Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Gigging the Paulites, (or: I Need the Traffic)

The first comment on the post where I endorsed Fred Thompson for President was from a Ron Paul supporter. Ron Paul has a fiercely dedicated (but very small) base of supporters who believe his understanding of the Constitution is the only valid one - and I'll say up front they very well may be correct. However, as I tried to explain in those comments, Congressman Paul's position ignores decades, nay, two centuries of political entropy, both here and abroad.

There are two quotes that I think well express the problem that the mainstream public has with Ron Paul. One is directly related to the Congressman. One is more general. From Rachel Lucas' comments:
Like all strict libertarians, Ron Paul believes, truly believes, that he has found the Grand Unified Theory of human political relations, that all good political rules stem from a single principle that can be encapsulated in two or three sentences. He is rigidly ideological, which makes him, by definition, a zealot. Like all zealots, he thus appears to the rest of us like he is batshit crazy... because he is. The rest of us live in a far more complicated, nuanced world, where human interactions and human government cannot neatly be reduced down to a 3-sentence rule.
The other quote is by an ex-blogger, Dipnut from Isntapundit, and it's about Ayn Rand, the inventor of the philosophy of Objectivism:
Perhaps the biggest mistake an intellectual can make is to try to parlay his one brilliant insight into a unified theory of existence. Ayn Rand made this mistake with Objectivism. Objectivism was useful for thinking in certain limited realms, but Rand sought to apply Objectivist thinking to every aspect of the human experience, including love. The result is a sterile philosophical landscape, extending out of sight in all directions. Tellingly, Rand was unable to live according to her ideals. This is part of what makes Rand so disagreeable; the almost hysterical denial of subjectivity's inevitable, essential role in our lives. And it makes her not only disagreeable, but wrong.
I believe both Rand and Paul have important insights and have important things to say, but the extremes that both insist are necessary ignore the reality that is human existence. We are not (at least not most of us, and certainly not all of the time) rational creatures - but both the libertarian and the objectivist philosophies depend on high-percentage rationality, and so they fail.

The Geek with a .45 put it very well, also in a much older comment:
A truly enlightened society must ultimately be composed of 95%+ enlightened individuals...and the bell curve just doesn't support that premise.
Ron Paul, if elected, could not fix anything. As I said in the Fred Thompson comment thread:
If there were 50 Ron Pauls in the Senate and 220 Ron Pauls in the House, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Unfortunately, there's only one, and one isn't going to accomplish anything, even if he's President. While it would be amusing to watch him throw sand and monkey wrenches into the machinery of government from the height of the Oval Office, it's not something I think we can afford to indulge ourselves in at present.
Most especially since we're in a war that he thinks isolationism can get us out of.

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