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Sep 22, 2011

Ron Paul MUst Win

On September 9th Sheldon Richman put up a post, Ron Paul and Immigration: A Speculative Theory, that reminded me very much of some conversations I took part in back when I was very active with the Montgomery County Maryland Libertarian Party. They revolved around the issue, were we a real political party or just a glorified debating society. At the time that was a legitimate question because our candidates had no chance of winning power and gathering 3% of the vote was considered a good outing. It is different with Ron Paul he can and must win the presidency in 2012. He is the only one running who will take us off the road to serfdom before it becomes too late to change our direction without massive suffering or even bloodshed.

However, Richman seems willing to condemn millions of Americans to increasing poverty and perpetual warfare because Ron Paul is not ideologically pure enough to suit his tastes.  At first glance his piece seems to favor immigrants but it really does not. I too favor open borders because I have always had a problem with the notion that someone is a criminal merely for existing in a particular space but I also agree with Ron Paul that economic prosperity relieves the need for scapegoats a role now filled by so called illegal immigrants. All the other candidates are defenders of a status quo which will keep these people despised. Ron Paul is the only one offering real change if you oppose him you also oppose their interests as well.

When I used to work events for the Libertarian Party I gave thousands of Nolan Chart quizzes and occasionally compiled statistics on the answers. By far the question which received the most negative responses was the one on open borders even considerably exceeding the one on legalizing drugs. The human tendency to blame ones problems on others is a very powerful one. Now, Sheldon Richman argues that Paul’s failure to loudly proclaim his support for open borders “doesn’t speak well of the candidate.” He could not be more wrong. First off we do not even know if Paul really supports open borders but even if he does it is much more important to win the election then to make pure rhetorical points. Or, perhaps Ron Paul and I disagree on this particular point, so I should just forgo all of the positive change a Ron Paul presidency would bring?

I would ask Sheldon Richman what is the purpose of your discourse? Is it to discourage people from working for, financing, and voting for Ron Paul? I must say it is very sad for me to see you and so many other libertarians joining the ranks of such defenders of the status quo as Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow. It is very easy to argue that Ron Paul has no chance of winning, as you do in the last line of your post, it provides a convenient excuse for doing nothing and makes you seem smarter than though if that is the way it turns out. However, if you truly believe in human freedom you would use your considerable eloquence and logic to make it more likely that it turns out the out the other way.

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