Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A question for libertarians who promote Ron Paul to non-libertarians

How many of you were enthusiastic supporters of Ralph Nader in the last few election cycles because he was "consistent", anti-war, and an opponent of the drug war?


  1. None; libertarian doves don't see a clear choice between a dovish socialist and a compassionate conservative. But we'll argue for Paul because he's clearly better than Opapa.

    Channeling Matt Welch, it's amazing that liberals unthinkingly dismiss Paul when the biggest problems they had with Bush involved war, contractors, careless bombings, Patriot Act stuff where Opapa is as bad. Nobody called Bush Bushitler because of the tax cut. Liberals "should" be conflicted.

    1. First -
      I think the point applies better to liberals who were anti-war than liberals who were anti-Iraq-War. I was involved in protests of the Iraq War and felt strongly about that. I didn't vote in 2004 precisely because on that point there wasn't much difference between Kerry and Bush. There was a difference between Obama and McCain. The fact that I opposed the Iraq war does not translate into that I think Ron Paul has a sound foreign policy. I think this is true of a lot liberals too. But I agree that this applies to liberals who are anti-war in general. That's a much smaller group, I think.

      I also don't think a lot of us would agree with you that "Obama is as bad" - partly because you seem to think it was just "war" in general that bothers people. It wasn't.

      Second -
      re: "libertarian doves don't see a clear choice between a dovish socialist and a compassionate conservative". And this is exactly my point. One good policy doesn't make people support someone if he's got a lot of other bad policies. If you all are scratching your heads over why more liberals don't support Ron Paul than you think would make sense, ask yourself why libertarians didn't come out in force for Nader.

      Third -
      What evidence do you have that people are "unthinkingly" dismissing him? What would you say if I said you all were "unthinkingly" supporting him?

    2. He's 76 years old. That's too old. That's all I needed to think about.

    3. "If you all are scratching your heads over why more liberals don't support Ron Paul than you think would make sense, ask yourself why libertarians didn't come out in force for Nader."

      Note the quotes around "should." I'm not scratching my head. Most liberals will support or yawn about any government atrocity by their team in the interest of moving the ball toward state-enforced equality and monopsony medical care. That is the real lib agenda and the reason why libs don't care what Obama does regarding drones or the police state. Glenn Greenwald excepted.

    4. Oh yes - overlooking any atrocity in the interest of ushering socialized medicine.

      You've really nailed them, meh! Brilliant!

    5. Most of my comrade citizens in Seattle love our statue of Lenin and defend or yawn about Cuba's policies for its doctors abroad. They idealize communism and consider it a correctable fault that humans haven't embraced it.

      I'm not claiming that most liberals are only obssessed with monopsony medicine; they also want governments to tax Nader-style (rape capital) and make all people wealthier than average at gunpoint.

      But there's not much energy left for caring about Opapa's promised end to medical marijuana raids, Patriot Act extension, or droning across the middle east.

    6. Have you READ the Greenwald pieces? It's fucking devastating.

    7. I've read every Greenwald piece anyone has ever linked me to. Don't abuse that - I may stop that policy if I get a flood of links.

      I find him to be extremely deceptive, casually implying crimes without offering details so people who don't know any better assume a lot about what's been done on Greenwald's say so. One thing I can say for Greenwald is that he links to a lot of his critics. They provide a lot of details on what Greenwald gets wrong, which is something I've posted and commented on several times too.

      Greenwald is a talented writer, and he gets a lot of people that way. I've never been particularly impressed with him, though.

      He's probably motivated by pure intentions - I don't mean to question that.

    8. Is this about libertarians trying to sell Paul to you or to the average liberal?

      I don't really see you as a liberal, but as a proto-policy-elite. You want a life separated from the low-IQ where you can be paid to prescribe policy to Chelsea Clinton and contribute to the advancement of the science of economics........... ha!

      For most liberals, Greenwald's critiques were relevant and on target until the instant Bushitler was gone.

  2. As an ex-libertarian who is mildly enthusiastic about Paul, this question really isn't for me, but... I was very happy Nader was running and getting his ideas out there. I don't think Paul has any chance of winning, which is why I can unreservedly hope he does very well: (almost) anything that shakes up the consensus is good right now, I believe. (OK, not a neo-Nazi revival or a Stalinist front, but anything like Nader or Paul, I'm all for.)

  3. "If you all are scratching your heads over why more liberals don't support Ron Paul..."

    I'm not scratching my head (although I am somewhat ambivalent about the term 'libertarian').

    Also, one thing to keep in mind is that popular national politics, especially popular presidential politics, is just as much about personal identity and cultural recognition than it is about supporting consistent platforms or policies.

  4. We can appreciate Ralph Nader. It is false to say that libertarians do not praise Nader for his consistency, anti drug war, etc etc. For example, Judge Napolitano has considered Nader a big influence on him several times. Paul likes Nader also and Nader likes Paul. I think dismissing Nader because of his economic views is missing the point of libertarianism, for that is only one aspect of Libertarianism. If a libertarian is to dismiss Nader on his economic views, then by the same token, that same libertarian should dismiss the left anarchist influences, like Ben Tucker, Lysander Spooner, etc etc.

    1. That's good for you, but do you think a lot of libertarians agree with you? Do you think a lot supported him in previous elections?


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