[Content Note: Link to National Review.]
I was thinking of posing this question the other day “Were the 1980s the Golden Age of glibertarianism?” Then I though, nah, can’t be, not while there’s currently a major Republican figure named after Ayn Rand. Then I read this (h/t reader D):
Rand PaulMitch McConnell: I think that if you were to ask any Republican in Washington which group of Americans stands to benefit most from the ideas and ideals of our party, they’d respond without hesitation that it’s the American middle class, and that any suggestion to the contrary is based on a cheap and dishonest caricature. And yet, I think it must also be admitted that in our rush to defend the American entrepreneur from the daily depredations of an administration that seems to view any profit-making enterprise with deep suspicion – that we have often lost sight of the fact that our average voter is not John Galt. It’s a good impulse, to be sure. But for most Americans, whose daily concerns revolve around aging parents, long commutes, shrinking budgets, and obscenely high tuition bills, these hymns to entrepreneurialism are, as a practical matter, largely irrelevant. And the audience for them is probably a lot smaller than we think.
He’s right of course that hymns to entrepreneurialism are largely irrelevant. They’re too high-brow, an early Rush album when the base wants the Nuge. During the golden age of glibertarianism, people said funny things like….the only thing that’s coming into my head is “pave the planet” which isn’t funny, but I remember there was some idea that P. J. O’Rourke was a good humorist (somebody help me out). Where be their gibes now? Their gambols? Their songs? Their flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar?
When part of your plan is to make everyone read a book that’s longer than the Jonathan Franzen and George Packer books my totebagger friends try to force on me, you need to change your plan.
Update. I’m wrong — it was Mitch not Rand. Not surprised…hate it or love it, he’s a smart guy. (h/t dsmilev)