by Tom Woods
I am trying to understand the thinking behind the great many Americans who have decided to vote for a mainstream politician in 2012.
Now before you read the below and send me an angry email telling me I should be nice, that I should try to persuade them through love, etc., let me note that I have generally done that. My video appeal to Iowa radio host Steve Deace was a friendly, reasoned discussion of Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich. My videos about Rick Santorum have been straightforward examinations of the facts. (See my video on Santorum’s view that we need inflation in order to prosper, and my video on why Catholics should instead vote for Ron Paul.)
But once in a while you just can’t take it anymore, and you have to let loose.
So, whether they realize it or not, here are 26 things non-Paul supporters appear to be saying...
I'd like to add a few things Tom Woods left out:
27) After over a decade of indoctrination public education I just cannot think for myself so I'll just repeat what "opinion makers" tell
28) I am willing to give up my freedom for the promise of safety. After all there's a war going on.
29) As long as it doesn't happen to me I am more than willing to cheerfully support heavier fines, longer detention and militarization of the civilian police
30) It doesn't matter Osama bin-Laden, Ayatollah Khomeini and others said the reason they hate the US is because of our backing of ruthless dictators and neverending meddling in the Muslim world. They hate us for our freedoms.
You're forgetting that Dr. Paul can call all troops home as commander in chief. That will reduce the destruction of our rights quite a bit. He can also repeal former President's executive orders which reduced liberty. He can issue pardons for nonviolent drug offenders who are in federal prison. He cannot do either as Congressman.
Still, I'm worried that the Republican Party will block his nomination and not count his delegates because the Republican Party won't defeat anyone and everyone who won't intervene in the Middle East. That's a requirement to be allowed to have any say in anything. The Party of Lincoln cares almost as much about preventing interventionism as Dr. Paul does promoting his principles.
You're forgetting that Centinel is dishonest.
I think Centinel might be evading his ban, but I'm not sure. Anyway...
Centinel:1. The American political establishment has done a super job keeping our country prosperous and our liberties protected, so I am sure that the Paul -- a career politician who has been in Washington longer than any other candidate – is probably the best candidate to protect our wealth and liberties.
Which other candidate(s) do you think would do a better job?
Centinel:2. I believe it is conservative to support a candidate who had the political ‘foresight’ to vote to invade Afghanistan and then change his mind after hundreds of American lives were lost and a trillion dollars had been spent.
If Eric Dondero's statements are accurate, this is one point at which Ron Paul actually sacrificed principles for politics. I, for one, will not condone that.
Centinel:3. I am concerned about taxes. Therefore, I will vote for the Washington insider candidate who has been in Congress while the plunder of tax-payer wealth by the federal government has increased six fold and the debt has increased ten fold.
That assumes, of course, that Ron Paul has approved of this ten-fold expansion of debt while he's been in Congress. There is abundant evidence to the contrary.
Centinel:4. I am deeply concerned about radical Islam, so it is a good idea to promote an isolationist policy that allows for the establishment of safe havens for non-state faith-based terrorists and the proliferation of nuclear weaponry in the Middle East.
What does "deeply concerned about radical Islam" mean to you, exactly? How does global hegemony assuage your "concerns" about it?
Centinel:5. Vague promises to cut spending are good enough for me from a Washington insider even though he has been unable to mobilize political capital to make a dent in this problem in 30+ years while in Congress.
My understanding is that Ron Paul's promises to cut spending are the most detailed and specific, i.e. the least vague, of any of the candidates - and even among sitting Senators and Representatives. Is your understanding different? If so, how?
Centinel:6. I want to be spoken to like this “My fellow Americans, you suck, we suck, America sucks, – it is America’s fault that Moslems kill Moslems, Africans kill Africans, Asians kill Asians....”
Oh, in other words, you want a candidate who will tell you what you want to hear.
Centinel:7. I prefer a candidate who recognizes the economic problems this nation faces, yet hasn’t been able to force one iota of political change for the better while cashing tax payer funded checks for the last 30 years.
Has anyone else been able to "force one iota of political change for the better" over the past 30 years? If you had been in Ron Paul's shoes, what would you have done differently?
Centinel:8. I am deeply concerned about spending. Therefore, I would like to vote for a career Washington politician who was a unable to muster a shred of political capital to stop the funding of Medicare Part D from his own party, thereby adding $7 trillion to Medicare’s unfunded liabilities.
Again, if you had been in Ron Paul's shoes, what would you have done differently?
Centinel:9. I am opposed to bailouts. Therefore, I will vote for the only candidate (except Obama) who was actually in Congress when these bailouts were passed.
Ron Paul voted against the bailouts. Surely you know that. This is sheer dishonesty.
Centinel:10. The federal government is much too involved in education, where it has no constitutional role. Therefore, I will vote for the ONLY candidate who was in Congress when BOTH the Dept. of Education and No Child Left Behind was passed and who was utterly powerless to stop either one.
Other than noting additional dishonesty here, I'll repeat my earlier question: if you had been in Ron Paul's shoes, what would you have done differently?
Centinel:11. If someone has a drug problem, I favor a policy of legalizing and privatizing the benefits while the costs are still socialized.
I'd like you to explain what you mean by "the costs are still socialized".
Centinel:12. I will vote for the one career politician who knew that the 2008 financial crisis was imminent, yet was politically inept and powerless to do anything about it.
Once again: if you had been in Ron Paul's shoes, what would you have done differently? Indeed, do you think anything really could have been done differently here?
Centinel:13. I am impressed by a candidate who inspires a fringe cabal of a anarcho-capitalists who want to gut the Constitution and dismantle American political and civil society.
Substantiate this notion, if you dare.
Centinel:14. Even though I lost half of my retirement when the economy crashed from the Federal Reserve sugar high of artificially low rates, I would like to vote for the career politician whose 30 year quixotic effort to dismantle the Fed has resulted in a behemoth far more powerful and destructive than ever before.
Perhaps you'd like to substantiate this, if you dare.
Centinel:15. Even though the Castro regime has engaged in 50 years of enslavement, torture, and murder of the Cuban people, I favor dialogue with Castro instead of the victims of this policy.
There are other regimes which have presided over enslavement, torture, and murder which have not been subject to blanket trade and travel embargoes.
Centinel:16. Our country is bankrupt due to unfunded liabilities therefore it’s a good idea to vote for a career politician who has been in Congress while this debt has expanded over ten fold.
See above. Now you're repeating yourself.
Centinel:17. I will vote for a candidate who thinks that an Iraq without sanctions and with Saddam Hussein still in power reconstituting his nuclear weaponry program will bring the most healing and stability to the Middle East and best protect the interests of Western civilization.
... Wow. Okay. Substantiate that Saddam Hussein necessarily was trying to reconstitute his nuclear weaponry program on the eve of the March 2003 US & allied invasion of Iraq.
Centinel:18. The Brookings Institution is my ‘go to’ for political advice.
Wait, what? Do you think that Tom Woods or Ron Paul thinks that of the Brookings Institution? I don't get you here.
Centinel:19. I will vote for the only career politician who was in Washington when the Patriot Act was passed, yet was politically powerless to stop it.
Once again: if you had been in Ron Paul's shoes, what would you have done differently?
Centinel:20. I will selectively parrot the words of Thomas Jefferson out of context while ignoring that he was the first President to invade Libya at far greater costs than the latest campaign, restricted free trade abroad, and annex by force the largest land mass ever acquired by a President without Congressional approval.
Then you won't be afraid to provide us with the context of those words of Thomas Jefferson, now would you?
Centinel:21. I do not trust the media, yet I will support a candidate whose views on the war in Iraq parrot the same conspiracy theories, political hyperbole, and misinformation spewed by the extreme leftwing media.
Which extreme leftwing media is that, exactly? Surely you don't mean all of the mainstream news networks that pushed relentlessly for the invasion of Iraq!
Centinel:22. I know the media will smear or marginalize anyone who would really fix this country, so when the leftwing media ignores Ron Paul because they recognize that he is a fringe candidate without a politically viable plan to fix this country, I will vote for him.
What do you consider to be "a politically viable plan to fix this country"? Oh wait, let me guess - your "Economic Bill of Rights"? How humble of you!
Centinel:23. I think our best chance to gain power and change Washington is to vote for a candidate whose organization was only able to bankroll $3 million to run against an Obama campaign that will have over $1 billion
Assuming arguendo that will be true for Obama, which Republican candidate do you think could match it? Romney, the polymer-based lifeform, who's barely indistinguishable from Obama himself?
Centinel:24. I have not been exploited enough by the cozy relationship between large financial firms and the U.S. government, so I will be voting for the only candidate who has been in Congress the last 30 years and utterly useless to make a dent in this plunder.
More repetition. See above.
Centinel:In sum, I know that a Ron Paul presidency will keep America will be safe from statist threats at home and abroad because he has done such a great job protecting my rights and my wallet from Washington abuses the last 30 years in Congress.
The irony here is that you are a statist.
The keyboard is mightier than the gun.
Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.
I don't understand criticizing Paul for not "accomplishing" anything. If you have a society run by psychopaths and there happens to be one non-psychopath holding an inkling of power in a given position trying to educate the masses how psychopathic their rulers are and who agitates for the enforcement of the psychopathic rules to be less psychopathic why he doesn't deserve people's support, especially when he is trying to become the head of the currently-psychopathic arrangement where he can veto any psychopathic bill and use the position as a bully pulpit to demean psychopathic endeavors.
In short, he doesn't get anything done because he is one of the lone sane voices in that building. If he can convince the public to become more sane on these issues, then more sane people could give him support and bring in sane people to vote on a given initiative.
Thought some may be interested in reading the reactions to this article on a more liberal forum, Pearl Jam's political subforum: http://community.pearljam.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=183087
It's got some ron paul supporters in the mix so it was an entertaining read.
What? You claim (last I checked, forgive me if I'm wrong), to be a minarchist constitutionalist. Just because Ron Paul hasn't been able to garner a huge following and prevent various things that he opposed is not his fault, it is the fault of those in power, the voters, and indeed the parties sitting by and allowing it to happen. You argument that "he has done such a great job protecting my rights and my wallet from Washington abuses the last 30 years in Congress."
Doesn't make sense since there is only so much that he CAN do when he is only a single individual supporting, as you say, a "fringe" position, which is indeed not so "fringe" or entirely "anarcho-capitalist" as you seem to indicate that it is because last time that I checked anarcho-capitalists didn't make up 10 percent of the Republican party. Furthermore to criticize Ron Paul when I could turn your argument right around in saying "I will vote Ron Paul because he's been the only congressman in Washington who has actually opposed what is wrong with Washington, as opposed to all others who get it wrong by a mile and a half". Stating that someone is bad because they are not superman makes little sense when he has 1/100 of 1/2 of the power to pass laws seems to have little merit. Indeed, if Paul had been effective at all these things, if it were possible for any senator to be this effective, then what would be the point of a president in the first place?
How bout dem "Enlightened" and "Open minded" "liberals"?
"27. i will never vote for a republican, even if jesus christ came back and ran in 2016."
Because the Democrats both in and out of the White House have done such a brilliant and DIFFERENT job...
"28. i will never vote for the man who spawned rand paul."
"29. i will never vote for someone who is pro-life."
Why not if it doesn't affect his policy? He's pro-life and pro states rights on the matter, so it's immaterial whether or not he thinks that it should or should not be allowed, it wouldn't affect his policy.
"30. i will never vote for another texan in any race at any time in my life."
Oh yeah, that's open minded. It'd only be negative if it was something like a Republican saying "I'll never vote for an African American in my lifetime"
"31. i will never vote for someone who will never ever consider raising taxes when necessary. shit happens sometimes and we might need that increased revenue."
If "Shit happened" and America was actually in need of tax revenue to really defend its borders then I daresay Paul would support a tax increase. Also, protip: Increased taxes doesn't mean increased revenue.
"32. i will never vote for a man who is more concerned about freedom vs. tyranny than doing the right thing."
Mmmm, that's a nice road to hell you got there. There were thousands who thought that both Soviet Russia and Communist China were "the right thing". Inevitably the right thing is subjective, so it makes sense to give people as much liberty as possible for them to decide what is right and wrong, rather than giving people like you the power to kill others to make your right happen.
33. i will never vote for someone who champions state's rights over everything else.
Ron Paul supports the constitution over arbitrary federal power. He doesn't support state's rights over everything else.
34. i will never vote for a man who will cut medicare, medicaid, or any other publicly funded program that is there as a safety net to help the elderly, infirmed, or less fortunate."
Congratulations, a point that isn't something a 10 year old who looked at Paul's policies for 5 minutes might spit off.
1. So if there was a "publicly" funded organization that took care of all Americans by paying them 40 thousand dollars a year, then you could never support a politician who would want to cut it? I hate to pull this card but it's food for thought. Socialism would create one big social safety net for everyone, I assume you oppose that and you are not a socialist. Therefore the above is hyperbole and there can be too much funding. However, what constitutes then as "too much" is entirely subjective, and you cannot then criticize Paul's plans specifically because they intend to cut what he believes is "too much" in the form of these programs, and you must provide specific examples as to why it is that social security or the other programs are optimal or need to be expanded
2. Medicare and Medicaid drive up the cost of healthcare, in a free market healthcare would likely be much, much cheaper, and therefore a reduced degree of both of these things could be awarded. Both institutions tend to be very wasteful and lead to over consumption and abuse, driving up demand artificially. Existing regulations also boost up the cost of healthcare to no end
3. Social Security is unsustainable. In the coming decades about a third of the population will be on social security. The retirement age must be increased, benefits must be slashed, and preferably reform must be done now to ensure that it doesn't entirely collapse. Cuts aren't what are required right now in this respect, but the system is fundamentally flawed
4. If these things are funded by the public, why do they need to be funded by the government?
5. In a free market there would be a great deal more efficiency than there currently is, this would mean that there would be more wealth in general and there would need to be less spending on these sorts of activities
6. The United States is directly 15 trillion in debt, why is it that you think it can afford such spending?
7. The Unfunded liabilities of the United States are about twice as large as the GDP of planet earth. Most of that is because of Medicaire You might want to rethink the idea that we can never turn back on this?
8. Welfare programs for the "needy" often don't work out, they destroy communities, they are mishandled, the incentive systems are wrong, they destroy work ethics, they are taken advantage of by wealthier people, they are over funded, and so on. The third world has been destroyed by many efforts of foreign aid which destroy local industry, are abused by warlords and governments, and they are otherwise mishandled.
9. Why should others be forced to pay for others? You're sure as hell not giving all you could to these people.
10. You have the audacity to tell others what to do with their money, you will forcibly confiscate their property and go to jail and KILL them if they resist, and yet you only support AMERICAN progress, only AMERICAN welfare, while half of humanity lives on less than ten dollars a day and in abject poverty, you dare to tell me that I must give to X group, who are needy, because they live on the right side of an imaginary line? Yet of course, Ron Paul is the crazy one who should be avoided at all cost... Because he's FROM TEXAS.
This is why I avoid most regular forums. I see some stuff here that I think is rather simple-minded a lot of the time, and then I venture out into other areas and I see the doggerel that passes for intellectualism and an intelligent political opinion out in other areas of the internet and I want to puke. These people are about a open-minded, ready for real answers, intellectual, and truly liberal as those who argued that Louis XVI was appointed by an almighty god.
Statism and modern politics are a shroud that kill real thought. There are many forms of anarchism, but there is only one that is indisputably good, and this is intellectual anarchism. The ability to throw away the idols, the preconceived values, the prejudices, the assumptions, the authority figures, and to really deal with the world in which we live naked and unafraid of being wrong and the conclusions which one might reach. Otherwise the conclusion which one reaches will inevitably be skewed and false.
Anything else is not truly thought, it is merely a perpetual reassurance of past beliefs and illogical mental blocks. This is what we see from the vast majority of humanity.
An interesting read for sure!