Ron Paul in NH

It’s still a little early to go bragging about the accuracy of my patented Political Sign Analysis Technique (PSAT) but I would be dissing my own ego-needs if I didn’t at least mention that today’s WaPo features an article on how Ron’s “Disciples” (the reporter’s word, not mine) are busting their butts – and their wallets – for an upset. And they may get it. But, like Kyle, I’m less interested in looking at Paul’s chance to win the nomination (he doesn’t have one) than I am in finding out who these people are, so passionate, so determined, so internet-obsessed, and the WaPo article helps develop an outline. So who are they?

As you might expect, while there is a vocal minority who are rabid libertarians, it seems that the majority are disaffected Republicans unhappy with the extremism, obliviousness, and corporate toadying of the Bush Republicans, not to mention massive deficits and a war viewed by many as the child of neoliberals rather than neoconservatives. Jose Vargas, the reporter, likens Paul’s appeal to that of Pat Buchanan in ’96.

But the most fitting analogy, political analysts here say, might be Patrick Buchanan. Though Paul has not been a general in the culture wars like Buchanan, both men come from the old right of the GOP, pols who champion limited government and fiscal conservatism. Buchanan was barely registering in the New Hampshire polls months before his surprise defeat of Bob Dole in 1996.

“As surprising as Ron Paul’s popularity is, you see where it’s coming from. In an election in which a party doesn’t think it will win — and a lot of Republicans here have a perception that no matter the nominee, they’re going to lose next year — voters have an opportunity to vote with their gut,” says the University of New Hampshire’s [Andrew] Smith, [a pollster and director of UNH’s Survey Center].

(emphasis added)

As Kyle already noted, you don’t get much in the way of specifics or even relevant reasoning from RP’s supporters when you try to engage in a dialogue.

[W]hile it’s entertaining for a little while, the fun quickly goes out of the party when the comments reach a brain bendingly obvious repetition. Debate any Ron Paul supporter on any topic, and you are likely to get one of two responses. A) “So what’s wrong with following the constitution?” or B) “Everything not Ron Paul is evil.”

If Vargas got much more than that, he didn’t print it. The closest he came to reasoning from Paul supporters were the kind of general statements short on specifics that we’re used to hearing from conservatives.

Last week, they gathered at [Jim] Forsythe’s house to watch the latest GOP presidential debate. Forsythe is the most recent Paulite convert of the bunch. The father of two heard Paul speak in February and remembers how he derided big government and unnecessary wars. Says Forsythe, an aerospace engineer: “That really got me. I fought in Bosnia, Somalia and Iraq, the Iraq before this Iraq war.

“I just couldn’t believe a politician was talking about these things,” he says. “And the thing is, what’s going on with Ron Paul, what he’s tapping into, speaks to how much the Republican Party has lost its way.”

***

“This is the first politician I can truly support, ever,” says 53-year-old William D. Johnson, who runs a law firm in downtown L.A. and has donated the maximum, $2,300. A former Democrat, he switched to the GOP because of Paul. “I don’t agree with all his positions — he’s not as strong on environmental issues as I’d like — but because of his record you know that he’s a man of utmost integrity.”

***

“Have you ever heard the expression, ‘What’s wrong is right and what’s right is wrong?’ ” [Jane] Aitken, the retired art teacher [who voted for Bush in both elections], asks. “We’ve been doing things that are so wrong for so long that the right thing for some might feel freaky. Sometimes you have to stop and think, ‘Okay, this is my conviction.’ “

(emphasis added)

The vast middle of Paul’s support, in other words, is coming from committed, convinced conservatives who have bought the now standard right-wing meme that Bush isn’t a “real” conservative and that the GOP has “lost its way”. The truth, as we now know, is somewhat different.

Bush has been the first president ever with the absolute freedom to put conservative dogma into actual practice without the leavening influence of Democratic amendments to soften the blows, and the result hasn’t been pretty. From exploding the Reagan myth that US corporations didn’t need regulating because they knew enough not to poison their customers or bankrupt the system, to the collapse of the infrastructure due to low-tax revolutionaries, to the cold, calculated abandonment of sick kids for the sake of corporate profits, the Bush Administration isn’t guilty of not being conservative enough, it’s guilty of being too conservative, of taking the usual conservative doctrines and letting them play themselves out.

What Bush has done has been to bring long-standing, unexamined conservative mythology into the real world unchecked by govt oversight or regulatory restraints. In the process, he has proven beyond all doubt that these conservative “ideas” born of greed, misinformation, and wishful thinking, DON’T WORK. That they are, in fact, antithetical to a rational economy, a sane quality of life, and a healthy democracy, and that what they actually encourage – as opposed to what conservatives have chosen to believe they encourage – is authoritarianism, unfettered economic oligarchy, and a vision of America as an Imperial force that treats the rest of the world as client-states.

Paul’s base – and the source of most libertarians, I suspect – would seem to be coming from dead-ender conservatives unwilling or unable to face the reality that their prescriptions are all wrong and their ideas bereft of real-world effectiveness. Conservatism has always been a sort of blind religion whose adherents believe what they believe in the face of all evidence to the contrary, a matter of faith rather than knowledge. There are only two ways of handling denial: either you continue to insist you’re right no matter how obvious it is that you aren’t, or you decide that those in charge who pushed your ideas “did it wrong”.

We’re seeing both these forms in stark relief as the illusory magnificence of conservative ideologies made manifest outside their protected bubbles where flaws are unexamined or ignored and critics are derided as flakes and “Bush-haters” begins to tear apart the fragile fabric that has held the American Dream together for so long. Conservative/Beltway pundits and 27%-ers present the hostility of the former, Paul supporters and libertarians the disgust and disaffection of the latter. Neither is willing to face the flaws in their faith.

47 Responses to “Ron Paul in NH”

  1. I think it incredibly important that you refer to faith and Paulism in the same piece because I’ve been hesitant to make that connection, but it is most definitely there.

    I agree in general with what you have to say here, though I would point out, and this is what has some liberals and Democrats approving of Ron Paul after cursory glances is that there is a difference between Bush and traditional conservatism in the area of foreign policy; his own policies so far removed from isolationism, but even that has long since died as a conservative standard given the state of conservatism lately. Aside from this, you’re pretty much dead right, and the religious odor of the Ron Paul machine particularly I find curious.

    I just got done writing an email to a friend of mine, and I brought that very thing up because Paulites are just exactly that “ites”. Their zeal for their candidate does not border on the religious, it is religious, and while this is by no means true for all of them, for a good number, talking to a Paulite is much like talking to perhaps a Jehova’s Witness… Yes, far too many Paulites are the Jehova’s Witnesses of the political world.

    The upside is that such religious zeal is not particularly effective at short term conversion, but the downshot of it is that these folks are locked, loaded, ready to go, and there will be no deterring of them.

  2. Mick Arran says:

    I didn’t get into it here (tho I thought of it, the post was already long), I’m beginning to believe that the disaster of Bushism has made movement conservatism a spent force. I suspect the TB’s will, in the next decade or so, start gravitating toward libertarianism. They already are, actually, but the numbers will get a lot bigger. There will be an opening, and if the libertarians take over control of the GOP as movement conservatives did – which isn’t by any means a fantasy – they will become the Next Great Danger to the Republic. If you think movement conservatives are divorced from reality, libertarians make them look like pragmatists by comparison.

  3. Al says:

    Mush apologies, but as a Ron Paul supporter I would like to take a moment and remind you that the reason I support him is because of his views, whether or not those views differ from George Bush. Bush represents conservatism like Clinton represents family values. I am a conservative, in fact, I am more coservative than all the so called Republicans in the government except Ron Paul. This is why he is popular, not dispite his popularity. He is so conservative that he looks like a liberal. He appeals to all parties by speaking the truth as he sees it and we know he believes what he says. Everything good about either party he is for, and everything bad about either party he is against.

    From a Liberal prospective:
    He wants to end the war on drugs
    He wants to remove corporate control of government
    He wants to end the Federal death penalty
    He wants to end the war in Iraq

    From a Conservative prospective:
    He wants to reduce taxes and eliminate the IRS
    He wants to rid the Federal Government of beurocracies an departments
    He wants to reduce the national debt
    He wants to overturn Roe/Wade

    Both:
    He wants to put value back into the dollar as Kennedy tried to do
    He wants to balance the budget as Clinton did

    There is something about Ron Paul that just appeals to everyone, and that is he IS bucking his own party and telling the truth as he sees it. Although most of his supporters cannot debate you on the issues, (I know I can) they do vote.

    VOTE RON PAUL

  4. Mick Arran says:

    Oh, yeah – the “faith” part. I’ve been saying for 30 years that conservatism generally and movement conservatism in particular aren’t political philosophies so much as they’re what I have called “economic religions”. Their advocates believe in them despite all the compelling evidence that they don’t work, have never worked, can’t work. It’s the flip-side of Communism, another economic religion, and the reason they hate each other so devoutly: they’re a lot alike. It’s also the explanation for the natural connection between religious conservatives and fundamentalist Xtians: they share a fervent belief in things that aren’t true. As Fundies deny science to cling to the absurdity of ID, so do conservatives deny economic realities so they can cling to simplistic Molochian/Randian doctrines of selfishness and the spiritual cleansing-power of wealth. Neither has any intention of allowing the real world to affect their belief system.

  5. You know, that’s rather interesting Mick, because in Assault on Reason, by Gore, I just now remembered him making the same kind of argument that the neoconservative movement, or movement conservatism, is a lot less like a political philosophy and much more dogmatic in nature and it is actually this aspect that helped it to reach such a fervored height of support. Unlike God in any form, which can only be proven or disproved after death, the ideologies upon which these faiths are created can be tested in real life, and as it turns out, they tested pretty terribly.

  6. Allen Holm says:

    The devides in this country are not Democrat/Republican as much as they are Rich/Poor. And NEITHER party wants to admit that they are benifited significantly by it. Our founders who wrote the Constitution knew that fractional reserve banking was fraud. That is why they provided for only Gold and Silver to be legal tender. They knew the dangers of letting private banks print money without value backing. The Continental dollar was proof that it doesn’t work.

    Say you wanted to “make” some money like a bank does, and you have a thousand bucks in your vault as backing or “reserve”. You go and loan out ten thousand dollars merely by writing checks to those you loan the money to. Could you get away with it?
    Banks do every day. Buying even the debt of the United States. It is legal for the rich, but not for the poor.

    There is alot of legal mumbo jumbo used to create sophistication and thus make this blatant fraud look innocent. And those who benifit from it will never change it, in fact they don’t even want the general public to know it is true.

    You don’t care about your own children if you ignore this. Your own Social Security benifits are worth less and less every year because of it. All the social programs in the world will become useless eventually because of inflation. There is only ONE candidate who is running for president who understands this, or cares about this. And his name is RON PAUL.

    Woodrow Wilson had the backing of the Democratic Party that was backed mostly by the Populist movement led by William Jennings Bryant and his “free silver” platform. He was supported and backed by the banker J.P. Morgan, while the Republicans were supported by the banker (and oilman) John D. Rockefeller and others. Senator Nelson Aldrich(R) pushed a National bank plan through congress called the Aldrich bill. It was defeated by the Democrat/Popoulists. So two Democrats, one in the Senate and one in the house pushed the Glass-Owen bill, which created the Federal Reserve. The two bills were virtually identical!

    Our banking problems outdate the Federal Reserve by more than a hundred years. The Fed was supposed to fix it, but instead MULTIPLIED it. That is why Woodrow Wilson said what he said after he got out of office.

    “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by it’s system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world; no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.” -Woodrow Wilson President of the United States 1913-1921

    Franklin D. Roosevelts “New Deal” was orchastrated by his new Fed Chairman:
    “That is what our money system is. If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn’t be any money” –Marriner S. Eccles

    So money flooded the streets by the Corporate Banks and the Federal Reserve LOANING it to the government. As long as we stay under the Federal Reserve system I am a fiscal liberal, as Ron Paul is, but the sooner we get money and debt seperated, the more I can be a fiscal conservative.

    Ron Paul is the first candidate in history to publicly declare a desire to abolish the Federal Reserve System. His enemies are not you and I, but those who make billions of dollars on our taxes.

  7. matttbastard says:

    Gee, imagine that. Ron Paul fanatics are…

    fanatical.

    Film at eleven.

    BTW, original WaPo article here.

  8. Allen Holm says:

    It is also interesting that liberals think faith is an inherintly “bad” thing. When you yourselves have your own forms of faith. The Bible belt conservatives believe in a god and the afterlife, while the liberals believe in the the big bang and Darwinian “theories”. Neither have been proven by science, and neither are inherintly wrong. It just depends on the credibility you place in the “hope” that they are true.

    The greatest amount of faith in society is thier trust in the value of money. As liberal columnist William Grieder put it in his book:

    “Above all, money is a function of faith. It required an implicit and universal social consent that is indeed mysterious. To create money and use it, each one must believe, and everyone must believe. Only then did worthless pieces of paper take on value. When a society loses faith in money, it was implicitly losing faith in itself…. The money process, nonetheless, still required a deep, unacknowledged act of faith, so mysterious that it could easily be confused with divine powers” – William Greider, in his book “Secrets of the Temple”

  9. matttbastard says:

    The Bible belt conservatives believe in a god and the afterlife, while the liberals believe in the the big bang and Darwinian “theories”. Neither have been proven by science, and neither are inherintly wrong. It just depends on the credibility you place in the “hope” that they are true.

    Judging by this comment, I have faith that you’re a fucking moron.

  10. Allen Holm says:

    I may be a moron, but you can’t prove it by science! YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE!

  11. Elizabeth Gray says:

    EVERYONE has “faith”. It’s only what you have faith in that changes. For some it’s Christ, for some it’s Buddha, for some it’s Mohammad, and for some it’s money and for others it’s themselves but everyone has a faith of one variety or another. Don’t you think that no matter what you believe that it affects your actions? If you don’t you might want to think again.

    Paul has a firm faith in Christianity but he does not believe that the government should dictate faith in any area, the same with abortion, guns, drugs and a variety of other issues.

    What I don’t think you, or many others get is that Paul knows how to seperate constitutional rights with his own personal beliefs. Check his record, then speak.

  12. matttbastard says:

    To quote myself:

    The fervency–the fanaticism–reminds me of 9/11 Truthers, or ‘pro-lifers’; no matter what the evidence (or the logistical concerns presented), those who truly believe will continue to believe, regardless of the facts.

    Just so.

    Etc.

  13. Allen Holm says:

    If it Darwin’s “Theory” of the origin of species was fact, it would not be considered a theory anymore. In fact the evidence has actually shown that it is almost impossible. So believe in your facts, and believe in your evidence, but when the Science takes the “theory” off of evolution and adds “Law”, then I can’t argue against your “facts” anymore. Until then, YOU GOT TO BELIEVE!

  14. I’m just marveling, Matt, how so much of this isn’t even in the same zip code as the original argument, or adjacent arguments, or, for that matter, lacking any logical connection to the original piece at hand with one obvious, glaring, exception. So how was the big nights out?

  15. matttbastard says:

    I may be a moron, but you can’t prove it by science! YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE!

    I can take the evidence presented (in this case, your utilization of a false equivalence between fundamentalist Christianity and evolutionary biology) and make an informed decision.

    That’s not mere “belief”; that’s a logical conclusion.

    The difference between evolutionary biology and religion: one exists in stasis, in spite of contrary evidence; the other is constantly being tested and retested, and can be falsified. I am happy to reevaluate my initial hypothesis if presented with contradictory (empirical) evidence. Religious faith exists in spite of contrary evidence.

    Is the zealotry of most Paulites based upon a genuine desire for a return to pre-Progressive Era politics, or more akin to that of a personality cult? I tend to lean towards the latter theory, but am willing to be proven (ahem) wrong.

    Can you say the same in turn?

    (Btw, the scare quotes you placed around ‘theory’ also contributed to my analysis. Insert Inigo Montoya quote here.)

    And now I am going to respectfully (or disrespectfully — YMMV) bow out of this discussion, since I already know where it’s going to lead.

  16. “Hallo! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father! Prepare to die!”

    Sorry…

    couldn’t resist.

  17. matttbastard says:

    Thread=Derailed (before “post” was even clicked–geez, and I’ve never been one to believe in predestination, even when I did possess ‘faith’).

    Just wait until the more rEVOLting monkeys start flapping in from Meet-Up central.
    Have fun trying to reason with those who possess a severe allergy to reality (and the written word). 😉

    Re: this past weekend: It was a lot of fun seeing Isabel, Kyle. Friday night was a blast – Grindhouse Burlesque FTW. Saturday turned out to be filled with nudity and sociopolitical commentary (all rolled into one frothy gay package).

    TBH, when she said ‘dress up’ I thought we were going to the ballet or the symphony.

  18. lester says:

    “Paul’s base – and the source of most libertarians, I suspect – would seem to be coming from dead-ender conservatives unwilling or unable to face the reality that their prescriptions are all wrong and their ideas bereft of real-world effectiveness”

    lol. because you know what’s effective in the real world. that’s why you get your ass handed to you by 14 year old ron paul supporters on your own blog.

    “It’s the flip-side of Communism, another economic religion, and the reason they hate each other so devoutly: they’re a lot alike.”

    I’d like to see you prove that. communism is based on central planning. conservatism is based on NON central planning. they are nothing alike.

    you guys can do better than this. I hope for your sake you can at least

  19. matttbastard says:

    auto response: Now, if you wish to continue making a complete dumbass of yourself, thus adding to the perception that a good number of Ron Paul supporters are, to be blunt, FUCKING MORONS — to the detriment of capable, intelligent, sincere RP partisans like Mark — have at it.

    You’re only doing my our job for me us.

  20. lester says:

    matt- ” pre-Progressive Era politics”

    exactly. when we could keep our money instead of having to give half of it to the government so they can invade countries that aren’t a threat to us and subsidize things we no longer use.

    kyle “the neoconservative movement, or movement conservatism, is ”

    two completely different things. neo conservatives are former leftists who retained the trostky ite inclination towards big government and imperialist foreign policy. movement conservatives arose out of failed liberal policies like the new deal and the great society, which resulted in nothing more than extending the great depression and raising the tax burden respectively.

  21. Hey, at least we now know how old lester is!

    Awesomeness.

  22. Anyway, sounds like fun, glad you had a good time!

  23. matttbastard says:

    Yes, ol’ les seems to still enjoy experimenting with terminology he apparently doesn’t quite fully understand (and hasn’t yet learned to spell correctly).

    Thanks — nice to see Mike came out of work-imposed exile to post a bit.

  24. lester says:

    if you thought this topic was a masterpiece of delusions of grandeur look at this one from last year folks:

    “To my Democratic politician friends. First, congratulations. It’s been a long hard battle getting here, I know. And you’ve done some very hard work. But also, I know there has been some dirty work done as well. I do not place the blame of the mud flinging in the political arena wholely on the Republicans, and now comes the call for you as well to engage in bipartisan discourse, utilizing compromise and civilized debate to move forward, and not bully tactics to move backwards. Do not forget the past twelve years you’ve spent in the minority. Your republican counterparts are your coworkers, not your enemies. I think the biggest thing to remember for you now is that, as Goose stated below, now is not the time to run off claiming mandate and thinking you own everything. While the Senate may be safe for awhile, the House can change hands again just as easily two years from now. So legislate wisely, and generously. Listen to the counsel of your advisors, and your experts, and most importantly, to the people who put you where you are now. Progress is now a possibility, but it will take hard work. But possibly more important is the chance you have to change the atmosphere in DC, if you can play a pivotal role in that, then i have a funny feeling everything else will turn out alright.

    To my friends on the right, from the blogosphere to the multi million dollar television and radio productions. Please do not fall into the same rut of antagonizing and fear mongering. Now is not a time for hate, it is a time for hope. You specifically, I’m going to challenge. I challenge you to stop being mouth pieces to an old way of doing things. I’m going to challenge you to stop demonizing the ideas of the opposite party, and start engaging them. By this I don’t mean embrace them, but at the very least entertain them. Consider the possibility that someone with a “D” by their name may actually be right once in a while. You hold in your hands the hearts and minds of millions of Americans, and your influence could mean the difference between the success of our newly elected government, and as a result our country as a whole, or your words could result in our mutual destruction. I challenge you to understand the gravity of your words, and to use them responsibly.

    And finally, to my friends on the left, from Al Franken, and Mike Malloy, to those folks I’ve worked with right here on this blog and others; friends like Macswain and Goose, Fester, Shamanic at Simianbrain, Cernig at Newshog, and Alicia (who contributes to just so many places I’ll just ask you to click on her profile off to the right), we too have a challenge before us. We must first be patient, change does not happen over night. We, like our rightwing friends, have an opportunity to use this event to rise above the antagonism of years past. And we should and must do this. But we have a deeper responsibility. Now, not a whole lot of people seem to like Mike Moore anymore, but there will always be one thing he said that I agreed with. I can’t remember where, probably at the end of Farenheit 911, and I can’t remember the quote exactly, so I’ll just paraphrase. The sentiment is this. After working so hard to try and get Kerry elected, Moore explained that if Kerry got elected, he would turn his critical eye upon him as well.

    It’s an important concept. We cannot afford to now let ourselves drift into the role of team player. All of us must endeavor to keep one simple fact in mind. Our elected officials work for US, not the other way around. We must continue to be vigilant of our public servants, we must continue to be critical of them, and we must hold them to the same, if not higher, standards as we’ve held politicians in the past.

    To everyone, this is a unique and wonderful opportunity we’ve been given. Let’s take advantage of it.

    Now, whether I am returning to blogging or not. I only intended this to be a one time thing. Actually, I didn’t even intend that. But I got sucked in. To be totally honest, my life really sucks very much right now, and I know I don’t have the time, energy, or mentality to return to full time blogging. However, as I mentioned in the comments to an earlier post by Goose, the last two days didn’t suck… So… I guess you folks may be seeing me from time to time.

    M

    ps. Could someone please duct tape John Kerry’s mouth shut? I’d take it as a kindness.

    .

    (Be the first to comment)

    “you like me..you really really like me!” sally field ’85

    yeah the first thing al franken and russ feingold did was come to this blog for that little pep talk.

    and rush and ann coulter were relieved that kyle was sporting about the dems historic victory.

    which has turned into a historic failure to accomplish what they were reluctantly elected to do.

  25. lester says:

    “To my Democratic politician friends”

    “To my friends on the right, from the blogosphere to the multi million dollar television and radio productions”

    “And finally, to my friends on the left, from Al Franken, and Mike Malloy, to those folks I’ve worked with right here on this blog and others”

    If i pay you a $1000 would you give this speech at a party? hahaha

  26. Jane Aitken says:

    Yes, that was my quote, and it’s true. It’s an old communist adage…to desensitize people.

    But there was a lot more said in the 6 hours Jose spent with us than he chose to print…so don’t let your perception of our supposed lack of substantive reasons for supporting Ron get in the way of the fact that he is the candidate who probably has the MOST engaged and knowledgable supporters around.

    Try asking a Hillary or Obama supporter, Rudy or Mitt supporter why they like their candidate and they can’t tell you.
    Just reading comments on the various blogs, as I’m sure you’ve done, will give you substance you won’t get anyplace else.

    Of all the accusations, you could not come up with a better one?

    Perhaps you would like to correspond with Dr. Forsythe, an aerospace engineer and tanker pilot who did duty in Bosnia and Kosovo…or ex-marine Will Albenzi. Not that the housewife, bricklayer, and computer programmers that were present didn’t have their acts together either.

    I don’t know who those other people are that were interspersed into the article, the author chose to add those in. None of us from NH said we did not like all of Ron’s positions.

    And now you see that members of the GOP are supporting Ron, not people who are ‘not republicans’. He’s the real deal, and a real republican. Bush is not, sadly, as he’s acted worse than the worst liberal I’m sad to say.

    Your article is predisposed as you seem to be some partisan hack, so it’s not surprising to read that you think Bush was too conservative. I don’t even think RINOs in his party would say that….and your article makes no sense. But then again, you don’t fully grasp what it means to BE conservative, except that you can only use Bush as your reference.

    By the way, my garage is full of signs, and not one of them is handmade… 😛

  27. Mick Arran says:

    lester, really, don’t you think calling Ron Paul Supporters “14 yr olds” is a little, well, insulting? Cluelessness and disconnection from reality aren’t exclusively the province of adolescents by any means. Most of the teen-agers I know are hipper to reality than most of the libertarians I’ve met or heard from. You do them a great disservice. RP supporters won’t be wild about it, either, I suspect.

    communism is based on central planning. conservatism is based on NON central planning. they are nothing alike.

    *sigh*

    It’s astounding, really. This was a simple post with a simple idea, but as primitive as it was, it was too much for libertarians. I’ll try once, then give it up.

    “Central planning v non-central planning.”

    A) Communism is NOT based on central planning. Marx proposed an alternative to the soul-destroying economic disaster that was runaway capitalism in the 19th century. Central planning is the mechanism Communist-style govts chose to use to try to tame that particular monster. In the process, they created an entirely different monster, thus the term “flip-side”, meaning “the opposite of”. Even if you really are 14, I presume you’ve “flipped” a coin and therefore ought to be familiar with the concept.

    B) They ARE alike in their reliance on dogmas which have been proven wrong time and time again. Which word don’t you understand?

    because you know what’s effective in the real world

    We have an idea, yeah, because we’ve tried things and they worked, not because we belief that they ought to. Understand the difference? Unlike conservatives/libertarians it iosn’t a matter of faith, it’s a matter of trial and error. Know what that is? If you have an idea, you try it. If it doesn’t work, you try something else.

    “Expecting different results from identical actions is the clinical definition of insanity.”

    Elizabeth: There are places where faith belongs and places where it doesn’t. It does NOT belong in politics, economic policies, science, history, education, etc etc etc except as an element of personal character. It isn’t Paul’s personal faith I’m questioning (in fact, this post isn’t really about Ron Paul at all) but the policies in which he puts that faith. They don’t deserve it. They are quantifiable, testable policies and they have failed every test they’ve ever been put to. That’s the point of this post. Go back and read it again. You missed it the first time.

    And btw, I’ve checked his record. It’s full of integrity – and gibberish. IOW, he’s strong and consistent in his beliefs but those beliefs make no sense and are often contradictory.

    Allen: Evolution is a “theory” like gravity is a “theory”. Gimme une break.

  28. Jane Aitken says:

    Also, I see man of you are still using the word ‘isolationism’ improperly.

    Isolationism refers to trade etc, not to government intervention in wars.

    Government intervention in wars is, interventionism.

    If you support interventionism, then say so. Stop saying inaccurate things about Paul who believes 100% in free trade (not managed trade like NAFTA) and keeping our noses out of others’ political difficulties.

  29. Jane Aitken says:

    Quoting Arran: “And btw, I’ve checked his record. It’s full of integrity – and gibberish. IOW, he’s strong and consistent in his beliefs but those beliefs make no sense and are often contradictory.”

    Hmm what a copout. Lack of your ability to debate using real facts? Yes he’s full of integrity because he’s CORRECT. What things does he say that you disagree with? I haven’t heard one yet…

    Let’s just say you don’t agree with his approach to things, not that his beliefs make no sense. They make no sense to YOU, which is unfortunate, but they are not gibberish or contradictory.

    I am not a libertarian either, never have been. I have always been registered R.

  30. Mick Arran says:

    Jane:

    so don’t let your perception of our supposed lack of substantive reasons for supporting Ron

    That perception comes more from listening to RP’s supporters than from that article. The song is always the same.

    he is the candidate who probably has the MOST engaged and knowledgable supporters around.

    Not even close. The Prize for that goes to John Edwards’ supporters.

    Try asking a Hillary or Obama supporter, Rudy or Mitt supporter why they like their candidate and they can’t tell you.

    Sure they can, except that mostly they’d be wrong. Rudy isn’t a tough guy, Mitt has no discernible convictions of any sort, and Hillary isn’t either honest or particularly liberal. Obama’s followers are somewhat akin to Paul’s – their support is based more on faith than anything he’s done, and they have to overlook inconsistencies and a quiet flare for corporate toadying.

    Of all the accusations, you could not come up with a better one?

    *sigh again*

    It’s not an “accusation”, it’s an “observation” linked to a “conclusion”. Like all conservatives, you haven’t refuted either part. You’ve simply asserted that I’m wrong without offering proof, yet this comment thread itself contains lots of proof that I’m not only not wrong, I’ve probably understated the case.

    Perhaps you would like to correspond with Dr. Forsythe, an aerospace engineer and tanker pilot who did duty in Bosnia and Kosovo…or ex-marine Will Albenzi. Not that the housewife, bricklayer, and computer programmers that were present didn’t have their acts together either.

    Sure. Be glad to. My email address is on the “Contact” page.

    None of us from NH said we did not like all of Ron’s positions.

    You can’t be serious. Not one of you so much as disagrees with anything Ron Paul has ever said? You agree with every single one of his positions, including the elimination of the Education and Labor Depts? OSHA? the Product Safety Commission? etc. Really?

    If that isn’t the definition of a cult, I’d like to know what it is.

    But then again, you don’t fully grasp what it means to BE conservative…

    No? I grew up in NH, and that was 50 years ago when it was a lot more conservative than it is now. Believe me, I was indoctrinated thoroughly into an understanding of all things conservative – I had no choice. But if you’d so desire, why don’t you enlighten us all as to what a “real” conservative is in your opinion? Tho, partisan Paul hack that you are, I suspect I already know the answer.

  31. Mick Arran says:

    Hmm what a copout. Lack of your ability to debate using real facts?

    Which facts would you like to debate?

    Yes he’s full of integrity because he’s CORRECT.

    About what, exactly? Eliminating the Federal Reserve, for example? Much as I dislike what it does sometimes and the way it usually does it, its total abolition would be a monetary and economic catastrophe. This should be self-evident. That it isn’t tends to prove my point.

    They make no sense to YOU, which is unfortunate, but they are not gibberish or contradictory.

    They don’t make any more sense in the real world than any other conservative poppycock. Remove regulations on industry? Bush has done that and we’ve learned, to our sorrow, what it means. That argument has always been gibberish and it still is. Unregulated corporatism is a recipe for murder. Federalism exists because the states can’t control global corporations who don’t give a damn if they kill people as long as they can increase their profits. So we just let them do it?

    It’s the same damn nonsense in a different wrapper. Having integrity doesn’t make you right, it only makes you honest about what you believe.

    I am not a libertarian either, never have been. I have always been registered R.

    Finally. Tho I suspect it was accidental knowledge, that was the point of the post. You just made it for me.

  32. Jane Aitken says:

    Oh man, where to begin?

    That perception comes more from listening to RP’s supporters than from that article. The song is always the same.

    Yep I agree — generally it’s that we finally can support someone’s ideas, someone who also has no personal baggage and who appeals across party lines.

    Then you can get into it issue by issue, and you’d have to have been asleep not to have read discussions of such almost anywhere on the web.
    He has the most knowledgable and engaged supporters of any.

    Not even close. The Prize for that goes to John Edwards’ supporters.

    Ah so now we see where your loyalties lie! I have never MET a John Edwards supporter and I do a lot of outreach. He doesn’t have much of a campaign here in NH…at least not in the usual places one campaigns. Mostly I see kids with big hairdos…LOL

    Obama’s followers are somewhat akin to Paul’s – their support is based more on faith than anything he’s done, and they have to overlook inconsistencies and a quiet flare for corporate toadying.

    Here is where the ‘you can’t argue with a 2-year old’ feeling comes to play. Paul supporters have NOTHING in common with Obama supporters. Paul is well read and studied, and has written 10 books about monetary and foreign policy. He has had many following his career for years. No one ever heard of Obama before this..I suspect he was thrown in there in case people could not stomach Hillary.

    Not one of you so much as disagrees with anything Ron Paul has ever said? You agree with every single one of his positions, including the elimination of the Education and Labor Depts? OSHA? the Product Safety Commission? etc. Really?

    You misread, or perhaps I did not phrase my statement correctly.
    I am sure many do not like the idea that he his pro-life, anti-death penalty.
    Some even don’t like the idea that he would wind down Iraq.
    Others feel we should have open borders…. all at odds with his positions.

    But what does it tell you when someone who has worked in the educational system for 35 years and knows what damage the Dept of Education has done fully agrees with getting rid of it? What is it about the FedEdu that you think is helpful to actual students and teachers and education in general? Do you have any experience with this?

    If that isn’t the definition of a cult, I’d like to know what it is.

    You know, what this boils down to is, Ron Paul has a lot of support, from people who aren’t going to change their minds. It’s called being committed. And you can’t deal with it, don’t like it, won’t face it, so you must call it a ‘cult’. Every other candidate up there wishes he too had this ‘cult’ of commitment behind him. They are all scrambling to find out how. Huckabee tried to ‘use’ the internet to no avail. McCain pictured a homemade sign in one of his ads. And Fred, poor Fred, is even using the word ‘revolution’. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…….

    But if you’d so desire, why don’t you enlighten us all as to what a “real” conservative is in your opinion? Tho, partisan Paul hack that you are, I suspect I already know the answer.

    If you knew the answer you would stop this jealous ranting on this pointless blog. Everyone else who follows a candidate is a supporter, except for those who follow Paul — they are ‘hacks’. A little bias maybe?

    I can’t really waste my time explaining what a conservative is to someone who is having a jealous rant over the support of a candidate he doesn’t like. Heck, I’m no cult leader. I don’t really care if you don’t like him, there are enough others who do.

    Try thinking ‘less government’ — maybe that will jog your memory of what it was like to be a conservative, if you ever really were one.

  33. Jane Aitken says:

    Eliminating the Federal Reserve, for example? Much as I dislike what it does sometimes and the way it usually does it, its total abolition would be a monetary and economic catastrophe. This should be self-evident. That it isn’t tends to prove my point.

    I will not support someone who won’t recognize the problems of having a private bank control our monetary system.
    What can be done about it will not happen overnight….as the less than naive are aware..

    They don’t make any more sense in the real world than any other conservative poppycock.

    To partisan hacks, all conservatism is poppycock…

    Remove regulations on industry? Bush has done that and we’ve learned, to our sorrow, what it means. That argument has always been gibberish and it still is. Unregulated corporatism is a recipe for murder. Federalism exists because the states can’t control global corporations who don’t give a damn if they kill people as long as they can increase their profits. So we just let them do it?

    Spoken like a true liberal..running scared.


    It’s the same damn nonsense in a different wrapper. Having integrity doesn’t make you right, it only makes you honest about what you believe.

    Once again, you don’t agree. But don’t say that supporters don’t know what he stands for. I do man on the street interviews for my radio show and I have yet to find one I can play from any of the Ds.

    Finally. Tho I suspect it was accidental knowledge, that was the point of the post. You just made it for me.

    Don’t understand what point you think you are making. It says it right in the article I am an R always have been. It was not accidental that it came out nor did I try to hide it. And I happen to think Ron represents the republican platform as it was intended.

  34. Andrew says:

    Is this a spoof piece or is the writer still a minor? Those are the only 2 acceptable excuses for writing “Bush has been the first president ever with the absolute freedom to put conservative dogma into actual practice”.

    Sometimes I believe sites like this are setup just to make all liberals look stupid. As a liberal myself, I find that pretty apalling.

  35. Jane Aitken says:

    Thanks Andrew… I read that line and thought the same thing — this must be a spoof. How does one put conservative dogma in place if one is not a conservative? LOL Too funny.

    Listen to this video and hear Joe Scarborough say what we all know (about 4:40 in) that Ron Paul is the only real conservative and Reaganesque figure in the race.

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

  36. Jane Aitken says:

    Oh, and I’d like to add, that the owner of this blog doesn’t seem to get that we are not voting for a party, and we are not apologizing for the GOP or trying to define republicanism — we are voting for a MAN who we feel WILL admit to the problems we face and who we think is truthfully dedicated to doing something about them. Only a cult leader would stay here and try to convert a partisan.

    🙂

  37. Vic Sage says:

    My support for Dr. Paul is centered about the LACK of conversation The People have had about “our money” and the nature of of size and invasiveness of the Federal Government.

    If the system was less about “picking” the Demopublican over the Republcratic “choice”, I would not have sent Dr. Paul money for his bid to get the Republican nod. (If I felt Gravel or Kuchinish had a chance, I’d sent them some money)

    I can only hope for Dr. Paul winning NH and then the Republican nomination because at least there would be national discussion(s) about money and the size/power of the federal government.

  38. matttbastard says:

    Paul supporters have NOTHING in common with Obama supporters. Paul is well read and studied, and has written 10 books about monetary and foreign policy. He has had many following his career for years.

    And his tears still fucking cure cancer.

    Can we (and I’m including myself in this) agree to a moratorium on R0n P@ul posts? These Kool-Aid crackheads make me pine for the sober discourse of 9/11 Truthers.

  39. I’m almost there.

    Way back at the beginning of this entirely strange us vs. Ron Paul ordeal, someone accused us of not covering him like any other candidate. Sad thing is, just to avoid his supporters, I may very well stop covering him like any other candidate.

  40. Freedom2Learn says:

    Just another political hack trying to get noticed by the Faux news hacks. That is my best guess as to why an article like this would even get the time of day.

  41. Butler T. Reynolds says:

    I understand that it is tough to define what a conservative is given the wide range of behavior that we’ve seen.

    But the guys in charge now — often called the neo-conservatives — are the old FDR and LBJ Democrats who did not share the same goals of the secular crowd in the Democratic Party that were a bit sympathetic to the Soviet Union. The secular peace and love crowd that took over in the 60s chased them away for good. The pro-war New Dealers bolted for the Republican Party.

    For decades the pro-war New Dealers and the pro-free enterprise libertarians of the Republican Party were held together in a fragile alliance against the Soviets.

    After the Cold War, the big government pro-war Republicans took charge and barely even give the libertarian wing any lip service.

    The pro-liberty small government Goldwater Republicans are largely what makes up the Ron Paul crowd. They have nowhere else left to go.

    BTR

  42. rhys says:

    I can’t believe real communists still exist. It’s like spotting a dodo in New York. But seriously, Marx didn’t create an alternative to capitalism, he just lacked a coherent price theory. Even if the monopolization of the means to production were possible, the most that the owner could charge for his goods and services would be a monopoly price, which isn’t the same thing as an unlimited price. One may own all of the oil in the world, and no one will pay a trillion dollars for a mL of oil. So, the price limit for any good and service is determined by its marginal value – which is to say its subjective value. But, if this is true for all goods and services, then it is true for labor which is a proper subset of the set of goods and services. QED – All prices in a free market are fair.

    The problem is not that capitalists interfere with a free market, because capitalists, by definition, are unable to work from outside the market; the problem is coercive interference, which is the result of misapplication of a public goods doctrine. The problem with public goods theories, is that they fail to recognize that public goods are perfectly non-rival AND non-exclusionary. Public goods theorists claim the public goods are, therefore, not produced in adequate proportians to meet demand primarily because once created – they are free. The public goods theorists claim that this limits their production; and that only a public organization can supply the ‘true’ current effective demand. A perfect example of a public good is an idea. Which just shows why this is such a vapid concept. According to public goods theorists, the supply of ideas will never be created to meet the current effective demand for ideas because once created ideas are ‘free’. So, they argue, we must create a government to produce ideas otherwise ideas will chronically be in short supply. If course this is the logical conclusion of a Marxist, and explains the current state of education in this country – but what do you expect from a theory which discounts the efficacy of free markets.

    I don’t know if this qualifies as discussion befitting a Ron Paul supporter, but I support Ron Paul because he wants to free Marxists and Greenies to set up a social paradise in any State where they can push through their ill-informed agenda. Vote Ron Paul.

  43. Joshua Snyder says:

    Dr. Ron Paul of Texas is our American sage. He merits the honorific tzu, meaning “master,” given to the great thinkers of Chinese antiquity: K’ung Fu Tzu (Confucius), Meng Tzu (Mencius), Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Sun Tzu and others. Ron Paul Tzu is both a Confucian gentleman and a Taoist sage.

    Dr. Paul’s advocacy of constitutional principles and the thought of the founders would gain approval from Confucius, who said “I transmit but do not innovate; I am truthful in what I say and devoted to antiquity (The Analects, VII, 1).” The Paul Administration will serve to “transmit” the ideas of our founders and their documents, which are our classics. There will be no officials who “innovate” upon them with creative interpretations or dismiss them as “quaint.” Indeed, Dr. Paul’s strict adherence to the letter of the Constitution is reminiscent of the Confucian devotion to the “Rectification of Names,” i.e. the restoration of original interpretations of words and the rejection of arbitrariness. Said China’s first teacher, “When words lose their meaning, people lose their liberty (ibid. XIII, 3).”

    The Confucian statement of the Golden rule-”What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others (ibid. VX, 24)”-is remarkably similar to the “no harm” principle that guides Dr. Paul’s libertarian philosophy. While the Confucian version may be less active than the Christian version, it is perhaps more suitable to governance, in that it allows individuals and voluntary associations more leeway and incentive to carry out mutual aid and charity work.

    Confucius would applaud Dr. Paul’s opposition to rule by a unitary executive with unchecked powers. Confucius rejected rule by force, going as far to say, “Barbarian tribes with their rulers are inferior to Chinese states without them (ibid. III, 5).” Instead, he proposed leadership by example, which is what the Paul Administration will offer America, at home and abroad. Confucius offered this admonition which could have been levelled at the current occupant of the Oval Office: “Sir, in carrying on your government, why should you use killing at all? Let your evinced desires be for what is good, and the people will be good (ibid. XII, 19).” Indeed, Confucius, like Dr. Paul, was an arch-enemy of tyranny: “An oppressive government is fiercer and more feared than a tiger (The Record of Rites II, 2).”

    If Dr. Paul is the consummate Confucian gentleman, he is even more of a Taoist sage. Here, Lao Tzu presages Dr. Paul’s social and economic platform of individual liberty:

    The more prohibitions there are, the more ritual avoidances, the poorer the people will be… The more laws are promulgated, the more thieves and bandits there will be… So long as I ‘do nothing’ the people will of themselves be transformed. So long as I love quietude, the people will of themselves go straight. So long as I act only by inactivity the people will of themselves become prosperous. (The Classic of the Way and Virtue II, 57).
    The essence of Dr. Paul’s economic ideas are that “by [governmental] inactivity the people will of themselves become prosperous.” When Thomas Jefferson famously reminded us that “the government is best which governs least,” he was expressing a Taoist sentiment.
    This “inactivity” or “do-nothingness” is the Taoist ideal of wu-wei, or non-action. What is the non-interventionism Dr. Paul proposes for America, and which he reminds us was our original foreign policy, if not wu-wei writ large? In warning us of “foreign entanglements” and “entangling alliances,” Washington and Jefferson showed themselves to be Taoist sages as well. Like the Chinese, Dr. Paul knows that it is wise to listen to one’s ancestors.

    Dr. Paul is a man of peace, but his thoughts echo those of that greatest theorist of war, Sun Tzu, who, not a chickenhawk, warned that unnecessary wars should never be waged. Certainly, a Congressmen Sun Tzu would have voted with Dr. Paul against invading a country that neither attacked us nor had the means to do so: “Unless endangered do not engage in warfare. The ruler cannot mobilize the army out of personal anger (The Art of War XII, 11).” Dr. Paul’s call to bring the troops home immediately from what has been foolishly but accurately advertised as “The Long War” would have been seconded by Sun Tzu, who observed, contra Randolph “War is the Health of the State” Bourne, “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare (ibid. II, 4).”

    Confucius, Lao Tzu, and Sun Tzu all lived and taught in pre-imperial China. In 221 B.C., Ch’in Shih-huang united the various Chinese states into an empire and set about to burn the Confucian classics and bury their scholars alive. The Legalism of Han Fei Tzu, which centered on the totalitarian power of the ruler, replaced the humanistic teachings of Confucianism and Taoism.

    The situation is not unlike our own today. The only difference between our Republic’s transformation to Empire and that of ancient China is that ours has been more subtle. (Ours is the “soft tyranny” spoken of by Alexis de Tocqueville.) Our Declaration of Independence and Constitution have not been burned (yet), nor have their defenders been buried alive (yet), but our founding documents and those who defend them have been ignored, scorned, circumvented, and trampled upon.

    Confucianism survived the suppression and became the governing philosophy of the Han and all subsequent dynasties until 1911. Our constitutional republic, too, will survive and be restored. And there is one man calling upon our country to return to its founding principles, Ron Paul Tzu.

    Mencius, Confucius’ great heir, carried on and elaborated his master’s theory of benevolent government, calling for a sage-king to lead, not rule, the people. Who among the current crop of Republicrat candidates, or even those of the last generation, has even an ounce of sagacity, save for Dr. Ron Paul, in whom it abounds. Ron Paul Tzu, the Confucian gentleman and Taoist sage, stands alone offering “Hope for America” and the restoration of our Republic.

  44. Less Antman says:

    Only 35% of the Ron Paul supporters in a recent survey were registered Republican in the last presidential election (22% Dem, 22% Ind, the rest Libertarian, Green, or other), so the central assumption in the WaPo article is false. In fact, one of the reasons his registered support in polls is so much lower than his fundraising suggests is that most of those supporting him don’t fit the “likely Republican voter” filter used by these polls, which base their selection on who voted in the last Republican primary (when Bush was running unopposed and turnout was the lowest in history among Republicans).

    This is a broad based coalition of people across the political spectrum with a general agreement on a non-interventionist foreign policy, restoration of civil liberties, and economic freedom (although, just like any other coalition, each of us have some disagreements with Dr. Paul on certain issues). Not one of my friends supporting Dr. Paul is a registered Republican (although many are considering registering as such so as to be able to vote for him in the primary). Granted, it has to do with the circle I frequent, but that is the point. Many liberals are fed up with Democratic candidates who pretend they can’t stop the war (it only takes 41 votes in the Senate to NOT pass an unconditional funding bill, and the Democrats could have just repeatedly passed funding bills with firm withdrawal timelines until Bush was forced to sign or be the one responsible for cutting off funds), and Dem candidates who won’t even commit to removing troops from Iraq by January 2013 if elected!

    The primary policy support for Dr. Paul results from his advocacy of a non-interventionist foreign policy: this unifying factor is far different from Buchanan’s coalition built around cultural conservatism. Paul could have run almost as naturally as a William Proxmire liberal in the Democratic party (Proxmire actually had the 2nd highest rating from the National Taxpayers Union when he was a Senator). Obviously, Buchanan was anathema to all liberals.

    I very much dislike rudeness, and I won’t deny that some Paul advocates can be rude and childish at times, but he didn’t raise $5.1 million in the third quarter just from 14 year olds. As for whether he has a chance at the Republican nomination, we’ll see (he is listed at 7.4% on the intrade.com futures contract, which is not the same as 0.0%, so I suggest people bet their entire net worth against Paul on Intrade if they’re so sure), but with the breadth of his support, I’m willing to bet his campaign is going to continue to November 2008, and I am not the only one who is planning to commit to the $2,300 maximum for the general campaign if he wins the Republican nomination or agrees to run as an Independent or Third Party candidate.

    Getting out of Iraq is important, as is adopting a foreign policy that reduces the hatred of the U.S. government that places all Americans at greater risk. There are many thoughtful supporters of Paul who are looking past party lines (I certainly am) toward a sane foreign policy.

    The premise behind the WaPo argument does not fit the objective evidence. But I’m willing to let the evidence continue to pile up, and have no doubt that you will be open-minded if future events give you reason to modify your current view.

  45. Less Antman says:

    Sorry, but I left out another important piece of statistical evidence that Paul is not a right-wing phenomenon. His average National Journal economic policy rating from 1997 to 2004 is 51.6% conservative. For social policy, it is 53% conservative. For foreign policy, it is 40.5% conservative (as opposed to liberal in each case). The problem, of course, is that conservatives and liberals both support the use of government coercion in some cases and oppose it in others. If the spectrum were libertarian to totalitarian, Paul would obviously have very high ratings in all 3 categories.

  46. lester says:

    matt- when kyle reads that speech at the party, you can read the punchline “be the first to comment on this topic”

  47. Mike says:

    The USA is in a state of political upheval. It is drifting from Left vs Right to Freedom vs Tyranny. Please, all lovers of liberty and freedom come support a candidate like Paul, gravel, or kusinich. All you big government, mandatory compliance, “the state can fix any and all problems if you just steal (I mean tax) enough” people need to realise you are on the tyranny team.

    Paul is the only candidate who even bothers to mention that doller bills used to be recipts for gold (the money) that was in the bank. When we went off the gold standard we basically said that the recipt is now the money and the real money (gold) doesn’t matter. Now that is hard core skrewing of the public.

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