Monday, May 21, 2007

Ron Paul, the Republicans, and the "Hidden Support"

Cross posted from The Liberty Papers, be sure to check out the comment thread for real fun:

Ron Paul killed himself the other night. Oh he's still walking around and upright, but his political career is pretty much over except for the appeal to the fringe elements of hard core doctrinaire Libertarians... and I suspect that at this point he knows it.

Of course saying this sets of a shitstorm of indignant bull from the aforementioned folks; because Paul is the "White Knight" in their little fever dream.

Doctrinaire Libertarians always assume that:

1. They are right, without question (after all, their perfect doctrinal system says so).

2. It is so obvious and intuitive that they are right, that there must be a huge but silent majority that agree with them entirely.

Thus, their anointed representative in the Republican party MUST have huge reserves of previously unseen support, the polls are inaccurate, they aren’t measuring all the libertarians, he’s ready for a surge blah blah blah.

Ron Paul never had anything more than a snowballs chance in hell. I agree with him on most things, but his stance on 9/11 and the war alone put him (and almost every other doctrinaire Libertarian) into the “would vote for McCain first” zone.

For anyone who knows me, that is as stinging a rebuke as I could possibly give without resorting to vulgarity; or invoking a Clinton.

The Doctrinaire Libertarians will point to polls saying "the majority of Americans don't support the war"; but really that isn't true.

Actually, the majority of the American people AREN’T against the war; they are against the stupid way we’ve been running the war, which seems calculated to lose.

What non-agressionists and isolationsists don’t seem to understand… in fact what Libertarians in general (note the large L) don’t seem to understand, is that 80% or more of the people in this country fundamentally disagree with them on the non-agression principle.

Both committed Democrats and committed Republicans, who combined make up about 80% of the population; support some type of interventionist foreign policy. The two sides simply differ on the type and circumstances of such intervention.

I’m a libertarian, not a Libertarian.

I support fundamental liberty; and the supremacy in moral principle of the liberty of the sovereign man.

I reject the non-aggression principle; because sometimes it IS necessary to initiate aggression to ensure that greater offenses against liberty do not occur.

Sometimes, interventionism IS right. Sometimes it IS moral.

Also, sometimes pragmatism is necessary in order to function in this world. Doctrinaires live in a land of theory; pragmatists live in the real world.

Doctrinaires (including Paul)will say "If we weren't over there we wouldn't be attacked"; that is quite simply a lie.

The people who attacked us, and plan to attack us still, are not motivated by reason or logic. They are motivated by a religious death cult; and a kind of zealous madness. Our foreign policy is irrelevant to their desire to kill, convert, or subjugate us all.

Not to say we haven't made foreign policy errors, many of which have in fact made the problems worse; but trying to explain the actions of madmen through logic isn’t only futile; it’s harmful.

We could have been perfect angels, and the terrorists would still be attacking us because of their pathology of a failed culture. We are the biggest symbol of everything they believe to be wrong and evil in the world; and would be even if we were completely non-interventionist.

If we abandoned Israel completely; and left the middle east entirely; they would still be trying to kill us, simply because of who we are.. and if we did that we would be declaring ourselves craven; which I sincerely hope we as a nation are not.

At that point, “why they hate us” is completely irrelevant; the only thing that matters is stopping them.

"But, you've just been tricked by the evil government and corporations into believing in this illegal immoral war"

Uhhhh no.

I haven’t been tricked into anything. I recognize that there are problems, and that Libertarians have valid points; but I believe in the core mission, even with the problems and issues

This is why the Doctrinaire Libertarians always remind me of those German marxists from the 80s...

“But, our ideas are perfect everyone would see that if only they weren't fooled by the evil government and corporations. One day, we’ll show them, they’ll see and we’ll lead them in glorious revolution”.

Alright, so let's look at exactly what about Paul (and many other Libertarians) positions I disagree with. Pauls positions are quoted here in italics":
"The war in Iraq was sold to us with false information. The area is more dangerous now than when we entered it."
A flat out false assertion there.
"We destroyed a regime hated by our direct enemies, the jihadists, and created thousands of new recruits for them."
Not quite a lie, but at best a half truth.
"And now, there are new calls for a draft of our young men and women."
A bullshit scare tactic.
"We can continue to fund and fight no-win police actions around the globe, or we can refocus on securing America and bring the troops home."
I believe we are doing, in principle though not currently in practice, the right thing by intervening in Iraq. Now what we need to do is win the damn war; and yes it is entirely doable if we have the political balls to do it.

"bringing the troops home" may feel good to people; but it's nothing more than that.

Let us continue...
"Too often we give foreign aid and intervene on behalf of governments that are despised. Then, we become despised. Too often we have supported those who turn on us, like the Kosovars who aid Islamic terrorists, or the Afghan jihads themselves, and their friend Osama bin Laden. We armed and trained them, and now we’re paying the price."
As I noted above, we could have been perfect angels, and they'd still be coming after us. Our foreign policy is completely irrelevant to their hatred for us or their attacks on us.

Oh and we never armed or trained either Bin Laden, or Al Qaeda; we armed and trained various Afghan mujaheddin groups against the Soviets, but Bin Laden wasn't involved with us when we were there, and this was long before the formation of Al Qaeda. The Saudi royalty provides most of the funding for Al Qaeda... and don't get me started on that one.

Anyone who thinks that changing our foreign policy will make us more secure is deluding themselves. They are diving into that same fallacy that weak kids try to appease bullys with, that abused women try to appease their abusive husbands with: "if I'm just nice to him and don't make him mad, he won't hurt me".

Let me make this even clearer. I like Paul, I respect him, I agree with him on far more issues than any other candidate, wspecially when it comes to economic and domestic policies; BUT FOR HIS POSITIONS ON THE WAR AND 9/11 ALONE, I WOULD NEVER VOTE FOR HIM.

Do you know how many MILLIONS of people out there feel exactly the same way?

Funny enough, unlike the phantom Paul supporters the doctrinaires insist are really out there, just waiting for a chance to save the country from itself; those people aren’t hidden, they’re the ones campaigning for Duncan Hunter, and Tom Tancredo, and Fred Thompson… or misguidedly supporting Romney because they think that somehow he’s electable and at least better than McCain or Rudy.

I can’t stomach Paul for president AND I’M A LIBERTARIAN FOR GODS SAKE. I MIGHT vote for him over Hillary; but I’m more likely not to vote in such a contest.

Does this not put any lights on over anybodies heads?

The support you seem to believe is there?

It isn’t.

The agreement you seem so sure is there?

It isn’t.

The surge you seem to think he’s going to make…

Do the math.