Archive for the ‘Peace’ Category

You’re a Ron Paul Supporter – What next?

February 4, 2008

My family donated more money than we could really afford to the Ron Paul campaign. We donated because he’s an honest, hardworking man who has some good ideas that will help to repair some of the damage that’s been done to America. On certain topics, he’s the only one making any sense.

That being said, I’m a huge proponent of always voting strategically. Take the information available and apply it in a rational way to do the most good for the issues I care about. For the Primary contests we registered Republican to vote for Ron Paul. We think a vote for Ron Paul in the Republican Primary says more than a vote anywhere else at this time. We know Ron Paul’s numbers will be smaller than the other candidates, so every vote helps give his ideas an air of respectability. The big question is about what happens after the Primaries. We have to work under the assumption that Dr. Paul won’t be the Republican nominee. The Republican party has drifted too far from its underlying, conservative ideals. They don’t want Ron Paul and hence, they won’t get him.

So what’s a Ron Paul supporter to do?

That really depends on what you want. I’m figuring that most Ron Paul supporters are passionate, motivated people. Whether they’re new to politics in America or old hands at it, they care about who our next President is. So, as Ron Paul supporters, you need to decide what’s going to happen in a situation where Dr. Paul runs as a third Party candidate and what happens if he doesn’t. Admittedly, the choice may not be that different in either case.

Assuming that the Republican nominee is John McCain, it feels like most Ron Paul supporters won’t be able to support him. So in a race where RP is running as a third party candidate, supporters need to make sure that if they’re spending their vote on Ron Paul that it makes a difference.

All I ask is that you think strategically about what your vote will mean, in practical terms. Cast it where the vote does the most good for the outcome you want. Regardless of what that outcome is.

For me, the classic example of votes being wasted is John Hagelin in Florida, 2000.

Here are the final counts for Bush, Gore and Hagelin:

George W Bush: 2,912,790.
Albert A Gore: 2,912,253
John Hagelin: 2,281

I’ve read about some of Hagelin’s positions, he seems like a good candidate. However, if I had voted for Hagelin in 2000, I’d be regretting it still. Not as much as if I’d voted for everyone’s favorite developmentally disabled President, but regretting it nonetheless. I’d be regretting it because I voted symbolically and not practically. I would have thought I was making some grandiose symbolic gesture and instead I allowed a retarded tyrant to win.

The point is basically that if your candidate cannot win, a vote for him has the potential to be a discarded vote.

By all means, campaign, donate and cheer lead for your guy. Right up until the point that you realize he has no hope, then cut him loose and choose the next best available candidate. The polling booth isn’t the place to make a statement. The polling booth is a place to exert your influence on who the next President is.

You’re always entitled to vote your heart, and there are many political situations where that’s the right thing to do. If you’re a Ron Paul supporter and he actually gets the Republican nomination, there’s no question, vote for him.

If, on the other hand, he doesn’t get the nomination, you need to re-prioritize and realize that a vote for the Democrat will end the war. A vote for the Democrat will put an end (at least for now) to nation building. A vote for the Democrat will start to rebuild some of our civil liberties. A vote for the Democrat will start to restore our international reputation.

So be smart, work hard, fight hard, just keep your goals in mind. Don’t damage them to make a gesture.

I miss you.

December 20, 2007

Fuck I miss you.

I miss having an educated populace. Actually, I miss having a populace that can read … or spell … or add … or think.

I miss being the tourists that were culturally naive and oblivious to our own volume. Now we’re the tourists that should pretend to be Canadian.

I miss knowing that we don’t torture. I miss knowing that, no matter what the other guy did, no matter how low he stooped, we would take the moral high ground. We would do the right thing. The wrong thing was something other people did. I miss that. I miss everything you used to stand for. A beacon in the darkness. An example to others. A bastion of hope. A place where hard work and a sharp mind just might, with a touch of luck, be enough. I miss having a nation that believes in itself. I miss having a nation that is entitled to believe in itself.

I really miss having a leader that can talk, think and be honest. I miss having a leader that could do any one of those three things. I miss having a leader that can inspire rather than embarrass, a leader that can stir any emotion other than shame. I miss having a leader that I don’t have to apologize for.

I miss feeling that we fight on the side of justice and against tyranny. Actually, I miss at least knowing why we fight.

I miss being confident that this is the best country in the world. I miss knowing that my grandchildren will inherit a world better than the one I found.

America, I miss you and I want you back.

I’m not sure how to get you back, but it might start with taking some responsibility… I want us to stand up and take responsibility for what we’ve done. I’m sick and tired of people saying “Yes, it’s all terrible, but I didn’t vote for the guy. It’s not my fault.”

Yes. It is. It is your fault. It’s my fault too.

By my actions, or lack thereof, I have been responsible for the deaths of innocent Iraqis. How? I didn’t do everything I could to stop Bush being elected. I could have tried harder. Once he was returned to power, I could have done more to limit the damage.

I could have paid attention to every vote on every piece of legislation and organized a groundswell of outraged support when the Democratic “leadership” caved and continued funding the war. I could have campaigned (and still could) for the defeat of every Democratic Senator who failed to follow through on the mandate they were given to end the war.

I could have reduced my dependence on fossil fuels and removed the reason for the war in the first place. I could have encouraged others to do the same.

Maybe no one else feels the same way. Maybe I couldn’t have done much. Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered. It would sure feel different to have tried though. Reminds me of a Roosevelt quote:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Like I said, maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference but at least I would have failed while spending myself in a worthy cause. I’m responsible for the deaths of Iraqis. Me. Now I have to figure out how to change things and I need my country back to do it.

Please come back America, I miss you.