Posts tagged Super Tuesday
By Tom Mullen on Mon, 03/05/2012
Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.
Non-Aggression Is Not Pacifism (Libertarians Hit Back)
Heading into “Super Tuesday,” many conservatives lament that they do not like any of the remaining Republican candidates for president. Romney is too moderate, Gingrich too much a “Washington insider,” and Santorum both an insider and a guaranteed loser against Obama thanks to his willingness to bare his soul about some of his more outlandish socially conservative views.
That leaves Ron Paul, who would seem to be the ideal conservative candidate. Paul’s Plan to Restore America actually cuts $1 trillion from the federal budget in his first year as president, including eliminating the Department of Education that Ronald Reagan promised to abolish.
Paul is the only candidate that actually disagrees with President Obama in principle on “spreading the wealth around.” Paul doesn’t just nibble a few pennies away from financially insignificant welfare programs. He actually has a funded plan to let young people opt out of Medicare and Social Security. This is really a plan to responsibly end these programs. Government-mandated programs only survive because people are forced to participate. If conservatives really do oppose socialism, they should agree with Paul on this. Where do they think Social Security got its name?
For a large group of conservatives, they are with Paul right up until he explains his foreign policy. Suddenly, not only does the courtship end, they stop taking calls and change their phone numbers. That’s unfortunate because most conservatives make this decision upon a completely distorted view of Paul’s foreign policy.
All of Ron Paul’s policy decisions are based upon the same underlying principle: the libertarian principle of non-aggression. As he stated during my own interview with him last year (about the 7:30 mark here), “That’s the moral principle. The legislative principle is really in the Constitution.” Based upon this principle, the government is never allowed to initiate force against the innocent. That means that it cannot redistribute wealth, it cannot stop you from harming yourself with drugs or other vices, and it cannot start a war with another nation.
This is not some new age idea from the early libertarian movement of the 1970’s. This is the foundation of the founders’ philosophy of government. Thomas Jefferson made it explicit when he said, “No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.”
Jefferson’s first order of business upon reaching the White House was to cut military spending dramatically. His goal was a military establishment adequate to defend the nation but inadequate to the imperial designs of Federalists like Alexander Hamilton. However, when the Pasha of Tripoli declared war upon the United States, Jefferson did not hesitate to send in the Marines for a quick and decisive win.
The confusion starts when Paul’s policies are described as “dovish” or “soft” on Iran or other supposedly belligerent nations. People unfamiliar with libertarian ideas may honestly misunderstand them. Others deliberately distort them. Let there be no confusion. Non-aggression is not pacifism. Libertarians hit back.
Indeed, Paul has said that if the people really do want to go to war, then he would ask the Congress for a declaration of war. He rarely gets time to explain why this is important. The declaration of war involves a debate about whether a state of war already exists. That’s why it’s so important. The declaration of war power doesn’t authorize Congress to start a war. It allows them to direct the president to end it. Check the language of every declaration of war that Congress has ever made. They all support this interpretation.
Active duty military seem to understand this implicitly, which is why they overwhelmingly support Ron Paul. They are ready to risk their lives for their country, but only when their country is truly in danger. Why don’t most conservative voters agree with them? They decorate their vehicles with stickers saying “Support Our Troops” but do not support the candidate that the troops want to be president.
It is no accident that the United States has never really won a war since Congress stopped declaring them. Instead, we send our troops into some far-off land for decades at a time with no clear definition of victory. Their hands are tied with confusing rules of engagement that keep them from winning and prolong the war. This is good for those who profit from war but bad for the troops who risk or lose their lives.
None of this happens in a Ron Paul presidency. Instead, war is far less likely to come at all, which is a good thing. If it is forced upon us, Ron Paul will have it properly declared by the Congress and then will fight it to win. Make no mistake. Of all of the Republican candidates for president, only Ron Paul will win the next war.
 Jefferson, Thomas Letter to Francis Walker Gilmer June 7, 1816 from The Works of Thomas Jefferson edited by Paul Leicester Ford G.P. Putnam’s Sons New York and London The Knickerbocker Press 1905 pg. 533-34
Somewhat as a reply to Sherrie, whose graphic I am borrowing
While Sherrie does a fine job exhibiting her disgust and dismay at the fraud and corruption cloaking the voting process and stemming results, of which I agree, I would have to add to her thoughts.
For one, I voted the same way, most likely for the same set of reasons. Historically I also favored the reality of Ross Perot over the choice of stooge mentality. As a difference to Sherrie’s good perspective, her statement “There is no democracy left in the United States” caught my attention as there should never be democracy, as our founders despised that form of government. That is quite a conflict to the belief on inalienable rights on one hand to say those rights can be taken away by 50.1% of the people. I do understand Sherrie’s point and agree in principle as the deterioration of our Republic.
The same “last thought” idea crossed my mind Wednesday. I voted on Super Tuesday, and I voted for individual liberties, ending illegal wars, in support of our law of the land, the Constitution, fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense, freedom, liberty and an end to empire building for corporate gain. I choose on principle, not on MSM popularity. I preferred to use my vote to express my views and choices, not to waste my vote on trying to support whomever might win as if betting on a football game or a horse race. Sadly, that mentality is what we now find ourselves surrounded by today. It would appear that most around me prefer a fake conservative theme song with lyrics that support preemptive aggressive wars. So have we as a nation lost our way? Sitting here today I believe this should be a statement not a question.
Sorry, not choosing the lesser of two evils!
I sat Wednesday thinking that I know how I voted, but who may have gotten my vote once the machine recorded it? Personally I do not care as my issue is not to whom the vote went but more so did it not go as directed? Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, the list goes on.
Soon November will be upon us. This will most likely be the last vote, unless the system gets fixed, which I unfortunately do not see happening. How I vote will be determined by how the cards play out over the next few months. Who I vote for is not in question and more importantly the message that I vote for will not waver.
For more information please follow the links below to Sherrie’s original post and also to actions being taken in NY to return voting and the processing of the votes back to a transparent method.
Remember, many of us swore an oath to defend the Constitution, to which the oath had no expiration date.
Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!
By Ros Krasny
(Reuters) – He is the only one of the four contenders for the Republican presidential nomination not to have won a state primary or caucus.
But on Saturday, Ron Paul could get his best shot at a victory in Maine, the cold, far northeastern state that has given a warm reception to his libertarian views.
Local caucusing has been under way in Maine since January 29, and will continue in a few towns until March. Even so, the state Republican Party will announce the winner of its presidential straw poll on Saturday, and the Texas congressman’s strong on-the-ground organization could have a big impact.
Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, generally is viewed as the favorite here, and in the overall Republican race. After losing the last three state contests to Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, Romney is thirsty for a morale-boosting win in Maine, where he won 52 percent of the vote during his unsuccessful run for president in 2008.
Paul typically has been viewed as the Republican contender least likely to win the nomination, but he has a loyal following and this week was running second to Romney in a nationwide Reuters/Ipsos poll of Republican voters.
Paul has yet to translate that appeal into a victory in the state-by-state race for the nomination. His best results have been second-place finishes in Minnesota and New Hampshire, in both instances far behind the winner.
Speaking to supporters on Tuesday after his runner-up finish in Minnesota, Paul said he expected to do well in Maine.
Political analysts agree.
“If Ron Paul is going to win one state, this is the one,” said Mark Brewer, associate professor of political science at the University of Maine in Orono.
“There’s a particularly strong libertarian streak in Maine’s political culture, and Ron Paul can tap into that in a way that the others really can’t,” Brewer said. “He can generate a mass of enthusiasm, particularly among college students.”
PAUL’S AGGRESSIVE EFFORTS
Polling data is sparse for the Pine Tree State, so it is difficult to get a precise read on where the candidates stand with voters.
The betting site Intrade is predicting that Romney will win the state, followed by Paul.
Santorum and former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich have largely ignored Maine, preferring to focus on other states in the run-up to the “Super Tuesday” contests on March 6, when voters in 10 states will take part in primaries or caucuses.
But Paul’s supporters have been aggressive in their get-out-the-vote efforts, calling to make sure potential voters know when and where to caucus — no small feat given the state’s stretched-out voting calendar.
Sylvia Most, a Republican who has worked on several political campaigns, including Maine U.S. Senator Susan Collins’ successful re-election bid in 2008, said Paul’s ground troops have been out in force.
“At the caucus in my local community (in Scarborough, near Portland), they had a good organization, and that’s what I’ve been hearing elsewhere,” Most said.
CONCERNS FOR ROMNEY?
Maine has only 24 delegates at stake, a fraction of the 1,144 needed to clinch the Republican nomination.
But the symbolic importance of Maine to Romney has spiked after Tuesday, when the front-runner lost to Santorum in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.
With that in mind, Romney’s schedulers had their candidate flying to Portland late on Friday for a town hall meeting, hours after a speech to the conservative CPAC meeting in Washington.
“One can speculate that his campaign is hearing some things they don’t really like out of Maine,” Brewer said. “It certainly sounds like Ron Paul is doing well so far.”
If Romney’s visit could be a sign of weakness, Paul’s two-day campaign swing in late January was a show of strength. The congressman attracted large crowds despite frigid weather, and favorable press when he held six events in the state.
Paul met with Maine’s Governor Paul LePage, a Republican affiliated with the Tea Party, a populist conservative movement that aims to limit taxes and government.
Elected in 2010, LePage has outraged many Maine Democrats by, among other things, seeking to undermine labor unions. But LePage, who has not made an endorsement in the presidential race, is popular with the type of die-hard conservatives who typically vote in the Republican caucuses.
Maine is split into two congressional districts. The southern 1st District, which includes lively and eclectic Portland, is “right in Romney’s back yard,” Most said.
But the sparsely populated 2nd District, dominated by woods and lakes stretching hundreds of miles to the Canadian border, is quintessential Ron Paul territory because its residents tend to be wary of government excess.
Although he carried all but two of Maine’s 16 counties in the 2008 primary, “I’d be pretty surprised if Romney’s able to win a lot of towns in the 2nd District,” Brewer said. “2008 was a different contest.”
Ron Paul takes game to next level, emerges as serious contender for GOP nomination
“Well I won’t back down, no I won’t back down, you could stand me up at the Gates of Hell but I won’t back down…”– Tom Petty
After finishing a solid second in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, Texas Rep. Ron Paul made a short but important speech that sets the tone for the rest of his campaign, both in music and in words.
Taking the stage to greet supporters in Manchester Tuesday night with Tom Petty’s 1989 rock-and-roll anthem “I Won’t Back Down” playing in the auditorium, Paul left no doubt that he’s going to be pressing on in his quest for the 2012 Republican nomination and the right to represent the Grand Old Party in its effort to unseat incumbent President Barack Obama this November.
Interrupted frequently by supporters cheering and chanting things like “President Paul!” and “Ron Paul Revolution, Bring Us Back Our Constitution!,” Paul asserted that the Liberty movement he’s helped awaken is a danger to the status quo and a “danger to the Federal Reserve system.” He added that the Federal Reserve was established “to take care of the powerful interests, the military industrial complex, the banking system and deficit financing.” Paul went on to attack those who benefit financially from the wars, drawing a clear distinction between having a strong defense and “war profiteering.”
The rousing response of the crowd left no doubt that Paul will remain a contender for the Republican nomination all the way up to the party’s August convention in Tampa.
Paul’s message of personal liberty, sound money and ending foreign wars is something the Republican establishment and Neoconservative wing of the GOP has been at odds with since his 2008 presidential campaign, and Paul’s growing success in 2012 is not exactly welcome by Republican insiders like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and the entrenched “1 percent” interests they represent. With Paul’s numbers already rising in South Carolina, the next primary state, he could well be on the verge of yet another significant quantum leap in support. If Paul finishes ahead of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in South Carolina, Santorum’s campaign could be all but over. Paul could knock out another challenger with a third-place finish, and given the polling trends since New Hampshire, that is a distinct possibility.
Paul campaign expects to win caucuses in February
Wisely, Paul is bypassing heavy campaigning in Florida’s winner-take-all primary to focus on the Feb. 4 Nevada caucuses. If results from South Carolina and Florida lead to Santorum, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropping out of the race – a plausible scenario – then it could be a three-man contest in Nevada.
After Nevada, several states west of the Mississippi River hold caucuses before the so-called “Super Tuesday” contests on March 6. Paul’s national campaign manager Jesse Benton was quoted recently in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as saying Paul would win some of those caucuses.
If so, look for more Republicans to begin moving toward Paul both on ideological grounds and because they will begin to see him as the GOP’s best chance for unseating Obama.
Paul beginning to focus on electability
In his New Hampshire address, Paul signaled that ensuring Social Security recipients continue receiving benefits would take precedence over continued military ventures overseas as his administration enacted major spending cuts.
Although barely mentioned in the mainstream media, Paul’s favorable words for Social Security — the most popular and effective government program in the nation’s history — indicate that he is moving toward a kind of libertarian pragmatism coupled with an innate sense of compassion for and fairness toward retired and nearly retired workers. In short, Paul is beginning to hone his message toward one of electability – a strategy that will pay dividends in delegates as the nomination process moves forward. While Romney, Gingrich and Santorum pick at each other over trivialities and past pandering, Paul is already sending reassuring messages about how he will govern. Not only is Paul acting like the GOP frontrunner, he’s acting like a man who knows he’s going to be elected president.
In singling out Social Security, Paul sends an important message to Baby Boomers who, while supportive of Paul on such issues as legalizing medical marijuana, auditing the Federal Reserve and bringing American troops home from Afghanistan, have expressed concern that his small-government philosophy could deprive them of the retirement income they worked hard for and expect to be waiting for them upon leaving the work force. Look for him to repeat that theme as he rises in the polls and more people begin to see him as a viable alternative to Romney and the rest.
Paul will continue to shape GOP debate
As the campaign goes forward, look for Paul to pepper his familiar speeches on liberty, freedom and sound money with references to specific issues that have a lot of popular support but that the other GOP candidates won’t touch: medical marijuaan, for example. In addition, Paul’s quick defense of Romney’s role at Bain Capital in the 1980s has ensured that any criticisms he might level at Romney on other economic issues will be seen as criticisms with merit, not merely political opportunism.
The Republican Party has been a wounded “brand” since at least 2006, when Democrats swept to congressional control and sent President George W. Bush a message that we as a nation were tired of costly wars and infringements on personal freedom. Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee, did not understand that, and he lost badly to Obama, who seemed to “get it” at the time but forgot it later. Tea Party enthusiasm for the 2010 midterms, coupled with many Democrats’ disappointment in Obama, made for big GOP gains that year. Today’s Republicans are fooling themselves, however, if they think voters are re-embracing the party of George W. Bush because they want more of what Bush gave us.
Only Paul, with his genuine convictions, authentic charisma and prescient courage, is capable of leading the GOP to victory this November. The reasons Romney or Gingrich cannot win should be obvious to anyone with the ability to objectively assess the political landscape. To summarize, Romney and Gingrich cannot beat Obama because they are both functionaries for the very system that is scamming and swindling the so-called “99 percent.”
Obama is a functionary as well, at least to some degree, but Paul is not. Paul is not beholden to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or the richest of the Republican rich for funding his campaign or to Timothy Geithner for shaping U.S. monetary policy. Paul is a populist in the truest sense of the term, and as the race goes on, he’s going to work in so many populist themes that Romney, Gingrich and whoever else might be left in the race will have to chime in or else face being dismissed as dodgy, deceitful and duplicitous.
“I think the intellectual revolution that’s going on now to restore liberty in this country is well on its way,” Paul told supporters Tuesday night, “and there’s no way they’re going to stop the momentum that we have started.”
Reluctantly, Republican Party movers and shakers are waking up to that fact, but the full weight of Paul’s words may not dawn on them until he’s addressing the GOP convention in Tampa – either as the nominee or someone whose full and vocal support the nominee needs in order to have a chance at beating Obama in November.
Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!