Please Do Not Vote For . . .

December 6, 2007, 1:00 am; posted by
Filed under Articles, Featured, Steve  | 45 Comments

I’m depressed by the Republican presidential race. For one thing, I’m an arguer, not a salesman, so when I find the biggest problem facing my favored candidate is that many conservatives don’t trust him, I’m stuck. I can’t argue people into trust; all I can do is point out the man’s tremendous competence and his change of heart on certain important issues.

Conservatives and American Christians have this in common — we all talk a lot about spreading our message, but when we finally win someone over, we don’t know what to do with him.

So more than arguing for someone, I find myself arguing against candidates, two specifically. One is Mike Huckabee, the silver-tongued Southern preacher who sees the federal government as a sanctified instrument to carry out any scheme he can dream up. I disagree with him on taxes, on immigration, on federalism, on a gay marriage amendment, on trade, on agriculture subsidies, on regulating private salaries, and for the love of all that’s good, on the federal government trying to tell us we can’t smoke in public or eat fatty food. I agree with him on some of what’s left, but I can’t support an underlying philosophy that begs Washington to run our lives. It’s not safe and it’s not right.

Then there’s Huckabee in reverse: Dr. Ron Paul.

Some people should definitely vote for Ron Paul. My friend Ethan, for instance. He’s a committed libertarian who believes drugs should be legalized, seat belt laws should be eliminated, and that the USA Patriot Act violates our civil liberties. He’s wrong on all three counts, I am certain, but he believes these things, he’s consistent in his beliefs, and so Ron Paul is right for him, no doubt. If you’re like Ethan, I’m glad there’s a candidate who says precisely what you’re thinking, even though I will never agree with you.

And as for the rest of you, I get why you like him right now. He has principles and sticks to them! He understands federalism! He respects the Constitution! When he says he would gut the government bureaucracy, we know — we know — he means it with everything in his soul. So I get it, I get it — he’s not a typical politician. He certainly doesn’t have the weaknesses of either Huckabee or Romney.

But I need to tell you some things, very briefly.

1) Ron Paul’s policies would endanger our nation
I put this first because it’s most important. On foreign policy, Ron Paul is an absolute walking nightmare. Immediate withdrawal from Iraq without a thought of the effect on a nation we have a duty to help rebuild. A policy of solitude and “nonintervention” far better suited to the 17th century than the 21st. Opposition to the Patriot Act, based on groundless and foolish worries about privacy that have absolutely no basis in the ACTUAL TEXT OF THE LAW (I know, I read the blasted thing, and got the only A in the dang class).

Even if I agreed with Ron Paul on everything else, these beliefs about how our country should deal with the rest of the world and the threat posed by Islamic terrorists would absolutely prevent me from voting for him. And no, Dr. Paul, we did not invade Iraq on “false pretenses.” Saying otherwise is shameful, and ignoring the success we’ve had over the past six months is ridiculous.

2) Ron Paul’s plans would hurt our economy
There’s no doubt that government is too big for its own good. But the answer is not to abolish the IRS and the Federal Reserve (let alone the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA). Did the good doctor treat headaches with brain surgery? Beyond all this, Paul also wishes to return us in some fashion to the gold standard, which would artificially cap the total value of our nation’s economy based on how much of a certain really pretty rock we manage to dig out of the ground.

But meanwhile, our economy continues to grow! Inflation and unemployment have both remained historically low for a very long time. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are being created each month. So, hey, let’s elect the guy who wants to bring us back to the good old days! Er, wait…

3) Ron Paul’s philosophy is wrong
Much is made of Ron Paul’s commitment not to vote for any bill that is not explicitly authorized by the Constitution. I appreciate this very much (even though I think he has a vastly oversimplified understanding of that document), and I respect his commitment to federalism. But I do not and cannot support libertarianism as a philosophy.

My faith and my experience bring me to the conclusion that individual freedom should never be the single guiding star of our existence, and this means that I feel it is both appropriate and right for government to, for instance, outlaw prostitution, ban certain drugs, and set speed limits. Ron Paul does not. I don’t believe juries should be able to change the law as they see fit, or that we are drifting into a totalitarian state. Ron Paul does. Clearly I cannot vote for him.

So if you believe in libertarianism, give Paul your vote with gleeful abandon. But if you’re just a regular conservative who’s fed up with a bunch of politicians you don’t think you can trust, I urge you: please rethink supporting Ron Paul. There’s someone better for you, and for America, out there.

And, by the way — the same goes for Huckabee. Double.


Comments

45 Comments to “Please Do Not Vote For . . .”

  1. Chloe on December 6th, 2007 7:56 am

    Someone told me this opinion the other day – In order for the war in Iraq to be successful, we must stay there for at least twenty more years. Perhaps not necessarily the military, but certainly advisors and the like. The reason is that a whole generation needs to grow up knowing only democracy (and being satisfied with it) for it to actually be rooted in the country. Even now, what with talks of pulling out, the Islamists are declaring victory. If we leave without fully completing our goals, it’s possible that they’d take power and impliment Hanbalite shari’ah law and commence rigorous ethnic and religious cleansing. Who knows where they’d go after that. Just another reason NOT to vote for this guy.

  2. Melissa Beaulieu on December 6th, 2007 8:11 am

    Some of the things you criticized Ron Paul for were topics directly discussed Saturday when I went to see him in a Q&A period, and it seems you might be missing some info. He doesn’t want to isolate America. He wants to stop trying to make the world America. But, I am no debater and have only heard him speak once. What I did hear impressed me greatly. I was most impressed by his seemingly overlying philosophy of making America a shining example that other countries would want to emulate instead of taking an overly invasive position to make other countries just like us.

  3. Steve on December 6th, 2007 8:22 am

    Regardless of the language he uses to describe what he would do, the outcome of his policies would be to isolate America. That’d be the consequence of pulling troops out of Iraq, removing our bases from Europe, and leaving the UN and NATO under the guise of “noninterventionism.”

    Beyond that, I totally disagree with the premise that our country is too ‘invasive,’ trying to make other countries just like us. If by that he means attacking al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, that’s crazy. If he means freeing the nation of Iraq, which suffered under the boot of a terrible dictator for years, and bringing them democracy — well, it’s arguable whether we should do such things, but that wasn’t the reason we went in there in the first place, and it’s unfair to act like it was.

  4. David on December 6th, 2007 9:36 am

    I think the reason his message gains traction with some is because, on a common sense level, people question the fact that we seem to have become the Worlds Policeman. Why are we projectiing our power around the world to dominate the Eastern Hemisphere as well as the Western Hemisphere? How did it become our job to rush to all the hot spots in the world and put out all the fires? Why are we spending billions of dollars to guarantee the safety of other nations while people here can’t afford to go to the Doctor? It’s a sentiment that rings true with the common man whether it’s acurate or not. I have to admit we have become, as I think Chloe noted in an article, the heir to the British Empire.

  5. Job on December 6th, 2007 11:06 am

    Ron Paul is grossly and woefully crazy. His ideas, no matter how he articulates them to his, for the most part, young audience are gravely dangerous to the country and our allies. I’m always astonished at how his supporters are in ready opposition to logic when they wax adoration. Very few of his ideas have a comprehensive element to them…he’s like a headstrong hiker who thinks he can summit Everest with just a sweatshirt and a powerbar – just because those at the base loudly praise him for his brash approach and rebellion to the norms.

    You’re gonna freeze on that hill, son….

    Unelectable, Praise the Lord…

  6. MC-B on December 6th, 2007 2:24 pm

    If elected, he’d get frozen out of Capitol Hill too. Hooray for a caretaker president wielding a veto pen.

  7. Steve on December 6th, 2007 2:50 pm

    Yeah — that just seemed a bit too obvious to even bring up in my piece, although I notice the pleasant allusion to Job’s closing lines and nod in warm recognition.

    One interesting aspect of the hypothetical Ron Paul presidency is the brand-new era of bipartisanship in Congress it would almost certainly create, as the parties unite in their need to pass every single bill by a two-thirds vote.

  8. James' on December 6th, 2007 5:28 pm

    Steve, what is your problem with Huckabee’s immigration policies? At least he doesn’t have illegals working on his house.

    Look at his policies, he’s tough on immigration.

    http://www.mikehuckabee.com/?FuseAction=Issues.View&Issue_id=26

    I think those are great policies.

    And with a fair tax, illegals would have to pay taxes too.

    -James’

  9. Steve on December 6th, 2007 5:40 pm

    You know, Huckabee came out with a pretty good immigration plan today, as I understand it. No problem with those policies. I just didn’t like what he did in Arkansas, like giving the children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition to state universities.

    The ‘fair tax’ is never going to happen. If one thing will keep Mike Huckabee from winning the nomination, it’s that.

  10. James' on December 6th, 2007 8:11 pm

    The thing about tuition for children of illegals has been misconstrued by media and Mit Romney.. not necessarily saying he did it on purpose, a politician would never do that would they?

    Only children of illegals who were under the age of five when they were brought across(it not there faul that there parents broke the law) were eligible, and they had to become citizens first, and do very well in Public School in order to get it.

    The fair tax is very well researched, and don’t forget that he’s first right now… and he’s barely even spent 2 million dollars. Compared to Ron Paul who’s outraised a llot of people, but has almost no support.

    -James’

  11. Chase on December 6th, 2007 8:13 pm

    If we are going to stay in Iraq it cannot be because leaving will be bad for the Iraqi people (yes it is Nobel by the US is not going to buy it). We need to stay in Iraq only because leaving it will be a victory in the eyes of Islamic Fundamentalists and that is the true danger to US Homeland security. In all honesty if the West does not get this though their skulls their dead soon, and if US politics keeps pitching staying in Iraq as “for the Iraqi people” we are going to be out of there as soon as God lets us.

    As a side note, Steve this was a really good article. Though I disagree with you on a few things (being Small Government at heart) I think you did a good job with making this both fun to read (90% of good writing) and informative (that commonly forgotten but drastically important 10%). So thanks.

  12. MC-B on December 6th, 2007 8:20 pm

    I was going to write an article today on why people should vote for Mike Huckabee, but I feel as though it would be out of place today.

  13. Chase on December 6th, 2007 8:23 pm

    Sorry to double post here, but if Ron Paul gets elected does anyone really think what he wants to have happen is going to happen? I personally don\’t, which is why I feel much more comfortable with voting for him. Why vote for someone who is not going to be able to do the change he wants? Well as I see it the Government needs to shrink (and realize that I disagree with him on international relations… for the most part) and though so many people seem to think this I don\’t think the Fed is going to shrink unless someone as drastically idealistic as Ron Paul is in office trying to take the whole thing apart.

    Ok… now tell me what that is stupid.

  14. Steve on December 6th, 2007 9:10 pm

    The “fair” tax would be sure to do two things. The first is redistribute the burden of taxation down to the poor. The second is encourage the growth of a black market to avoid the tremendously high tax rates that would be required to raise enough money. It’s not going to work. Ever.

    I completely agree with you on the real motivation for staying in Iraq, Chase, but I do think we also have a duty to remain since we are responsible for much of what has happened there. And I am also “small government at heart” — that’s why I don’t like Huckabee!!

    MC-B, are you kidding me? Go for it, though, if you’re serious!

    As for Chase’s second comment, the problem with that thinking is that Ron Paul can never win. Think about the bills he’s voted against on principle — things like giving a Congressional Medal of Honor to Mother Teresa. I understand why he did this, but he’s got waaaaaay too many things like that to explain. So voting for him — unless you really agree with all his philosophies and policies — is just a waste.

    But it’s certainly true that Bush and the Republicans in Congress have failed to do their part to check the growth of govt.

  15. MC-B on December 6th, 2007 9:37 pm

    Serious about writing it? Possibly.

    Serious about including Chuck Norris as one of my major talking points? Also possible.

  16. Mike Duchemin on December 6th, 2007 11:43 pm

    I will refute your three main points below.

    1. Any Foreign Policy But Ron Paul’s Endangers Our Nation:
    I find it quite humorous that a professing Christian argues that ethics (and foreign policy IS an ethical issue) are malleable to what the date says on the calendar. If it was wrong to meddle in other countries’ affairs in the 17th century, it’s wrong now. (Or vice-versa. For the sake of argument if it’s right to meddle in affairs of foreign nations now, it was right in the 17th century as well.) Christian ethics don’t change with the calendar. It is far better to withdraw from foreign entanglements and have some people declare it a victory than to bankrupt yourself with an endless occupation and have the enemies of the United States actually win. That’s what happened to the Soviets. We do not have the means to sustain a global empire. The military should not only withdraw its troops from Iraq, but also from all of the other 130 countries it currently occupies with military forces. You heard me correctly, I said ONE HUNDRED THIRTY COUNTRIES, as in 65% of all the countries in the world. In case you were wondering, the other countries do not hate us because of our liberty or wealth–they hate us because they are quartering our soldiers. How would you feel if China or Russia or Iran decided they were going to build a military base in your country? Exactly. You can’t have a small government at home and a draconian global empire abroad. It just doesn’t happen. At least Hillary’s foreign policy is consistent with her domestic policy.

    2. Ron Paul is the Only Candidate That Will Avoid Economic Disaster:
    In order to abolish the IRS and replace the income tax with NOTHING, we would need to return Federal spending to its year 2000 levels. Is there any real conservative that doesn’t believe this can be done? But conservative must not mean the same thing I think it does if you’re defending grotesque bureaucracies like FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security.

    You don’t understand economics at all. We currently have a pure fiat money system. The pieces of paper we exchange are worth no more than the paper they are printed upon, but the government points guns at our bellies and tells us we must accept them or else. A commodity money system like one backed by gold or silver assures that currency is stable and has a value attached to it. Economic growth has nothing to do with money supply growth. You could have a stationary money supply and economic success. The current system causes even large cap corporations to make poor judgments because the money supply is manipulated by a banking cartel known as the Federal Reserve. Since 1913 when the Federal Reserve Act was passed, the dollar is now worth 4 cents. If inflation is so low, then why is the Canadian dollar now worth more than the American dollar? Those who make statements like “inflation is low” have to qualify it so much that it becomes meaningless. (“Non-education-non-energy-non-food-non-healthcare-non-raw materials inflation is historically low”) Printing money and calling it “economic growth” is disingenuous at best.

    3. Ron Paul’s Political Philosophy is More Consistently Biblical Than That of Any Presidential Candidate Since Before Lincoln:
    By what standard do you justify government being able to use the power of coercion and the sword to stipulate what substances can be bought and sold or how fast you can travel in a vehicle? It’s certainly not the Bible. One of the chief things that can be learned from a careful reading of the Old Testament is a distinction between sins and crimes. In the Bible prostitution is a sin, rather than a crime because there is no penal sanction attached to it. Making prostitution or gambling illegal has several unintended consequences. One example is that prostitutes are reluctant to report real crimes committed against them. Throwing people into the rape rooms that we call “Penitentiaries” winds up turning them into real, dangerous criminals once they are released.

    When the government attempts to do things that God hasn’t ordained it to do, you inevitably wind up with a faux-messianic Beast that demands worship and religious devotion. Ron Paul, more than any other candidate understands history. He understands how political power has been abused throughout the ages and wants to limit it as much as possible. Ron Paul does not have a vastly oversimplified understanding of the Constitution. His positions are well researched, nuanced, and reasonable. Ron Paul understands that God has placed limits on the scope of government, unlike right-wing progressives such as Mike Huckabee. There are things that I disagree with him about (the death penalty, for example–though it’s essentially irrelevant for a Federal candidate since the Feds shouldn’t be executing people anyway).

    Your denial of the right of jury nullification is oversimplified and patronizing. The Founding Fathers saw the jury as the last line of defense against tyranny. Jurors sit in judgment of the law as well as the facts of the case and can prevent convictions under unjust laws on a case-by-case basis. Denial of this basic heritage from English Common Law is in itself a huge step toward totalitarianism. Policemen now taser people for non-violently refusing to sign tickets at traffic stops. The Executive Branch has been given power to declare U.S. citizens enemy combatants and make them disappear forever without a trial. If that’s not totalitarianism, I don’t know what is. Can you imagine what Hillary or Rudy will do with that kind of power? It makes me shudder.

    For “an arguer rather than a salesman,” I really am not impressed by your arguments.

  17. Job on December 7th, 2007 12:22 am

    Ludicrous, Mike…

  18. Steve on December 7th, 2007 12:24 am

    Surprised it took this long.

    I totally disagree with your first point, in that our engagement in the world is necessary and certainly not the reason we are hated by whatever countries or people do in fact hate us.

    I do, contrary to your second point, understand economics. The gold standard limits an economy because gold is a finite commodity. There is not enough gold in the world to back up the value of our current economy, which means we would have to artificially inflate the commodity’s value. Or find a lot more gold. I trust bankers with the economy more than I trust miners.

    And your third point is ridiculous. Whether the Bible supports making prostitution a crime or not (certainly a point that can be debated), there are plenty of civil arguments for doing so. As for the rest of your argument, what with its talk of “faux-Messianic Beasts” and the outright and blatant lie that the Executive Branch can now make US citizens “disappear forever without a trial,” well, I’ll just go ahead and let it speak for itself. It must be fun to argue when you completely misrepresent the other side and give it the name “totalitarianism.”

    I’m glad you have a candidate so in line with your fundamental beliefs. You are precisely the sort of person I referenced in my article, and I have no quibble with you. Enjoy your vote for Ron Paul.

  19. James' on December 7th, 2007 12:45 am

    Mike person…. said the following:

    “I find it quite humorous that a professing Christian argues that ethics (and foreign policy IS an ethical issue) are malleable to what the date says on the calendar. If it was wrong to meddle in other countries’ affairs in the 17th century, it’s wrong now. (Or vice-versa. For the sake of argument if it’s right to meddle in affairs of foreign nations now, it was right in the 17th century as well.) Christian ethics don’t change with the calendar.”

    Hello Mike person… this is a bad argument, poorly worded and not well thought through… unlike your other arguments. I could call it many things… it’s sort of like strawman argument, mixed with psuedo-reasoning, mixed with a clever play on words… ah, oh argument… to what shall I liken you?

    But on with my point…
    You’re trying to make it sound like Steve is using situational ethics.. or that he is saying ethics change with the times. With your cardboard style of writing(the stuff Michael Moore movies are made with) it seems so, but that is not at all what he, me or any of us “Neo-Cons” are saying.

    You see, Ethics don’t change with time, but the world does, and policies have to do with applying the non-changing Ethics to the changing world. That is why Policies change, and I have news for you… the world is VERY different now, from what it was in the 17th century. And the time isn’t what made it different, if all that time had changed and the world was still the same, than the policies would be too, but because the world has changed we have changed the policies. In fact, not changing the policies would require changing the ethics.

    Sometimes I fear that many Christian Ron Paul supporters idolize the Constitution and hold it over the Bible. You know, it is a man made document and any man made document can be held too high. I know it’s a great document that has shaped our nation, but sometimes it seems you guys worship it.

    -James’

  20. Melissa Beaulieu on December 7th, 2007 7:01 am

    Not that my opinion matters to the majority of this site’s readers, but I though your article, Mike, WAS well written, and clear, and this:

    “Hello Mike person: this is a bad argument, poorly worded and not well thought through: unlike your other arguments. I could call it many things: it’s sort of like strawman argument, mixed with psuedo-reasoning, mixed with a clever play on words: ah, oh argument: to what shall I liken you?”

    is just a lie and plain RUDE and makes me angry.

    Steve, your response was lacking. It’s like you just said, “no, you’re wrong.”

  21. Steve on December 7th, 2007 8:26 am

    What do you want from me? It was 12:30 in the morning and I had to go to sleep. Yes, Mike’s comment was obviously well-written. It was also obviously wrong. But no amount of argument from me will change his mind, so I’m not going to write 2000 words trying.

    My article — my arguments — weren’t aimed at someone like him, because he is the perfect Ron Paul voter. He actually believes utter nonsense like (to give you three examples):

    1 — Islamic terrorists and others will stop hating us if we just leave them alone
    2 — Criminals don’t become really bad until we put them in jail, so let’s stop
    3 — Policemen regularly taser people at traffic stops

    Uh HUH. The point of my article was to give people more information about Ron Paul’s actual positions. In that quest, Mike has actually helped me. That’s the kind of stuff you have to swallow if you want to consistently support Ron Paul. Good luck heading down that road.

  22. Steve on December 7th, 2007 8:32 am

    Just to respond to James’s comment, I don’t consider myself a neo-con, and my expanded response to Mike’s point would be that it’s not a matter of 400 years changing whether it’s right to ‘meddle’ in other countries’ affairs. I agree — if it was a matter of right or wrong in 1700, it’s still right or wrong now. I don’t believe our actions are at all inherently wrong.

    My point about time is only meant to say — it is foolish for us to believe that at this time, with the world so increasingly interconnected and interdependent, we could ever think that withdrawal from the global stage would be good or appropriate. The impact of such action would be much greater now than the days when it took a sailing ship 4 weeks to take a trip I just made last Monday night.

  23. David on December 7th, 2007 9:46 am

    I guess if it was wrong to meddle in the affairs of other nations in the 1700’s, as well as now, France was wrong to help us win our freedom and Lafayette was a terrorist who helped us set up the republic based on the Constitution Mike mentions.

    And if I remember correctly when Tamar was accused of prostituting herself in the book of Genesis she was being dragged off to be stoned to death before she revealed that Judah was actually the father of her child. Stoning someone to death, although I am not fully versed in the nuances of law, seems a bit penal in dealing with prostitution. (See Mikes Quote below:)

    “In the Bible prostitution is a sin, rather than a crime because there is no penal sanction attached to it.”

  24. Martin Ledoux on December 7th, 2007 10:01 am

    Steve, you’ve made some good points, though I’m not in great agreement with your overall position and criticism of Ron Paul. I appreciate that you were able to point out that Huck is Ron Paul in reverse – that is, to point out the good qualities of a candidate rather than demonizing somebody you have disagreements with is admirable, since most people, if they don’t like somebody for a few issues, will just ignore all of the areas of agreement. Yes, Huck is a big government and regulation guy, and Ron Paul opposes all of that stuff that you and I hate.

    However, I have a few concerns with a few of your statements. For now, I will address one of them below:

    > Opposition to the Patriot Act, based on groundless and
    > foolish worries about privacy that have absolutely no basis
    > in the ACTUAL TEXT OF THE LAW. (I know, I read the blasted
    > thing, and got the only A in the dang class).

    1) What are these groundless and foolish worries? Its quite a bold thing to accuse the opponents of the anything to have groundless and foolish reasons without even citing one of them. It makes the critique quite groundless.

    2) Since you’ve read the USA PATRIOT Act, can you confidently say that in a nutshell, the USA PATRIOT Act does NOT mean that the President can indefinitely detain anybody he (and maybe even eventually she) declares to be a terrorist (or not even a terorist – a criminal guilty of “any crime of violence.”) without a trial and without disclosure? Or lets put it another way, since the USA PATRIOT Act is written in a very confusing manner – could a corrupt and power hungry President easily interpret it in that way, and get away with it? Is the PATRIOT is not limited to terrorism? Can Foreign and domestic intelligence agencies NOT more easily spy on American citizens? Does it NOT authorize the use of “sneak and peek” search warrants in connection with any federal crime, including misdemeanors? If any of these things are untrue, please explain.

    I look forward to your researched response.

  25. Steve on December 7th, 2007 10:13 am

    Yeah… I apologize if this whole argument makes it look like I hate Ron Paul, when really I think he’s quite principled, and on balance, I think I’m more like him than I am Huckabee. I would still feel compelled to vote for Huckabee over Paul, if only because I think the results of Paul’s foreign policy would be so disastrous, but in reality, I would probably choose to choose neither.

    My response to your USA PATRIOT Act question will, naturally, have to wait until this evening when I can research and explain my answer. Just as a sneak preview, at least part of my answer will be in the affirmative — I can confidently say that that law does not and will not give any president, current or future, the right or ability to indefinitely detain any American citizen — for any reason.

  26. David on December 7th, 2007 12:01 pm

    I’m sorry for getting into all this so late in the process, I have a habit of sleeping at night and tend to miss all the god stuff, but I have thoroughly enjoyed this conversation. It reminds me of when I used to come into work and get drawn into a serious conversation my co-workers were having– leaving me intrigued and enthralled– only to find out that they were talking about soap opera characters and not real people. Let me turn on a light here.

    Any conversation about Ron Paul being a viable candidate for president of the United States of America is a joke. Ron Paul is a crack pot, a fringe candidate. Ross perot revisited, Ralph Nader in better suits and with an inexplicable amount of cash.

    He did provide the best moment of the Republican Debates so far though when asked whether, as president, he would use nuclear weapons in the event of an imminent attack on US Soil. During his “No” answer he said “…there never has been a threat of imminent attack on US soil in our 222 years of existence…”, Rudy shook his head and said “I don’t know where he was on 911 but I was in New York…” to thunderous applause.

    It illustrates his whole problem, he’s out of touch with reality. He may be sincere but he is a wide eyed idealist who would be as lost trying to run this nation as my dog would be trying to operate the double ferris wheel at the state fair—and just as dangerous. He belongs in a mountain top cabin in Idaho waiting for the Feds to come. He reminds me of guy I knew 20 years ago n NY who lined the walls of his house with tinfoil to keep the government from spying on him. He once told me that they placed receivers in his teeth while doing dental work on him in the Army and that sometimes at night he could still hear them discussing him and his wereabouts.

    But thanks for the laughs, it has turned a dreary day for me into a quite humorous diversion from work.

  27. Beaty on December 7th, 2007 12:08 pm

    This is a very interesting thread. On one hand you state [that you are] “depressed by the Republican presidential race” and “more than arguing for someone, I find myself arguing against candidates”. It seems like a rather unfortunate position to be in; not being able to commit to any candidate that you can agree with to represent you or your ideals. I propose that the reason you can’t argue for any of the “major” or “front-runner” candidates (which how this “position” is decided upon is an entirely separate issue) is because they are severely flawed. Voting for the “lesser of two evils” is still evil, is it not? Of course it is much easier to then attack an individual rather than support them; after all, that is human nature isn’t it? What is truly disheartening is that when someone actually poses an educated and well thought out response in support of a particular candidate that is attacked, the supporter is then met with criticism from the “good ol’ boys club”. In a forum that attempts to give the impression of an intelligent debate style arena, it is discouraging to see somewhat juvenile behavior resorted to ( e.g. name calling, analogies of sheer lunacy, and ridiculous christian/republican rhetoric just thrown about), thus making an intelligent conversation between two parties impossible. It is very evident by the post itself, and ensuing responses, that no one here except Mike D. really understands the positions (or effects of those positions) that Ron Paul makes; whether or not you agree with Dr. Paul’s positions is a different issue and one open for discussion. Of course inaccurately representing someone and making off the cuff accusations is easy to do, and if you were the sole source of information on presidential candidates I would agree that people should reconsider voting for Ron Paul. Thankfully you are not though. If you are going to pick apart a candidate and their stance, then I highly recommend actually researching them beforehand because it appears that this was not done here. In fact, if you have a clear understanding of the foundations for his positions and carry on conversations about those positions with Ron Paul supporters (as if you were one yourself), then I would really like to see a post why you think his positions are wrong. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” as Dr. Covey would say. The representation that you give of Dr. Paul is not what he actually stands for, or how he would enact the objectives that you cite. Numerous times have transition periods been mentioned by Dr. Paul, but that seems to have been ignored here. If you can’t accurately represent Ron Paul, then do you really know his stance, and if you don’t know where he stands, then how can you accurately then say that he is so flawed? Making inaccurate representation followed up by unsupported accusations would not win a case in a court of law. But then again, this is the Internet, and it is easy to look big and tough on the Internet, isn’t it?

    Here are some links which may be useful:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaxdUPNYj2s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrN5Qt9GHxs&NR=1
    http://www.rudysreadinglist.com/
    http://teaparty07.com/
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8816641387650067898&hl=en

    -Beaty

    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

  28. James' on December 7th, 2007 12:11 pm

    Steve, I wasn’t calling you or myself a Neo-Con. It’s just that some Ron Paul supporters like to paint anyone who dares to disagree with him as a Neo-Con. In fact, I have heard that word so much lately it’s driving me nuts. It wasn’t Mike who called you a Neo-Con, it was another Ron Paul supporter who read this, I had it mixed up. Sorry about that.

    And Melissa, the begining of my my comment that you quoted wasn’t the actual point. The first thing that Mike said was stupid and horribly written, unlike the rest of his points. I pointed that out, and if you noticed I didn’t respond to them because I would have had to think to do that, and it was too late to do that. But my point was that the world is a different place now, and with the same ethics you can come up with different policies. The amount of time that has gone by has nothing to do with it, but the changes in the world do. Sorry Melissa that the begining of the comment was rude, I over-did it a little. It was a cheap-shot.

    -James’

  29. Beaty on December 7th, 2007 12:28 pm

    Oh yes, I almost forgot …

    It was very entertaining to read this post as well. You apparently disagree with Gay Marriage amendments, subsidies, and regulating private salaries, which all point to (as you state) the federal government trying to run our lives. You then proceed to further recognize the current government bloat and constitution as a guiding document, which are all items Dr. Paul’s campaign is centered around. But you end with “if you’re just a regular conservative who’s fed up with a bunch of politicians you don’t think you can trust, I urge you: please rethink supporting Ron Paul. There’s someone better for you, and for America, out there.” Who is this person? Please inform us as I would like to know since the other candidates (on both sides) are modern intrusive big government supporters that flip-flop (excuse me, have change of hearts) on issues and seem to have forgotten the founding principles of this country. In a way, it is surprising that you aren’t more supportive of Dr. Paul. I would be very interested in the reasons for supporting your “favored candidate”, and what “weaknesses” he has that are deemed “acceptable”.

  30. Steve on December 7th, 2007 12:48 pm

    Nice to meet you, Malcolm. Thanks for your input.

    I have expressed my opinions on Mitt Romney previously on this site and invite you to search for them if you are interested. I also commend Fred Thompson to the attention of any who still search for a candidate. I could cast a vote for John McCain in good conscience. None of these men perfectly reflect my opinions, yet I find in Romney (and Thompson) the best balance of principle and pragmatism.

    I am fully aware of where Ron Paul stands on the issues, as indeed I have researched him, to my own exhaustion. I will engage in more research this evening on the issue Martin referenced. If you’re not satisfied by my level of research, I don’t know what to tell you. As you may remember from my post, my goal is not to dissuade libertarian Paul supporters, but merely to explain why those without such extreme views should reconsider their support.

    I’m not sure whom precisely you think is “trying to look big and tough.”

    In the end, I totally disagree that all the other candidates are “modern intrusive big government supporters” or have “forgotten the founding principles of this country.” And I repeat — the consequences of Ron Paul’s opinions, especially in the realm of foreign policy — are intractable for America.

  31. MC-B on December 7th, 2007 1:07 pm

    I think it would be very difficult for a person who is against any candidate to write a post strongly against that candidate that a person who supports said candidate would look at and say “THERE’s a guy who understands!”

  32. Tom Maxon on December 7th, 2007 1:29 pm

    Beaty,

    I can honestly say I managed to read your posts in their entirety, but found they lacked as much in substance as they did in the carriage return. You claimed that no-one except the fellow who believes women would face less abuse and oppression were prostitution legalized (I can’t just call him “Mike,” there’re too many as it is) understands Ron Paul’s positions, and lambasted the others who are against Ron Paul.

    The only trouble is you shed NO light on how those people are wrong about Ron Paul, or how that fella is right, you just threw out rhetoric about “picking candidates apart” and claimed voting for a candidate with whom you do not agree on every issue is “still evil.” I’d take it as a personal favor if you could spell out some specifics where the kids who disagree with Ron Paul were wrong about his stances on issues.

  33. David on December 7th, 2007 5:29 pm

    “…I would really like to see a post why you think his positions are wrong.”

    Beaty

    …”The only trouble is you shed NO light on how those people are wrong about Ron Paul…”

    Beaty

    OK. Here you go. He is an isolationist bent on withdrawing from Iraq (as well as all the other places where we have troops stationed around the globe). Let’s say he gets his way and reverses this US military doctrine and we bring all our troops home. As we all know nature abhors a vacuum and those positions would be filled by powers much less wise and benevolent than we have been. What other nation in the history of this world has been like the US? Nations hate us, they attack us, we respond, vanquish our foes and then rebuild the economy, government and infrastructure of their country, hand them the keys and say “There you go. Have great day!”

    Is that not what happened in Germany and Japan? Is that not the point in Iraq? For heavens sake open the pages of history! Let the historians bare witness to the motives of this gentle giant. If it is not thus explain to me why the Teutonic race is not paying us tribute from the bountiful harvests of the Fatherland? Why is Japan not a vassal state of the great American Empire suffering under the heel of a ruthless oppressor? Because we are not such people and all the rhetoric about us being in 130 nations—as though we were bent on conquering the world—is ridiculous and will never make it so. We are not the evil empire meddling in the affairs of other nations solely to benefit ourselves.

    Abraham Lincoln was asked why he did not destroy his enemies when he ascended to power and his reply was that he did destroy them as enemies—by making them his friends. That is not some platitude it’s a principle we have walked out for 60 years in front of the world. We spent decades and billions of dollars to rebuild those nations (Germany & Japan) and they are now our allies. Our troops are there as protectors and benefactors and anyone implying that they remain there by threat of force is ridiculously out of touch—or not above lying to make political points.

    Ron Paul’s ideas on foreign affairs are so ridiculous that they cannot be considered as more than populist propaganda designed to draw in the simple with promises that cannot possible be delivered and run contrary to our best interests as a nation. Job Tate said it best …”he’s like a headstrong hiker who thinks he can summit Everest with just a sweatshirt and a powerbar …”

  34. Steve on December 7th, 2007 7:33 pm

    I wouldn’t be opposed to reducing the number of overseas bases we have in, say, Germany. But I certainly wouldn’t eliminate them all.

    Anyway, I posted my USA PATRIOT Act article. You can read all about that on the front page or here: http://www.bweinh.com/2007/12/usa-patriot-act/

    That’s all I want to say about it. I’m tired.

    Oh — but I did forget to mention explicitly that ‘sneak and peek’ warrants have the same ‘foreign intelligence’ requirement as all the rest, not to mention the artificial wall between law enforcement and intelligence gathering added by FISC. And I don’t mind that wall, not so much because I’m afraid the government will misuse it, but because I’m afraid whatever it is might be leaked.

    It’s not totalitarian government I fear in America, it’s an incompetent one.

  35. Mike Duchemin on December 7th, 2007 7:59 pm

    In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have come in with both guns blazing. This has the makings of a very interesting discussion.

    I apologize for misjudging motives regarding ethics over time. After re-reading the initial post, I realize that it was more a statement of what was more practical given the circumstances. There are a lot of different ideas being debated here, and should make for an interesting discussion.

    I need to clarify before I speak to these issues where my allegiances lie. James Said:

    “Sometimes I fear that many Christian Ron Paul supporters idolize the Constitution and hold it over the Bible. You know, it is a man made document and any man made document can be held too high. I know it’s a great document that has shaped our nation, but sometimes it seems you guys worship it.”

    I am not one who worships the Constitution. My allegiance is to the Bible. I believe that the Bible speaks a lot to politics, and is my only unquestioned authority and standard.

    There were people like Patrick Henry who were critical of the Constitution when it was written. Henry warned that the Constitution did not do enough to explicitly prevent the federal government from usurping power. I think history has shown that Henry’s criticisms had some weight to them. The fact that James Madison (the mastermind behind the constitution and one of the greatest political minds ever) and Alexander Hamilton (a big government hack) could both look at the constitution and approve of it should give us pause.

    I don’t believe that the Constitution is a perfect document, but I find it immensely preferable to the state of affairs since Lincoln subverted it and consolidated power to the Federal government. I find the constitution and the original 10 amendments to be far preferable to the Constitution with 27 that we currently have.

    My goal is to live in as consistently Biblical and Christian a manner as possible, which includes subjecting my political beliefs to the authority and kingship of Jesus Christ.

  36. Ethan on December 8th, 2007 2:39 am

    I’m just gonna say that I find comments to the effect of

    “Ron Paul has no chance of winning”

    …absolutely hilarious. Ron Paul will most likely not win. Ron Paul has a very slim chance of winning. But to claim he has NO chance of winning while simultaneously letting him have it with both barrels of 12 gauge buckshot and the business end of your tommy gun, is quite telling to say the least. Anyone loudly proclaiming Ron Paul has no chance of winning is clearly very worried he has precisely that chance.

  37. Job on December 8th, 2007 8:37 am

    That’s a good point to make, Ethan, and in most instances would be true – similar to when a young boy goes out of his way to say how much he despises a certain girl,,,usually you will find he harbors an affection for her – but in this particular instance I go out of my way to bemoan Ron Paul because of the verbal and financial support his doomed campaign is currently stealing from other, viable and less insane candidates. This is a crucial time and this preoccupation with Paul, our version of Kucinich, seems overtly recreational to me.

    “Look at me, Look at me! I dare to be a Ron Paul fan.”

    It’s irritating, frankly. It’s a lark and most Paul supporters know that in their heart of hearts…Huckabee ’08!!

  38. Steve on December 8th, 2007 10:40 am

    Clearly Job needs to re-read the article. Any Paul supporter who would leave him to support Huckabee should probably be committed. Few Republican candidates have been less similar.

  39. Job on December 8th, 2007 3:13 pm

    Not that it matters but my “Huckabee ’08” had nothing to do with the previous sentence.

    It’s a lark and most Paul supporters know that in their heart of hearts: the “that” refers to the “it’s a lark”.

    My Huckabee ’08 was a shot across many different bows, the USS Steve included.

  40. Ethan on December 8th, 2007 3:54 pm

    Job, while I do agree that many of Paul’s supporters have that nagging feeling that in the end it will be “a lark,” I take offense to the remark that such support is “overtly recreational.” Ron Paul is being supported by people who are fed up with the current state of affairs and are looking for someone willing to take a stand against the powers that be. While these supporters ARE looking for all the attention they can get, they are NOT doing it MERELY for attention getting in and of itself. They (myself included) want this kind of media attention because they can use it to spread the word about the issues and principles they are fighting for.

  41. Ethan on December 8th, 2007 4:05 pm

    Oh, and as for that “stealing” financial support from other candidate’s campaigns… does that mean Kerry was “stealing” support from Bush’s campaign , since after all, Bush ended up winning and all of Kerry’s money “went to waste”??? or what about Romney, Rudy, McCain, aren’t they all “stealing” support from your beloved Huckabee? Really now. Yes, I have contributed to Ron Paul’s campaign, but that doesn’t mean he “stole” that support. Had he not been running, there would have been absolutely NO CHANGE in my support (oops, lack thereof) for all the other Republican campaigns.

  42. James' on December 8th, 2007 4:10 pm

    Ethan, I think they refer to it as stealing because they don’t view him as a Kerry(someone who has a chance) they view him more as a Ralph Nader, someone to muddy the waters.

    It’s like a fight where this little midget keeps getting in and smaking one of the two big guys going at it, and every now and then one of them has to take time out to smack him away. That is how I think most of the other candidates view Dr. Paul.

    Keep in mind, I’m not as anti-Paul as Steve is.

    -James’

  43. Steve on December 8th, 2007 4:40 pm

    No one wants to talk about the USA PATRIOT Act anymore, huh? Hmm.

  44. Steve on December 8th, 2007 4:42 pm

    And by the way, my criticism of Ron Paul is not because I think he has any chance to win. It’s because I think some people might be convinced to vote for him without knowing his policies or understanding their consequences. This is why my article was not intended to sway people such as Ethan (mentioned in the article), Mike D, Martin, Malcolm, or perhaps even Missy. It was intended for a different audience entirely.

  45. David M. on December 10th, 2007 10:07 am

    I hope all of you are registered voters…. If not, who cares what you think! You can’t make a difference so….

    If you are keep going and thanks for caring.

    I personally have voted in every election since my 18th birthday in 1975.

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