Distrust in America's foreign and monetary policies, unrelieved by the election of Donald Trump, is going to be a "big opening" for libertarians in 2020, former Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul told the Washington Examiner.
Trump was able to co-opt much of the messaging of an establishment that has maintained a bipartisan consensus on these issues without offering much of substance to voters committed to the values of freedom.
"The appearance of the libertarian movement has been set back partially because of Trump, but intellectually we've been doing well," Paul said. "We as libertarians have some work to do before [voters] are going to accept a true-blue libertarian, but I think moving in that direction and having a popular candidate is very possible" in 2020.
Paul called the economic upturn this year "a bit of an illusion," and said U.S. monetary policy benefits those connected to government, creating the most pernicious form of "inequality."
"It's a bubble economy in many, many different ways and it's going to come unglued," said Paul, who has previously blamed the Federal Reserve for what he sees as a bitcoin bubble.
"We're on the verge of something like what happened in '89 when the Soviet system just collapsed," Paul told the Examiner. "I'm just hoping our system comes apart as gracefully."
The Examiner noted that Paul doesn't think the U.S. will break up the way that the Soviet Union did, but rather that the U.S. will have to deal with its unsustainable foreign policy and the Fed-driven monetary policy that helps fuel it.
"I think our stature in the world and our empire will end, and that's when, hopefully, the doors will be open and [people will] say, 'Hey, maybe these libertarians have some answers to this'," Paul told the Examiner. "If they only hear our message, I know they would choose liberty and sound money and freedom and peace over the mess we have today."
"I think the foreign policy is a total disaster," Paul told the Examiner."Trump's approach sounds good one day but the next day he's antagonizing everyone in the world and thinks we should start a war here and there."
Paul also said he'd be delighted if Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has been a disaster for civil liberties, although he's not optimistic the replacement would be any better.
Read the rest of the interview at the Examiner.