Friday, March 16, 2007
The Doctor Is In!
To celebrate Ron Paul's official announcement, we thought we'd kick off a blog that will challenge everything you've been taught about the great American political "divide." So here's the first installment of why Ron Paul is the candidate for the right and the left.
For the last few election cycles, we've heard a lot about moderate politics, with each side accusing the other of partisanship and an interparty nastiness that didn't exist in the good old days. The implication is that whichever "We" is speaking are the white hats, the principled people who are willing to converse civilly and reach consensus. And "We" are also sure that the great mass of the American people are "moderates," too, not in-fighting extremists. "We" can bring the country together because "We" represent the midpoint between two poles.
It's time to ask what part of that nonsense speaks to the American people.
What is the midpoint between "yes" and "no"? What is the compromise between "up" and "down"? If you know you want to turn, but you don't know whether to go left or right, what exactly is the use of marching straight ahead?
The kernel of truth in that political rhetoric is that the American people are not in-fighting extremists; we do have more in common than not; and we are in search of political leaders who will use their time in office to unite, not divide us. But the answer is not watered-down principle--it's the right principle acting in full force. We're going to ask you to put aside your picture of the left-right divide for a moment, and consider what it is that you really think.
- Do you think American citizens should be sent overseas to topple and restructure foreign governments?
- Do you believe that the government has an unquestionable right to your earnings, and do you think it spends them responsibly?
- Do you think that your government, here at home, should be monitoring citizens--your bank activity, phone records, Internet use, or email traffic?
- Do you think that our $500 billion education system does a good enough job for your child?
- Do you believe that healthcare decisions should be between you and your doctor?
- Do you believe that the $9.2 billion spent annually on the incarceration of drug offenders is money well spent?
Are your answers to those questions left or right? Are they founded on party platforms, or on your intellectual and moral framework? And, most importantly for our purposes, do your answers line up with the official positions of any candidate for the presidency in 2008?
The odds are, regardless of your party affiliation, that your answers are in line with Ron Paul's. That isn't because Dr. Paul has taken a thousand polls and crafted a cafeteria-style platform that cherry-picks the most popular positions on the issues. It's because he, like you, has a principle in mind and keeps it: that America is a free country and ought to stay that way. His positions defy the left-right divide just as yours do, because that divide is more illusion than fact. (If you balk at that notion, try to list 5 issues that the parties disagree on with anything more than rhetoric.)
America is not a house divided; it is a well-built structure in need of a handyman who respects its craftsmanship. For 2008, that man is Ron Paul."
Another wonderful article about how the polarization of parties has created conditions that end up hurting many and profiting few was written by Anthony Wade. He raises very interesting questions, and I particularly liked this:
"Somehow in this country we have been convinced that while we can have 31 flavors of ice cream we can only get two coherent lines of political thought. The result is exactly what the machine wants. We snipe at each other at the lower levels of society while the machine keeps getting fed above us."