Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ron Paul's Newsworthy Plurality

As I have posted before, I like Ron Paul. I find him the most interesting politican in America. Far more fascinating than Palin, Romney, or Obama. There is no one else quite like him. He spoke a couple of days ago at a conservative activitist gathering in Washington, DC. It wasn't his best speech but what he said seemed highly relevant and honest to me.

He throws the word “liberal” around in an evil manner. But, he is quick to criticize Republicans and “conservative” ideals as well. “The liberals want to talk about how to regulate your economic activity and how you spend your money and the others want to regulate your personal lifestyle but government should not be regulating us. We should adopt one other principle for that to work. We should all swear off the use of violence against our neighbors, our friends, and other countries.”

Ron Paul won the 2011 CPAC Straw Poll yesterday, the day I first put out my post-Christmas Season flag. He won 30% of the vote of a group of conservative activities. This means that, likely, this right-wing section of the Republican party is significantly Libertarian. But, being a libertarian Republican is about as strange as being a libertarian Democrat.

Who knows how many libertarian Democrats there are, maybe 25% at most. Who knows? There is no Ron Paul in the Democratic party, no libertarian figurehead that I know about. But, libertarians are there. I have voted democrat most of my life. My dad and grandfather were both union members. So, liberal thinking is strangely part of my conservative family.

Nevertheless, Libertarianism is alive and well. Ron Paul supports ending the Federal Reserve system, Gay Rights, legalized marijuana, attacking the ‘Military Industrial Complex’, peaceful and open expression of political ideas, opposes the Economic Stimulus, and government intrusion of any kind into the private lives of Americans as long as they aren’t harming someone else.

I agree with him on most issues, though I differ in areas of foreign policy, abortion, and how to take care of the environment. His personal sense of liberty, however, is a tremendous source of support for him in my mind. He is the refreshing anti-politician of our times.

You might not want to listen to the whole link but there snippets are from throughout. A most unusual anti-politician won the CPAC straw poll….

The Patriot Act we know has nothing to do with Patriotism. They always name it opposite of what it is. The Patriot Act is literally the destruction of the Fourth Amendment.”

“Foreign aid as taking money from the poor people of a rich country and giving it to the rich people of a poor country.”

“It makes no sense for us to think that we can keep troops in 135 countries, 900 bases, and think we can do it forever. It’s time for us to bring troops home. We’ve had troops in Japan since World War Two and in Germany. Why are they there? Why are we paying for their defense?"

“We’re going to continue to bailout and continue to spend the money. I’m sure half the people in this room won’t cut one penny on the military. And the military is not equated to defense. Defense spending is one thing. Military spending is what Eisenhower called ‘the Military Industrial Complex’. We have to go after that.”

“Government, as I’m sure you all would agree, is out of control. It is very hard for us to get a handle on it. So, let’s say theoretically a miracle happened and we balanced the budget where we are today. It would still be a disaster because we are spending too much money.”

“The Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air. They can loan to banks, central banks of the world, other governments, and international financial institutions and we’re not even allowed to know. They resent the fact that when I ask these questions that they don’t have to give us information. That is why the bill to audit the Fed is the first step to ending the Federal Reserve.”

“I believe that we’ve had way too much bipartisanship for about 60 years. It’s the bipartisanship of the welfare system, the warfare system, the monetary system , the challenge to our civil liberties, it all goes through with support from both parties. This should be a challenge of the issue of philosophy. Good philosophy versus bad philosophy.'

“Force doesn’t work. It never works. The best way to get people to be more like us, if we’re doing a good job, is for us to have a sound economy, a sound dollar, treat people decently, have a foreign policy that makes common sense, and then maybe people would want to immulate us. But we can’t force it on other people.”

“The purpose of all political activity from my viewpoint is to promote liberty. Liberty is the most important element. Liberty comes from our Creator. It doesn’t come from our government. If we have a free society we can go about our business, do our very best, work toward virtuous things, and work toward excellence. When government takes over the role of making us virtuous and making us excellent and redistributing our wealth they only do it at the expense of liberty. Government should never be able to do anything you can’t do.”

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