The Lonely Goatherd Blog And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats - Matthew 25:32
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May 06, 2008
My Libertarian Blues and Ron Paul in Disgrace (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Hillary Clinton) There's always trouble in the land, but all in all I personally feel pretty good about the future of America and the world at large. The country's doing ok, and we'll muddle through well enough whether we elect the giant douche or the turd sandwich.
But I'm not feeling near so good about my Libertarian Party, Ron Paul and the whole reputation that they are earning for the broader libertarian movement. Foolish blind ideological dogma has increasingly made us look like kooks with minimal connection to reality.
For starters, Ron Paul is a goddam disgrace. I voted for him in 1988 with the LP, but I was done with the thought of voting for him in the first debate of the 2008 contest where he uttered the word "blowback." It would be absolutely unacceptable to have a person talking such as the POTUS, for it would utterly destroy our credibility to even pretend to have a right to protect ourselves. It would amount to giving jihadists what Ayn Rand would call "the sanction of the victim."
Paul partisans would argue that it's not really that at all, that it's equivalent to explaining the motivation of a killer - not saying that they're right. College boys can parse that out to make it fall on the right side of the line. But that's just not going to matter. Al Qaeda will be not unreasonably saying, "Hey, your own president says 'They're over here because we're over there.'"
Policy aside, Ron Paul is a major personal disgrace. First, there are these really awful newsletters that Paul has published under various names over at least 30 years. I'd ignored passing mentions of such things until James Kirchik at The New Republic went to the effort of searching obscure university libraries and such to document the true depravity of this stuff that Ron Paul was putting out in his name. Not one or two little politically incorrect cracks, but really ugly white trash bigotry mixed with ugly conspiracy. I was particularly unimpressed with his 1994 Survival Report on "AIDS Dementia" which speculated among other things that gays don't really mind getting AIDS because they enjoy the attention they get for being sick.
I've been told not to talk, but these stooges don't scare me. Threats or no threats, I've laid bare the coming race war in our big cities. The federal-homosexual cover-up on AIDS (my training as a physician helps me see through this one.) The Bohemian Grove--perverted, pagan playground of the powerful. Skull & Bones: the demonic fraternity that includes George Bush and leftist Senator John Kerry, Congress's Mr. New Money. The Israeli lobby, which plays Congress like a cheap harmonica.
Confronted with these newsletters, Paul not only denied authorship but claimed that he didn't know who actually authored these variously named publications owned and/or licensed by him. (Likely speculation would attribute some of this to Paul's longtime associate and one time staff member Lew Rockwell.) Why, he didn't know about these very many hugely awful things he was putting out. So besides the ugliness of these years of writing, add on that he's lying through his supposedly good Christian teeth.
Now for something not completely different, but more recent: Ron Paul has given endorsement to the infamous John Birch Society. "The John Birch Society is a great patriotic organization featuring an educational program solidly based on constitutional principles. I congratulate the Society in this, its 50th year. I wish them continued success and endorse their untiring efforts to foster 'less government, more responsibility - and with God's help - a better world.'" He has agreed to be keynote speaker for the Birchers 50th anniversary conference this coming October.
The Birchers are probably the most infamous cheesy fringe conspiracy kook group in American history, founded in 1958 partly to promote the belief that President Eisenhower was a Soviet agent. The first and most important thing that William F Buckley did as an early founder of the modern American conservative movement was to run these ugly JBS characters out of the conservative movement.
Now here's Paul wanting to recruit and identify them as "libertarians." Oh, HELL no. I have absolutely no desire to affiliate with hateful anti-semitic conspiracy theorists, and I certainly don't want people associating my beliefs with theirs. The Birchers can have Ron Paul, cause I wouldn't vote for him for dog catcher.
But these Birchers aren't any worse than some of the people already prominent in the Libertarian Party. For starters, we've got some 9/11 truthers. Jim Duensing, founder of Libertarians for Justice, is chairman of the Nevada state party. I saw some of his family at our local Indiana Libertarian Party convention in April participating in a workshop on recruiting new members. He was of course encouraging us to seek out members among the 9/11 truth community.
Yeah, that's JUST the retards I want representing for me. Way to boost your credibility with the public. We absolutely do not need members that bad. These conspiracy mongering idiots absolutely do not represent any idea of libertarian philosophy as I understand and believe such things.
Then there is the presidential candidate lineup I was eyeballing in Indy. Actually, I was somewhat partway impressed with latecomer member Senator Mike Gravel. I suspect that if you grilled him good, he's got some substantial libertarian deviationism in the direction of believing in government social programs. I suppose I could live with that. But even he has apparently signed on to Duensing group.
Former Republican Bob Barr (who was not at our Indy convention) is the most likely candidate, thankfully having re-thought his former fierce commitment to the drug war nonsense. But he's also recanted his vote authorizing the Iraq war. That might be a change of heart, but unfortunately apparently at this point you can't be any kind of hawk and seek the Libertarian presidential nomination.
But his top competition for the nomination and favorite of many long time activists is Mary Ruwart. She's been in the party forever, and is known for a 1992 book Healing Our World: The Other Piece of the Puzzle. Watching her and talking to her at the Indianapolis convention, she seemed like a very nice well-preserved 50-something grandmother.
But she's definitely out on the ideological debate society tip, leading her into seriously bad juju, most obviously some faux-philosophical foolishness that somehow leads her to defending the right of children to engage in prostitution and child pornography. In her book Short Answers to the Tough Questions, Mary Ruwart says
Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it's distasteful to us personally. Some children will make poor choices just as some adults do in smoking and drinking to excess. When we outlaw child pornography, the prices paid for child performers rise, increasing the incentives for parents to use children against their will.
To even start to think that a six year old would have capacity to understand such choices or that this wouldn't simply be license for adult abuse is just ridiculous ideologically blinkered stupidity. But in Indianapolis, she didn't back off from this an inch. I tried nicely to get a preferred term for her position. Would you say you favor "legalisation" of child pornography, or "decriminalization"? The only thing I could get out of her with repeated friendly questions was "not banning." She said that to me at least six times.
But at that, she's got juice in the party. For starters, in the multi-pick Indiana Libertarian presidential straw poll she got 19 votes to Barr's 22. I love my Indiana LP people with my whole black heart, and they're about the most sensible, pragmatic and successful state party. But even here amongst (relatively) sensible Hoosiers, she's a top-tier candidate for the presidential nomination. Do you really want to get branded as the pro-kiddie porn party? Are you out your goddam minds?
More than that though, she swings a big enough stick in the party to run the executive director of the national party out of his job for putting out a press release noting that the party does oppose child pornography.
Shane Cory has resigned as exectuive director of the Libertarian Party, which issued a press release with three top LP officials praising Cory's service to the party.
Cory's exit comes in wake of an internal party uproar surrounding longtime Libertarian activist Mary Ruwart, who is seeking the LP presidential nomination, after it was reported that a passage in a book she wrote in 1999 appeared to defend child pornography. This prompted Cory, who had been the Libertarian executive director since 2005, to issue an official LP press release clarifying that the party opposes child pornography. Ruwart's supporters and others in the party's "left-libertarian" wing responded by accusing Cory of attempting to sabotage her presidential campaign and being a "lackey for Bob Barr," who is considered Ruwart's chief rival for the LP nomination.
Jumpin' Jebus on a pogo stick, what rational reality-based individual would want anything to do with the Birchers, 9/11 truthers and defenders of kiddie porn? I'm not really digging on the big government stands of Democrats, but compared to this supposedly "libertarian" nonsense even Barack Hussein Jeremiah Wright Obama starts looking good.
But that's not what I came to talk about. I'm here to talk about our Indiana primary election. As I type, it's rolling over into primary morning May 2008 here in the Hoosier hills. This is the only time pretty much ever that anyone has given a rat's patoot about Indiana's presidential primary vote all the way out in May.
What's a half-sensible libertarian to do? As an expression of disgust with Ron Paul, some months ago I said that I'd vote for Hillary Clinton before I'd vote for Ron Paul. That is, I'd vote for even a frickin' lying cutthroat CLINTON before I'd vote for Paul. I was saying that facetiously.
But what's really messed up is when your facetious thoughts start sounding reasonable. Hillary's not some Bircher idiot tilting at windmills. At least Hillary is worldly and serious enough to know that the country actually does have to be defended, however better or worse she would do than Bush. We'll muddle our way through the rolling bankruptcy of the welfare state.
I swear to Ayn Rand and Ann Coulter I'm going to go out in a few hours and cast a ballot for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Partly that is a gesture of my contempt for Ron Paul, much as was my 1988 primary vote for Pat Robertson over Vice-President Bush. Plus, if in fact the country is determined to elect a Democrat, I would quite sincerely prefer her over friend-of-the-Weather-Underground Barack. Truly, this giant douche is substantially preferable to this turd sandwich from the Trinity United Church of Christ. And even the most liberal member of the United States Senate is preferable to the John Birch Society or the NAMBLA candidate. Hey, Ann Coulter, Al Barger and Richard Mellon Scaife can't ALL be wrong in supporting Hillary.
Fortunately, there's a lot more to the country than whatever jackleg weasels grease their way to the top. Remember, if you don't see the fnords, they can't eat you. Don't worry about the government.