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Mary Ann Johansen: Winning Is Not Compromising Liberty

5-18-13 Mary Ann Johansen
http://libertywithoutapologies.com/2013/05/18/winning-is-not...

“This war on drugs is totally out of control. If you want to regulate cigarettes and alcohol and drugs, it should be at the state level. That’s where I stand on it. The federal government has no prerogatives on this.” – Ron Paul (source).

If there’s anything Rand Paul can do well, it’s fire up debate among libertarians. As of recently, hilariously satirized by Steve Heidenreich on this site, libertarians are up in (theoretical, non-aggressive) arms in response to comments Paul made to a group of pastors in Iowa that some read as him “loving the drug war.”

“To some, ‘libertarian’ scares people. “Some of them come up to me and they say, ‘I kind of like you, but I don’t like legalizing heroin.’ And I say, ‘Well, that’s not my position.’ I’m not advocating everyone go out and run around with no clothes on and smoke pot. I’m not a libertarian. I’m a libertarian Republican. I’m a constitutional conservative”

Let’s crucify him today!

For God’s sake, let’s definitely not examine his comments with any degree of critical thought to see how well they line up with libertarian philosophy. Because if we step back from our hysterical Rand Paul hate, it is clear that, while not as strictly libertarian as some, Rand Paul’s views are very much in line with what they’ve always been – and with a small government philosophy.

Rand Paul has been very vocal in his support for ending federal drug laws. In April, Paul gave a scathing statement on mandatory minimum laws, one of the biggest travesties of injustice to come from the drug war. Telling the story of two men (George W. Bush and Barack Obama) who recreationally used drugs as young men, Paul argued that mandatory minimums, and imprisonment for marijuana use, can deprive the world of future leaders and ruin people’s lives unjustly. “In this story, both young men were extraordinarily lucky. Both young men were not caught using illegal drugs, and they weren’t imprisoned. Instead, they went on to become presidents of the United States. Barack Obama and George Bush were lucky.”

Wow, what a great voice for liberty he’d be if he’d only make a video of himself using illegal drugs!

Is it possible to not “love the drug war” and also not support legalization of all drugs on all levels of government? Of course it is. The term itself (Drug War) refers to federal prohibition, mandatory minimums, omnibus crime bills, and other such federal expansion over the area of crime laws traditionally left to the states, into which the federal leviathan began encroaching the 1970s and 1980s. Ron Paul, like Rand Paul, has always supported leaving such issues to the states. Both Pauls believe that states should be free to legalize drugs if they want. Ron Paul, like Rand Paul, is no supporter of drug use.

That’s not to say that Rand and Ron Paul are the same. There are differences among libertarians just as there are differences between any group of people. People – even fathers and sons – disagree, and we shouldn’t hold them to unrealistic standards of agreeing with us on everything if we are to consider them “intellectually pure” enough. If we do, libertarianism will continue to be persuasive only to those who already agree, and who, by and large, do not vote anyway. Winning is not compromising liberty. Self-insular irrelevancy should not be our goal.

Finally, it is very disappointing to see libertarians blindly accepting what the media says about Rand Paul just because they don’t like him. Libertarians should know better than anyone not to take what the media says at face value, but we blindly accept that Rand Paul “loves the drug war” now – a position completely different than everything he’s stood for in the past – based on the inference of a reporter who provides no quotes from Paul to back this up. The only quote in the article shows that he feels state governments should have the prerogative to ban drugs, just like his father. This is neither surprising nor new.

If libertarians are to ever shake the stereotype that we are basement-dwelling, pot-smoking, jobless college kids, we have to think carefully about our knee-jerk reactions to people who happen to hold more personally conservative views than some of us do. Critical disagreement is fine. Rejecting anyone who holds more politically prudent views than other libertarians is unwise. Blind acceptance of anything the media says, as long as it’s about someone we don’t like, is intellectual dishonesty."



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If libertarians are to ever

If libertarians are to ever shake the stereotype that we are basement-dwelling, pot-smoking, jobless college kids, we have to think carefully about our knee-jerk reactions to people who happen to hold more personally conservative views than some of us do. Critical disagreement is fine. Rejecting anyone who holds more politically prudent views than other libertarians is unwise.

Doesn't it all depend upon one's perspective?

Personally, I don't give a rat's ass about stereotypes or what others think about my values. I care about what is right. And whether choosing to join forces and spend valueable resources working with those who do not fully share my values in order to hopefully achieve baby steps towards a more free society - whether that is wise or unwise depends upon one's personal perspective.

Baby steps are a waste of time, from my viewpoint. But then I'm old, and my time and energy is valuable, and I believe better spent in other ways. I'm willing to work, but only towards the goal of achieving the real thing, not just liberty-lite.

I don't mean to denigrate any who want to work with Rand on the baby steps. More power to ya'! The long view may be the eventual path to success.

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

Provocateurs = trolls

I know your sentiment regarding these trolls hating on now Rand Paul, all of the in fighting the trolls create reminds me of them trying to kill the support of Ron Paul in 2012 using Jesse Benton flaws, Doug Wead, or taking Ron Paul's states rights issues out of context.

I'm sure we all could come up with the troll strategies that they tried to use against Ron Paul, especially when we were working hard from the inside out, and they tried to smother our work for liberty before we even got to the RNC.

I just have to go by the candidate's voting record, actions do speak louder than words.

¶~~*~~Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth. ~Ludwig Börne~~*~~¶

Individual rights

I think that it is vital to Liberty, to every innocent person's power to avoid becoming a victim, or being forced to become a criminal, vital to Liberty, as an idea, and as a power if individual rights, gaining power, to work at communicating the concept of a Democratic Federated Republic understood to be Free Market Government.

If you can't understand that last paragraph I offer, competitively, then that just proves the point.

To me Ron Paul understands how a Democratic Federated Republic is designed to work as a Free Market of Government.

He has not used those words, so I can be wrong here.

I think that Rand Paul understands the same thing.

I think that understanding how a Democratic Federated Republic is designed to work as a Free Market Government can be a focal point in any campaign, of any individual, seeking any office, as a representative of the Free People in Liberty.

Who openly claims to desire the forced enslavement of those they desire to enslave?

No one, because the POWER that works to inspire everyone to enslave everyone else is FALSEHOOD.

If someone claims, for example, that Taxes must be enforced upon everyone, pay, obey, without question, then that someone is either a criminal, willfully criminal, knowing their lies, knowing their crimes, or that someone is duped, fooled, and merely parroting the lie, to help, unknowingly, cover up the crimes perpetrated by the actual, willful, criminals.

Another paragraph written by me that may not do the job of communicating the intended point.

I am working here, right now, on communicating the ideas of how a Democratic Federated Republic is designed to be a Free Market Government because of the follow words that appear to agree with this idea.

These words:

"I know your sentiment regarding these trolls hating on now Rand Paul, all of the in fighting the trolls create reminds me of them trying to kill the support of Ron Paul in 2012 using Jesse Benton flaws, Doug Wead, or taking Ron Paul's states rights issues out of context."

These words specifically:

"...taking Ron Paul's states rights issues out of context."

These words:

"states rights"

The Key to a Democratic Federated Republic is States Rights.

States divide the POWER of the Federal Power by making it voluntary for a State to join, or to secede, from the Voluntary Union, such as was the case in the beginning of this country, during the time between 1776 and 1788, under The Articles of Confederation, before all POWER was Consolidated by the usurpers, the criminals, who were accurately identified by Robert Yates, George Mason, and Patrick Henry, to name a few.

So the key, the missing key, aught to be understood by any potential self-governor who has had enough of Crime made Legal.

It seems to me, anyway, that focus should be focused, like a laser, on that key.

States Rights.

Then, with that understood, the rights of the people, every one of them who manages to avoid becoming a criminal, each one, can be understood in turn.

Baby steps away from absolute despotism?

States Rights.

What do you think they are, may I ask in closing?

Joe

No.7's picture

Yes, but provoked comments are usually the best comments

I like to provoke people with words, especially if it sparks debate and causes others to share ideas.

The individual who refuses to defend his rights when called by his Government, deserves to be a slave, and must be punished as an enemy of his country and friend to her foe. - Andrew Jackson

deacon's picture

unless thats your sole reason

just provoke and irritate,then all that does is piss others
off,and then your mission is accomplished
i see this here more and more,people arguing just to argue,the same twisting words to irritate others
this is the time when we should all get along,especially seeing we are supposed to be on the same side
at this rate we will never go anywhere,as people will just leave
the other alone to live their lives as they see fit,to others
that is ammo
deacon

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