I Changed My Mind. Mea Culpa.

by | Sep 14, 2007 | Stress Blog | 6 comments

Maybe some will say I sold out. Others will say I’ve finally come to my senses. Well, all I know is that I’ve changed my mind. On The Stress Blog I once wrote that I couldn’t vote for Ron Paul (in a Congressional election; he wasn’t a presidential hopeful then). I said I couldn’t vote for him because of his position on immigration, which I went so far as to say was worse than Bush’s.

I’ve changed my mind. First of all, he’s not as bad on immigration as Bush, when you consider the total amount of government coercion he actually endorses in the name of immigration. I still disagree — strongly — with some of his views on this issue; but I also have a more charitable view of his position now. It is more nuanced than I thought. He has warned against scapegoating illegals, said border Nazis aren’t the real answer, and argued that a free market would mean plenty of welcome immigration. Much of his program on this is welfare-state retrenchment.

But more importantly, I’ve been so inspired by Ron Paul since May. Ever so inspired. He has made the earth shake with his heroic words on foreign policy. He has awakened elements of the American right to the problem with perpetual murderous imperialism — no small task: however flawed the right is at its core, I prefer mild reactionaries to global nuclear mass murder.

And Ron is such a hero on so many issues. And he knows the issues. He knows history, economics. He knows how to reach people. It’s furthermore clear that he is about as sincere a candidate and Congressman as one could possibly imagine.

On the totalitarian drug war, Ron has been the leading dissident in Washington since the early 1980s, complaining about torturing cancer patients with pot bans since before the Just Say No campaign. On victim disarmament, he has been a steadfast champion of liberty. On federal spending, regulation, and especially the crucial issue of central banking, he’s been the only classical liberal on the Hill in generations — and also not one whose positions are bought by beneficiaries of the corporate state. On civil liberties, he’s been the Bill of Rights’s best friend for decades.

And on war, empire and foreign policy, he has been the greatest standing statesman for the principles of peace, morality and sanity since Jeanette Rankin. He has slammed the national security bureaucracy, the CIA, the surveillance state, the torture chambers, the illegal detentions, and the Sovietization of airport security.

He has put virtually every minute of his life into fighting for liberty, in Congress, on campaign trails, and at nearly any speaking opportunity or interview where he is asked to get the message out, a message that it is clear he embraces with every fiber in his being. And he seems completely grateful, hopeful and tireless, regardless of the cruelty of his detractors, the ubiquity of liberty’s enemies, or the constant setbacks on America’s road to its promised future as a free society. He is constantly striving to learn more, to improve his understanding and skill at spreading the good word. What a man. What a hero.

And so not only, barring something quite unforeseen and drastic happening, do I intend not just to vote for him, but to register Republican, to sign up with that loathsome organization just to add my little amen to the doctor’s sermon on freedom and peace.

As for the morality of voting per se, that’s an issue I hope to address in the future. But I’ll tell you. This might be my last chance to vote for a great libertarian of the Old Right tradition, a true Constitutional republican, a classic liberal, a patriotic promoter of an America finally at peace with the world. I still don’t believe in government, but if I did, it would be a Paulian system.

I’m voting for you, Ron. Thanks for everything. I do believe the future will be brighter thanks to you.