Weaponized Libertarianism: Pragmatists and Dogmatists

Weaponized Libertarianism: Pragmatists, Dogmatists and the Inevitable Fracture within the Ron Paul Movement

The American libertarian movement, “the liberty movement,” has fractured. After Sen. Rand Paul’s endorsement of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, a new fault line was drawn.

What was once considered one movement has, in a sense, become two. One movement is pragmatic, seeking political effectiveness. The other is dogmatic, seeking ideological purity. The pragmatic part sees no point in having an ideology if you can’t advance it in real world terms. For the pragmatists, success is defined by how much American politics becomes more libertarian. For dogmatists, success is defined by how pure one’s libertarianism is.

The pragmatists have embraced, some immediately, some more uncomfortably, the political tactics of Ron Paul’s son, maybe even taking a few notes from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals: They will operate in the world as it is, not the world as they wish it was.

Pragmatists aren’t the type to parade through the front door of a GOP meeting wearing top hats, fishnet clothing or “9/11 Was An Inside Job” tee shirts (most of them aren’t conspiracy theorists anyway). They aren’t going to scream at little old ladies who voted for John McCain in 2008. They realize that condemning other Republicans wholesale as ‘neocons!’ and ‘statists!’ won’t do any good. They realize that yelling won’t win them any new supporters.

The pragmatists are mostly young, energetic, and dedicated. They are willing to work within the GOP and hold open discourse with inner-party opposition. During the Republican Primaries, they would spend their days and nights making voter ID phone calls, conducting research, and canvassing door-to-door.

These volunteers provided organizational muscle that the Paul campaign lacked in 2008. They learned each state’s confusing and varied delegate procedures, and with varying degrees of success, took over a dozen or so Republican state conventions this year. While they won’t have enough delegates to catalyze an upset in Tampa, they’ll still be there, working to reshape the party platform, engaging party members, networking, educating— presenting the case for libertarian ideals.

When it comes to the GOP, the ‘Ron Paul people’ will be there for a long time to come.

While few pragmatists jumped with glee when Rand Paul endorsed Mitt Romney on ‘Hannity,’ some understood it immediately. Others did not, but would later come to understand it.

Rand is working within the GOP, rather than to the side of it, as his father has sometimes done. This makes Rand harder to snipe at, and surely Rick Santorum and company would love the opportunity. Santorum and the Republicans he represents are threatened by the momentum of the Pauls’ libertarian ideas in the party, juxtaposed against the current standard of foreign intervention and theocratic jargon.

Rand will operate on a default basis that is closer to the party line on most issues, except where the party line contradicts his beliefs, as it does on many issues. Sen. Paul’s method is a change in tact for the liberty movement, but it is not a change in how he votes.

Rand’s method will certainly gain more mainstream GOP support for those unconventionally Republican votes (good examples are Sen. Mike Lee joining Rand on trying to bring the troops home from Afghanistan, or Sen. DeMint voting with Rand to defund the Iraq War). Rand explained his methods on ‘The Peter Schiff Show’ earlier this month:

“If we take our cookies and go home, we lose all the hard fought influence that we have within the party. The Romney campaign and everyone else realizes we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with.”

Rand’s endorsement predictably and understandably caused controversy within the liberty movement. It also gave the movement better footing and far more advantages heading to Tampa than we would have had otherwise.

But many made the mistake, again, not unreasonably, that Rand’s endorsement meant he was also endorsing Romney’s policies. Far from it. As Sen. Paul wrote a week after the endorsement at National Review Online:

“I do not yet know if I will find a Romney presidency more acceptable [than Obama] on foreign policy. But I do know that I must oppose the most recent statements made by Mitt Romney in which he says he, as president, could take us to war unilaterally with Iran, without any approval from Congress.”

 

Regardless of this clear bold stance against Romney’s comments, this will never be good enough for the dogmatists. Blanket condemnations and vitriol flooded Sen. Paul’s Facebook page: “Traitor!” “Judas!” “You are not your father!” For many in the movement—no matter the advantages, results, or potential successes for libertarianism that might come with the endorsement—Rand was no longer pure.

In the two weeks since the endorsement alone, Sen. Paul introduced or supported legislation legalizing hemp, eliminating farm subsidies, getting rid of foreign aid, and protecting citizens from TSA abuse. These examples are but the latest in two-year long voting record that many have rightly said is the most libertarian scorecard in the history of the U.S. Senate.

But for the dogmatists, this doesn’t matter. Rand Paul could become president, abolish the Federal Reserve, eliminate the PATRIOT Act, and bring every last troop home—but it wouldn’t matter: Rand Paul endorsed Mitt Romney.

For dogmatists, making libertarian ideas practical policy does not matter. Being 100% pure in one’s philosophy is what matters.

The dogmatists are a varied bunch. Some are self-professed anarchists. Some dedicate themselves to the kind of ‘let’s get arrested’ activism that always ends up the same way—arrest. Hopefully they aren’t wearing Ron Paul shirts when the cuffs come out. Unfortunately, they often are.

Some are Alex Jones acolytes, conspiracy theorists who think ‘Rand has gone to the darkside’. Whenever someone says ‘Ron Paul Supporters are crazy,’ it’s likely they had a run in with one of these more vocal dogmatists.

Dogmatists are not only impeding the progress of the pragmatists, but even their own progress. Their actions hardly ever inspire, but almost always alienate. The neoconservatives believe if we would only fight one more war, we could install democracy abroad. The dogmatists within the liberty movement believe if we just have one more parking lot protest, a libertarian society will become a reality.

There has always been a cognitive dissonance amongst some ‘liberty activists’— many dogmatists want to embrace Ron Paul, and yet cringe at the slightest mention of politics. The more anarchistic of them won’t vote at all, even for Paul, because “voting is aggression.” And yet frequently, many still seek to associate their brand of activism with the Paul name; not conducive to political victory, and not conducive to whatever kind of gains they are seeking. These dogmatists seem to miss the fact that, the elder Paul, while appearing to be the Sir Galahad of politics, is still himself a politician.

And Ron Paul—principled to the core—has always done the political things necessary to remain a member in good standing of the Republican Party, with only one exception.

After massively failing to secure the Presidency in 1988 as a Libertarian Party candidate, Ron returned to the two-party system. He’s been a Republican congressman since 1997. When it is all said and done he will have been a congressman for over 20 years. In the past, he’s endorsed Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who many would crown as ‘enemy of the internet’ for his introduction of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). The elder Paul has done plenty of politicking and maneuvering himself, without compromising his voting record.

This is where both father and son have remained solid, and for those seeking effective, measurable change in the real world—their political example is what matters most. While Rand markets himself as the more conservative of the duo, he continues to take the same stands as his father:

As Sen. Paul explained in his NRO piece:

“I have always done what I believe and I have never been blinded by party. In my time in the United States Senate, I have opposed the USA Patriot Act, voted against the NDAA over indefinite detention, fought to end mandatory minimum drug sentences, and voted against my party’s official budget because it didn’t cut enough spending.”

But this isn’t enough for the dogmatists. For many of them, it will never be enough. The loudest dogmatists continue to broadcast that message.

Adam Kokesh might be one of the most prominent voices in the libertarian dogmatist movement— increasingly, he clashes with the pragmatists. His behavior is a case study in where the dogmatists go wrong. I have some authority to speak on Adam Kokesh; I worked for him as a television writer during his stint at Russia Today in 2011. While that experience warrants another piece entirely (I certainly did not know what I was getting into at the time), what I can say from my experience is simple: Adam Kokesh is an anarchist at heart. He is not a political libertarian, nor is he a conservative of any stripe.  He isn’t interested in working within the system anymore, as evidenced by his continual attacks on Paul campaign operatives.

Like other dogmatists, he’s quick to dole out the “statist!” venom, alienating those who could advance political libertarianism. Kokesh has more recently declared that ‘The liberty movement can’t be co-opted!’ as if to insinuate political operatives who hold libertarian ideals have suddenly ceased holding those ideals.  Most recently, he took a shot at Ron Paul 2012 campaign blogger, Jack Hunter, declaring that he was officially ‘kicking [Jack] out of my movement’. Sorry Adam, it’s not your movement.

The Kokesh of 2012 is not the Kokesh of 2010 though. In 2010, Kokesh put on a suit, worked to attract Tea Party Support,  and tried to garner conservative Republican support for a congressional bid—in other words, Kokesh tried to be pragmatic. He even got the blessing of Paul’s campaign manager Jesse Benton, who he now attacks frequently. Kokesh has pulled a complete 180, throwing condemnations at political operatives for the same kind of pragmatism. At base, it’s the same kind of pragmatism Ron has used throughout his political career.

It wasn’t Benton, or Ron or Rand who’ve given up on pragmatism or “working within the Republican Party” as Dr. Paul puts it.  It was Kokesh.

If Kokesh had won his congressional district, does anyone think he wouldn’t be joining Justin Amash on key votes, campaigning for Thomas Massie and trying to garner as much Republican support for libertarian ideas as possible? Or do you think, as a U.S. Congresman, he would be trying to attack Amash, Rand and any other liberty figure for not seeing things his way 100%?

If you think he would be behaving like he is today, he wouldn’t be a congressman for very long, and thus, once again, proving the dogmatists’ futility in accomplishing anything substantive in American politics. A blunt-force approach won’t bring much change when it’s finesse that’s needed.

Activists of all stripes are entitled to do or say whatever they like. But when actions and rhetoric become counterproductive, it’s a problem. Many in the liberty movement see this clearly. Many, unfortunately, do not, and are completely content with doing more harm than good. Still, they’re “pure.”

Where is that supposed purity advancing libertarianism?

Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitt Romney isn’t going to inspire many to do back flips of joy. But it has helped his standing with the party. The aging evangelical arm of the GOP, with Rick Santorum carrying their banner, would surely love to vilify Rand Paul as a party divider—as they have tried to do with dad. Rand is making it more difficult for neoconservative or establishment opponents to marginalize the liberty movement. Dogmatists only the see the battle happening in their own minds. Rand is taking the battle to his enemies, on their own turf.

The machinations of Capitol Hill are a chess game. Left unchecked, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama clones will occupy every seat. Advocates of small government and libertarianism will need solid men who know how to play chess well. The legislative chess game is not Star Wars and Rand Paul is not at risk of ‘Falling to the Darkside’ for being an effective Republican.

Instead, Rand Paul appears to be doing what this movement needs most: Weaponizing Libertarianism. Libertarian ideas have been around for a long time. Thanks to Ron Paul, they have more support amongst the public than ever before. But who is going to lead? Who is going to take these ideas into the mainstream?

Theory alone cannot do this. A weaponized libertarianism can do this. It is doing this.

Dogmatists who would throw practical strategy under the bus are shortsighted, politically inept, and demonstrate their poor grasp of the battlefield before them. They are doomed to repeat the same mistakes as they have in decades before due to their inability to cope with real world political realities. Having some of them—with their abrasive and counterproductive behavior—gone from the liberty equation will only lend to a more politically viable movement moving forward.

Advocates of effective libertarianism already understand that other than Ron Paul, Rand Paul is the important voice in the liberty movement’s arsenal. Those who don’t understand, or can’t understand, probably never will. And as the Chinese proverb goes, “Those that say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those doing it.”

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23 responses to “Weaponized Libertarianism: Pragmatists and Dogmatists

  • Terry Mcintyre

    Bias much? Seldom have I seen such a clearly one-sided portrayal of a debate. Principles do matter. There are reasons why we opposed and still oppose Romney; he is not a slightly tarnished version of Dr. Ron Paul.

  • Andrew Walker

    Craig writes: “In 2010, Kokesh put on a suit, worked to attract Tea Party Support, and tried to garner conservative Republican support for a congressional bid—in other words, Kokesh tried to be pragmatic. He even got the blessing of Paul’s campaign manager Jesse Benton, who he now attacks frequently.”

    I remember this. If I remember right, Adam took some very conservative policy stands during his campaign that wouldn’t pass the libertarian purity test that he seems to apply to Rand Paul and others today. Maybe he genuinely thinks that what he’s doing now is more effective than what he was doing two years ago. The problem that I see with his current approach is that he is lashing out at people with whom he probably agrees with on 80-90% of the issues. Hardline principle is good, but when that gets distorted into attacking your allies, you just isolate yourself.

    And Terry — I don’t think anyone is saying that Romney is a “slightly tarnished view of Ron Paul.” Rand seems to be designing a strategy and coalition for victory in 2016 — one rooted in pro-liberty principle. Part of that seems to be winning over Republican constituencies that were skeptical of his dad. It’s a different strategy, not an abandonment of principle.

    • Eden

      And the alternative to Obama is? Resistance is fiulte. Money will determine the election this year. Wall street is not backing Obama, which is a good sign. The Republic will prove to you this year that you do not count, nor do your thoughts, or your vote. This is the year that all the electorates of the electoral college, become instant millionaires. Thanks Supreme court. What happens historically when the government fails to represent the people? Who are the people ?

  • Anonymous

    Awesome! Thank you for this well thought out article, It’s inspiring, and leaves me thinking.

    cheers

  • Chris Pacia

    I really wish people would just take a moment to learn their opponents position before they decide to mouth off about them.

    Us “dogmatists” aren’t solely concerned with “ideological purity”. We don’t define success by how ideologically pure we can be.

    Our goal is education of the masses. Only once the number of people in society that believe in liberty reaches a critical mass can any real change take place. Farting around in Congress isn’t going to make a lick of difference. It never has and never will.

    And the idea that the principled message of liberty doesn’t inspire people is an absolute joke. Just look around and see which group is having more success in turning people to libertarianism.

    When was the last time someone said, “That law the libertarians in congress got passed is really working well. Let me take a deeper look at libertarianism.” Oh, right..never. How many people has any of the so-called libertarian think tanks inside the beltway every recruited to libertarianism? How many laws have they influenced?

    The answer is self-evident.

    The “pragmatist” approach is a fools game. Destined for failure.

    This was a terrible article.

  • Cris Hernandez

    In the land of Oz some Strawman just got the stuffing beat out of him by this author.

  • Anonymous

    I am not happy with Rand Paul’s endorsement of Romney, But, anger and villification? That’s too much. Disappointment is the most I can muster.

  • Tim

    i haven’t followed Kokesh much, however, at Porcfest this past week he sounded downright pragmatic when he drew a distinction between himself and those that eschew any support of the political means. He said he supports Ron Paul and voting for such candidates. He also said he would not run for office himself and has been drawn to explore other methods of advancing libertarianism. His talk on Zen Libertarian was a bit underwhelming and left me with the impression he was endorsing some sort of hedonistic outlook. I don’t understand what he has in mind and it seems to contradict the Austrian outlook of falling time preference as a civilizing process. Kokesh also mentioned that he doesn’t read. I don’t think this guy is someone to take to seriously, i was surprised at the influence attributed to him.

    the argument against idealism is a waste of energy. as erroneous as a mind/body duality. Pragmatists wouldn’t exist if not for idealism to inspire and motivate. there is no split, and no single path to liberty.

  • Ted

    Regarding Kokesh, does anyone think it is possible that his views have actually progressed over time? Perhaps Kokesh was not quite an anarcho-capitalist or consistent libertarian yet in 2010; perhaps he was a constitutional conservative much in the strain of a Ron Paul. He appears to be heavily influenced by the Ron Paul movement, as am I. My own views have steepened into the realm of anarcho-capitalism over the last four years. By the end of 2010 my conversion from constitutional conservative to anarcho-capitalist/voluntarist was complete and in the subsequent two years have only grown stronger in my love and knowledge of liberty. Kokesh might have made that same transformation in just a little longer span of time; and is thus not being inconsisent. He may have just been merely ignorant of ancap consistency of principle, and was being consistent and strident with the views that he may have held at the time.

    That is just a thought. But this seems very likely judging from observing his rhetoric and career over the last several years.

    But the author of this article seems to wish to mischaracterize and advance a strawman argument in place of the actual character and arguments of his so-called “dogmatists.” If I may exonerate this misunderstood wing of the libertarian movement, what is important to the “dogmatists” is not “purity” as such, but education, the only actual avenue to the advancement of liberty. The statist avenue ultimately only advances violence, the antithesis of liberty. And should a libertarian congress actually be elected, and then also be able to strike non-libertarian laws from the books, it will only ultimately be because of the education of the masses that occurred beforehand in the message and logic of liberty. Education then election, then libertarian reform; or better yet, education and then the slipping away of the state La Boetie style. But it can only be education first.

    So, stated again, education, and necessarily walking the talk–as to avoid a “do as I say, not as I do” controversy–is what is important to the “dogmatists” as the author calls them. One only runs for office or stays in office to use that office as a vehicle for futher education. It is not likely that any significant change in the status quo will obtain from the pragmatic scuttling of currently unpopular ideas to gain a foothold into a world in which very little will be accomplished towards the ends that we as libertarians share.

    My main gripe with Rand Paul is his desire to be palatable. I am not sure what good to the movement and to the proliferation of ideas, which is the only avenue to obtain our goal of liberty, it is to rhetorically disown the movement and ideas one allegedly serves if the point is to educate those not yet in the movement and to point them to that movement that they might grow intellectually. Pragmatically, it seems to be counterproductive.

    We as libertarians must always be striving to educate and to place the message in more and greater visibile places. Rand Paul could partly fullfil that role, but he is surely not a leader, and so far he has not proven to be the educator anyone had hoped him to be.

  • Derek Spicer

    Education, education, education. I’ve heard that mantra of the dogmatists over and over again. I use to be a dogmatist, so I know what that really means. You complain and spout on your blog, while commenting on other libertarian blogs, talking to other libertarian friends about on minarchy vs. anarchy or other hot topics in the liberty movement, and, in the end, you’ve only managed to convince yourself that you are the more ideologically pure libertarian than your friend.

    My point is dogmatic libertarians, as I use to be, tend to only talk in a circle to other libertarians, which tends to only accomplish mutual ego stroking and confirmation bias.

    Meanwhile the political system, as much as you despise it and wish it would go away, operates around you and manipulates your life. The political system has a much stronger affect on the person you are trying to convert to libertarianism than your 20 page blog article about the dangers of fiat currency. Pragmatists like myself and Craig recognize this by operating within the political system i.e. identify voters, phone bank, precinct walk, etc…We get people with our ideas elected into office where they have a platform to espouse their ideas and with that comes tons and tons of free media. Anytime Rand Paul says something policy related it automatically gets covered and debated by more people. Ron Paul had been talking about auditing the fed for years to no avail. However, when Campaign for Liberty and other Ron Paul groups got libertarians to make phone calls, send letters, and email their congressman/senator to cosponsor the audit the fed bill it became huge…and we didn’t have to educate a single person. All we had to do was to convince these members of Congress that this issue was politically popular and they will sign onto it. All that took was a series of dedicated political activists rallying already converted libertarians to get involved with the system! Then when the issue got huge media attention through the work of these dedicated political activists nonlibertarians started looking into the Fed and who knows how many people were converted to our cause because of the media attention garnered by our pragmatic political activists.

    There is nothing wrong with blogging or chatting with your fellow libertarians about these ideas, but they are not very effective when it comes to creating converts. The idea that if we just educate enough people about a topic it’ll reach critical mass and suddenly happen is a myth. There are many ideas that a vast majority of the population believe should happen, such as reducing/ending subsidies, eliminating taxes, and reducing spending, which don’t happen because of political forces. Even if an idea does become popular you still have to do something about it. You have to identify/mobilize voters, make phone calls, write letters, send in emails, attend town halls, and other political activities to convince those that have more control over your life than they should that there is a penalty for defying your political position and/or a reward for supporting it. If simply trying to educate the populace was very effective we’d be ruling the world by now since that’s what the liberty movement has been doing for the past 100 years. We’ve only been real political activists for the last 4 or 5 years and, as the dogmatist above stated, the results speak for themselves.

    Craig, this is a great article and I support you 100%! You’re the man!

    • Rex

      Supreme Court has ruled that international coororatipns are people that means foreign citizens have more influence on our government than a natural citizen . The Corps have money, access and donate to our representatives with large sums of cash. I’ve noticed that most citizens are puzzled by their representatives ignoring them, and voting against the general public interest Washington no longer serves the citizens interest Banks and International Corps own the government and the armed forces

  • Anonymous

    Dogma!? The dogma is in the collectivist embracement of party politics not at all in the refusal of the liberty folks to endorse Romney.

  • Kathleen Gee

    Thank you for the refreshing dose of clear-headedness. I can’t find anything in your piece with which to disagree.

    Ron Paul has said he wants to advance the idea of individual liberty. And in the next breath, he usually says, “and one way to do that is by winning elections.” I’d say it’s about the only real way to do that.

    As someone who has been politically active for over 20 years — ranging from walking precincts to phone banking to literature drops to booth-manning to envelope-stuffing to letter-writing — I am becoming increasingly fed up with the do-nothing dogmatists’ insistence that no liberty is better than 50% liberty, because 50% isn’t 100%. That’s insane.

    And allow me to correct myself–many of these do-nothings simply refuse to do anything that will lead to winning elections. They’re quite content to do things to alienate potential supporters, do things to discredit the movement and do things to demoralize hard-working volunteers who are actually accomplishing something.

    It does make me wonder how many of the abrasive, in-your-face dogmatists are actually agents provocateurs paid to give the Liberty movement (and Ron Paul’s campaign) a black eye.

  • Anonymous

    I have to admit this well thought out and written article has me backing away from my blanket judgment of Rand’s reversal.

    But 2 facts remain. It is Ron Pauls unyielding devotion to principle that inspired this movement in a way Rand never will.

    Secondly, if I am a political bigshot of some signifigance, how far am I going to trust some guy who bailed on his own father for a guy he not only completely disagrees with, but knows is going to lose?

    Sorry, pricncipled pragmatism reveals a simple truth; the gop is taking another dive, just like 2008, because the bankers that own and operate this country want Obama back. He’s their boy.

    And the annihalation of the American middle class continues unabated.

  • Kevin Kervick

    Is the problem also related to one’s preferred definition of libertarianism? Some appear to use it as synonymous with anarchism.

  • Luke Autry

    Principle is why Ron Paul got popular. It’s also why he rarely got anything done and never made significant inroads in the GOP establishment. If you want to “work” the political process, compromise is the name of the game. I was never mad about or even surprised at Rand Paul’s decision. It was a calculated, strategic move that anyone familiar with politics should expect. Why do you think he announced on Hannity? Rand’s intentions here are as clear as day – to gain influence and credibility in the neo-con/establishment wing of the party.

    There’s a strong argument to be made that political solutions simply don’t work. Libertarianism has been around for a while. I mean, the U.S. was founded on (roughly) libertarian, “minarchist” views. It was supposed to be the smallest, most restricted, and most decentralized government of all time. For a while, it was. Now it’s…the United States, a monstrosity that no one can shake a stick at. If there is “power” to be had, sociopaths will seek it out, and they will twist and distort the laws to serve their own perverted interests. You might succeed at winning an election here and there, “rolling back” government, but there’s no guarantee that one of the many other factions out there won’t make even greater gains. The people promising something for nothing (i.e. stuff for debt) make a far better sales pitch than libertarians can.

    There is also, I think, a very real possibility that libertarians would be blamed for inevitable crashes that occur when they take office. In reality, free market reforms don’t immediately restore the economy. There’s a transition period where things actually suck. Regular, ignorant people don’t care about long-term health of the economy when they’re eating cat food for dinner. They see that someone got elected and that the economy took a dive shortly after.

    If you buy the argument that political solutions have limited effectiveness, or even if you don’t, the “dogmatists” (not really sure if that it’s an appropriate label) essentially argue that initiation of force is immoral. I wouldn’t call it dogma, I’d call it a basic moral principle that all decent people must abide by. It doesn’t matter if you’re a private citizen or a government agent, the morality of your behavior is still bound by that principle.

    Personally, I still vote and I hope that political solutions can work. There’s a nagging voice in my head that says they are temporary solutions at best. If they don’t work, then we’re kind of wasting our time and actually delaying the progress that we’re seeking. We need a moral transformation of society. We need to break the shackles that bind us, not beg our masters for five lashes rather than ten. I’m not saying that there’s a simple path to transformation of society, but drawing a clear line between “moral” and “immoral” behavior is a good start.

  • Rob

    Ron Paul endorsed Lamar Smith in 2010. Where we’re the questions of his principle then? Truth is personal beliefs and principle is different than the methods used to advance them. Rand has a different method, different than Ron and different from what many of us would like in the ideal world. But so what? That does not change what Rand Paul stands for, it does not change his principle one little bit.

  • libertarianbiker

    I agree with the aurthor. Appeasement is best. Neville Chamberlin was right.

  • LibertyBob

    Rand Paul is a good choice if you think Mitt just needs a little fine tuning in order to be a good President. Rand will help to nudge Mitt in some positive directions, and will occasionally have a barely-noticeable impact on Mitt’s direction, in exchange for gutting the effectiveness of the Liberty movement by co-opting it.

    • Sherab

      I just find it amusing that when I post ptiiosve commits about Obama I get sorted comments or irrational speach. When I post negative comments about Ron Paul the same irrational comments. When I poke fun at Romney I get blocked. When I call Romney a liar no one complains. Those that possess any rational thinking understand the real enemy of the people. Those that just took the bail outs, create wars, and want to cut public benefits that we have bargained for in lew of wages. BRAINWASHING

  • Anonymous

    Maybe we need both pragmatists and ideologues. When liberty comes to us, it will be on all fronts. As liberty-minded people we should be able to tolerate all tactics, but we don’t have to endorse all of them. Maybe Ron and Rand are perfect compliments to help drive the movement and education forward.

    • Anonymous

      Great article and I agree. You have got the situation figured out fairly well, and explained better than I could of. I’ve came to the same conclusion the past months myself.

      • Nuray

        Here was my thought: once the freeezr was invented, slaughterhouses moved much closer to where cattle was raised. If someone in New York wants beef, you don’t ship live cattle from Kansas to New York you ship beef. If you are using mass sensitive vehicles like spaceships (or airplanes), you particularly don’t want to ship heavy inedible parts like bones. In the case of spaceships, where travel times might be long, you don’t want to provide life support either, and regardless of travel times, realistic spaceships are going to be particularly mass sensitive. Since mass matters, you sends seeds (or the animal equivalent frozen sperm and eggs, or frozen embroyos. If we’re talking about spaceships, it seems implausible to send food to a planet where you can grow food.And yes, for interstellar voyages, frozen human embryos have often been considered interstellar travel is really hard, and every gram counts.Also: biological advances are often neglected in science fiction, even while vehicular engineering (and even basic physics) advances in leaps and bounds. Anti-matter for fuel, interstellar ramjets, even way-out ideas like wormhole travel and FTL hyperspace travel are commonplace in SF, but artificial-yet-tasty meat or artificial wombs or building a living animal from just DNA code and a 3d printer, well, not so common. Hence livestock on spaceships .

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