April 2, 2014

Howard Buffett: Champion of the Old Right

By In Blogs, Mitchell Thompson

It has been said that besides Dr. Ron Paul, no other congressman since the turn of the 20th century has consistently voted on principal. Principal, of course having two meanings. The first meaning referring to the fact that the statesman has sworn an oath to defend the Constitution, the ancient document of no contemporary authority. The second meaning referring to the underlying theories of liberty for the individual and his property. Ron Paul is the latest and greatest. But he is not the only.

Howard Buffett (father of liberal, big-government, fiat money proponent, and cronyist Warren Buffet), was in many ways a hero of his generation. Joseph R. Stromberg has an excellent overview of the man, which can be found here. I encourage all to read. Below is an excerpt.

In his four terms as Republican Congressman from Nebraska’s second district, 1943-1949 and 1951-1953, Buffett emerged as a trenchant critic of the domestic statism and foreign interventionism of Roosevelt’s New Deal and Truman’s Fair Deal. A committed “isolationist,” he served as Midwestern campaign director for Senator Robert Taft’s ill-fated run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1952. At the end of his second congressional term, Buffett returned to Nebraska and worked in banking. Even in that occupation he was a bit out of step, as a consistent advocate of gold-based sound money.

Buffett’s consistent defense of classical liberal, free-market, republican, and anti-interventionist positions makes him an interesting, if little remembered, forerunner of today’s libertarianism and anti-Establishment conservatism. He was, as Murray Rothbard later pointed out, the most hard-core of the dwindling handful of Old Right politicians in the early Cold War period. Buffett contributed occasionally to such journals as Human Events, The Freeman, and later, New Individualist Review.

Written by Mitchell Thompson

I was born and raised in Northern California where I was homeschooled. I became a Protestant (Calvinistic) seven years ago. I was also, starting in 2006, a Buchananite conservative until I met Ron Paul during the 2008 elections. From then on I read everything I could from the Mises Institute and am now satisfied as a Rothbardian libertarian. I am slowly becoming a more confessional Reformed Baptist. Hoping to get more and more involved on this site. My Twitter handle is @MitchRThompson. Cheers.