Upstart freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar – now known as “The Squad” – have dialed up identity politics to unprecedented levels. Their politics is moving the Democratic Party in a much more progressive direction.
In response, the Republican Party has its own rising star in freshman Congressman Dan Crenshaw. A Navy Seal veteran who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq, Crenshaw has quickly established himself as the future of the Republican Party. In times when identity politics is strong, debt is out of control, and the wars that Trump campaigned to end continue, there is a desire for something different in today’s political arena.
Unfortunately, Dan Crenshaw does not fit the bill.
In the Trump era, many disgruntled libertarians have every reason to be disenchanted by the Left’s radical shift toward identity politics. But that does not mean that the Republican Party should be seen as the default answer that libertarians turn to just because of the Left’s looney behavior. To the contrary, things have still largely remained the same as both parties and its golden boys seek to expand government in some shape or form.
In recent weeks, Crenshaw demonstrated his desire to maintain many of D.C.’s worst policies such as gun control and never-ending wars.
After the El Paso and Dayton shootings, Crenshaw suggested that the federal government entertain red flag gun confiscation legislation and The Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety (TAPS) Act. Both of these proposals are clear affronts to basic civil liberties such as the right to bear arms and due process
Red flag laws, which are present in over a dozen states, would allow law enforcement to confiscate firearms if a person is merely suspected of being a threat to themselves or others. A statement of concern is all that’s needed, and the defendant has no way of receiving a timely hearing. You can kiss due process bye-bye in this scenario.
In the same vein, the TAPS Act would effectively bring Minority Report to the real world. This bill was introduced earlier this year by Texas Congressman Brian Babin. It would greatly expand the surveillance state and establish a system of pre-crime enforcement.
On the bill’s release date, Babin declared in a statement that the TAPS act “Standardizes and provides a behavioral threat assessment and management process across the Federal government.
Provides states the training, resources, and support needed to stand up community-based, multi-disciplinary behavioral threat assessment and management units. Recognizes that behavioral threat assessment and management processes must become part of the culture and fabric of contemporary law enforcement.”
This bill had a companion in the Senate which was introduced by Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Civil liberty-minded conservatives like David Leach of The Strident Conservative sounded the alarms on the Senate version of the TAPS Act, S.265, which would “encourage law enforcement to give EVERYONE a personal threat assessment (adults and children) and single out those they deem as future threats.”
From there, this information could later be used to “stop dangerous individuals before they can commit an act of violence.”
Despite all of this, Crenshaw still believes such legislation is appropriate in addressing mass shootings. Pre-crime schemes belong on the silver screen or in novels, but not in the real world.
On the issue of foreign policy, Crenshaw revealed his neoconservative colors. Donald Trump’s election in 2016 was a breath of fresh air for many advocates of non-interventionism due to Trump’s solid rhetoric on previous nation-building schemes. There was a sliver of hope that Trump would put an end to these wars.
Despite Trump’s otherwise solid views on interventionist failures, his administration has done little to actually withdraw from these quagmires. With Dan Crenshaw in the mix, it’s only going to get harder.
In a tweet, Crenshaw criticized those who raised awareness on the issue of “endless wars.”
He stated “Before we reactively cry “no more endless wars” we must consider what that means in practice. It means we give them space and time to plan another 9/11. My former teammates have no problem ensuring this doesn’t happen. We should let them do their job.”
Unfortunately, what we’re getting out of Crenshaw is more of the same. In all honesty, this movie is played out. Conservative politician talks a big game about getting government off our backs. Passes some middling reforms—marginal tax cuts and partial regulations— and then continues to perpetuate the war machine and keep the overall administrative state intact. Rinse, lather, and repeat.
That’s the D.C way. Crenshaw might be a fresh face, but he offers a stale ideology that’s become standard operating procedure in the D.C. swamp. For that reason, it makes sense for libertarians to start focusing more on local politics instead. That’s where real change is actually made.