More thread for those who wish to discuss Ron Paul

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. — Martin Luther King Jr.

Since we’re now approaching 300 comments on the previous Ron Paul-related post, it may be good to get some fresh, front-page thread for those who would like to continue that discussion.

I’ll turn to Tim Wise to push the conversation forward a bit: “Of Broken Clocks, Presidential Candidates, and the Confusion of Certain White Liberals.”

If a man believes there is a straight line of unbroken tyranny betwixt the torture and indefinite detention of suspected terrorists on the one hand, and anti-discrimination laws that seek to extend to all persons equal opportunity, on the other, that man is a lunatic. Worse than a lunatic, that man is a person of such extraordinarily obtuse philosophical and moral discernment as to call into real question whether he should even be allowed to go through life absent the protective and custodial assistance of a straightjacket, let alone hold office. That one might believe in unicorns would still allow one to profess a level of sagacity and synaptic activity in one’s brain several measures beyond that of the man who thinks liberty is equally imperiled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as by the CIA.

That any liberal, progressive or leftist could waste so much as a kind word about someone as this is mind-boggling. There are not many litmus tests for being a progressive in good standing in this country, but one would think, if there were, that surely to God, civil rights would be one of them. It is one thing to disagree about the proper level of taxation, either on the wealthy or corporations: honest people can disagree about that, and for reasons that would still permit one to claim the mantle of liberalism or progressivism; so too with defense spending, drug policy, trade, education reform, energy policy, and any number of other things. But the notion that one can be a progressive, even merely liberal, while praising someone who believes that companies should be allowed to post “No Blacks Need Apply” signs if they wish, and that only the market should determine whether that kind of bigotry will stand, is so stupefying that it should render even the most cynical of us utterly bereft of words. It is, or should be, a deal-breaker among decent people.

(See also, via Shakesville: Answers to the Turner Diaries vs. Ron Paul Newsletters quiz.)

And since earlier I compared Paul’s opposition to imperialism and torture to similar stances from liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich, I should note Robert Farley’s argument on that point: “Ron Paul Ain’t Good on Foreign Policy.”

This comparison rests on a basic falsehood, which is that the foreign policy of Ron Paul resembles that of [Sen. Bernie] Sanders or Kucinich in any meaningful way. Kucinich, for example, is an avid supporter of the United Nations, as well a host of other international institutions. He also supports robust foreign aid, and a variety of other positions that suggest a commitment to using US social and economic leverage in a non-violent way to improve international outcomes.

Bernie Sanders has a very similar record. Kucinich and Sanders are both firmly on the left side of the liberal internationalist consensus, while Paul rejects that consensus altogether. This means that they incidentally share a few positions, just as Kucinich and Sanders incidentally share a few positions with Jim Demint, but it doesn’t mean that they’re saying the same thing about foreign policy, or that progressives ought to think of them in the same way.

 

  • Lori

    Did they suspend it, or just not include it in their Constitution at all? 

  • Rob Brown

    No, here’s what I’m saying.  I’m saying that if you get offended when somebody asks “Was war the only option” because you think it was, then that’s on you.

    And again you’re putting words into my mouth when you say I’m going “Being called racist is worse than being a racist!”  What the hell is wrong with you?

    Anyway, if we’re playing that game, here’s what I see you saying.  I see you saying “OMG, how DARE you wonder whether the Civil War was necessary!  It saved black people from slavery, and if you wonder if it was necessary then that must mean you don’t give a shit about black people!  You monster!”

    So I stand by my fuck you, because as you yourself said, you don’t know me, and for somebody who doesn’t know me you’re being real careless with the kind of accusations you throw around.  Your argument holds about as much weight as the argument that anybody who criticizes Israel must be an anti-Semite who doesn’t care about the well-being of Jews.  It’s every bit as idiotic.

  • Rob Brown

    I did actually miss that the first time you wrote it.

    Still, once again, you’re putting words into my mouth.  Maybe you don’t know that you are, but you are.  I’ll quote my first comment:

    …That begs the question: was there another way to put an end to slavery?  One that didn’t
    involve war?  Looking at the way India gained its independence, and the
    way South Africa finally ceased to be an apartheid state, makes me
    wonder if war truly was the only option left.  Was it the fastest solution?  Maybe.  But “fastest” does not always translate to “best”…

    I was not making a statement.  I was asking a question.  There is a big difference between the two.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    http://www.etymonline.com/cw/habeas.htm

    Suspended by the Confederate Congress, as it turns out.

  • Lori

     
     
    And again you’re putting words into my mouth when you say I’m going “Being called racist is worse than being a racist!”  What the hell is wrong with you?  

      

    I could ask the same. You have done nothing to address the substance of the issue with your argument. All you’ve done is complain about your hurt feelings. If you don’t think that your hurt feelings are more important that the substantive issue under discussion then why is that your sole foucs? 

     

      I see you saying “OMG, how DARE you wonder whether the Civil War was necessary!  It saved black people from slavery, and if you wonder if it was necessary then that must mean you don’t give a shit about black people!  You monster!” 

    Look harder and while you’re at it, don’t flatter yourself. Your question is not new and I am certainly not offended by it. The problem that your argument was factually incorrect and framed in such a way that it focuses too narrowly on the war years, which leaves out a great deal that actually matters as much as 186-1865 does. 

    The fact that you don’t seem to understand that, even though it’s been repeated several times is your issue. You are so focused on defending your status as a good person that you’re not engaging with the actual issue at all. 

     

     
    So I stand by my fuck you, because as you yourself said, you don’t know me, and for somebody who doesn’t know me you’re being real careless with the kind of accusations you throw around.    

    Yes, I think that at this point everyone reading this thread is aware that you’re very proud of that “fuck you”. And oh look, we’re back to your wounded feelings again. 

    If you have an argument against the ACW that is factually accurate and takes into account the actual situation prior to 1861 then for Pete’s sake stop complaining and make that argument. If you don’t have an argument that takes places the ACW in the context of the whole of slavery then maybe you shouldn’t be commenting on it. 

      
    Your argument holds about as much weight as the argument that anybody who criticizes Israel must be an anti-Semite who doesn’t care about the well-being of Jews.  It’s every bit as idiotic.  

     

    This might be true if I has said that there is no possible argument opposing the ACW that isn’t racist, but I didn’t. I’ve stuck with responding to the arguments that first Chris and then you actually made in this thread. Both of you have framed the issue of suffering in such a way as to exclude anything that came before the start of the war. That has the effect of over-valuing the suffering of whites and under-valuing the suffering of slaves. 

    I’m not going to bother with your analogy otherwise because the last thing this thread needs is a flare up of the Israel discussion. 

  • Lori

     
    I was not making a statement.  I was asking a question.  There is a big difference between the two.  

     

    That section of your post was indeed a question. And I answered it. That was that whole exchange about the difference between being a colony and a state. 

    I could have given a more complete response to the issue of South Africa as a possible model and I imagine there are other people here who would have interesting things to say about why a sanctions regime would or would not have been effective against the slave-holding states.

     We can still talk about that if you’d like.

  • Lori

     
    Suspended by the Confederate Congress, as it turns out. 

     

    Huh. I had totally missed that. You learn something new every day.

  • Daughter

    I would say that there are quite a few differences between 20th century India and South Africa, and 19th century slavery in the U.S. Do you really imagine that in the antebellum South, there was any way for a Gandhi-like figure to arise, or for an African National Congress to organize, and lead millions of people in work stoppages and other forms of protest that effectively shut down huge swaths of those countries? And were there sanctions against the U.S. and the kind of international pressure South Africa faced before it finally dismantled apartheid?

    I’ll also make a point that Ta-Nehisi Coates has made about the antebellum South: a state of war already existed for blacks long, long before any official shots were fired. I can’t speak as knowledgeably about colonial India, but that was certainly true of South Africa. Racial violence was enemic there for decades, even if they didn’t fight an official “war” to end apartheid.

  • Hawker40

    Yes, for much the same reason as Lincoln did, to prevent secession.
    It failed in Western Virginia, but worked in Eastern Tennessee since Union troops couldn’t march thier in support.

  • Daughter

    racial violence was endemic, not enemic.

  • Rikalous

    start a ridiculous rube Goldberg version of italian Fascism of course.

    Giving credit where credit is due, a fascism-and-oppression-themed Rube Goldberg device is darkly hilarious. Thank you, Chris, for giving me this image. I now return you to your regularly scheduled incomprehension.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    it was a hodge podge. they had one department trying to raise grain prices and another trying to stabilize industrial prices. all by state fiat.


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