Monday, December 8, 2014

Dear Rand Paul: Stop trying to lose the GOP primary

Rand Paul, or more likely his advisers, are putting the proverbial cart before the horse. They are focusing more on winning the general election than the primary, but that is in reverse order of what a sensible campaign would do.

To be sure, there is nothing wrong with reaching out to non-Republican voters well ahead of the general election. But do it in a way that actually reaches out to them. (For the most part, he is doing a good job of this.) And don't alienate the conservative base in an attempt to reach out to those non-Republican voters.

I will support Rand Paul for President, but I want him to win. He has done some things lately that have just left me exasperated. So I am going to offer two pieces of constructive advice to Rand:

1. Do not meet with Al Sharpton. Meeting with Al Sharpton will not gain you any votes. Anyone who remotely likes Al Sharpton will never vote for you. He will not support you either. Meeting with Al Sharpton will not improve race relations. No one in the black community causes more racial strife than the despicable Sharpton. He isn't interested in peace or a colorblind society. His own means of existence is dependent on stoking the flames of the racial fires. And for heaven's sake, don't pose for a picture with him, especially if you are going to keep your eyes closed.

2. Do not go boost the Mississippi Republican Party. There are 50 state GOP parties, and you have to pick the one that torpedoed Chris McDaniel. Come on. I won't criticize you for not endorsing McDaniel during the primary, though I think you should have. But I understand why staying neutral makes sense. But under no circumstance should you have gone to help those scumbags. Scumbags who used the race card, intellectually progressive arguments, and downright lies to keep Thad Cochran in office. That, in the eyes of observant voters, is taking sides. All you emerged from the meeting with was a nice picture of you with a good chunk of the "stars and bars" in the backdrop. The MS GOP cronies will not support you either, but they will gladly use your name to fund raise.

If Rand wants to win the primary in 2016, he needs to retain his father's libertarian base while at the same time be able to draw substantially from the conservative base. The conservative base shot Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum to heights of success in 2012, but if he wants the conservative base to remain with him throughout, Rand will need to demonstrate that he is not their enemy or a politician with his finger in the wind, but someone who stands with them.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Is Libertarianism Synonymous With Licentiousness?

Cross-posted at RedState.

One common complaint by cultural conservatives of libertarianism is that is really just licentiousness. While that argument is popular, it doesn’t take long to examine why it is incorrect. What needs to be recognized is that libertarianism is a political philosophy concerning the role of government, not a cultural philosophy. It should also not be confused with the Libertarian Party.

Libertinism, on the other hand, can be properly described as a synonym of licentiousness. According to Webster’s dictionary, a libertine is “a person who is unrestrained by convention or morality” and licentious refers to being “marked by disregard for strict rules of correctness.”
But what about the people who embrace libertarian arguments just so they can do drugs and have wild sex?

They are opportunistic libertines. It’s that simple. The fact that they happen to embrace the libertarian outlook of government on certain issues to benefit themselves personally doesn’t make the broader philosophy incorrect. In fact, accepting such a viewpoint is the very definition of an ad hominem argument, i.e. your character makes you wrong.

I am a cultural conservative as well as a libertarian. There are plenty of other culturally conservative libertarians who also agree with legalizing (that is, repealing government laws) personal vices. Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek, for example, hardly strike people as wild hippies. They largely reside in the GOP. Friedman stated the views of many when he said, “I am a libertarian with a small “l” and a Republican with a capital “R”.”

Ultimately, freedom exists so that people can disagree and live their lives as they choose, as long as they don’t directly harm others.

According to Rick Santorum, “True liberty is freedom in the service of virtue—not “the freedom to be as selfish as I want to be,” or “the freedom to be left alone,” but “the freedom to attend to one’s duties—duties to God, to family, and to neighbors.”

Those who accept this definition of liberty are simply one side of the same coin progressives use. Social engineering-whether it be conservative or progressive in nature, is not true liberty. Coercive, yes. Collectivist, yes. Authoritarian, yes. But it has nothing to do with liberty. Liberty means that when people like Santorum confront you on how to live, you can keep on walking. It means that when Sandra Fluke demands she has a right to your money so that she can pay for birth control, you can keep walking. It means you can choose to be like either Santorum or Fluke and speak your mind, regardless of whether you are wrong or right.

As Walter E. Williams puts it:
Here’s a question: What is the true test of one’s commitment to freedom of expression? Is it when one permits others to express ideas with which he agrees? Or is it when he permits others to express ideas he finds deeply offensive? I’m betting that most people would wisely answer that it’s the latter, and I’d agree. How about this question: What is the true test of one’s commitment to freedom of association? Is it when people permit others to freely associate in ways of which they approve? Or is it when they permit others to freely associate in ways they deem despicable? I’m sure that might be a considerable dispute about freedom of association compared with the one over freedom of expression. To be for freedom in either case requires that one be brave enough to accept the fact that some people will make offensive expressions and associate in offensive ways.
I agree with fellow cultural conservatives that only a moral people will preserve a free society. But turning to government to make society more moral doesn’t work (0ften yielding unintended consequences), and at the same time it ensures that society is not free. Instead, cultural conservatives should seek to directly change the hearts and minds of people through persuasion, not attempt to criminalize their deviant behavior.*

*While there is disagreement among libertarians on the issue of abortion, I consider it a proper role for government involvement as it involves the taking of life. For pro-life libertarian arguments, check out Libertarians for Life and their excellent library.

Friday, August 22, 2014

“Safe, Legal, and Rare”

Cross-posted at Redstate.

 “[Our] core beliefs and values can guide us in reaching our goal of keeping abortion safe, legal and rare into the next century.” -Hillary Clinton

The quote above represents the three-pronged appeal the left uses to make abortion feel nice and cozy. In reality, abortion is a brutal and barbaric practice which needs to be sent to history’s landfill to rot with institutions such as slavery.

I want to deconstruct the “safe, legal, and rare” argument one word at a time.

Firstly, there is absolutely no reason why abortion should be safe. That is like saying robbery should be easy, murder should be a breeze, and fraud should be a cakewalk. If abortion is to be stopped, there must be disincentives aimed at it. The left likes to appeal to the sympathy of voters by claiming abortion opponents would seek to return to the days of women using rusty coat hangers in back alleys. While I don’t want women performing abortions on their own, I would much rather it be that difficult, not as simple as getting groceries. I don’t want women to injure or possibly kill themselves. But, should I really feel sympathy when the act they are engaging in is resulting in the killing another human being?

And what rational, reasonable, sane woman would be willing to risk her own life just so that she can absolve responsibility for carrying her baby? The tradeoff simply isn’t worth it. In many areas of law, prohibitions simply lead to the criminal act being pushed underground. In this case, the consequence is too high for it to occur commonplace.

On that note, let me address the legal side of abortion. I don’t believe that the purpose of government is to “regulate morality.” I believe attempts to do so do lead to prohibited acts being pushed underground, leaving the laws ineffective in their goal. I also believe that the proper role of government isn’t to determine how we live, but rather ensure that we live together without violating each others rights. As Locke correctly put it, the role of government is to protect life, liberty, and property from the intentional actions of others.

That is what separates abortion from drug laws, guns laws, sexual deviance laws, gambling laws, hate crime laws, and other various laws regulating vices. While abortion is immoral and is opposed by many people because it is immoral, that is not a sufficient reason to make it illegal. The reason, rather, is that is deprives a human being of their life. The first purpose of legitimate government is to prevent and prosecute the deliberate taking of life.

And so that leads us to how often abortions should be done. From both a moral and more importantly from a policy view, a legal perspective, abortions should either occur either freely or not at all. There is no middle ground. Abortion is either wrong or right; a standard medical procedure or the killing of an innocent person. Abortion should not be “rare,” it should be nonexistent based on what we know about when a unique life is formed. This “rare” argument is logically unsound, which doesn’t matter to those who use it because it is designed to appeal to emotion.

Finally, I want to address the “War on Women” talking point. My opposition, as well that of others, has nothing to do with the fact that women uniquely have pregnancies. Believe me, if men could get pregnant, I would be just as opposed to abortion. Are we to believe opponents of abortion, many of whom support the death penalty, are somehow engaged in a “War on Men?” Of course not.

My message to the left: Before you assume someone is misogynist, racist, hateful, nativist, etc., try examining the content of their argument. It does take more effort, but if you can understand someone without being prejudging and name-calling, you can give yourself an intellectual pat on the back and know that you are smarter/more informed than most people. You might just be persuaded, too.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rand Paul Defends Rick Perry In Response To Politically Motivated Indictment

Texas Governor Rick Perry was indicted by a grand jury in liberal Travis County for allegedly abusing his power. The truth is that Perry threatened to veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit headed up by drunken and belligerent Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg unless she resigned.

The Texas Constitution gives Governor Perry the authority to utilize the line-item veto. As such, the indictment has been panned as a political witch hunt by observers on both sides of the isle.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who recently feuded publicly with Perry over foreign policy, joined his father and other potential 2016 rivals in defending Perry, a likely 2016 candidate himself.

The Washington Post reports:
 As Paul left for Guatemala last weekend, Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry, another potential 2016 presidential contender, was indicted by a grand jury on charges he abused his office and tried to coerce an elected official to resign. Despite past differences with Perry – most recently on military operations in Iraq – Paul sought to defend the governor against what he considers politically-motivated charges.
“You know, Travis County has a history of politically-motivated stuff,” he said of the county prosecutor’s office that sought Perry’s indictment. “They did it to [former House Majority Leader] Tom DeLay as well. I haven’t really read that much about it other than to think that you could be indicted for doing a veto? I don’t know how that could even pass the laugh test, really.”
By the way, you can read more about Rand Paul's Guatemala trip, during which he performed charity eye surgeries, at Rare Magazine.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rude Illegals Interrupt Rep. Steve King And Sen. Rand Paul From Eating

On Monday, as Congressman Steve King and Senator Rand Paul were taking a break from the campaign trail to grab some burgers.

Just as they were able to sit down, however, two illegal immigrants approached the pair and introduced themselves.

Realizing that they were about to get into a shouting match with King, who is known for being an immigration hardliner, Paul wisely left the situation.

The two illegals, primarily the woman, proceeded to engage in theatrics with King, who was having none of their melodramatic nonsense.

See the video of the confrontation for yourself:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tom McMillin (MI-8) Interview With Liberty Conservatives

State Representative Tom McMillin is running for Congress in Michigan's 8th district. He has been endorsed by his close friend Congressman Justin Amash.


Friday, June 6, 2014

The Chamber Of Commerce, National Right To Life, & The National Rifle Association Are Waging War On Conservatives

Most Republicans prefer to vote for the most conservative candidates in elections. Lets face it, nobody is inspired by moderation, compromise, and beltway-style politicking.

Yet somehow establishment Republicans continue to get elected.

One of the reasons is their money advantage. Another is the apathy of ignorant voters who perform the "civic duty" they learned about in school by dutifully checking "R" on the ballot box.  But most voters are at least mildly interested in where a candidate stands on the issues. They aren't motivated enough to actually peruse the voting records of incumbents (lets face it, it is a bit complicated), so instead they look towards endorsements for assurance.

The majority of Republicans aren't tuned into the fine details of politics. They aren't aware of specific bills and strategic alliances that occupy Washington. What they mostly care about are core issues, such as the economy, gun rights, and abortion. If a candidate, particularly an incumbent, stands with them on those issues, they will support them.

So it is really detrimental to grassroots-backed, constitutional conservatives when groups like the Chamber of Commerce, National Right to Life, and the National Rifle Association throw their weight behind establishment and/or moderate Republicans.
When those groups make an endorsement, the standard Republican is subconsciously filling out a checklist in their head. Here is something along the lines of what they are probably thinking:
"I support capitalism, and the candidate is endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce."
"I'm pro-life, and the candidate is endorsed by the National Right to Life."
"I support gun rights,  and the candidate is endorsed by the National Rifle Association."
"Ok, looks like I'll be voting for this candidate!"
The effect of this is to stonewall the efforts of genuinely conservative candidates and their supporters.

Most of us are aware of the actions of the Chamber of Commerce, or the "Chamber of Crony Capitalism" as Mark Levin calls them. Rather than supporting free markets, the Chamber promotes policies which help big business. There is a difference between the two. Pro-big business can mean supporting more regulations, tariffs, bailouts, subsidies, and a loose monetary policy.

OpenSecrets reports that the Chamber in 2014 has spent nearly 10 million (so far) for establishment Republicans, and 1 million opposing conservatives like Chris McDaniel and Bryan Smith. You can see who all they have supported and opposed at the link.
More surprising to many conservatives are the endorsements by National Right to Life. NRTL has endorsed Lindsey Graham, Thad Cochran, Mitch McConnell, Pat Roberts and Thom Tillis for Senate in 2014. All of these endorsements are primary endorsements, and these are the only candidates NRTL has endorsed for Senate. In the North Carolina Senate primary, Tillis, who supports abortion exceptions, was opposed by two staunchly pro-life candidates in OB-GYN Greg Brannon and Pastor Mark Harris. NRTL has been taking an moderate stance for a while now, opposing Rep. Justin Amash's amendment to defund all abortion providers, and kicking out Georgia Right to Life from the national network for being 100% pro-life.

The National Rifle Association has long taken a compromising stance on gun control, and this shines through in their endorsements. They frequently endorse Democrats, including liberals like Harry Reid and Ted Strickland. They love establishment Republicans too. As you can see thanks to OpenSecrets, the NRA has been in the tank for establishment candidates this cycle, spending nearly $300,000 in support of Rep. Mike Simpson, and over $100,000 for each of Mitch McConnell and Thom Tillis (Tillis repeated pro-gun control talking points in the Senate debate.)

The actions taken and the endorsements made by these organizations is unacceptable. They believe now is the time for moderation and compromise. They are happy with the status quo.
It's past time true conservatives reject these organizations. Stop sending them money, burn your memberships cards, and join organizations that actually represent your values. instead of supporting the Chamber of Commerce, support the Club for Growth. Instead of supporting National Right to Life, support the National Pro-Life Alliance. Instead of suporting the NRA, support Gun Owners of America and the National Association for Gun Rights. These are uncompromising organizations with plans for action.