View Full Version : Ron Paul or antiwar.com? - Wendy McElroy

08-18-2007, 11:04 AM
Wendy is the only prominent libertarian/anarchist out there,who is willing to help me build an anti-Ron Paul movement,to counter all of the Kool-aid drinkers.She has a lot of obligations,though.It may be a little slow getting started.In the meantime,here's the newest editorial off her blog.

on Paul or antiwar.com?
Like other libertarians, I am stirred by Ron Paul's anti-war rhetoric even though I know it will not be translated into action because Paul will cease to be of significance after he is eliminated (as he will be) in the Republican primary. At that point, the millions of dollars as well as the incalculable time and energy that libertarians have donated to elect this right-wing religious conservative will disappear down the drain. If you are supporting Ron Paul because of his anti-war stance, may I make a suggestion? Support the truly libertarian antiwar.com instead; this remarkable site is always desperate for donations. For years, the site has been an acknowledged and courageous leader in the broader antiwar movement, making people of other ideologies more receptive to libertarian principles and politics because they respect the commitment and damned hard work performed by the site. Unlike with Paul, your contribution will not disappear. Antiwar.com's archives and features only grow with time; its value as a resource increases with each passing day. If you care about ending the war in Iraq, please do not divert money to Ron Paul when it could be used so well by genuine libertarians who have a proven record of making a difference.

Remember: Ron Paul supported war in Iraq (and Kosovo, for that matter) as long as there was an official declaration; he argued this position in Congress. At that same time he asked for an official war, antiwar.com cried out against any war. I don't know if Paul is currently sincere in his antiwar rhetoric or merely an astute politician who knows there is hunger out there for peace...but I do know and trust antiwar.com.

From the preceding, readers might assume that I argue against PaulBearing because support for Ron Paul diverts money/time from causes and activities that have a lasting impact rather than one that evaporates after the faux-euphoria of political campaigning. While I do make this objection, I have several other reasons.

1) the libertarian support for Paul -- a candidate who cannot win because the Republicans will not nominate him -- effectively guarantees that a real libertarian candidate who actually voices libertarianism will not be heard. Yes, but an LP candidate has no chance of winning, you say? Well neither does Paul. I do not support the LP because I think electoral politics is part of society's problems not part of the solution, nevertheless, I do not dismiss the possibility that a principled LP candidate may be able to educate or raise awareness. That's always been the LP's strongest argument. But, now, instead of a libertarian candidate who cannot win, libertarians are choosing to back a right wing conservative who cannot win. Libertarians are not even saying "put MY guy in office"; they are crying out "put THEIR guy in office because he says some of the right things". The stance doesn't make sense even to a pro-voting libertarian.

2) by so wildly embracing a politician as their "savior," hardline libertarians are abandoning the skepticism with which freedom-loving people must always view those who wish to assume power over the lives of others. What do they say to "power corrupts"? Maybe so, but not OUR guy? Where is the critical analysis of the terrible policies advocated by Paul, such as the use of eminent domain to facilitate the construction of wall across the US-Mexico border? For that matter, where is the libertarian objection to that construction of Fortress America? It has been lost in the applause being rendered to this evangelical religious conservative who seeks power.

3) in the frenzy that is political campaigning, libertarians are abandoning resources that have been valuable in spreading the ideas of liberty. The most recent example is the decision of LewRockwell.com to relinquish its tax-exempt status in order to advocate for Ron Paul. I differ with LRC on several important issues but I value highly the site's past contributions; especially with the economic downturn, I do not believe LRC will be able to sustain itself. I'd hate to see it die or wither...for one thing, it is one of the last living expressions of Murray Rothbard within the movement.

I could go on...but the foregoing objections do not touch upon my main argument against PaulBearing. That argument: along with some fine statements about war and the free market, Paul advocates policies that are as dangerous to personal freedom as I've ever heard.

More on this as I find time to blog...