I hope none of Julian Assange’s supporters on the Left will be shocked to learn that he is a fan of former Congressman Ron Paul, his son Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and the libertarian wing of the Republican party.
Tom Watson writes at Forbes:
The praise for the conservative Paul wing of the Republican Party in the U.S., aligned with Tea Party and anti-government activists, comes on the heels of the establishment of the Wikileaks Party in Australia, where Assange is standing for election to the Senate from Victoria.
Speaking during a live-streamed panel discussion from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been given political asylum despite being sought for sexual abuse allegations in Sweden, Assange claimed that the Republicans – and especially the Pauls – don’t represent conservatism, but an opposition to a powerful Federal government that spies on its own citizens.
“The Republican Party in so far as how it has coupled together with the war industry is not a conservative party at all and the Libertarian aspect of the Republican Party is presently the only useful political voice in the US Congress,” he said. That point of view may well set the Wikileaks founder at odds with many of his progressive supporters here in the United States, who while opposing large-scale surveillance like the kind exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden (now a political refugee in Russia), nonetheless hold social views that are antithetical to hard right Paulist positions on issues like immigration, labor, reproductive rights, and social welfare programs.
Libertarians on the right, claimed Assange, “will be the driver that shifts the United States around.”
“It’s not going to come from the Democrats, it’s not going to come from Ralph Nader, it’s not going to come from the co-opted parts of the Republican Party. The only hope as far as electoral politics… presently, is the libertarian section of the Republican Party.”
“The position of the Libertarian Republican, or a better description Right, coming from a principle of non-violence which is the American Libertarian tradition. That produces interesting results.
“So, non-violence: well, don’t go and invade a foreign country. Non-violence: don’t force people at the barrel of a gun to serve in the U.S. Army. Non-violence: doesn’t extort taxes from people to the federal Government with a policeman. Similarly, other aspects of non-violence in relation to abortion that they hold.”
I have no idea what that last sentence means. While many libertarians are pro-choice on abortion, the Pauls are not among them.
As the American Conservative reported this week, the U.S. right wing is rallying to Snowden’s cause: “A funny thing happened between Hong Kong and Russia: Edward Snowden, teller of National Security Agency secrets and American dissident at large, started to become a conservative hero.” And Snowden’s father Lon is represented by long-time conservative “originalist” lawyer Bruce Fein, a former Reagan Administration official who testified to Congress two years ago that “the individual is the center of the Constitution’s universe.”
(Hat tip: Kolya)