to 29- year-olds by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, finds slightly more than half (51%) of young Americans who say they will “definitely be voting” in November prefer a Republican-run Congress with 47 percent favoring Democrat control – a significant departure from IOP polling findings before the last midterm elections (Sept. 2010 – 55%: prefer Democrat control; 43%: prefer Republican control). The cohort – 26% of whom report they will “definitely” vote in the midterms – appear up-for-grabs to both political parties and could be a critical swing vote in many races in November.

For Heartland Conservatives, opposing corporate handouts to King Corn takes backbone, resolve

Corn Subsidies

Conservative support for corn subsidies may sound like an oxymoron — unless you’re from the heartland. In that case, it could be all you know.

Iowa Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jodi Ernst says she is against government subsidies, but when it comes to corn, she says that she’ll make sure to cut those last.

Unfortunately, as with other types of corporate welfare, farm subsidies have historically proved nearly impossible to cut. The problem is that farming subsidies are popular, even if corporate welfare isn’t. But make no mistake — corn subsidies are corporate welfare, the antithesis of a free market.

If she supports free markets and cutting corporate welfare, Ms. Ernst could, at a minimum, offer a plan for ways to cut subsidies in the future without affecting current recipients, the same way that people are talking more and more about Medicare and Social Security. These programs, after all, are popular but pricey, and the federal government doesn’t make its own money.

Not all politicians are brave enough to have a real discussion about the unsustainability of government programs. If they are going to pay lip service to preserving popular government programs, then they ought to step up and prove to the people that they are willing to put all options on the table in order to figure things out.

Republicans can win single women voters by relating to “Waitress Moms” and “Alpha Strivers”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

D.C. McAllister has a rather lengthy piece on what it will take for the Republican Party to attract more women voters over at The Federalist:

It would help the GOP and doubting pundits to realize that the war on women is really the “war on single women.” Only by grasping this reality will the GOP develop an effective outreach. But it doesn’t stop there: single women voters are not a monolithic group. They’re not all alike, and they can’t be treated the same. They have different values, and they’re affected by issues in different ways—and the GOP needs to figure out which of these single ladies they can actually persuade to vote for Republican candidates.

With these women in mind, they need to focus, hone their message, rebuild trust, be authentic, reflect strength in their advocacy of conservative principles, and communicate those principles in a convincing and compassionate way.

Yes, the Right is losing single women. But this article (and the book it stemmed from) focuses on the fact that it’s not that simple. Younger, single women are getting older every day, and it is not clear that they are getting more Republican…

There is an opportunity among to attract women voters from the groups that Celinda Lake and Kellyanne Conway call the “Waitress Moms” and the “Alpha Strivers.” Though many “Multicultural Mavericks” are libertarians, it could be that they identify more with the Democratic Party than the GOP as a result of their parents, school, or community.

Here’s the Republican presidential contender who could be a complete nightmare for Democrats

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) outreach efforts to millennials and minorities as well as his focus on issues that aren’t typical of Republican politicians have not gone unnoticed by one of President Barack Obama’s closest political strategists.

White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer says that Paul, who is actively building up a campaign-like structure in early primary states, may be the biggest threat to Democrats’ hopes to keep the presidency in 2016:

Speaking to reporters, counselor to the president Dan Pfeiffer said the Kentucky Republican is “one of the most intriguing candidates” in the field because of his appeal to younger voters of both parties.

“He’s the only Republican I think who has articulated a message that is potentially appealing to younger Americans,” Pfeiffer said at a breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor. “Every other Republican running is basically just Romney-lite when it comes to younger Americans.” Rand has made reaching out to non-traditional voters a signature component of his political agenda, most recently delivering a speech Friday to the National Urban League.

Pfeiffer also noted that Paul faces a tough Republican primary, a preview of which has been offered by way of attacks from his likely opponents, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who are trying weaken him before the 2016 horserace begins.

The RNC is actually trying to shame you into giving them money, proving yet again that it’s a worthless organization

The Republican National Committee sent out an email blast this morning, a screenshot of which can be found at the end of this post, in which they basically tried to shame supporters into giving them more money.

Yeah, this is an election year and both parties — and, yes, we subscribe to emails from Republicans and Democrats — are doing just about everything they can to squeeze out every penny out of donors, both large and small.

“Did you abandon the Republican Party?” writes RNC Treasurer Tony Parker. “Chairman Priebus has written to you already this year asking you to contribute to the RNC and renew your membership. But we haven’t received your financial support yet this year.” (Emphasis in the original.)

“Right now you are handing the advantage over to Democrats. That’s exactly what President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want you to do. With committed Republicans like you sitting out in 2014, the Democrats are able to continue their liberal rampage on conservative principles,” Parker added.


Seriously, that email is the worst. The RNC demeaned its hard-working volunteers, basically telling them that what they’re doing isn’t enough. Well done, guys. Well done.

But, to answer the question in the subject line of the email, I don’t give money to the RNC for a number of reasons. Here are some of them:

How tech entrepreneurs Scott Banister and Peter Thiel are making Silicon Valley more friendly to Republicans like Rand Paul

Silicon Valley

Don’t look now, but Silicon Valley is being driven in a more libertarian direction. No, it may not happen overnight, but the efforts of a couple of well-respected entrepreneurs are sowing the seeds of liberty in the tech industry, which has generally had a leftist tilt.

Politico took note of the efforts of Scott Banister, a PayPal board member and tech investor, who spent much of the latter part of last week with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in Silicon Valley as he courted tech donors and spoke at Lincon Labs’ Reboot conference in San Francisco.

“I think politicians usually have so little understanding of this space or they’re so not aligned with our interests,” Banister told Politico. “I think Rand both gets it and he’s very aligned.” Banister also indicated that he’ll some involved in helping Paul raise money for a presidential bid. “I think the good news is that I think Rand will have a very broad base of financial support,” he said.

Paul does indeed views that appeal to the Silicon Valley crowd. He has been among the most vocal opponents to the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs and he’s talked up Internet freedom. That’s red meat for the tech industry, which has been hit financially by the spying controversies that have boiled over under President Barack Obama.

#IAmUnitedLiberty: Matthew DesOrmeaux, proverbial keyboard jockey for liberty

Matthew DesOrmeaux

Note: This is one in a series of profiles of UL contributors and how they became involved in the “liberty movement.” Share your story on Twitter using the hashtag #IAmUnitedLiberty.

It’s probably not the best idea to begin a story by warning that it’s probably not very interesting, at least relative to others in the same genre, but I always was one for breaking rules and  shattering convention. And so there we have it. While most of our other illustrious hosts and contributors have vivid narratives of activist campaigns, brushes with libertarian greatness, or inspired revelations, I’ve just been over here reading and writing my way to liberty.

My family was always Republican, though when I grew up my home state at the time, Louisiana, was heavily Democratic, just also very conservative. I met up with the Young Republicans in high school, but wasn’t very active or even an actual member. Although most libertarians are pro-choice, I was always very pro-life, even as I turned away from the church and became an atheist in my college years. I remember going to the Lilith Fair with my mother in 1998 and wearing a “VERY PRO-LIFE” t-shirt. In hindsight, I’m surprised we made it out of there alive.

Knowing I was bisexual since about age 16, I was never likely to end up socially conservative on anything else. There are many lovely LGBT conservatives, of course, but I find one remains more sane if one’s life experiences inform their ideology, rather than keeping them sequestered. So as a young Republican I preferred liberty on fiscal issues, and as a bisexual atheist I tended to liberty on personal issues as well.

The shameless, unprincipled Republican Establishment may have lost by winning in Mississippi

Haley Barbour and Thad Cochran

Conservative Republicans are still smarting from last Tuesday’s defeat in Mississippi. Evidence seems to be mounting that pro-Thad Cochran allies used rather unsavory tactics to draw out traditionally-Democratic voters to swing the election in Cochran’s favor.

But the focus of this post isn’t really those tactics or the legality of non-Republican voters casting ballots in open primaries. Instead, Republicans — both moderate Establishment-types and grassroots conservaitves — should seriously consider the fallout from Cochran’s victory — because of those tactics. They could have broad implications against incumbents, particularly when the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) gets involved in the race.

Writing at The American Spectator, Scott McKay notes:

As such, the staffers say, it wasn’t until Wednesday, when the fallout began to descend, that Cochran’s tactics became an issue. And now, several senators are more than a little uneasy with those tactics, which they feel responsible for since they raised money for Cochran.

There is now special consideration being given to the NRSC’s practice of engaging in incumbent protection and favoritism. Said one staffer:

“Young Outsiders” key to Rand Paul and GOP victory, according to Pew Poll

Rand Paul's Youth Vote

Pew Research Center recently conducted the largest political survey in the center’s history, questioning more than 10,000 adults between January and March of this year.

The study is incredibly thorough, tracking partisan shifts to both the left and the right while segmenting out different demographics and noting their tendencies to vote for either Democrats or Republicans. Pew notes the “Partisan Anchors,” those who always vote for one party over the other, are “Steadfast Conservatives” and “Business Conservatives” for Republicans and “Solid Liberals” for Democrats.

Pew then broke out “Less Partisan, Less Predictable” voters, charting a path to victory for Republicans through a demographic known as “Young Outsiders,” who are skeptical of big government and socially more progressive, but who tend to side with the Republican Party overall.

Pew defines “Young Outsiders” this way:

Young Outsiders lean Republican but do not have a strong allegiance to the Republican Party; in fact they tend to dislike both political parties. On many issues, from their support for environmental regulation to their liberal views on social issues, they diverge from traditional GOP orthodoxy. Yet in their support for limited government, Young Outsiders are firmly in the Republicans’ camp.

The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.