Don’t waste your vote on the lesser of two evils

The American Majority

The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.

Carroll Quigley – Author of Tragedy & Hope

The coverage of the presidential election is designed to be a grand distraction. This is not new, but this year, it’s more so than ever.

Pretending that a true difference exists between the two major candidates is a charade of great proportion. Many who help to perpetuate this myth are frequently unaware of what they are doing and believe that significant differences actually do exist. Indeed, on small points there is the appearance of a difference. The real issues, however, are buried in a barrage of miscellaneous nonsense and endless pontifications by robotic pundits hired to perpetuate the myth of a campaign of substance.

The truth is that our two-party system offers no real choice. The real goal of the campaign is to distract people from considering the real issues.

Influential forces, the media, the government, the privileged corporations and moneyed interests see to it that both party’s candidates are acceptable, regardless of the outcome, since they will still be in charge. It’s been that way for a long time. George Wallace was not the first to recognize that there’s “not a dime’s worth of difference” between the two parties. There is, though, a difference between the two major candidates and the candidates on third-party tickets and those running as independents.

The two parties and their candidates have no real disagreements on foreign policy, monetary policy, privacy issues, or the welfare state. They both are willing to abuse the Rule of Law and ignore constitutional restraint on Executive Powers. Neither major party champions free markets and private-property ownership.

Those candidates who represent actual change or disagreement with the status quo are held in check by the two major parties in power, making it very difficult to compete in the pretend democratic process. This is done by making it difficult for third-party candidates to get on the ballots, enter into the debates, raise money, avoid being marginalized, or get fair or actual coverage. A rare celebrity or a wealthy individual can, to a degree, overcome these difficulties.

The system we have today allows a President to be elected by as little as 32% of the American people, with half of those merely voting for the “lesser of two evils”. Therefore, as little as 16% actually vote for a president. No wonder when things go wrong, anger explodes. A recent poll shows that 60% of the American people are not happy with the two major candidates this year.

This system is driven by the conviction that only a major party candidate can win. Voters become convinced that any other vote is a “wasted” vote. It’s time for that conclusion to be challenged and to recognize that the only way not to waste one’s vote is to reject the two establishment candidates and join the majority, once called silent, and allow the voices of the people to be heard.

We cannot expect withdrawal of troops from Iraq or the Middle East with either of the two major candidates. Expect continued involvement in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Georgia. Neither hints of a non-interventionist foreign policy. Do not expect to hear the rejection of the policy of supporting the American world empire. There will be no emphasis in protecting privacy and civil liberties and the constant surveillance of the American people. Do not expect any serious attempt to curtail the rapidly expanding national debt. And certainly, there will be no hint of addressing the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationship with big banks and international corporations and the politicians.

There is only one way that these issues can get the attention they deserve: the silent majority must become the vocal majority.

This message can be sent to our leaders by not participating in the Great Distraction—the quadrennial campaign and election of an American President without a choice. Just think of how much of an edge a Vice President has in this process, and he or she is picked by a single person—the party’s nominee. This was never intended by the Constitution.

Since a principled non-voter sends a message, we must count them and recognize the message they are sending as well. The non-voters need to hold their own “election” by starting a “League of Non-voters” and explain their principled reasons for opting out of this charade of the presidential elective process. They just might get a bigger membership than anyone would guess.

Write-in votes should not be discouraged, but the electoral officials must be held accountable and make sure the votes are counted. But one must not be naïve and believe that under today’s circumstances one has a chance of accomplishing much by a write-in campaign.

The strongest message can be sent by rejecting the two-party system, which in reality is a one-party system with no possible chance for the changes to occur which are necessary to solve our economic and foreign policy problems. This can be accomplished by voting for one of the non-establishment principled candidates—Baldwin, Barr, McKinney, Nader, and possibly others. (listed alphabetically)

Yes, these individuals do have strong philosophic disagreements on various issues, but they all stand for challenging the status quo—those special interest who control our federal government. And because of this, on the big issues of war, civil liberties, deficits, and the Federal Reserve they have much in common. People will waste their vote in voting for the lesser of two evils. That can’t be stopped overnight, but for us to have an impact we must maximize the total votes of those rejecting the two major candidates.

For me, though, my advice—for what it’s worth—is to vote! Reject the two candidates who demand perpetuation of the status quo and pick one of the alternatives that you have the greatest affinity to, based on the other issues.

A huge vote for those running on principle will be a lot more valuable by sending a message that we’ve had enough and want real change than wasting one’s vote on a supposed lesser of two evils.

Rally for the Republic – September 2, 2008 Minneapolis, MN

This is going to be a September to remember!

As the Republican National Convention gears up to nominate a candidate at odds with so many of the party’s traditional principles, and who promises us four more years of war, inflation, and financial ruin, we’ll be holding our Rally for the Republic in neighboring Minneapolis.

On September 2nd, at the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena, the message of freedom and the Constitution will be shouted from the rooftops.  We’ll hear from top-notch speakers, musicians, and organizations who share our message.  (We’ve already revealed a few of them, with many more to be announced in the coming weeks.)  We’ll stand up for the principles of limited government, individual liberty, and respect for the Constitution that were once the hallmarks of the Republican Party.

And we’ll have a great time.

Our program in the Twin Cities will be unforgettable.  With your help, this can be the biggest event the freedom movement has ever seen.

At the rally we’ll also officially launch the Campaign for Liberty , complete with a multimedia presentation introducing the organization and laying out our short- and long-term goals. We’ll also hold workshops on how to organize and win in your precinct, district, and state. There are no shortcuts: this is the kind of knowledge we need if we are to translate great ideas into electoral victories.

But that’s not all: we also have exciting events planned for September 1st, the day the GOP convention opens.  First, Ron Paul will hold a book signing for his #1 New York Times bestseller, The Revolution: A Manifesto, at 1:00pm at a Borders bookstore on the outskirts of St. Paul (866 Rosedale Center, Roseville, Minn.).  That night, as a thank-you to all those who worked so hard on the campaign, we are pleased to announce the Ron Paul Nation Celebration , a free concert by musicians who supported Ron Paul.

Next week we will debut a new website dedicated exclusively to our events in Minnesota, including logistical support, information on performers, a working schedule, and promotional items to download and distribute. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s up and running.

In short, please come to Minneapolis if you possibly can.  Urge your friends and family to do the same.  Be a part of the grand culmination of Ron Paul’s historic campaign, and the official launch of his new one, the Campaign for Liberty.  There is no better or more dramatic way to declare that we are here to stay, that Dr. Paul’s support was no flash in the pan.

Ron Paul has made incalculable contributions to the cause of freedom, and inspired millions with his message.  Will you join us in standing beside him in September, at a critical watershed for the freedom movement?

In liberty,

The Campaign for Liberty Team

P.S. With the two major-party nominees rattling sabers at Iran and making phony promises with money that doesn’t exist, our message of peace and freedom needs a high-profile boost more than ever.  Come to Minneapolis, and let’s make it happen!

P.P.S. We want to reach 100,000 members of the Campaign for Liberty by September.  Can you lend a hand by signing up one friend or family member by the end of the week?

Missouri Republican Convention

I am very proud to have attended both the Friday night Ron Paul rally, (of which I have over an hour of video!!) and as a delegate to the Missouri Convention where the Ron Paul republicans represented 40% of the delegation.

We were treated cordually, kinda like an anoying nephew that you can’t smack even though you really wish you could. Unfortunately, we were never able to get the central party off of their script.

Every speech from Kit Bond on down was dripping with FEAR and WAR. I had to leave at the break with my head spinning due to the proximately to such insanity.

A couple of observations:
1. All attempts to get the crowd excited about John McCain failed miserably. The enthusiasm was luke warm at best for thier chosen candidate.
2. Some Ron Paul supporters need to learn when you are not in the majority, shouting and caterwalling just makes you look stupid.  Please recognize most of the central party are not far from your views. They are afraid of change and trained to taking orders.  Your courage to talk about real issues is very foreign to them. They are mezmerized buy their trusted leaders telling them “we are at war” “we must kill them all!!”
Make friends one at a time, talk about Goldwater and Reagan.  Freedom is popular to anyone, as long as you are not trying to shove it down thier throats.

Family Freedom March on Washington July 12th

Great news! Our plans are really coming along for the march and rally – we’re lining up our speakers and entertainment right now. We have invited several Congressmen and authors (some best-selling) to speak about various subjects. Not only will you have the opportunity to stand up and show your representatives that you are paying attention, but you will have the opportunity to grow in your civic knowledge! Topics to be covered include the Federal Reserve, the economy, foreign policy, subversion of the Constitution, fascism and the impending North American Union, which, of course, includes the topics of illegal immigration, open borders, land confiscation in Texas for the NAFTA Superhighway, and more!

That’s not all! We are expanding on the march/rally idea to include many educational and action oriented activities throughout the week! We want this march to be more than just a march. We want this event to aid in producing future candidates, campaign managers, activists, and citizen lobbyists! The only way to effect change is legislatively. Now is your chance to do that:

Wednesday-Thursday: Citizens Lobby Workshops for those who would like to lobby Congress on Friday the 11th
Friday: Lobbying your Congressman and Senators with your new found skills
Also Friday: Demonstrating in front of the Federal Reserve Building
And, Friday is the Marshal training for the special folks who signed up to help keep things humming along the march route as well as the rally.
Saturday: The march!!!!!
Saturday, post march: Book signing and opportunities to meet the speakers

One day or the whole week, there will be plenty of opportunity for you to have an impact, network, have fun, and learn along the way! So plan on taking some vacation time and join us!

Have you made your travel plans yet? Currently there are 4 cross-country convoys being planned – starting in California! We are also negotiating with Best Western to be our official Nationwide Revolution March Hotel chain. The enthusiasm is electric!

We’ll have more details on the web site about the activities prior to the march as well as more info on the “Ronvoy” in a few days. We will have a special website with all the details posted on RonVoy.com soon!

Important: We are gearing up for a Memorial Day Money Bomb which will be on MarchBomb.com when it is ready. In the meantime, if people wish to donate, they can do it using the Chip-In widget on the RevolutionMarch.com home page. Without donations, this march can’t move forward, so please spread the word on this. Any donation, big or small, is needed and welcomed! Also, we will need your help finding sponsors for the event. Sponsors are organizations that will buy tables at the march to distribute their literature and will be given advertisement exposure on our web site, our radio program, and in our literature. We will have more info on that in a future email.

Please keep in mind when you are promoting that this is a family event, and that we encourage all people, regardless of age or political background to come and stand up for true freedom, and if you have any questions regarding the march, your job, fundraising, or any other aspect of this event, feel free to contact us at any time.

All we need now is the funding and sponsorship to ensure this event is a success! Please help us achieve our goals by donating here:

Thanks
Revolution March Team
http://www.revolutionmarch.com
http://www.revolutionbroadcasting.com

Why I Am a Ron Paul Libertarian

by Stan Warford
by Stan Warford

I was born and raised a liberal Democrat. My grandmother, who lived through the Depression, thought that Franklin Roosevelt was the savior of the United States. My father, who was a farmer, explained to me why it was a good policy for the government to pay farmers to not grow crops. For years I thought that gun control laws were necessary to curb violent behavior. At one time I believed that minimum wage laws were compassionate. I used to defend our government in its foreign interventions, especially those based on humanitarian grounds.

But, during the past twelve years, I have rejected many political beliefs taught to me by my family and my schools. I now believe that our country is in serious trouble that only libertarian principles can alleviate.

Furthermore, these problems have a direct effect on your future.

When you graduate, you will look for a job. What if you cannot find one because the economy is in a recession or even a depression?

Your salary will be paid in dollars. What will those dollars be worth after the Federal Reserve decreases their value with its policy of inflation and Wall Street bailouts?

You will begin to save for your retirement. What if you pay into Social Security your whole life but receive no benefits at the end because the system is bankrupt?

And, heaven forbid, what if you must terminate your employment because our country reinstates the draft and sends you off to war as it did with my generation in the 60s?

The Non-aggression Principle

Libertarianism is based on this Non-aggression Principle: It should be legal for anyone to do anything he wants, provided that he does not initiate violence or threaten violence against the person or legitimately owned property of another.

The Non-aggression Principle implies all the common prohibitions against theft, murder, rape, torture, and violence against other individuals except in cases of self-defense of one’s person or property.

But government itself is financed by the compulsory payment of taxes by its citizens. Taxes are not voluntary. If you disagree with the policies of your government you may not withhold your taxes because if you do the government will threaten you with the violence of law enforcement.

It therefore follows that the government that governs best is the government that governs least.

The libertarian philosophy advocates a small government in line with the US Constitution as envisioned by our founding fathers. It is growing in popularity but has a huge uphill battle to wage. Our government is in large part controlled by special interest groups and the leaders of an entrenched two-party system. The maintenance of this system is based on a series of myths that are perpetuated to justify an ever-expanding government that assumes more power year by year, the very antithesis of a government that governs least.

Here are some of those myths.

Myth Number One – That which is immoral should be illegal.

It is true that many actions that are immoral should be illegal – actions such as theft and murder. However, no action by any individual in the privacy of his own home that does not initiate violence against another should be illegal even if it is immoral. Nor should any action between two consenting adults that does not initiate violence against others be illegal even if it is immoral.

We are in the midst of a huge, expensive, failed war on drugs. The war itself produces more harm than the abuse of the illegal drugs. A recent study puts our incarceration rate at 1%, the highest per capita rate of any country in the world. It is estimated that about a half million of these are for nonviolent drug offenses. Alcohol prohibition was responsible for gangland violence in the streets, and drug prohibition is no different. Libertarians call for an end to the drug war.

Myth Number Two – Government regulation is necessary to save us from the failures of laissez faire capitalism.

The prime example of this myth is the belief that laissez faire capitalism caused the Great Depression and that government intervention in the economy ended it. The fact is, however, that the Federal Reserve was founded in 1913, a full 16 years before the fateful stock market crash of 1929. The Fed presided over an expansion of the credit market, which produced the roaring 20’s, the largest economic bubble in history before its collapse.

In recent history, we have seen the dot com bubble and now the real estate mortgage bubble. Both of these bubbles are created by government intervention in the credit market through the Federal Reserve central bank. Libertarians call for an economic policy governed by the principles of the Austrian School of Economics, which includes a minimization of government intervention in the free market.

Myth Number Three – Government intervention in the affairs of foreign countries is necessary for the security of its own citizens.

Ever since the tragic events of September 11, our executive branch has justified its intervention in Iraq and the subsequent erosion of our civil liberties in order to secure our safety. It has even established a policy of preemptive war, whereby it claims the authority to invade another country because that country might aggress against us in the future. Imagine the chaos in the world if every country claimed that authority.

Our intervention in Iraq has made us less safe, not more, because of the unintended consequence called “blowback” by the CIA in its recently declassified report on our policy in Iran. The 9/11 Commission report also describes the blowback phenomenon. Our military intervention, apart from its devastating effects on Iraqi civilians, acts as recruiting tool for extremists. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

Libertarians call for a foreign policy of nonintervention in general and an immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq in particular.

 

Myth Number Four – Non-interventionism is the same as isolationism.

Isolationists want to isolate the country from interaction with the rest of the world. To that end, they are for national economic self-sufficiency and protectionist tariffs. Isolationists use trade wars and economic sanctions as foreign policy tools to isolate other countries from the world economy.

Libertarian non-interventionists, on the other hand, support international trade, low tariffs, cultural exchange, and diplomatic contact. They view trade as so beneficial that they refuse to withhold it even from despotic states. A positive example is our continuing trade with Communist China, which serves to open that country to the liberal ideals of the west and is beneficial both to us and to them in spite of their tarnished record on human rights. A negative example is our continuing economic boycott of Cuba, a policy that has failed to remove its leader of a half century.

Myth Number Five – If the government does not solve a social problem, the social problem will not be solved.

This myth is used to justify government provision of social services such as health care, education, and retirement. The myth is based on the conflation of negative rights with positive rights.

Negative rights are rights of prohibition against other people from initiating violence against you. Negative rights are enshrined in the phrase from the Declaration of Independence that all people have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Positive rights force other individuals to provide you with a service. Positive rights are claims that you have a right to a job with a living wage, a right to affordable health care, a right to an education, and a right to a comfortable retirement. Government uses the fiction of positive rights to expand its power in the provision of these services.

Libertarians object to the use of government to provide social services on two grounds, one ethical and one practical.

Because tax collection is not voluntary, people who receive social services from the government do so through a forced exchange of tax dollars. The receipt of such services thus violates the Non-aggression Principle and is unethical.

The practical objection is the observation that no government agency exercising monopoly power can provide a service with better quality or lower price than the free market can under the discipline of the profit motive. We would have better schools and better health care without government interference in these markets.

Libertarians call for a government whose sole function is limited to the Constitutional guarantee of the negative rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Myth Number Six – Libertarianism is idealistic and does not work in practice.

Libertarians are often accused of having a naïve faith in the free market, and having ideas about the way society ought to be governed that are not practical. As with most myths, the truth is precisely the opposite, as can be demonstrated by public choice theory. Public choice scholars analyze the structure of government from an economic and political perspective to explain why certain policies come into being.

Government programs are not effective because the incentive system does not reward bureaucrats for good service or punish them for bad service. The Los Angeles Unified School District is impossible to reform because they do not go out of business when they provide poor service as a private company would. Nor does FEMA.

Politicians cannot be expected to be good stewards of other people’s money obtained through the force of taxation. They are motivated by the same self-interest that motivates all people. Because of the professionalization of the political class, their interest is in winning elections, a process that is only possible by courting special interests.

It is the height of naïveté to place your faith in a governmental system that can only work if its politicians and bureaucrats are saints and angels.

Conclusion

The libertarian philosophy is the ultimate philosophy of tolerance. It is a philosophy of live and let live, of not initiating violence against any other individual, of liberty for all, of peace, and of prosperity.

That is why I am a Ron Paul libertarian.

This is based on a talk delivered at the Forum for Political Understanding, Pepperdine University, on April 7, 2008.

April 10, 2008

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