A Love Letter to Ron Paul Die-Hards and Anarcho-Capitalists
EDIT: I’m not saying that Ron Paul fans are necessarily anarcho-capitalists. They are two camps that need to be addressed equally, and thus share a post. I apologize if the title seems a bit misleading.
I love you guys. Well and truly.
You are truly the only people who can say, with a straight face, that you want to see absolutely no government in the world, or that parents should be able to sell their children, or that law could be perfectly administered through courts that competed for customers like car dealerships. (“You need a court that respects your right for others to pay for your contraception? Come in and get no money down on a brand new 2012 court case!”)
The unbound and unhampered loyalty you have to a Texas congressman who preaches liberty and peace is just simply adorable. You call his son a sellout for not endorsing his father, start riots at state GOP conventions to grab as many delegates for him as possible, and even started a campaign to sue the Republicans for not allowing delegates bound to other candidates to vote for him. Just adorable. You’re like little puppies, yipping and yapping at anyone who gets too close to your candidate, anyone who might might be some big ugly meanie in disguise. It’s cute.
So that’s why, since I’m so in love with you, that I have to take a moment and tell you to stop hurting yourself.
You’re starting to make yourself look foolish. Childish, even. Your inability to accept that Ron Paul will not win the nomination is a sign of being a poor loser, and nobody likes a poor loser. Your other inability to accept compromise with others—such as you demonization Paul’s son Rand—means you won’t have any friends. And for some of you, your inability to take what you can get, rather than singing Queen’s “I Want It All” at the top of your lungs every day, makes you look utterly crazy.
And right now, such actions—while adorable in their own little way—are undermining the best hope we have for liberty and freedom in this country for at least the next generation. Consider this to be tough love, because I well and truly wish for you to succeed and not be thrown to the wolves.
The first thing you need to give up, right now, is Ron Paul’s convention victory. Even the man himself has said that he doesn’t have the delegates to win the convention. Yet, despite that, you’re now going after the RNC through a lawsuit. Tell me, what do you expect your “Lawyers for Ron Paul” group to achieve?
Ron Paul’s increasingly unruly followers have found a new way to take on the establishment: litigation.
A group of Ron Paul supporters unafilliated with the campaign, calling themselves Lawyers for Ron Paul, have filed suit against the Republican National Committee in California’s 9th Circuit Court.
Their main complaint: delegates bound to Romney — because voters in a given state voted for him — will have to vote for Romney at the Republican National Convention.
“Each person going to Tampa is a free agent entitled to vote however their conscience is,” said Edward True, who described himself as a voters-rights activist and whose complaints about the Iowa caucuses gave “momentum” to Lawyers for Ron Paul, of which he is now a part, he said.
The group is “trying to get media accurate on the real delegate count,” True said.
Lawyers for Ron Paul only includes two lawyers, according to True, as well as “a couple of paralegals and three or four legal analysts.” True estimates that over 100 people have gotten involved in preparing the suit.
“Not all of us are lawyers but every one of us has been spending a lot of our time looking at specific cases,” True said. True was an Iowa caucus worker who raised questions about his precinct’s returns.
The group is suing over a number of incidents at state conventions this past spring where they say Paul supporters were harrassed or the victims of election fraud; they argue that delegates should be allowed to whomever they want at the national convention.
RNC rules do not legally require bound delegates to vote for the candidate to whom they’re bound. However, some state party rules do include that requirement.
What do you think the RNC and other Republicans will think of this? Primary seasons are all about rough housing each other in the beginning, to show why each candidate would be the best for the party, but once the race is over, everyone joins in to support the candidate left to defeat the other guy. That’s how it works; if you want to work within the party, then that’s what you do.
When the rest of the party sees antics like this, they won’t want anything to do with you. Maybe if you took a moment and lost gracefully, admitted that you didn’t have the delegates to win, they would accept you. They’d say, “Well, you know, we disagree, but they’re not so bad. Let’s work with them and accomodate them more next time around, so they don’t go over to the Dems or a third party.” But no; you pull these stunts, sap energy from the general election and cause a distraction, and they’re just going to see you as childish, immature whiners who are making things worse for them, not better.
If you thought 2012 was a tough year for libertarian Republicans, just wait until you see 2016. They will shut you out like nobody’s business.
Then there’s the demonization of Rand Paul for being a “sellout.” Just read the comments to Brian’s post about the subject last week. There is something quite admirable about ideological purity, but this is not one that something. Rand Paul had to do it in order to maintain his influence and power within the Senate. Tell me, which would you rather prefer: a powerful advocate for liberty in the upper chamber of Congress, standing firm against transgressions such as the NDAA, Obamacare, and other violations of the Constitution? Or would you rather have some armchair philosopher who was completely ignored and didn’t have one iota of strength to protect liberty?
Sometimes, you have to compromise in order to get ahead. You can’t always get what you want, and I would think libertarians would know that very well.
Then, lastly, I want to turn to some of my more dear friends, who are quite funny, the ones known as anarcho-capitalists. They had a very amusing post on reddit the other day:
Seeing as I only have so much time for outreach myself, I’ll start with the disclaimer that I am not suggesting that any additional time be invested in politics, but rather that any efforts which are currently invested be refocused towards the Libertarian community.
As ‘we’ have warned Libertarian Minarchists for quite some time, one does not join the mafia to turn it towards a good cause, the real world just doesn’t work that way. As expected, shit has finally hit the fan in the Libertarian community, in the form of specific persons within the Ron Paul campaign, as well as the recent endorsement of Romney by Rand Paul. The Minarchist community has reacted in various ways, some falling for it, others running to Gary Johnson (facepalm) and others are simply confused.
Without dwelling too much on the politics, it seems that opportunity has struck, and now might be a good time to plant some seeds.
Yes, obviously, because anarcho-capitalism and the Mises Institute have done such a good job defending civil liberties and ensuring that we have a free market in this country.
Look, the reason most of us are minarchists is because, outside of our movement, nobody buys anarcho-capitalism. You talk about that to these people, and at best their eyes will glaze over. At worse, they’ll suffer what looks like a seizure, suddenly declare a demon has infested your soul, and will bring out the garlic and holy water to perform an exorcism.
It’s all about branding and marketing. Yes, there is the philosophy, the Truth, and I totally agree. But you need a way to get that Truth out to people, and quite frankly, for most of them, they can’t handle the Truth. It’s a complete turn off. It burns them like the nuclear fire of a thousand Hiroshimas. And that’s not our goal. Our goal is to convince them, bring them into our movement, have them join the fight for liberty, and get even a small victory against the forces of oppression and tyranny. Even one small victory, to me, is better than no victory at all.
Now is not the time for this. Now is the chance to seize upon the discomfort and disaffection the public feels, and educate them about why freedom is best for them. We have to do it slowly. We can show them that a smaller government works, while assuaging their fears of unchecked capitalism. And considering the massive amounts of cronyism we have today, that’s a good thing—since we don’t have a free market capitalist society right now, getting rid of the government whole hog won’t advance liberty at all.
We have a magnificant chance, here, to realize some considerable gains in liberty. It’s always darkest before the dawn, they say. But if we continue to bicker, to whine, to make ourselves look like kids who can’t play in the schoolyard, to be lunatics who should be institutionalized, we won’t get anywhere. We cannot let this chance slip through our fingers.
Please, let’s do this right. Let’s stop this nonsense.