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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Ron Paul's kind of making a lot of sense

Ron Paul's kind of making a lot of sense
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Helmling
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Nov 12, 2008, 12:10 PM
 
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/...can/index.html

For a guy with a reputation as a crack-pot, this guy is resonating with me. I disagree with his assessment of Obama, but I hope someone inside the Republican party takes up his mantra and reforms the GOP.

I'd speculate that the best arc for rejuvinating America in the 21st century is eight years of (god-willing) a successful Obama presidency with FDR-ish sweep to his reforms, followed by the kind of back-to-basics liberty and small-government focused Republican administration.
     
besson3c
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Nov 12, 2008, 12:33 PM
 
I agree with a lot of it too. I'm not sold on the simplicity of "Democrat = big spending/big government", or that there are simply no investments that can be made that would yield net economic and social gains, but his advice is very timely as we seem to be ignoring this deficit which is absolutely insanely out-of-control thinking that as long as taxes aren't raised we'll be fine.

However, I don't quite understand how Paul's solutions address rising medical costs and social security problems. If he wants to abolish these programs, at the very least we need a transitional strategy. All he has addressed is the war, which while a significant expense, is not the only cause of our debt. I don't fault him for a lack of solutions because what I think he is trying to do is lay philosophical groundwork, but it would help for me to have a better picture as to what we do once we are all on the same page with his philosophies.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Nov 12, 2008, 01:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
For a guy with a reputation as a crack-pot...
More accurately I think the reputation is that his fans are crack-pots (well, some of them. A vocal minority)
     
subego
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Nov 12, 2008, 10:16 PM
 
His ideology prompts him to take some (IMO mildly) controversial views about the Civil War.

From there, people who have much less mildly controversial opinions of the Civil War have flocked to him (racist crackpots).

The big question is how willing is he to separate himself from those crackpots. Since he let the crackpots write for his newsletter, I see the probable answer as "not much".
     
vmarks
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Nov 12, 2008, 10:20 PM
 
What's interesting to me is that Ron Paul, who takes an anti-FDR-new-deal approach, attracts people who wish for FDR-new-deal policies.

FDR policies are anti-liberty and anti-small government. Do people not see any contradictions?
     
subego
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Nov 12, 2008, 10:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
What's interesting to me is that Ron Paul, who takes an anti-FDR-new-deal approach, attracts people who wish for FDR-new-deal policies.

Who would that be?
     
vmarks
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Nov 12, 2008, 10:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
... this guy is resonating with me...

I'd speculate that the best arc for rejuvinating America ... is eight years of (god-willing) a FDR-ish sweep ...
So, on one hand, Paul and small government are appealing and resonating... in direct contradiction to FDR-ish sweep (big government.)
     
subego
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Nov 12, 2008, 11:11 PM
 
You know, that must have short circuited my brain when I read it the first time.

Helmling, this might benefit from some clarification. It seems like you're saying, we should have 8 years of FDR and then tear it down.


If you could get government to work that way, it's actually an interesting idea.
     
subego
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Nov 12, 2008, 11:16 PM
 
I also want to say that these ideas that Paul espouses:

• Limited government power

• A balanced budget

• Personal liberty

• Strict adherence to the Constitution

• Sound money

Should resonate with every American.
     
Krusty
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Nov 13, 2008, 12:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I also want to say that these ideas that Paul espouses:

• Limited government power

• A balanced budget

• Personal liberty

• Strict adherence to the Constitution

• Sound money

Should resonate with every American.
as should the other two you left out:

• A strong defense while avoiding all undeclared wars

• No nation-building and no policing the world
     
The Crook
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Nov 13, 2008, 12:03 AM
 
...in a very abstract way, yes.

We disagree, of course, on where to limit governmental power, when a balanced budget should take priority over deficit spending, what constitutes "personal liberty" or liberty in general, what the Constitution means, etc.

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subego
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Nov 13, 2008, 01:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Krusty View Post
as should the other two you left out:

• A strong defense while avoiding all undeclared wars

• No nation-building and no policing the world

I think an argument can be made for both sides WRT interventionism. Not so much with the prior arguments.
     
subego
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Nov 13, 2008, 02:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Crook View Post
We disagree, of course, on where to limit governmental power,

This applies to all your arguments, but I think it resonates most strongly with this one.

I'm all for allowing for a variance in opinion, and not dismissing people who disagree with me, but at some point this isn't a disagreement between where the limit should be, but a disagreement between someone who believes in limiting government power, and someone who doesn't.

Expansion of government power to take care of social ills is essentially codified into the platform of the Democratic party. They don't want to limit it, they think it's a good idea.

The Republicans may claim to agree with limiting government power, but I can't say that's what they did with their 6 years in control of the executive and legislature.

We can get to the part about quibbling over limits when we can find enough people who actually believe in the concept in the first place.
     
The Crook
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Nov 13, 2008, 03:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Expansion of government power to take care of social ills is essentially codified into the platform of the Democratic party. They don't want to limit it, they think it's a good idea.)
Well, we all disagree about what are considered "social ills."

I find it hard to believe that you mean Democrats want to expand the power of government in every context. Surely that's not what you mean? Barack Obama put it best when he said "we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states." And there a multitude of other areas where Democrats believe government shouldn't intrude or should intrude less than it currently does (especially after the Bush years).

That's why I said before that we disagree about where to limit the power of government; not that limiting the power of government in every context is something we all agree on.

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goMac
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Nov 13, 2008, 05:35 AM
 
I don't agree with his politics, but if the republicans had listened to him they'd be in a lot better of a place.
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subego
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Nov 13, 2008, 09:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Crook View Post
I find it hard to believe that you mean Democrats want to expand the power of government in every context.

The "to take care of social ills" part of my statement "[e]xpansion of government power to take care of social ills" was meant as a rough and ready contextual guide.

If I thought the Democrats did this in every context, why would I bother qualifying the statement?




Originally Posted by The Crook View Post
That's why I said before that we disagree about where to limit the power of government; not that limiting the power of government in every context is something we all agree on.

We should all agree on limiting government in precisely one context, philosophically.

Someone who believes the terrorist threat means we should suspend habeas corpus (in even the smallest way), legalize torture, and take the Constitutional leash off of the NSA isn't arguing these are within the limits of limited government, despite whatever claims they make to the contrary.

This person does not philosophically believe in limited government, period.
     
The Crook
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Nov 13, 2008, 12:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If I thought the Democrats did this in every context, why would I bother qualifying the statement?
Well, here's where it gets confusing:

...but at some point this isn't a disagreement between where the limit should be, but a disagreement between someone who believes in limiting government power, and someone who doesn't.
You talk about how it's not a disagreement about where to limit government power; that at some point it's a disagreement between someone who believes in limiting government power and someone who doesn't believe in limiting government power. You go on to say that Democrats don't want to limit government power; they think it's a good idea in the context of curing social ills.

But Democrats don't feel all social ills needs to be cured by the government; it's precisely a question of which social ill needs to be cured by what method. It's a debate about where to limit government power.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
We should all agree on limiting government in precisely one context, philosophically.

Someone who believes the terrorist threat means we should suspend habeas corpus (in even the smallest way), legalize torture, and take the Constitutional leash off of the NSA isn't arguing these are within the limits of limited government, despite whatever claims they make to the contrary.

This person does not philosophically believe in limited government, period.
Definitely less so.

What's interesting, I think is how you'll find those authoritarian impulses on all sides. I saw "The Lives of Others" late last night, a powerful film about the consequences of state surveillance of citizens in the GDR in the mid 1980's. I thought of the things you named above that we do in a capitalist country. As a side note, it irks me that people use "socialism" or "communism" to describe these practices when we don't use "capitalism" to describe our authoritarian abuses. It actually doesn't make sense at all to use an economic term to describe non-economic things.

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Helmling  (op)
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Nov 13, 2008, 04:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
So, on one hand, Paul and small government are appealing and resonating... in direct contradiction to FDR-ish sweep (big government.)
It's all about balance. For example, I ordinarily think that we're in the best situation when we have one party in control of the White House and the other in control of Congress. The brilliance of checks and balances at work.

Allow me to clarify (though I think we've tread this ground before).

The philosophy behind Paul's politics is appealing. Who doesn't want a system based on liberty and limited government? I mean, really, don't we all agree with that on some level? The problem is that some naively believe that a "small" government is also somehow a neutral or "fair" government. Obviously, the less government there is, then the better those with vested power in other arenas fare. Specifically, a small government favors those with economic power, i.e. extraordinary wealth. That wealth is then a threat to the liberty and self-determination of others who do not possess it. The only way that a government based on Paul's ideals can truly be "fair" is if the society it governs is itself already "fair," otherwise the inequalities that exist will only be magnified as those with power outside of the government may wield it without impediment.

Hence, I think that a period of Democrat control of the country's political agenda could put a dent in some of those inequalities and then be followed by an administration built on philosophies like those of Ron Paul.

At sea, there's never just one course you set. You must always adjust for the conditions. Sometimes you steer North for a while even though your destination is to the West because there are conditions due West you must avoid. Our nation's course will be the same; it will always need corrective nudges back and forth.
     
Helmling  (op)
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Nov 13, 2008, 04:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
His ideology prompts him to take some (IMO mildly) controversial views about the Civil War.

From there, people who have much less mildly controversial opinions of the Civil War have flocked to him (racist crackpots).

The big question is how willing is he to separate himself from those crackpots. Since he let the crackpots write for his newsletter, I see the probable answer as "not much".
See, I didn't know that, but it makes sense.

My problem with the Confederacy is similar to the problem I have with advocating small government now. It ignores the issue of inequality within society and what that says about political power. In the case of the South, how can we say that the Confederate states were sovereign states with the right to secede if they held a significant portion of their population in bondage. How can we reasonably talk about these states as having the right to collectively leave the union when the rights of their population were not respected?

Likewise, how can we reasonably talk about limited government being "fair" when economic power is distributed unevenly?
     
Helmling  (op)
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Nov 13, 2008, 04:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
You know, that must have short circuited my brain when I read it the first time.

Helmling, this might benefit from some clarification. It seems like you're saying, we should have 8 years of FDR and then tear it down.


If you could get government to work that way, it's actually an interesting idea.
But government does work that way: A back and forth between the two parties. See my post just above to vmarks for more clarification of my point of view on this.
     
goMac
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Nov 14, 2008, 03:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
My problem with the Confederacy is similar to the problem I have with advocating small government now. It ignores the issue of inequality within society and what that says about political power. In the case of the South, how can we say that the Confederate states were sovereign states with the right to secede if they held a significant portion of their population in bondage. How can we reasonably talk about these states as having the right to collectively leave the union when the rights of their population were not respected?
This is getting into dangerous territory as the original American Revolution has similar issues. There were many loyalists here in the states caught up in the revolution.

God forbid anyone criticizes anything the founding fathers did...
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