Friday, September 14, 2007

Careful what we wish for?

There is a definite plus to Dr. Ron Paul's candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination; he is getting part of the Libertarian message out to a large segment of the voting public--substantially more than he did as a Libertarian Presidential Candidate in 1988. He is making his point on the Libertarian principles of non-initiation of force, the unconstitutionality of the Federal Income Tax, and the need to repeal the IRS, the need for smaller government, and the importance of free market capitalism in keeping our economy healthy. Every Libertarian, and most conservatives, agree that the United Nations is a useless, and needless entity that we, as a sovereign nation could do without. Dr. Paul has been very articulate on this subject.
I am certain that, given the opportunity, Ron Paul would make a statement declaring that all Federal lands and mineral rights should be sold to private ownership, where the decision on whether or not to drill for oil, cut timber, grow crops of the owner's choice, raise livestock, etc, is up to the owner of the property.
It would be good for us, the Libertarians, if Dr. Paul would address some other issues. We would be happy to hear him explain that the government has no right to legislate individual moral decisions, such as the personal choice of abortion, or to choose or not choose to consume or participate in marijuana, prostitution, gambling, alcohol, or other "vices" that should be a matter of personal responsibility. Of course, we know that in the Texas State Legislature, and in Congress, that Dr. Paul has voted for laws that would prosecute physicians who perform abortions, and his silence on the issue of prohibition is absolutely deafening.
Dr. Paul has also failed to address the participation of the AMA in the act of persuading legislators to limit individual rights, and the support that organization has expressed for "universal" health care. Being the politician he is, and owing his chosen vocation to the AMA, we can't expect that he would say much to criticise that organization.

Where are the solutions? It's easy to argue that open borders would eventually even out the world economy, provided that there is still a way to prevent the smuggling of weapons that could be used against the citizens of a country. An open border can not be a one way portal--in order for a border to be genuinely open, it has to go both ways. We should, for instance, just as easily be able to get a job with competitive wages in Mexico as it is for someone in Mexico to come here and get a desirable job. Ron Paul, or any other candidate for that matter, would do well to venture a proposal on how to create borders that are truly open.
The debate over how we got to Iraq has been discussed ad naseum. That discussion does not address the question of how do we fix it. Every scenario projected for the region in the event of a precipitous withdrawal of US military forces includes the genocide of Iraqi Sunnis and a large scale war between Farsi and Arab. Nuclear holocaust is another situation that could happen, if Israel sees a need to protect itself by green glassing the entire region. Ron Paul's solution is to "let it happen," but there are no other candidates who have any solution at all.
The problem here is, there can be no economy in any nation without energy, and, for at least the next twenty years, Mid East oil is a very important energy source. The Wahadi Fundamentalist Caliphate of Mesopotamia, envisioned by Bin Ladin and others, would not allow the trade of oil to any other nation, including Islamic nations, that does not subscribe to Wahadi Fundamentalism. The Mesopotamian Caliphate would detrimentally effect the economy of every nation in the world.
Any large scale war in the region would undoubtedly result in the closure of the Straits of Hormuz. This is an important sea lane necessary for trade not only for oil, but for technological and other goods important to the world economy. China has already declared that it would be military involved in the prevention of closure of that important trade route. Again, in this scenario all that can happen is an escalation of hostilities.
The bottom line here is that no other nation in the world would trust the United States as a trading partner if this country were responsible, by negligence, for either a large scale genocide, or a larger scale war over trade routes and energy.
Libertarian philosophy is a good thing if it can be applied in a practical manner. In order to be practical, it needs to be applied universally. This can happen, but not with an isolationist attitude. The entire world is not going to become Libertarian simultaneously, so Ron Paul, and his supporters, should keep this in mind.
The big minus is the answer to the question "what if Ron Paul won the Republican nomination?" The electorate tends to vote for what it knows, rather than for the unknown. A victory for Dr. Paul in the nomination race, would mean a victory for the Democratic Party in the presidential race. The American public is not ready to accept the entire Libertarian agenda, and would rather have double digit unemployment figures and socialized medicine than the prosperity Libertarianism promises. In the long run, the economic ruin that would be caused by a Democratic administration, coupled with a Democratic Congress, would create enough backlash to make Libertarianism the next logical step, but that same backlash could also translate to more of "they can't win, so don't bother voting for them." As Libertarians, concerning Ron Paul as a Republican candidate, we need to be careful what we wish for.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Peace and true national security (Ron Paul) will beat protracted invovlement in unnecessary war (all Republican and Democratic candidates at this time) every single time.

And in comparison to the other issues you raise, your wars and the foreign policy they come from is by far the biggest financial and moral drain on your federal government (and your country).