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Archive for the ‘Ron Paul’ Category

More Required Civil War and Ron Paul Reading from Ta-Nehisi Coates

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Ta-Nehisi Coates has a three part series at his Atlantic blog on the Civil War and comments Ron Paul made about whether the Civil War was necessary. If it seems I am coming back to this often, it is because I think this is important work, and it is worth your time to read it. I’ve been particularly interested in Lincoln in the past 12 months or so since reading Team of Rivals, and Coates has much to offer those interested in the history. But beyond the importance of understanding history, Ron Paul is a candidate for the Presidency, and represents a growing movement in American Conservatism. To have such a figure claim that the Civil War was unnecessary and should not have been fought should not go unquestioned. Having an honest and sober response to such interpretations is invaluable.

For context, here is the relevant quote from Ron Paul, during a 2007 interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press:

Thus spawned three posts from Coates looking at the history and making his case against Paul’s asserstion that the Civil War was unnecessary loss of American lives rather than a necessary war to end the evils of slavery.

1. Lincoln

 I have come to a fairly recent regard for Lincoln. He rose from utter frontier poverty, through self-education and hard work, to the presidency and the upper reaches of American letters. His path was harsh. His wife was mentally ill. His son died in office. He was derided in newspapers as ugly, stupid, a gorilla and white trash. For his patience, endurance, temperance and industry in the face of so many troubles, Lincoln was awarded a shot to the head. 

2. Economics

When slaves were worth only a cool $300 million, property in man was an “unhappy influence.” When that number skyrocketed in excess of $3 billion, suddenly it was a “positive good.” Perhaps this is to (sic)deterministic. I leave it to my fellow commenters to color in the portrait. At any rate the notion that such an interest–by far the greatest collective asset in the country at the time–could be merely incidental to the war is creationist quackery.

3. Violence

If you are faced with a system which was–at its core–rooted in horrific torture. (sic) murder, and human trafficking, and then told that it was all made to go away via faerie dust, you should be skeptical. If someone then generalizes and says that this system was ended everywhere by such means, you should be double so. Ron Paul’s rendition of history depends on a lack of that skepticism among his audience, and a faithful belief that they know nothing of Nanny, Toussaint, or Zumbi and have no sincere interest in finding out. Ron Paul is banking on your incuriosity. 

*Update:
4. Morality
It is often said that Americans aren’t interested in history, but I think it’s more accurate to say that people–in general–aren’t interested in history that makes them feel bad. We surely are interested in those points of history from which we are able to extract an easy national glory–our achievement of independence from the British, the battle of Gettysburg, our fight against Hitler, and even the campaign of nonviolence waged by Martin Luther King. For different reasons, each of these episodes can be fitted for digestibility. More importantly that can be easily deployed in service our various national uses. 

Written by Christopher ZF

January 26, 2012 at 12:28

Another candidate rundown, for New Hampshire

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Today is the New Hampshire Primary. The day New Hampshire will vote for Mitt Romney, and the suspense for TRC will be: How well will Jon Huntsman do? That’s the only interesting part of today, besides the infighting and the crybabying and the general fun of political muckety-muck.

And muckety-muck there has been in N.H.

Gingrich is going crazy with his anti-Mitt railings. It is clear Mr. Gingrich’s pledge to run a clean campaign does not extend beyond the realization that voters don’t much like him, and to be successful, he’s going to have be a douche. Want proof? Check out Newt’s latest campaign website: Stop Romney’s Pious Baloney. Yeah. It’s essentially Newt barf in interweb form.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Santorum is getting his day in the sun: where rampant homophobia and anti-gay behavior should be rejected. Which, at least in part, it has been by the New Hampshire voters. And in return, Rick Santorum has turned sarcastic and bitter regarding the young people who find him distasteful. Well, at least he’s consistent (somebody will say, as they vote for him). Note to Santorum: you can’t claim to respect the dignity of the GLBT community, while wanting to outlaw gay sex and comparing their relationships to polygamy, or worse. Sorry.

Apparently Mitt Romney takes pleasure in firing people. That’s not a surprise, he’s a many times over millionaire who got his fortune by letting businesses go bankrupt. He’s the picture of the wealthy man becoming so by deciding the fates of others. Sure, some of those people got jobs at companies that succeeded, others had their places closed down and lost jobs. Don’t pretend otherwise. This is how Mitt Romney got rich. For this, he is the target of everyone’s ire. Which is just fine, if a bit, you know, disingenuous.

Huntsman seems highly reasonable, prepared for important issues, and relatively likable. Naturally, he’s failing. But there has been signs of hope for today.  Hopefully New Hampshire can give him some momentum to make a run at it. He’s a reasonable man in a clown school.

Ron Paul is still doing what he does: rousing the rabble. Rick Perry is still somewhere, I think, waiting for New Hampshire to end so he can do in South Carolina what Paul does so well everywhere else.

I think that’s everyone. Have fun Granite Staters.

saturday night blog: Ron Paul knows racism

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Ron Paul at the New Hampshire debate: “I’m the only one up here and the only one in the Democratic Party that understands true racism in this country.”

I believe you Mr. Paul. I believe you.

Actually, Paul goes on to say fairly reasonable things. But still, not the best statement for someone who is, you know, probably (or formerly) racist.

Written by Christopher ZF

January 7, 2012 at 23:05

Posted in Ron Paul

All you need to know about the Iowa Caucuses

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Today is the Iowa Caucuses, most well known as the kick-off to the Presidential Election 2012. TRC is pretty excited to see what kind of madness ensues this year, and to get things rolling, we offer readers the “Everything you need to know about the candidates for today’s Iowa Caucus” primer that will get you through the rest of January 3.

So what do you need to know?

Our Prediction: It appears that Ron Paul or Rick Santorum might win the Iowa Caucuses. Or maybe Mitt Romney. But probably someone more conservative like Santorum or Paul. Or Romney.

However, Rick Santorum is terrible, (really, just awful, have you heard him?), so it won’t matter if he wins. Ron Paul is bat-shit, so, essentially that won’t matter either.

Also, Michele Bachmann is going to be keep “fighting” to “surprise” despite having a snowballs chance, and Newt Gingrich is going to be mean because he has always said he would run a clean campaign until he peaked then started trending downward thus allowing him to finally display is true dickish nature. Which if you recall is really, really dickish.

Finally. Jon Huntsman is somewhere. Presumably in America. And Rick Perry can’t remember something that was supposed to be happening today. He knows it was important, but just can’t quite remember…

Thus Mitt Romney is your winner. Even if he doesn’t win, he wins. I mean, look at these guys:

There you have it. Your 2012 Republican field.

Welcome to the Big-Time Ron Paul: You’re consistency is what disqualifies you.

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The line on Presidential Candidate and GOP Rep. Ron Paul is, essentially, ‘hey, I may not agree with him on everything, but at least he’s consistent.’ That’s it. Consistency. He’s consistent in his libertarian philosophy, so consistent that he wins supporters because he has backbone, people know where he stands, the man is, if nothing else, consistent.

But here’s the thing, people. Ron Paul is consistently BATSHIT CRAZY.

It’s one thing to be consistent in his ideals if his ideals are, you know, compassion and honesty, libertarian independence, etc. But there are reasons that human thinking is nuanced, and that complexity should be prized in our intellectual capacity. Shouldn’t we weigh individual circumstances and come to independent conclusions? Isn’t that what the human brain is capable of doing at its height, recognizing nuanced change and adapting our perceptions as circumstances demand? Thus we can see that, though legalizing marijuana may be a reasonable political position, consistency alone should not move us to support legalizing heroin.

Or, for example, being consistently racist and homophobic over a career is not consistency to be celebrated. It has been said that Ron Paul’s libertarian consistency trumps his personal feelings about the gays or the blacks. That refusing to use a gay man’s bathroom isn’t a big deal, because he supports the right of gay and lesbian individuals to do what they want. Not only is that bullshit but it points out that he’s also apparently consistently a douche-bag.

Having a foreign policy that is consistently “lunacy” should worry people. Here’s an update Ron Paul: shit is complicated. A simple policy that fits a slogan is not going to cut it. Your opposition to the Iraq War was just and reasonable. I get that, and think it’s great. You’re opposition to Israel is a little harder to understand. But following your deity of consistency to oppose engaging Hitler is absurd. You’re desire to shrink government makes sense in your political worldview, your plan to end all aid to all nations does not. Your commitment to state’s rights is easy to understand, but extending that to opposition to the Civil Rights Act makes you appear far outside maintaining the compassion that we should all strive for in our lives.

Whether TRC is oversimplifying these issues doesn’t change the fact that consistency is a virtue, but only to a point. Ron Paul and his supporters need to accept that, sometimes, consistency can lead us down a road to chaos, isolation, or indefensible alienation.

There is of course one area in which Ron Paul is more than happy to break with his consistency: in taking responsibility for the Ron Paul Survival Report, the newsletter causing his campaign so many headaches. You either wrote it or you didn’t, either way, it has your name on it, it’s your responsibility, and it is hideous. Reaching out to the far fringe elements of American discontent, the white supremacists and the anti-Semites and anti-government militias, and then denying you knew it was happening now that they support you, that’s just the kind of nuance we are looking for in a President.

Welcome to the Big Time Ron Paul. You wanted the media to take you seriously, well, this is what it looks like.  From top-left, counter-clockwise: Huffington Post, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Washington Post, New Civil Rights, Mediate New York Times via Herald Tribune.

Written by Christopher ZF

December 27, 2011 at 11:30

Do Absurd Questions Make for Great Copy?

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How dire a position is the United States in, morally, philosophically, just in general? Is there a shortage of talent in the world, a shortage of great men and women who can buck up the nation and lead us out of despair and into a new post-economic recession era when money is not the only concern of our country and the future is one of unknown hopes and better lives for all? I think that’s a good question. One that is hard to answer, but at times, you just get a sense, one way or another.

To get a flavor for the day’s news, I often check the headlines as compiled by Real Clear Politics. One of today’s question headlines screams out a warning that America just might be in trouble.

I’m sorry. But if we can’t answer that question without the aid of our popular press, we are in deep shit.

Written by Christopher ZF

December 23, 2011 at 09:43

Posted in media, Ron Paul