Will Ron Paul-ers Vote For Romney?

No, we won’t. Why? because we’re not so narrow-minded as to think that this is about just one election, that its as black-and-white as Republican versus Democrat, or that “taking one for the team” and handing a solitary presidential race to the GOP will actually change anything:

We’re not afraid to lose.


Republican National Committee to Raise Money for Romney

I guess the Republican National Committee is tired of waiting for the American people to make a decision:

Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee will start raising money together, as President Obama already does with the Democratic Party.

The joint fundraising arrangement was first reported today by The Wall Street Journal, and is “a move that shows Republicans are coalescing around the party’s front-runner.”

So now they’ve decided to make that decision for us. Nevermind that, while Romney may very well end up being the Republican nominee, that decision is far from final and the minds of the American people are far from made up.

Thanks RNC! You don’t have a personal agenda at all and genuinely care about what the American people want!

Apologizing for America’s Mistakes is not Un-American

Columnist Gary Younge is spot on when he states that apologizing for America’s mistakes is not un-American. In fact, recognizing and working to rectify America’s shortcomings is precisely the patriotic thing to do. So when President Obama offers apologies to Afghanistan when we burn Korans, or when a U.S. soldier goes on a shooting rampage killing 16 Afghans, in an attempt to defuse escalating violence abroad I say kudos. Why do I say that? Because even though I consider Obama possibly the worst president in American history I’m not a bigot and, therefore, don’t decry the positive actions of my opponents in the name of misplaced tribal loyalties. Unfortunately, those on the right seem more interested in engaging in polarizing rhetoric than in giving credit where credit is due. In Romney’s words:

“Never before in American history has its president gone before so many foreign audiences to apologize for so many American misdeeds, both real and imagined. It is his way of signalling to foreign countries and foreign leaders that their dislike for America is something he understands and that is, at least in part, understandable. There are anti-American fires burning all across the globe; President Obama’s words are like kindling to them.”

Strange words. Am I to believe that it was Obama’s formal apology for the American military’s Koran burning that lead to the subsequent riots and violence and not, perhaps, the Koran burnings themselves? To say nothing of the remarks made by Gingrich and others like him demanding that Afghanistan should be the ones apologizing to us. Remember that, should our military ever accidentally burn a pile of Bibles like they “accidently” burned Korans then its the Christians who owe our government an apology. Ridiculous.

On the same issue of Koran burning Rick Santorum recently argued that Obama’s apology over the US military burning Korans in Afghanistan, showed weakness:

“It suggests that there is somehow blame, this is somehow that we did something wrong in the sense of doing a deliberate act wrong. I think it shows that we are – that I think it shows weakness.”

Even if our military’s Koran burning really was accidental blame still exists. The Koran is sacred to the 1.7 billion Muslims of the world just as the Bible is sacred to Christians and apologizing for their destruction shows integrity not weakness. Some things are more important than cowardly attempts at saving face.

Romney: Cross-Party Voting “Disgusting” . . . Except When I Do It

The Michigan primary is over and Romney and Santorum essentially tied for first with an equal number of delegates. However, it took some lowbrow political tactics from Romney to even squeak by with a virtual tie:

Jon Stewart: Indecision 2012 – Mitt Romney’s & Rick Santorum’s Michigan Campaigns

I’m against the kind of sabotaging of America’s political process that Romney so gleefully supported in the past (unless someone else is doing it – then its “disgusting”). However, for a candidate to ask voters of another party to vote for him in an open primary in no way constitutes sabotage. Americans aren’t granted their voting rights according to which party they belong to and should be allowed to vote for whomever they want- regardless of party affiliation. For that reason, I like open primaries and I think Santorum’s methods were perfectly reasonable. I do take umbrage at the Democrat robo-calls that urged Democrats to vote for Santorum in order to “continue the Republican clown show” as that does constitute sabotage and is a disgrace to our democratic process.

Romney, however, demeans the political process when #1 he flip-flops according to where the political winds blow and #2 calls cross-voting “disgusting” as if he were talking about inbreeding or something. Democrats and Republicans mingling? Disgusting!

Why America Needs Ron Paul

Ron Paul has been called extreme, radical, crazy and even dangerous. His views are often portrayed as too far out there – they are unrealistic and impractical. I don’t think Congressman Paul is crazy and I certainly don’t think he is dangerous to the American common good but I do cede that he is extreme, he is radical, he is an idealist and it certainly may be argued that his proposed policies are not practical. However, America’s problems are also extreme and will require extreme solutions. In short, the woes of our nation beg an idealist man – not a practical man, not a down-to-earth man, but a theoretical man who, when Rome burns, isn’t constrained by the limitations of convention. The tried-and-true methods are wonderful when times are good but to rely on such “practical” measures in the face of unprecedented challenges is erroneous. Our practicum has tried-and-failed and only the theoretical idealist can get us out now. Don’t believe me? Lets look at a mere few of the problems plaguing our country right now.

Our national debt is 15.4 trillion dollars, or 136,021 dollars per taxpayer. Our total unfunded liabilities are over 117.7 trillion dollars at over one million dollars per taxpayer. Our federal government overspends beyond its revenue at a rate of over 1.2 trillion dollars per year. Ron Paul’s spending plan cuts $1 trillion in spending during the first year of presidency, eliminating five cabinet departments (Energy, HUD, Commerce, Interior, and Education), abolishing the Transportation Security Administration and returning responsibility for security to private property owners, abolishing corporate subsidies, stopping foreign aid, ending foreign wars, and returning most other spending to 2006 levels. Ron Paul proposes the most extreme budget cuts of any presidential candidate by leaps and bounds. Yet, by cutting 1 trillion we still fall 200 million short annually of a balanced budget. That means that by cutting spending by an amount equal to half our revenue we will still be accruing debt and won’t even begin paying off our massive debt! Under the implementation of Ron Paul’s spending plan we would have a balanced budget by 2015 and then, finally, we can begin the arduous but essential process of reducing our debt burden. This is the most radical plan of action out there, proposed by a man considered so extreme the MSM undergoes frequent media blackouts in an attempt to curb his influence, and yet all it proposes is doing the bare minimum to get America’s economy back on track.

Ron Paul is labeled extreme because he wants to use the American people’s money prudently – instead of allowing our federal government to have free reign with the billions entrusted to them by us. His plan to eliminate government waste makes a 10% reduction in the federal workforce, slashes Congressional pay and perks, and curbs excessive federal travel. To stand with the American People, President Paul will take a salary of $39,336, approximately equal to the median personal income of the American worker. Meanwhile, the “practical” fiscal conservative Santorum who voted multiple times for congressional pay raises thinks that this is just too radical – and Romney, Gingrich and Obama agree.

The issue upon which conservatives seem to find Ron Paul’s stance most abhorrent though is on foreign policy. First, lets set the stage: what is the current state of American national defense and foreign policy? Today, hundreds of thousands of our fighting men and women have been stretched thin all across the globe in over 135 countries – often without a clear mission, any sense of what defines victory, or the knowledge of when they’ll be permanently reunited with their families. Ron Paul believes that acting as the world’s policeman and nation-building weakens our country, puts our troops in harm’s way, and sends precious resources to other nations in the midst of an historic economic crisis. Taxpayers are forced to spend billions of dollars each year to protect the borders of other countries, while Washington refuses to deal with our own border security needs. Congress has been rendered virtually irrelevant in foreign policy decisions and regularly cedes authority to an executive branch that refuses to be held accountable for its actions. Constitutionally, we cannot declare war without congressional approval. Do you remember a declaration of war from congress against Iraq? How about Afghanistan? Me neither. Thats because the executive branch has usurped the power to go to war – the same executive branch that, under NDAA, can now detain any American citizen indefinitely and without trial. Ron Paul, instead of spending billions in military ventures abroad and paying off tin-pot dictators around the world, would rather see strong borders at home and our money invested in the the American people – not in North Korea, Egypt, Pakistan and others. Is this extreme? Compared to American politics as usual, absolutely.

Rick Santorum, the object of adoration by many Catholic conservatives (and my own second choice), has denounced Ron Paul on the issue of abortion. Yet, Ron Paul seeks to immediately save lives by effectively repealing Roe v. Wade and preventing activist judges from interfering with state decisions on life by removing abortion from federal court jurisdiction through legislation modeled after his “We the People Act.” Additionally, Ron Paul will define life as beginning at conception by passing a “Sanctity of Life Act.” Furthermore, because Congressman Paul agrees with Thomas Jefferson that it is “sinful and tyrannical” to “compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors,” Ron Paul will also protect the American people’s freedom of conscience by working to prohibit taxpayer funds from being used for abortions, Planned Parenthood, or any other so-called “family planning” program. Compare this to Santorum who voted for a budget bill that contained millions in funds for Planned Parenthood, who proudly defends federal funding for contraception including the Pill which has been shown to be abortifacient (skip to 9:05) even though he personally opposes contraception, and who endorsed a militantly pro-abortion candidate against a pro-life candidate to his own political gain.

Ron Paul’s views are extreme . . . to a conventional political system that has no place to fit a man who doesn’t behave the way a politician is “supposed to act”.  Ron Paul doesn’t strategically endorse candidates for political gain like other politicians do, he only accepts campaign donations from individuals and not corporations like other politicians do, and he gives unused funds from his allotted office budget back to taxpayers every year to the sum of $100,000 last year which other politicians don’t do (except for his son, Rand Paul). Politicians like Santorum or Romney are too entrenched in the trees to see the forest – they’re a part of the same establishment that has failed us in every facet of government involvement so how can they possibly reverse the trend?

Ron Paul doesn’t limit himself to our current system because he recognizes that the system is broken. Its the system, politics as usual, thats the problem. We can vote for men like Santorum or Romney or Gingrich or Obama who will continue the “tried-and-true” trends of increased government spending, increased federal powers, suppression of rights, serial foreign warfare and continued government takeover of the private business sector while throwing us a bone once in a while or we can vote for a man whose been ideologically consistent for 30 years, who is uncompromising in his ideals, who stands by the constitution and who has had the audacity to offer real solutions with real change. Ultimately, the decision is ours and, if we find ourselves stuck with four more years of ad nauseam corporate fascism at the hands of an Obama or a Romney then we have no one to blame but ourselves. In politics, we tend to get what we deserve so, this time around, lets try to deserve something a little better.

Linkstorm: The Americanist Edition

Fantasizing about peeing on dead Afghan soldiers is patriotic but joking about a Superbowl ad is categorically un-Americanist and cannot go unpunished. 

After tough sanctions, Iran meets some of Obama’s demands . . . sort of.

NATO airstrike kills seven children aged between seven and 15 and one adult who was a 20-year-old mentally-handicapped person.

Apparently, not only is it okay for America to be the policemen of the world, but we have a responsibility to to do so. We, “must keep an eye on the entire world.” White man’s burden, anyone?

President Obama decides that its okay for wealthy corporations to contribute to his campaign when merely 16 months ago he called the very same super PACs a “threat to Democrats” and a “threat to democracy.”

Santorum says that as president he would demand Iran “open your facilities, you begin to dismantle this nuclear program, or we will dismantle it for you.” Even though Iran has a far more transparent nuclear program than the United States and we retain the right to our own massive nuclear arsenal. Gingrich and Romney both complain that China is “cheating” in order to bolster their economy. Romney wants to take measures that could lead to sanctions against America’s biggest importer – never mind that China would almost certainly considered such measures an act of war. 

Patrick Vandapool provides a fitting illustration for Americanist ultra-nationalism.

The GOP Debate: as Disappointing as Ever

The GOP primary debate is currently on live in South Carolina and I’ve finally reached the breaking point where I just can’t watch anymore. If anyone says anything else interesting I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about it. In the meantime there were two statements made that I found particularly enlightening and would like to address.

The first statement was made by Romney as he announced his support for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorizes the indefinite detention of American citizens without trial under suspicion of terrorist activity thus allowing the executive branch to completely bypass our judicial system. Up to this point Romney has not held a position on the bill as far as I am aware (At the time of the Iowa caucuses he stated that he was “unaware” of the bill and promised caucus goers that he would read it at a later date). I personally find it very disturbing that our legislators and many of the GOP candidates vying for the presidency have apparently lost all faith in our judicial system during the course of their war on terror and are now eager to completely excise it from our justice system at the expense of the constitutional rights of all American citizens.

The second statement was made by Rick Perry regarding the marines who urinated on the corpses of Afghani soldiers. In response to the marines the Secretary of Defense and the Obama administration condemned the actions as “utterly despicable”. Perry, however, while he thinks that these soldiers should be punished by the military, believes that this reaction from the President is too strong and that the marines should not be prosecuted for any crime. Furthermore, he relayed this incident in order to provide an “example” of Obama’s “disdain” for our military. Let me repeat that: Rick Perry thinks that condemning the marines who urinated on foreign soldiers corpses within their own land as “utterly despicable” equates to disdain by Obama for our entire armed forces, dishonoring them and all their sacrifice. However, what Rick Perry seems incapable of understanding is that the president’s words were entirely accurate: desecration of dead bodies illustrates a grave disrespect for the sanctity of human life and the immutable truth that each and every human being is made in the image and likeness of God our creator. President Obama’s choice of words were completely appropriate in respect to this violation and in no way was a reflection of his views on the military at large. That Rick Perry is willing to compromise recognition of the infinite value innate to human life for blind allegiance to our military bodes ill for the protection of human rights.

This is why I don’t like watching these debates. It doesn’t seem like much to ask for public servants who will simply uphold our constitutional rights and respect and abide by Catholic moral teaching yet apparently even that is more than our politicians can handle. I urge my readers that, in order to send a message to our politicians, you simply support a candidate compatible with Catholic moral teaching no matter how “unelectable” they may be, a candidate who doesn’t support abortion, unjust war, assassinations, torture, preemptive military strikes, foreign aid to dictators, covert operations against countries without declaration of war, redefinition of marriage, or increases in government power at the expense of our constitutional rights to name a few. Its more difficult than it sounds as such candidates appear to be rare this presidential race. The only major candidate on either side of the aisle who comes close in my opinion is Ron Paul, but don’t take my word for it; find out for yourself.