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A Note on Rand, Playing Politics and Constitutional Arguments

After my article yesterday regarding Rand Paul's recent statements
regarding drug legalization, I received some criticism particularly over at the Daily Paul for coming down too hard on Rand. "After all", the argument goes,"he is just taking the Constitutional position and leaving it up to the states to decide. Rand is on our side".

To be clear, in the specific statements Paul made regarding drug legalization, there was no distinction between "federal" and "state" legalization of drugs. He simply stated that he "wasn't for that (legalizing heroin)." And yes, I am well aware that this is a more politically palatable position, as I've been reminded over and over, because Rand needs to do what he has to do to "win". This attitude implies that it's not ideas that are important, but political victory itself.

I believe this is the opposite of how politics should be viewed as a tool for advancing liberty. Political victory should come as a result of expressing the correct ideas about liberty. If liberty positions must be "muddled" and "filtered", what is gained by any victory? This is an example of the problem, as I've discussed before, with simply using Constitutional arguments when developing positions. If one simply relies on the Constitution for framing all of their arguments, one can quickly lose moral high ground in debate over an issue.

This is how libertarians get into trouble when they say things like "well, drug laws should be left to the States...that is what is Constitutional". But this is a backwards way to make an effective argument. Rather, it should be explained that it is wrong to use force on someone simply for putting a substance into their body. It should then be argued that federal drug laws should be repealed for this reason.

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Should not put anyone on a pedestal

Reality hits hard, and this is what were dealing with. He wants to decriminalize pot federally.

This is the reality to a strategic victory, decriminalizing coming faster than through your 'moral' principal opinion:
If you vote for local representatives to office that votes strictly Constitutional, then a law wouldn't be able to exist that prohibits pot.

Because of the system imposed on us, if you really want to change the laws, you can run for office yourself and help to change it. I would like to live free in my lifetime as opposed to a full moral consciousness change which could take generations.

From Nick Gillespie:

"In Paul’s defense, there is nothing rhetorically inconsistent between the senator’s CPAC and Cedar Rapids comments. Paul has long preferred to call himself a constitutional conservative rather than a libertarian and, as my Reason colleague Mike Riggs has pointed out, he has never actually embraced pot legalization, even at the state level. Instead, Paul “wants to keep everything illegal, but institute gentler penalties.”"

People didn't know what Rand's position was, just lazy projections of what they wanted him to be.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/15/rand-paul-p...

https://twitter.com/#!/Agonzo1

Forget about libertarian or

Forget about libertarian or conservative, this is a VERY basic issue. Like being anti-war. This is one of the bedrock issues of the movement and he is wrong on it. This is good vs evil, principled vs corrupted.

Ventura 2012

This implies

That the criticism is due to some sort of flip flop. I've never claimed Paul changed his views; merely pointing out that his views are not libertarian in nature and should not be mistaken for such.

With so many people first learning about liberty, this is important.

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

This issue bothers me a lot.

When I heard Rand speak out "against" legalizing marijuana, I blew a cork. Ophthalmologists in general practice make a TON of money treating glaucoma with eyedrops that can cause heart attacks, and less sever problems. Nothing Pharma offers STOPS the loss of vision, it slows it. Marijuana STOPS it. Dare I use the "C" word? There is a CURE for glaucoma, and as an ophthalmologist, he owes his patients better.
But, I watch politics like I used to watch TV. It is funny some days, sad some days, but none of it is really going to make me free. The only real liberty is growing right outside my door, in the garden.

This is the article that got my posting privileges revoked:
http://bklim.newsvine.com/_news/2013/05/12/18212165-dr-stan-...

Thanks Marc!

Persistence pays. I agree with you 100%.

Liberty needs to be spread from the bottom up. Playing politics (lying) to trick the masses, in order to get the top dog position is simply fighting fire with fire. Even if the top dog position is 'won', and Rand really does believe in liberty, will the plan than be to force it on the masses? If so, I'm not interested in that underhanded strategy. That strategy is exactly what I thought we were fighting against - tricking the masses through propaganda so that a one-world neo-feudalistic system can be controlled by a small self-appointed few. Bad means, bad ends.

Murray Rothbard said that the ends only justify the means if the means are not contradictory to the ends. Ron Paul gloriously proved to us that principled means can achieve principled ends.

Thanks dducks

The only objections I get are from people who mostly seem to think it's all fine to lie and deceive and pussyfoot around issues, and that this will somehow achieve liberty.

This is a losing strategy.

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

At this point...........


At this point it is a waste of time expecting any "leader" to rescue the people from the across-the-board corrupt system that we have.

I am reminded of the old Bob Dylan quote:

"Don't follow leaders, watch your parking meters."


you are parsing words...

please show me where Rand Paul ever made the case that he was a Big L Libertarian?

https://twitter.com/#!/Agonzo1

Big or little

I've never claimed Rand was a libertarian or claimed to be; but he is portrayed by the media and many of his supporters as a "libertarian" and leader of a liberty movement", which is why it's important that it is pointed out when he takes decidedly non-libertarian positions"

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

you are then obscuring your position

Has he claimed to be the leader of the liberty movement? You are projecting your and other people's desires over what he has stated he is.

https://twitter.com/#!/Agonzo1

He is seen and portrayed

As a leader of a "libertarian movement" in the GOO by both the media and many of his supporters.

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

I agree with your assessment,

I agree with your assessment, however if Rand wants to play politics to win the Presidency I'm all for it.

What we really should be doing is trying to convince other people like Tom Woods, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Lew Rockwell, Peter Schiff, Walter Williams etc. to ALL run for office... I know they have no chance of winning any election, however just having them on the debate stage would do more to advance our cause of liberty than anything else.

A stage full of libertarian/Austrian-minded people would change the game and possibly change the world. It would awaken millions of more people to our message.

No answer there...


Peter Schiff is not a Libertarian either.

He is a pro-War, "let Wall Street do whatever it wants", pro-Austerity freak.

That ain't gonna help anyone.....

What good

is all those great people running for office when the elections are rigged?

Unfortunately,

a lot of people are swayed by consensus or just become apathetic otherwise. If the minds of the people are going to re-accept principles of liberty on a large scale then there has to be more than one person advocating for them. Rigged elections or not, apathy is the biggest threat to liberty at this point, IMO.

SOoooooo

denial and delusion are preferable to "apathy"? Legitimizing a scam that allows a criminal gang to tyrannize is OK as long as we aren't "apathetic"??? I'm not following you.

I'd say the denial and delusion go hand and hand with theapathy.

Not caring is part of the reason why much of the system is allowed to be rigged. Even if you want to throw the baby out with the bath water, scrapping the electoral process all together, you need people to care if we're going to replace it with something better. What do you think would happen if half the people voting stuck around to scrutinize the vote at poling stations or pushed for voting receipts and paper ballots? It's apathy that legitimizes the scam and props up the puppets for the positions in the first place.

LOL!

Refusing to participate in voting for my slavemasters overseers does not equate "not caring". You can't win by playing by their rules, rules THEY won't even follow. No point to it. That is why you are in denial and delusional. Why would I want to "replace" one tyrant criminal gang with another? Is there a "better" criminal gang? I think that half the people would be bought off, beaten or blackmailed at "polling stations". Refusing to participate in a rigged game and waste my time holding my nose is not "apathy".

If you find a spot where it's

If you find a spot where it's rigged, get in there and do something about it. Democracy is worth fighting for.

"Democracy"

"Democracy" is not worth fighting for.

Freedom, however, certainly is.

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

No, it isn't

democracy is MOB RULE. Why should 51% get to force 49% to live the way the 51% want? The US is SUPPOSED to be a constitutional republic NOT a democracy.
As far as "getting in there", you can't win by playing THEIR rules. They follow NO rules, didn't you SEE that? And it was rigged pretty much EVERYWHERE, including the caucuses, primaries and the national convention. The whole system is rotten, corrupt.

Before democracy

offices of the state, law enforcement , judges etc. where positions of political appointment and inheritance. How would a constitutional republic be maintained without democracy removing the worst violators of the constitution in office. You call it MOB RULE, but without democracy you get mafia rule and a progression back to an oligarch -kind of like what were're getting now. I think opposing a rigged system will work out far better than abandoning it and replacing it with nothing. We end up with the government we are willing to put up with.

You are wrong

This system is rigged to deal with people who want "reform". That will simply lead to more laws, more bueaucrats, more laws that will apply only to us, more tyranny. It is fixed. They wioll follow NO rules.
I don't CALL it mob rule, it IS mob rule. Explain how it is not.
The experiment in constitutional republicanism has failed, no doubt about that, but the founders FEARED democracy and saw from HISTORY (which they, most of them having been homeschooled, knew) that it would lead to corruption.
We would even be better off with a king than with democracy. As Hans Hermann Hoppe observed, at least monarchs have incentive to protect and grow their kingdoms. They don't bleed them of all their wealth and sell them out to foreigners.
Your problem is that you fear liberty. You are so afraid that a local tyrant will rise up or your neighbor will bully you (which happens all the time and your rigged system does nothing to stop it) you cannot comprehend living WITHOUT a huge governmental apparatus monitoring and regulating your every move You have a few pet areas where you might want more freedom but you can't bear the thought of removing tyranny without REPLACING IT.

Taxes? A King? - Really contradicting

No Thanks.

I'm sorry, but I can't really take you seriously, you really do contradict yourself in a few of your posts. Especially, when you say, "We would even be better off with a king.."

"It is a point of pride to a monarch to expand and enrich his or her kingdom to leave for his heir." "We are taxed far more than King George dreamed of taxing the colonists." Submitted by AllPaul on Sun, 05/19/2013 - 10:48

And you later spew rhetoric, "absolute power corrupts," but a king and king's imposed taxes are better than abolishing taxes(taxes are illegal in the Constitution)? How backwards.

The subject was

DEMOCRACY, not what is the best system. Of course taxes are theft and I never posted that "a kings imposed taxes are better than abolishing taxes".
Isn't it true that we are taxed far more than King George taxed ?? And I'm sorry, but a monarch can be just. As far as states go, there is nothing magically noble about a collective of tyrants while a king is by definition the epitome of evil. It is more likely that a king would be less tyrannical than a democratic collective state because they have a vested interest in what is best for the kingdom. Sure there have been abuses.

Fear liberty, better off with a king? Give your head a shake.

You'd be right to fear democracy, but you are a fool if you don't fear other government more. Climb out of your Hobbesian cage. Your getting a king right now, and you are ignorant of history if you think kings have any incentives other than parasitising their subjects. They'd bleed you dry if it meant more blood in the long run. The mob is just the market. It's impartial and pervasive like the weather or the tide. It will exist despite a monarch or an aristocracy, or even in anarchy. Democracy just displaces the former two, and if the latter raises a local tyrant, bring it on. The founders feared democracy, but they still put the right to vote in the constitution. Why?

>>>>You'd be right to fear

>>>>You'd be right to fear democracy,<<<<

??I thought you thought it was "worth fighting for".

>>>> but you are a fool if you don't fear other government more.<<<<

I fear ALL government. Absolute power corrupts.

>>> Climb out of your Hobbesian cage.<<<

Explain how I am Hobbesian.

>>>>> Your getting a king right now, and you are ignorant of history if you think kings have any incentives other than parasitising their subjects.<<<<<

Learn history. It is a point of pride to a monarch to expand and enrich his or her kingdom to leave for his heir. Now we are afflicted with hordes of "elected" (ha) tyrants who loot asmuch as they can as fast as they can before they are out. They sell their power over us to the highest bidders. And you call this "government".

>>>> They'd bleed you dry if it meant more blood in the long run. <<<<

Again, learn history. We are taxed far more than King George dreamed of taxing the colonists.

>>>>The mob is just the market. It's impartial and pervasive like the weather or the tide.<<<

What nonsense! The market is simply a process, a mechanism, where goods and services are made/distributed. The mob, your holy "majority", just vote themselves the property of others.

>>> It will exist despite a monarch or an aristocracy, or even in anarchy.<<<<

No, if they cannot get the state to loot for them they are on equal footing. The majority has to work like everyone else.

>>>>Democracy just displaces the former two, and if the latter raises a local tyrant, bring it on.<<<<

I applaud your willingness to sacrifice yourself to the tyranny of powergrabbers and the embracing of your state worship, you obviously need it. You have no right to force it on others and call it "government", however.

>>>>> The founders feared democracy, but they still put the right to vote in the constitution. Why?<<<<<

Actually, the founders had no right to lock the press and the public out, swear each other to secrecy and create the central state that tyrannizes the world today. The Articles of Confederation werre working just fine. It was a coup and only was eventually ratified because war hero Washington agreed to endorse it....and once he received his presidential position in return proceeded to attack his own people in the Whiskey Rebellion. Patrick Henry was right to "smell a rat". It doesn't matter, constitutionalism failed. It cannot limit the state once those politicians receive a monopoly on power. They immediately begin to attack the people.

I realize the corruptible nature of democracy,

and how the majority can prey on the minority and that ultimately,as individuals, we are all minorities, but all powers are corruptible. I think of the initial support for invading Iraq, and how the propaganda had the majority marching to the beat of the war drums that, foreseeably, ended up killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people. But also remember, that despite the continuation of propaganda, the people's acceptance of the bloodshed waned far before the pseudo-withdrawal. It did this on its own because most people are good.

A constitutional republic doesn't have to be good. It could have been founded on evil principles or progress that way using it's monopoly on coercion. Also realize that most all people want the rule of law, a constitution that protects them and have little to gain by corruption. I'm for scrapping any government that harms people with its power, but what would you replace it with when the only sure harbinger of morality is the people?

>>>>>and how the majority can

>>>>>and how the majority can prey on the minority and that ultimately,as individuals, we are all minorities, but all powers are corruptible. I think of the initial support for invading Iraq, and how the propaganda had the majority marching to the beat of the war drums that, foreseeably, ended up killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people.<<<<<

Did the "majority" support that war? How do you know?

>>>But also remember, that despite the continuation of propaganda, the people's acceptance of the bloodshed waned far before the pseudo-withdrawal. It did this on its own because most people are good. <<<<

No. People are people, the look out for their own interests. Given absolute power, they will put that power to work for their own interests.

>>>>>A constitutional republic doesn't have to be good. It could have been founded on evil principles or progress that way using it's monopoly on coercion. Also realize that most all people want the rule of law, a constitution that protects them and have little to gain by corruption.<<<<

The constitution has OBVIOUSLY been a failure at protecting the people from the government class who simply turned their laws and guns on the people and told them that the government class has unlimited power and the constitution "gives them rights".

>>>>I'm for scrapping any government that harms people with its power, but what would you replace it with when the only sure harbinger of morality is the people?
<<<

A question for you. Please answer it. Why do you fear the "morality" of the people but have no fear of the morality of the people making up the state class?
Statism is illogical, it is madness. The humans given the power to rule over us are just as fallible and wicked as the rest of us. So why are you so eager for this system? It loots and kills. It does not protect you.