Libertarians might balk at this statement. After all, the Constitution gives the federal government the right to steal (Taxation is Theft!) and kill, and failed to restrain that government from overstepping the boundaries set up to contain those powers. As an anarcho-capitalist, I have concluded that no piece of paper can contain an entity that is given this type of power. People say to me that a “voluntary society” is a utopian fantasy, but I say the notion of “self-limiting government” is the utopian fantasy!
Yet, if there is a social contract (and I’m not saying there is 🙂 ), the Constitution is that contract, and after much reflection, I believe that if the Constitution, both the letter and the spirit it of it as agreed to over 200 years ago, were obeyed, we might actually have a just government in this modern world.
I continue to believe the Constitution’s fatal flaw is that it created a central government so powerful that it could not contain it, but I also believe that having a clear written contract between the government and the people provides the unambiguous, unifying moral, legal and intellectual grounds for the people’s resistance to tyranny. This is why Obama and others with an ideology that calls for a fundamental transformation of the United States object to the clear premise underlying the Constitution: the rights of the individual surpass the power of the state. This is also why I disagree with those who call for a Constitutional convention–we are not going to create today a more perfect document than our founders managed to create on a clean slate during the Age of Enlightenment! This reasoning may contribute to why both Ron Paul and Derrick Grayson (and so many other good libertarians) will never waver from defending the plain meaning of the Constitution, and I respect their position.
I have believed that Donald Trump’s campaign was an inside job ever since his initial comments about Hispanic immigrants gained traction by an obviously manipulated story about a woman shot on a pier in San Francisco as well as a ridiculous story about El Chapo (likely a psyop in himself) angrily tweeting at The Donald within 24 hours of allegedly escaping prison. Since then, Trump has received BILLIONS of dollars in free media advertising, in large part from CNN which has a long history of putting agenda before ratings and whose agenda most certainly is NOT to have a Republican in the White House.
Stories that build through media and government spin serve agendas in my observation, and once you get the hang of the pattern it’s easy to see them unfold from the earliest stages–so it was with The Trump Train. There is also a well-established rule for such operations: use them to serve more than one agenda if possible. Again, The Trump Train fits the bill.
With the histrionics between Trump & Cruz unfolding like a scripted reality show, it seemed more was in the offing than merely getting Hill the win. I surmised aloud that the goal would be to reshape the GOP nominating process to prevent not another Trump, but another Ron Paul, who actually did give the establishment a run for its money as evidenced by their “ignore you better still” approach to his powerful challenge. I also worried aloud that the establishment would take this opportunity to neuter or co-opt the Libertarian Party. Is this what’s happening now? I always say if it’s easy to predict the consequences of certain actions, they are unlikely to be “unintended.” What do you think, is this stuff part of the plan?
Just for the record, I am not a member of the Libertarian Party–I go the Full Rothbard–and I’m not a fan of the sanitized–even corporatized or compromised–libertarianism found at Cato, the Reason Foundation & Fox News, but I have always supported voting Libertarian as a way to register your protest to the liberal-fascist center represented by both the Republicans and the Democrats.
I began my show this past Saturday explaining that even though Rand Paul dropped out of the race, he is still on the Georgia Republican primary ballot and I’m going to vote for him. I’m also going to vote Libertarian in the general election, as always. I use my vote–my vote–to register my protest to the liberal-fascist center (a term I coined 20 years ago when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, though others have used similar expressions since.) Immediately upon making that statement on the air, I got these tweets…
@MonicaPerezShow your initial statements about your (protest) vote proves to me your opinion means nothing. Spew opinion then vote 4 losers
@MonicaPerezShow you realize that your protest votes & people’s protest by not voting arguably allowed Obama to get a 2nd term
Does Your Vote Count or Doesn’t It?
When Ron Paul was running for president both in 2008 and 2012, I voted for him. The reason was simple: his political views were closest to my own and his claims that he would employ them while in office were uniquely credible because they were backed up by his past behavior. The argument against voting for him proffered by many was that he couldn’t win.
It might be true that Ron Paul couldn’t win, but only because he was attacked by the establishment and blacked out by the media. In a no-media race between Paul and Romney in Virginia, Paul got 40% of the vote. Given Virginia’s proximity to DC and the clear Establishment-approval for Romney, 40% for Dr. Paul is close enough to qualify as a run for the money. In Iowa, despite widespread accusations of anti-Paul fraud, Paul earned 22% of the vote, close behind the front-runners Santorum & Romney, each of whom got 25%. Ron Paul did amazingly well against tremendous opposition forces. There were reports and evidence of fraud against Ron Paul’s vote count not only in Iowa, but also in Maine,Nevada and elsewhere, as well as allegations of widespread coercion of Ron Paul delegates. Republican politicians and pundits singled out Ron Paul as the only potential nominee who would not get their votes. I distinctly remember Dick Morris on Iowa caucus day 2012 saying, “A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for Barack Obama.”
Big Government Do-or-Die for the GOP
As it turned out, however, the votes for Romney were the votes for Obama! The Republican Establishment put up the one candidate who did not have the moral high ground in that single issue election, and it was no coincidence. According to modern Republicanism’s founding father Irving Kristol’s definitive, Neo-Conservatism: The Auto-biography of an Idea, the new Republican party would embrace a conservative welfare state which would be marked by things like mandatory health insurance and even socialized medicine:
The basic principle behind a conservative welfare state ought to be a simple one: Wherever possible, people should be allowed to keep their own money—rather than having it transferred (via taxes) to the state—on condition that they put it to certain defined uses.
It gets worse:
One wonders what would happen if all the money spent on Great Society programs had been used to institute, in however modest a way, just two universal reforms: (1) children’s allowance, as already described, and (2) some form of national health insurance? My own surmise is that the country would be in much better shape today.
The power that comes with Big Government is all they’re after…
Unless and until the Republican party is willing to overcome its book-keeping inhibitions and become a truly political party, it will be of only marginal significance which faction is in control, or which candidate it proposes.
Letting them scare us into validating their statist candidates with our votes is how the Big Government transformation of traditional conservatism continues to our dismay.
The Establishment argue that they choose so-called moderates like Romney to bring people together but that’s a lie. It’s simply Big Government do-or-die for this crowd. The truth is, Ron Paul was the one who could have been the great uniter, bringing together fiscal conservatives on the right, the war-weary from the left disillusioned by Obama, and civil libertarians across the board. It is in the American DNA to recognize the inherent justice in the compromise of the Founders: rather than use the government to serve some at the expense of others, use government to protect the rights of individuals and allow them to solve problems as they see fit. Rather than the cronyist compromise of Welfare & Warfare for All, Ron Paul offered the all-American individualist compromise of Liberty & Justice for All, and if Americans had voted their consciences (and the voting were fair and square), Ron Paul would have won.
So if “Ron Paul couldn’t win” not because he couldn’t garner enough votes but because the Establishment wouldn’t allow it whether by media manipulation or outright voter fraud, isn’t that reason enough to give up on voting “the party?” If they would never let a truly principled man-of-the-people win, then why validate their candidate with your vote?
If the Trump Phenomenon Is Real…
Paradoxically, voters this election cycle seem to have no problem reconciling the conviction that Trump could win with the claim that the Establishment is against him–a claim that in itself needs reconciling with the fact that the mainstream media gives him the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars of free advertising. There is obviously something funny going on here, but even if there isn’t–even if the Trump Phenomenon is what-you-see-is-what-you-get through and through–isn’t that in itself proof that an outsider can win if only the voting public had the courage of their convictions? And who can make the choice to stick to convictions? Only the individual–only the one person with his one vote.
The Saint Peter Test
That brings me to my final point. When I stress-out about what’s happening in the world and the evil perpetrated by an unaccountable power elite, my mother accuses me of a lack of faith. “God is up in his Heaven and all will unfold as it should. Why do you worry so much?” Maybe she’s right and I do have a lack of faith, but I do worry about this world and feel that we are here for a reason: to operate in this world as best we can, not to abandon it to evil by chalking it up to God’s Plan (though it may be!) Whatever meaning there is to life on Earth, I think part of it must be to do our best in the here and now, otherwise, why would we even be here? That said, however, I do have enough faith to worry about Judgment Day and whether or not my actions will pass the St. Peter Test. When it comes to voting the party line, here is specifically what I’m afraid of…
When St. Peter asks me to explain why I voted for evil, I’m not sure he’s going to fall for the answer, “Oh, you don’t understand–I voted for the lesser of two evils.” He might say, “There were others on the ballot–we always make sure there’s a good one on there, but hardly anyone ever votes for him.” “Oh,” I would have to add, “I thought it would be better to compromise my principles and try to game the system–after all, who wins is all that matters.” “You have it all wrong,” I’m afraid St. Peter might answer. “It doesn’t matter one bit who wins–the power-mongers are all evil as you know, and of course God is up in his Heaven and all will unfold as it should….Your actions are all we really care about. God has given you the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, the capacity to reason and the gift of free will. All you can do is use these tools to make your own choices. All we’re watching for is if you stick to your principles. That‘s the test. That‘s the whole reason you were there.” I just don’t want my Final Answer to have to be, “Oops.”
Every time I go down the road of whether or not to sacrifice an outcome so I can stick with my principles, I end up realizing that sticking to the principles results in the best outcome anyway. That’s why they are The Principles, because they result in The Good. If everyone voted their consciences in 2008 and 2012 instead of falling for the lesser-of-two-evils trap set by the power elite, we’d be celebrating a President Ron Paul instead of lamenting a President Obama.
I almost lost faith in Rand Paul. For awhile there, he seemed to be siding with the histrionic GOP establishment in the worst way, reaching his nadir, in my opinion, when he signed the famous letter to Iran. I started to wonder if Rand had gotten a taste for power and, like every other sitting politician on the national stage I can think of, was willing to do whatever it took to get and use that power. However, one nagging thought kept me from giving up on Rand: How could someone who was raised by Ron Paul, who had shared an apartment with him upon arriving in DC, be just another self-serving senator? I couldn’t imagine it. Just being exposed to Ron Paul from afar gives me the courage of my convictions, I couldn’t imagine that living with him, being his son, wouldn’t give a man enough courage for a lifetime. Fortunately, as Rand’s campaign unfolded, my faith was restored, and today, as he withdraws from the presidential race, I see him serving the greater purpose I had hoped he would.
Ron Paul spent many years shouting into the wind, or so it seemed. Possibly the best-ever Saturday Night Live skit
Hewitt should hold up Churchill’s fire bombing of Dresden, the very term “carpet-bombing,” and Truman’s use of nuclear weapons for an unconditional surrender he did not get (the Japanese Emperor is STILL in place), against the tenets of a just war:
Principles of the Just War
A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified.
A war is just only if it is waged by a legitimate authority. Even just causes cannot be served by actions taken by individuals or groups who do not constitute an authority sanctioned by whatever the society and outsiders to the society deem legitimate.
A just war can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered. For example, self-defense against an armed attack is always considered to be a just cause (although the justice of the cause is not sufficient–see point #4). Further, a just war can only be fought with “right” intentions: the only permissible objective of a just war is to redress the injury.
A war can only be just if it is fought with a reasonable chance of success. Deaths and injury incurred in a hopeless cause are not morally justifiable.
The ultimate goal of a just war is to re-establish peace. More specifically, the peace established after the war must be preferable to the peace that would have prevailed if the war had not been fought.
The violence used in the war must be proportional to the injury suffered. States are prohibited from using force not necessary to attain the limited objective of addressing the injury suffered.
The weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Civilians are never permissible targets of war, and every effort must be taken to avoid killing civilians. The deaths of civilians are justified only if they are unavoidable victims of a deliberate attack on a military target.
Update (4/5/2016):Even this theory isn’t enough for some libertarians…I just saw this at https://www.lewrockwell.com/
I was tickled to find that Mary Barbee, a fan of the show and a local political activist, decided to open a Bartow County Chapter of the Campaign for Liberty, the organization founded by Ron Paul in 2008 to keep the momentum going after his inspiring presidential bid. Dr. Paul also established the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership (FACL) to teach conservative and libertarian principles across the country. Mary and C4L want to bring FACL here, all they need is a small group of people interested in attending and they will come to us. Here’s more from Mary…
Campaign for Liberty offers one-day classes for liberty-lovers like you! Classes are taught by highly effective leaders, all experienced members of the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership.
Normally, you might have to wait for months for a class near your home town, but the
Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership has agreed to come to US if we can gather a group of twenty or more interested participants.
In the class, you will learn how to become an effective grassroots leader, making a real
difference in your community, and ultimately the nation, by controlling your local political environment.
Please contact me so that we can add your name to a growing list of individuals with shared conservative values. Then we will decide on a date that works for everyone.
Thanks, and hope to hear from you soon!
Bartow County Chapter
Campaign for Liberty
What do I think it is? I think it is that power is concentrated in the hands of those with different goals from the people from whom that power derives. I call the top of the pyramid “the power elite” and the source of the power “the sovereign citizen,” but whatever you call it, you have probably noticed the disconnect between our agents, the government we pay for and which acts in our name, and our wishes – better reflected in campaign promises than legislation.
But what can we do? I always answer this question in the same way: Start by not talking yourself out of the truth.
During the last presidential primary season, I advocated for Ron Paul. I didn’t stump for him – I’m an anarcho-capitalist and have no hope for coercive monopoly government no matter who holds the top title – but I do respect Ron Paul and supported him. In response to my suggestion that people actually vote for him, I got two arguments: