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Ron Paul Revolution Misunderstood

Shirley doesn't get it. She doesn't understand why Ron Paul fans would join the Republican Party for just one year to support him. She doesn't understand how a Revolution can be built without a clear party affilation. And at the rate she's going, she never will get it.

But let me make it really plain for her and the likes of her. Ron Paul supporters have been joining the Republican party because that way we CAN vote for him. I have no love of the current Republican party. It is fascist in my view: overly patriotic and completely sold out. Party membership is a tool, not an allegiance. We did not get him nominated this year, but we got the most support for Ron Paul yet. Every time he runs he gets more. When open minded people hear him speak they realize that he is not a raving lunatic. The media consistently portrays him as a such, but in person he is wonderfully reasonable. People discover that he is a highly moral philosopher. He is not like most politicians. He did not expect to get elected. He ran in order to be heard. And he was, more than ever before.

I come from liberal origins, but I have supported Ron Paul for years. People don't get that either. Both the Democrats and the Republicans have been lobbied, and conquered, by multinational business interests. Our government is a corporatocracy, based on the notion that we are consumers and that an economy based on our lust for houses, cheap plastic shit and entertainment will provide great wealth for those providing it. And it has. The problem with this scenario is that it has no respect for the planet or the species on it, including homo sapiens. It doesn't matter if we live or die, thrive or suffer, as long as we pay.

Ron Paul's proposal to bring our government back down to the minimum function and stop doling out favors to ANYONE may be the only way that we derail this freight train that is our economy. Infinite growth is not sustainable. Nobody else has really faced the fact that our current approach is leading to devastation. Obama knows it but is trying to change it gradually from inside the system. It's very slow going. I don't really want all social services to be eliminated, but at this point, it's a choice between chopping those, or allowing the corruption that runs congress (and sometimes the presidency) to continue spending our tax dough. Starve a few now, or everybody later. So let's take it all away, and deal with the lack of government hand holding. If we can stop our blindly suicidal course of consumerism, painful as it might be, we might survive as a society and as a nation. This is the purpose of the rEVOLution. To save our skins against the wills of those who would gladly bury us for a profit.

I know this is simplistic. It is no more simplistic than Shirley's confusion about our apparent idiocy in not getting more votes in the runup to this election. It's not about votes in one election. It's about the long run. That's the part that can't seem to stick in the minds of the media. This is not really even about America. It's about the Long Emergency.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 12th, 2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
I am curious what changes you see Obama making that trend in the direction of anything you're talking about here. It seems to me that he's rather intent on expanding social spending rather dramatically, giving large numbers of subsidies to crony capitalists, and basically doing virtually everything that the Ron paul revolution is intended to stop and prevent.

Even on environmental issues, it's hard to support his actions, subsidizing venezuelan offshore oil prouction is hardly an action that seems engineered to bring about a carbon balanced world.

I know that you and I have differing views on Obama, Could you perhaps provide me with some insight into what it is that makes you supportive of him?
Jun. 12th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
I don't study politics nearly as hard as you do. My impressions are formed based on taking in a few speeches and statements, and mostly ignoring pundits. My impression of Obama is that he is brilliant and well meaning, but caught in a web of politics that he cannot operate freely from. He is trying to take into account information from a great variety of rival interests, and find a middle road that ensures the lasting vitality of this nation. It's not an easy path to find. Everything he does is carefully calculated to have a number of intended consequences that are largely not foreseen by his party or his enemies. Our situation is far more complex than most in politics or the media approach, and his comments reflect his awareness of this fact. He does want to maintain and extend the safety net--and the extensions that he offers are likely to be more effective than the net that we have already in place. He obviously studies each subject carefully before taking action, and he waits longer than even his supporters want, trying to be sure and find the right moment. I find the media caricatures of him and his goals to be ludicrous. I am impressed with his ability to restrain from self defense, which would be pointless. And I generally believe that we ought to listen to him more, and more carefully, and disregard the comments about him from Republicans who are bent on devastating him, rather than on bettering our situation.
Jun. 12th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
I can understand ignoring the pundits. And I agree that Obama talks a good game a lot of the time. Frequently when I am listening to him discussing issues, I find myself nodding at his description of the problems and their antecedents. Then he gets to the conclusions, and I cannot help but marvel at the cognitive dissonance.

I agree that he wants to extend the safety net, but disagree that the things being done will have that net effect. In fact, there's a great deal of evidence building that they will have relatively near-term and extremely severe negative consequences.

Obama *does* get a lot of flack for things that legitimately are not his fault. There's no meaningful doubt that regardless of who the president was, we'd still be running major deficits at this time. Nor is there any particular way that a president right now could have prevented the continued loss of jobs. So I agree with you that a lot of the pundit and republican bashing is bogus.

What I am not understanding, still, is why, specifically, you think that he's got any interest in reducing corporate power, moving to a more sustainable consumer regime, or doing basically any of the things that you've described here as being important?

Specifically, the healthcare legislation was a *huge* boon to the health insurance and healthcare providers industries, while safeguarding the legal industry's ambulance-chasing, and is unlikely to improve any of the conditions that it was purportedly intended to alleviate. In fact, according to the medicare actuary, not a pundit, but the actual operator of medicare, the PPACA will *tripple* the growth rate of medical spending.


So I am really baffled about why you think what you think. I simply don't understand. I have enough respect for you that I don't think that you'd be proclaiming him brilliant based simply on his cadences or tone, but I am not seeing any correlation between the things that you support, and the things that Obama supports. Can you help me out with that?

I also have to say that I am utterly appalled by his divisiveness. He is *astoundingly* offensive on quite a lot of occasions, and in my view, amazingly thin-skinned.
Jun. 12th, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
LOL, sorry to baffle you. I won't dig through everything I've taken in to provide you with the answers you need. I'm sorry. I'm going based on remarks in speeches early in his presidency. He was struggling with the fact that he had to tow the Democrat line when really he wanted to slap around some big biz. He wasn't allowed to. But he knows what is up.

I have noticed in the last few days of news paper scanning that insurance companies are vying for the position of offering insurance reforms required by the healthcare bill even if it is repealed. Pretty impressive gains from insurance in my view, though I still see health insurance as the problem, not the solution. And for the record, the insurance mandate was not his idea in the least, that was a Republican insertion.

His offensiveness is subjective. He hasn't offended me yet. How does he offend you?

...Likewise, your cognitive dissonance is entirely your own.

I trust that the solutions he offers publicly are only a small (and not necessarily representative) fraction of what is really going on. Anything he attempts to do publicly will be attacked and obstructed (guaranteed), so he must accomplish his best work far from media or political attention.
Jun. 13th, 2012 12:36 am (UTC)
I pretty much agree that insurance is the problem, not the solution for healthcare spending. Insurance is not a good fit in paying for day-to-day expenses, all it does is add a layer of middle men.

The republicans didn't "insert" the individual mandate. They had no say in the construction of the healthcare bill, as demonstrated by the vote counts here.

I think you *might* mean that the republicans offered a few bills in the late 80s/ early 90s that included an individual mandate, but they couldn't get democrat votes for those plans (ironically).

As for Obama opposing the individual mandate, I think that was a political maneuver to woo moderates away from hillary. I can't prove that, but the speed and ease of his conversion, and the aggressiveness with which he has since supported it makes me think that his original opposition was not sincere.

I didn't enjoy being told to "sit at the back of the bus".

I didn't think it was funny to be told "I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking".

I didn't like this "they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

I don't find the "alligator moat" comment presidential.

I don't like the president referring to half the country as "the enemy"

I am offended at this comment "If the Republicans had been around in Christopher Columbus' time, they would have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society."

I can't see how this was intended for anything other than to cause offense, "You got their plan, which is, Let’s have dirtier air, dirtier water, [and] less people with health insurance.”

Thing is, he says vituperative things nearly every time he speaks. I know that you're not offended, you are one of his supporters, but I would like to imagine that the president is president of *america*, not the president of just one party. I can't remember a single time that Bush said *anything* so divisive as the things that Obama says *daily*. I would like you to imagine these things coming out of the mouth of W, and tell me that you wouldn't be irked.

As for my "cognitive dissonance", I would like to point out that virtually nothing Obama has instituted has done the thing it was purported to be for. The healthcare law was *supposed* to reduce costs, but it has increased the growth rate dramatically. His energy policy was supposed to wean us off foreign oil, but our oil importation is up since he took office. His economic policies were supposed to bring us out of recession, and despite 2 years with a filibuster proof majority, 3 years on, we're still in the doldrums. He was supposed to "reduce the deficit by half", and yet it is steadily increasing. Etcetera.

And it isn't as though it's hard to predict, because the problems with his policy are obvious on their face, tightening the regulations *will* cause jobs to go overseas. Laws preventing the movement of capital *will* result in the capital staying where it is. Large spending programs *will* increase the deficit. A moratorium on oil drilling *will* drive prices up. All this is *really* basic stuff. That's why I said "cognitive dissonance, because while I am not as enamoured of his brilliance as you, I don't think that he's *stupid*, so I can't believe that he so consistently does the exact thing that will make the problem worse by *accident*.

Nor am I comfortable with him "working under the radar", because the constitution was set up the way it is for a *reason*, specifically so that the president *can't* do that. How would you like it if W were working *his* agenda this far below political scrutiny?
Jun. 13th, 2012 01:39 am (UTC)
I was never convinced that Shrub had the intelligence to have an agenda of his own. The agenda appeared to be generated by Rove and Cheney. Shrub was the likeable guy in front.

The constitution attempts to regulate government by having three branches that regulate and balance each other. There's nothing (that I know of) that keeps the president or any public figure from using diplomacy to influence public opinion and actions outside the rule of law and presidential dictates.

I hear your dislike and distrust, and it is easy to see how one might arrive there from your list of problems. I guess I don't pay nearly as much attention to Obama as you do. Perhaps that's how he avoids offending me. I thought the clinging comment was right on the money. I didn't vote for him but I have found reasons to respect him. I'm not convinced of all your claims, and have reason to believe the opposite than what you have decided in some cases, but I don't want to haggle about them. I can just let it be. Let history decide in some number of years. Until then it's just one story against another story.

I'm really just a passenger on this freight train of fate. I'd like to see things different than they are.... but they are what they are and one measly little vote or blogger voice is unlikely to make a dent.
Jun. 13th, 2012 01:56 am (UTC)
Disagreement agreed to :)

I didn't know that you were talking about using the bully pulpit to swing opinion or standard issue political horsetrading with the "work far from media or political attention", I agree that those things are part and parcel of the job. That phrase brought to mind "fast and furious", or the "gun control under the radar" type things. Things that he's done that aren't exactly kosher.
Jun. 13th, 2012 02:29 am (UTC)
=-] Thanks for letting it be. I don't know the answers, I'm just watching with fascination as it all unfolds. Perhaps Obama is as evil as you and some of my other friends think. My instinct says otherwise, that is all I can really say about it.
Jun. 13th, 2012 02:42 am (UTC)
Actually, I don't think that Obama is "evil". I think that he believes that he's doing the right things for the right reasons. I just think that he's wrong about an awful lot, and uncomfortably partisan.

Captain planet villains are rare :)

Anyway, it's interesting and good that we can *have* this level of disagreement without either of us winding up getting rude. Nice talking to ya :)
Jun. 13th, 2012 03:08 am (UTC)
LOL we really do disagree about Obama. From the Dem side at least he is not nearly partisan enough. He just won't do what he is told! That's part of what I like about him, that he pisses off his own party.

And yes, I too am grateful to have internet conversations that do not devolve into name calling and insults. I really like hearing about what you think and why, and I can appreciate how your beliefs build around the information that you take in.
Jun. 13th, 2012 03:32 am (UTC)
I honestly don't think that he has the option of not pissing off the hard left. He *does* have to work within the system, and the Republican house does have the sole power of impeachment. Honestly, I think that he is riding that line rather closely in attempting to keep the hard left happy. It kinda seems to me as though a lot of people (on both sides) have a *vastly* exagerated idea of the powers of the presidency.

I know that a lot of democrats are *highly* upset that Guantanamo is still open, and that's the most understandable of the criticisms, but he did legitimately explore every option for closing it. This is one of those areas where I don't feel that he was prepared for the actual job of presidency, I think that he had some ideological ideas that were not ultimately correct about the situation. And now he can't just come out and say "no, Shrub was right, these really are terrible terrible people", imagine the howling *that* would kick up!

I think that a lot of the problems that people on both sides have with him are in that vein. I don't think that the economy is his fault, It's an artifact of china development and our culture having been so wealthy for so long. I don't think that he's responsible for our continued presence in Afghanistan, that war was unwinnable. I don't think that he's to blame for the deficits, the political situation makes *both* of the things that could reduce it impossible. So yeah, I think he gets a lot of flack he really doesn't deserve. President is a tough gig.
Jun. 12th, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
Jun. 12th, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC)
I appreciate this, immensly. I'd like to offer an observation--though your mileage may vary. While this critique acknowledges the government/corporate overlap in a a general sense, it seems that conservatives vilify government and unions, while liberals villify corporations. While these organizations certainly have salient differences, they have something in common, hence why we call them "organizations": they are complex organizations, and by their nature lack sufficient feedback loops on the personal level so that activities, and the causes and effects of those activities can be monitored. Perhaps it's worth thinking about thinking about talking about whether complex organizations have inherently human toxic characteristics that are the "root cause" of our objections expressed politically. What's causing us to overlook the common thread I describe here is our tendency to be tribal. It is over-riding realistic observations.
Jun. 12th, 2012 07:53 pm (UTC)
You are absolutely correct. I agree that we humans are fundamentally tribal, and that overextended tribal allegiance is at the root of our society-wide problems. Any org large enough to permit individual humans to evade personal responsibility has the potential to contribute to mass confusion and destructive action.

I don't mean to attack corporations in general, but rather to specify the giant multinationals that manipulate many governments, not just our own. I intend to incorporate my own business. It is indeed the size of the biz and the degree of removal from face to face honesty that allows such bad behavior.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )



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