Here we have a candidate whose whole platform is limiting the size of government and cutting out the moneyed special interests that are supposed to be the problem with a project, independent of the official campaign, funded by regular Americans contributing as little as $25 dollars, getting no corporate largess, and what is the almost universal response from the campaign finance reform crowd, it is wrong shut it down. They continually rail against the evil influence of the big money boys but their real purpose is to tell ordinary people to shut up and take it. There are thousands upon thousands of reasons to hope Ron Paul wins and one of them is for Trevor Lyman’s sake because I am very much afraid that if anyone else does they will try to put this patriot in jail for daring to speak up.
Ultimately, the campaign finance reform hypocrites want public financing of elections which will entrench the status quo even more thereby benefiting the special interests presently in charge enormously. They want the people who love Ron Paul to be forced at the point of a gun to contribute to the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. Ask yourself this question if we had publicly paid for contests right now would there be any Ron Paul revolution?
First let me say that I admire your work in film especially the movie Bob Roberts. I am writing to you because the moral imperative of our time is to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, prevent war with Iran and change the philosophy behind the bipartisan foreign policy that has led to these disasters, which are killing and maiming innocent people, diminishing our capacity for defense, crushing our civil liberties, and bankrupting this country. It is my belief that you agree with me on this point, so the question is what are we going to do about it?
I want you and everyone else reading this letter to clear their minds for a second and think about an American soldier, maybe your younger brother or a good friend’s son, who is walking down a road in Iraq during the year 2010. Suddenly, a sniper’s bullet, fired by a man whose seven year old sister was ravaged by an American bomb and died in his arms, comes out of nowhere and smashes into the GI’s face, killing him on the spot. When we ask ourselves the most important question of our time, how can we save this man’s life and really concentrate it becomes clear that we only have one viable option.
We must elect the peace candidate, Ron Paul, president or that soldier and a lot of other people are going to die needlessly. He is the only one running in either party, with a chance to win, who has the inclination and the integrity to save those lives. So, I am asking you to, as publicly as you can, register Republican, contribute the maximum to his campaign on December 16th, and vote in your state’s primary for Paul.
Now, I suspect that the idea of becoming a Republican may be repugnant to you. As I have, on Bill Maher’s program, seen and agreed with your righteous anger towards the neocons who now control the GOP. But, I ask you what better way to get even, for all of the misery that they have inflicted on the world, with those prideful misguided destructive people than to take their party away from them and give it to Ron Paul. You see here is the fatal flaw in their system, yes, as you well know, the two parties control power in America but those who have led us down the present path do not now control both of the parties. Anyone can become a Republican, it does not cost a dime, it does not take very much effort, it does not change who you are as a person, and it does not diminish your integrity. At this moment in history, because of Ron Paul, all it does is give you access to power. And, of what importance are party labels compared to that soldier’s life?
You may object that there are Democratic candidates that will act on the moral imperative described and I agree that Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and possibly Bill Richardson would immediately end the war. If I thought Congressman Kucinich had a chance to win and Ron Paul did not then I would be writing to Pat Buchanan asking him to register Democratic but both he and Senator Gravel are treated like pariahs in their own party and Richardson has a very small following too. None of those three have over 76,000 Members in 1,300 Meetup Groups and none of them have raised over 10,800,000 dollars from ordinary citizens so far this quarter, including $4.2 million in one day. Also, they have not inspired the passion among college students, video artists, workers and people from all walks of life, that Ron Paul has. They do not even have their own blimps.
Kucinich, Gravel and Richardson do, however, present a strong contrast to the three front running Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, and John Edwards, on matters of war and foreign policy. None of these leading candidates would commit to having our troops out of Iraq by 2013 or take the option of a nuclear first strike against Iran off the table. Not too long ago Barak Obama was talking about an additional 100,000 soldiers in Iraq and an incursion into Pakistan. Hillary Clinton voted for legislation that many analysts see as a defacto authorization for Bush to go to war with Iran. She also receives more money from the defense industry than any other candidate of either party. This begs the question what are those corporations buying with that money, that soldier’s death perhaps. The Democrats are offering the same choice they did in 2004, not a peace candidate but an I can run the war and the empire better candidate.
Maybe you are thinking that the policy differences in areas other than peace and civil liberties that you have with Ron Paul prohibit you from supporting him. Therefore I urge you with every fiber of my being to understand that areas where you agree with him are by far more consequential than the areas where you disagree. First and foremost, if Naomi Wolf is correct and we are on the brink of losing our democracy then any divergences you have with Paul over public policy will not matter because you will both be told what to do and what to think. Secondly, if Dr. Paul is right and our overseas empire is bankrupting us making the dollar worthless then there will be no money for government to meet its obligations let alone take on new projects to do good.
I have no doubt that you and Ron Paul have profoundly different visions of what government should be doing, however, when you closely analyze the disagreements realistically they are not so much about the role of government but rather what level of government should fulfill that role. My area of expertise is the history of drug prohibition and I have been active in the drug law reform movement for quite some time. It is axiomatic within this lobbying group that the removal of the federal presence from the issue would be a huge step forward, which is precisely what Ron Paul wants to do. Anyone concerned with social justice should welcome a devolution of government because the lower the level of government the more influence you have as an individual.
Though you may disagree with Paul as to method I believe that on issues such as health care and the environment you both have the same basic goals. Do not believe the people who would have you think he is an evil man. Surely, you can cut through their ridiculous smears such as calling him a racist because he voted against using public money for a medal honoring Rosa Parks. He offered to contribute his own funds and just wanted make the point that such legislation goes hand in hand with using taxes to honor those like Richard Nixon as well.
If abortion is a particular sticking point please keep in mind that every president since Roe v. Wade, with the exception of Bill Clinton, has been pro-life yet the law has not changed. The practical effect of electing Paul would be the slight possibility that the issue would revert to the states in a time when the overwhelming majority of the population is pro-choice. I do not believe that there is even one state legislature in this country that would return us to the back alley coat hanger days.
Ron Paul by himself can order the military to withdraw from Iraq, reverse the course of our foreign policy promoting empire, stop the erosion of our civil liberties, and end federal involvement in the war on people who use certain kinds of drugs. He can not by himself outlaw abortion, dismantle the social safety net, or change any state laws.
When the founding fathers talked about the need for a virtuous citizenry they were not talking about people who declined to cheat on their wives or drink or gamble. They spoke of citizens who kept themselves aware of what was really going on around them and acted to preserve liberty for everyone. I am asking you, Tim Robbins, to be virtuous and to do everything you can to get Ron Paul elected. The pollsters and most of the main stream media are lying to us he can win but not without effort and he needs your help.
Now, Johnson uses the qualifier ”rightly understood” to reconcile the differences no doubt finding some philosophical compatibility and I think this reveals the essence of the controversy over libertarian support for Ron Paul. The question is are we going to be concerned about winning a philosophical argument or are we going to be concerned about some American soldier in Iraq being blown up by a roadside bomb in 2010?
The brisk growth of the federal level of government did not change its nature with regard to race. The racist color of many of the Progressive Era arguments is well documented and in her book Farewell to the Party of Lincoln historian Nancy Weiss brilliantly described how the rapid expansion of federal power called the New Deal featured a distribution of benefits characterized by high levels racial discrimination. In addition, as David Beito and Ron Paul have already pointed out, the war on people who use certain kinds of drugs is the most racist institution in modern America and the federal government is the most enthusiastic participant in that endeavor. During my lifetime, a period featuring a very large national presence in everyday life, there has been a constant stream of complaints and lawsuits by black people correctly asserting racial discrimination by a wide variety of federal government departments and agencies.
It is a popular misconception that the federal government freed the slaves. If you believe in the concept of inherent individual rights then there never were any slaves, there were only people whose natural rights were being systematically violated because of the color of their skin. Chattel slavery, by far the most egregious example of racism in American history, could not have existed without the active participation of government. In some areas of the South black people out numbered whites by as much as one hundred to one, so the system would not have been maintained without the kind of organized effort available only from the state. Slaves were sold on public auction blocks and the slave patrol was paid by the county. When Lincoln debated Douglas, on the extension of slavery to the territories and the concept of self determination on the issue, he argued that the point was mute because without the countenance of local government slavery could not survive. Therefore, the Emancipation Proclamation does not represent an expansion of government power to do good but rather a limitation on government power to do bad.
In addition, the JTA discovered that though it is not widespread there is some support for the Ron Paul candidacy within the Jewish community. It includes groups such as Jews For Ron Paul and Zionists For Ron Paul.
Cross posted on The Trebach Report
Hat tip to Kenny Rodgers
Just a note to all presidential candidates (except Ron Paul), college students are smart and open to new ideas. How to run a campaign that targets young people :
1 - Get a clue. People are disgusted with their government. Wake up and realize this, you are part of the problem.
2 - Grow a pair. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't waffle and flip-flop, we don't respect that.
3 - Always tell the truth. If you have a problem with this read number two above. We are sick of lies and we can tell when you are lying, your mouth moves.
4 - Have some new ideas already. 'Stay the course' doesn't cut it... Didn't 2006 teach the Republicans a lesson? Oh, the Democrats are no better because they have done ZERO. Let's have some dialog and ideas shall we?
5 - Never EVER back down. Ron Paul knows this and this is why he 'has a pair' and we respect him even if we don't agree with everything he says.
Fact is, nobody out there (except for Ron Paul) has a clue, has a pair, tells the truth, and has real ideas that he NEVER backs down from. This is why we support him and this is why this election is going to be a huge surprise, especially for Ron Paul (since he will be elected).
I urge all of you students to get a clue, grow a pair, seek truth, listen to new ideas, and when you have found a candidate fight with every fiber of your being to get them elected, especially if that candidate is Ron Paul.
The underlying premise of your piece is that an article five convention would bring about good changes to the Constitution. When I look at the intensely fearful America electorate composed of many compulsive busybodies obsessed with the likes of Paris Hilton and woefully ignorant of civic responsibility, I do not see how your premise is valid. You may argue that it would be the state legislators that would have the most influence but you should remember that most of them aspire to be eventual federal office holders, because of the power and privilege that resides there now. Hopefully, the Ron Paul campaign and presidency will be a significant catalyst for a change in the political sophistication of the citizens in the direction of the founding fathers. After some time, then, the country might be ready for such a convention. Ron Paul is right not to bring it up now.
The statement is remarkably well documented with 128 footnotes and has a thorough discussion of the historical factors, including the role of the United States government, that have created the present situation. The author also makes it clear that he is in no way the only one who has reached similar conclusions. Chief Constable Brunstrom argues that, ”If policy on drugs is in the future to be pragmatic and not moralistic, driven by ethics not dogma, then the current prohibitionist stance will have to be swept away as both unworkable and immoral, to be replaced with an evidence based unified system (specifically including tobacco and alcohol) aimed at minimisation of harms to society. Such a strategy leads inevitably to the legalisation and regulation of all drugs.”
Cross posted on The Trebach Report
Beito might have asked the same question about the inaugural Conservative Leadership Conference straw poll, which Paul also won. He did that with 33% of the vote even though he did not attend the event. Mitt Romney and Duncan Hunter did though, giving major speeches, and they finished with 16% and 15% respectively.
One of the most interesting parts of Ron Paul’s website is the straw poll results section. It reveals that in head to head competition Ron Paul has a winning record against every other candidate. I would like to believe that the reason this success is occurring involves the realization by a significant and growing number of Republican political insiders that if they do not nominate Ron Paul, their party will lose decisively in November 2008. How about this slogan to help more of the GOP’s movers and shakers wake up to that fact; A VOTE FOR ANY CANDIDATE IN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY OTHER THAN RON PAUL IS A VOTE FOR HILARY CLINTON.
Cross posted on The Trebach Report
PS: This part is not on the The Trebach Report because it is too personal. The questioner in the video is a MS patient who states that he is firmly against legalizing marijuana and, frankly, I am getting sick and tired of some of these patients throwing everyone else under the bus. What about the 18 year old kid who is beaten and gang raped in prison because he sold a quarter ounce, as a favor, to a pretty female narc and then would not rat out the person who sold to him, only people in wheelchairs deserve compassion?
Cross posted on The Trebach Report
In it he sheds some light on why it has been so difficult, given the reality of total failure to accomplish any positive results, to achieve reform in this area of public policy by relating an anecdote told to him by Arnold Trebach. Borden writes that it, " can be hard to advance this discussion in circles of power. Arnold commented that at least eight people in US officialdom told him they would be glad to meet with him, they appreciated what he was doing, but they preferred not to meet him in their offices. They wanted to meet at one restaurant or another, where they hopefully would not been seen with him and thereby get in political hot water. That was a long time ago, but it is still the situation in many ways today." He also suggests a course of action by asserting that despite the above, "we do advance -- this organization and newsletter are here, for example, and the movement is growing in diversity and experience and size. Now it's time for the leaders to get real -- drug legalization is viable and it's the right thing to do. So stop demonizing it and start talking about it. Because sometimes leadership means actually leading."
However, there is one passage that really stands out. Lowry writes "The Iraq war was arrived at through the democratic deliberation of the American public, who — this is how it works — get to decide all sort of questions, even if they are not experts or don’t have personal experience with whatever is at issue." I must have slept late on the day of the referendum.