The American right is learning from its mistakes and reverting to a populist agenda in the wake of the Biden administration, a lesson that most libertarians already learned half a century ago. The renewed interest in Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul's foreign policy stance is looking more like a turning point in the younger demographic rejecting the neoconservative upbringing they had to endure.
The GOP has been persistent in not allowing its voters to catch on as the original libertarians did. When Buchanan ran for president in 2000, it was another suppression by the establishment to keep the public from hearing his side of conservatism.
The momentum may seem lost at first; however, there are several coalitions reaching popularity. Alliances are being created that would've been left outside the gate by William F. Buckley and his allies a few decades prior. Murray Rothbard suggested,
"All real-world politics is coalition politics, and there are other areas where libertarians might well compromise with their paleo or traditionalist or other partners in a populist coalition."
These populist coalitions should be supported or at the very least considered for ushering in new ideas into the public diet. Today, commentators are willing to cite these figures, their books and not be excluded from the conversation since the modern culture battle is being waged among the youth rather than the baby boomers. Most are not privy to the factions created by National Review with Buckley at the helm.
This political paradigm may have been memory-holed in the public psyche, yet it still emerges in the current climate among the latest generation. The Buchanan brigade in the '90s didn't reach the mainstream until the 2016 election, with conservatives and libertarians reaping the rewards and having their commentary taken outside the fringe.
This created an opportunity for the right to make these views normal moving forward as before Buckley's influence over the boundaries of discourse. The list of acceptable ways to critique the state effectively has expanded, and people can use hardline stances without being beholden to The Heritage Foundation.
After the Trump era, we are back at square one, and strategists are frantically scraping together a new direction for the GOP and its disaffected voters.
Although the neoconservative institutions still wield power, they are not nearly as influential as they once were. Their message reigned with impunity before social media when the managerial state centralized and unchallenged outlets.
Generation Z has been blessed with more outlets that wouldn't survive under total legacy media suppression. Alternative media has gifted the American right with enough history lessons, from the purging of outspoken intellects to Buckley's war against Buchanan sympathizers.
Without this context, it's very easy to fall in line as a water carrier for the latest partisan slogan. Libertarians and conservatives are once again uniting on the national level, and that effort can be found in universities.
No longer will stories like Hans-Hermann Hoppe being unwelcomed in academia or anti-war spokesmen being ridiculed go unnoticed. Most of those instances were just a few years ago, and most of the right weren't ready to embrace the overlap with libertarians. It's still an uphill battle to spread awareness, yet there is more room for persuasion as new intellects emerge and replace those who hold grudges against paleo politics.
With the Trump era successfully squandered by the Beltway, skeptics may not be optimistic about future prospects. Although there are more competent people picking up the banner with a more coherent worldview from Generation Z. The limitations of Trump can easily be discarded from the platform moving forward.
Populist figures are resonating with the American population. As neoconservatism goes further past its expiration date, the older style of politics is becoming mainstream among candidates and commentators.
From the modern reactionaries to the remnants of the Ron Paul brigade, there is time to reverse the anti-populist sentiments shared by the establishment. The forces that kept these voices from reaching the public are losing relevance with Generation Z as ancient rivalries are being settled with sober minds.
The overton window is making its way in favor of libertarians and paleoconservatives alike. American conservatives are learning each mistake as they make it, and it's already leading to a more robust right-wing coalition, graduating from their obsolete counterparts.
About the Author:
Aaron Cummings is a California Campus Correspondent with Campus Reform. He is a student at Fresno State University, majoring in Philosophy.