Posts Tagged ‘ron paul’

A columnist for the HuffPo has some opinions on the Ron Paul presidential campaign. He’s not a big fan.

He makes some good points about the right-libertarian idea of “liberty” in the US these days, and his description of the Ron Paul meme as a “shibboleth for nihilistic hipsters” is possibly a stroke of genius. And yet there seems to be a point being missed here.

The repeated refrain of “But, you know, ‘liberty!'” is used to point out the ludicrously oppressive inequalities which would in fact result from some of Paul’s proposed “libertarian” policies – widespread discrimination based on ethnicity and gender, deregulation of business allowing the richest to screw the rest of the country even more than they already have been, and so on.

But, you know, liberty is meant to be a good thing.

The right-libertarian ideal might not provide as much of it as it claims in theory, but don’t let’s start acting as though the cry for greater liberty and less authoritarian oppression were itself a sign of foolishness.

The writer of this article explains why Ron Paul’s supporters are deluded to think he has any hope of getting anywhere with this election:

The reality is that our political system has remained relatively intact for 224 years because most people, despite their gretzing, are actually comfortable with the continuity it provides. If voters were as militantly anti-system as they claim to be in anecdotal conversations, they would elect more incumbents and fringy third-party challengers.

I guess I agree with that, about people being generally more complacent and less enraged by the current system than it sometimes seems. Maybe the difference is that I don’t find that comforting.

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– This needs to be more widely understood: Mother Teresa was terrible.

– I am not a fan of Ron Paul. He’s occasionally right about, say, the appalling and failed nature of the US government’s war on drugs. But taking him as a whole, we’re setting the bar way too low on how we expect other human beings to act if we’re going to get swept away by the few things he’s right about. He doesn’t even accept evolution, fer Chrissakes.

– Go the fuck to sleep the library.

– Are you following Captain Awesome? She’s really pretty good at this. I think it was Holly who described this site somewhere as “an advice column by someone who actually likes people”.

And no, I still have no consistent name for this brief links round-up thing I seem to be doing again.

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Maybe, if I keep blogging about politics, I’ll eventually learn something about politics.

I don’t think Obama’s a bad person, whatever that even means. I don’t doubt that he wants to do good and believes that he can.

But in a way, that’s even more distressing. The current system imposing itself on America is such that someone with sincere intentions can end up with the kind of track record he has.

I supported Obama’s Presidential campaign, breathed a heavy sigh of relief when he won, and continue to find Republicans utterly repugnant by default. But I’m finding it harder to identify as being part of the Democrats’ “team”, even though they’re ostensibly on the side of reason and good these days.

Sometimes, I look at a funny and well-delivered speech given by the President, and wonder if we wouldn’t all have found such light-hearted self-deprecation to be frustratingly lackadaisical if it had come from Bush.

And sometimes, the standard liberal position needs a reality check.

[O]ne can still be a “liberal or a progressive with a broad sense of the common good” if you support a guy who blows up little children with cluster bombs, as Barack Obama has in Yemen. You can still be a liberal or progressive in good standing if you support a man who has killed hundreds, if not thousands, of Pakistani civilians with flying death robots. And you can still be a liberal if you back a guy who has shown not the slighest inclination to reform, much less do away with, a war on drugs that has led to 2.3 million Americans being placed in cages, the vast majority minorities.

That the president has doubled the number of troops in Afghanistan, ordered more drone strikes in Pakistan than his predecessor did in eight years, and launched another war in Libya without so much as getting a rubber stamp from Congress is of no concern to the good party-line liberal. The president, after all, is a Democrat.

And if you think someone like Ron Paul is just an extreme nutcase outsider, consider it in context.

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