Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”     Upton Sinclair

January 18, 2008

More On The Ron Paul Newsletter Story

by Doug Mataconis

Julian Sanchez, who co-authored a Reason article detailing the history behind the Ron Paul newsletters, responds today to some of the criticism that has been thrown his way:

First, Paul was not going to be the next president, or even the next Republican nominee, in any parallel universe remotely close to ours. We have not deep-sixed the Paul Administration. The movement behind Paul is a good thing to the extent it raises awareness about our ideas, and demonstrates that there really is a constituency for a candidate who talks about peace and small government. And the best thing that could happen from that perspective, I think, is for Paul to come clean and ensure that people don’t start thinking of “property rights,” like “states rights,” as some kind of bad-faith codeword for racism.

Second, do people think this story wouldn’t have come out if we hadn’t run it? Jamie Kirchick was on exactly the same trail we were, and so was John Tabin at the Spectator, and so, probably, were others. The question was whether we’d break it, dispelling the impression that libertarians are happy to wink at racism, or whether someone far more hostile to Paul would.

Sanchez’s entire post is worth a read, and I pretty much agree with everything he has to say there.

In other news, David Weigel reports some interesting news:

I just had a conversation with Tom Lizardo, Ron Paul’s longtime congressional chief of staff, who wanted to say this on the record:

Last week, a statement was prepared by Ron Paul’s press secretary Jesse Benton, and approved by Ron Paul, acknowledging Lew Rockwell as having a role in the newsletters. The statement was squashed by campaign chairman Kent Snyder

Curious.

TrackBack URI: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2008/01/18/more-on-the-ron-paul-newsletter-story/trackback/
Read more posts from
• • •

35 Comments

  1. When are you guys going to start thinking about the real injustice that is happening to the electoral process in this country right now instead of wasting your and our time beating this dead horse issue of 20 year old newsletters?

    Paul and Kucinich the only two anti-war candidates have been totally ignored and marginalized by the corporate media. So the American people only hear the views of those candidates that tow the line with the military industrial complex. This is going to have a much greater and lasting impact to your lives, the lives of your families and the rest of this nation than a handful of comments that were not made by Dr Paul in some old newsletters.

    You’ve already seen the disastrous effect of Bushco and the war in Iraq. Well, thanks to inept, blinkered and small minded journalism we’ll soon be enjoying life under Hitlery or Ghouliani and a war in Iran. Keep beating that dead horse guys while the real, tangible racism continues in the form of bombs on innocent Muslims and a war on drugs that is greatly biased towards minorities. The great thing is you get to pay for these awesome racist wars via taxation and the hidden tax of inflation.

    So while you’re beating your dead horse you’re complicit in the racism directed toward Muslims. Good job guys!!

    Comment by DefendTheConstitution — January 18, 2008 @ 2:34 pm
  2. DTC,

    For all his faults, Ron Paul doesn’t deserve be mentioned in the same sentence with the tinfoil hat wearing Dennis Kucinch (D., Rigel 7).

    And I post about because it’s news.

    And, oh yeah, wake up and realize that Ron Paul isn’t going to be President and that, even if he did have a chance, I seriously doubt that anything I write is going to have significant impact on his campaign.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 18, 2008 @ 2:36 pm
  3. Doug,

    Last week, a statement was prepared by Ron Paul’s press secretary Jesse Benton, and approved by Ron Paul, acknowledging Lew Rockwell as having a role in the newsletters. The statement was squashed by campaign chairman Kent Snyder

    Hell of a campaign Ron Paul’s running. The press secretary goes to the trouble of writing up a statement with the approval of the candidate, the campaign chairman goes against the candidate and quashes it. Who exactly is supposed to be in charge over there? And why should we assume that somehow things would be more organized or competent if he did win?

    I just feel sorry for all of the sane Paul supporters who spent their time investing themselves in a candidate who’s apparently done everything possible to submarine his own campaign. About the only thing that could be worse is if the cops raided Ron Paul’s house and found the skins of little children in the attic.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 18, 2008 @ 2:49 pm
  4. Doug,

    This election isn’t about picking the winning horse. My point is that it is small minded journalism like this which completely misses the big issues that face this nation and dangerously undermines the political discourse – public political discourse that only happens every four years.

    Instead of getting into petty arguments about tenuous allegations of bigotry how about appealing to a higher standard of journalism that focuses on the big picture issues that I explained above? The issues that affect people’s lives directly, right now.

    Perhaps if journalists did focus on the real issues a candidate like Ron Paul who does focus on the issues rather than promoting vague notions of “change”, “experience” and islamo-fascist terrorist fears would stand a better chance.

    Like I said, this is not a horse race so a statement like “wake up and realize Ron Paul isn’t going to be President” is meaningless to me. We should be voting on principles not on the fastest horse in the race.

    Comment by DefendTheConstitution — January 18, 2008 @ 3:23 pm
  5. Not a single person has said they think Ron Paul is a racist in any way. His own writings are the best response and understanding I’ve ever seen on the racism topic, and explained it better than I even thought of, and these writings get not attention, not even in the interest of being fair.

    And for this reason, I’ve got people trying to tell me I shouldn’t vote for him, or that I’ve wasted my time? They stop right about there, and never recommend someone else, why is that? Because there is nobody else who even comes close to being right on the issues that actually matter.

    You can make all the cop outs you want, don’t care. The fact will still be that you were one of the ones who made a big deal out of nothing, while ignoring the real issues we face. And that sir, makes you part of the problem.

    Comment by badmedia — January 18, 2008 @ 3:52 pm
  6. Please do not take the moral highroad on this despicable smear and character assassination of the only principled man in Washington, as if there is a need to know that twenty years ago some politically incorrect remarks were made in a newsletter that Dr. Paul did not write. If you are so conscientious why did we have the Clintons and the Bushes in office? The Clintons ran a Banana Republic with the ADFA set up to distribute drugs. There is a body count for people who got in their way. Mena Arkansas was a notorious drop spot and two teenagers were killed for witnessing drug activity. Read the book by Terry Reed called “Clinton, Bush and the CIA” Remember Hillary’s $100,000 stock trade? Remember Bill being accused of not only sexual harassment but of a violent rape? Are these the people we want back in the White House? Take a look at Judicial Watch’s list of the top ten most corrupt politicians. You will find Hillary, Obama, Rudy and Huckabee. Why are they not the subjects of your smear pieces? Speaking of Huckabee, he has said some really nasty things about gays. He also covered up his son’s dog killing, accepted improper gifts while in office, let murders and rapist out of jail, destroyed state owned computers and placed his name on a bridal registry thirty years after the marriage. Lets not forget how the Huckster fattened up when he got 50% off at Wendy’s. Ask yourselves this question, why are Clinton cronies supporting and propelling the Huckster? He is nothing more then Hillary’s puppet candidate. His nomination as the Republican candidate would mean a cake walk for Hillary as soon as Mile is scrutinized. Then we have Asian bashing Keating Five McCane. He is accused by Ross Perot of interfering with the return of the MIAs in Vietnam. What is heroic about being captured and held prisoner? Then we have Romney who had his people stuff ballot boxes in St. Petersburg on film. Edwards may have fathered a child according to the Enquire and Hillary is accused of having a lesbian relationship with her Muslim aid according to the London Times I find all of these other stories more interesting then your trashing the only honorable man in Washington. Not only are the other CFR candidates all in the pocket of special interest groups they don’t have a clue as to how to save this country. Make no mistake, in order to survive, this country needs a drastic change. The Patriot Act and the Military Commission Act have striped us of our civil liberties. The Federal Reserve bankers who are not Federal and are not a Reserve have destroyed our monetary system for their own greed, we are trillions in debt and are borrowing from the Chinese to pay for an unconstitutional undeclared war, that has killed our soldiers and thousands of noncombatants in Iraq. We are engaged is a “War on Drugs” that has labeled a medical problem a crime and has disproportionately imprisoned minorities and the poor who have not harmed the life, liberty or property of another to work in prison factories for our government and multinational corporations. These non violent prison factory workers are forced to work for as little as a quarter an hour. Ron Paul is the only candidate that will free these unjustly imprisoned corporate slave workers, and you have the nerve to imply that Ron Paul is the raciest? Take the trash you have written about this honorable man and shove it! Our movement is not just about an election it is a Revolution for the hearts and minds of America. We intend to make our children proud to be Americans again. We intend to restore liberty and justice to our shores and remember the words of Dr. Paul, “Not even an army can stop an idea whose tim has come”

    Comment by Elaine McKillop, Esq. — January 18, 2008 @ 3:55 pm
  7. I take the position that a lot of people are going to be swayed by the biased reporting of Kirchick and the beltway libs. Therefor I am going to double my contribution to Paul’s campaign on MLK day.

    There is no one else speaking for me in government. I don’t have a choice. I don’t want another choice. I found my man. I am not alone-not by a “longshot.”

    http://www.nolanchart.com/article1148.html

    Comment by Joe Allen — January 18, 2008 @ 3:57 pm
  8. DTC,

    My point is that it is small minded journalism like this which completely misses the big issues that face this nation and dangerously undermines the political discourse

    This isn’t journalism, this is commentary…free speech. We discuss plenty of issues here…they’ve revolved less around Ron Paul as he’s become more irrelevant. However, you’re saying that a presidential candidate running on a platform of restricted immigration and states’ rights being tied to a newsletter under his name featuring racist articles isn’t newsworthy? Even for a “journalist” that’s not something to harp on? What world do you live in?

    Instead of getting into petty arguments about tenuous allegations of bigotry

    It’s not tenuous when the candidate approves putting his name on the banner of the newsletter publishing racist articles. It’s not tenuous when he makes $100,000 a year from it. And it’s not fucking tenuous when the editor that let those articles get through is apparently still fucking working for him. And it’s not tenuous when Ron Paul hides said advisor’s role in those newsletters, nor is it petty. That’s about holding a candidate who claims to be a representative of our ideals accountable for being a) incompetent and b) dishonest.

    how about appealing to a higher standard of journalism that focuses on the big picture issues that I explained above?

    We’re not journalists. You mean big-picture issues like a libertarian presidential candidate allowing racist material to be circulated under his name? Or a presidential candidate running on a platform of integrity being dishonest about his advisors’ roles in that newsletter? Or something only qualify as “journalism” in your opinion when it equates to fellating Ron Paul in writing?

    Perhaps if journalists did focus on the real issues

    You mean like racism? They are. Somehow, though, I don’t think you were bitching though when the press were going after Mitt Romney being Mormon or Obama allegedly being Muslim. Somehow I get the idea you were rather silent on those scores on the blogs.

    a candidate like Ron Paul who does focus on the issues

    You mean like racists holding key advisory capacities in his campaign? A campaign that just happens to support closed borders to immigrants (a key racist position) in contradiction to libertarian doctrine? I don’t hear Ron Paul talking about that issue at all. How about gay rights? He’s been pretty quiet on that subject during this campaign too.

    We should be voting on principles not on the fastest horse in the race.

    You mean like not putting people who endorse racist material into key advisory positions on your campaign? How about not lying to your supporters to cover for your buddies? That pretty much excludes Ron Paul, though, doesn’t it?

    Like I said, this is not a horse race so a statement like “wake up and realize Ron Paul isn’t going to be President” is meaningless to me.

    That’s probably why you continue to back the wrong horse, despite his ability to damage libertarianism in the long-term. Not that Ron Paul seemed to care much about trumpeting his libertarian roots until people started calling him a racist.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 18, 2008 @ 4:29 pm
  9. Elaine,

    Please do not take the moral highroad on this despicable smear and character assassination of the only principled man in Washington

    You mean Jeff Flake? I agree, he’s excellent.

    as if there is a need to know that twenty years ago some politically incorrect remarks were made in a newsletter that Dr. Paul did not write.

    Saying that blacks seem to be better athletes than whites is politically incorrect. Saying that the cops should be unleashed on blacks and endorsing the beating of Rodney King is racist. Claiming that Ron Paul had no affiliation with that newsletter is denial.

    If you are so conscientious why did we have the Clintons and the Bushes in office…blah, blah, blah (unsubstantiated conspiracy theories) blah blah blah (anti-capitalist rants) blah blah blah (I have no point relevant to Ron Paul newsletter story)

    *snort* Whaaa? Sorry…dozed off there.

    Comment by UCrawford — January 18, 2008 @ 4:43 pm
  10. This isn’t journalism, this is commentary…free speech. We discuss plenty of issues here…they’ve revolved less around Ron Paul as he’s become more irrelevant. However, you’re saying that a presidential candidate running on a platform of restricted immigration and states’ rights being tied to a newsletter under his name featuring racist articles isn’t newsworthy? Even for a “journalist” that’s not something to harp on?

    Doug,

    You go on and on like a broken record about these newsletters. You’ve made your points plenty of times and we’ve all had a chance to state our positions and make our judgements on how much of a bigot or dishonest man Ron Paul is. It’s a done deal. Now, like I’ve been saying, can we move on to some real issues?

    Yes, you have the freedom to write about whatever you like. I’m just using my freedom of speech to inform you that your little witch hunt against Ron Paul is becoming more tedious with every blog post.

    You mean big-picture issues like a libertarian presidential candidate allowing racist material to be circulated under his name?

    No, I mean real issues like when candidates make arrogant and reckless statements about war with Iran and Muslims. Or real issues like the state of the economy and the root cause of the economic crisis. Most of the candidates have been accused of being racist or having racist associates in some way from Obama to McCain. In my view, anybody who advocates pre-emptive war with Iran is a lot more overtly racist than Ron Paul. Would you disagree there?

    PS – I noticed you couldn’t help yourself by stating that Ron Paul’s candidacy is becoming more irrelevant each day. Like I said, I don’t see the election in the same way as you. As if it’s some kind of horse race and if your candidate isn’t winning then you’re somehow a loser that’s wasting your time. What a juvenile way to view politics. This just further reinforces my point that you are focusing on the superficial and missing the real issues facing this nation.

    Comment by DefendTheConstitution — January 18, 2008 @ 5:00 pm
  11. I certainly dont condone the activity of the officers in the Rodney King beating. However, some level of violence was needed to subdue a criminal. What we dont see is the first few minutes of the resisting arrest part, or the fact that he was on parole for burglary, or that he had been in a highspeed chase running stop signs risking people’s lives on the street…

    Or that he was arrested later for beating the hell out of his wife, or that he was arrested again for DUI after leading the cops on a chase, and slamming his truck into a house.

    Again, while I dont condone the officers for beating Mr. King to the extent that they did, Rodney King was a freaking career criminal, who was running from the cops and got the beat down. If I run from the cops, I expect to get the crap kicked out of me – you just dont do it. If it were 6 black cops beating a white guy – I doubt there would have been a riot of white people in san francisco destroying each other’s bungalos and corner stores over it.

    Am I a racist for saying these things? Is calling a group of idiotic rioters destroying property ‘animals’ a racist statement? or is it only racist because they happened to also be black rioters?

    Did you know that President bush sr. stated that the riots were linked to welfare? This was mentioned in the LA times in 1992. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CEED91638F936A35756C0A964958260

    Was that racist?

    Anthing taken out of context can be racist. Im a racist, your a racist.. we’re all bloody racists.

    Comment by Jason — January 18, 2008 @ 6:15 pm
  12. Quote
    From Fairtaxpresident
    Ron Paul is running at 7.5% in the polls
    What happens if he decides to run as an Independent?
    7.5% will follow him
    What does that do to the Republican Party?
    It means they only have 43% of the vote for the White House
    So GOP what do you do
    Nominate Ron Paul?
    Or just give it up to the Democrats!!
    Quote

    It’s a Spoiler but this one will cost the GOP their White House
    If they try to ignore Ron Paul as 7.5% of us are not going to relinquish our Votes!!!

    Comment by gmoney — January 18, 2008 @ 6:33 pm
  13. As opposed to posts like this which I believe build resilience in the campaign, there’s a lot of good PR out there for Ron. Check this out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzZjpbpm06k

    Comment by GoodAd — January 18, 2008 @ 7:31 pm
  14. Here’s an article debating the TNR newsletter:

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_james_w__080116_ron_paul_is_not_a_bi.htm

    Comment by GoodAd — January 18, 2008 @ 7:37 pm
  15. With the exception of Fred Thompson (occasionally), Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama and your favorite, Dr. Ron Paul (always), few of the candidates seem to take the US Constitution seriously anymore. Our economy and our Constitution are both imploding. This should give us pause or should it? Perhaps we should scrap it and start anew? After all, once in office our elected representative must swear to uphold the US (not foreign) Constitution for all people. This includes even their most hated adversaries. People at the extremes defend it because according to this document they deserve equal protection under the law just like everyone else. I support Ron Paul. I love people of all races, religions and sexualities. I happen to be straight and black if you must know. The Ron Paul supporters I know love their country passionately. They are not racist, sexist pigs with tin foil hats or 911 truthers. They are hard working, decent wonderful people who volunteer in their community and take the time to educate themselves on the issues. They are a threat to the establishment because they think outside the box. Please consider voting for Ron Paul. Thank you for your time.

    Comment by voiceofthepeople — January 18, 2008 @ 7:51 pm
  16. Hey, voiceofthepeople, thanks for a thoughtful comment. Some thoughts of my own:

    People at the extremes defend it because according to this document they deserve equal protection under the law just like everyone else.

    I wholeheartedly agree with this position. That said, not everyone at the extremes supports and defends the constitution. Some would prefer to tear it down and replace it with something to their liking. I’m not saying that you, or any other RP supporter, is of that mindset. I’m saying that it is dangerous to generalize and impute a specific behavior or way of thinking to everyone in a certain grouping.

    I love people of all races, religions and sexualities. I happen to be straight and black if you must know.

    I wasn’t worried about your ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. I’ll be honest, I don’t love “all religions”. I find organized religion, in general, to be a problem. And some organized religious sects, very specifically, to be a major problem. But, I don’t think each and every person is representative of the larger, collective thought and behavior. I make decisions about each person based on their individual behavior.

    The Ron Paul supporters I know love their country passionately. They are not racist, sexist pigs with tin foil hats or 911 truthers.

    First off, I have met Ron Paul supporters in person too, as well as online. The ones I met in person basically could be described as nativists, 911 truthers and One Worlders. A couple were somewhat less extreme, but not more than just a couple. This is over several different weekends meeting the folks who were conducting rallies in downtown Seattle. So, my experience, both online and in person, is somewhat different from yours. Which does not mean that the people you describe aren’t out there, I just haven’t met them.

    They are hard working, decent wonderful people who volunteer in their community and take the time to educate themselves on the issues.

    Read some of the comments here about Carroll Quigley’s theories, Bilderbergs, secret societies, etc. It is very clear to me that some of the very vocal Ron Paul supporters are “lunatic fringe” types.

    I have very seriously considered voting for Ron Paul and have decided that a combination of his positions that I disagree with and his demonstrated inability, over time, to competently manage organizations means that I cannot vote for him. Fair enough?

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 18, 2008 @ 8:06 pm
  17. I don’t know about Seattle, but I have been to Ron Paul meetups in Nashville, Clarksville and Waverly, Tennessee..Supporters are from all walks of life, several veterans and family members, and all are very nice normal people who want to make our country a place of peace and prosperity. A high percentage are self employed with their own businesses, they are all dedicated to put time, money and effort into a cause. If that doesn’t describe the best of Americans, I don’t know what does.

    Imagine a President that can rally people behind him in such a way, and tell me why that is not a good thing?

    Comment by Karen Bergeron — January 18, 2008 @ 8:57 pm
  18. Karen, I’ve been moderately impressed by the amount of support the Paul campaign has generated. But, very unimpressed by the degree of incompetence shown in being unable to capitalize on that support, both physical and financial. Considering the poll numbers and dollars available in November, a competently led campaign should have done much better. A huge chunk of the GOP would set aside Paul’s anti-war stance in order to get a small government, free market candidate. But, the $20 million and the massive grassroots support has been badly squandered so far. And the newsletter issue has been very poorly dealt with.

    Tell me why those are not bad things?

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 18, 2008 @ 9:09 pm
  19. Adam,

    You are right the newsletter thing and Paul’s management of the campaign have not been great. But the thing is he is still the only candidate that for the most part is pushing for a limited gov’t both economically and socially. Name another candidate that we should vote for that is even somewhat close to Ron Paul on the issues.

    Ever since the commenters at this site have been trying to poke holes into Paul and his campaign a few people have asked for them to name another candidate that we should vote for instead, but not once have I seen an answer to that question. Any takers on who we should vote for instead of Ron Paul and why?

    Comment by TerryP — January 19, 2008 @ 8:09 pm
  20. Terry, do you suppose that if the liberals and progressives had known how damaging the Carter presidency would be to their cause they would have chosen to vote for him?

    In another thread I laid out why, most likely, I will vote for no one for President. That is more principled than voting for someone that I believe will do more to damage than help. Not purposefully, but because of who he is.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 19, 2008 @ 9:46 pm
  21. Hi,

    Thanks for talking about Ron Paul. Despite his good results today in Nevada, a lot of the mainstream media continue to ignore Ron Paul. This blog focuses on trying to poke holes into Dr. Paul, who I believe is truly a good person in heart. If you truly believe in liberty takes a look at the following: Here is the results of the primaries according to the NY Times:

    http://politics.nytimes.com/election-guide/2008/results/index.html

    Everyone should continue to be aware that freedom of the press is one thing but when the press goes from the business of reporting the news to interpreting the news then there is a risk that everyone’s liberty is curtailed.

    Comment by Tyrone — January 19, 2008 @ 11:18 pm
  22. Adam

    Not voting is not an option in my book. That is not what I asked. I want to know who you or the other commenters would suggest we should vote for other than Ron Paul?

    Comment by TerryP — January 20, 2008 @ 12:41 pm
  23. You are right Tyrone. That is pure crap as to leaving Paul off their chart, but including both Guiliani and Thompson. Paul has more total votes than either of them and he finished second in Nevada.

    Maybe some of the writers here should spend some time writing/reporting on journalism that stinks like that from the NY times post listed above in Tryones post.

    Comment by TerryP — January 20, 2008 @ 12:49 pm
  24. Not voting is not an option in my book. That is not what I asked. I want to know who you or the other commenters would suggest we should vote for other than Ron Paul?

    Why is not voting not an option ?

    If none of the candidates is acceptable to me, why should I be forced to vote for any of them ?

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 20, 2008 @ 12:49 pm
  25. I’ve never been able to figure that out Doug. I will vote in the election. If I come to a proposition or office that I cannot support, I won’t cast a vote on that particular item.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 20, 2008 @ 1:28 pm
  26. Doug & Adam,

    You are completely missing my point. I did not ask you who you would vote for or even if you would vote. You have been trying to basically tell us that he is an unacceptable candidate to vote for so I am wanting an answer as to who is a more acceptable candidate to vote for. You are trying to get off way to easy. Tell me who is a better candidate for liberty that I can vote for in this election cycle. If you cannot come up with another candidate then I must assume that you agree that he is still the best candidate (though not perfect) at this point in time. No candidate, including Paul, may meet your lofty standards to vote for them, but I am asking of all the candidates who is the best candidate in your opinion that we should be voting for if we decide to vote at all.

    If you want us to respect what you write when you are chastising candidates than you need to put yourself on the line a little bit and tell us who is the best candidate for liberty that is currently running if it is not Paul. It is very easy to find faults in candidates including Paul and write about it, but it is much harder and braver after doing that to come out with an alternative candidate and have to back that up given all the other candidates worts.

    Comment by TerryP — January 20, 2008 @ 8:37 pm
  27. Terry,

    Your comment suggests that simply because Adam and I have found fault with Ron Paul, we are obligated to name another candidate that would be acceptable.

    Well, what if there isn’t one ?

    Personally, I choose none of the above and you haven’t convinced me why that isn’t an acceptable answer.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 21, 2008 @ 2:49 pm
  28. I believe I would be compromising my principles to endorse a candidate for President that I believe would be a bad choice. None of the above is a legitimate political choice and in line with my personal and political principles. Your insistence to the contrary doesn’t change my mind.

    At this point in time I cannot endorse any candidate for President.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 21, 2008 @ 4:45 pm
  29. You seem to be trying to avoid answering my question or maybe I just phrased it incorrectly. As I said in my previous post I don’t care who you are voting for. As for not voting I didn’t mean that is unacceptable for you to not vote, that is your right, but in my example that is not an option. What I want to know is of all the candidates that are still running who in your opinion is the most liberty-friendly. They don’t have to meet you self imposed threshold on liberty to vote for them. You do not have to endorse them, but who do you think is the most liberty-friendly candidate that is still running and is someone who at least a few voters have heard of. Maybe it is Kucinich since he has been fervently against the war. Maybe it is Thompson since he is about the only candidate that has even talked about social security in a remotely free-market way. Maybe it is Guiliani since Dondero thinks he is the most libertarian. Maybe it is McCain, well maybe not. Even if it is Ron Paul, I don’t expect you to vote for him. At least in Doug’s case he has made it quite apparent over the last couple of months that he is not an acceptable enough candidate to him to vote for.

    So what it boils down to is I am not aksing you to vote for this person, but who do you think is the most liberty-friendly candidate left running and why? I have never heard the answer to that question from any of the posters here at this site and I am interested in knowing.

    Comment by TerryP — January 21, 2008 @ 5:03 pm
  30. Terry, all you’re doing is manipulating the question to get an answer. I’ll go ahead and give some thoughts:

    Democrats:
    Clinton – Socialist in moderate’s clothing … not liberty friendly
    Obama – Progressive, aka social democracy … not liberty friendly
    Edwards – Seems pointless to discuss, but also a Progressive
    Kucinich – Aside from being against the Iraq War (I don’t agree that is a litmus test for liberty friendly), not liberty friendly

    GOP:

    McCain – Moderate with authoritarian leanings … not liberty friendly, but not overly anti-liberty either, call him a fence sitter
    Huckabee – Social conservative with progressive/authoritarian tendencies … not liberty friendly
    Romney – Moderate with authoritarian leanings, went along with govt intrusion into healthcare in Mass … not liberty friendly
    Giuliani – Moderately fascist, definitely not liberty friendly regardless of his anti-tax position … He is “Bush Heavy”
    Hunter – Dropping out soon, like Edwards, who cares?
    Thompson – Liberty oriented conservative with some social conservative tendencies … on the fence
    Paul – Pro liberty, some social conservative and nativist positions, more of a Federalist, incompetent manager likely to do to libertarian philosophy what Carter did to progressive philosophy … pro liberty but strongly advocate against voting for him

    There you go, that’s my view of the 11 folks currently running for the GOP and Democrat nomination for President. I can tolerate either McCain or Thompson, don’t think Romney would be too devastating. Giuliani would be worse than George W and the other GOP’ers, but better than Huckabee, Clinton, Obama or Edwards. Huckabee is just a horrible choice. Paul is a reasonable choice from a philosophical perspective, but an awful choice for the likely outcome of his Presidency.

    In my opinion, if you absolutely feel that you must vote FOR someone, and you are looking for a candidate that will be either neutral or moderately good for the goals of liberty oriented folks, I would make the following recommendations:

    Thompson if you want someone that will be neutral to slightly pro liberty.

    McCain if you want someone electable and neutral to moderately anti-liberty but unlikely to do too much damage.

    Paul if you want to vote principle but aren’t worried about practical outcomes.

    I won’t even attempt to rank the other candidates in order. If forced to vote, that is the order I would vote in.

    Since I’m not, and since I think you are narrowing your question in a manipulative fashion, my recommendation is that you vote for none of the above.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 21, 2008 @ 5:23 pm
  31. Thank you, Adam, now that wasn’t so hard was it. That gives me a little better understanding about how you think then from reading consistent rants about candidates flaws.

    Personally, other than Ron Paul, I only saw one other candidate that could even be remotely thought of as liberty friendly, and he just dropped out of the race today. That is an interesting take on McCain as I consider him pretty authoritarian. I would maybe give Romney a slight edge over McCain in liberty friendliness, for nothing else than his having a far greater business background, while McCain’s is all military (highly authoritarian) and political.

    Adam, I have absolutely nothing against you for not wanting to vote for any of the candidates. You misintrepreted my question. I just wanted to get an idea from some of the posters here who they consider to be the most liberty friendly candidates that are still running. For the past month or two here it has been just rant, rant, rant about candidates flaws, but I feel at some point you have to look at their strengths as well to get a better, full picture of each of the candidates. I wasn’t getting that from any of the posters here. Your post helps a little, though it still leans to just talking about the negatives of each candidate.

    We libertarians (I hope that is alright calling you that) seem to always try to find the worst in others instead of looking for the more positive points.

    Comment by TerryP — January 22, 2008 @ 8:16 pm
  32. Terry, I’m not a libertarian, although you may feel free to call me one. Just to get that out of the way. Perhaps the closest would be to call me an anti-federalist (think Patrick Henry and Thomas Paine).

    I think you misunderstand the military mind when you characterize a military background as highly authoritarian. This is a very common thing, though, since our media has gone to immense pains to paint military commanders as fascist, bureaucratic, anti-liberty martinets. I am former military and clearly not highly authoritarian. Further, I manage a fairly large department in my “day job” and they do not consider me to be authoritarian, either. Just to give you something in the real world to compare to.

    I consider McCain neutral for a variety of reasons, not least being his stance against the secretive actions of our government with terrorism detainees. McCain-Feingold clearly is egregious enough to balance that out, though.

    I also do not consider, as so many do, opposition to the Iraq war to be a litmus test. Far too many socialists and progressives are also opposed to the Iraq war. And someone could, in good conscience support it even though they are liberty friendly (think Glenn Reynolds or Eric Raymond, both clearly not authoritarians, but disagreeing with the PC view of most libertarians).

    Finally, your demands to say who you should vote for came across as a demand to endorse someone, which I will not do. I don’t think point out some very serious issues with Paul and his campaign is ranting. Would it be ranting if we did that to candidates you don’t support?

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 22, 2008 @ 8:35 pm
  33. Adam,

    Adam I don’t have a problem with you pointing out problems with candidates, and I assume Paul has received more than his fair share on this site because he is the most liberty friendly, and because he has a few worts. This site has done it to pretty much every other candidate as well, especially in the republican field. But that is my point, where are the posts telling me the positive, liberty friendly aspects of a candidate. There are none. They are all about the faults of a candidate. I am sure there are a few good things to say about pretty much each candidate, especially the candidate that may be the most liberty friendly of the bunch.

    You may be right about the military as I did not serve in the military, however, I do see it being a top down structure, where you are to do as your superior tells you, without much question. Maybe I am wrong with this and people are questioning their superiors all the time about things. Maybe there are choices all over the place in the military, but I guess I don’t see it. You have one choice and you do it. I don’t see McCain as one who allows much questioning of authority, especially his, and that is scary to me as a President, especially with his foreign policy ideas. Many other servicemen probably see the fallacy of top down authority for everything as they were subject to alot of it and may actually do a better job in the private sector because they know what unintended consequences it may have.

    Comment by TerryP — January 23, 2008 @ 8:30 am
  34. You know, it’s interesting Terry, the perception that those who have never been in have of the military. I don’t mean to be a jerk about this when I say that, it is just interesting. They really don’t reflect the reality of an environment where decision making is pushed down to the lowest level possible, where soldiers are expected to not obey unlawful orders and where input is gathered from folks deep down the chain. Of course you are expected to obey orders in combat without quibbling, but that is no different from a paramedic or firefighter in a dangerous situation. When bullets are not flying, discussion, input and thoughtful critiques are expected, not discouraged.

    I know what the movies show. And the media. And the books. But that doesn’t make it real.

    Ask yourself how you attract hundreds of thousands of volunteers, and retain a huge number of them. A workforce of higher quality (in terms of education and aptitude, not intrinsic worth) than the American population as a whole? That is something that is rarely discussed in the media, but the military has more HS grads and college grads, as a percentage of the population, than the general population does, higher aptitude test scores, fewer crimes committed per 1000 population, etc. They work until 4:30, give or take, on weekdays and are off on the weekends. The soldiers are paid well for the work they do, and they are expected to contribute to making their units better. They live in barracks that look like college dorms and don’t have sergeants invading them without notice.

    An Army base is essentially a town of about 50,000, with everything such a town would have. Including stores, gas stations, fire and police, utilities, houses, work places, etc. Is it conservative, at least outwardly? Yes, it is. Like 1950′s Americana. Does that make it top down authoritarian? Not nearly as bad as many civilian companies I have worked for. Spend some time talking to soldiers, you might be surprised.

    Now, as far as McCain goes. Yes, there’s bad. But, there’s also good. I think he’s neutral to moderately opposed to some things we think are important. But he’s not Romney, Huckabee, or Giuliani, and nowhere even close to the Democrats.

    Not a wonderful choice. I won’t vote for him. But not the worst of the bunch either.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 24, 2008 @ 3:13 pm
  35. I actually agree with you Adam about most of the non-leadership in the military. They know how to work together better than probably most everyone in the private world. It has probably helped you quite a bit when working with others where you work. I see that to some degree with McCain as well, as he has no problem working with the Democrats on really crappy legislation. That actually scares me.

    Since you worked in the military you have a far better understanding about it’s workings than I do, but that still doesn’t help much with my queasy feeling about McCain.

    I also understand that since you come from a military background you are likely more comfortable and gravite towards others with the same background. I basically have more of an entrepenuerial/business background which probably makes me a little more comfortable with Romney over McCain in that sense.

    You are right though, overall, they both stink.

    Comment by TerryP — January 25, 2008 @ 8:11 am

Comments RSS

Subscribe without commenting

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Eric • Banner #1, #3, #4 by Stephen Macklin • Banner #2 by Mark RaynerXML