I really hate to bump such a good post as Ken’s last one from the top of the list (go read it if you haven’t had a chance yet), but I’ve been meaning to say something about this year’s Presidential election for some time now. Tomorrow’s primary day here in California (and about half of the rest of the country), and I for one am looking forward to “throwing my vote away”.
To borrow a phrase from another blogger, last month I went through the motions of changing my political affiliation from “Libertarian” to “that party that lets you vote for Ron Paul in the primaries”. I know that many (if not most) readers of this site will disagree with me on this choice, but I figured I’d be a coward not to give my endorsement to what will probably be the only major-party candidate I’ll see in my lifetime worth voting for.
Now, Ron isn’t perfect, and I do disagree with him strongly on some issues. Immigration for one–as one person put it, immigration laws used to be such that so long as you didn’t have some super-contagious disease, you were welcome–I think that wouldn’t be a bad policy to go back to.
But some differences aside, I agree with Ron that:
- Even with the recent downturn in violence, staying in Iraq isn’t worth the continued costs
- Militarism and military spending are one of the biggest drivers of federal deficit spending today, and that we should bring our troops home from now-obsolete Cold War bases
- That central planning isn’t any better for currency than it is for any other portion of the economy
- That combining militarism, welfare statism, and our monetary policy greatly increases our odds of severely hobbling the economy
- That the executive branch needs to be reigned back in to a more constitutionally sound footing
- That most federal agencies are of rather dubious constitutionality
- That entirely eliminating the personal income tax, and replacing it with nothing but spending cuts, would be very good for the economy and society as a whole
There’s probably other areas we agree on, but for me the big issues of the day are executive power, militarism, and the economic downturn that’s underway (in a large part due to deficit spending, monetary policy, and government intervention).
That said, I do think it’s worth bringing up the whole newsletters issue. I’m sorely disappointed not only by the obvious lack of judgment that this episode brings to light, but also by how Ron Paul’s campaign has handled things. I’m not the vindicative sort that wants to see someone outed and destroyed for stupid stuff they wrote when I was still in Junior High, but I would’ve appreciated a more transparent explanation of how this all happened under his nose, when he found out, what he did about it, and what he’s learned from the whole mess.
I can’t say I’ve been very happy to see the libertarianosphere’s reaction to the issue either. At least according to how sites like Wikipedia define paleolibertarianism, it’s probably the closest match for how I see the world. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been rather embarrassed at the behavior of some of the big paleo sites like LewRockwell.com (which used to be on my list of sites I regularly visited). While there have been some meanspirited stuff from the Reason and Cato sites, many of those so-called “cosmopolitarians” are people who were genuinely interested in Ron Paul before the whole newsletter thing hit the fan. At least as far as people like Radley Balko and Jim Henley (both on my daily read list), I got the feeling that they were sincerely dismayed by this turn of events. Jim sounded downright depressed. I know I was. Anyhow, I think the whole episode has been a rather sad one. With as much mutual hatin’ going on as there has been, you’d think we were talking about the People’s Front of Judea vs. the Judean People’s Front…
Anyhow, all things told, I still can’t see anyone else on either party who even remotely represents my views and concerns. So while I have some reservations, you can still consider this to be my endorsement of Dr No.