Ex 18:21: “You shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain.”
Here’s a true saying about politics: he who pays the piper calls the tune. There is a real issue that Trump has demagogically exploited that I think is going to be interesting to watch after the election, and that is this divide between the sponsors/elites/establishment and the base. The Republican party has long been a house divided. The more conservative base wants to get back to the mythical time when the party was conservative. Historically, the Republican party came out of American Whiggery, which was never principled. The limited gov’t wing has always been a decided minority. In my lifetime, we have seen the long period under the milquetoast House leader Bob Michel and the “good government” pragmatism of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, and the Bushes. People point to Reagan, but Reagan raised spending, expanded illegal immigration and social security, etc., and really and whatever good came from his “revolution” ended not long after the assassination attempt when Jim Baker, Mike Deaver, and poppy Bush gained ascendancy. The party really believes in what its sponsors want, and they don’t want limited government, immigration controls, and an end to abortion. They come from the same class and they want pretty much what the Democrats’ sponsors want: crony protections, “cheap labor,” gov’t programs to profit from, and (generally) social liberalism.
Every 4 years, it’s always “the most important election of our lifetime” and we are warned with increased feverishness about the downfall of civilization if the latest wicked Democrat gets in office. Now, I do believe that our nation is following the course of other empires toward collapse, and for the same reasons. I just don’t think people like Donald Trump and Mitt Romney present a turn in the right direction, and whatever meager help they offer is offset by the additional problems they cause. Nor will they do much to protect religious liberty unless the public goes along with it. There’s no help from that quarter, no help from the kingdom of men.
For those afraid, lift up your eyes and meditate: “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.” (Acts 4:27-28)
On the one hand, you have conservative Christians repulsed by Trump’s ever-present boasting which we’ve seen since he became famous in the 1980s. He’s an adulterer, an opportunist, a demagogue, a flip-flopper blown about by political winds. He’s a crony capitalist who has supported liberals over and over again. He’s coarse, childish, and vindictive. He claims to be a serious Christian while being uncertain of whether he’s ever asked forgiveness. Someone tell the man to read 1 John 1 and Romans 3! Even Bill Clinton faked it better than that. Trump is so tone-deaf to Christian understanding that it makes me wonder if he’s ever contemplated a Christian sermon or a verse of Scripture. Is he so insulated among the jet set that his only exposure to a church is the occasional funeral or wedding at one of those big cathedrals where they have a beautiful choir and Mr. Milquetoast giving the homily?
On the other hand, you have the enmity of the Republican Party ‘establishment’ who are panicked about their power base. These are the people who look down on ‘flyover country.’ They know Trump is a threat to their power and influence. Make no mistake, Trump’s support is strongest among people who are thumbing their nose at this very establishment and its sponsors.
People like Trump’s verbal smackdowns of those they think have been in need of one for a long time. Trump’s shotgun blasts do occasionally put shrapnel in a deserving target, although my favorite moment was more inadvertently witty. That came when Trump defended banning incoming Muslims by saying that secular saint Franklin Roosevelt interned the Japanese… and we all love Franklin, don’t we? Well, no Donald, we don’t, but it was still amusing.
In the end, Trump supporters are tired of the same old political games. He has been the most flamboyant middle finger candidate in a generation. He’s coarse, but Dr. Johnson once noted that he knew someone who always talked bawdy at the dinner table because it was a language all could comprehend. Trump seems to instinctively understand this. This is a guy who’s been around the media for a long time. He’s had a hit TV show. I’m not convinced there isn’t some schtick involved here, as I’ve heard his private persona is different than the public one. To voters, if all politicos are corrupt, at least this guy has his own money and he’s been an entrepreneur… so how could he be any worse?
Honestly, I don’t know that Trump really is much worse than the usual Republican general election candidate, which is more of a comment on them than on Trump’s positive qualities. The GOP nominated Mitt Romney four years ago. Romney, who accused Trump this week of being a “phony,” is not childish like the Donald, but Mitt’s an ambitious career wind vane who makes Bob Dole seem principled by comparison. (I think Lew Rockwell is correct that Romney’s real desire is to find a way into the race, perhaps at the convention. Talk about tone deaf. Didn’t the Mittster see what happened to Jeb Bush? In past cycles, Bush would have been a significant candidate. He was a popular two-term governor of a large swing state. This time most people said “no thanks.” Why would they want Romney instead?)
Can Trump win? It’s a good question. He has legions of detractors and his cronyism makes it tough to attack many of Clinton’s shortcomings, but I think he puts states in play that his primary opponents probably do not. He’ll draw lower-class democrats who admire his success and populism. His brash style appeals even to minorities and can cut through the usual “racism” nonsense used in place of an argument by progressives and establishment hacks. He might be a tough out for the Democrats.
To his credit, Trump is liked by many who’ve know him, including employees. That’s more than can be said for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, for example. He seems to know how to cut deals and get along with others to some degree.
Not only that, Trump is the only candidate on either side advising some foreign restraint. He has rightly asked why we are trying to take on Russia. He’s questioned why we are so eager to start wars. I for one do not understand why so many Christians think we need to “make the sand glow” in the Middle East. How about we give Muslims the life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ instead? Most Christians would protest that they agree with that sentiment, but spurred on by Caesar’s courtiers they seem to think the Holy Spirit can’t overcome the Crescent as well as Caesar’s bombs and planes.
Donald Trump has been a successful entrepreneur. He’s industrious and he’s hired lots of people. Of course, he’s also used the “political means” (bribes, eminent domain, etc.), but there is legitimate industry there even if his whole “what jobs have you created?” criticism of other candidates is silly. He’s against the establishment and its sponsors on the main issue to his voters: unrestrained/illegal immigration. I have my doubts on whether he’s truly opposed, but he’s doing quite a job at playing it up.
In sum, I could never vote for Trump for the reasons noted at the top of the article as well as the fact that behind the carnival barker front he’s just more of the same, a promoter of a massive state. However, I understand the support for him. At times I’ve enjoyed watching him take on the establishment. I don’t think the Donald is worse than the typical establishment general election candidate in most ways, and in some ways he could be a marginal improvement. But… I’ll close with some things for Trump supporters to think about.
First, the egotistical allure of playing a tough-guy commander-in-chief in office could lead Trump into overseas adventures surpassing neocons like Bush, Rubio, and Kasich. In a time of unrest, such as after 911, Trump’s Mussolini-ish tendencies could be a little frightening.
Second, unbelievers have no rock to stand on and are blown about by changing winds (thankfully restrained by God- Proverbs 21:1). If Trump has enough popularity he’s like to turn on a dime and betray those who put him in office, especially since I think his real views more closely align to someone like Bill Clinton.
Third, will God bless such an unrepentant boaster?
Fourth, I think he will realign the establishment, with careers falling and others rising. But it seems like a “meet the new boss, same as the old boss” situation. An old skyscraper will be torn down and a new one built in its place. Different people, different building, same result. In other words, Trump has long been a crony capitalist and a respecter of persons, so does anyone really think his movement will replace the old system with a more righteous rule? I don’t.
First, this article on how Jeb Bush was a director on a Michael Bloomberg “philanthropy” that provided tens of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood. Jeb’s grandfather Prescott was strongly affiliated with Planned Parenthood. Papa Bush (41) was known for his strong Planned Parenthood advocacy too, for which he was supposedly nicknamed “rubbers” until he suddenly became a, uh, staunch pro-lifer. Staunch pro-lifer George W Bush had another such conversion as I recall when he ran for president, just like staunch pro-lifer Mitt Romney (never mind that 1994 Senate race where he tried to out-liberal Ted Kennedy on the topic). It’s notable that Bush 41 and Bush 43 never managed to convince their wives to share their staunch pro-life views.
Second, this article by the always-principled Ron Paul. He notes that when he tried to stop federal funding of groups that promote or perform abortions while a congressman, “pro-life leaders” instead sought language prohibiting federal funds from being used for abortions. This trickery is how Plannned Parenthood could still be federally subsidized for hundreds of millions of dollars yearly despite a supposed ban on federal funding of abortion. It’s deception since earmarked funds that take care of one part of your budget mean that you can use more non-earmarked funds to fund your abortions. It’d be like funding the Klan… but only for their roadside cleanup activities.
In libertarian or internet circles, you sometimes hear people talk about the “false left-right paradigm.” The idea is that manipulators create divisive issues that get people riled up to expend their energies fighting one another, while nothing much changes behind the throne or curtain. Same bureaucracy. Same elites running the show. Same face, different mask.
I think there’s some truth in this.
Barack Obama is a terrible president, but when I hear someone bringing everything back to Obama this, Obama that, I check out. Not because it’s mean. Or dull (although it is really dull). No, mainly because it’s destructive.
For one, it obscures systemic issues. Obamacare is terrible, but it’s just another brick in the socialized medicine wall that’s been under construction for a half century. Yes, Obama is a state worshipper, but George W Bush was a great enemy of liberty too. The Republican party doesn’t want you poking into why federal spending has gone up every year since 1946. They’d rather keep you focused on why Obama went golfing again yesterday. Petty resentments must be a boon for contributions (back when I was a teen, “Ted Kennedy” was the magic word in fundraising appeals). If only we could get the latest jerk out of office, why then we’d have what… Mitt Romney, the pre-eminent Rockefeller Republican of his generation? Even after the Obama hand has been played, haven’t we been around long enough to know that there’ll be another joker dealt in the next round? Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren, anyone? There’s always a long supply of rotten eggs seeking political power.
More importantly, this focus on the daily “How is Obama falling short today?” political grind yields a bias toward the now, toward winning the news cycle. Ebola has been all over the news recently, and thanks partly to Republican pressure Obama acted now and we got another (unconstitutional) czar. George W Bush acted now back in 2008 with his back against the wall, and we got TARP. Acting now never involves acting wisely. (I think back, with some amusement,to when oil was $4 a gallon a few years ago and conservative Republicans were lamenting the lack of a “national energy policy.” Why if only the Fuhrer would come up with a plan to drill more oil wells! Such is the state of modern conservatism.)
In his book on democracy, Hans Herman Hoppe noted that an absolute king will try to act in ways that further the long-term wealth of his realm (he’s like a private owner of the kingdom), whereas a president or legislator in a democracy owns only the current use of the treasury. As short-term caretakers and not owners, our “public servants,” as the government-lovers call them, lack the incentive to act wisely, to think long-term. Instead they act with an eye toward whipping up the most votes in the next election. They’ll empty the till as long as they can keep the party going until they’ve left office.
The party hacks and campaign consultants are cut from the same cloth as our “public servants.” They care about power. They care about this election cycle. They care about now. They want you to care about now too and help them win the next election. If I can’t convince you to disregard these ad men altogether, at least step back and be discerning. They’re good manipulators.
When it comes to trusting the integrity and insight of a statement on a 1 to 10 scale, you might put words from your pastor or a “Slippery When Wet” sign in the hallway near 10, and email spam near 1. Well, right down there near 1 is where I’d put anything emanating from the Republican or Democratic parties, or any advocacy group or pundit that acts in a cheerleading role. At best the parties provide half-truths, such as “created 5 million jobs” without noting that 6 million were lost and the fact that they didn’t create any (private sector i.e. sustainable) jobs in the first place. It’s all a big game of shading the truth to attain and maintain power.
People are whipped up about this election, as if this is some titanic philosophical struggle. A lot of it comes back to a lack of perspective. You, me, Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney are going to die, and then comes the judgment (Heb. 9:27). However, people are under the influence of the major parties, who work most effectively through hysteria-inducing pundits and “independent” advocacy groups who toe the line once the latest nominee/hack is chosen. These are the people who’ve convinced many that, as every four years, it’s the most important election of our lifetime. That may turn out to be the case, but we have no way to know that ahead of time.
Furthermore, the framing of this as some titanic struggle for the soul of America is pure nonsense. The stakes are indeed high, but both parties have thrown their chips on a number that can’t win. The rhetoric differs, but there really is no practical difference between the candidates. Neither candidate has any plan or intention to truly cut spending. The deficit is going to keep escalating. The debt is going to grow massively, especially the off-budget entitlement debt. Defense spending will grow. The regulatory agencies that control so much of the economy will continue to grow. The violations of civil liberties will grow. Both candidates are Keynesians who support the existence of the great counterfeiting operation known as the Federal Reserve.
The government will lose none of its authority. This is what counts. In the 1940s the journalist John Flynn noted that a totalitarian government is one that acknowledges no restraint on its powers. The government doesn’t do everything, but it reserves the right to do as it pleases; all it needs is an appropriate crisis, as we saw in 2008. Electing Hack A instead of Hack B isn’t going to change that. Both candidates demagogue any attempt by the other to cut spending. Democrats savaged the Ryan plan, which doesn’t really cut anything anyway, while Karl Rove’s PAC criticized Obama’s plan to cut military spending (which Obama duly abandoned in the last debate).
Ah, yes, you say, but we should live in the real world and choose one of the choices, bad as they are. To which I say, why choose between two non-solutions? It’s like playing rock-paper-scissors and guessing apples. Or maybe strawberries.
Yes, but Mitt is the lesser of two evils, however slight! To which I retort, consider the 20th-century church battles with modernism, and note that those who did the real damage were the moderates. Supporting empty rhetoric saps a true opposition. The party that participates in compromises with the radical party toward greater levels of spending and regulation is the party that validates and legitimizes it, and that ultimately dampens discontent toward the state. It smooths the road to perdition. I think the winner of this election is going to be a disaster. If a currency crisis or some other disruption hits, the party in power is going to be discredited. If it’s the Republicans, then “free markets” (in other words, freedom) will be discredited (just as in 2008) since Republicans have been falsely carrying the “limited government” banner for decades.
So what about abortion? Well again, Mitt Romney isn’t pro-life. He’s been pro-choice most of his life. He isn’t going to do anything about it just as the Republicans didn’t do anything about it when they held all the branches of Congress. Those of us who hate it will still be forced to fund it. Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, will still get their money. Hospitals performing abortions will still be subsidized, as will the entitlement state. There is an abortion apparatus, and there isn’t enough political payoff to go after it even if someone had the courage and heart that Romney lacks. The Republicans had Congress and the presidency for years and they could not defund Planned Parenthood. There are powerful interests in the party who want it. It’s just an issue to run on in some districts. You vote on a meaningless measure that will never get through both houses of Congress, everyone gets the scores they want from the advocacy groups, and then everyone goes out for a beer.
All either party cares about is one thing, the same thing they’ve always cared about… “And nine rings were gifted to the race of men… who above all else, desire power.”
If they held an election and no one voted, that’d speak volumes more than participating in this racket. Voting only encourages them because it is an act of assent. Even if you reject this, I think it’s unquestionably true that governments rule by consent, and abortion will end when the people are persuaded that it should end. It does a great deal of good to remind our fellow citizens that abortion is evil. It’s this pounding of the drums that leads to change far greater than putting our trust in political power-mongers who are only using you to achieve their libido dominandi. You don’t hear much about gun control these days because public opinion has shifted.
I’m not voting for Mitt Romney, mainly because he is no different than his opponent (I’ll expand on this in a follow-up post). The dominant response I’ve received to that declaration isn’t a defense of Romney. Instead it comes back to abortion. If we can save one baby, I’m told, we should support Mitt Romney.
I respect consciences tender to the slaughter of infants. I’m repulsed by political cowards and the degenerates who take blood money from NARAL and Planned Parenthood (speaking of which, remind your neighbors that Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider; they don’t simply refer them, they do them).
Still, the “if we can save one baby” line makes me uncomfortable. Let’s say a politician comes to power who immediately outlaws all abortion and makes it a capital crime. However, this politician also cracks a few thousand skulls every year to keep his enemies in check. So, a million babies are saved and a few thousand children of dissidents end up with dead fathers. Not “optimal,” as the president might put it, but that’s the world we live in.
Would you put that politician’s sign in your yard? I wouldn’t.
Abortion is called a holocaust. That analogy breaks down in that the government isn’t directing it as the fascist and communist governments of the 20th century directed their holocausts. Each abortion involves a woman (sometimes encouraged by a man or family members) making an evil decision. Politicians who look the other way and take blood money are complicit, but in the end each woman is making the decision to slaughter her own child. Few if any abortions occur if that decision isn’t made.
I don’t think Mitt Romney is truly pro-life– his conversion reeks of political calculation — but even if he were a stalwart it seems to me that a single-minded focus on abortion is guarding only one breach in the wall.
Take for example the disturbing new power and authority that Republican presidents and congressmen (as surely as Democrats) wholly support. My hypothetical example from earlier may not eventually be so hypothetical. Presidents have started killing people without benefit of a trial. The government can now bypass habeas corpus. No one can predict what this will mean in the future, but this move toward extra-judicial killing and arrest seems to me a disturbing trend and a camel’s nose in the tent.
The ACLU has given “civil liberties” a bad name, but civil liberties should be of serious importance to the church. Under the guise of anti-terrorism, government has grown greatly since 911, and Republicans have egged it on. The most obvious examples the government’s presence at airports, where they are now swabbing drinks. They’ve been putting the clamps on cash and foreign transactions in various ways. There was recently a story of a man who was arrested for posts he made on a private Facebook group. I think the government has access to everything we’ve typed online, public or private. Not that they’ve researched everything… but they can if they want. Tools continue to improve the analyze and parse this data. Retina scan technology is bringing new possibilities to crowd control. The Patriot Act has eased surveillance barriers. The Bush and Obama administrations have expanded the use of drones to kill people in other countries (only the Lord knows how many), and now drones are coming to the states to aid local police forces (which are themselves becoming increasingly militarized).
How long until they start zapping “terrorists” here in the states? Since terrorism is a tactic and not an ideology, the definition of terrorism is whatever the government decides it is that day. Today it’s “radical Islam.” Tomorrow?
The tools for a police state are rapidly falling into place, which suits the crony capitalists in each party just fine. By and large, Christians are ignoring this.
Course I’m respectable. I’m old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough. -Noah Cross in Chinatown
During his presidency, Bill Clinton was seen largely as a punch line. He was the self-absorbed, knavish, shameless “Slick Willie” of Troopergate, Whitewater, FBI file thefts, and siccing the IRS on his opponents. He never made a memorable speech. His most famous utterances were this lie and his lawyerly dissembling on the meaning of the word “is,” a Diet Coke at his side. His handlers told us on talk show after talk show that oral sex wasn’t really sex. Anything to keep the guy in office.
He was impeached. He still stuck around. No way he was going anywhere. On his last day in office he stayed up all night and lingered to the very end. Within a few years after leaving office he was very wealthy, ground he no doubt prepared carefully while in office. He was forever accusing his enemies of “cynicism.” His paranoia about the deviousness of his opponents made him the embodiment of the old saying that a fox smells its own hole.
The Starr Report. Paula Jones. Kathleen Willey. Safe, legal, and rare. Joe Sobran summed Clinton up best with a collection of 1990s essays entitled Hustler. It’s trustworthy contemporary accounts like Sobran’s that tell you more than the history books (c.f. John Flynn on Franklin Roosevelt).
Now, however, Bill Clinton is seen as a lodestar of fiscal responsibility in contrast to the “big spender” Obama. Unlike Obama (my opinion of whom is unchanged), Clinton supposedly balanced the budget.
This narrative overlooks inconvenient facts which are also inconvenient for Congressional Republicans of the time. First, the Clinton era coincided with huge productivity growth thanks to the rise of the web, which was accompanied by a massive Fed-induced boom that finally popped at the end of Clinton’s second term. Second, there never was a balanced budget if you include off-budget costs like unfunded entitlement liabilities. The government was simply spending money that it was supposed to save, a practice that continues today. Clinton had plenty of grandiose schemes. Clintonian spending was restrained compared to the ensuing George W. Bush years because Clinton shot himself in the foot too many times to ever gather the momentum to accomplish anything (something we can be thankful for).
Conservatives trumpeting Responsible Bill vs. Irresponsible Barack are just doing it for the need of the moment. Clinton is not a candidate and not a threat. Obama is. Romney needs the undecided lunkheads, so whatever you have to say to appeal to them, say it. After all, as we hear every four years, “it’s the most important election of our lifetime.”
Perhaps the needs of the election cycle will be the last barrier to Clinton being taken seriously, which is something that eluded him throughout his presidency. Richard Nixon was remembered in later years as a statesman. It looks like William J. Clinton’s time for respectability has come.
There has been a lot of confusion in the media about the word “cult,” and I realized recently that it’s because people don’t know what Christians mean by the word. When people hear the word “cult,” they think about kooks leading around the mentally-unstable. Now,there are cults like that and they deserve the name. However, the common Christian understanding of a cult may not be in the dictionary. It refers to a false faith, especially one that claims to be Christian while denying fundamental tenets of Christianity as expressed in its creeds and confessions. A cult may deny the Trinity, it may deny Christ’s deity, it may deny salvation by grace through faith in Christ. However, it is not denying “side” issues like wine vs. grape juice, or sprinkling vs. immersion, but the ones that the church has always believed were dividing lines between belief and unbelief, salvation and damnation.
Mormonism is in the ring with this election. On one hand, you have liberals tittering “ooh, it’s a CULT and it’s weird.” On the other side, Republican hacks who hastily bring out the bigotry accusations against anyone who opposes Romney’s religion. This is their attempt to silence dissenters — it could depress turnout, you know — and get everyone in marching formation before the election.
Things are dividing along tiresome party lines, as if the only thing at stake is who wins the presidency. The Republicans, due to their candidate being the Mormon, are taking the more troublesome approach. Just remember that there is something at stake that is more important than the next election: souls. A Mormon needs Jesus Christ more than you need Mitt Romney.
A good measure of a political pundit is how quickly and reliably they fall in lockstep with a current Republican or Democrat political campaign. A pundit not worth taking seriously is one whose discussion of a phony politician during an election year is pure boosterism, with criticism only starting up when it’s safe to do so, such as when the politician is a lame duck years later. Such criticism gives the pundit an air of credibility and distance, while conveniently clearing the way for the next set of party hacks bankrolled by its wealthy, connected sponsors.
Mitt Romney is a career wind vane who tilts Rockefeller when the breeze stops. And yet daily we hear conservatives- politicians, pundits- telling us that the first step to reclaiming our freedom is to elect Willard Romney.
Seriously? It’s one thing to push the lesser of two evils argument, but quite another to act as if the lesser of two evils isn’t really evil and actually offers a “positive vision” for the country. Yea, he is one of us. Folks, if you really pay attention, there really isn’t much difference between Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and, oh, I don’t know, Rick Santorum. Marco Rubio. I remember back when Jeb Bush was the “conservative” Bush.
I sometimes watch taped Fox shows while working out, and I’m trying to remember if I’ve heard Mitt Romney criticized by any of Fox’s pundits since he wrapped up the nomination (well, other than for some quibble about how he is running his campaign). I sometimes wonder if the pundits believe that their well-paid jobs are held at the party’s leisure. I wonder who is really pulling the strings.
Conservatives can easily see that MSNBC is a mouthpiece for the Obama administration. It’s kind of hard to miss. But let’s be honest, folks, Fox News is talking points for the Republican party establishment, with tendentious stories and commentary occasionally “counterbalanced” by the faithful opposition. I put that in quotes because I often find myself disagreeing with both sides of Fox debates. Often they are little more than exercises in triviality, like discussing the color of the wallpaper in a whorehouse. That’s entertainment.
Let’s take a sample topic: spending. Fox constantly offers up pundits and politicians criticizing (rightly so) Obama’s irresponsible spending. However, if you sat down and went through the budget with these people, what you think you’d hear? Social Security- keep it and slightly privatize it. Medicare- same. Defense and anti-terrorism- increase it! The Fed- only a Ron Paul freak cares about that. The federal bureaucracy- downsize it a little but only a crazy fool would question the legitimacy of it all. In other words, you’d find the difference between them and the Obama administration is nearly non-existent when it comes to the vast majority of federal spending.
Has anyone else noticed the latest drumbeat in the Republican presidential primary? All I’ve heard from the media for the last week or two is how it’s all over, Romney is sewing it up, Ron Paul can’t win the general election. What is obviously going on here is a Republican establishment that is alarmed at Ron Paul’s ongoing strength in Iowa. If they can’t head him off at the pass in Iowa, the drumbeat is aimed to create a headwind that will be extremely difficult to overcome in the ensuing states. The establishment want to stunt the momentum of a possible Ron Paul victory in Iowa. They are seeing to it that Romney will win.
I’m not saying that Ron Paul would otherwise win, as I think that is a long shot unless there is an economic collapse soon. It’s just an interesting case study in showing the power of the political establishment to change public opinion quickly. Even conservatives are falling in line behind Mitt “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose” Romney. They apparently prefer the U.S. empire and its endless wars.
I like Ron Paul and agree with nearly all of his positions. He’s the rare man of integrity in politics. However, he’s deficient as a communicator. I hope someone will come after him who will keep asking questions such as why the U.S. needs military bases in over 100 countries, why we as a country have killed way more foreigners in the last 10 years than any other country, why we are spending more on “defense” (“offense” is a more accurate term) than the rest of the world combined, etc.
Planned Parenthood receives huge federal grants through Title X (administered by Health and Human Services) and other avenues such as Title XIX (Medicaid). Republicans tout the Hyde Amendment, which supposedly prohibits federal funding of abortions, but money is fungible in any budget. If the government gives a dollar to Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion family planning, then that’s one less dollar that Planned Parenthood needs to find to meet that budget. Non-targeted monies can then be directed over to abortion-related funding. (Not only that, “family planning” services such as contraception encourage sexual activity and thus create more opportunities for “unwanted” pregancies.)
What happened all those years that Republicans had both houses of Congress and the presidency? Title X funding increased. They could’ve nixed it altogether. They didn’t. (I don’t think George Bush was any more pro-life than Mitt Romney or John McCain, but that’s another matter.)
Ron Paul, who is disliked by much of the pro-life movement, is the only one I know of who advocates ending all entitlement funding. The goal shouldn’t be to put strings on Title X funding, the goal should be to eliminate it. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services should be abolished, too. Not one red cent should go to Planned Parenthood for any purpose. Any libertarian worth his salt would agree. How many Republicans would agree?
I know, I know, it’s not politically feasible to eliminate and abolish stuff in the short term. I’m all for interim steps. However, it’s hard to get to a destination if it isn’t really your goal. Eliminating entitlement funding simply isn’t the goal of most Republicans. Pandering while making as few waves as possible is.
Ron Paul and libertarians in general want to pull out the roots of these noxious weeds, not prune their branches. This is what needs to happen. After all, when you prune a plant, it often grows back stronger.
It’s baffling to see how much conservatives direct fire at Ron Paul on abortion. Ron Paul has been pro-life his entire career. Consistent with his views on federal power, he wants to overturn Roe and send it back to the states. He notes that laws can be passed by Congress to restrict the courts using Article III, section 2.
Let’s not kid ourselves. There is no political support nationally to outlaw abortion. The Republicans did nothing when they held the legislative and executive branches. Tactically, Ron Paul would rather get power out of federal government’s hands. Why isn’t this acceptable? Extending federal power over the abortion issue is every bit as likely (and probably more likely) to work against abortion opponents. Sure, the federal government could one day outlaw abortion (and do so constitutionally), but its track record has been to extend abortion. That’s what it did by judicial fiat in 1973. Federal courts have also overturned modest state restrictions.
Furthermore, the explosion in federal entitlement spending has also been the backbone of the abortion industry in so many ways. Ron Paul is also the lonely voice in Washington who wants to eliminate all entitlement spending.
What’s really amazing is how many conservatives have thrown in their lot with Mitt Romney. Have a listen to “pro-lifer” Mitt Romney from 2002. At best, the guy is a phony.