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The 'Neocon' perspective post-3rd debate

Hey guys,

I was on the phone with my 'neocon' friend yesterday for about 2 hours and we got into it about Ron Paul. By the way, we need to stop calling them 'neocons' or we'll just alienate them even more. We have to reach out to them.

Anyway, I thought I should share with you where most 'neocons' heads are right now (if he's any indication) because I think it highlights what are next priorities should be. If we don't make it a priority to change their minds, this is NOT going to end well. Anyway, here were my takeaways:

1) He agrees RP did better this 3rd debate than in the 2nd, but doesn't see how RP won the spat with Santorum. He says I'm so biased because I think Ron won it.

2) He says he agrees with RP 90% of the time, but on Iran, he's scared that RP simply doesn't have a realistic view on the matter (since he says Ahmadinejad is insane, could join forces with China if we left the region unchecked and could even start WWIII if he had a nuclear weapon). If such a situation were to happen, he's not confident RP would make the tough decisions necessary to go to war. He says he's liking Perry's tough-talk on these matters, but doesn't see that from RP.

3) He says he doesn't think RP has the necessary leadership ability to run the country because for most of his career, he's had very little support for any of his initiatives (although I pointed out to him that's been changing recently). Nonetheless, he doesn't think he could unite Congress and 'get things done' (whatever that means). Basically, Brett Baier's first question from the debate.

4) He complains that RP hasn't come out in favor of the Fairtax, which he believes is the single best policy out there that could turn everything around for the better by attracting investment from overseas etc. He wonders why RP hasn't come out with any detailed plans (like the Fairtax) which take on tax matters. He feels that RP talks very little about taxes. This is the only reason he's supporting Herman Cain right now.

5) He says ending the Fed is important, but isn't the most realistic thing to focus on right now and argues that we would only really need to replace Bernanke with someone who's willing to just sit there and do nothing for a couple of years.

6) He doesn't like our tactic of threatening to run RP as a 3rd-party candidate because he says that will set back the Conservative movement a decade or more by allowing the country to fault us for every bad thing that happens as a result of splitting the vote and handing Obama over a second term on a silver platter.

7) He thinks that no matter who the Republican nominee is, we have to get behind that person because it'll be disastrous if we don't. Even if it's Perry, he says we need to get Obama out of office and we can't risk the chance of handing Obama a second term.


My Reflections

It's important that we treat these concerns with respect because they are the legitimate worries of a lot of Republicans right now about Ron Paul and the election in 2012 in general.

I believe that we need to pay close attention and address these concerns one by one, like this were a debate match and we had to rebut every point made by the other side.

We're at a point in the movement where EVERYONE knows who Ron Paul is and that's not the problem anymore.

Now, we're at a point where we have to PERSUADE and win hearts and minds.

In order to do this, I had some ideas about how to address the neocon perspective in a way that they can understand.

If I'm being honest with myself, I do think RP does come off as very PHILOSOPHICAL about most issues.

He needs to be more REALISTIC in the style of his speech and how to take on matters as they are. This is kind of like the difference between theory and practice. In theory, it should work like 'this' but in practice, we have to acknowledge 'this.'

Don't get me wrong, we need to always aspire to the ideals of the Constitution, but we also have to acknowledge how far away from them we are right now, create realistic steps to getting back to where we need to be, and not just repeat the ideals of how things should be.

RP has done this before when he's laid out his detailed plan of what steps need to be taken to get us back on track, where he talks about 'transitioning' etc. etc. etc.

He needs to do this A LOT MORE and SO DO WE.

I'm not sure how we can start PERSUADING more, other than having conversation with other Republicans and reaching out, but I feel that this is definitely what we need to do.

For example, we need to take head on and PUT TO REST ONCE AND FOR ALL the following issues:

1) The IRAN Question and 'what if' scenarios involving world players like China and the possibility of WWIII (and try not to snicker or downplay the possibility when you talk about it, or that will turn them off).

2) How to best address TAX measures. Fairtax or no? If no, why? We can't just say we're for repealing the federal income tax without specifying HOW we will then fund the government.

3) DRUGS even. How about discussing other countries that have legalized and the DETAILED ramifications thereof.

Those are my thoughts. What do you guys think?

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Thanks everyone

Thanks for posting everyone.

A lot of good info here.

Makin' it happen, Cap'n.

He' giving you the keys to persuade him

The key to persuading this gentleman, or anyone else, is not in the content of anything you say...

underneath all the theories, factoids, and arguments that people express are human feelings.

Human feelings are connected to universal human needs... they are the biofeedback signaling whether a need is being met.

"Persuading" someone really is a process of getting someone out of their head and connecting them with their needs.

An example of how this might go:

2) He says he agrees with RP 90% of the time, but on Iran, he's scared that RP simply doesn't have a realistic view on the matter (since he says Ahmadinejad is insane, could join forces with China if we left the region unchecked and could even start WWIII if he had a nuclear weapon). If such a situation were to happen, he's not confident RP would make the tough decisions necessary to go to war.

This gentleman is expressing fear. That much is plain. Why is he afraid? Forget all the story-telling he is doing around the fear because its just that....story-telling. What human need is underneath that fear? I'm guessing the need to be safe and secure.

You could check out that guess by simply asking, "Are you afraid your need for safety and security would not be met if Ron Paul were president?"

If affirmative, you've confirmed and connected with him that his concern is for his safety. If not you've misidentified his need. And you can try again, ask him outright, "Sounds like you're afraid some need of yours would not get met by Ron Paul being president. Could you tell me what that need is?"

Again, forget all the theories, story-telling, statistics, those are not needs. Needs are universal: food, shelter, safety, community, connection, creative expression.

(How one goes about meeting those universal needs is the unique expression of that person's life)

As long as you're not connected with what a person is needing, and/or they aren't connected with it either, the conversation will not go anywhere. It will churn and churn, eventually getting boring or frustrating.

And in this particular case if you don't connect with this gentleman's need for safety and acknowledge that explicitly (so they know you are understanding their need), you will be basically having a conversation with someone who thinks you are asking them to forgo their need for safety by having Ron Paul as president.

The good thing is, this process of "persuasion" works even when only one person knows how to distinguish between thoughts, feelings, and needs.

Once the need is identified correctly, you can reflect back their feeling, their need, and how they are trying to meet their need.

Ex. I'm hearing that you're afraid your need for safety will not be met if Ron Paul is president and that you are thinking "bombing Iran" will help meet this need.

See all the different elements there? Don't confuse thinking with feeling with needs.

From personal experience I can say that most people will realize the disconnect between what they're thinking and what they're needing. Hearing it reflected back to them exactly how they are expressing it gives them the opportunity to really evaluate if their thoughts, feelings, and needs are really genuinely interrelated.

Usually, they are not.

My guess is that this guy is trying to get his needs met but then is running up into his head and story-telling in an attempt to "reason" his way to a solution.

The problem is he is following the logic of the game called "Who's Right?" He has a genuine need, but the only way he knows how to go about getting it met is through the mental game he's been trained to play, the game called "Who's Right?".

If he doesn't agree with not bombing Iran, he's "wrong" - based on who he has been trained to accept as "right".

(By the way, we've all been trained to override our nervous systems by thinking in terms of "Who's Right?" A system where an Authoritative Few rule the Many naturally selects for social training in this style.)

The best way to get him to abandon this thinking (and to begin to be free of it oneself) is to juxtapose it next to his feelings and needs.

Most people, in my experience, will recognize the irrelevance of the little game going on in their head as it relates to what they're feeling and needing when all those elements are merely reflected back to them.

And what they really need to happen is usually something incredibly simple, so simple they are often initially afraid to admit it. Afraid, because they don't know how to relate it in terms of "Who's Right?"

A real-life example to illustrate:
A landscaper went to consult for a health resort. The groundskeeping team told him when he arrived, "We're glad you're here, because you're going to tell us what the right way to garden is. We've been arguing over whether we should till, or mulch, or compost." ie, "Let's play "Who's Right?"

He said, "Well, what is it you want to do with the garden?" ie, what needs does it serve?

Long-story short, the discussion became very heated over the differing "philosophies" of gardening. Then a frustrated silence...then one gentleman spoke up and said, "I don't want to compost because I have back problems and I am afraid I will throw my back out." Feeling: Fear; Need: Avoidance of pain

Suddenly the conversation shifted: "Oh well, we don't want that to happen." etc., etc., everyone began expressing what their needs were relating to interacting with the garden...they were all very simple things like the one given: not wanting to lift something heavy for fear of throwing their back out.

The individual needs of the groundskeeping team then told them outright how they would go about their gardening duties. There was no further debate about which gardening philosophy was "Right". The needs suggested the means.

Selecting means which specifically take into account individual human needs will produce an end that is harmonious. This is Righteous, and has nothing to do with being "Right" or "Wrong".

The game of "Who's Right" always involves twisted logic. Because the logic must conform to the goal of keeping the Authority in the position of "Being Right".

If someone is using "twisted logic" it is because they are playing the game of "Who's Right" and they don't want to be "Wrong". They don't want to be "Wrong" so badly that they will ignore their own feelings and needs in order to be "Right"...that process is divisive and destructive.

The way to short circuit that loop is to reconnect someone with what they feel. What they feel is connected to what they need.
Reflecting back what they feel, what they need, and what they think will often be enough. They will see the inconsistency.

Keep the connection on what they feel and need and a new route of thinking will spontaneously emerge.

Sometimes several layers of confusion must be unraveled before this shift happens. Sometimes it will require you to honestly share what you are feeling and needing at that moment: "I'm confused because I'm not understanding what needs of yours you're trying to express." But keep reflecting the feelings and needs you hear. You will both unravel.

When the shift happens, you will both feel it, because the conversation will shift from one of confrontation to one of cooperation.

New solutions will be derived, and they will often be incredibly simple ones.

This is the third way, neither submission nor rebellion, but creativity and cooperation.


There is no real answer to the neo-con's question because the neo-con doesn't want one. His aim is to demonstrate that he's trying to be reasonable with the "unreasonable" libertarian who opposes income tax on principle. Further, the "Fair" tax is not an answer, either.

Per Laurence Vance, writing for LewRockwell.com:
-The FairTax plan creates new taxes, new taxpayers, and new tax collectors.
-The stated rate of the FairTax is too low to achieve the promised revenue neutrality.
-The amount by which it is claimed prices would fall under a FairTax system has been grossly exaggerated.
-There is nothing to prevent an income tax from being reinstituted, giving us a two-headed hydra of an income tax and a consumption tax.
-The institution of a FairTax would not abolish the IRS – if there were no IRS then why would businesses bother to collect a national sales tax?
-The FairTax’s monthly prebate would put all Americans on the dole – from Bill Gates on down – and require a vast welfare apparatus to oversee its payment.
-The FairTax has unknown and potentially huge transition costs.
-The FairTax double-taxes the savings of retirees who worked their whole life and paid taxes and then need to begin spending the money accumulated in their after-tax savings accounts.
-Not only would the FairTax require state and local governments to pay a national sales tax to the federal government on all their purchases, the federal government would have to pay sales taxes to itself on all its new purchases.


"Why is it that people who rightly criticize the income tax are so quick to accept a national sales tax on consumption? The FairTax perpetuates the fallacy that the government has a right to confiscate a percentage of the value of each new good sold and every service rendered. This is no different than claiming that the government has a right to the portion of each American’s income."

The overgrown state does not need to be supported at its current size. Its apparatus is used to supply unnecessary services (wars, unlawful surveillance) and often to undeserving people (farm subsidies, corporate bailouts, defense contracts). By drastically shrinking the scope, size and powers of the government, the savings would prove substantial and older methods, such as STRICTLY LIMITED TARIFFS on imports, could provide the funds necessary for a defense-minded (not war-mongering) free-trade-oriented (not forced-trade-banksterist) country.

The better question is why does the neo-con feel the need to perpetually support a failed system?

A couple answers

The China question: We are China's biggest customer. If they piss us off, they know we will stop buying from them. If they lose their biggest customer, their cashflow goes to zero, with a couple billion mouths to feed. Ergo, they will not piss us off so long as we are their biggest customer.

1.We have spent how many trillions and how many decades on the drug war? And how far has that gotten us, things have only gotten worse. Present it as just another inefficient big-government program(just like the dept of Education and dept of Energy). Use what they think is their own philosophy to prove your point.

2. Look up the Portugal results. I believe they legalized all drugs about a decade ago and drug use and policing costs have both dropped dramatically

3. Neo-cons suppossedly don't want the government running their lives. Well what can be more intrusive than the gov't telling you what you can and can not put in your own body. Ask them straight up, who owns your body, you or the government?


The problem I encounter quite often is RP's position on Iran. Since 9/11 the politicians and MSM have used the word terrorists/terrorism and scenarios of death and destruction so frequently and haphazardly that a lot of people think we are one step away from WWIII. The MSM and politicians have done what Al Qaeda couldn't, and that is terrorize the citizens of the United States. By supporting RP it has become our job to undue all the damage the MSM and politicians have done for ten years now. This is usually difficult, however, by asking questions which lead the individual to create the desired realization, they the individual feel more comfortable and are more willing to accept it.

If the fear is as-is the case you present Iran/China, you could always point out that China doesn't gain anything by aligning with Iran. As they previously admitted Iran doesn't have a Nuke yet, so what would be the gain, oil? You could also point out that China and Russia(which also has oil) are getting closer to each other; both of them have Nukes and more powerful militaries than Iran has and yet the U.S. is ok with that.

If the fear is Israel, it could be pointed out that Israel has nearly 300 Nukes and one of the world's best military's. Also, the MOSSAD is either the first or second best Special Forces Unit in the World. They truly can take care of themselves. Besides they have something even better than a really good military; and that is the Temple Mount(Dome of the Rock). Also, it could be reasoned by acknowledging several news articles from last year that NO other Middle Eastern country wants Iran to have Nukes. So, by staying out of it Ron Paul's non-interventionism may actually bring cooperation between all the countries in the Middle East against one goal; to make sure Iran doesn't get Nukes. However, if we intervene they never have to work together for that goal, so we allow the infighting to continue unabated. One could also point out that Ron Paul was one of, if not the only, person in Congress which supported Israel's attack on Iraq's nuke facility in the early 1980's.

There are many directions this Nuke argument could go, ICBM's, suitcase bombs, and dirty bombs. However, each one of these fears could be logically addressed and dismissed.

ICBM's could be intercepted by either jets or our own missile defense shield. Suitcase nuke will take ten to twenty years after they create their first nuke, to make. A dirty bomb doesn't require enriched Uranium, so they could have already used these if they wanted to.

All of these fears are illogical and it is our job to point that out to the people which question us on this issue; but remember, know your facts and question them into coming to the correct conclusions, so they can alleviate their own fears.

Drug Issue

We have to remember that the Constitution is our trump card in these debates. Bring everything back to the Constitution and you cannot lose the arguement.

Putting to rest the Drug Issue:

Q: Where in the Constitiution do you find authority for the Federal Government to police drugs?

A: Nowhere

RP believes in the Constitution, and in strict adherence to the rule of law. He does not advocate legalizing any drug. He simply wants to end the Unconstitutional Federal Drug War. RP believes policing and regulating drugs is a states rights issue. And as such he wants to give the power back to the states and the people.

We don't need the village

We don't need the village idiots to win. The amount of energy wasted trying to re-educate someone who is worried about N.Korea, Iran, etc. could be better spent figuring out what to do with these empty shells once we win. Obviously institutionalizing these people is up to their families. I don't condone the govt. making these decisions. These simple minded flag waving bungholes should be pitied and many will probably be eliminated in the purge. Most of these so called patriots will do exactly as they are told if their paycheck, home, or creature comforts are threatened. They will answer the knock at the door with shame and hand over their guns, rights, anything to avoid discomfort or an interruption in their tv scheduling. The middle class is dead, manufacturing gone, and I still know people older than myself who think if they vote in some establishment creep it will all come back. I am 41 and have seen nothing to show that the downward spiral will stop. If we do not win we will surpass the violence in Europe by 20 fold.........Go Bears!

Putting to Rest issues.....

Here is how I would put to rest to the Iran issue.

1) Iran -

Dr. Paul believes in the Constitution. The Constitution says that only the Congress can decide WHEN a country goes to war. There is no power for the president to unilaterally use military force unless America is under attack. Dr. Paul takes his oath of office to defend the constitution very seriously. As such, if the Congress and the American People, see fit, to use the Military in any conflict, Ron Paul would carry out his oath of office, win the war, and come home.

As far as his personal beliefs on War in general. Dr. Paul takes a strong leadership position based on his own real world experiences in warfare to only use military force as a last resort. When all diplomatic solutions have failed, and the American People are in iminent danger. Emphasis on American People. Dr. Paul sees it Immoral to send Men and Women of our Armed forces to die in a foreign land, and ask the taxpayers to pay billions and trillions to execute the liberal foreign policy mantra, of makingn the world safe for democracy.

There will always be bad players and evil people in the world. Dr. Paul believes strongly that it is not the Role of the United States to be the worlds policeman.

On Iran

My eyes were opened to the non-interventionist argument after checking out this post on the Daily Paul:
Thanks to JoeDanger for posting. What I liked about it was that it clearly ties the 1979 hostage situation to its cause, which was our CIA's intervention to overthrow the prime minister of Iran with the Shah. The Shah instituted the Savak, a secret police who was responsible for many atrocities including torture and murder of it's own citizens.
In 1979, when the students responsible for the hostage crisis listed its demands they included that they wanted an apology for the U.S.A's interference in Iran. Since then it seems that our intervention knows no bounds. We have supported Saddam Hussein and now are at war with Iraq. We supported Afghanistan against the Soviets, and are now at war with them as well. One can argue that if there is going to be a WWIII, it might be one of our own making, because we seem to create our own monsters.

"He says he agrees with RP

"He says he agrees with RP 90% of the time, but on Iran, he's scared that RP simply doesn't have a realistic view on the matter (since he says Ahmadinejad is insane, could join forces with China if we left the region unchecked and could even start WWIII if he had a nuclear weapon). If such a situation were to happen, he's not confident RP would make the tough decisions necessary to go to war. He says he's liking Perry's tough-talk on these matters, but doesn't see that from RP."

Wow, he sounds exactly like my dad. He thinks we must occupy Korea forever because North Korea could possibly overrun South Korea and then take Japan and then New Zealnd. He really beleives that.

bigmikedude's picture

Welcome to the wall.

It's a very thick wall too, isn't it.

For the drugs thing, I always mention that right now, kids can get drugs anywhere because gangs everywhere sell them like candy stores. It is easier for your child to get drugs than a pack of cigarettes. At least they have to produce an I.D. for cigarettes or alcohol.

Gangs sell drugs because they are illegal and therefore are a high dollar profit because of the risk in transporting them.

If they were legal, they would become much cheaper, because they could be sold in stores, and the gangs would lose interest in selling them because the money wouldn't be as good - because there is no longer a high dollar risk to transport when they can be manufactured legally. On top of this, if they were only sold in stores, your child would have to produce an I.D. to buy them, just like cigarettes and alcohol, and they could be taxed.

Then I always go back to prohibition to back it up - gang problems escalated when they made alcohol illegal and caused it to be a black market product, leading to the rise of what "gangs" were back then - the Mafia. And just like drugs today, anyone could buy the alcohol.

Once alcohol was legal again, the mafia moved on because there was no profit in it. And when the gangs quit selling it and the stores sell it, you have to produce an I.D. to buy it.