Oct 11 2007
11:59 am

I've seen a lot of political bumper stickers popping onto the windshields of cars with Tennessee plates, and a surprising (alarming?) number of them coming out early for Ron Paul.

My first glance at him was on the Bill Maher show a while back, and he did make some noises that indicated to me that he was fairly sensible.

It doesn't take long after scratching the surface, however, to see that the Looney Tunes have their stealth candidate fighting for prominence on the GOP primary ballot.

I find it interesting to read treatises about "real meanings" on a candidate's website. It's sort of like reading the lyrical felt-tip improvisations on the walls of your finer truck stop restrooms.

Here's the core governing philosophy of Ron Paul in this nut's shell:

“…man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.” --Ronald Reagan

"If me auntie had bollocks, she'd be me uncle." --David Brent (aka Ricky Gervais)

Every time a Republican strokes the Reagan legacy for rhetorical effect in this campaign: "I'm a guy in a Reagan mask - and I'm running for President!"

Here we go again...

This is an advertising technique known as "transference." Paul is trying to assume the mantle of the legacy of Ronald Reagan - but not Reagan as you know him! The "true" Ronald Reagan!

If you look at the actual history of the Reagan years, you will not see the practice of limited government, only the rhetoric of limited government. Reagan was, as he was beginning his irreversable slide into senile dementia, an activist for reviving the American imperial legacy. See: Nicaragua. El Salvador. Grenada. Iran . He involved the presidency in labor disputes. The Strategic Defense Initiative and the MX missle programs expanded the already gargantuan state commitment to building an offensive capacity, lovingly and euphemistically referred to as "defense." Remember this as Paul maunders on about "meanings" - and distinguishing "real" meaning - throughout this scribble and scrawl.

George Orwell wrote about “meaningless words” that are endlessly repeated in the political arena.

Rhetoric is more art than science, but this is one of the more ham-fisted attempts to introduce a new lexicon that I've seen in a Republican campaign.

So, Orwell wrote about the impact of propaganda on the political process, eh? So did Noam Chomsky, but the name of Orwell is much more loaded in a good way, at least in the fever-brain of Ron Paul, M.D. What false medicine is the doctor prescribing here? Anyone else see a zygote of deep irony developing already? Hint: The Presidential campaign is a part and parcel of the American __________ arena. Context is everything.

The problem is that democracy is not freedom. Democracy is simply majoritarianism, which is inherently incompatible with real freedom.

Let's look up the meaning of the word "dissemble:" "to put on a false appearance : conceal facts, intentions, or feelings under some pretense"

A republic - which is this thing for which The Quack is advocating - isn't freedom, either. It's a vehicle for representing large numbers of people indirectly. Markets aren't freedom either. They're a vehicle for engaging in exchange of goods, services, and currency.

Should we also look up the word "tradition" or the phrase "operational definition?"

Words have meanings, yes - but they also have connotations and understandings and points of reference. This sort of self-serving exercise in Constitutional hermeneutics should be reasonably transparent, but still, a lot of people fall into this particular trap; that is, that the "Founding Fathers" have some specific frame that demands strict adherence.

Civics 101: Disentangling our notions of "democracy" with the connotation of "freedom" is but flecks of spittle on the LCD.

Simply put, freedom is the absence of government coercion.

Even more simply put: "Vote for me so I can govern by not governing." This is an impossible mandate, the hallmark of the radicalized political ghetto quaintly known as Libertarianism.

The Constitution established a very limited, decentralized government to provide national defense and little else. States, not the federal government, were charged with protecting individuals against criminal force and fraud.

Seems to me that there was this interval during the sixth decade of the 19th century that put these notions to the test. Then there was this interval during fifth and sixth decades of the 20th century involving those same darned principalities invoking "statehood" and "self-determination" as being rights more inalienable (albeit more arbitrary) than the right to, oh, free association.

"All men are created equal" is a trope that doesn't appear in our Constitution, either. It just took the "coercion" of the federal government to make sure that black people wouldn't be garotted for exercising the right to vote or to sit at a lunch counter, e.g. States' rights have long been a banner for American apartheid, and for this reason alone, Doctor Paul should come under far more intense scrutiny. It astounds me that people who I know who should know better support this sort of drivel by leaving it unexamined.

Few Americans understand that all government action is inherently coercive.

"All." Even the government actions proposed by Libertarian politicos!

This is code for government = unmitigated bad, markets = unparalleled good. Let's remember that we're talking about human activities here. And if you really want to get down to courses, a corporation is arguably more a of a rigid, totalitarian undertaking than the government for which The Quack has The Cure.

To modern liberals, men are free only when the laws of economics and scarcity are suspended, the landlord is rebuffed, the doctor presents no bill, and groceries are given away.

The Yankee myth of self-sufficiency: "Your basic needs are opportunities for profit. NEVER FORGET THAT. Eating, paying rent, and access to medical care should be difficult, and are necessarily subject to the inalienable right to engage in commerce."

As an aside: he's only left the Libertarian fondness for portable high-powered projectile weaponry off the menu. The best way that you guarantee your own freedoms in Liber-meri-topia is by coercing others to leave you alone at the point of a firearm.

But philosopher Ayn Rand (and many others before her) demolished this argument by explaining how such “freedom” for some is possible only when government takes freedoms away from others.

Let there no longer be any doubt: Ron Paul is a Republican of convenience. Anyone invoking the Holy Name of Ayn is preaching to a specific choir.

Note how this line of logic goes - access to inexpensive groceries takes away someone else's freedom. Universal access to quality medical care takes away someone else's freedom.

Remember how he harped on the point that "democracy" isn't "freedom?"

What freedom is he talking about here? He's talking about the freedom for you to be gouged by an insurer, or to be fleeced by the grocer, or to be subject to the whims of the landlord's boat payment schedule.

Newsflash: Profit ain't freedom either. It's merely the difference between what it cost you to produce and the inflated price that you charged to someone else that perceived some value in your offer.

If we hope to remain free, we must cut through the fog

(Unless it's a big cloud of marijuana smoke, which is a staple in the Libertarian diet...)

...and attach concrete meanings to the words politicians use to deceive us.

Reminder: Ron Paul is a poltician. By any chance, is he using words to ask you to buy into his deception?

We must reassert that America is a republic, not a democracy, and remind ourselves that the Constitution places limits on government that no majority can overrule.

Fair enough. The problem is that people hear this part and ignore everything else.

We must resist any use of the word “freedom” to describe state action.

If your impulse is to ascribe "freedom" to the exercise of mercantile power, seek qualified medical attention.

Andy Axel's picture

Mission accomplished


Who needs bait when you have barrel, fish, and a quarter-stick?

It's so easy with y'all. Thanks for helping to prove my point.


"Respect mah authoritah!" - Fred Cartman Thompson

Andy Axel's picture

Harry Browne Cries

One of his favorite cites was a fellow traveler, in a BIG WAY.

Which ones weren't?

Mordant chuckles rule at my household every time he quotes Vonnegut.


Society demands coercion. Show me a national entity that practices any different.

Freedom is an ideal. Democracy, Republic, Capitalism? Systems. That's not even apples and oranges. It's apples and styrofoam.

If elected, the "statism" that he so stridently decries will be wholly intact, and it will take a sum-total of five minutes in office before he's swimming in the same sewer he decries in such Puritan terms today. He's the Kucinich of the GOP - Paul's sole purpose is to appeal to and to flank what he can of the fringe.

Have fun infecting the herd. Moo. Moo. Moo.


"Respect mah authoritah!" - Fred Cartman Thompson

Johnny Ringo's picture

What are you saying here?

I really don't get your point. Is this just a general anti-Libertarian rant, or are you trying to prove that Paul is a Libertarian? Cause I thought that was already pretty well understood already.

Andy Axel's picture

I really don't get your

I really don't get your point.

I'm not surprised.

Is this just a general anti-Libertarian rant, or are you trying to prove that Paul is a Libertarian?

Nope, and nope.


"Respect mah authoritah!" - Fred Cartman Thompson

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


Upcoming events:

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Search and Archives