20 votes

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 It should then be argued that federal drug laws should be repealed for this reason.

Continue Reading



Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

You don't know how to form a logical argument

Those who often can not make a logical argument seek to use ad hominem against their opponents in debate. This is how we got the nickname "paulbots."

My argument is sound. One could assume you either do not understand it or simply refuse to create a logical counter argument.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

Click Here To See The Candidates On The Record

wolfe's picture

Which is absurd.

My argument is sound, and you have refused to address a single point beyond that you think "education is stupid" to paraphrase, and "voting"/"leaders" wins the day. When clearly they don't.

You have to actually PROVE your point, at least in some cursory way. Even my anecdotal references to the DP prove my point better than you even tried to prove yours. I find it great that you also refer to "ad hom" attacks even though, in no way have I done so, you try to draw my argument into question through your inference. How noble of you.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

Arguments are not proven or they would be called facts

You can try and put words in my mouth all day but it won't work and it doesn't support your argument.

Now you are using the evidence of absence fallacy.

Calling someone out for using logical fallacies is called logic. lmao.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

Click Here To See The Candidates On The Record

wolfe's picture

You do realize that an argument is an attempt...

to prove a statement using facts, don't you?

In fact, all of the "fallacy" names are dedicated to explaining ways in which people try to avoid using logic and facts.

And as far as calling someone out. If it was true, it would not be an attempt to use logic, it would be an effort to discredit the opponents argument. Huge difference. And if it is in fact untrue, as in your case, discredits your own argument.

I'm done. You want to believe what you believe but won't defend it, that's your business not mine.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

Won't defend it?

I've done nothing but defend my argument. The only thing you can do is misrepresent my argument, it's ridiculous.


You have to actually PROVE your point.


Arguments aren't proven or they would be called facts.


You do realize that an argument is an attempt to prove a statement using facts, don't you?

Lol
You have got to be joking. Now you want to change what you said? Not to mention, what you've changed it to, is wrong as well.

An argument in logic is an attempt to persuade your opponent. It does not require facts, I can say you have a blue statue of a chair, so I'm correct. That would be an argument. It's an illogical argument because it contains a fallacy, but it's still an argument. This is elementary logic for god's sake.

In fact, all of the "fallacy" names are dedicated to explaining ways in which people try to avoid using logic and facts.

No, they come from using fallacious reasoning.


And as far as calling someone out. If it was true, it would not be an attempt to use logic, it would be an effort to discredit the opponents argument. Huge difference. And if it is in fact untrue, as in your case, discredits your own argument.

Are you not familiar with logic at all? This is a fundamental concept of logic and debate. You attempt to form logical arguments and then poke holes in the opponents arguments by pointing out their logical inconsistencies. Ever read The Republic by Plato? The whole book is in this form.

Though Plato is using Socrates and Glaucon as a tool to convey his arguments and their conclusions it still serves as a good example.

I'm not going to give opposing logical examples as Socrates does because these fallacies are well established, so they are more easily identified.

I agree though with one thing you said. I'm done.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

Click Here To See The Candidates On The Record

wolfe's picture

So in your world...

It is perfectly acceptable to not use facts to reason out your argument with logic? That means that all forms of fallacy are acceptable in your world of debate so long as you can persuade someone.

Ridiculous.

But I will tell you what. You're right, I concede your point, apparently education is irrelevant. roflmao.

The following are just a few bits of information that I am quite confident you will disregard. The source:
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

logical fallacy: (n) a fallacy in logical argumentation

Argumentation: (n) logical argument, argument, line of reasoning, line (a course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating a truth or falsehood; the methodical process of logical reasoning)

Argument: (n) statement (a fact or assertion offered as evidence that something is true) "it was a strong argument that his hypothesis was true"

I could go on and on, but somehow, I doubt you will even take the two seconds to understand the above.

As far as the rest, I'm still done because it is pointless to have a discussion with someone that thinks facts and logic are irrelevant, while at the same time, trying to claim the logical high ground. Insane.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

truly remarkable

That whole post is a straw man.

This is funny, I mean really really funny.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

Click Here To See The Candidates On The Record

wolfe's picture

what's funny is...

That you think me helping you by defining the words that you clearly don't understand in direct response to you misusing the words, is a "strawman".

You argued the definition of the words. So I provided a resource to assist you. I am not even arguing with you at this point, simply trying to help you.

Once again, you prove you do not know how to apply the framework to determine proper logic, and fallacious logic.

Seriously.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

Lol

You can't accept that your entire debate style is based on a logical fallacy.

It's quite sad.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

Click Here To See The Candidates On The Record

wolfe's picture

Sure, I would.

As soon as you could show how that was the case. But I am not bothering to debate you. I was just trying to help you at this point.

Have a nice day.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

Lol don't even pretend

your completely ignorant condescension is help.

You can't even identify the straw man in almost every single one of your posts.

You had to copy and paste the definitions of terms I schooled you on and now you think you are superior. This is rich. Narcissistic denial at it's very best.

Edit: I see now others have called you out on your logical inconsistencies in the past. Perhaps you should learn something from these instances and actually try to wrap your head around the concept of logic.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

Click Here To See The Candidates On The Record

wolfe's picture

Have a nice day... :)

As I said... I never said I was superior by the way. Nor is quoting sources condescension. That is a part of valid reasoning and coherent discussion. Taking facts, turning them into logical arguments and discussing them.

Who has called me out on what? You mean the idiots that claim no one was hurt in the Boston Bombings? Everyone has provided more than enough evidence, and THEN followed up by calling them idiots for holding their points of view. That isn't ad hom, that is pure disgust for them as human beings.

Or do you think that their behavior is acceptable?

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

I'm having a great day

It appears you aren't though.

Copy pasta definitions followed by:
I could go on and on, but somehow, I doubt you will even take the two seconds to understand the above.

Is obviously condescension.
Backpedal and try to take the high ground all you want, it just looks worse and worse for you.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

Click Here To See The Candidates On The Record

wolfe's picture

Good then...

Nope, I am having a great day.

As far as obvious condescension. Expecting you to ignore legitimate information after having proven a pattern of that is not condescension. It's pretty rock solid prediction since that is exactly what you proceeded to do.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

Why would I ignore them,

if I know them? I even referenced them way before you copy and pasted them from the internet. You'd know that if you even took a cursory glance at my posts. I broke your fallacious argument down, proved you to be using poor logic and you couldn't accept that. So in turn you paste definitions from the internet and condescended to me.

You sir, are a narcissist.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

Click Here To See The Candidates On The Record

wolfe's picture

Where?

Did you either reference accurate definitions or "break my argument down"? Could you even clearly repeat my argument? Because you seemed to be all over the place. You would completely ignore my statement in favor of some internal discussion you were having.

Btw, how many times have you done the "ad hom" thing by referring to me as a narcissist? But, of course you are going to claim that it isn't, for some reason.

Fun stuff.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

I'm not doing this again

review the posts, look for yourself.

You're blocked for being a troll.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

Click Here To See The Candidates On The Record

wolfe's picture

I have read your statements...

Unlike you, for mine. Nor have I reverted to name calling as you have.

Despite that, I have not responded in kind. And usually wouldn't. The only time I have for as long as I can remember are the ^&$# about the Boston Bombings. Which is the first time in a very long time that I can recall ever getting down voted consistently, for pointing out their errors, even before I started calling them what they were.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

Some logic

"Rand has to pretend to support keeping heroin illegal so peoples lives can stop being destroyed"

How on earth is supporting keeping a drug illegal not destroying lives?

The path you recommend leads us to false libertarian idols like Reagan, still idolized today despite a horrific record of foreign intervention, drug war abuses, and deficit spending.

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

The states rights argument

is another tool to push people in the right direction.

It is not the sole argument used in the debate on drugs.

Ron said there's many ways to win the argument on foreign policy: fiscal reasons, moral reasons and Constitutional reasons. We can and need to use all the tools to convince people why our positions are right.

If someone can't see the light in supporting full legalization of drugs, we can help them understand that solutions developed closer to the people are preferable to a one size fits all.

deacon's picture

this statement causes me confusion

the whole states rights issue
the way i see it,the reps of the states are picked much the same way
as the fed reps are,so wouldn't it be just a more local whipping?
i see no true representation at our state level here,even after all
my brow beating them
deacon

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

tasmlab's picture

Well said, many reasons for no constitutional arguments

Well said Marc,

Other good reasons, IMO, for not making constitutional arguments in addition to what you wrote:

- The constitution shouldn't be referenced in the same way some would quote scripture in the sense that it is perfect and infallible because it exists. There's a lot of junk in there too, including the allowance and repeal of both slavery and prohibition, the 16th amendment, it's early omissions of suffrage for groups. We can't point to the constitution and assume something is good.

- Half the world seems to think it is up for broad interpretation (oddly, similar to how people view scripture as well)

- Rule of law is perhaps a good thing (debatable if it is the ideal), but it is still a contract enforced by government violence.

- We inherited it from generations passed.

- It only represents a small bit of law. I believe there is still 70,000 pages or such of other federal law.

- And, governors don't seem to care about it much at all.

The moral high road is indeed the argument to take, and then maybe in a distant second is utilitarian/effectiveness arguments.

And what's political victory worth if you had sell all of the moral and intellectual victory to get it?

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

When the Constitution was written

heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, meth, P, and all the other life and soul destroying drugs weren't laying waste to the citizens of the United States.
Just because you maybe able to handle whatever your drug of choice is, doesn't mean that everyone else can too. Alcohol being an example, some people drink well, for others it ruins not only their lives,but the lives of those around them.
The Constitution is like everything else, it has to be tweeked to fit in with the times.
Realistically, no Government is going to allow you to live without rules, laws, boundaries, and taxes, other wise society would fall into chaos.
The only way true libertarianism could work is if everyone of us had a deep passion and empathy for our fallow man, and if greed and hatred were a thing of the past.

I wrote a full response

on drug control here - please give it a read when you get a chance!

http://www.dailypaul.com/285441/would-a-free-society-control...

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

wolfe's picture

Oh and one more point.

Many of the newer drugs you list were created BECAUSE of the war on drugs, not because people wanted them.

Risk drove cost up, that caused a need to reduce the cost of and increase the addictiveness of cocaine - which produced crack.

Meth was created as an easy to synthesize drug to avoid risky and costly transportation of other, less dangerous drugs.

Ecstasy was created as a marital aid by big pharma, and only outlawed (IMO) because of it's recreational value causing people to learn how to synthesize it for quick profit (also a result of the risk associated with the drug war).

And what about psychadelics? LSD was engineered by the government, and became popular as an alternative to things like peyote, and mushrooms, which in comparison were more difficult to cultivate and grow and therefore increased the risk.

ALL the drug evils you talk about are a result of the drug war. We have always had people that made poor decisions, and always will. It's not your job to fix them, and trying to fix them creates far more evils.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

deacon's picture

you and the fed are in agreement

the const needs tweaking,and this is the reason why it is in shambles
them and you think it is a living breathing document that needs to change with the times
this is the reason for 1st,2nd 4th amendments have been partly stripped
and the reason bush said it was just a g-d piece of paper
in all reality the gov is for the people,by the people,and was written to reign on the gov,not the other way around
drugs as you put it,have been mostly over the counter,with no
gov involved,as they weren't needed,it has been in recent times
that the gov's took over and we have the nanny state
do grown ups need to be coddled and scolded for them being themselves?
deacon

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

oh stop it

If we go around pretending the Constitution is scripture and everything in it is infallible we will never get anywhere.

No, it is not a "living, breathing , document", it was written to constrain government, completely ineffective of course but the Bill of Rights is worthy and valid. It also supports slavery, gives the government power to tax, created a standing army, allows for eminent domain. Maybe you think all of those things are wonderful, but its not a perfect document and should be referenced for the good things in it BECAUSE of principle, not the other way around.

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

deacon's picture

i don't need to stop it

nor will i
i did reference the good parts,as you put it
it was not meant to be tweaked so the tweakers could get away with more
it was written for a tool to be used against the fed gov,not the other way around
it was not written for the gov's to take more of what they did not give
and did i say it was all wonderful and hunky dory,all peaches and cream? no,i think not
does it need an upgrade? yes probably,but it was not written for the fed gov to upgrade at their will,and for their will
you see,i need no piece of paper to give me anything,it didn't bring me into this world,and it won't take me out
if i think i need a piece of paper then i am not who i think i am,but am part of this world,and do live for it
but if that paper says one can't do this or that,then they probably can't,but they do,don't they?
and what you brought forward had nothing at all to do with my intent,nor the intent of the poster i responded to
deacon

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

deacon

I apologize, I may have been a bit confused in my flurry of replying to comments. I realize now that the comment of yours I replied to was not directed at me in the first place.

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

deacon's picture

accepted

i only took it a bit personal :)
deacon

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence