Libertarians Can Save The Republican Party...If They Will Get Real!
As I begin this, I’m hoping to finish while it is still small enough to digest. So I’ll wait for now on details (maybe in the comments?), and say that there is truth in almost everything Ron Paul says. Of course we spend outrageous amounts of money on unconstitutional ventures in this country. And of course we horribly disrespect the integrity of our currency. And even in foreign policy, he’s right that we are overextended around the world and have allowed other countries to rest under an American umbrella of protection and not prepare to defend themselves. He’s right that the defense establishment (Eisenhower warned of a “military-industrial complex) is another self-aggrandizing government bureaucracy that inclines toward expansion, and must be closely monitored and constrained to the best interest of the country. And though it’s true that in today’s hi-tech hi-travel world, a commander-in-chief must be able to act quickly, in short fashion there must be Congressional approval of military expeditions. Bush waited a long time to invade Iraq. He got authority for military action from Congress. But I think in the interest of clarity, he should have acted for a clear declaration of war (and I said so at the time). Whatever Congress had said, it would have made it rather more ticklish to blame Bush for the consequences.
But I can’t understand what Paul is talking about when he suggests that aggressors will be no threat if you just leave them alone, usually to the conquests or oppression that they are prevailing on other people. In a world of today’s travel and destructive technology, I don’t know how a man his age can nurture such a naïve disposition about human nature. I’ve pressed libertarians on the potential threats that could face our people if a president could but declined to act preemptively. And when you work down to it, they seem to say that they would rather watch an American city take a nuclear bomb, than to live in fear and/or engage in a foreign military exercise. What the heck? Sure, war is hell. But the world is a nasty place, and it doesn’t get better if you stick your head in the sand. And you aren’t safer and probably morally derelict.
And by the way, I think drugs are a dangerous and personally destructive thing to get involved with. But I DO NOT SUPPORT THIS EXPENSIVE AND WASTEFUL, AND DANGEROUS NATIONAL WAR ON DRUGS! I think federal agents should strengthen border monitoring and maybe intercept and confiscate big supplies there, but otherwise lay off. I think I’d make it illegal to ship or carry large quantities into the country, but have no national laws about sale and use of drugs. BUT! In my state and county we would swiftly prosecute and strongly sanction sale and public use of drugs if my vote had its way.
Now, about how we need the libertarians’ fervor and how they can actually help rather than restrict themselves to scoffing Mickey Mouse Club self-congratulations. Though it was not The Libertarian Party, I actually spent a couple of 2-year cycles with a 3rd party. I know about this private pool abstract idealism. You reject specific dispositions and actions that any politician has ever taken. Well, you can reject them all you want, but you have them all over the place, AND THE DEMOCRATIC PUBLIC THAT ENDORSES THEM! What good does it do to stand off in the corner of the room and ridicule while the rest of the world stands somewhere else? Whether what they do is right or wrong is not the point. What is the point is where the American people are and what is actually happening in the society that YOU LIVE IN, TOO!
James Drew gave an extended list of the “sins” of Santorum and Gingrich whom I had opined in the interest of overcoming Romney. In the first place, I differ in the extent of what it appears that Santorum believes the federal government can accomplish, both constitutionally and practically. But he was never seen as other than conservative in representing what is at best a swing state with a definite majority of Democrat voters. It’s pretty remarkable that he won 2 Senate terms. And Newt has had a long career, and has toyed with things I expect for both the reason that he hoped to be able to help the country and because the public expected something. These guys must govern in the real world AS IT IS, not as you or I wish it were. Even assuming that these libertarians were 100% correct, which I don’t think they are, they could get elected to jack squat in the federal government. And if they deceived just to attain office and press their beliefs, they’d be punted out of office at the first opportunity. But we aren’t going to call off the elections because they and their comrades don’t approve. Looking for perfection? Sorry, wrong world.
Let me give you a couple of examples of Gingrich positioning himself for the political battle. Some hard-nosed and reactive conservatives (though not as pure as our friends) criticized him for “attacking Paul Ryan and his budget plan last year. But he did no such thing. In fact if one had listened to what he said instead of just the head line, he actually said he liked the plan. He just said that right-wing social engineering was as bad as left-wing social engineering. And what he was referring to was the passage and imposition of laws without first making and selling the case to the American public. The Democrats imposed the health care law over the protests of the American people. And Gingrich foresaw the way the Democrats would define Ryan’s plan, which they did with their ad about Grandma being thrown off of the cliff. He was just saying that if you sell the plan before you impose it, you go a considerable way in thwarting the Democrats’ mischaracterization. Gingrich also made the climate change ad with Nancy Pelosi at the height of the public’s acceptance of the Climate Change calamity pitch. Private commercial interest were selling “green” products and services” because the public was buying it. Shortly after, Gingrich was before Congress fighting against cap & trade. He made the ad with Pelosi because he didn’t want conservatives left out of the conversation when the public was buying ecological danger.
Engaging political reality like this is why Gingrich is best equipped to take up the contest before the public. And you must remember, Gingrich’s service stretched back to the time before cable news and talk-radio, to a time when conservatism was dominated by liberal media on every front, which is how far back some of the citations reached. If you think conservatives are weak now, you should have seen them in the 60s and 70s. For most Republicans, conservative inclinations was something you kept under your skirt. That’s why the old over-60 Republican political pros favor Romney. They were formed in a time when Republican winners were generally ambiguous ones. I’m actually relatively aggressive. I think we should speak and defend the truth. So it’s kind of funny that I am called a compromiser. I don’t want to compromise and I don’t want to be unclear. But I do want to live in the real world. But Gingrich is clearly trailing. I have to deal with the real world.
We need the help of the libertarians. But they have to accept reality and make it a priority to actually accomplish things for society, not just to posture and accomplish nothing. I actually hoped Sarah Palin would run. Underneath her youthful enthusiasm and screechy voice, is an uncommon grit and resolve to go along with common-sense conservative principle. And though she believes there are things that we must defend against in the world, she’s modest about where we should engage, and she always commends the efforts and enthusiasm of the libertarian stream of conservative and appeals to them. Now, I’m at great pains to support Mitt Romney because I see no system of thought at work in his words and proposals. But both in The Republican contest and in the general election, conservatism would fare better if libertarians would submit their idealism to the cause of actually improving an America that is far-removed from its founding ideals. Things would be a lot more difficult for Romney if there were not 10 to 25% being pulled off into their own (losing) category in every primary contest. And we certainly need their activism and work in the general election, rather than worrying about who might stay home or vote for a 3rd party.
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Libertarians support Mitt Romney
Real libertarians oppose Islamo-Fascism. Ron Paul is very weak on foreign policy. Yeah, he's great on fighting Big Government. But these days Big Islam presents just as much of a threat to our personal liberties.
Many of us libertarians have supported Mitt Romney. (I was with Herman Cain first and switched to Romney after Cain dropped out.)
Simply put, we libertarians don't want our wives/girlfriends forced to wear ugly black burkas from head to toe, our marijuana smoking buddies jailed for life, alcohol and gambling outlawed, gays hung from lampposts, and "loose women" stoned in town squares. That ideology is the direct opposite of libertarianism.
Sadly, Ron Paul and his followers don't understand that. They're 50%-er libertarians; 100% right on half the issues, 100% wrong on the other half.
Eric Dondero, Publisher
Angleton, Texas (Brazoria County)
Eric Dondero is a racist Islamophobe nut who hides his hate mongering behind the banner of Libertarianism.
He's a disgrace. Associate yourself with him at your own peril.
Living in the real world.
You said "But I can’t understand what Paul is talking about when he suggests that aggressors will be no threat if you just leave them alone...". Dr. Paul is referring to the fact that everyone of the "aggressors" that have attacked us in the last 50-60 years has done so in retaliation for the aggressions we visited on them first. We know this since they have told us so. Thus Dr. Paul's belief that if we defend our air space and protect our borders and build our infrastructure and offer peace and trade to other countries and leave them alone we would be much safer. But he isn't saying we would never go to war, just the decision to do so should be based on reasoned thinking in defense of our country when it has been declared as a war by our congress. He isn't in favor of disarming our selves, just in defending rather than being an aggressor which just invites more violence upon ourselves.
But it really doesn't matter if you think he is right or wrong on this, because his track record on finance has been 100%. See the following 2 videos as examples of his accurate predictions. The first was the recession that he predicted in 1983 that occurred in 1987, I lost my job in that recession so I remember it well. The second is talking about his prediction of the housing bubble crash. The video indicates that he predicted it back in 2003, but he had been predicting it at least back as far was 2001. If you want to find the video on that go to Youtube and search on --> Ron Paul "This real-estate bubble will burst, as all bubbles do" <--. There are 3 parts to that speech.
The point is we are in extremely dire straights in our economy. Although every other candidate is claiming the economy is improving and none of them is suggesting any real fix for our national debt, Dr. Paul is talking about the building Bond Bubble fed by our national debt that will burst and the ultimate collapse of the US dollar.
Once the dollar collapses, we will find ourselves in the same position the USSR was in back in the day when the Berlin wall came down. It won't matter if Iran is in possession of a nuclear weapon because we won't be able to do anything about it because we will be broke. Our "walls" will come down and we will have civil unrest with people starving. We will be vulnerable sitting ducks. Russia is still recovering from this.
But the picture gets even bleaker because either just before or just after our economy collapses, the euro-zone economies will likewise collapse since our Federal reserve has been bailing out their debt as well as ours.
Dr. Paul has a plan that mitigates much of this suffering if it is applied in time, but alas people are too busy living in the "real world" to notice the trouble we are in. So they will vote for one of the other "spend us to death" candidates instead of getting behind someone who knows what is going on.
To understand you have to be capable of thinking outside the box
-- Mr. Perrault, you said: "I can’t understand what Paul is talking about when he suggests that aggressors will be no threat if you just leave them alone, usually to the conquests or oppression that they are prevailing on other people."
I realize it's difficult to understand these things at first blush, and particularly when it goes entirely against the grain of both the party line and the aforementioned establishment rhetoric; rhetoric which has been incessantly drilled into everyone's head and, as a result, has seemingly earned a seat at the table of conventional wisdom. I'd like to know, though, at what point in the past sixty years we've left them alone to test the counterpoint. We've been simultaneously meddling in the affairs of multiple countries and regions of the world for the entirety of that period, which also happens to be the average life expectancy for most peoples. This means most of the people alive today have known little else but our meddling, and those that are over sixty years of age have endured, witnessed, or known about our meddling for the vast majority of their lives. We've sold various nations weapons, given some to others, armed insurgents, bombed countries, propped up dictators, supported regional wars between neighbors, carried out covert operations of various sorts, invaded countries, dictated regional policies, and financed both our friends and our friends' enemies. Dondero speaks fearfully of "Big Islam" without realizing that--whether advertently to support the international arms trade and war profiteers or inadvertently due to incompetence and/or the law of unintended consequences--we have had a hand in driving and keeping hardline regimes into power and have cast ourselves as the perfect Boogeyman that otherwise uncooperative populations can point to in order to agree to temporarily set aside their differences and rally together against us. What came first, the chicken or the egg? We've also openly attempted to create hegemony in the region in the name of promoting democracy, a hegemony which facilitates exactly what I just described, and we have deeply altered the balance of power by throwing our weight into the ring. Without our influence regional powers would either settle into a natural stalemate and would either have to come to terms with one another through diplomacy or would arrive at a stalemate through conflict. Our absence would also take the wind out of the sails of the hardliners, leading to the rise of more rational leaders in the various nations of the region. If nothing else, we could've gotten out of the business early and left Russia and its own breed of war profiteers to play the role of Boogeyman and reap the bitter harvest of ITS meddling.
I strongly advise you to review the following articles for further information on the subject of foreign policy:
Felipe Dittrich Ferreira analyzes Ron Paul's foreign policy views, and links them to a study out of Oxford University:
World of Judaica analyzes Ron Paul's foreign policy views and their hypothetical impact on Israel if they had been consistently applied since 1948. Obviously Paul could not have been President all this time, but his policies could have been in effect:
-- Mr. Perrault, you said: "I think I’d make it illegal to ship or carry large quantities into the country, but have no national laws about sale and use of drugs."
Our drug laws are another area in which the law of unintended consequences has played out. Our drug laws are directly responsible for much of the misery, corruption, internal destruction, and societal breakdown that has occurred for many decades in many parts of the country as well as in Columbia and other parts of Central and South America, Afghanistan and other parts of the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and now Mexico; essentially just so we can avoid having to see someone stumbling down the sidewalk now and again (although we might still see it as the intense odor of alcohol pours off of them). With regard to Afghanistan and other parts of the Middle East and Southeast Asia, this goes hand-in-hand with much of what I described in the previous section. Your idea of making illegality begin and end at the border would only modify the nature of the problem rather than solve it. Illegality of any sort would allow smuggling to continue to be profitable, and other countries would continue to suffer as a result.
-- Mr. Perrault, you said: "We need the help of the libertarians. But they have to accept reality and make it a priority to actually accomplish things for society, not just to posture and accomplish nothing."
Libertarianism is an ideology, and as such it should be looked at in terms of the direction it intends to take us rather than where we might end up if we dutifully followed it all the way out to its logical and purest conclusion (i.e. "Libertopia"). Because of the competing ideologies that exist within the marketplace of ideas, Libertopia can never be reached, so people that dismiss libertarianism because of fears of Libertopia are themselves refusing to accept reality. You have to admit--and certainly do appear to admit--that we desperately need to move public policy in a much more libertarian direction. Many of our nation's problems are subtly interconnected and ultimately stem from our illegitimate drift away from the principles embodied within the Supreme Law of the Land, the U.S. Constitution, as well as the many wise admonishments of the Framers. The application of a more libertarian approach to public policy, or at minimum the proper application and enforcement of our nation's charter, would go a long way toward revitalizing our system of government and restoring the underlying strengths which led us to become a respected and prosperous nation in the first place.
REAL Libertarians DO NOT support Mitt Romney
Eric Dondero: That statement proves you are not a libertarian. You are just another neocon.
Real libertarians love their neighbors.
Blessed are the peacemakers.
Real libertarians support letting others do what they want,
pushing your (or your own nation)'s ideas on someone else is NOT Libertarian, nor is it loving. How would YOU like it if China had armored troops in your state and could indefinitely detain you without probable cause?
Beside the cost for the wars is too high: if you have to lose all of your freedom to win the battle then it is not worth it!!! YOU BECOME THE ENEMY!
Libertarians Getting Real
For more on what Libertarians are doing worldwide on voluntary solutions, please see the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization http://www.Libertarian-International.org
Prohibition has always been a socialist enterprise.
Prohibition has finally run its course; our prisons are full, our economy is in ruins, the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans have been destroyed or severely disrupted, and what was once a shining beacon of liberty and prosperity has become a toxic, repressive, smoldering heap of hypocrisy and a gross affront to fundamental human decency.
It is now the duty of every last one of us to insure that the people who are responsible for this shameful situation are not simply left in peace to enjoy the wealth and status that their despicable actions have, until now, afforded them. Former and present Prohibitionists must not be allowed to remain untainted and untouched from the unconscionable acts that they have viciously committed on their fellow citizens. – They have provided us with neither safe communities nor safe streets; we will provide them with neither a safe haven to enjoy their ill-gotten gains nor the liberty to repeat such a similar atrocity!
Very soon, we’ll have hundreds of thousands of empty prison cells to fill, millions of aggrieved citizens, and our streets will be full of hungry lawyers looking for any possible work.
Prohibition has evolved local gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, helping them control vast swaths of territory while gifting them with significant social and military resources.
Those responsible for the shameful policy of prohibition shall not go unpunished!
Eric is no libertarian