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

“Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”     Alexis de Tocqueville

March 17, 2008

Would You Pimp Your Kids For Obama?

by Brad Warbiany

Some parents apparently said yes. Click that link first. Watch the video. Digest it for a second. Then come back.

And look at some of the comments:

Those kids will feel very proud of themselves in in the? next decade

I? am crying watching this video. I wish and pray for all kids around the world.

cute kids… let’s give ‘em a good future.

I don’t know what makes me more angry about this crap.

1) To see that these kids, who are not capable of rationally understanding the issues they’re discussing, are simply being paraded out as cute little actors in order to tug at peoples’ heartstrings.
2) To know that the adults watching that video probably aren’t rationally able to understand the issues either.
3) To know that the video might actually work, and that idiot voters will respond favorably to such ridiculous pandering.
4) To think that the people leaving comments to that video have the power to vote my liberties away?!

There’s just so much wrong about this that I can’t even begin to describe it. It’s days like this that I think that we’re too far gone to recover liberty. Nearly everyone now in our nation was educated in progressive public schools, and not enough people have learned how to wake up and think critically about what’s happening around them.

Part of me is reminded of what my coworker, who has a 10-year-old daughter, told me. She came home from school one day, and they had to write a report about how they would choose whether to vote for Hillary or Obama. They were never even told that there were other options. No assignment to choose between McCain and Huckabee (this was several weeks ago, when both were still in the race). I’m sure there won’t be any follow-up assignment about whether to vote Democrat or Republican, because Little Miss Brainwashing Teacher will probably explain that only oppressive assholes vote Republican.

So what’s worse, the brainwashing of our kids, or the perhaps very effective brainwashing of our adults through bullshit ads like this one? I know the ad is filled with cute little kids, but if you can watch that ad and not feel disgusted, you’re missing the big picture.

Hat Tip: Billy Beck

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25 Comments

  1. Video Removed by user. ugh.

    Comment by Mog — March 18, 2008 @ 5:53 pm
  2. I am still waiting for the post from this site telling us we should disown Obama because he didn’t throw Mr. Wright under the bus and disown him, much like we were told Ron Paul was supposed to do with his friends who wrote some disappointing words many years ago. Just like Ron Paul, Obama came out against what was said, but for Paul that just wasn’t good enough. I wonder if it is good enough for Obama.

    I guess here we only attack the most libertarian leaning candidates when it comes these type of things.

    Just as with Ron Paul it took some character to not just throw his friends under the bus like so many people, including many here it seems, would like them to do. While what his pastor has said gives me some pause, still it gives me a little more respect for Obama that he just didn’t throw away that relationship, because it would have been the most politically correct thing to do.

    Now to the more important question, does Obama believe any of what Mr. Wright was talking about. This still to be determined. Then again this should have been the question we were asking about the newsletter debacle with Paul, but regrettably it wasn’t.

    Comment by TerryP — March 19, 2008 @ 7:23 am
  3. TerryP,

    I guess here we only attack the most libertarian leaning candidates when it comes these type of things.

    I haven’t written a post like that only because I’ve never seriously considered supporting Obama for president. In fact I think he’s the worst of the possible candidates…mainly because his economic policy is horrible and he’s got the ability to sell it to people.

    Comment by UCrawford — March 19, 2008 @ 7:55 am
  4. of course it was the pertinent question all along. the reason why the contributors to this forum never gave Paul or even his campaign the benefit of the doubt, is because this forum’s contributors are mainly institutional libertarians, thereby generating (and/or parrotting) only a facile treatment of this similar issue.

    Comment by oilnwater — March 19, 2008 @ 8:03 am
  5. The issue with Ron Paul wasn’t whether he personally was a racist, it involved, as UCrawford said on numerous occasions, his judgment in associating himself with people like Lew Rockwell and allowing his campaign to be hijacked by Stormfront and the 9/11 Truthers.

    And, speaking for myself, I haven’t posted anything about Obama and Wright because it really doesn’t have anything to do with libertarian ideas, which is what this blog is supposed to be about.

    Ron Paul, on the other hand, was the purported libertarian candidate for President.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — March 19, 2008 @ 8:08 am
  6. aka, CATO commands, you parrot.

    Comment by oilnwater — March 19, 2008 @ 8:09 am
  7. Actually, I haven’t gotten messages from David Boaz and Ed Crane through the implant in awhile.

    Oops, I wasn’t supposed to mention that.

    The Koch family is gonna be pissed

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — March 19, 2008 @ 8:20 am
  8. oilnwater,

    of course it was the pertinent question all along. the reason why the contributors to this forum never gave Paul or even his campaign the benefit of the doubt

    Dude, it’s over…move on.

    Comment by UCrawford — March 19, 2008 @ 8:33 am
  9. “hahahah.”

    as usual, you resort to a feeble mention of conspiracy. i was only pointing out (and rightly so) your parrotting of your mother institution’s tenets and its circle of adherents. you’re a cheerleader with little to no thoughts, conclusions or background of your own. if you had any of these, your analyses wouldn’t be as shallow as they are.

    Comment by oilnwater — March 19, 2008 @ 8:33 am
  10. Two points

    1. Cato is not my “mother” organization. I’m fairly certain they didn’t give birth to me.

    2. Cato, and Reason, and the Institute for Justice have accomplished more for the cause of freedom than the “r3volution” ever will.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — March 19, 2008 @ 8:41 am
  11. and there you have it.

    Comment by oilnwater — March 19, 2008 @ 8:44 am
  12. Yep, you’re ignoring reality again.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — March 19, 2008 @ 8:53 am
  13. Doug

    I am pretty sure you are aware of this but Ron Paul is a republican candidate for President not libertarian. While much of what he talks about is libertarian, he is running on the republican ticket and needed to win over republican voters to have any chance to win, not just cross-over libertarians.

    The point you made that the issue wasn’t that Paul was racist, but who he associated with, is the same point with Obama. If you are going to make the case about who Paul associates with, you need to make the case about the other candidates as well. You say it doesn’t matter with Obama, but it makes all the difference with Paul. That just doesn’t make any sense.

    At least you could have come back with a retort that made far more sense like UC’s.

    I agree we need to move on, but we need to hold the other candidates to just a high of standard as you expected from Paul and call them out on it when they don’t reach that standard as you have done with Paul.

    Ron Paul was the most friendly candidate to liberty to run in quite a while outside of the third party candidates and I can’t remember hardly one nice thing you have said about him. You mention that this site is for Liberty but just railed on the candidate that most exemplfied that. Give me a break.

    Comment by TerryP — March 19, 2008 @ 10:14 am
  14. Terry,

    I am pretty sure you are aware of this but Ron Paul is a republican candidate for President not libertarian. While much of what he talks about is libertarian, he is running on the republican ticket and needed to win over republican voters to have any chance to win, not just cross-over libertarians.

    Which is why I called him a “libertarian” and not a “Libertarian.”

    The Congressman has long been identified as having generally libertarian beliefs. Since that’s what we care about around here, his candidacy — flaws and all — was, I would submit, relevant to the general topics of the blog.

    In Obama’s case, he’s not a libertarian to begin with and I and others have already criticized him on substance. I don’t see why we have to get on the Jeremiah Wright bandwagon. To the extent it’s relevant, though, Obama has addressed it and people are going to make their own judgments at this point.

    There is one difference between Paul and Obama, though, when his connections to an unsavory character became public knowledge he disassociated himself from that person’s views clearly and explicitly. Ron Paul never did.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — March 19, 2008 @ 10:33 am
  15. Terry,

    I find it odd that you use a post where I’ve come out dramatically against the methods used by Obama supporters to complain that this blog isn’t critical enough of Obama.

    I mostly stayed out of the Ron Paul newsletter story, as I care very little for the average political scalp-seeking behavior. That being said, like UCrawford I’m less likely to harp on him for this BS because I’d never have supported him in the first place. Much as I’d be most likely to attack Ron Paul for his immigration policy, when I denounce Obama it will primarily be for his policies.

    oilnwater,

    I’d hardly tar this blog as a “disciple” of any one political group. The contributors of this blog range from anarchists to those most likely to be considered libertarian-leaning Republicans. Nor ar we on anyone’s payroll; in fact it costs us money to host this blog. I would say that if you have issue with the beliefs of any contributor here, you should understand that they are the beliefs of that contributor, not parroted from Cato or any other group.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — March 19, 2008 @ 5:12 pm
  16. Brad

    My problem is using different standards from one candidate compared to another. This whole Wright issue is very similar to the Newsletter issue with Paul. They both have come out saying that they do not believe in what was said or written. The problem is that Paul was attacked to no end by contributers to this site (mainly Doug and UC) but there has been no mention about a similar thing with Obama. If the Paul issue came up here once or twice it wouldn’t be such a big deal but it came up here repeatedly by Doug and UC. There seems to be double standard here when the Paul story was “the” story for about a month, while the Obama story by those same commenters does not get even one mention.

    I agree that since you are not supporting Obama you may leave a lot about him alone and is a somewhat reasonable retort.

    The problem is that Paul was attacked for who he associated with and who he would lean on once he became President according to UC and Doug . The thing is he had almost zero chance of becoming President as both UC and Doug have acknowledged, which makes who he would associate with as President pretty much meaningless. Now with Obama that is a whole different story. He has a very good chance of becoming President and I think we should be scrutinzing who will be his confidants far more than we did with Ron Paul.

    Now I think the whole thing about trying to put Mr. Wrights words into Obamas mouth is a bit ridiculous just as putting what the people who wrote the newsletters words into Pauls mouth. The only thing that it does is possibly give you an indication of how they may think. You have to go much further and look at what they each have done and said. At least in Ron Pauls case he seemed quite the opposite from the newsletters in what he said and has done.

    My point is that it was ridiculous for them to make such a big deal about the newsletter thing with Paul just as it is probably ridiculous making such a big thing about the Wright ordeal. Though I would have to say it makes more sense with the Wright ordeal than with the Paul newsletter deal, since Obama is far more likely to become President. But since they made such a big deal with the Paul ordeal maybe they should make a big deal about this as well. Or maybe they blew that whole newsletter thing completely out of proportion and are acknowledging that by not reporting on a similar thing with another candidate.

    Comment by TerryP — March 20, 2008 @ 8:19 am
  17. I just think this double standard is one reason why libertarianism never gets anywhere. We seem to give a pass to some degree to people that aren’t libertarian but once someone tries to move to libertarianism in some way we start overscurtinizing them about every little thing that is not perfect.

    Paul was the most liberty friendly candidate in the two party field yet this site, which is supposed to be about liberty, just went on and on about beating him up. Yet when someone who isn’t nearly as liberty friendly we pretty much go, oh well, even though he may likely be our President I don’t care. Instead it seems we care far more about crucifying a very liberty friendly candidate who doesn’t have much of a chance about something someone else wrote over ten years ago.

    We need to get our priorities straight and start helping liberty leaning candidates far more instead of trying to just find all of their faults. Or at least talk about their strengths far more than their faults. We need to be going after the faults in the non-liberty leaning candidates to help the liberty leaning candidates to look even better.

    Comment by TerryP — March 20, 2008 @ 8:39 am
  18. TerryP,

    I just think this double standard is one reason why libertarianism never gets anywhere. We seem to give a pass to some degree to people that aren’t libertarian but once someone tries to move to libertarianism in some way we start overscurtinizing them about every little thing that is not perfect.

    I can understand where you’re coming from but keep in mind that right now there’s probably a Hillary or Obama supporter out there arguing how the problem with liberals is that they won’t whole-heartedly support their candidates because they’re not “liberal enough”, or there’s a McCain supporter claiming that the problems with conservatives is that they complain that McCain’s not “conservative enough”. Is there some merit to your argument? Probably so. But I also think that the reasons we note ideologically libertarian criticisms of candidates more than we note ideologically liberal/conservative criticisms of candidates are because libertarians tend to bring up more valid points (since we tend to have a better ear for picking out bad economic or civil liberty arguments). Did that make our criticisms of Ron Paul more damning? Sure…but that doesn’t mean that our criticisms weren’t valid ones nor does it mean he was a good presidential candidate who would have won if we hadn’t criticized him. I suspect that his organizational problems would have sunk his campaign in any case. And even if it hadn’t, I agree with Tarran’s analysis that he probably would have been a terrible president.

    Yet when someone who isn’t nearly as liberty friendly we pretty much go, oh well, even though he may likely be our President I don’t care. Instead it seems we care far more about crucifying a very liberty friendly candidate who doesn’t have much of a chance about something someone else wrote over ten years ago.

    I don’t want to get into a lengthy Paul discussion (because we’re not so much beating a dead horse as beating the skeleton of a dead horse) but I’ll say this. My problems with Ron Paul were not so much in his stated ideological ideas but in my belief that he had no ability or competence to carry those ideas out or to effectively handle (even in the ideal limited government) those duties that the office of President would require. I honestly believe that the man is a terrible judge of character and ability, a thoroughly incompetent manager of people and that the results would be disastrous. In peacetime, it’s a gamble I might be willing to take and those are deficiencies I might be willing to overlook…but not when we have a major war on-going with hundreds of thousands of lives on the line. Withdrawing our troops from Iraq, even immediate withdrawal (my preferred choice), is going to require a capable manager who can appoint competent personnel to lead and carry it out. Ron Paul will need to personally appoint a large number of those people. Frankly, based on his performance in running his campaign and on his history of questionable personnel decisions (Dondero, North, Rockwell), I just don’t trust him to do a good or even so-so job of it. Ultimately, while I certainly found parts of his ideology questionable or misguided (immigration, campaign tactics), believing that he is incapable of managing is the reason I chose not to vote for him…and nothing he’s done since then has made me regret my decision.

    I guess the short answer would be, ideology’s an important trait, but not the only or even the most important one.

    Comment by UCrawford — March 20, 2008 @ 9:45 am
  19. TerryP,

    He has a very good chance of becoming President and I think we should be scrutinzing who will be his confidants far more than we did with Ron Paul.

    With Obama, I think the unsavory confidants are pretty much a dead end. I don’t think that Obama’s overly influenced by them or that he necessarily courts them, and even if he does and we don’t know it I don’t think we’re going to be able to pin that on him (or that we’d want to). I think a better approach to attacking Obama is simply to look at his proposed policies and discuss and highlight the likely destructive results of those policies (particularly medical care, free trade, and his anti-business rhetoric). Obama’s charismatic and savvy enough to overcome attacks on his character…and I think that attacking the community he comes from (where many of the pastor’s views are prevalent) is going to have some undesirable consequences for the people who do so. The key to undoing Obama is getting people to see what it is he’s trying to sell them and making them understand why it’s a bad thing.

    Comment by UCrawford — March 20, 2008 @ 9:53 am
  20. TerryP,

    One key difference is that Wright, to my knowledge, is not and has not been on Obama’s payroll, nor has he ever published anything claiming that it was the personal words and/or beliefs of Obama. On the other hand, whoever published and wrote for Paul’s newsletter did it directly under a banner clearly sporting Paul’s name, sometimes with personal details included to imply it was directly Paul’s writing, and was on Paul’s direct payroll.

    If Wright had written his words as an employee of Obama’s and under the banner of the “Obama Report” and in such as was as they implied they were Obama’s personal words and beliefs, yeah there’d be a problem, you betcha.

    Comment by SC — March 20, 2008 @ 10:49 am
  21. UC

    I think you are right in attacking Obama. He is wrong on so many issues that we have plenty of fodder there without having to go to things that might bite us in the butt later.

    I actually agree with you that Ron Paul did not do a very good job of managing the campaign, in fact he did a horrible job, but I think we did the liberty movement a disservice by spending so much attention on a minor issue such as the newsletters instead of trying to convince people that they should want more liberty and less statism. You also seemed to have given Mr. Paul a far bigger chance to win then I ever did. What other reason would you care about what he did once he was elected to be President if he didn’t have any chance at winning. I was looking at his campaign at more of a chance to move the liberty movement forward, not so much in actually him winning the Presidency. I am really hoping some far better candidate can take this momemtum Mr. Paul has given us, if there is any left, to get us to the point that we can get candidates elected and the general voter has a far better understanding and willingness to accept liberty over statism.

    I just wish that libertarians would concentrate far more on what we have in common or our strengths instead of always looking for differences, weaknesses, or faults.

    SC

    I agree with you that there are differences in the situations and your point is a good one. My point, however, was that neither situation merits much of our attention, and Obama may merit a little more attention since he is far more likely to become President. It seems that Mr. Wright is in Obama’s group of confidants, so his take on things is far more important than the writers of a newsletter over ten years ago.

    While I don’t know if the current Wright issue deserves much attention here, what I do know is that the newsletter issue certainly didn’t deserve the attention it got here.

    Comment by TerryP — March 20, 2008 @ 10:10 pm
  22. TerryP,

    You also seemed to have given Mr. Paul a far bigger chance to win then I ever did.

    It’s not so much that I thought he would or could win (because the odds were extremely slim in eve the best scenarios) but it’s my frustration that he, personally, made decisions that insured he wouldn’t run a serious campaign. I’m okay with voting for the long-shot while fighting the good fight…I’m not okay with supporting the long-shot when he chooses to do things that can be reasonably predicted to fatally undermine his campaign or when he does things that I consider to be a fundamental betrayal (race-baiting) of the ideology he claims to represent (libertarianism). I’m upset with him not because he wasn’t going to win, but because he developed a significant level of support and then a) never put out a real effort to win and b) actively undermined his chances to win.

    I was looking at his campaign at more of a chance to move the liberty movement forward, not so much in actually him winning the Presidency.

    Political campaigns are about winning races…not moral victories. That’s why people donate money and time to them. When a candidate accepts that money and time and then chooses to do little to nothing with it (and again, I’m not talking about the vote tallies…I’m talking about the effort he puts out) that doesn’t make the candidate anything more than a loser and a fraud. And I’m kind of sick of our most prominent candidates being losers and frauds.

    I am really hoping some far better candidate can take this momemtum Mr. Paul has given us, if there is any left, to get us to the point that we can get candidates elected and the general voter has a far better understanding and willingness to accept liberty over statism.

    I’d like to see that happen, but I honestly believe now that the key is to focus on getting candidates we like put in state legislatures and at the Representative level before we focus on the White House. The Presidency would be a high-profile victory, but ultimately the people aren’t really connected to the President…they’re more connected to their local representatives and what happens in their state. And right now we’re not well-represented in those places, which may be part of the reason that our movement attracts so many disgruntled loners and so few prominent and capable personalities. Working from the ground up may not give us the immediate gratification of taking control of the executive branch, but from the ground up is how lasting change gets made…not by one guy serving a four-year term with no support from anywhere else.

    Comment by UCrawford — March 21, 2008 @ 8:07 am
  23. UC

    That is a tough one with trying to get more local candidates to win. Kind of like what came first the chicken or the egg. Sometimes it can help to have a more national figure and we get a trickle down effect. Other times it comes more from a ground swell effect. Actually Ron Paul’s candidacy was probably more of a ground swell effort, which may bode well for more local races if we can attract good candidates and people can become excited about them.

    Comment by TerryP — March 21, 2008 @ 2:35 pm
  24. I think both trickle down and ground-swell success will be needed, at this point. I view the AFR as a possible solution; uniting alternative political thought that all has the objective of gaining more civic & economic liberty & freedom for Americans.

    However, UC has a point concerning State Legislators. I think the ratio of effort between doing that and getting national attention should be 70% to 30%, if that makes any sense.

    Comment by Nitroadict — March 21, 2008 @ 3:48 pm
  25. TerryP,

    That is a tough one with trying to get more local candidates to win.

    I agree…not to sound cliche, but meaningful change isn’t supposed to be easy, which is what makes it worthwhile. Following that strategy will have some success, though…winning big battles might get you noticed but often it can cost you the war because either the person who wins realizes they have to start compromising their beliefs to be effective because they have no support or they turn into an ineffective ideologue who makes a mess of things and turns everybody off. People are more willing to accept change and support it when it’s gradual and has a history of success.

    Actually Ron Paul’s candidacy was probably more of a ground swell effort

    If the people who supported Paul stay involved in politics you may be right. It’s too soon to tell, though…a good bellwether for that would be the 2010 elections to see if they’re willing to start pushing pro-liberty candidates in the non-presidential elections, and making a serious effort to win and not just protest.

    Nitroadict,

    I think the ratio of effort between doing that and getting national attention should be 70% to 30%, if that makes any sense.

    I completely agree with you there. Finding good pro-liberty candidates for national office isn’t just about trotting some joker that nobody’s heard of out during an election year…it’s about grooming them by getting them involved at the local level first. It’s like someone I know once pointed out…people don’t like to vote for people they don’t know.

    Comment by UCrawford — March 21, 2008 @ 4:25 pm

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