Roger Ebert gives his two cents (for what that’s worth these days; thanks Fed!) on the Occupy Wall Street movement, if you care to subject yourself to the inane political views of a mainstream-leftist movie reviewer. What I found interesting was the comic at the end of his article:
I have a PhD in political science, and I can tell you it doesn’t take passing Poli Sci 101 to realize that electoral politics is no way to bring about radical change.
One would think the left-liberals in this country would understand that better than most. Obama was their great Hope-and-Change candidate, an alleged outsider destined to change the way corrupt Washington works, and look how he turned out: Bush 2.0. But I guess the memories of unthinking, incorrigible statists are short — extremely short. Their great self-delusion: If only we can get the right people into power…
Ilya Somin over at The Volokh Conspiracy, it seems, is no more a fan of Ron Paul now than he was four years ago. His criticisms remain about the same. This time around, though, he’s got a candidate to contrast Paul with in Gary Johnson. His conclusion? Johnson is a better libertarian than Paul. My first response to this was laughter. This is my second response:
To start, Somin nearly lost me in his first sentence when he suggested that Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels was even on the radar for libertarians considering voting. If anyone thinks a hypocritical drug warrior, who might be most charitably described as untested on foreign policy issues (and much less charitably described as a propagandist for the Empire), should even be in the running, then they should probably be disqualified from commenting on the question of who the most libertarian candidate is. All that said, we’ll give him the benefit of his doubts about Daniels for now and move onto his criticisms.
Ron Paul’s Unlibertarian Positions?
Somin claims that Ron Paul “has very nonlibertarian positions on free trade, school choice, and especially immigration.” He goes on to criticize Paul’s views on the Fourteenth Amendment. He doesn’t spell these criticisms out in this piece, but rather directs us to an older article from 2007. We’ll take each one by one.
But what we in politics wish to know is whether Mr. Minister X understands his business, whether he has initiative, whether he is informed, whether he steals more than is absolutely necessary, whether he lies more than is publicly beneficial, and so on …
— Eric Voegelin
In other words, just tweak a few things here and there and make sure you get the right politician (read: less evil than most) into office. Then the state will work fine — ordered liberty will be achieved; society and market will flourish; Leviathan will be indefinitely averted.
Paradox: How to achieve this when statist political systems favor the unscrupulous, incentivize their seeking and maintaining office and increasing their power, steadily erode what moral fiber they may have, and make useless or harmful to their political careers any truly important knowledge or skills (such as of economics or how to actually be productive in society).
The total destruction of the Democrats has arrived with Obama. Obama, that great “progressive” has turned out to be quite like his hated predecessor. Indeed, the Obama administration is appealing a recent gay marriage ruling preventing federal government ban on same-sex marriage. Between that, wars, Guantánamo, spying, severe weakening of habeas corpus, new presidential powers, threats of censoring the internet, endless banking and health care corporatism and support of the drug war, the modern Democrat has lost. By now they must either be ignorant of what is going or do not care, or think that Obama is “really trying”. Pu-leez. Vote and cover your ears. Oh hey–this is what Republicans do as well!
The problem, of course, goes beyond the president. Decades of entrenched socialism and fascism (perhaps “corporatism” is a better term), not to mention warmongering, has become the status quo. It is the state that is to blame. And there is only so much a single person can do (no offense “hope” and “change”), which today is very little given the size and complexity of the federal government.
So with that, I just wanted to ask, in a loud and ridiculing tone, “Now WHO looks ridiculous for not voting?” LOL@U, Obama voter.
(Don’t worry. I will mock Republicans soon enough. As it is always with American politics, the worst is yet to come.)