Ron Paul Winning CPAC: Real vs. Ideal

Almost everyone who follows politics knows that at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference libertarian-republican (if you can put those two words together) Representative from Texas, Ron Paul, won the straw poll. CNN has it here:

“The results of the Washington Times CPAC straw poll of presidential candidates are in, and the winner is Texas Rep. Ron Paul, with 30 percent of the vote. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the runner-up with 23 percent.

There were 3,742 ballots cast in the annual survey, which is a chance for devotees to name their pick for president in 2012. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said they were generally satisfied with the field of potential candidates and 43 percent said they wished the GOP had a better field of potential candidates. For those surveyed, the size of the federal government was the most important issue to them.”

In a lot of ways the above straw poll shows the state of the Republican party. The debate between the ideal and the real.

The Mitt Romney’s of the Republican party are going to argue that the Ron Paul’s of the party even with their good ideas are not electable, we should settle on someone like Mitt Romney, which they consider the real. The Ron Paul’s of the party will say that we should not settle for the ideal. So who wins?

Neither of them will ever win. This is what “Republicans” have such a hard time accepting. The system, which is our laws and policies, will never elect anyone who is for limited government. It just simply can’t happen. The current system rewards those that dole out to special interests and punishes those that stand for ideals. It doesn’t matter whether your limited government candidate is a Ken doll from a liberal state or a squirrelly off the cuff texan, he who will be elected will have to have friends in high places to do so.

Why is it the Republican party cannot accept this? Think about the majority of Republican party members. They usually hold one, if not all of these characteristics:

  • Loves the Constitution
  • Loves the American Flag
  • Loves the Founding Fathers

Now, there is nothing wrong with loving these three things. But like a good love, they will break your heart. And the Republican party refuses to get over it. The founding fathers were great visionaries and they created a government that they would hope would stay limited. They did the best they could do and they should be honored for that. But that does not help us sustain a limited government.

Next is the Constitution and this is the real big one for conservatives. How many times have we heard “only if they followed the Constitution”? I know I have heard it a million times myself. But for some reason conservatives and the Republican party are okay with saying that. It’s as meaningless as a police chief throwing up his hands and saying “only if they followed the law.”

What we need to look at is why is it that the Constitution is not followed? And under what system would we have a more effective society? Is there an alternative?

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The Hell with Our Constitution by Walter Williams

The Article of the Day is from Walter Williams’ Website:

Dr. Robert Higgs, senior fellow at the Oakland-based Independent Institute, penned an article in The Christian Science Monitor (2/9/2009) that suggests the most intelligent recommendation that I’ve read to fix our current economic mess. The title of his article gives his recommendation away: “Instead of stimulus, do nothing — seriously.”

Stimulus package debate is over how much money should be spent, whether some should given to the National Endowment for the Arts, research sexually transmitted diseases or bail out Amtrak, our failing railroad system. Dr. Higgs says, “Hardly anyone, however, is asking the most important question: Should the federal government be doing any of this?” He adds, “Until the 1930s, the Constitution served as a major constraint on federal economic interventionism. The government’s powers were understood to be just as the framers intended: few and explicitly enumerated in our founding document and its amendments. Search the Constitution as long as you like, and you will find no specific authority conveyed for the government to spend money on global-warming research, urban mass transit, food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicaid, or countless other items in the stimulus package and, even without it, in the regular federal budget.”

By bringing up the idea of constitutional restraints on Washington, I’d say Dr. Higgs is whistling Dixie. Americans have long ago abandoned respect for the constitutional limitations placed on the federal government. Our elected representatives represent that disrespect. After all I’d ask Higgs: Isn’t it unreasonable to expect a politician to do what he considers to be political suicide, namely conduct himself according to the letter and spirit of the Constitution?

While Americans, through ignorance or purpose, show contempt for our Constitution, I doubt whether they are indifferent between a growing or stagnating economy. Dr. Higgs tells us some of the economic history of the U.S. In 1893, there was a depression; we got out of it without a stimulus package. There was a major recession of 1920-21; though sharp, it quickly reversed itself into what has been call the “Roaring Twenties.” In 1929, there was an economic downturn, most notably featured by the stock market collapse, after which came massive government intervention — you might call it the nation’s first stimulus package. President Hoover and Congress responded to what might have been a two- or three-year sharp downturn with many of the policies President Obama and Congress are urging today. They raised tariffs, propped up wage rates, bailed out farmers, banks and other businesses, and financed state relief efforts. When Roosevelt came to office, he became even more interventionist than Hoover and presided over protracted depression where the economy didn’t fully recover until 1946.

Roosevelt didn’t have an easy time with his agenda; he had to first emasculate the U.S. Supreme Court. Higgs points out that federal courts had respect for the Constitution as late as the 1930s. They issued some 1,600 injunctions to restrain officials from carrying out acts of Congress. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned as unconstitutional the New Deal’s centerpieces such as the National Industrial Recovery Act and the Agricultural Adjustment Act and other parts of Roosevelt’s “stimulus package.” An outraged Roosevelt threatened to pack the Court, and the Court capitulated to where it is today giving Congress virtually unlimited powers to tax, spend and regulate. My question to my fellow Americans is: Do we want a repeat of measures that failed dismally during the 1930s?

A more fundamental question is: Should Washington be guided by the Constitution? In explaining the Constitution, James Madison, the acknowledged father of the Constitution, wrote in Federalist Paper 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.” Has the Constitution been amended to permit Congress to tax, spend and regulate as it pleases or have Americans said, “To hell with the Constitution”?

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at http://www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

Published in: on March 27, 2009 at 7:42 pm  Comments (1)  
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Has Technology made Government more or less powerful?

If there is anything that has been constant in the last few hundred years, it is technology. These technologies have challenged us as a society. You have seen with the current MySpace comments that supposedly caused a girl to kill herself and the kid who just killed himself on live camera. But in the Macro level, has technology given us more freedom or more statism?

First, governments who are communists and censor their citizens are having a hard time doing so now with the internet’s presence. They are able to access information that they never could have 50 years ago. The more free ideas that they are exposed to, the more change they will demand.

Second, governments can use more technology to track people. They can gain access to your phone, internet, text messages, and other things with or without a warrant. They use cameras in public, like in Britain, to watch your every move. You are told, by the government, that these are ways to protect you. Some argue that if you weren’t doing anything wrong, then it wouldn’t matter.

This brings a new challenge to property rights and privacy. What policies can we implement to keep the government in check? Is the Constitution a good tool for this?

I believe that technology will always allow freedom to lead first. You cannot chase innovators with bureaucracy.

~PCCapitalist

Published in: on November 25, 2008 at 9:17 pm  Comments (3)  
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Ron Paul vs. Ben Bernanke

Supposedly, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is an expert about the Great Depression. I even own his book on the Depression. I bought it a long time ago and haven’t read it again. Ron Paul decides to school him on Austrian Economics. Here it is:

~PCCapitalist

Free Trade and the Constitution

Now I have to say I have only recently been introduced to Mr. Alan Keyes, who is running for President.

But while I was doing research on my NAFTA and free trade paper I came across an interesting article he wrote in May 5th 2001.

The article basically states that with these new free-trade agreements, in which I fully support, are Unconstitutional.

It is in the Constitution that it says the job of Congress to regulate commerce and trade.

With these trade agreements it creates a level of bureaucracy that has to manage this agreement.

With this bureaucracy it moves trade from the legislative branch and to the executive branch.

I personally think that you do not need bureaucracy to enforce free trade because businesses will want it.

And if free trade is free trade then what is there for a bureaucracy to do?

Nevertheless an issue that should be looked at…

~PCCapitalist

Published in: on December 3, 2007 at 5:08 am  Comments (1)  
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A chance to save the Second Amendment


This from the Washington Post:

“The Supreme Court announced yesterday (Tuesday) that it will determine whether the District of Columbia’s strict firearms law violates the Constitution, a decision that will raise the politically and culturally divisive issue of gun control just in time for the 2008 elections.”

This is a very important bill and is a chance to see our new conservative judges at work. Especially considering that this is one of the most important amendments to the Constitution.

People get caught up with this amendment and think that it gives hunters the freedom to hunt. This isn’t even the beginning of the creation of this amendment.

This is what it says:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The founding fathers knew that the government could get out of hand. They lived through a period in which it did. This amendment protect them from that.

This is the quote from the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was what the Constitution was based off of:

That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state…”

The part that really sticks out to me is the “safe defense of a free state.” During the Civil War, a free state is a state without slavery. The government can enslave people at anytime. Some argue that we are moving towards that with the Patriot Act and constant regulation. Slavery of their own people. Slavery that we have seen in most governments in history, except for a small few. Even they end in slavery or failure.

A free state to the Virginia Declaration of Rights is a state without restraints on their people. A state in which people are free to do whatever they want. The “free state” here is a state without slavery.

As the government tightens their grip on our freedom, we have the right to tighten our grip on our guns.

We are the checks and balance that you do not learn about in your grammar schools.

If the government gets out of line, shoot it and start over again.

I urge the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the D.C. gun ban is against the Constitution and I urge the Judges to not hold back in create a standard for all gun cases to come.

We should end all control on our guns.

~PCCapitalist

Published in: on November 21, 2007 at 3:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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