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Easiest case for Ron Paul

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Wheylous Posted: Thu, Feb 16 2012 8:45 AM

I've come to the following conclusion about politics that should be applicable to even statists:

Before looking at any of the candidates' stances on the issues, look at their honesty. Then choose among the honest ones. Why? Well, the dishonest ones will not care about their professed stances on the issues, so why look at the issues at all? We know Obama didn't close Gitmo and Romney has flip-flopped more than a fish out of water. Gingrich wants a MOON BASE (destroying any shred of understanding of economics I might have believed he had), and Santorum has repeatedly voted for raising the debt ceiling.

The only honest candidate who votes like he talks is Ron Paul. Like him or not, he's the only candidate it makes sense to be considering. If you don't like his policies, don't vote for anyone. But it certainly makes no sense to be discussing the differences between Romney and Gingrich if we know they've been bought out and will say whatever the political wind happens to blow.

So again - when voting, first look for the honest candidates, then pick the one you vote for. But considering the issues of all of them is just silly.

That's why RP is the only candidate it makes sense to vote for.

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I've always thought the best case to be made for him is his strong moral character.

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DD5 replied on Thu, Feb 16 2012 10:15 AM

 

If politics had anything to do with moral character and honesty, then you would be correct.   But politics (in the statist use of the term) is all about theft and murder, purely and simply!  It hardly seems reasonable to expect an honest man to win any political office when he is by definition elected to steal and murder.

I greatly respect Ron Paul.  Ron Paul is a strategy that many libertarians (even hard core) believe to be useful in the libertarian cause, however, even this strategy is based on some degree of deceit and dishonesty.  Ron Paul’s official political position is to adhere to the Constitution.  But the Constitution has not authority!  (see Lysander Spooner on this) and any limited form of government is still predicated on theft and murder.  Is Ron Paul not aware of this? I'm quite sure his is by the way.  So even Ron Paul is a dishonest politician and libertarians supporting him are enaging in a dishonest campaign for liberty. Personally, I don't support this rather dishonest strategy.
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DD5:
If politics had anything to do with moral character and honesty, then you would be correct.   But politics (in the statist use of the term) is all about theft and murder, purely and simply!  It hardly seems reasonable to expect an honest man to win any political office when he is by definition elected to steal and murder.

I greatly respect Ron Paul.  Ron Paul is a strategy that many libertarians (even hard core) believe to be useful in the libertarian cause, however, even this strategy is based on some degree of deceit and dishonesty.  Ron Paul’s official political position is to adhere to the Constitution.  But the Constitution has not authority!  (see Lysander Spooner on this) and any limited form of government is still predicated on theft and murder.  Is Ron Paul not aware of this? I'm quite sure his is by the way.  So even Ron Paul is a dishonest politician and libertarians supporting him are enaging in a dishonest campaign for liberty. Personally, I don't support this rather dishonest strategy.

I expect you've seen this already, but for those who haven't, here is what Ron Paul said in response to the Spooner argument:

Question: “You’re frequently an advocate for the Constitution.  What are your thoughts of the Lysander Spooner statement: “But whether the Constitution really be one thing or another, this much is certain: that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it.  In either case, it is unfit to exist.”

Ron Paul: “I’ll tell you what: I don’t criticize Lysander.  His point is very well taken, and someday maybe we will mature to that point.  His claim was that if he himself didn’t agree to the Constitution, why should somebody in a remote body agree to the Constitution and he be pushed under it?  It is a good idea, but under today’s circumstances, I have to work with the best that we have.  Because who knows, I might have been an anti-Federalist at the time the Constitution was being written.  But fortunately we ended up with a good Constitution, and our problem is more that we don’t obey the good parts about it.  I think it’s a very interesting philosophic issue, and I hope that someday we mature enough to have that argument.”

This dialogue is 11mins 10secs into this video.  I think it's very unfair to say he is using deceit and dishonesty when he is so open about it when asked.

More evidence that Ron Paul favors voluntarism over Constitutionalism / minarchism can be found in my videos Ron Paul is a Voluntarist and Where Do Ron Paul's Ideas Come From?

 

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Graham Wright:
This dialogue is 11mins 10secs into this video

Also, see his expression at 11:21.  He LOVES that he was asked this question.  He WANTS people to know the Spooner argument against the Constitution.

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DD5 replied on Thu, Feb 16 2012 4:20 PM

Graham Wright:
I think it's very unfair to say he is using deceit and dishonesty when he is so open about it when asked.

If you want to talk about "fair" or "unfair" then first be honest with yourslef!  Ron Paul in that quote is clearly not giving a definite answer to whether the Constitution does or does not have authority.   This is as politics as it gets.  Obama can be just as open.  I'm his speech writer and he approves the following: "Ideal perfecet individualf freedom is a good idea, but under today's circumstances ..... blah, blah , blah ".   There!  Obama can also be open about it or any other such issue if asked.

Now, I do believe that Ron Paul agrees with Spooner, but that he cannot admit it.   But anyway you slice it, he is engaging in some degree of dishonesty.  You can't adhere to the Constitution without some degree of theft.  You know this, and he knows this.   Now go ahead and try to make the argument for an honest thief, but please don't come back and say this is libertarianism.   

 

 

 

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Malachi replied on Thu, Feb 16 2012 7:14 PM
Please define "honesty." or at least tell us what the good doctor would have to say in order to qualify.
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Groucho replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 11:12 PM

DD5, it is the only libertarian representation in politics you are ever going to get. You can't possibly get anyone to vote for you while actively espousing the idea that the office you seek is ilegitimate in the first place.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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Malachi replied on Sat, Feb 18 2012 12:31 PM
Ron Paul in that quote is clearly not giving a definite answer to whether the Constitution does or does not have authority.
I thought about this some more and concluded that you are not even interpreting his answer correctly. The Constitution does have authority when people agree to it, as in the oath of office. Thats significant because a lot of people in this country do believe in the founding document as a unitary thing that holds this country together, and therefore are ignorant of or reject Spooner's argument. Or it does not apply. Meaning the answer to the question in the interview would have been briefly summarized as "it depends on your opinion."

in any case, you cannot characterize omission as dishonesty, and your hypothetical with President Obama wouldnt have been dishonest either. I understand those words perfectly well, he has said things like that before and everyone knew what he meant and it was in the papers. In other words I think you are being hypercritical and not giving Representative Paul a fair shake.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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z1235 replied on Sat, Feb 18 2012 7:01 PM

DD5:
Obama can be just as open.  I'm his speech writer and he approves the following: "Ideal perfecet individualf freedom is a good idea, but under today's circumstances ..... blah, blah , blah ".   There!  Obama can also be open about it or any other such issue if asked.

Sorry, the Obama comparison doesn't work. Imagine RP and BO starting from Washington. RP is running north, saying he's headed for NYC, while hoping to get to Boston. BO is running south (towards Miami) while saying (obviously lying that) he's headed for NYC. Big difference. 

I've had a conversation with RP in person on this subject. He completely agrees with Spooner. 

 

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DD5 replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 4:15 PM

Malachi:
The Constitution does have authority when people agree to it, as in the oath of office.

There isn't a shred of evidence that I'm aware of that even a single person alive today or since the signing of the document has ever agreed to it. 

Malachi:
Thats significant because a lot of people in this country do believe in the founding document as a unitary thing that holds this country together, and therefore are ignorant of or reject Spooner's argument.

So if a lot of people in this country believe the world is flat, then this makes it true?  This is your argument.

 

 

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DD5 replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 4:21 PM

z1235:
Sorry, the Obama comparison doesn't work. Imagine RP and BO starting from Washington. RP is running north, saying he's headed for NYC, while hoping to get to Boston. BO is running south (towards Miami) while saying (obviously lying that) he's headed for NYC. Big difference. 

BO could also be shaying he's headed south while hoping to get to NYC.  It's just a longer route. 

z1235:
He completely agrees with Spooner. 

So does he or doesn't he believe in the Constitution?  He says he does!  but he really doesn't.  So he's lying!  I said before.  I get it!.  he's lying for the "cause".  I just don't agree with this strategy.  It's dishonest.  The truth is on the side of liberty.  There is no need to trick people into it.  

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DD5 replied on Wed, Feb 29 2012 4:59 PM

Groucho:

DD5, it is the only libertarian representation in politics you are ever going to get. You can't possibly get anyone to vote for you while actively espousing the idea that the office you seek is ilegitimate in the first place.

 

Why not?  I bet you would vote for him.  I would too if I believed my vote actually counts for something.

 

 

 

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Before looking at any of the candidates' stances on the issues, look at their honesty. Then choose among the honest ones. Why? Well, the dishonest ones will not care about their professed stances on the issues, so why look at the issues at all?

Well said. Sadly this logic seems to elude the majority of voters.

apiarius delendus est, ursus esuriens continendus est
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I greatly respect Ron Paul.  Ron Paul is a strategy that many libertarians (even hard core) believe to be useful in the libertarian cause, however, even this strategy is based on some degree of deceit and dishonesty.  Ron Paul’s official political position is to adhere to the Constitution.  But the Constitution has not authority!  (see Lysander Spooner on this) and any limited form of government is still predicated on theft and murder.  Is Ron Paul not aware of this? I'm quite sure his is by the way.  So even Ron Paul is a dishonest politician and libertarians supporting him are enaging in a dishonest campaign for liberty. Personally, I don't support this rather dishonest strategy.

I see no dishonesty. Paul states that he favors Constitutional government, and he votes and works to achieves Constitutional government.

If you mean that Paul's position is not consistent with anarcho-capitalism, that's true, but that in no way makes him dishonest.

apiarius delendus est, ursus esuriens continendus est
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excel replied on Fri, Mar 2 2012 5:21 AM

DD5, I think you're being too hamhanded in this debate. Could you please go through a specific rundown, or at least check my rundown of what I believe is your argument and then tell me if I'm getting you right.

1. Ron Paul is running on a platform of obeying/conforming to the constitution.
2. Ron Paul does not believe that the constitution holds any true authority over americans. (Ie, the Spooner argument.)
3. Since Ron Paul is a Spoonerite, he should be running on an anti-constitutional / state-abolishionist etc. platform.
4. Because he is not doing this, he's being dishonest.

Do I have your thought-process described accurately?

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DD5 replied on Fri, Mar 2 2012 10:36 AM

Minarchist:
I see no dishonesty. Paul states that he favors Constitutional government, and he votes and works to achieves Constitutional government.

You could try to excuse Ron Paul on technical grounds by saying that he supports coercion, albeit on a limited scale, but he's the only one that is honest about it when asked.  So Ron Paul is the only  "honest thief" in town.  Personally, I see this as a blatant contradiction in terms.  So if this is the "easy case" for Ron Paul, then I pass!  Now it's one thing to acknowledge this and still support Ron Paul as I believe many do just that (Rockwell, Block, etc....), and another thing to deny this and claim he's the only honest politician.  

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DD5 replied on Fri, Mar 2 2012 10:41 AM

excel:
Do I have your thought-process described accurately?

Well if you truly believe Ron Paul is a "Spoonerite", but his political views contiue to imply the legitimacy of the Constitution, then you need to decide for yourself if he is being honest or not,...as inconvenient as it may be.

 

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CrazyCoot replied on Fri, Mar 2 2012 12:04 PM

There's a difference between thinking the US Constitution is the best thing since sliced bread and thinking that while we have a Constitution we might as well follow it.

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Greg replied on Fri, Mar 2 2012 4:12 PM

 

I think it was a fox news anchor (youtube don't remember) that asked Ron Paul what his tax plan would be and he answered somewhere along the line of "whatever tax they propose, I'll go lower. If Romney says 9% I'll go 8%." and so on... This just seemed kinda disingenuous - it leads right into 0% taxation (read: no government!)

I truly think Ron Paul is an anarcho-capitalist, he always seems to answer questions about specific plans in this way. I think Ron is awesome so don't hate, from my perspective it looks like a pretty dishonest plan (lying by omission really) to get people to latch on to small government ideals, in order to lead them more easily into all-out liberty. It worked on me i guess lol

"The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design." - F.A. Hayek
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Eric080 replied on Fri, Mar 2 2012 4:32 PM

At least if Paul says he is for less government, he actually is for less government.  His act is a bit of a charade / sleight-of-hand, but he's not lying to you about his intentions.  That is what defines somebody as being honest.  If you were to ask Paul if he were a total anarchist, he may dodge the issue a little bit and say as much in different terms.  He realizes that in order to sit at the adult table in this country you can't hold that fringe of a position.  So what he does is argue for less government using the Constitution as a tool to expose others' hypocrisy.  If you want to call that dishonesty, then I guess you can do that.  But if Paul were to remove, say, all restrictions and regulations regarding the health industry or something along those lines, he is technically advancing anarchy.

 

The reason Paul doesn't come out often against the Constitution is because he is never asked whether or not he supports the Constitution relative to anarchy.  Every question is in a statist context and Paul hardly ever agitates for more government in this context.

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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Greg replied on Fri, Mar 2 2012 4:51 PM

I don't disagree with what I think is pragmatism on Paul's part, I've never heard a straightforward lie but there is some dancing. True though the good doctor is always suggesting a government-free solution to our ills. I would really like to hear Ron articulate his ideas on anarchy for or against because you gotta know he has talked about this stuff at length with Rockwell and crowd. Judge Napolitano also while we're at it :)

"The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design." - F.A. Hayek
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Wheylous replied on Sat, Mar 3 2012 11:32 AM

I love that Paul focuses on spending, not taxation. Because cutting taxes is well and good, but you also have to cut the spending, which further causes distortions in the production structure.

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