On Ron Paul and Libertarianism

Apparently, there are conversations about this blog happening on StumbleUpon every day (cool, but I really wish I would be notified in some way – possibly through a trackback to the comment, or in being able to have those external comments show up as comments in my own threads). Regardless, “Ultimate Josh” had posted a response to a response that I thought was valid enough to be given its own post.

This is another perspective on Ron Paul (not one I necessarily agree with, mind you):

I’d like to skip your comments about being propagandized because I think I clearly explained myself in the blog, but to be frank, if Outfoxed influenced you, yes, you’ve been propagandized. It should not have taken a film to catalog all of the problems with FOX news since the discrepancies between it and traditional journalism are so blatantly obvious, and if you made up your mind from a hit piece instead of actually watching FOX for yourself, then congratulations, you are a dumb American. Please enjoy the NASCAR races, celebrity gossip and the always low prices.

A clear review of history will not yield such ferocious indictment of the selling of the Iraq War, the corrosion of the constitution, or the history of US intervention, but it will also not defend, support or exonerate it. Objectivity can teach you more than anger and emotion. I have no problem with watching these films for entertainment, I’ve seen all of the films on your list myself actually, but I do warn against giving them “influence” over you. It’s a disservice to your own cognizant abilities and a disservice to the causes you may claim to support.

As for Ron Paul, I have numerous problems with him.

First of all, his claims of a long US history of peaceful intentions and amicable non-intervention is absolute bullshit. Out first overseas military commitment was in 1806. End of story. Given the weight of the subject matter, to me, this goes beyond a simple campaign fallacy and into the point of being dangerously out of touch.

Second, he is a Libertarian. Libertarians interpret the constitution as deriving all rights from property, including the property of your physical self. Therefore, committing murder would be an unconstitutional violation against someones right to property of life. Sounds good, except that’s not exactly what the Libertarians had in mind, when they came together and formed their party. What were they thinking? Well, given that life is property, and one has a human right to own private property…Oops! Slavery. That’s right, Libertarianism is simply the flashy, sexy politically correct new label for the Confederates of the 19th century (not to be confused with the Anti-Federalists of the 18th).

So, do I think this means Ron Paul will restart slavery? Absolutely not in a million years. It’s simply to illustrate the true ugliness of libertarianism, as it is too easily swept away in pro-abortion, pro-drug, pro-gun euphoria.

Slavery is one piece of danger, but along with confederate liberty comes hyperconservatism at the national level. While this is sold to you as saving you tax dollars, in reality it would almost entirely privatize our national infrastructure. That’s everything from the Interstate system to the CIA, the Air Force to the FCC. It even includes our government agencies responsible for maintaining and developing our nuclear arsenal.

Do you like that every electrical device plugs into the same AC outlet everywhere in the country? Ron Paul doesn’t like that government oversight. Do you like that the secret service is working to ensure the credibility and legitimacy of our economy’s hard money supply? Ron Paul doesn’t. Do you like that someone loyal to the constitution regulates your air traffic, or would you rather have someone loyal to money? Ron Paul likes that privatized money.

But it goes far beyond that. Ron Paul’s vision of total private enterprise is also poisoned with anti-Globalization xenophobia. It’s true that he may prevent things like the Chinese poison pet food, but you’d have to stop playing your Sony Playstation, hang up your T-mobile phone, and spit out that coffee you’re drinking. Imagine 1000 years ago had the Dutch trader-barons returned to their King with news of the great Silk Road, and the King replied that no, their silk unfairly competed against Dutch blankets, their literature was decidedly un-Dutch, and their scientific advances would provoke a Mark and Sextant Gap! Not very realistic, not very wise.

And if there is one thing history teaches us unequivocally, it’s that Xenophobia kills. Ask a Jew. Or a Cherokee.

And there is just a few of my problems with Ron Paul. But let’s be honest, even if he was able to elevate himself above his fourth tier status and take the party nomination and win the popular vote and take the most electoral votes, absolutely none of what I said would come true.

Why? He would have absolutely no partisan support. The Republicans don’t like him and the Democrats don’t like him. Who would pass his bills? Who would confirm his nominees? Who would keep him in office? He’d be lucky to simply paralyze the American infrastructure for four years. At worse, he could cripple the constitution permanently and completely expose the United States to nihilist influence, domestic and abroad.

That’s ultimately why I mentioned him only in passing, instead of an indictment like this. He is simply not a threat. He could not be elected, and if he was, he could not enact his policies. Fortunately for the stability of the constitution, the majority of Americans are not free-market conservative libertarians, even though the rhetoric sounds so convincing.

Convincing like propaganda.

Assuming Dr. Paul’s supporters will come out of the woodwork to debunk Josh’s assertions, I… still can’t help but wonder if the world will ever understand “truth.” It’s all a matter of perspective, but how can we gain perspective when everybody’s perspective is completely different. In many cases, RADICALLY different. Yes, that was a sentence fragment – a fact I believe we can finally agree upon. Regardless…

Josh’s comment was left in a somewhat “private” social network (StumbleUpon, of which I am a HUGE supporter but not an active user). I don’t mind that conversations take place elsewhere on the Web, but I never would have known that there was a somewhat “private” thread based on my very public posts. I can’t really call them PRIVATE, but I’m certain that most people who read my site may not have known that the StumbleUpon thread existed around my original content (in context).

Dunno… just kinda weird to have that going on, especially with such dissenting viewpoints. How can the Web converse if half of these conversations and perspectives are behind walled gardens?