As the dust settles this morning from election 2012, the Democratic Party celebrates a decisive victory, the Republican Party licks it’s wounds, and Independents and Libertarians still sleep in cots outside the political process.
While Prognosticators who got it wrong come up with the ‘Whys’, here’s some thoughts going forward for the GOP and more importantly the grassroots movements that started with a cry out for Liberty and back to the Constitution.
What Americans basically decided last night was that sending our young men and women onto foreign soil to die and government as a moral agent in our personal lives was worse than taking our hard earned wages and redistributing them to someone else in benefits and entitlements.
The irony was that the same reason the GOP told you to support the ‘lesser of two evils’ the nation decided right or wrong that the President was just that: kinder, gentler and surprisingly, more able to handle the financial crisis which when you dig down, includes factoring in military expenditures that the GOP refuses to recognize.
When you consider the win by the President and the DNC it is pretty impressive:
Barack Obama: 50% 303 (most likely FL too: 332)
Mitt Romney: 48% 206
House: Dems most likely +8
Senate: Dems most likely +2
At the risk of saying ‘I told you so’, I personally foresaw this coming over the past two years and have written about it but knew it was fait accompli after the RNC August convention of this year when ‘Rule 12′ was enacted and the two years of grassroots work at the state and local levels by party line GOP, libertarian and even independent voters who aligned with the Tea Party movement were cast to the side for a Washington-style backroom deal that was carved out on K Street with special interest groups.
When reading the Tea Leaves however, one needs to be careful to not fall into the same Neoconservative/Religious Right dogma, “The country is heading to hell in a handbag and Islam will take over America”. When you consider the historic ballot initiatives in several states that approved marijuana and gay marriages, one might become very discouraged and interpret these results as a hedonistic society headed to the brink, rather than a response to government intrusion into the personal lives of Americans. The Federal ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ is unconstitutional and an awful law that allows a national government to reach into the most intimate part of each of our lives and further divides us as a nation. Social mores are much more effectively defined in the private marketplace between individuals and by state and local governments closer to the ground, where necessary. The same is true of Marijuana laws, that it is at the state level where authorized powers set by the Constitution reside to regulate drugs as was true of alcohol. If the GOP or a third party gets behind the rational process of decriminalization (not condoning) at the federal level it would be a courageous feat of ending the savage border brutality and the unintended consequences of more than half our prison population locked up for drugs. See Cato Institute’s article, ‘Alcohol Prohibition Was A Failure’ for further insight.
So where do we go from here? I personally would like to ‘throat punch’ the ‘GOP face painters’ who teased Ron Paul supporters with juvenile retorts like, “Paulbots”, but that’s for another day, maybe a few beers and a dark alley.
Just as in 1854 when the nation was settling into a two party system of the Whigs and Democrats with a few splinter groups residing in different states like the ‘Free Soilers’ of New York that splintered off of the Whigs because of slavery, there arose a large enough issue in the Kansas Nebraska Act, which extended slavery into more territories, that there was a birth of a new political party. The question today is can the Grand Old Party find her roots in freedom as it did back then? Then it was to free a race of people unjustly treated, even stripped of the most basic personal liberties to not only own property but being treated as property themselves. Today, unfortunately ‘we’ve come a long way baby’ and through government mischief the Constitution has been turned on its head from an important document of ‘Original Intent’ that limits government, ‘Thus far and no further!’ to a ‘living document’ that regulates man and his freedoms.
Like Jefferson who understood the annoyances and inconveniences that comes with Liberty as people make poor choices in life, those choices are ably offset in the private social and economic marketplace through the friction of voluntary association and exchange rather than a government ‘managed society’ that we find ourselves in today.
Do you really believe that less government in regulating drugs or lifestyle choices will result in more drug use or an increase in alternative lifestyle choices? If that reasoning were true, then with ever increasing government intervention, wouldn’t we see less of it today? If Homosexuality is practiced by less than 10% of our population then why is it a bellwether issue come election time? Because fair minded individuals will come to the support of those being suppressed by government. So if you want more of something then go right ahead and subsidize it or let government regulate it.
Will a new message and direction rise from the embers of the GOP’s defeat in 2012? Today, pundits are rehashing a bad night and like the Democrats after their trouncing in 2010, convincing themselves it wasn’t their message of ‘big government that regulates morals at home and spreads American Democracy abroad’, but the consumer of the message and maybe their strategy in explaining it.
Partly as a result of the banking bailouts of 2008 which most Americans realized was flat wrong and unjust and the ever growing entitlements and unfunded liabilities, there was a spontaneous uprising for less government and re-examining the role of federal power within the restraints of the Constitution that lead to victories in 2010. There were threatening propositions like: ‘Audit The Fed’, sending education and other federal programs back to the states, redefining our military role in the world that threatened both party’s positions and constituents. This movement was eventually hijacked by the GOP and discarded in August at the convention like a prom date. Who will it be that takes up the mantle of Individual Liberty and limited government going forward? While it took a Civil War and Postbellum legislation that redefined the Federal role as more central and powerful and has lead us to where we are today, let’s hope it doesn’t take another war to remove those powers.
Christopher M. Mahon, Editor
The Iowa Caucus is less than a week away and political rhetoric by all candidates is at a high level, a good part of that is directed at Ron Paul who currently is the leader as indicated from most polls. He not only pulls from Independent and Libertarian voters but also Conservatives who have become disenfranchised with almost 10 years of military conflict at the expense of a balanced budget and debt. The latest accusations portray Congressman Paul as not only out of the `mainstream’ in his ideas on federal powers (even though by all accounts they are constitutional) but also that a Ron Paul presidency would be dangerous for the US as Iran could go nuclear and Paul is an `Isolationist’.
In a November 2011 Cato Institute article Ted Galen Carpenter makes the opposite claim that Military Interventionists and NeoCons like Gingrich, Santorum and Bachmann do us much more harm than good. For interventionists to not realize the beneficiary of a war with Iraq was Iran was a failure….“For neoconservatves to argue that the withdrawal of the few thousand remaining U.S. troops from Iraq significantly worsens that aspect is either obtuse or disingenuous. If they didn’t want Iran t…o gain significant influence in the region, they should have thought of that danger in 2002 and early 2003, instead of lobbying feverishly for U.S. military intervention against Iraq. The United States has paid a terrible cost — some $850 billion and more than 4,400 dead American soldiers — to make Iran the most influential power in Iraq.”
In another article by Per Bylund, Bylund makes the case how the `Endowment Effect’ theory, (people place more value on things they own versus things they do not) illustrates the shortcomings of economic and military intervention in not understanding human action (Praxeology) and the unintended consequences. Or why Ron Paul’s theories on domestic and foreign policies while more aligned to constitutional principles are also more sound than policies of the other candidates.
Does US military policy of Intervention into the affairs of other nations (occupation, embargo, etc), prop up the dictators of the world like Hugo Chavez or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who rally their people and crusade against US military might and US monetary policy? What part did Federal Reserve Quantitative Easing (1 and 2) play in the Middle East uprisings and other struggling nation’s financial affairs? What part did troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan play? Tell us what you think?
Christopher M. Mahon, Editor