Pride is an ugly thing. One of the biggest problems with pride is that it leads us to reject things that we know nothing about. Take Bill O’Reilly, for example, in being unable to understand the economics Ron Paul is professing, and rejecting him out of hand in spite(or because?):
A policy to govern a nation is not something that can or should fit into a 30-second tagline, no matter the aspect of society being examined. Dr. Paul’s views, which I happen to agree with very much, are not conducive to short explanation. Where the ease of whipping up the crowd into a frenzy has grown in the face of modern politics with the utterance of a few simple lines, how can Paul expect to compete? We are a nation that values entertainment over education, and our attention span is such that it is no wonder Ron Paul’s ideas are not given credit on tv. Not even an anchor will take the time to figure out what the views are, how could an average viewer do more? I am not bothered by the entertaining-ourselves-to-death mentality nearly as much as the mainstream media, in this case Fox, who do not even take the time to understand the issues they are presenting, and then turn their back to rational explanations with their fingers in their ears “Naa-naa naa-naa-naa, I can’t hear you!” The economic failure of America, when it comes, will lie just as evenly on the backs of the media as it is on the politicians’.
One more thing. The consistency of Republicanism seems to have all but evaporated. What one consisted of small government principles now is a framework of nonsense in some respects. Big government is okay when we are bombing other countries, which is neither fiscally or morally responsible. Big government is okay when we are searching people’s computers without warrants and when we are furthering the reach of the police, security forces, and politicians, all of which should be immune to the rule of law. At least on the Democrat’s side, the motivation of having big government programs is to care for the poor. Fear seems to be the only thing that will wake up a Republican today, and the fear is always of some ghoul or fog that has not yet materialized; the plans created being totally absent nuanced reflection. Mention the words “gay” or “Muslim” around a Republican (who is probably a Christian, by the way, but picks and chooses what he should believe about human dignity and all that when it suits him), and you are liable to get a lesson on the immorality of the first while proclaiming that all of the second need to either be tested to see if they can stay in the country or killed if they espouse a version of the religion that allows their recruitment when we bomb their people to skyrocket. The inconsistencies glare, and often seems to be only knee-jerk, an automatic response of any Democrat’s most recent statement. Democrats don’t like something? We Republicans DO now! Democrats like that something now? OH; We Republicans don’t like that any more. Honestly. Where is the principle? I am also confused as to how a Republican would come up with that which they should believe, since I can’t really see a theme to their political world today. Do you have to watch Fox to know what you believe when a new issue comes up (“War is holy, this I know, because Ann Coulter tells me so”)? We all know how Democrats decide things by just getting out their emotional thermometer without having to know any facts. Think it is sad that people are poor? Let’s try to fix it, even though we don’t fully grasp the issue. Easy enough to understand how dumb you’ve gotta be to engage in those thoughts. But Republicans? Is it really just the opposite of Democrats? I can’t tell any more. For a libertarian, you look at the issue and say, “is there a better way to do this without the coercive force of the government?” If no, let the government do it. (Only two things have I consistently heard knockdown justifications for government coercion: defense of persons from immanent harm and resolution of disputes over contracts and torts) If yes, it should be in the private market. Granted that is a very simple way of explaining how I analyze issues, that is at least a very basic approach. What can it possibly be for Republicans? How can they be outraged at Guantanamo Bay, War with Libya, or a president being above the law now? Really though, I want to know. Can someone please explain it to me?…
Here is a column discussing the nuance of what Paul said about marriage. The economics are for another day.
Rant over. How about we learn a bit about pride, glory, commitment to truth, and a little bit of economics, as Lew Rockwell speaks of Luwig von Mises (one of the main two men responsible for the way Ron Paul thinks) in your lecture of the week?
Ron Paul may not see glory in this election cycle. In fact, after watching the debate (almost all of which except Paul’s answers being a complete waste of time), I am thinking more and more that it is impossible for him to win even a primary, unless people are willing to learn more about his stances than he can fit into 30 second snippets. But men like him, as this lecture explains, men of principle and deep thought who fight against the river of mainstream thought, and up having something far more powerful than the presidency: the staying power of truth. How many people’s passions will be ignited in 100 years for the ideas of Obama or Bush when their faces are only portraits in history books? I can venture a guess and say very very few. It is the ideas of men like Paul, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, Bastiat, and Rockwell, who stick to their guns despite the juvenile laughter of those who make no attempts to grasp the concepts they are conveying, that wind up holding truth, respect, and incredibly powerful allegiance years down the road. Obama will not be held in high respect for his principles and nuanced and dynamic thought. At most, he will be thought of as another president, a breakthrough only because he is the first black man to land in the Oval Office. Paul may gain something more, and his allegiance to the other men listed above shows that even though all do not know of them, they have given him reason to stick to his beliefs rather than becoming the canned Republican or Democrat.