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Article posted Jan 17 2012, 5:45 PM Category: Commentary Source: Anthony Gregory Print

Weighing Planks in a Political Program

by Anthony Gregory, LRC Blog

I have noticed many progressives opposed to Ron Paul will say something like this:
"Ron Paul might be right on the drug war, bailouts of Wall Street, the war in Afghanistan, and civil liberties issues, but these are exceptions to an otherwise horrible program. Ninety percent of what he supports is terrible. People on the left should not support him just over a few issues."
It fascinates me that anyone thinks this way. I am a shameless libertarian. I love the free market and oppose the federal government doing anything. Yet if a leftist president was actually good on the drug war, bailouts of Wall Street, the war in Afghanistan, other foreign military adventures, and civil liberties issues, while being a typical Democrat on everything else, I would prefer that candidate a thousand times over Mitt Romney (or Barack Obama).

From a certain perspective, we can say that economic policy drives everything. If we are arguing about whether to have total communism or a market economy, we are not quibbling over details, but rather life or death for millions, civilization or its destruction. But that is never the debate over economic policy. The difference between Romney and Obama is hardly worth writing home about. Even the difference between Ron Paul's proposed economic policy for his first term and the status quo, while very substantial, probably the most substantial economic reform proposed on the national stage in decades, it still does not amount to the difference between free-market capitalism and communism. For hundreds of thousands of people, however, the difference between a foreign policy of non-intervention and one of endless war is indeed one of life or death, or at least living under somewhat tolerable conditions or seeing one's entire reality destroyed by the empire.

For the sake of the character of our civilization, and for the sake of millions of people living in the rest of the world, the difference between living under a state envisioned by Ron Paul and the current one -- one that wages wars in nation after nation, indefinitely detains people without judicial checks and balances, assassinates citizens without due process, shields torturers from accountability, cuts entire countries off of trade with brutal sanctions, warrantlessly wiretaps the domestic population, jails hundreds of thousands of peaceful Americans for victimless drug crimes, shovels hundreds of billions of borrowed dollars to corporate cronies -- is not just a minor difference. If progressives care about this stuff, I would think it wouldn't all be lumped together as one or two issues out of a dozen or more. I would think it would count for much more of one's analysis. Again, if Obama were Ron Paulian on everything but domestic welfare and taxes, I'd still prefer him to Romney without question. I wonder why lefties don't share these priorities.

For me, the question of war and diplomacy is at least half of what matters -- because war is mass murder and uproots and snuffs out the lives of millions upon millions of innocent people. If Romney (or Obama) were actually going to stop the killing in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and everywhere else -- end the drone murder of children, the CIA funny business, the murderous sanctions, and all the saber rattling -- reversing course and promising no more presidential wars -- that would be so huge that he would almost have to be an outright communist not to clearly be preferable to his warmongering opposition.

Add in civil liberties questions like torture, wiretapping, indefinite detention, the federal militarization of police, and the drug war, and we're talking about another 20% or so of what matters -- easily. Add to that corporatist bailouts, which are easily among the very worst economic policies, and we've got another 10% or so of what matters in federal governance.

These are approximate figures, but the point is: from a humanitarian perspective, any candidate offering an end to America's wars at home and abroad should be considered correct on more than a "couple" issues. Ron Paul, from a genuine antiwar leftist perspective, shouldn't be considered good on 10% of the issues -- but closer to 90% of the issues. Anyone who would prefer federal genocide and slavery to curbing the EPA and cutting taxes on the wealthy has some twisted priorities.





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Comments 1 - 4 of 4 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
L.S.

Posted: Jan 18 2012, 2:01 AM

Link
Ron Paul's ideals, on paper, look great, but, some of us do not watch, nor listen to, the sideshow media.

On the other side of the coin is Ron Paul. Romney and Obama = more war, but, so does Paul. Let's reduce our military, after we've mortgaged our country to China and pissed them off. The anti-war Paul would be forced into war when China comes to collect. The (D)'s and the (R)'s have been positioning us for a war with China, for the past 2 years. So, would you rather have America blindsided into a war by Paul? or, would you like a predictable piece of shit like Obama and/or Romney?

Heads, it's war - tails, it's war
Oops, did I give away the plan?
Dave

Posted: Jan 18 2012, 8:31 AM

Link
nice posts ls, revealing the game which is always war in one form or another. it is at a frenzied level in britland, hence madness is normal, exceptions rare.
Anonymous

Posted: Jan 18 2012, 3:57 PM

Link
7462 @L.S.:

China will never come and 'collect' - we're the only ones who buy their shit, their economy will crumble along with ours in that case.

Also, the RP platform does nothing to cut DEFENSE, it actually increases it. So let China come alllllll the way across the Pacific to collect from the citizens of the U.S., I dare them. We'll have a dozen ICBM carrying subs lying in wait, and the most heavily armed citizens in the world if they dare try a land invasion.

China's not that stupid, and even if they were, they're hardly a threat to us. They can't even get a missile from their mainland to ours. They have no large carrier fleet. Hell, they have enough problems getting spy cameras into orbit!! How do you think they're going to get their soldiers over here? On boats?

We could level their entire country in mere hours if they even dared to bring their 'navy' within striking range of the mainland.

China? Don't make me fucking laugh.
L.S.

Posted: Jan 19 2012, 5:07 AM

Link
7462 must be serviceman.

The war has already started. The media has been speaking ill of China for some time now. To the (R)'s it's the Chinese who "took our jobs." The (D)'s have been attacking China's human's rights (lack of). In other words: "the seed has been planted."

The government wouldn't "level" China, there'd be no one left to enslave. Furthermore, I said nothing nothing about China coming to us. Americans might start feeling empathy, seeing innocent people slaughtered, and the government can't have that.

The message in your post is "WAR," why?

"It's a good day to die, when you know the reasons why," -Starship Troopers 3.


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