Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Another Ron Paul topic

Rate this topic


iflyboats
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been digesting the criticisms of Ron Paul made recently by Objectivist thinkers Yaron Brook and psychologist Michael Hurd, Ph.D. They both seem to hold an overall negative view of Paul due largely to his foreign policy.

Admittedly, I'm not very knowledgeable about foreign affairs. My main concern in politics has always been domestic policy. I don't really like to think about the weirdos/degenerates in the middle east, and Ron Paul's foreign policy of just leaving them alone, withdrawing from that part of the world and saving the money to spend on ourselves was easy for me to latch onto when he ran in 2007-2008, which was my first foray into politics. However, I realize that not liking to think about foreign affairs doesn't justify neglecting to do so, and I now agree with the criticisms that Ron Paul's foreign policy is not aggressive enough and that, rather than retreating from the middle east, the US should crush states that sponsors terrorism.

Having said that, I'm still considering supporting Paul anyway, because in my judgment, the US government's financial behavior seems to be a much greater immediate threat to my well-being than any foreign enemy. I fear that, unless the next President takes a firm stance against deficit spending, monetary inflation and government intervention in the economy on principle, we will be likely to suffer a worst-case scenario of hyperinflation in conjunction with a massive government power grab, with the result being many years of outright misery in America. Ron Paul is the only one who clearly understands the cause of our economic problems and is committed to championing the principle of individual rights in economic life. He is also the only one I trust not to take advantage of the coming crisis to justify an even bigger and more dangerous power grab than the one that happened in 2008-2009.

Furthermore, it seems that a financial collapse brought about by a big-spending President would compromise our military strength even more than the errors in Ron Paul's foreign policy, so if he gives us the best chance to avoid such an outcome, he might actually do more to maintain our military strength than someone with a better foreign policy, but a reckless fiscal policy.

Finally... it's worth notice that it was Ron Paul's candidacy in 2007-2008 that got me interested in ideas and eventually led me to Objectivism. I went from Ron Paul to Austrian economics to "Gold and Economic Freedom" to Ayn Rand. Google trends suggests that the rise in popularity of Austrian economics corresponds almost perfectly to Ron Paul's rise to prominence in 2007-2008. I credit him with injecting this knowledge into the mainstream at a crucial moment in history, and for all his flaws, I suspect that he has had a net positive impact on political and economic thought in America.

Anyway, my question is, can I rationally continue to support Ron Paul based on my judgment that, under the dire circumstances, the value of his domestic policy outweighs the errors in his foreign policy? I don't want to support the wrong man due to an error in my thinking, but right now, I don't see a better alternative in the field (save for Gary Johnson, who doesn't have a chance). His campaign's volunteer office just opened up in my state, and I need to decide whether I'm going to help with his campaign or not. I would therefore appreciate any arguments as to why I should or should not support him.

Edited by iflyboats
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyway, my question is, can I rationally continue to support Ron Paul based on my judgment that, under the dire circumstances, the value of his domestic policy outweighs the errors in his foreign policy?
I know this does not speak to your question, but what exactly do you mean by "supporting him"? What actions does it entail? Does it entail something more than wishing he will be the GOP nominee and then win against Obama?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know this does not speak to your question, but what exactly do you mean by "supporting him"? What actions does it entail? Does it entail something more than wishing he will be the GOP nominee and then win against Obama?

If I decided to actively support him, it would include actions such as donating money to his campaign and probably serving as a delegate at the local caucus.

If I could also decide not to actively support him, but to merely vote for him as the least bad candidate in the field.

Or I could abandon him altogether. Given the alternatives, this option is unlikely, but still at least possible if I encounter a compelling reason to do so.

Edited by iflyboats
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are ignoring some essential facts.

The reality is that Ron Paul will never win. And even if he win, he would achieve nothing because the entire political system would oppose him. And even if he somehow gained dictatorial powers, he would only cause civil war because the 80% of Americans who derive a significant portion of their income from the state would riot.

In our current intellectual climate, advocacy of rational policies is inversely proportional with the probability of winning elections. And if that ever changes, the candidates won't need our support anymore.

So the real question is - why would anyone waste resources on politicians when there are real causes worth supporting?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are ignoring some essential facts.

The reality is that Ron Paul will never win. And even if he win, he would achieve nothing because the entire political system would oppose him. And even if he somehow gained dictatorial powers, he would only cause civil war because the 80% of Americans who derive a significant portion of their income from the state would riot.

In our current intellectual climate, advocacy of rational policies is inversely proportional with the probability of winning elections. And if that ever changes, the candidates won't need our support anymore.

So the real question is - why would anyone waste resources on politicians when there are real causes worth supporting?

If he did nothing except veto every spending bill that came out of congress for four years, that would be a BIG accomplishment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reality is that Ron Paul will never win.

A defeatist attitude easily becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.  

Anyway, with Rick Perry soon to abandon the race, even Ron Paul’s detractors should acknowledge that he has a real chance of winning the Republican nomination.  (As for the presidential election, any even halfway reasonable Republican candidate will win over Obama.)

But don’t look to Fox News for news about Ron Paul.  See this funny – and scary – series of video clips about Fox News and its bias against Ron Paul:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhNGoArBJuQ

Edited by Mark2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't really wish to speak to anything here, other than the doomed, defeatist attitude floated by many.

"I'm not voting for X because he/she has no chance of winning," is quite an egregious view to take on, well, anything. Why not give up on all and everything you support or believe in?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is true that the point to an election is to make the winner, not try to guess it.

That having been said, primary voters are in a different situation: they should be trying to pick a candidate for their party who can win the main (general) election. (Which makes open primaries counter-purpose since they allow Democrats to vote for the Republican who will be most damaging to the Republican party and vice versa--it's a primary inviting your enemies to help make your choices.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is why I encourage everyone I can to knock off their idling cries of Ron Paul having no chance, and voting in the primaries. It's his only chance. This isn't to say I specifically endorse Paul; I simply endorse trying to be part of the process, and not leaving the of picking candidates to the MSM and conservatives with plenty of time on their hands.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A defeatist attitude easily becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

You are delusional. That's OK. 99.99% of the electorate is as well.

There are three kinds of politician delusions:

1: Most voters are delusional about their candidate's chances of winning.

2: But more fundamentally, almost all voters are delusional about the ability of a politician to use political coercion to do good.

Almost all people suffer from the first two delusions. But the third is common as well:

3: The delusion that one can use the political system to impose limits on the political system.

For more on the third delusion, see http://www.dailypaul.com/139698/stefan-molyneux-on-ron-pauls-philosophies

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I simply endorse trying to be part of the process, and not leaving the of picking candidates to the MSM and conservatives with plenty of time on their hands.

This is a false dichotomy. Real intellectual activism is a million times more effective than wasting time and/or money on political campaigns. I will do more good with this forum than millions donated to Ron Paul.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are delusional. That's OK. 99.99% of the electorate is as well.

There are three kinds of politician delusions:

1: Most voters are delusional about their candidate's chances of winning.

2: But more fundamentally, almost all voters are delusional about the ability of a politician to use political coercion to do good.

Almost all people suffer from the first two delusions. But the third is common as well:

3: The delusion that one can use the political system to impose limits on the political system.

For more on the third delusion, see http://www.dailypaul...ls-philosophies

I think delusional is a bit extreme here. But I think you are mistaken about the intentions in supporting Ron Paul here. First, Ron Paul is far from being a complete shot in the dark as a candidate this time. Paul is polling in third place on average, and if Perry collapses, he will be in second. Moreover, there is the argument about this defeatist attitude being a self-fulfilling prophecy, which you didn't address. Ron has an actual chance to win the Republican nomination, but not if we all sit this out.

But for your second point, Ron has repeatedly said that he is not running to "lead the nation" and to exercise power on behalf of the forces of good. On the contrary, he is running to dismantle as much power as he can. He is the opposite of the typical Republican president in this regard. Certainly you would not object that a person with these intentions could accomplish a lot in the office of the President for four years?

For the third point, I don't think these are Ron's intentions at all. But even if we accepted this premise, that you believed this as a supporter of RP, it wouldn't really be an argument for not supporting him, just that your expectations of the end goal were mistaken. In the end, he knows that only the right moral ideas among the people can work. But RP knows this, and only seeks to eradicate as many invasions of liberty as he can whilst spreading the message of freedom and self-reliance from the bully pulpit. Surely, if you are an Objectivist or libertarian, it's hard to see how you could be opposed to this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a false dichotomy. Real intellectual activism is a million times more effective than wasting time and/or money on political campaigns. I will do more good with this forum than millions donated to Ron Paul.

I don't see casting a vote as a waste of either time or money.

I know that a lot of people on this forum aren't privy to the idea of voting for someone they don't agree with on every issue 100%, and talking about these things on the internet is fine, but I'll be voting in the primary and general (for Ron Paul, if Gary Johnson doesn't make any ground). Neither of which wastes my time or money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't really like to think about the weirdos/degenerates in the middle east, and Ron Paul's foreign policy of just leaving them alone, ... ...
After the recent killing of Aulaqi, Ron Paul came out criticizing the action. Of course, there ought to be a process process followed for such cases, and Paul is right there. However, his slant seems to be "we ought not to have killed him", while it ought to be "good we killed this particular guy, but there's a danger in principle which we should act to rectify". It is the Congress rather than the President who will have to be the source of such procedures and processes. People like Paul ought to be designing processes by which the U.S. government can kill those who are genuine threats to the country. When they do not, they should fully expect people like Obama to go ahead and do the right thing anyway, creating a longer-term risk, in principle.

Woods says it well, so I'll stop here and say "what he said".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

It really does not matter who is the president. The Constitution puts in place checks and balances that were designed to keep politicians and the federal government in its proper place and its hands off us, our children and our property.

What really can make a difference is the people getting involved with their government at the local level.

Did you know -- that your county sheriff, acting within the boundaries of his jurisdiction, has more power than the president of the United States and is subject to the will of the people?

One of the biggest problems we are facing as a nation is the federalization of everything.

Learn how to educate your sheriff. He can even kick out from his county the illegal agency that is the Internal Revenue Service. Yes, it's true.

Watch the western states closely these days. There is a big movement, especially in Arizona and New Mexico in which they are kicking the feds off their state lands left and right and returning the lands into the hands of the people, where it belongs.

The idea is growing and is incredibly effective and is in need of intelligent people to help it grow.

Ron Paul is certainly a good guy and I would like to see him become president, but, quite frankly, folks, we don't really need him. We can take back our states and our property rights one county at a time.

Educate your sheriff.

The sheriffs I have met and spoke with love me. They had no idea their position was so powerful -- and many of them are acting accordingly.

Get involved at the local level. That is the key to the whole thing.

Washington D.C. is a goner, is a lost cause. If there is anyone who thinks they can make any difference by voting for the president -- I have some ocean front property here in Arizona I'd love to sell ya.

Your county sheriff is your last chance to save your America, folks. That's no joke.

Do your research and check out what I am saying and watch what we're doing here in the west and join in.

We're actually doing it, not just talking about it, not chasing our tails. You can do the same. We can do it -- you can do it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And wouldn't ya know it? This just in this morning. This is just the sort of thing I am talking about. Check this article by Larry Pratt, writing about some of our friends in New Mexico doing the right thing...

NEW MEXICO SHERIFFS STANDING TALL

By Larry Pratt

November 22, 2011

NewsWithViews.com

GOA member Dr. Ray Seidel alerted me to the stirring of freedom that is taking place in his village of Ruidoso, New Mexico. I have already reported on the first battle with Mayor Ray Alborn and how he tried to impose an unconstitutional gun ban in the village. To get the full story of what happened in Ruidoso, you can go here and listen to my first debriefing session with Seidel.

I recently interviewed Dr. Seidel a second time on my Gun Owners News Hour weekly radio program and asked him about several acts of local interposition in the surrounding counties -- all of which underscores the importance of the office of the sheriff and the militia.

For example, over near Deming, New Mexico is the Gila National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service wanted to make almost all of it off limits for people -- until the militia of Luna County intervened. They told the feds that they would resist any effort by the Forest Service to restrict access to visitors. The result? Visitors have continued to access all of the Gila National Forest!

In the Southeast corner of the state, many landowners have working oil wells on their property. The EPA told the oil operators they would have to stop operating their wells because there was too much risk of harming the environment. At a town hall meeting convened by the EPA, a woman in her 60s rose to address the feds. She pointed out that her land had been in her family for over 200 years, and she was not about to let some official from an unconstitutional bureaucracy tell her what she could or could not do with her land.

The woman ended by warning the feds that her family has many guns and a huge supply of ammunition, and they would use all of it if needed to keep the EPA off of their land. The locals who had packed out the hearing room jumped to their feet with a shout and prolonged applause. That was in August of this year. As of November, oil is still being pumped at full tilt.

In Otero County, villages in the mountains are surrounded by forests. The county commission voted to establish an 80,000 acre plan to manage forest overgrowth. Residents wanted to cut fire breaks to protect their homes in Cloudcroft, but the Forest Service said, “No.” The residents responded that they had to for safety’s sake and were going to construct the fire break in spite of the Forest Service. Residents were told that if they cut down any trees, they would be arrested. But Sheriff Raymond Cobos told the Forest Service that if they made any arrests, they would be arrested for false arrest.

Not only were the trees cut down with no opposition from the feds, the first tree was cut down by Congressman Steve Pearce (R-2nd District). Would that there were many more like Rep. Pearce. The folks in the Second District are blessed with a constitution-supporting congressman and a number of constitutional sheriffs backed by the militias of their counties. This is the way that local governments can push back and help the feds to live within the limitations that have been placed upon them in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.

As you can see, there’s a lot happening in New Mexico. And Dr. Seidel has been at the center of a lot of it. Two weeks after the people of Ruidoso prevailed in the gun ban debate, Mayor Alborn decided to seek revenge. He went to the state capital of Santa Fe and met with federal officials there. That same week, Seidel got a notice from the IRS that he had until a certain date to file his taxes, which he has refused to do for several years.

Seidel makes no secret of his refusal to submit to the IRS which he considers as part of an unconstitutional regime in Washington. The IRS intended to encumber his assets if he did not bend his knee. Seidel visited with the county sheriff who understood what Seidel was trying to do and told him he “would have his back.” The same was true for the village police chief – the same officer who refused to have his men arrest people who were defying the Ruidoso gun ban by carrying openly in the village council chambers.

Not only was the sheriff and police chief alerted to the possibility of IRS action against Seidel, but so was the militia in Lincoln County – some 200 plus men who keep their rifle and battle bag in their vehicles 24/7. They can muster in about 30 minutes at any place in the county.

Seidel visited with the village assessor, who would be the official to place the encumbrances on his assets. Seidel explained (as he does with everyone) that Title 42, Chapter 1, Subchapter 1, Section 1983 of the federal code would be used to sue her personally for violating his civil rights -- that is, he would sue her if any of his assets were encumbered without having first secured a warrant from an Article III court.

Seidel has frequently argued that he will gladly submit to a federal court (authorized under Article III of the U.S. Constitution) as opposed to a mere tax court (which is an unconstitutional creature within the IRS). As with many administrative agencies, the combining of legislative, executive and judicial powers within the same four walls constitutes the very definition of tyranny which James Madison warned us about in Federalist 47.

Seidel has used Title 42 on other occasions. One involved a state trooper with an anger management problem who made a false arrest on Seidel’s son. Since being served with a Title 42 suit, the officer has been able to control his anger.

The deadline is long past, and the IRS has done nothing, so the assessor is off the hook for now. But New Mexico is becoming a text book example of how the Founding Fathers envisioned the states would rein in an out-of-control government.

bscribe to t

As stated by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 28: “It may safely be received as an axiom in our political system that the State governments will, in all possible contingencies, afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority.”

If there were more sheriffs like those in New Mexico serving around the country, we would be well on the way to safeguarding our liberties against Washington’s “invasions of the public liberty.” It also might occur to the Congress that more examples of sheriffs interposing themselves might result in shrinking down the federal government to do little more than just funding the national defense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I don't agree with the argument "foreign policy is the only thing he's wrong on, therefor he's better than someone who is solid on foreign policy (Gingrich) but not on everything else.

The problem is, out of all the activities of the federal government, foreign policy is the only one almost entirely under the influence of the White House. That is where a President can affect the most change, without the cooperation of Congress. While President Paul would have no real power to do anything about cutting back the federal government (except force an overall shutdown by vetoing budget bills - which would not be good), he would have the power to violate American commitments to our allies, and abandon them in the face of increasing threats.

And he made it very clear that he intends to do exactly that. He just didn't put it that way, instead he never acknowledges that those commitments even exist.

That's why I will vote for Libertarians for Congress, or local governments, but not for President.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Why don't Objectivists like Ron Paul" - WMDs, once aquired, give a man such an disproportional ability to destroy people and things, that they must never fall into the hands of frustrated malcontents. Foreign policy should revolve around so that there is never a possibility that one group of cultists can derail two and a halt thousand years of progress.

Ron Paul's message of freedom is of some benefit, but the reality is he wouldn't make a good president because he would not be willing to do the president's job. This job is so important that I don't care if our government does stuff it isn't supposed to, maintaing the security of the western world and managing the most powerful military on the planet is way to important to put in the hands of someone who follows such a reactionary stance on the matter. However, I am not sure if America's current mode of foreign policy thinking is any better.

If people really want the government to be for capitalism, what they have to do is start spredding capitalists ideology among those people who serve in the government (Not politicians, the few people who actually work) . A goernment won't change if the head is replaced but every member of it still carries the same attitudes towards government. Military and police (such as Sheriffs like above) should be the first people, then other legitimat civil servants. Eventually society will realize that they have no real choice what kind of government they have becaue the only people who can actually run a government are all capitalists.

Edited by Hairnet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I've listened to what Yaron Brook said about Ron.

Oh my God.

To think that there was someone who could mischaractarise Ron more than Fox. He had fun with his strawman.. maybe he will talk about Ron next time.

violate American commitments to our allies, and abandon them in the face of increasing threats.

I thought the goverment of the US had commitments to its people and not to its allies.

By allies I know you don't mean Israel since they are the only ones with nukes in the region and have said a dozen times that they don't need the help of the US.

By enemies I know you don't mean Iran because they aren't even planing to make a nuke and are in the middle of a recession.

South Korea and Japan have the strongest non nuclear military in the World.... Germany isn't threatened by anyone at least not militarily.

Afghanistan isn't threatened... it's in war.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyway, my question is, can I rationally continue to support Ron Paul based on my judgment that, under the dire circumstances, the value of his domestic policy outweighs the errors in his foreign policy?

Supporting a political candidate without fully agreeing with him can be rational. In fact it would be irrational to treat Obama and Ron Paul in the same manner, just because you have disagreements with both.

So, in some manner, you should support whichever candidate you like the most. Personally, I would choose Gary Johnson or even Gingrich over Paul, but you could make an argument for either of these three.

The question is, how much of your time and money would it be rational to spend on that support. Again, my personal answer is: not very much. I prefer to spend most of my time and money on furthering my life directly, and the rest on supporting fully rational ideas outside the realm of campaign politics. Aside from speaking up in favor of these candidates if the subject comes up and someone is genuinely interested in my opinion, I won't bother supporting any of the current presidential candidates. The main arguments for my decision are that 1. they're not that great (except for Johnson, he's pretty good), and 2. the guy who's pretty good doesn't stand much of a chance.

But, as long as you enjoy it an regard it as an opportunity to make new friends and learn new things, I think it can be rational to get involved with the Paul campaign. Just don't get your hopes up on the immediate results.

Edited by Nicky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought the goverment of the US had commitments to its people and not to its allies.

No, the US government has all kinds of commitments to its allies. And rightfully so: alliances are very important.

By allies I know you don't mean Israel since they are the only ones with nukes in the region and have said a dozen times that they don't need the help of the US.

By enemies I know you don't mean Iran because they aren't even planing to make a nuke and are in the middle of a recession.

You know wrong. And I wish you'd just make your point, instead of telling me what I mean or don't mean.

Edited by Nicky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...