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Posted by on Nov 24, 2007 in At TMV | 47 comments

What To Make Of The Ron Paul Revolution

Ron Paul Revolution

Much has been written about the rise in popularity of libertarian Republican Ron Paul’s presidential campaign—both good and bad. Lew Rockwell’s paleo-libertarian blog—notorious for his opposition toward both Democrats and Republicans and the State in general—has been perhaps the most ardent supporter of the Republican Congressman’s presidential campaign while pro-war “libertarian” Ilya Somin of The Volokh Conspiracy has become one of the latest critics to join to growing chorus of critics of the Ron Paul campaign.

But while much of the media and blogosphere’s attention has been spent on the messenger—his “quirkiness”, his naivete about believing he can win his party’s nomination, his avid internet supporters, his one-day fund-raising totals, and his supposed “support” for the 9/11 Truth Movement—much less time has been spent focusing upon the message itself and what it means to the future of American politics. Ron Paul, himself has admitted, “I may not be the best messenger, but the message is powerful.”

And just what is that message?

Ron Paul says it’s a message of liberty. And indeed, in terms of elevating the freedom of the individual over the power of the government, Ron Paul is the most libertarian presidential candidate offered by one of the two major parties in many decades.

Yet, as many of his critics have pointed out, Ron Paul is not completely consistent in his libertarianism. His strong support for securing our nation’s borders and cracking down on illegal immigration is not consistent with the libertarian philosophy of allowing people and trade to travel freely across borders. His defense of his vote in favor of our military’s Don’t ask, don’t tell policy—while convincing in its rejection of group rights—was a missed opportunity to criticize yet another government policy that the vast majority of libertarians believe is unjust and unnecessary. And at times, Mr. Paul’s devotion to federalism seems to overshadow his support for libertarian principles, as when he argues that certain issues (e.g., abortion, gay marriage) should be decided by state and local governments rather than by the federal government instead of raising the fundamental question of whether government at any level should be involved in these issues in the first place.

Still, Ron Paul’s notion of liberty and his willingness to speak out against policies that expand the power of the federal government and infringe upon our freedoms (both personal and economic) has set him apart from the current crop of presidential candidates (both Democrats and Republicans) and seems to be transforming American politics towards a new realignment—one that defies the traditional Democrat-versus-Republican, liberal-versus-conservative paradigm.

Libertarians Nick Gillespie (Editor-in-Chief of Reason Magazine) and Matt Welch (Assistant Editorial Page Editor of the Los Angeles Times) wrote a recent opinion piece in the Washington Times in which they attempt to explain the improbable rise of this maverick Republican Congressman from Lake Jackson, Texas:

That force is less about Paul than about the movement that has erupted around him — and the much larger subset of Americans who are increasingly disillusioned with the two major political parties’ soft consensus on making government ever more intrusive at all levels, whether it’s listening to phone calls without a warrant, imposing fines of half a million dollars for broadcast “obscenities” or jailing grandmothers for buying prescribed marijuana from legal dispensaries.

While some may question whether Ron Paul might be bad for libertarianism, his growing popularity and name recognition suggests that there is a growing movement in this country—made up of libertarians, Old Right conservatives, and anti-war liberals—who have grown tired of the politicians in control of this country as well as the Democratic and Republican parties.

Ron Paul remains a long-shot to win the Republican nomination and an even longer shot of winning the presidential election. And his criticism is coming from a number of ideological fronts—both from neo-conservatives who have never met an American War that they didn’t like as well as from dyed-in-the-wool progressives who have never met a domestic welfare program that they didn’t like.

Yet much of the criticism is also of a partisan nature—the type that comes from partisan Democrats and Republicans who realize that Ron Paul and libertarianism represent a direct challenge to the Democratic and Republican parties and the oversimplified liberal-versus-conservative spectrum that they reply upon to draw voters into their opposing camps. Like Ronald Reagan before him, Ron Paul seeks to define politics not by left-versus-right but by up-versus-down, where up represents libertarianism and down represents statism. Only, unlike Ronald Reagan (who went up to grow the size of government, balloon the national debt, and support anti-liberty government policies such as the War on Drugs), Ron Paul actually means what he says.

Ron Paul’s critics have argued that Ron Paul is dangerous. And they are right. Ron Paul is dangerous—though not in the ways that they believe he is. Ron Paul represents a third force in American politics that challenges our two-party system.

All too often, partisans have made crucial issues into a Democratic-versus-Republican or liberal-versus-conservative debate. People who speak out against the war are a bunch of “Bush-haters” and members of the “far left” while people who speak out against costly federal spending programs are “corporatists” and members of the “far right.” That there are pro-liberty/anti-authority voters out there that do not cleave to the traditional left-versus-right spectrum is an irritant to Democratic and Republican apologists who make their living by selling us the false lie that there are only two choices in American politics—us versus them.

UPDATE: Bill Westmiller of the Republican Liberty Caucus has informed me that Ron Paul did not vote for the military’s Don’t ask, don’t tell policy. Given that this law was passed in 1993, and Ron Paul wasn’t even in Congress in 1993, I would have to agree with Mr. Westmiller and concede that I was factually wrong in making this statement. I regret this mistake.

NOTE: This post was cross-posted at The Coming Realignment.

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Copyright 2007 The Moderate Voice
  • domajot

    I guess it’s for libertarians to judge the libertarianism of Ron Paul. I take the candidates for what they purport to represent and support, and how they label their political philosophy matters little.

    In contrast to this post’s message, creating a separate party for the elevation of individual liberty makes no more sense to me than creating a separate party for the preservation of Truth or Justice.
    As an ordinary pragmatic person , I’m much more interested in how those in power fit all the pieces of a society together, and how they propose to balance individual liberty and the broader demands of our soiety/nation in the context of present conditions. than in making this one particular piece of iit the overwhaelming centerpiece

    I’m much more interested in knowing what happens when one man’s liberty impinges on another’s, since all those individual liberties will inevitably be rubbing up against each other.
    I won’t pretend that I can be an individual as totally separate from the society in which I find myself. I need to know, then, how all the pieces of the society can fit together, in order to find my place in it.
    Any candidate from any party can answer my questions. The party hats they wear are of no consequence, and if there are two hats, three hats or 10 hats in the ring, I will still know that no one hat can make all my dreams come true.

  • Here’s why Paul is so popular: People are opposed to corporate dominance of the government and the military-industrial complex, but they’re too brainwashed by the prevailing culture, made virulently right-wing after fighting the Cold War, to admit that those are left-wing positions.

    So they run to Paul, who takes positions that the left-wing owns and makes them retarded to fit into the pseudo-right-wing mold. Gold standard? Jesus. Radical free-market-ism. Great. Look, you can’t reduce militarism and corporatism without legislating a giant new layer of regulation. Realistic people understand that you have to.

    The fact that so many libertarians support such inane ideas has finally really truly and fully killed any respect I might have had for them based on the few intelligent libertarians (i.e. Jon Stewart and Cathy Young) who aren’t idiots. The rest just cobble their ideas together from snippets of attitudes and talking points they find around them, making a stupid, impractical homunculus ideology that shows negative independent thinking ability: despite how “independent” they think they are, their opinions are just an inarticulate wail at the system that’s raping them by people to stupid to understand that power abhors a vacuum, and it’s either going to be a government of the people or private enterprise that has the power. That’s it.

  • Almost Speechless

    To Domadot and Jewboy,

    Step back take a deep breath and think Federal Govt, and State Govt, to include local Govt.

    Under a Paul administration most of the very complex issues would be held in the States if not counties, Personal liberties would not be infringed upon at the Federal Level, but under the Constitution the states can do anything the people vote for – as it should be. Anyone who thinks that a Federal laws so broad in nature can adequately deal which whichever issue its attempting to address hasn’t seen these laws in action.

    FEMA would be a good place to start, but when you ask about personal liberties and how you would interact with others, you start at the local level which is never done. It is assumed to start at the Federal level and move down, and thats the wrong way to see this.

    Ron Paul is about freedom of choice in everything, give back the power of the Federal Govt to the states and let them vote and choose which laws would be represent the people who live there.

    Its not a hard concept to get behind, if you believe in the Constitution then you’re half way there. Just use it from the bottom up, not the top down.

    First clue “We the people”…….

  • Shak20

    I think the reason Ron Paul isn’t consistent in his libertarianism is because he’s a conservative Republican. That’s been his platform since he started this run. It seems to me like you wasted a great deal of time talking about Libertarians when all Ron Paul has talked about is getting back to the roots of the Republican Party. That’s Ron Paul 101.

    I will agree that he is the perfect third party candidate. The question for Ron Paul is not if the message is popular enough to get him elected, but if he’s going to have enough time to get that message out to people who have essentially given up on politics and trying to change the world. His meetup grow by five hundred a day and he has more new donors than every other candidate. He’s going to raise three times as much as he did last quarter. All we do is tlak about our youth and the troops. Guess who they support? Why aren’t we listening to the people we’re concerned about. I laugh when I go to my meetup. I stand side by side with lawyers, christian conservatives, officers, millitary, Jews, arabs, women, men, young and old. We have nothing else in common except we want our country back. The people on the internet are the people that pay attention and the reason we’re so passionate is because we honestly believe Ron Paul might be the last hope for our future. Look at what’s happened in the last eight years alone. What’s the next eight going to bring? We’re scared, so we fight.

  • re-republican

    This synopsis is just downright sad.

    Indeed, Ron Paul is inconsistent with Libertarian beliefs – that’s because Ron Paul is not a Libertarian! This is like saying Hillary is inconsistent with Marxism – of course she is, she not a Marxist!

    Many in the MSM label him as such in an attempt to alienate him from true Republicans. If labeling is necessary, let’s call it “classical liberalism”, which is exactly what our founding fathers were – Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, et al.

  • Uh, thanks for proving my point. FEMA is a good example of something the federal government should be doing – states can’t always afford or support massive rescue efforts.

    The rest is “believe in the Constitution” and “local level” and tired old right-wing clichés about how bad the federal government is. I’m all for innovation and experimentation in how the government structures it’s programs, and I understand that things work better from the bottom up, but my point that a strong federal government – that will act as a watchdog and honest broker, fund electioneering, and ensure a basic standard of living for the people – is necessary to prevent corporatism.

    Let’s face it: we’ve let those things go, and so the mobs are still at the doors of the rich, saying, “we’re here to cut your taxes!” Moving the center of power to the state level will only make the system more easy to manipulate by corporate interests.

  • @ Almost Speechless

  • re-republican

    @beaverton_jewboy

    Moving the center of power to the state level will only make the system more easy to manipulate by corporate interests.

    Quite the opposite – decentralization will make it MORE difficult since power and influence will be dispersed among individual states, instead of the elite few.

    “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”

  • Paul can be criticized on many counts, but commentators should at least attempt to get their facts straight.

    “His strong support for securing our nation’s borders and cracking down on illegal immigration …”

    I suppose Paul may have pandered by implication, but he isn’t in favor of building a fence, nor putting military forces on the Mexican border, as some people believe. He opposes “amnesty” as a part of his commitment to the rule of law, but he has stated many times (and voted several times) that he believes the law should be reformed.
    He says the welfare state is one reason why so many people come here illegally, but he doesn’t oppose those programs simply because they motivate illegals.
    Yes, he opposes “birthright citizenship” that facilitates an expansion of demands on public services, but he applauds those who simply come here to work and add to the nation’s wealth.

    “… his vote in favor of our military’s Don’t ask, don’t tell policy …”

    No such vote ever occurred.
    Ron was asked if he supported the policy and said he did … but, in an interview at Google, he explained that he supported it as a generally good social policy. He opposes all discrimination against gays in the military and always has.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2vnm9K5b8w

    “… instead of raising the fundamental question of whether government at any level should be involved …”

    He has been asked about abortion, admitting that he doesn’t have the absolute answer, so wants to leave it to the “laboratory of the states” to decide whether and how it should be punished.
    He does believe that a fetus is a person with rights, but he doesn’t stipulate that those rights are absolute, nor that they begin at conception.
    Although it hasn’t been noted, he must believe that the life of the mother is sufficient grounds for abortion, since he has terminated fetal tubal pregnancies himself.

    “Ron Paul represents a third force in American politics that challenges our two-party system.”

    That appraisal might be half true, inasmuch as the “declined to state” population is now larger than any party registration. But, I don’t think it’s true that all of those who are disaffected necessarily agree with Ron Paul. Certainly, a lot of those rejecting party affiliation don’t consider them to be two parties at all, but rather a common ideology favoring a corporate-militarist state that threatens every individual’s liberty and prosperity. That may be the key to Ron Paul’s future nomination and election … which is not impossible at all.

  • superdestroyer

    beaverton_jewboy

    In the Seattle and Louisville school busing cases, every Democratic group took the side of the argument that the government can force people to do things for social engineering purposes. There is nothing in that stance that is anywhere close to being libertarian. It is big government nanny-ism which is exactly the opposite of libertarianism.

  • @ re republican

    “divide and conquer”

  • And superdestroyer is back to remind us of the creepy libertarian-racist link. Thanks SD.

  • clif25

    And at times, Mr. Paul’s devotion to federalism seems to overshadow his support for libertarian principles, as when he argues that certain issues (i.e. abortion, gay marriage) should be decided by state and local governments rather than by the federal government

    Dr. Ron Paul has very little devotion toward federalism. I believe you have made a mistake of knowing the definition of federalism. Ron Paul is the strongest supporter for republicanism, not federalism. Republicanism says that “issues should be decided by state and local governments rather than by the federal government.” When people say that Ron Paul should not be running for the Republican Party nomination seem to forget what republican means. Ron Paul is mainly a libertarian Republican with some conservatism in him.

    As for Westmiller’s comments, I think there is one inaccuracy, otherwise you seem to be right on about Ron Paul and his stances. The one mistake, at least from my knowledge lies in this statement: “I suppose Paul may have pandered by implication, but he isn’t in favor of building a fence, nor putting military forces on the Mexican border, as some people believe.”

    Ron Paul has said many times that he wants to bring our troops who are defending the Iraq border home to defend our own borders. From this statement, I do not think he is against putting soldiers on the border to control immigration flows. Ideologically here, however, Ron Paul may have libertarian principles, especially when he says that in a free market society we would have so many jobs that immigration would not be a factor and we would be wanting their presence in our communities. However he seems to take the more practical approach due to our non-free-market and welfare state, and seems to support the more conservative approach that our borders should be better protected, which I have interpreted as needing more border guards in the southern states.

    Otherwise I really enjoyed this article. Nice writing.

  • re-republican

    @beaverton_jewboy

    “..and to the republic for which it stands…

  • beaverton jewboy– what is it about having a US dollar that is backed by gold (again) that you disagree with?

  • I do agree with Westmiller in that I feel that there is little difference between the 2 parties.

    For example, Hillary Clinton voted for both Patriot Acts, increased wiretapping, going to war with Iraq, military commissions act … and Ron Paul has voted against all of these.

  • klutometis

    “Yet, as many of his critics have pointed out, Ron Paul is not completely consistent in his libertarianism.”

    What a relief, then, that he’s not running on the libertarian ticket; even if he were, however, I find his pro-American inconsistencies much less troubling than the neocon ones, which clearly have alien interests.

  • Mr. Westmiller,

    Thank you for pointing out the mistake with regards to Ron Paul and the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. I have attached an addendum to my post pointing out that I was mistaken.

    I do think, however, that you misinterpreted my words if you believe that I was implying that Ron Paul is pandering when he takes a hardline position against illegal immigration. I never stated that Ron Paul was pandering, and in fact, I believe that Ron Paul genuinely believes in his stance on immigration.

    I just happen to believe, however, that this is an instance in which Ron Paul advocates a position that runs contrary to libertarianism.

  • re-republican

    @Nick Rivera

    You’re right, it does run against Libertarian ideals – that’s because Dr. Paul is not a Libertarian, but a true Republican.

  • Ludlum

    “Like Ronald Reagan before him, Ron Paul seeks to define politics not by left-versus-right but by up-versus-down, where up represents libertarianism and down represents statism. Only, unlike Ronald Reagan (who went up to grow the size of government, balloon the national debt, and support anti-liberty government policies such as the War on Drugs), Ron Paul actually means what he says.

    Yeah, i find it quite amusing that the “Conservative Republicans” were making all kinda self-ascribed comparisons with Reagan until Paul really came into the picture as a serious candidate to be rekoned with. I wonder why they’ve been shying away from the “Great Communicator” comparisons??
    Maybe it’s because pealing away all the layers of many of the republican candidates, Paul is the more Reagan-like in principles. If you don’t think so, take a little time to watch Reagans “A Time for Choosing” widely known as The Speech for Barry Goldwater’s campaign in 1964:

  • Ludlum

    Oh yeah, here’s the link to Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing”

    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/ronaldreaganatimeforchoosing.htm

  • ajtdonahue

    The term long shot refers to gambling/betting. The gambling websites have him at 4-1 to win the Republican nomination and 6-1 to win the Presidency. Hardly a long shot. Many would describe a 4-1 horse as one of the favorites.

    If you are offering different odds please let us know.

  • This synopsis is just downright sad.

    Indeed, Ron Paul is inconsistent with Libertarian beliefs – that’s because Ron Paul is not a Libertarian!

    re-republican,

    Ron Paul is—for intents and purposes—a libertarian. He ran for president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1988, and while he won his current seat as a Republican (against the wishes of the Republican Party establishment, who in the 1996 primaries, backed Ron Paul’s opponent, a former Democrat-turned-Republican).

    Yes, it is true that Ron Paul views are very much in the mold of Republican Senator Robert Taft and the Old Right, which was once a powerful force within the Republican Party. Sadly, the Old Right wing of the Republican Party doesn’t exist anymore, having been eclipsed by the neoconservative and social conservatives.

  • foghead

    Excellent article. As a long-time Libertarian (circa 1980/Ed Clark), I have been both appalled and outraged at the inept and duplicitous media that continues to categorize people’s beliefs using the left vs right, liberal vs conservative labels. It defies all reasonable logic to pigeon hole the vast range of political beliefs into only two categories with the media essentially perpetuating the absurd notion that it comes down to the single issue of your views on abortion to determine what camp you belong. It is only a charade; a diversion to draw attention away from the fact that their really isn’t any fundamental difference between the two major parties based on their actions–their rhetoric notwithstanding.

    Ron Paul has awakened a sleeping giant. His message resonates with those that have consciously listened to it and evaluated it on its merits instead of being told what they should think of it by the talking heads of mainstream media. Consider that only about 55% of eligible voters actually exercise that right and many only to cast their vote for the lesser of two evils and you can begin to appreciate the disconnect that exists between the US public and the two major parties. You can be assured that the media and the powers that be within the two major parties will do their utmost to put that giant back to sleep, but their days are numbered.

  • Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back.

    Re republican – Uh so America is a republic… I get the feeling this is one of those “OMG THE WHOLE GOVERNMENT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!!1” things, which I don’t agree with, though I apologize if I just grossly mischaracterized you. I think most of the government, aside from wiretapping etc, is legal. Whether it’s a good idea or the laws should be changed… well, I believe in a strong central government to regulate corporations and ensure basic living standards for the people. There’s plenty of laws I’d change, and some I wouldn’t. But the income tax is perfectly constitutional, sorry.

    Jilly Dybka – As for the gold standard, I have to admit to not be as informed as I’d like to be on this issue. My understanding is that the establishment of fiat currency gives us a way to intervene in the economy without warping specific markets or doing politically “controversial” things like giving poor people money. The gold standard just seems anachronistic and pointless, a fetish for banking conspiracy theorists since the time of Bryant (who I admired). It would probably be bad for the economy, do little to “liberate” people, and reflects the common misunderstanding that misses that the whole economy is just a cultural construct.

    But I’m not an expert on economics, so I may be wrong.

  • rp2008

    @beavearton_jewboy

    Actually, the federal income tax is NOT Constitutional, since th 16th Amendment was not fully ratified by all states.

    I don’t think re-republican was suggesting the whole government is unconstitutional, since the Constitution is the so-called “law of the land” and it appears he/she is pro-Constitution. What re-republican is trying to articulate is that our Constitution does not specifically grant these powers. Until If and when it does, the laws should be delegated to the states. Should something be deemed to be a federal issue, an amendment should be made by following the proper process.

  • Article V

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

    3/4. 3/4. 75%. sheesh.

    this is exactly what I’m talking about. libertarians.

  • rp2008

    @beaverton_jewboy

    The 16th amendment had been sent out in 1909 to the state governors for ratification by the state legislatures after having been passed by Congress. There were 48 states at that time, and three-fourths, or 36, of them were required to give their approval in order for it to be ratified. The process took almost the whole term of the Taft administration, from 1909 to 1913.

    Knox had received responses from 42 states when he declared the 16th amendment ratified on February 25, 1913, just a few days before leaving office to make way for the administration of Woodrow Wilson. Knox acknowledged that four of those states (Utah, Conn, R.I. and N.H.) had rejected it, and he counted 38 states as having approved it. We will now examine some of the key evidence Bill Benson found regarding the approval of the amendment in many of those states.

    In Kentucky, the legislature acted on the amendment without even having received it from the governor (the governor of each state was to transmit the proposed amendment to the state legislature). The version of the amendment that the Kentucky legislature made up and acted upon omitted the words “on income” from the text, so they weren’t even voting on an income tax! When they straightened that out (with the help of the governor), the Kentucky senate rejected the amendment. Yet Philander Knox counted Kentucky as approving it!

    In Oklahoma, the legislature changed the wording of the amendment so that its meaning was virtually the opposite of what was intended by Congress, and this was the version they sent back to Knox. Yet Knox counted Oklahoma as approving it, despite a memo from his chief legal counsel, Reuben Clark, that states were not allowed to change it in any way.

    Attorneys who have studied the subject have agreed that Kentucky and Oklahoma should not have been counted as approvals by Philander Knox, and, moreover, if any state could be shown to have violated its own state constitution or laws in its approval process, then that state’s approval would have to be thrown out. That gets us past the “presumptive conclusion” argument, which says that the actions of an executive official cannot be judged by a court, and admits that Knox could be wrong.

    If we subtract Kentucky and Oklahoma from the 38 approvals above, the count of valid approvals falls to 36, the exact number needed for ratification. If any more states can be shown to have had invalid approvals, the 16th amendment must be regarded as null and void.

    The state constitution of Tennessee prohibited the state legislature from acting on any proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution sent by Congress until after the next election of state legislators. The intent, of course, is to give the proposed amendment a chance to become an issue in the state legislative elections so that the people can have a voice in determining the outcome. It also provides a cooling off period to reduce the tendency to approve an idea just because it happens to be the moment’s trend. You’ve probably already guessed that the Tennessee legislature did not hold off on voting for the amendment until after the next election, and you’d be right – they didn’t; hence, they acted upon it illegally before they were authorized to do so. They also violated their own state constitution by failing to read the resolution on three different days as prescribed by Article II, Section 18. These state constitutional violations make their approval of the amendment null and void. Their approval is and was invalid, and it brings the number of approving states down to 35, one less than required for ratification.

    Texas and Louisiana violated provisions in their state constitutions prohibiting the legislatures from empowering the federal government with any additional taxing authority. Now the number is down to 33.

    Twelve other states, besides Tennessee, violated provisions in their constitutions requiring that a bill be read on three different days before voting on it. This is not a trivial requirement. It allows for a cooling off period; it enables members who may be absent one day to be present on another; it allows for a better familiarity with, and understanding of, the measure under consideration, since some members may not always read a bill or resolution before voting on it (believe it or not!). States violating this procedure were: Mississippi, Ohio, Arkansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, West Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Colorado, and Illinois. Now the number is reduced to 21 states legally ratifying the amendment.

    When Secretary Knox transmitted the proposed amendment to the states, official certified and sealed copies were sent. Likewise, when state results were returned to Knox, it was required that the documents, including the resolution that was actually approved, be properly certified, signed, and sealed by the appropriate official(s). This is no more than any ordinary citizen has to do in filing any legal document, so that it’s authenticity is assured; otherwise it is not acceptable and is meaningless. How much more important it is to authenticate a constitutional amendment! Yet a number of states did not do this, returning uncertified, unsigned, and/or unsealed copies, and did not rectify their negligence even after being reminded and warned by Knox. The most egregious offenders were Ohio, California, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Minnesota – which did not send any copy at all, so Knox could not have known what they even voted on! Since four of these states were already disqualified above, California is now subtracted from the list of valid approvals, reducing it to 20.

    These last five states, along with Kentucky and Oklahoma, have particularly strong implications with regard to the fraud charge against Knox, in that he cannot be excused for not knowing they shouldn’t have been counted. Why was he in such a hurry? Why did he not demand that they send proper documentation? They never did.

    Further review would make the list dwindle down much more, but with the number down to 20, sixteen fewer than required, this is a suitable place to rest, without getting into the matter of several states whose constitutions limited the taxing authority of their legislatures, which could not give to the federal govern authority they did not have.

    The results from the six states Knox had not heard from at the time he made his proclamation do not affect the conclusion that the amendment was not legally ratified. Of those six: two (Virginia and Pennsylvania) he never did hear from, because they ignored the proposed amendment; Florida rejected it; two others (Vermont and Massachusetts) had rejected it much earlier by recorded votes, but, strangely, submitted to the Secretary within a few days of his ratification proclamation that they had passed it (without recorded votes); West Virginia had purportedly approved it at the end of January 1913, but its notification had not yet been received (remember that West Virginia had violated its own constitution, as noted above).

  • Well then, that’s settled.

  • To beaverton_jewboy and anyone like-minded

    You sound like a smart dude, but you have no sense of history. You say that the left wing “owns” opposition to the military industrial complex. But the complex had only become a major factor in american politics after WWII. The person who first alerted us to it -ideed, coined the phrase itself- was Eisenhower, a libertarian Republican.

    I don’t know which other positions you think the left-wing owns: non-interventionism? No way: that’s not even debatable. Democrats entered WWII and started the Korean War and Viet Nam against strong opposition from Republicans. In fact, Republicans were subsequently voted in to get us back out. Even President Bush, paying lip service to the old conservatives, swore to maintain a “humble” foreign policy in 2000.

    I’m sorry neo-conservatives got us into this war. No one is more upset about it than the old conservatives. But confusing history so it sounds that the left wing has clean hands in foreign policy turns the weight of evidence on its head.

    There’s nothing left-week about being anti-corporatism unless you’re talking about the extreme left. The military industrial complex’s profiteering off the federal government is parcel to a larger system of corporatism where the democrats have led the charge. Ron Paul wants to get rid of farm subsidies, complex handouts, and all government bailouts.

    You say that you cannot get rid of corporatism without a lot more regulation. That’s pretty absolute for not providing an analysis. The fact is that corporatism was negligible until the 1930’s when the democrats took over and the government started circumventing the Constitution. So you have the burden of proof on that.

    You’re right that power abhores a vaccuum, but you’re wrong if you think the only two options are the government and the corporations. The Consitution was a social contract to provide the electorate with the power. The very issue that’s at question here is whether we, the electorate are going to are going to enforce that contract and put ourselves in the position of power.

  • gnode

    It is pretty easy to explain his inconsistent libertarian principles.

    He is a Republican (capitol R) with libertarian leanings (lower case L).

    Republicans don’t need to be 100% consistently libertarian. Actually, I never heard of a 100% libertarian rule set anyway. Last I checked libertarians still hotly debate what is and is not libertarian… so there isn’t anything accurate to really measure against.

    Anyway… he is a Republican – hence not 100% classic libertarian.

  • Arg. I wanted to go to bed but felt I should respond.

    grizzle – by “left” I meant those of us who think Hillary is a moderate conservative. I guess that makes me “extreme” to you, but whatever. By “own” I meant since the ’60’s. And I retoractively support our entry into WWII. (!)

    I dislike the twisting that’s going on here. Reagan, who everyone seems to love and consider a “real” conservative, was just as much into war as any president since the end of WWII. It’s a cheap ploy by conservatives to try to clean themselves off by suddenly distancing themselves from failed policies – as if Goldwater wasn’t a big militarist, too.

    Ah, then we get to the good stuff, about how corporatism didn’t start until the 1930’s. Sure. Before then, it wasn’t necessary, since we had a free-market hellhole of robber barons and monopolies.

    This is what the anti-tax people are trying to get us back to. This is why RP2008 can cut and past some BS that came straight from Grover Norquist’s ass and act like it’s a valid argument. This is the cultural warping that I’ve been talking about. It’s the modern robber barons trying to confuse you.

    The original income tax was passed during a time of great inequality, in part due to demands of the Populist and Socialist parties – working people’s parties. The fact that today’s populists want to cut taxes speaks to the power of corporate propaganda on your mind.

    Just to be clear: destroying the federal government will deprive the people of their main means of reigning in corporations and redistributing wealth, leading to a field day for the very people Paul claims are his enemies.

    How are the people going to exercise their power if not through the government? That’s what it’s there for! How can we agree on this, about the goodness of Democracy, but you seem to be in denial about what people exercising their power means? Your “third way” has no substance. I hear no means of ending corporatism proposed – just the destruction of our country by turning into a Dickensian hellhole. How’s that for “analysis”? Some things are obvious when you think about them a little.

    And honestly, after Nixon, Reagan and two Bushes, can we really say the Goldwater is the “real” republican? I’m getting sick of this lame republican propaganda trying to rehabilitate their image by backpeddling on their entire modern history. Give me a break. The neocons are not the only ones who wanted this war. That charge borders, seriously, on anti-semitism. Oil companies? The entire foreign policy establishment? Oh, no, it’s the jews neocons. Gotcha.

  • domajot

    This is the scariest thread I’ve read, since it consists of arguments about a bunch of isms, one of which is going to bring salvation to his country. That happens every few decades, sometimes in the form of a new social/political philosophy, and sometimes in the form of religion. Libertarians seem to take their particular ism so seriously that it has a definite feel of being a bit of both.

    I’m reminded a whole lot of the ‘flower power’ of the ’60s, which was also going to revolutionize the American political landscape. I had a lot of sympathy for the hippy cause of social justica, and I have a lot of sympathy for the cause of individual liberties.
    I’ve lived through the promise of the Civil Rights era and the claimss of Reagan era economics .

    Let me tell you something. Nothing works in real life like it works in theory. Libertarianism can only maintain its appearance of having all the answers as long as it remains in an abstract form.
    When it hits the ground of a large, complex and diverse society, however, it brings little that is new or that isn;t already fought over currently.

    In this age of rapid and easy transportation and dissemination of information, what does federalism really mean? If something is illegal in one state, but legal in a neighboring state, a quick spin in the car will erase the meaning of federalism in a splash. As people travel to take advantage of the state laws that suit them, the laws of both states are undermined or even made irrelevant This is demonstrably true when it comes to gun control laws, and I don’t doubt for a second that ti would be trrue for abortion or marijuana usage laws.

    With the globalization of the market place, the power of national laws is being challenged. It flies in the face of the reality of how things work to put so much faith in state laws.

    I read about an interesting case in NH, the hub of libertarianism. The libertarian residents in a condo complex are challenging the libertarian owners over the prohibition to hang laundry on outdoor lines to dry. The residents want to save on electriciy bills, but the owners want to preserve a laundry-frre aesthetic appearance. The libertarian principle changes this squabble by not one iota.
    People pursuing their liberties in contradictory ways still come into conclict, and somebody’s liberty will still have to give.

    That’s exactly the way things are now.
    People have been battling authorites fo demand their rights since the dawn of civilization. Still the interests of the whole and the interests of the indiciduals within it are often in conflict. That’s just in the nature of societies No one person (read Ron Paul) and no party (read Libertarians) can bring that conflict to a close.

    Federalism, for one, is also not a miracle cure., it often doesn’t work. A strict adherence to federalism would have us still living with slavery, for instance.

  • This thread is another great example of the one thing I keep thinking about the Ron Paul campaign. That is, for all of the people saying that Ron Paul’s campaign is a “joke” or that he is a non-entity in the race, as I travel from blog to blog reading up on this, I see one thing consitently. Even on blogs that generally generate relatively few comments, be they conservative, liberal or moderate, all you have to do is put up a Ron Paul post and the comment wars go on for pages.

    Say what you like about Dr. Paul. He has people talking and engaged in the process. Do I think he can win the GOP nomination? No. Not a bit. But could he still wind up shaking up this election drastically and putting new voices into the public discourse? I’d say a fair case can be made that he already has.

  • doma is right. The concept of Federalism as the advocates of state’s rights and Ron Paul express it had its roots in a time when transportation was by horse, sailing ship or river barge. Years afterward when the same situation applied and this part of the country was settled someone could live where I live and probably never enter the state of Kansas in their lives. Now the flow of traffic as people who work in Missouri and live in Kansas and vice versa is massive. As a tech I constantly have to run across the state line to the metropolitan area’s only large computer store, Microcenter. I can be in Illinois in 4 hours, Iowa or Nebraska in just over 2 hours, Oklahoma in 3 hours or Arkansas in 4. To take the old concept of states as places so different and distant from one another is foolish.

    And I don’t care what level of government it is, to say that it is acceptable for the majority to impose their view of morality with basically no limits through government is unacceptable in my view.

  • beaverton… : two good books on money if you would like to become more informed

    Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960

    A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II

  • Beaverton_jewboy and others:

    Well, it’s impossible to define the extreme left. You call Hillary Clinton a moderate conservative, but people like Jonah Goldberg call Bush a Right-Wing Progressive. Each is an attempt to polemecize the other at the expense of the obvious fact that most “left-wingers” and most “right-wingers” vote for those two candidates respectively. So I guess the extreme-left are the people who hold the line and stay on the far end of the spectrum. They are extreme only insofar as their numbers thin as they graduate away from the middle. My point is that you cannot say the left-wing “owns” a position when it’s really just a minority on the left who represent it.

    The left didn’t go anti-war in the sixties despte the fables hippies tell their grandchildren at night. Kennedy got us into Viet Nam and LBJ escalated it. That almost exhausts the entire 1960’s.

    -I’m sure that many retroactively endorse WWII, but that wasn’t my point. WWII was a declared war against two countries who already declared war on us. I don’t dispute that it was justified. When you maintain an interventionist foreign policy, you’re bound to be right sometimes. You’re also bound to be wrong as the Democrats were in Korea and Vet Nam. The fact is that old conservatives drew the line of justifiable war at being attacked or having war declared on us. The Democrats and new conservatives draw the line anywhere they want.

    -I think you’re being hysterical if you think Paul wants to ‘destroy’ the federal government. Paul talks about stripping the federal government of any powers that are not enumerated in the Constitution. The power of Congress to regulate commerce is an undisputed, enumerated power. So invoking visions of a dickensian hellhole is a little dishonest.

    About that hellhole: I think your discussion of the ‘robber barons’ before the 1930’s is also chronologically misplaced. Antitrust regulation peaked between the years of 1891 and the 1920’s. The U.S. busted Trans-Missouri in 1897, Theodore Roosevelt (a Republican) was hammering Nothern Securities in 1904, and the DOJ *spanked* Rockefeller in 1911. If anything, FDR acquiesced in the reversal of these trends because it was believed that anti-monopolistic regulation stymied commerce and contributed to the Great Depression. I disagree with that, but that was the conventional wisdom of Democrats and Republicans alike.

    Instead, I think those problems could all be dealt with by a modern SEC, FTC and the use of economic analysis in antitrust litigation. Those are all within the powers granted to Congress by the Constitution. Paul doesn’t threaten those regimes from his Constitutionalist position.

    “I hear no means of ending corporatism proposed – just the destruction of our country by turning into a Dickensian hellhole. How’s that for “analysis”? ”

    -Pretty poor. First, you complain about corporatism per se, but now you’ve shifted to some sort of worker’s rights complaint (I’m assuming from the Dickens reference). The two are hardly connected since we’ve both agreed that the Dickensian industrial misery occured much before corporatism was a worthwhile venture. Look, if the government has less of our money, it has less to give away to corporations. Everyone knows a bloated federal government breeds corporatism. If not, tell me why not. Invoking provcative terms like ‘hellhole’ does not eschew your burden of demonstrating something that is contrary to evidence and the product of natural deduction.

    “How are the people going to exercise their power if not through the government? That’s what it’s there for! How can we agree on this, about the goodness of Democracy, but you seem to be in denial about what people exercising their power means? Your “third way” has no substance. I hear no means of ending corporatism proposed”

    -That’s very confusing. I offered substance and you didn’t address it. The Federal Government was never intended to be the sole instrument of power. It was intended to regulate specific programs, provide for the common defense, etc. We the people enumerate its legislative power through the Constitution and its amendment process. When we acquiesce in allowing the federal government to interpret those powers as broadly as feels, we abdicate that power. Paul stands for the idea that there are two levels of by which the people express their power: 1) The level at which we allow the representative federal government to operate and 2) the higher level where we ratify and amend the Constitution to frame the federal government’s jurisdiction.

    The problem is that too many people have succumbed to your mindset: that the federal government is the people’s *only* instrument of power and that we can only exercise our rights by pleading with representatives who have a lock on encumbancy. Senators and Congressmen encourage this thinking naturally, because it invests them with more power. But they have an obvious disincentive to ever win battles when the battling itself fills their war chests. So they act sympathtic to our concerns and ask for donations to further our causes, but they allow our will to vie against the special interests who pretty much fund the representatives’ entire careers. Add to that the gridlock that accompanies any representative democracy and you have to ask whether there is anything democratic about your method at all.

    Now contrast that to mine: If Senators and Congressmen more appropriately directed us to use the amendment process via the states, I have no doubt that some of the biggest issues would be tackled by now. First, special interests cannot deal with states in the same way: States don’t come in a nice neat package on a hill in Washington, so they’re more expensive to target. Second, state representatives generally have term limits and they have to live in proximity of their constituencies. Third, it comports more closely with the purposes of the Constitution because the States ratified the Constitution, not the other way around. Given these points, it seems clear that state action would be more populist than federal action. That’s why a a libertarian Republican advocates devolution.

    You’re right that it’s hard to define a ‘true’ Republican as a Goldwater Republican in light of Reagan and two Bushes, but I didn’t try to, so that’s just a red herring. Yet it is worth mentioning that the weight of Republican history cuts against this new strain of Republicanism and that there are plenty of Republicans who want to see a return to the older, devolved form of federalism.

    Moreover, it is intellectually dishonest to say that this is an attempt for the Republicans to rehabilitate their image. If that was true, Paul wouldn’t be facing an uphill battle. Any Washington observer knows that there are factions within the parties. Your statement that this is a “modern” republican image, just alludes to the fact that one faction has dominated since 1980 (or 1988 depending on how you come down with Reagan). It doesn’t mean that Republicans who subscribe to the older platform should be subject to your scrutiny of the newer platform. That doesn’t even make a lick of sense.

    -Griz

  • grizzle, Ron Paul has made statements that make it quite clear that he has no interest in using those powers to regulate commerce, speaking of how the government terrorizes businesses.

  • Beaverton said:

    “As for the gold standard, I have to admit to not be as informed as I’d like to be on this issue. My understanding is that the establishment of fiat currency gives us a way to intervene in the economy without warping specific markets or doing politically “controversial” things like giving poor people money. The gold standard just seems anachronistic and pointless, a fetish for banking conspiracy theorists since the time of Bryant (who I admired). It would probably be bad for the economy, do little to “liberate” people, and reflects the common misunderstanding that misses that the whole economy is just a cultural construct.

    But I’m not an expert on economics, so I may be wrong.”

    Actually, you are wrong. The problem we are now facing with the fiat monetary system is that it, like all other fiat monetary systems before it, has an inherent terminal lifespan. This is due to the fact that every single dollar, whether digital or physical, in circulation must be borrowed in order to come into existence.

    This act of debt creation also bears within it the burden of that debt on the economy. Under a fiat monetary system the debt and expansion of that debt is essential to maintain growth within the economy however, as the expansion continues so too does the weight of the debt that creates it. The fiat monetary system eventually begins to suffer under the weight of servicing the massive and irreversible debt from which the currency is created. This point is called the Practical Potential Lifespan, a point we entered about 15 years ago. One of the primary elements of that stage is an increasing intolerance of the economy to maintain stable growth and to tolerate minor disruptions, such as minor interest rate increases. From that stage the monetary system will enter, within the next few years, a point known as the Maximum Possible Lifespan where the viability of the system is increasingly siphoned off the economy as the debt places heavier and heavier demands upon economy productivity and growth. By the way, if large portions of debt is paid off, particularly national debt, the economy is contracted proportionally, credit liquidity is restricted and recession or depressions are created. However, recessions and depressions are only minor dislocations compared to the point when the fiat monetary system reaches its Maximum Possible Lifespan, or terminal point.

    At that point, the currency begins a rapid collapse to the point that hyper-inflation effectively destroys the purchasing power of the fiat currency.

    Today, for instance, it takes over $20,000.00 to purchase what $1,000.00 purchased prior to 1913. Now consider that fact and understand what has taken place with our money; it is not that the price of goods and services have risen, but that the value of the currency has been purposefully debased through the hidden taxation of inflation. Our prosperity has effectively been drained from our ability to earn a living because our currency is no longer a store of value, it is no longer sound or stable. We live in a very managed economy, centralized under the guise of maintaining stability and yet, under the watch of the Federal Reserve we have witnessed several minor depressions, heavy recessions and one extremely severe depression over the last century even though the Federal Reserve was touted as the solution to any potential financial crisis when it was created.

    At one time, the money you earned was not only sound and retained a store of value, but it was your own private property. Now, the government uses its fiat currency system as an instrument, it restricts is usage, it restricts how much you can physically carry on your person, it tracks it and can, at will, confiscate it under any pretext it deems necessary for its own security interests.

    There is a reason why commodity money is called Sound Money, because it provides a store of value that is readily stable. It also is more oriented to ownership and upholds the Right of the individual to private property without undue influences of government or bankers. Concerning the so-called “gold-standard” formulated by bankers and government, that too does not provide the protection necessary for a free society. The proper use of commodity money would be market driven where the only responsibility of government would be the “coinage and regulation of value” however, that regulation would not entail management as much as oversight of comparable value of foreign currency in relation to domestic currency.

    Under such a system, the market would determine rates instead of a central banking system. Bankers, free from the undue influences of the central bank, would be compete with the best services and rates the market would bear.

    While many say that there is not enough gold to keep the economy going, they simply are not aware how much gold, mined and un-mined, is available. However, along with gold there are several other metals such as silver, platinum, palladium, bronze and copper available in sufficient quantities to provide for a stabilized economy. Not to mention the fact that each of those metals value could be set to balance any and all economic dislocations during the transformation from a fiat to a sound money system. Besides, we will have little choice given the rapid decent of the fiat system.

    Today, the published irreversible debt stands at nearly $10 Trillion and our unfunded obligations are somewhere between $60 and $80 Trillion. Now imagine that you began in the year 1 A.D. tossing $1 Million Dollars a day into the garbage and you did that everyday, 365 days a year. From the time you started tossing away $1 Million a day, it would take you until about the year 2037 to throw away $1 Trillion Dollars. Now consider the massive weight of debt this government, thanks to the fiat monetary system of the Federal Reserve, has burdened this nation down with over the last 40 years.

    Many say that it will be our children and our grand children who will pay for this debt, but the truth is that they will never get the chance to pay it down.

  • Jim,

    Good. I’m glad we finally have a candidate for president who understands that he shouldn’t use his power to regulate business, although I differ with your reasoning.

    It sounds to me that you think Paul wishes not to regulate business because its in the best interest of the free market. That may be true. but something more central to th Paul campaign is that he *can’t* use executive power to constrain business without violating the prescriptions of the Constitution; it is specifically mandated that the Congress has that power, not the executive.

    A healthy understanding of executive power and a desire not to breach its constraints has got to be one of the more appealing positions of the Paul campaign- to everyone. he decries the Bush administration for refusing to observe the separation of powers by coercing Congress. When Paul does not say this outright, he implies it in a growing number of substantive interviews. in fact, he says things like “getting rid of social security will probably never be an option because, as a president, you have to work with Congress”.

    Of course, as an economic libertarian, he will naturally subscribe to a system of restrained governance, but that only speaks to what he can do as President. So long as the FTC remains intact, civil remedies for antitrust violations remain treble, and Congress retains the antitrust acts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a resurfacing of the ‘robber barons’ from the railroad-construction days is almost impossible. If you want something done, make it lucrative for hungry plaintiff’s attorneys to do it.

    The problem with big business today is not that they’re big. It’s that many of them use their power to influence legislation in unsavory ways. That’s corporatism. We have tried to resolve that by asking the very politicians who are corrupted to enact a mess of legislation, which leads to a mess of litigation, which only cuts a little closer to final resolution each time, if at all. Paul says maybe we should just stop giving the government money to hand away to their corporate buddies. The reason he’s the only one saying it is because he’s the only one who refuses to accept special interest junkets. That’s pretty remarkable that we have a candidate who can say that for himself. And besides, why not do it? Do the other canddidates provide any other realistic solutions?

  • grizzle, no, Ron Paul doesn’t believe that anyone should regulate business, not just that it’s a limit on the executive branch.

  • The gold standard is not the panacea that Paul and his supporters claim it is. It only has different problems than the current fiat system. In addition it must be remembered that we do not exist in some kind of economic vacuum where only our choice to attempt a return to the gold standard is what matters. It also matters what our major trading partners do or don’t do. One site that apparently believes in the gold standard uses an article from 1981 written by Alan Greenspan on one page. What isn’t mentioned is that the sources of problems limiting the ability of the U.S. to attempt such a return to the gold standard have increased drastically sicne 1981. Sources on its strengths and weaknesses:

    The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

    Economic History Services

    Econobrowser

  • Jim,

    I understand that. My point is that it shouldn’t matter considering the facts that 1) He is running for president, not all 535 seats of the legislature and 2) he belives that the executive should not play a hand in telling the legislature how to legislate. Look, if you want to vote for presidents based on their sympathies about things they have no control over, go ahead. But that’s how we get into messes and force executives to coerce the legislature.

  • I disagree entirely, grizzle. If our current President has taught us anything it should be that the President himself can cripple any branch of the executive that he chooses to damage by his appointment power. And Ron Paul’s beliefs are important in determining whether or not he should be elected because it reveals that he has an even greater disconnect from reality than most politicians.

    In addition the fact that he believes that the states should have the right to restrict individual freedom in the name of the religious beliefs of the majority is extremely important in understanding whether he is worthy to be President. The fact that he does believe this and yet his fanatical followers continue to rant about his belief in freedom for everyone irritates the heck out of me.

  • Mr. Satterfield:

    Hmmm…I dare say that you have not read any of Dr. Paul’s books, particularly his last one A Foreign Policy of Freedom. If you had you will readily recognize that not only does Dr. Paul have an incredible grasp of the reality of this nation and the position it now finds itself in, but also a clarity that, frankly, I have not witnessed in over 60 years following the political arena.

    If you read this collection of speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives you will begin to see that not only does Dr. Paul have a clarity that is progressively absent from most politicians, but that he delivers the most common sense approaches of any one in Congress. In fact, if you read these speeches you will quickly realize just how much absolute idiocy actually takes place in Congress and the contradictions created by competing pieces of legislation, acts and resolutions that pass the House. It is the most ridiculous display of a total lack of common sense void of all rationale and to top it off it should alarm every American Citizen to see just what kind of shape our government is really in today. It’s a bumbling chaotic mess that appears to have no rime or reason behind most of the actions taken by Congress. Ron Paul is far from being disconnected from the ills that this country suffers under and presents, as I said some of the most logical and clarified solutions I have seen in decades.

    Far from being someone who seeks to infringe upon individual rights, as you have stated, to return the proper authority to the States only enhances the rights of the individual.

    Today, we have little more than freedom contingent upon our compliance to the federal government mandates and as such, it is the height of Majoritarianism. The government is not inclined to, nor does it obligate itself to ensure the Rights of any person in this country although it was created to protect the Rights of every individual. It is up to the individual to combatively insist and aggressively pursue his or her Rights before the government.

    It is People, first and foremost, that form the State Republics through acting on a cooperative and voluntary basis, but with an extreme prejudice toward their Rights. It has been said that the majority opinion is the true ruler; if that is the case then perhaps it is time for us all to become the majority and not base our Rights upon a specific status as a minority. This does not preclude any attributes that a person has who is a member of a minority or their identity, but in the eyes of the majority and therefore the law, a minority is only a minority and will remain as such as long as they base their Rights solely upon their minority status.

    The problem with every democracy is that the majority always rule to the exclusion of the minority. The reason the Founders purposed a Republic instead of a democracy was to blunt the force and power of the majority through layers of checks and balances to equal out the playing field. The more democratic a political system becomes the more the majority “lords over” the minority. It is strange that people are all for democracy until it actually rules against them and in a democracy, since the majority always rules, the minority will always suffer under the prejudices of the majority. There is a defined tyranny within a democracy and yet so many clamor for such a system because they feel that it will provide them with more voice while just the opposite is true. In every democracy the government system appeals to the material interests of the majority’s large voting block, in turn the government will then merely placate the minority with a degree of rights and yet never “grant” them the same degree of rights as the majority.

    The established elite ruling class, the governing “gentry” fears nothing more than a unified People. As long as sectionalism can be promoted and therefore pseudo-legalized, then this nation will remain divided and that is exactly what the “State” desires: a house divided. Until We take the stance that the only status that is legally meaningful and powerful is that of the Citizen, then We will remain a conquered People subject to the will of majoritarianism and their preferred democratic tyranny. The majorities will always, whether by vote, referendum or even by a form of legal or judicial enforcement, secure their perceived rights over the rights of a defined minority. Majoritarian democracy desires the artificial designation of minorities, it keeps the “majority” holding the reigns of power while providing the minority with a degree of satisfaction based upon their struggle to gain or retain a certain allowance of rights, but such a system will never provide equality because it inherently promotes and maintains social, racial, religious, ethnic or sexual divisions among the People.

    The “State” readily supports the idea that a particular class or group requires or is entitled to recognition based upon that class or group or category, because segmentation will continue to allow its decisions to be based upon the majority and keeps the perceived minority, of which ever particular group, in check or within a majority defined scope of “civil rights”. In such a “democratic” system the minority will always yield to the will and power of the majority. The majority will always enact policies which ensure that the minority is not strengthened and will never allow the total empowerment of the minority. The “State” will always seek to breed social divisions in order the restrict minority power or empowerment. The solution therefore, must be found through a very powerful and very different view: that of the Majority of Citizenship.

    It is interesting to note that you rarely hear the word Republic, but democracy is tossed out by most politicians and for good reason: a democracy will always protect the majority first and keep any minority under the thumb of the ruling powers. Minorities are not only required, but desired within democratic majoritarian system of government because it will always demand that all minorities yield to the will and allowances of the majority. A Republic is anathema to democratic majoritarianism because it equalizes the power and force of government among all People of the Land when the People press their Sovereignty, based solely upon their Natural Rights of Citizenship, over the “State”.
    ection 3 of the Constitution states:

    “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

    Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any state, the executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.”

    Now, there was a very good reason why the Founding Fathers placed the Senators outside the direct electoral process and placed them within a framework of indirect elections. By doing this, the Founders knew that they were placing yet another level of checks and balances over the government. They sought to keep the balance of power between the State Republics and the federal branches of the Executive, Legislature and Judicial. In fact, they wanted to be sure that the Rights and Interests of the State Republics were maintained while keeping a very close eye on the federal branches. They also wanted the Senate to be comprised of men who were mature, possessing a higher degree of experience and wisdom then those directly elected to the House of Representatives.

    The Senate was to be insolated from influences of direct politics, financial corruption and whims of the public. Senators were to answer indirectly to the People through their respective State Legislatures. It really was a stroke of absolute genius; too bad the same corrupt officials that brought us the Federal Reserve Act and Progressive Income Tax eliminated this extremely valuable check on power and abuse.

    In 1787, John Dickerson, delegate to the Constitutional Convention from the State of Delaware spoke about the power of this vital check on governmental power: “ The preservation of the States in a certain degree of agency is indispensable, it will produce the collision between the different authorities that should be wished for in order to check each other.”

    The Senate, appointed by the respective State Legislatures, also provided a very strong barrier to potential mistakes made by the Citizens of each State Republic. James Madison in the Federalist #63, said that indirect elections would be a “defense to the people against their own temporary errors and delusions and would blend stability with Liberty.”

    The Power and Rights of the State Republics, through the direction and guidance of each State Legislature, would be the only influence on their respective Senators. The Senate would dutifully represent the best interest of the State Republics and therefore, the Citizens of each State. It was, to say the least, an ideal program to maintain the balance of power and curtail potential usurpations of the federal government over the States and their People.

    Of course, the 17th Amendment was touted as a measure to eliminate undue influences on the Senate from special interests yet it had the opposite effect.

    With the passage of the 16th, 17th Amendments and the Federal Reserve Act, the government increased its reach and power over the People. There are some who question the validity of the actual ratification of the above-mentioned Amendments, but time and space restrict us from that subject at this time.

    At one time, the power of taxation was only on the State Level, with revenues being submitted to the federal government to fund the various limited functions of government, but in 1913 all of that changed, in fact it was all reversed. Each of these pieces of legislations, more than any other, allowed the growth of the federal government beyond the restrictions and limitations of the Constitution.

    Now, although the State Republics have been neutered by the overwhelming reach and power of the federal authority, they stand as potentially the only viable medium for the People of this Country to regain control over their government. Within the Halls of the State Legislatures abides the some of the last remaining remnants of Constitutional Power, sitting dormant and un-utilized by those who have either forgotten their power or who have played their respective political party plays far too long.

    If We, the People of these United States of America are ever to regain Our Sovereignty, I have a feeling that it will only come when we retake the Halls of Power within the individual State Houses and Governorships. It is not enough to simply support certain run-of-the-mill Republican or Democratic candidates; we must field candidates who are dedicated to the ideals of Constitutionalism and the goal of restoring the Republic to the People.

    Most people, especially our politicians have forgotten, or chose to ignore the fact that it is absolutely indispensable to the well-being of a Free People that each person enjoy the full benefits of Liberty, not as would be granted or allowed by government, but that Liberty which is Guaranteed by Providential Right alone! All demands upon us for any part of our Liberty or even our substance, which is not given by our own consent amounts to nothing more than governmental allowance of a measure of contingent freedom.

    Freedom which is contingent upon the allowances of the government is no Freedom at all, indeed it amounts to little more than coercive tyranny and should not be allowed to stand. The People of this Nation are neither the property nor the wards of this government; the government is the ward and possession of the People. The correct role of this government should be viewed and maintained as nothing more than a tool, created and used to promote and secure the ability of the People to live their lives in Liberty and Freedom. The primary function and really the only reason for the existence of this government is proclaimed within the philosophy of the Declaration of Independence and explained within the Constitution of the United States.

    Any man who values his Freedom, indeed his Life, must demand of the government the full acceptance of his Natural Right, unfettered by governmental intervention or coercion. Without such a demand by the People, government will always gravitate toward an arbitrary will and application of law to the point that neither the law nor the Constitution will remain without being stripped of all vestiges of Liberty. Within the writings of Our Founding Fathers are solutions, embedded within the Founding Documents are principles which provide both wisdom and guidance for the proper role of government, to be used as a tool, an instrument that forms the foundation of Our ability to live Free.

    Our ability to live Free is not, nor was it ever intended to relieve the responsibility of each man to determine his own direction in life, nor to provide a safety net for those lives. Our primary Freedom is the Freedom from government intervention and interference. Under the Founding philosophy, the political Sovereignty exists only in and through the People themselves, not in a governmental body. Until that Sovereignty is restored to the People, we will continue to live under a state of existence no different than any other person living under any other state. We will suffer the same fate as all others, differing little from any other person who must play second fiddle to their state ideology and the force of coercion. Currently, this Nation has regressed into a pre-revolutionary state, one where the government is seen as the be all, and end all, the final authority to grant or abridge any Right to its Citizens.

    In this country, we are experiencing such a shocking change in the manner in which the government sees itself and its positional authority over the People and it appears that it is not an accidental sway of tyranny that grips this land, but an intentional push toward authoritarianism. Government was only instituted to secure the Natural Liberty of the Individual, that qualification for it’s existence has not changed nor diminished, yet when such a responsibility has been abandoned by government, then it is the Right of the People to seek other arrangements which will ensure the security of their Liberty.

    This government has forsaken “Just Power” in favor of “Raw Power”. It has lost it sense that the Unalienable Rights of the People are inviolate and that the Protection of those Rights is the primary obligation the government has to the People. No individual, no political party, no class of people, no authority, and no government have the right to deprive the People of Liberty. For government is the trustee of the Common Liberty of the People as long as it remains trustworthy of that post! When a government no longer is willing or able to be entrusted with safeguarding the Liberty of the People then it should no longer be considered as a legitimate authority and ultimately it must be treated as an Enemy of the People.

    This government does not have the lawful right to issue any law, arbitrarily, that it pleases, in order to bind us and nullify Our Natural Liberty. Consent is not the same as Representation, for all Representation must come from the directive of the People. Although at one point in our history, the directive of the People was the power and the authority of the vote, it is no longer the case. Now, it appears, that those who hold office do so at the will of special interests, corporations, even secret and foreign influences.

    We have become nothing more than subjects to the government, and our lives are now regulated and controlled by its will, coerced to comply by penalty of law and governmental decree. It should be beyond all measure of patience that the government should assume such power over us, to impose its will and domination.

    If government can assume power over our lives, our properties, indeed over our labor and the fruit of our labor, then it can assume authority for any purpose that it designs, without our consent. “For if government can take away even one penny from us against our wills, then they can indeed take away everything!”

    “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” –Thomas Jefferson

  • DLS

    The attacks on libertarianism (and on US constitutional federalism) show how much this nation and its citizens are in decline and continue to decline. It’s pathetic.

    Those of us who know better are forced to be pragmatic about the continuing trend of people seeing Washington as the first rather than properly the last resort, and simply wanting it to do whatever they want, principle and priopriety be damned, and think first and foremost of damage control. Given we’ll see more transgressions, at least strive for the less, hopefully the least, harmful…

  • clif25: “Ron Paul has said many times that he wants to bring our troops who are defending the Iraq border home to defend our own borders.”

    That is the impression he leaves, but if you review his actual statements, he doesn’t say he wants to put those troops on the border. He wants to bring them home, to allocate those funds for more border guards.
    Ron has always supported the “Posse Comitatus Act”, which forbids the use of troops in the enforcement of domestic law (short of insurrection) or for immigration enforcement.
    Of course, the libertarian position on immigration ranges over a broad spectrum, depending on your views regarding the proper defense of sovereignty.
    It would be very difficult to say Ron’s position is “un-libertarian“.

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