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The Case For Ron Paul

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It is quite easy to make the case for why we need Ron Paul. Quite honestly, we can’t afford anyone else. Our republic has been in decline for years. One administration after another, Republican and Democratic, have waged an unrelenting assault on our way of life. It has come to the point that many people just blindly accept government involvement in every area of their life; yet most of the government intervention is unconstitutional. There is no constitutional basis for the EPA, the Department of Education, No Child Left Behind, Obamacare, or the Federal Reserve, just to name a few.

I count myself among those who blindly went along for years. During the 2008 election Ron PaulI initially thought Ron Paul was crazy and even an extremist. After watching him in several of the debates, I realized he was making far too much sense to be crazy. The more I researched him, and his issues, the more I had my eyes open to just how far we have strayed from our Founding Fathers’ vision for our great republic. It was with dismay that I realized I had been part of the problem. I am proud to say that in the 2008 primaries I voted for Ron Paul.

In two short years, it is amazing the impact he has had on Washington and the population at large. Now his ideas, like an audit of the Fed, are no longer considered crazy, but are supported by a majority in Washington D.C. and throughout the country. People are openly questioning the hundreds of bases we have spread throughout the world and our weak dollar policy that is stealing the wealth from American families.

I do not believe it is too late to turn this country around but we cannot just stop the erosion of our rights, we have to have a champion in the white house who will fight every minute of every day to restore our Founding Fathers’ vision and the only candidate who has the track record and perseverance to accomplish that is Ron Paul.

Being Catholic, I have a large family, six children, three boys and three girls. I do not want them growing up under an oppressive régime where they can only imagine what freedom felt like and what prosperity was. I support of Ron Paul for President.

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About DR

  • Glenn Contrarian

    DR –

    Can you name a first-world nation that’s run on libertarian principles? Even one?

    I mean, I can name LOTS of nations that ARE run on libertarian principles…and they’re all third-world nations.

    Why is that?

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Glenn,

    I see you are spreading your mistruths on other threads as well. There are no third-world nations that are liberarian or I personally would have moved there. A major cause of third world underdevelopment is the lack of property rights which is a major tenet of libertarianism. Additionally, all third world nations have a central bank which is anti free market and therefore anti libertarian. Most third world countries have strict laws in terms of personal freedoms and morals. Lastly, most third world countries are ruled by governing elites. This is a crony capitalism set-up a lot like we have in the U.S.

    Third world countries are poor because they are not libertarian.

  • STM

    The constitution of the US also doesn’t say anything about NOT having government involvement in various areas of people’s lives.

    That’s why bush and barrack room lawyers and those of a radical libertarian bent aren’t given much credence in the US when it comes to their claims of things being “unconstitutional”.

    If the US were run purely along the lines of what’s written in the constitution, it would be a basket case.

    “I’ll just do what I like” is only step removed from Anarchy and the slippery slope towards anarchy just doesn’t mesh that well with a democratic (in the modern sense, because the US is just that) system of governance that has as its foundation rule of law.

    And Glenn’s right: No modern first-world democracy is run on libertarian principles.

    I’m all for them too … up to a point. I don’t want governments sticking their ugly, bureacratic noses in my business as much as the next man – but sadly, there are things that have to run by government: personal income (and corporate/business earnings) taxes; the military; state and federal infrastructure (roads, schools/universities, public health, welfare, police, firefighting, airports, aviation, railways, metro public transit systems etc etc).

    Sadly, libertarian ideas to deal with some of those neccessary things just won’t cut the ice, unless you want to send the US back to the era when the coonskin hat was the preferred form of headgear.

    Something NOT being in the constitution doesn’t make it unconstitutional … because the constitution doesn’t explicitly say it’s unconstitional.

    Which is why the US courts and state and federal legislators have been able to positively frame the nuts and bolts of a democratic nation as it’s grown over the past 200 years.

    The key phrase there being: As it’s grown.

  • Mechagodzilla

    Where is the rest of the article? This isn’t an argument or case for Ron Paul, it’s an introduction. You can’t just say his record speaks for itself when his record is a dozen terms in Congress without passing a single piece of legislation he authored.

  • ed helmstetter

    whats the matter?
    don`t trust yourself to make good decisions for yourself?
    or is it you don`t trust others to make good decisions for themselves? if that`s the case, who are these others?

  • Red pill

    Switzerland. One country that operates largely on libertarian principles. Yeah, that’s reeeeeeaally third world. Genius.

  • STM

    “And Glenn’s right: No modern first-world democracy is run on libertarian principles”.

    I’ll rephrase that for obvious reasons as most of the modern first-world deomcracies are governed on principles of personal freedoms and liberties, especially those founded on inherited English law (including the US), and use rule of law to underpin those principles.

    In the English speaking nations, these go back in written form to the Magna Carta and by convention and tradition, even earlier.

    Due process was added in England as a statute in 1354, under the Liberty of the Subject Act, which expanded on the Magna Carta and also gave a very strong nod to property rights in its wording, and survived in very similar wording to form the basis of the Fifth Amendment in the US a whole 400 years later.

    It’s reasonable to think that in modern democracies founded on these principles, and that’s ALL the English-speaking nations for starters and plenty of others who’ve taken these as inspiration, personal freedoms and liberties which form the basis of our societies need to co-exist with freely elected democratic governments because rule of law and government by the people exists to underpin these principles.

    The two cannot be mutually exclusive. If they were, there’d be no nation to run.

    Constitutionalists need to get on board with the thoughjts of the Founding Fathers, who are on record as saying that the future nation would change as future Americans saw fit.

    They entrusted them with that, while understanding intrinsically that change would be needed as the US grew.

    If you do your homework, it’s easy to find these statements.

  • STM

    So it should read … “No modern first-world democracy is run ENTIRELY on libertarian principles”.

  • Red pill

    By the way, the United States is NOT a democracy, modern or otherwise. It is what is known as a constitutional republic. Learn your history please.

  • Red pill

    There is no such thing as an entirely libertarian country, if we could even agree on the meaning of “entirely libertarian,” which I doubt. Just like there is no such thing as an entirely democratic country (the masses all voting on every policy decision made). The only forms of government I can think of that you could say exist “entirely” are absolute monarchies and dictatorships. Switzerland is the closest thing in the present world to a libertarian government.

  • STM

    Dear Red Pill, the US is indeed a democracy in the modern sense. I use the term modern to differentiate from the archaic use of democracy, as in the ancient Greek.

    If you don;t think the US is a democracy in the modern sense, since it is virtually identical both in form and function to nearly all the other modern democracies, then you don’t know shit from clay.

    At best, you’re splitting hairs, as many Ron Paul supporters do.

    Yes, I know it’s a republic under a constitution. It’s actually called itself a democracy on many occasions during the modern era. Because, in the modern era democracy has come to mean a country with a freely elected government that is representative of the people and which is underpinned by rule of law, as I explained above, that guarantees certain basic and inalianable liberties and freedoms of its citizens.

    Compare it to countries like Australia, which are also not democracies in the ancient Greek sense. Their system of government in function is almost identical to that of the US … but it’s actually a constitutional monarchy.

    It too calls itself a democracy in the modern sense.

    Language changes over the years Red Pill, live with it. Or at least get your head around the concept that common usage in English, including in the US, have given old terms new meanings.

    (I knew I would get at least one immoveable fundamentalist constitutionalist taking me to task on this, possibly those not having the intellectual skills to notice, conceptualise or comprehend the clear and simple meaning of the term “IN THE MODERN SENSE”, which also doesn’t stop the US, and never will, still being a republic under a constitution or for that matter Australia being a constitutional monarchy but both now being referred to almost universally as DEMOCRACIES. They’re different but essentially the same. Go figure … ).

  • STM

    In the modern sense, of course.

  • STM

    The most famous usage, of course, is FDR’s use of the term to describe America’s arming of Britain to continue its war against the Nazis between 1939 and and late 1941, when the US entered the war.

    He described the US as “the arsenal of democracy”.

    Of course, he wasn’t the first to use the term, or the last.

  • FirstTimeVoter

    I’m not normally interested in politics, but I’m going to vote this time around. I’ve been researching all of the candidates and this Ron Paul guy seems to make the most sense. He also seems sincere where the other candidates appear to be phony.

  • julien

    @stm: the constitution lists all the powers given to the fderal government and further states that any powers not listed are left to the states. therefore if the government does something it is not allowed to under the constitution, it is unconstitutional

  • STM

    The constitution allows the federal government to govern federally. In your scenario, how would you expect congress to pass legislation, or the courts to make judgements that pass into law?

    Why not go back to the Coonskin cap as favoured American headgear. How about a memship to the Flat-Earth Society. Seriously, you are all deluded. Luckily, as Ron Paul’s vote shows, there isn’t that much support for outdated ideas of what America was, should be, is, or isn’t.

    The world has changed, and so has America -just the Founding Fathers foresaw.

    The constitution is not the holy grail or a tablet sent down by God, but a piece of paper written by ordinary men 200 years ago. An inspired piece of paper, but a piece of paper neverthless.

    And unlike many fundamentalist constitutionalists who really don’t understand their own laws or how rule of law actually operates in the US to underpin rights and freedoms, they were smart enough to recognise that the document indeed wasn’t a tablet but simply a set of laws designed to protect certain rights while growing and evolving. The verdict of one well-known and oft-quoted founding father, to paraphrase, was that they couldn’t possibly have got it all right, and that Americans of future generations would change it as they saw fit.

    They were also smart enough to include the 9th amendment, which has no lines written between the lines that are actually there, and warns anyone, including the small legion of whacky constitutionalists infesting America with outdated ideas and who think that the enumerated rights are the be all and end all of Americans’ rights, that plainly, they are not.

    It’s always interesting to me that that amendment, included for that very reason, is often forgotten by many in their arguments about the constitution.

  • STM

    O look, here’s the bit that talks about governing.

    Section Eight gives to Congress certain broad enumerated powers. Among these are the power to lay and collect taxes and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; to borrow money on the credit of the US, to regulate interstate, foreign, and Indian commerce; and to create courts inferior to the Supreme Court – among many others.

    It also gives Congress the power to “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States.”

    Certain bodies set up by the government, or certain actions of Congress in passing legislation, might so easily fall under looking after the general welfare of the United States.

    Just because Ron Paul supporters think they don’t doesn’t actually mean they don’t fall into that category.

    Better heads than ours have decided that they do, and that the general welfare of the United States might best be served by certain legislative decisions of government and judgements of the courts that help Washington to govern federally in a peaceful and – dare I say it – democratic AND constitutional fashion.

  • Leroy

    Good work, STM.

    The constitution is a rule book for creating the legal code for daily legal use. It’s a hyper-code that describes the rules for making the rules.

    The American right hates the 9th amendment. Bork called it an ink blot on the constitution. But the founders included it deliberately.

  • https://www.createspace.com/3470746 Instead of Politics

    The US became a mobocracy when it illegally amended ‘State suffrage in the Senate’ (Article V) out of the Constitution (Amendment XVII).

    It became a bank when it illegally buried Article I Section X requiring gold and silver coin as legal tender for the states, and gave a banking monopoly to the Federal Reserve.

    It became a military-industrial complex when it buried Article I Section VIII, which caps appropriations for the Army at two years, and began sending out swarms of soldiers to police the world.

    “All powers not delegated to the Federal Government by this Constitution are reserved to the States respectively or the people.”

    Like everyone else, American politicians claim they have a right to “interpret” the Constitution.

  • MT

    This argument to discredit Paul’s platform based on the idea that no 1st world democracies are governed by libertarian principles is distracting from the more critical issues he is campaigning on.

    First of all, Paul has even admitted himself that many of his libertarian principles would have a hard time passing thru the legislative process since he is not a dictator and would have to convince the people thru Congress that these ideas should be enacted. His main objective is to prioritize the following 3 issues which he has focused his last 2 campaigns: non-interventionist foreign policy, elimination or at the very least drastically reducing the role of the central bank’s influence on monetary policy, and elimination/reduction of major domestic federal govt programs(dept of eduction, homeland security, etc) and transfering these services to the private sector and/or state governments.

    All of these issues have resonated with the public and even mainsteam Republicans have been moving his way on these issues. The Tea Party movement essentially began from Paul’s 2008 GOP Primary run.

    There is certainly room for debate on the interpretation of constitutional law. His strict adherence to the constitution and very conservative interpretation is the foundation of all of his policy stances. The problem with today isn’t necessarily the extreme liberal view of the constitution, but the recent trend of ignoring it altogether esp. in the case of our current foreign policy adopted by the last 2 administrations.

    I think it’s a big mistake to discredit Paul based on all of his views and instead judge him on what he has stated as being his top priorities: namely, reintroducing free markets thru eliminating/reducing taxes, overburdening regulation, and federal govt intervention/interference; elimination of federal reserve and implementing competing currencies to restore sound money to the American economic system; promoting a non-interventionist foreign policy where we would no longer militarily interfere in the affairs of sovereign nations and rededicate our military to self-defense and protecting our own borders. While these priorities of Paul’s may be consistent with Libertarian philosophy, they are also consistent with traditional conservative Republican values.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    There are no third-world nations that are liberarian or I personally would have moved there.

    I’ll give you that there are NO countries that are strictly libertarian (except for perhaps the Sudan)…but you MUST admit that there are many countries that are significantly more libertarian than any of the first-world democracies. And all of these ‘more-libertarian’ nations are third-world countries. I use the Philippines so often as the obvious example because they have NO equivalent of Medicare/Medicaid, nothing like Pell grants for education, NO government subsidizing of businesses, no apparent tracking of people when it comes to minor infractions of the law, little real aid when it comes to aid after natural disasters, very little enforced regulation when it comes to building codes, no reliable system of income taxes, small businesses often operate for years without a business license…I could go on all day. In other words, while the Philippines cannot be said to be a truly libertarian country, they ARE a lot closer to a libertarian society than is America…as are many third-world nations.

    A major cause of third world underdevelopment is the lack of property rights which is a major tenet of libertarianism.

    Not so. To be sure, there are nations where the people have few or no property rights – the dictatorships and the communist regimes spring to mind – but there are many third-world countries that are democracies. I should know – my sons are living in MY house in the Philippines right now.

    As in America, we have to pay taxes on that property or we might lose that property…BUT that particular law (like many laws there) is not enforced. The government doesn’t have the logistical wherewithal to enforce such laws.

    Additionally, all third world nations have a central bank which is anti free market and therefore anti libertarian.

    Not so – Panama does not have a central bank.

    Most third world countries have strict laws in terms of personal freedoms and morals.

    And is this a function of the government? Or is it much more often a result of the mores of the local culture? For instance, in the Philippines divorce is illegal (because of the religious beliefs of the great majority of the people), but LGBT’s face little or no discrimination whatsoever (other than the fact that they can’t get married). LGBT’s there are seen by the population as regular people…and are found and accepted in all walks of life there. And anyone there who has money can buy a gun, and the drug laws are very loosely enforced (again, because the government doesn’t have the logistical wherewithal to enforce them).

    The point is, Kenn, that such “strict laws and morals” that you decry often have little to do with the government…and you’re likely not going to find a nation ANYwhere that has what YOU feel are “the proper set of morals and laws”. Why? Because the rest of the people there would largely have to share your opinions on what is and is not acceptable.

    Lastly, most third world countries are ruled by governing elites. This is a crony capitalism set-up a lot like we have in the U.S.

    Can you show me a nation that is not ruled at least to some extent by governing elites? Not so long as there are major corporations that can use money to influence the government, no sir you cannot.

    The difference is the degree to which a nation is governed by the ‘elite’…and if there’s a power vacuum, it will be filled by somebody. You cannot be so naive to not understand that.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    FirstTimeVoter –

    I’m not normally interested in politics, but I’m going to vote this time around. I’ve been researching all of the candidates and this Ron Paul guy seems to make the most sense. He also seems sincere where the other candidates appear to be phony.

    Sincere? Try Googling the racist opinions that were printed in Ron Paul’s name, under Ron Paul’s byline, in Ron Paul’s newspaper, over a period of years.

    Of course there will be a lot of libertarians who say that “somebody else did it”.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Red Pill –

    No, Switzerland does NOT operate on libertarian principles. For instance, their gun laws are significantly stricter than our own.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Third World countries only give the illusion of being libertarian.

    The reason most of them don’t have comprehensive taxation, a welfare state, national healthcare and education systems, nationalized industries, transportation infrastructure etc isn’t that they don’t want those things, but simply that they can’t afford them.

    The proof of the pudding can be found in the manifestos of candidates running for political office in those countries. They almost always promise to implement social programs, whether or not there is money in the national treasury with which to do so.

    The election of the populist Humala to the presidency of Peru is one recent example.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Kenn –

    Being Catholic, I have a large family, six children, three boys and three girls. I do not want them growing up under an oppressive régime where they can only imagine what freedom felt like and what prosperity was.

    Ah. America’s now an ‘oppressive regime’? Are the EPA, the Department of Education, No Child Left Behind, Obamacare, and the Federal Reserve all somehow “tools of oppression”?

    I could understand your claim if you pointed to the Patriot Act or our tragically-failed war on drugs and how many people we have in prison as a direct result of that particular conservative canard…but the Department of Education?

    Please.

    I find your ‘oppressive regime’ claim all the more odious when I recall that you’ve lived and taught in Africa and in the Middle East. It seems to me that more than anything, you just remind me of those whom I knew back on active duty who weren’t happy no matter how good they had it – they just HAD to have something to gripe about.

    My wife often says the hardest thing she’s found about living in America is the number of choices she has. Living overseas, she never had anything close to the number of choices she has here. You didn’t grow up in a dictatorship, and because you haven’t raised a family in a dictatorship, and you have no idea what an oppressive regime is, nor do you really understand what freedom and prosperity are.

    And this is why my wife and I are happy – she knows firsthand what it’s like to grow up in an oppressive regime, and she knows when she’s got it good. She knows how to count her blessings.

    I suggest you learn the same.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    The reason most of them don’t have comprehensive taxation, a welfare state, national healthcare and education systems, nationalized industries, transportation infrastructure etc isn’t that they don’t want those things, but simply that they can’t afford them.

    Which is why I pointed out that they don’t have the logistical wherewithal to enforce their laws and taxation. In other words, their libertarianism is forced upon them by their poverty.

    But whether it’s by choice or not, it’s STILL libertarianism.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    “FirstTimeVoter”:

    He also seems sincere where the other candidates appear to be phony.

    Ironic, since your #14 is quite possibly the phoniest comment on this or any other thread.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Glenn, the phrase was “run on libertarian principles“. I don’t recall whether it was you or Kenn who introduced that phrase into the conversation, but in any case it implies voluntary hands-off government, which is rather different from circumstantial hands-off government.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Whether voluntary or not, the effect is the same. There’s still no government involvement in provision of health care, aid to education, gun law enforcement, what have you.

    The effect is the same…and so is the result.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Glenn,

    #25 where did I say “oppressive regime”?

    If you think the Phillippines is a libertarian society you don’t know about either – the Phillippines and liberarianism.

  • STM

    The Philippines is dogged by endemic corruption, but it’s certainly not libertarian.

    It’s been more about crony capitalism than anything else, but the press – which in Manila does extraordinary things and has a lot of courage – is on a genuine crusade to expose it wherever it exists, and to embarrass any government of any persuasion that doesn’t at least try to clean it up.

    Since the press gives a voice there to those who would not normally have one, I’d say that if the state of the 4th estate is a good indicatror of the state of democracy, the Philippines is moving to a better place than it has been at any time in the past 40 years or so.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    You said ”

    One administration after another, Republican and Democratic, have waged an unrelenting assault on our way of life. It has come to the point that many people just blindly accept government involvement in every area of their life; yet most of the government intervention is unconstitutional. There is no constitutional basis for the EPA, the Department of Education, No Child Left Behind, Obamacare, or the Federal Reserve, just to name a few.

    Then you go on supporting Paul for president for three paragraphs, and then you stated:

    Being Catholic, I have a large family, six children, three boys and three girls. I do not want them growing up under an oppressive régime where they can only imagine what freedom felt like and what prosperity was.

    The context is clear. You think America is NOW an ‘oppressive regime’ and you believe that the Department of Education (and the EPA, et al) are unconstitutional and as such are part of that ‘oppressive regime’.

    The context is clear…but that’s okay – you can deny it all you want. Just like your boy Ron Paul denies the racist statements that were made in HIS name, under HIS byline, in HIS magazine…over a period of years.

    Why is it that when conservatives are shown that yes, they DID say what they said, that they’re so quick to deny it anyway? John Kyl said that “his words were never intended to be accurate”, Gingrich said that anyone who quoted what he said about Paul Ryan’s plan was “misquoting him”.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    STM –

    Please understand that I’m not some kind of ‘Filipino-phile’. I’m not, as you know from the article where I listed all the problems with living in such a country.

    My whole point is that such conditions as those found in the Philippines are the natural result of severely-limited government.

    It is my contention that when a government is severely constrained in nearly everything it does (which is what libertarians want), whether said constraint is due to lack of money or constitutional law, the nation concerned WILL experience:

    – rampant corruption at every level due to the lack of government oversight;

    – greatly-increased pollution due to the lack of government oversight;

    – a high level of unnecessary death and disease due to the inability of much of the population to pay for health care

    – a very large gap between the rich and the poor, with a small (and politically-ineffective) middle class

    – a national physical infrastructure (road conditions, vehicular traffic control, electrical grid, air traffic control, trash collection, water distribution, ease of commute, etc.) that do NOT work smoothly as do those in nations where government performs its necessary role in making things work.

    Do you see what I’m saying, Stan? Libertarians have this fantasy that if government would just get out of their way, everything would magically turn out Just Right…but in reality, if a government does not (or cannot) be involved in improving the condition of the nation as a whole, the above problems (found in nearly any third-world country) are rightly to be expected…

    …and my contention is that it does not matter whether the government is severely constrained by law or by logistical failings, the above conditions are the inevitable result.

    That’s what libertarians don’t get – if you want to live in a nation where the roads are in good conditions, the electricity and water distribution are reliable, the air and water are clean, the trash is picked up on time and properly buried in a landfill, and most (not all, but most) low-level government officials are not corrupt…

    …then one has to PAY for it, and be willing to live with the laws that ensure these better conditions. As in most walks of life, you get what you pay for…and when you’re not willing to pay to live in a better place, then you’re NOT going to live in a better place.

    This is why libertarianism – like the classic concept of a communist paradise – sounds really good in theory, but is absolutely impossible given simple human nature.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Glenn,

    lol. #32 – uh, I didn’t write this article. That is not to say I don’t agree with the author.

    In #33 – those same characteristics fit the U.S. and we have had leviathan for decades

  • http://www.themaritimesentry.com/ DR

    Glenn,

    I am the author of the article, and yes I do believe the United States is an oppressive regime; certainly by the comparison of what our founding fathers intended this Republic to be. We have a massive prison population, we regulate every part of life, and we have plainly unconstitutional legislation enacted all the time, like No Child Left Behind and the Patriot Act. I did not discuss the Patriot Act in this article because I write about
    it regularly at my website.

    As for the Department of Education, it is unconstitutional due to the fact the federal government has no role in education. They should not be dictating to the states, and to local communities, how to teach children; this has destroyed our education system. One example is my own child is testing sixth and seventh grade level, even though he is in third-grade. We’ve had two teachers plainly tell us that he will not be advanced to a higher grade because it would hurt the overall grade of the class and affect their funding through No Child Left Behind. This is devastating to not only a child who was denied advancement he has earned, but it wastes time as the teachers spend all their time teaching to a test.

    My children, this year, were tested by the state for reading and math and guess what two subjects got covered all year long? History and geography were completely ignored besides a couple of days on Martin Luther King and a few hours on George Washington. Since the Department of Education was created our schools have been on a downward spiral. It’s time we unshackle our children and allow them to succeed without any interference from DC.

    We are blessed that the founding fathers have left us exactly what is and is not Constitutional, not only found in the Constitution which defines a few limited powers to the federal government and leaves everything else to states or the people, but also in their writings. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, in particular, have left us a treasure trove of material that literally could take a lifetime to go through. You’ll find that their version of what this Republic was supposed to be does not match up with Obama’s or George Bush’s vision of America.

    I think it shocking that so many people give into the big government lie that their lives must be managed or everything will fall apart. More freedom would help everyone, it would also end a lot of the divisiveness that currently permeates our great Republic.

    Thanks to the many commentors, tweeters, and so forth, of this article. I’ve enjoyed reading your lively debate and appreciate the input from everyone.

  • S.T..M

    DR, this is meant really for you and is not a put down. I find much of what you write interesting, even if I don’t agree with all of it, and I relate to plenty of it. I’m also a fan of the kind of free-wheeling philosophy and open thinking that gave rise to the US, to modern Britain and the free republics of post-revolutionary France starting three centuries back.

    I have a slightly different point of view as I live in a different country but one that is very similar to the US in many ways, especially in the high standard of living and excellent wages, true federal system and attitude to life and being “governed”.

    The country is the same size in area as the US but the population is much smaller – 20 million, instead of nearly 300 million, which means any federal government bureacracy is going to be far less unwieldy on big projects like defence, health, infrastructure provision, and the like. Be that as it may, the same problems exist.

    Our constitution contains no US-style bill of rights, even though there was a push for one at the time of federation at the beginning of last century, because the founders decided that under the inherited laws of England (or Britain by that time) which the colonies operated under, all those rights formed the US bill of rights in any case and were taken to exist here anyway … which the High Court has also since ruled were implied, and that includes free speech. It works just fine, and truth is an absolute defence in such things as defamation. Our legal system is almost identical both in form and function to that of the US, especially in the criminal jurisdiction and includes such things as a miranda-style warning (slightly different wording but the same) designed to prevent miscarriages of justice and false statements presented to the courts. I like the idea that the people have a real voice and will never give in to attempts to shut us up or control what we say and that the judiciary is always independent and the police are under scrutiny constantly.

    In some ways, NOT having a bill of rights is godsend given the federal system. However, the states’ legislation on everything varies from state to state, and in one state, a Bill against hate speech has been used in one instance to secure a conviction – a minor one, but a conviction anyway – while the Supreme Court of another has ruled that trying to stifle it – at least below the point where it becomes a call to criminal action – is against the guarantee of free speech implied in the federal constitution.

    Here’s the one real area where we do differ. We have excellent (but not perfect) public health care (run by the states and partly funded by the feds) that is first-world quality and runs in parallel to a private system, although many people with private insurance also use the public system where necessary without issue or fear. We all pay a bit extra in our taxes on a sliding scale so that someone like me earning a decent dollar pays more than someone on $50,000 a year but it’s all relative and we get the same level of care. Most of us see the benefits of that even if we don’t like the bureaucracies that run it. I – at the time of writing – still get a tax break on my private insurance of a couple of grand a year. I don’t mind paying a bit over the odds, because I like the idea that no one in this country goes broke or bankrupt if they get sick – and many of my conservative-minded friends feel the same way. I suppose our health system is the third rail of politics here … everyone likes it so much, neither major party of the left or right is willing to tinker with it too much.

    Education is different. The feds fund education with the states and have in the past forced a change in the history curriculum focus from world history dating back to pre-Roman Britain, which had a main focus on British, Commonwealth, American and European history, to one that has its main focus on the history of our country, which is only 200 years old. It’s madness.

    I learned in my history classes about modern history, including such things as Britain’s influence over Europe following the Napoleonic Wars, the US War of Independence, the English and American civil wars, the abolition of slavery, World Wars one and two, the rise of the US and Soviet Union as superpowers, Vietnam in detail, etc etc. It’s quite possible that I learned more about American history than many American kids – and possibly in a far more subjective fashion given that it was just cold. hard fact. It’s possibly why we base part of our system on the US, and part on Britain’s. You’d hope they took the best bits of both, although that’s not always obvious.

    However, we currently have an incompetent federal government that formed administration in a coalition that includes the loony left and some independents and is leaving its footprint in almost every aspect of our lives. Not always about major stuff, but you feel kike they’re always ready to pounce with another hare-brained scheme or another attack on the wallet.

    I know how you feel about history in school and how the government interferes. I hate what they’ve done to it here. My daughter learns mostly about European settlement of this country and almost a black armband view of its short history, blaming white settlers for terrible things. They did do some bad stuff, as most white settlers in the new world did, but the ledger might be pretty even, although that’s not what you might get from the curriculum. I hate that the federal government, which doesn’t run state education systems, has done this simply because it can as it holds some of the purse strings. Propaganda and political correctness are not education.

    However, I’m glad of other things. She suffers a chronic but not always obvious illness, and has been nicely accommodated within the state school system after I pulled her out of a private school in grade 7.

    I see good and bad within that system and I’m glad we have a federal system so the states get more than a little say in things like education and health and law and order and the courts. Where they don’t have a say is in the collection of the big taxes … income taxes, goods and services taxes (paid on almost everything except fresj foodstuffs at point of sale), and now – a carbon tax.

    The feds have spent money like it’s going out of fashion during the GFC, and they did stave off a recession in this country that left us in a far better state than anywhere else, but they went mad in the process … building school buildings at about three times the cost it could have been done at, putting insulation into people’s homes for free without laying down proper regulations so there were deaths of workers and more than a few house fires, and a multi-billion cable broadband broadband network paid out of the public purse, and now the impost of the tax on carbon dioxide, which will add a small fortune each year to the househould bills of every person in this country.

    What I like (or at least accept as part of the contract that sees me elect my representative to a government that rules for the people, under rule of law designed to protect our freedoms, and not rule for itself) is this: I understand that in a modern democracy like ours, we need state and federal government involvement in health, education, law and order, defence, infrastructure, the laying down of decent wage structures and workplace conditions that give many rights to employees whilst maintaining the balance with private industry employers who also need protections from unscrupulous employee claims and actions, regulation of banks and money markets and their practices to ensure ordinary citizens don’t get ripped off or screwed, and as much as we all hate it, collection of taxes. I know this country could never run itself without those things and would sink into anarchy, which in my view is only one small step beyond more radical ideas of libertarianism.

    What I rail against is this: interference by government at every stage, ever expanding bureaucracy, incompetent fat cats on huge public salaries who think they know better than people in private industry, imposition of new environmental taxes to keep quiet the new-age Greens (read: Reds), most of whom live in the trendy parts of the inner cities and know nothing about hard work, working the land, or mining, or how many jobs they create and how the economy is propped up by manufacturing, mining and farming, not by coming up with a nice ad campaign, putting out a press release, acting, singing, or doing interior design in architect-designed houses.

    My point is this: There are some slight differences between here and the US, but the problems are mostly the same right now.

    I’m waiting to make my next vote count, and to cast it for a new government that will remove much of its footprint from my life.

    I look at the US and see people with similar views in some areas at least wasting their vote and navel-gazing regarding what is or is not unconstitutional. It’s a battle you’ll never win.

    Ron Paul will never be president, so that’s a wasted vote that allows people you don’t want in government – either way – another tiny opportunity to get in.

    The constitution of the US quite clearly makes provision for governing federally, for passing legislation on pretty much anything (within reason and with safeguards), and provides for the courts to make decisions as well.

    Constitutional lawyers know this is the case, so railing against governments being unconstitional in the way Ron Paul does achieves virtually nothing.

    What I don’t understand too is why people think that a protest vote for someone like Paul will ever mnake a difference. It never does, and it never changes anything. It might chip away over a period of 100 years or so, but it has no immediate impact. And you actually need impact now before the US goes down the gurgler )not a great scenario for you there, or me here).

    I feel the best way to initiate change in a modern democracy (yes, I knw, republic under a constitution etc) is at the ballot box and through the exercise of the people’s voice very loudly in the mainstream press, which should be a reflection of want people really want and has the added bonus of keeping the bastards in government if not always totally honest, at least thinking about the consequences.

    Yes, there might be a case for Ron Paul. But the case is never going to translate into votes and thus him having the power to change anything.

    For what it’s worth, I always get the feeling you’re bashing your head against a brick wall both with Paul and cries of unconstitutional government when the establishment decides it isn’t. The other part is, some people who like some of Paul’s ideas, many of which aren’t new, get lumped in with extremists whose views have them labelled as part of the loony fringe.

    The other route is the better one, the ballot box route that actually gives you a voice. Voting for somone who CAN get into government, with whom you don’t wholly agree with but mostly do, and whose view is diametrically opposed to the candidate you can’t stand. That’s why in reality, there really isn’t a case for Ron Paul at all, no matter whether much of what he says makes sense and strikes a chord with a whole range of people.

    Sad, but true. I’ve learned from bitter experience here that some compromise is better than the sour taste of nothing at all except having to swallow bitter defeat.

    I just wonder how many Americans mistake a distrust of bureaucracy and big government, which can exist in any first-world free nation that believes in free-market economics and some libertarian ideas, for the kind of libertarianism that would do away with most sensible functions of government and would lead to anarchy.

    I doubt it’s what the very cleaver founding fathers of the US envisaged. What seemed OK then was 200 years ago, in what was still a very small country.

    Can you imagine the impact of hard-core libertarianism on a massive industrialised country of almost 300 million.

    Worth thinking about in terms of how you go about getting some of it back, because reality says you’re never going to get it all back. What was then was then, not now.

  • Cannonshop

    hard-core “L”ibertarianism isn’t likely to EVER become the dominant politics in the U.S., fact is that even with a “Ron Paul Landslide” he’ll just find out how many powers he DOESN’T have as President, and what the force of eighty percent of Americans feels like-the forty that are die-hard big-government Democrats, and the forty that are die-hard, big-government Republicans, neither side of which would EVER permit Dr. Paul’s Prescriptions to be served un-altered.

    It’s beyond the Money-Men, they go where the power is, and the power is catering to one, or the other, of the Entitled Majority.

    The Most he could achieve, even assuming he won both the Nomination, AND the General Election, would be to force compromises on the two largest contingents of nanny-staters (Democrats and Republicans), which might be for the best, but most likely would not do much to change the status-quo.

    Truly Small-Government people are a definite minority-even on the Right, there is just as much of an urge to meddle in the personal affairs of individual citizens as on the Left-just in different areas of their lives. The extent is the same when you look at a Jerry-Falwell as when you’re looking at Jerry Brown.

    The only difference between them, is in WHERE they want to dictate how you live your life, the urge to do so is constant between them…

    and that constant DOES represent the Majority.

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