Archive for the ‘Goldwater’ Category

Until about two weeks ago, my last post on this site was from March of 2009.  After the 2008 Election, I experienced what I thought was a period of disillusionment with the political process.  Looking back, I don’t think that I was as disillusioned as I was allowing my ideology to mature into it’s philisophical conclusion.  In anything that I write, it really bugs me not to be thorough.  I’m going to attempt to illustrate from what point of reference I will be writing from in future posts.

I.  The difference between “freedom” and “liberty”.

I’ve always described myself as a idealist.  Even now, my reasons for identifying myself as an idealist  continues to make sense to me.  I started this site back when I was a high school student because the idea of freedom matters to me.  Most think of the word “freedom” as simply the ability to act as one sees fit, however, to measure freedom’s worth in people’s lives, and in society as a whole, I think that it is important to expand the understanding of it beyond so simple of a definition.

A freedom loving society would protect a citizen’s freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom to worship, freedom of general expression, freedom to assemble peaceably, freedom to choose, and a citizen’s freedom to associate with whomever he or she chooses.

Lately, in many circles, you hear the word “liberty” more often than “freedom”.  In differentiating between the two, I am just going to go with John Stuart Mill’s understanding of both words.  Paraphrasing Mill, “freedom” is defined as “the ability to act,” and “liberty” is defined as “the ability to act freely without coercion”.

In that context, a society which openly loves and defends liberty would seem preferable to the one that does  the same exclusively for freedom.

In my last post, I wrote about how liberty was dear to the founders of the United States, and how they framed the Constitution in accordance to what they considered to be the natural rights of man.  Instead, we as a society have traded liberty for security and other social benefits that only the government can provide.  V’s speech in the movie V for Vendetta could just as well be spoken to the American people today.

(Well except for the November 5th references.)

I think that the United States’ disregard for the the philosophy which our law was founded upon would infuriate its founders.  Which brings me to my next point.

II. From Republican To Libertarian.

During my last run on this site, I proudly described myself as a conservative.  In one particular understanding of this label, I would continue to do so.  That understanding of conservatism would align itself with the definition which is featured in The Conscience Of A Conservative by Barry Goldwater.  Unfortunately, I think that most people would now call that book “libertarian” or “classically liberal”.  I guess my political philosophy fits with that of a libertarian more so than with the label of “conservatism” that Republicans throw around so much these days.

I’m not really into bashing Republicans for not adhering to conservative principles.  Luke 6:42 says,

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

I adopted many contradictory and illogical conclusions during my last run on this site.  My favorite example was when I wrote a post which I believe was entitled, “Are We Not Conservatives?”.  I wrote this post days before the Republican Convention in 2008.  Anyway, In that post I wrote about how Republicans should keep their conservative principles in mind  before going to the convention.  I quoted from The Conscience Of A Conservative, which beautifully describes the idea of a free society which protects the rights of its citizens.  I continued to turn the piece into a rah rah cheer for John McCain.  Nothing against John McCain, but he was a candidate who deliberately wrote legislation which prohibits free speech and contradicts the first amendment.  That, and several other of his positions make his effort to convince others that he is a “small government conservative”  laughable.

If Republicans, (myself included) were to stand on the principles which they claimed to espouse, than they never would have nominated John McCain in 2008.

After voting in 2008, it became clear to me that the Republican and Democratic Parties really didn’t offer me a real choice in ideology.  Neither party is interested in protecting the rights of citizens of the United States.  Feeling this crappy after 2008, I was prone to look elsewhere for a better representation of what I believed politically.

III. Ron Paul

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”- John Quincy Adams

After voting for John McCain in 2008, I felt like my vote was lost.  To clarify, I felt like I had held my nose and voted for a candidate whose policies I not only didn’t believe in, but in fact pretty seriously disagreed with most of the time.

If I really did believe that taxation is morally wrong, then why did I vote for tax hikes?  If I really believe that preventive wars are wrong, then why did I vote for a troop surge in Iraq?

The first book I read after the election in 08 was The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul.  I’m not arrogant enough to deny that my opinions on certain issues have been changed by reading books by Congressman Paul and others, but I really believe that my core ideology has not changed.  Since I’ve become interested in politics at the age of 17, I’ve been dedicated to one principle, the preservation of the rights of men everywhere.  Much of my attraction to Governor Huckabee’s campaign in the 2008 primaries was very Libertarian in nature.  I was attracted to a massive reformation of the Unites States’ current tax system (FairTax), and I was under the impression that Governor Huckabee would dramatically change U.S foreign policy.

I don’t want to make this a “rah rah” piece for Ron Paul, but I do want to be honest about how I view the current state in which the United States is in.

I’m supporting Ron Paul in the 2012 Republican Presidential Primaries.  As a representative in Washington, he has a record of adhering to the constitution and speaking out for individual liberty which is unparalleled.  I think our country’s future would be undeniably brighter with a leader like Ron Paul in the White House.

I’m sure that I will go into more detail on some of my positions later.  For now however, If any of my old readers are catching up with me, hopefully now you know where I’m coming from.