Our U.S. Constitution is a remarkably efficient document. It is our only founding charter. Many times changed, rendered, adumbrated. But it’s essence is unshakable. Written in Thomas Jefferson’s handwriting, edited against his will, pored over, discussed, hushed about, while it lay about some small wooden tables in independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Americans believe, that the Constitution is the link between our government and our lives. Congress and the Executive, can not overstep the harmony that exists, by each American following his path of liberty. Unfortunately, too many harmful minds, want too much power in this country. Power never vested in the Constitution. Power never meant to be handled by bureaucrats or officials or committees. We need to change all this. The oath of office should be sworn on the Constitution. In the Capital Rotunda. Among the historicity of remains from past great ages of the United States.
Drones in our night skies. Unelected lawyers interpreting the U.S. Constition. Surveillance. Internet spying. Blackouts and Stasi-like encroachements. Torturing. Deaths and internment of American citizens. Socialization of medicare for the elderly, and healthcare for those in mid-age. Food stamps and deductibles for people who do not work. Taxation over representation. Data-accumulation. Groping at airports. Fumbling and nefarious Justice Department officials. Cronies. Welfare abuses. War and destruction as an industry, like Hollywood and Corporate America! Blame-games. Undermining of basic civil rights. Monetarism-mongering! Unaccountability and state-sponsored fear. Campaigns of division. Solutions disguised for self-created problems.
With Senator Olympia Snowe announcing that she will not run for a fourth term, some pundits—including John Nichols of The Nation—are claiming that moderate Republicanism is dead. I’m not 100% sure of that, but it does seem that moderation within the GOP is fast becoming impossible. Santorum and Gingrich have stalled, but even with Romney in the lead, it appears that the Republican party is still moving to the right, and not in the manner of Ron Paul.
Doug Mataconis is calling it the “Twilight of the RINOs.” I find it to be apt—and lamentable. It is quite disheartening to see the GOP get devoured by radical “wingers” who are unable to compromise in order to advance a truly free market agenda, and are basically letting the left win the ideological battle because they are painting themselves as frothing-at-the-mouth nutjobs with their talk of how the gays are destroying America and how President Obama is actually a Muslim from Kenya with an anti-colonialist worldview—things that the vast majority of the American public simply does not buy.
There have been many treatises written over the decades about the demise of the GOP. This is a common defense of many Republican and conservative pundits, but that’s just the appeal to history fallacy: you guys said it before and it didn’t happen, so it obviously won’t happen this time. I’m not so sure.
Americans are fed up with both parties. They’re disgusted by the blatant disrespect for democracy and economic stupidity practiced by the (inappropriately named) Democratic Party, yet simultaneously are turned off with the radical right-wing psycho-populist pro-war Republican Party. And with the moderate faction of the GOP essentially dissipating, the question becomes: what now?
Republican voters are being put through the pincers. We are back to 2008. Heaps of strong candidates, but no consensus. Great speeches, but no substance. PAC money spent by the millions, but no conclusive results. GOP candidates are even welcoming Democratic voters, to smear each other, to add to their victories, or to just plainly embitter each other. The Republican race is not going to get any more civil. Once, we see these subterfuges, we can ask the real questions: what will it take to unseat Obama in November, and who can best do this?
In America the conservative movement has been changing. Neo-conservatives, who had for roughly two decades (1980-2000) held the strongarm of the party, are gone with the Bush Administration’s doctrine of “pre-emptive strike” and the PATRIOT ACT. We are in the midst of the dregs. Still trying to find out which direction this country will spill it’s spirit of changelessness.
For all his grandeur, Mitt Romney just has not taken his campaign to the next level. Rick Santorum has peaked, but more likely will not hold his miniscule leads. Newt Gingrinch’s populism and Ron Paul’s constitutionalism, so similar to each other, are self-negating. None is in charge. Marginal candidates can’t win delegates, nor the RNC party’s nomination. Mitt Romney, the ever-chameleon like business mogul, can’t strike a human touch to save his life and political prospects.
If Mitt Romney is the front runner of the wolves, ready to flay Obama; what is his version of the American Dream? How does he see this country, through which prism? Is it a legalistic, rigidly technocratic, institutional approach? It seems, his advantage is not his base, his character, anything as much as his warchest. He won’t run out of steam. Even if the delegate count gets close in Tampa, FL this spring; he’ll be able to resurrect himself, make the necessary promises and sail away with the nomination.
Media-sauvant and Internet fortune-peddler Andrew Breitbart died last night at age 43 in Los Angeles. Breitbart made an ambulance-chasing name for himself, by exposing the rich, powerful and connected.
Scandals that he helped to uncover, included ACORN undercover exposes, Rep. Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal, Shirley Sherrod’s NAACP racist-rant in front of the USDA, and burning (virtual) wires by taking on most anyone on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit over politics, internationalism, globalism and American society.
Like many of this first decade, he was a contrarian, a (serpent) tongue-split rhetorician full of bombast and verbosity. Remorseless, in his yearning to undo American socialism; he attacked when-, and where-, ever he could.
The first laptop-gonzo, and blackberry-holstering crackpot of the social media age, died abruptly: when he keeled over on an evening walk. According to sources he spent long stretches of his life on the road, reporting and speaking the truth about the powererful through computing and New Media. He is survived by his wife Susannah Bean and four kids.
Let us make fresh.
The reason why Rick Santorum would not oust Barack Obama in November, is not his faith. It is simply that he is running a ‘social message’ of uniform decency against a ‘social message’ of uniform healthcare. Plainly, Obama’s health plan, is vital: but not more pressing than the economic calamity of bailouts, frauds, money-laundering, spending and public debt. These are focal issues of the 2012 election.
Santorum is the politician everyone can super-impose themselves on. He’s no CEO like Mitt Romney, no renowned speaker like Newt Gingrich, not intellectual like Ron Paul. No, he is a regular Pennsylvania lawyer, who argued some weird World Wrestling Federation cases. Somehow he is unspectacular enough, that he could almost be your town butcher, postal deliverer or stockyard piler. You would think this is a strength. But it is not.
Eventually, while trying to keep your political pronunciations to a minimum, to correspond to the widest social base possible, you hit a tollboth going 160 mph. Santorum is earnest, he surely is: means well to families and the elderly, but he has yet to prove his salt. His record is plain: he has taken massive amounts of Washington D.C. beltway funding, voted to raise the debt ceiling, is in cahoots with the (so-called) ‘military industrial complex’ and dislikes many anomalies of our population: young pregnants, migrant-labor, jobless, gays, blacks. He has been able to entrench his campaign in an atmosphere of rustic humbleness and simpletonness.
The more connected you are, within the Washington D.C. circuit; and on the long-stretch between Los Angeles and New York, the more clout you have as a politician. Especially, if you’ve squandered taxpayer money on “bridges to nowhere” (Rick Santorum), Olympic “Games” (Mitt Romney) or have been kick-backed by Fannie & Freddie (Newt Gingrich).
All these, of course, are fine examples of Capitalist enterprise, of leadership and smart capital-management. But what do all these undertakings reveal, about abilities in leadership, necessary to plug the dam of the 2008-unward recession? Not, much.
Ron Paul is the antithesis. He negates almost in it’s entirety, every other issues brought by his opponents in the GOP presidential race. He is not reported on, because those who indeed try to, fail miserably: the way Gerald Seib did, moderating the Republican Debate in South Carolina. Ron Paul is too honest: clear, succinct, philosophically astute. This makes him a slippery fish, to place in the Republican Party, although he is by far the most consequently, stalwartly arch-conservative since that other Gipper, that slipped his way into the White House: Ronald Reagan!
Being less ‘politicized’, in other words by having put his neck out on an execution-block, or guillotine, to amass money, has meant he has to do with less campaign finance. But what Paul has lacked in initial spending, his patriots have donated in turn. No other US politician has ever raised a sum, close to over 1 million, which Paul’s campaign has been able to do in 2011. What this means, is; people base decision on mass-media, pandered bits-and-pieces of evening chatter, boxed soundbites (often misinterpreted) while heading out the door in the morning. Ron Paul is lucky to get 3 minutes airtime, after a debate platform.
In the course of the past week, there have been ruminations from Washington D.C. and the liberal media establishment, following the political circus circuit. Rumors are, there is a Romney-Paul split ticket in the works. This would mean, Ron Paul as Vice President to Mitt Romney. Sources are weak and at this point, still very much unsubstantiated.
Whether Ron Paul would accept a Vice Presidential spot, at this point is unclear. He is Mitt Romney’s senior, both in intellect and age. Others report, and speak of, a Rand Paul Vice Presidency; however, at this point into the GOP retake of the vacant White House, Rand Paul (R-KY) is nowhere near the fire of the action.
It is quite obvious, that if Mitt Romney is going to sock Obama in November, he will have to square the Tea Party vote. Segments of which he has neglected, again and again; with big government “corporations are people” rhetoric. Steadily he holds the strongest conservative wing, but a wing does not fly without a body. If Ron Paul considers an Independent presidential run after all, Mitt Romney will feel luke-warm to libertarians, independents, cross-overs, undecideds.
Given Ron Paul’s consistent stance on positions: his remorseless scrutiny and straight-edge in terms of vascillation, it is highly unlikely he will takle a split-ticket such as this. If these comments continue, there will be the possibility that Ron Paul’s integrity is pu to the test. Is he really the stalwart, people say he is? Or, is he another politician who might use his stature, to win the GOP the election in November 2012?
To piggyback off of some of the thoughts going around about anarchism, I think that anarcho-capitalism is completely unworkable in modern society. I have three main reasons why this is so, and then two ways that society and humans would have to change in order to make anarchism and anarcho-capitalism in particular actually viable.
I think this is an extremely important topic for the libertarian movement to consider, because now, more than ever, we’re in a position where fatigue and frustration with the current political system can give us a major opening. People are sick of the left, and they’re sick of the right. They recognize that socialism is not a workable solution, but neither is the current miasma that is crony capitalism. They’re afraid more of big government than big business, but like neither, and just want honesty, integrity, and equality before the law to actually prevail.
All of these are libertarian themes, and we can have tremendous success, but not if we put forward a face that looks completely radical and unreasonable. People aren’t looking for that, aren’t going to buy that, and are likely going to be turned off by it. It’s all about the Overton Window. I may not want to be as vehement or vicious as others do towards anarchists, but I do think we need to challenge their assumptions (and have our assumptions challenged) and point out where they fall on their face
So, why do I think anarcho-capitalism is, in any case, not workable for the modern world, and does not increase liberty?
1. Anarcho-capitalism relies on everyone being perfectly rational
[In the voice of that narrator guy from Law & Order:]
In the libertarian movement, there are two separate but equally important groups: the minarchists who support a minimal state, and the anarchists would believe in no state at all.
These are their stories.
Such could be the introduction to any documentary about modern libertarianism. It’s quite true: there has been a raging argument between those who want a minimal state that does only a few bare functions (law enforcement, defense, prisons, perhaps roads and fire departments) and those who want absolutely no state whatsoever. It lead to a split in the Libertarian Party in the 80s, after Ed Clark received 1% of the presidential vote in 1980, when anarchists felt the party wasn’t being radical enough. You see the argument vocalized on anarchist websites, such as this writer at Strike the Root who declares that minarchists are “the enemy.” It isn’t helped that it anarchism does seem logical, from a certain standpoint: how can you be for liberty yet still want a state? That’s a contradiction!
Fortunately, a very powerful argument for libertarian minarchism has emerged, one that is built on the foundation of peace.
Stephen Pinker just wrote the book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, and gave an interview to reason about it. In his interview, he points out some very fascinating facts about why violence has gone down. The first point is that the free market (aka “capitalism”) leads to peace:
When I read Jimbo Wales’ Twitter account about Wikipedia going dark, he linked to this October 2011 article from the Guardian in the United Kingdom about the entertainment industry’s profits. Surprisingly, it shows that piracy might not be having that much of a dent after all:
A surge of more than 50% in spending on e-commerce services such asNetflix and Amazon – helped by booming sales of Blu-ray discs of films such as the Star Wars franchise – has fuelled the first rise in home entertainment spending in the US for more than three years.
Consumer spending on services that provide films and TV shows digitally – including streaming, video-on-demand and subscription services such as iTunes and Hulu – grew 55.79% year on year to $811m in the third quarter, according to a report by industry body the Digital Entertainment Group.
The booming growth of digital services and surge in Blu-ray disc sales fuelled an overall 4.87% year-on-year increase in total US home entertainment spending in the third quarter to $4bn.
“[It is] a major milestone as this is the first time spending has increased since the first quarter of 2008 when the economic downturn began,” said the report. “This growth reflects an encouraging shift in the marketplace … [and] the continued stabilisation of the industry.”
Of course, it was a change from previous years, but then, that’s to be expected since we’re in a global recession.