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Debate re Ron Paul & US public opinion

 
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joe emersberger



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: Debate re Ron Paul & US public opinion Reply with quote

Booing the Golden Rule - David Swanson, ZNet
Posted by gabriele on January 20, 2012, 1:30 pm
Great article, excellent finale

g.


Booing the Golden Rule

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. An important rule to live by. So is this corollary: Friends don't let friends watch presidential primary debates.

I think the clip at this link is a safe dose bit.ly/xVAIF6 and I have survived it myself or I would not urge it on others.

I recommend it to you only because I believe it is important for us to stop and ask what it means for a group of people who tend to promote both Christianity and the combination of Christianity with politics to have just booed the golden rule.

In this video Congressman Ron Paul describes Pakistan as a sovereign nation and suggests that the United States should not be bombing it. Paul also proposes that there should have been some attempt to capture Osama bin Laden rather than murdering him. Paul promotes the rule of law and goes so far as to advocate that the United States only fight wars that have been declared by Congress (a standard that would eliminate the past 70 years' worth of wars). To that the response is cheering from at least some section of the audience.

Then Newt Gingrich says that the proper thing to do with enemies is "Kill them." That, of course, receives ecstatic applause.

What could Paul say in response? He could have quoted almost anything Jesus Christ or Ronald Reagan or Ayn Rand had ever said and been booed for it. He chose a response that further guaranteed booing: he opposed U.S. exceptionalism. He suggested that other nations might merit the same respect as our own. If another nation were doing to ours what we do to others, we wouldn't like it, Paul pointed out. Perhaps we should follow the golden rule, he said. And he was booed for that.

And yet Paul goes on to speak against launching a war on Iran, and in support of ending our current wars; and some group of people — not necessarily, but possibly, some of the same individuals who had just been booing — start cheering instead.

...

http://www.zcommunications.org/booing-the-golden-rule-by-david-swanson


Email to David Swanson
Posted by emersberger on January 20, 2012, 2:30 pm, in reply to "Booing the Golden Rule - David Swanson, ZNet"
RE: Booing the Golden Rule
http://www.zcommunications.org/booing-the-golden-rule-by-david-swanson


Hi David:

I don’t actually disagree with anything you said in this article. However, it isn’t just Ron Paul’s domestic policy positions that are horrendous (though even there you could find some things that anyone should agree with). As Tim Wise recently noted – even David Duke takes some morally reasonable positions.

http://www.timwise.org/2012/01/of-broken-clocks-presidential-candidates-and-the-confusion-of-certain-white-liberals/

In case you are not aware, Ron Paul proposes a military budget of over $500 billion per year.

http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/ron-paul-plan-to-restore-america/

Paul’s military budget would cut baseline military spending by a paltry 15% - roughly 28% if you include “off budget” spending (some of which is winding down anyway) as part of the cuts. Under Paul’s proposal the USA would still outspend at least the next 9 big military spenders in the world combined. Apparently, Paul once boasted that with his budget

“We will continue to maintain our status as the most dominant military force on the planet”

http://www.ronpaularchive.com/2011/11/cutting-military-spending-does-not-mean-cutting-defense/

How does a country maintain Paul's unbelievably bloated military budget – and commit itself to remaining “the most dominant military force on the planet” (his words) – without finding excuses to use that military? It doesn’t, but I’ve encountered left apologists for him that are so dazzled by his anti-war rhetoric that they refuse to accept that his budget proposals completely contradict it.

In real (inflation adjusted) dollars US military (DoD) spending has been well below what Ron Paul proposes throughout most of the post WWII era. It dropped by over 60% between 1986-2000 and bottomed out at about $400 billion just before 9/11.

http://z.about.com/d/uspolitics/1/0/v/B/bush_defense_cold_war.png

In contrast to the very minor defense cuts, Ron Paul proposes to cut Food Stamps by 60%.
As if his proposed war budget were not a big enough contradiction to ignore, some leftists I’ve debated online have even downplayed the monstrosity of his voting to bomb Afghanistan after 9/11 while it was in the midst of a humanitarian crisis that, before the bombing, threatened the lives of millions of people. It was, of course, in the weeks following 9/11 when it would have taken the most political courage to vote against that war. Some leftists have even suggested that the vulnerable people in the USA should essentially be sacrificed because “Paul will end the wars”.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/12/30/ron-paul-and-the-killing-machine/

http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/12/27/why-the-establishment-is-terrified-of-ron-paul/

Rob Paul provides a useful template for any vicious right winger (especially of the bogus "libertarian" variety) in future to drain away energy from what is crucially required in the US (for everyone's sakes) - a formidable people's movement that identifies the crucial link between brutality at home and abroad. Hopefully I've have an exaggerated sense of that threat.

Best
Joe Emersberger

Don't forget to email Julian Assange
Posted by gabriele on January 20, 2012, 2:32 pm, in reply to "Email to David Swanson"

Who has been your most critical public supporter?
John Pilger, the Australian journalist, has been the most impressive. And the other is Dan Ellsberg. It's the amount of time I've spent with him, both in front of and behind the scenes. When people are working in front of the scenes, in public, it is often because it is helpful to them. One never really knows what the true allegiance is. But when someone puts it on the line both publicly and privately, that's a sign of true character. Ron Paul did come out and make an impassioned and rational speech. It has not been the soft liberal left, the pseudo left that has defended us. In fact, they have run a mile. It has been strong activists who have a long record of fighting for what they believe in, both on the libertarian right and on the left.

Link: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/julian-assange-the-rolling-stone-interview-20120118


Re: Email to David Swanson
Posted by ceemac666 on January 20, 2012, 3:33 pm, in reply to "Email to David Swanson"

How predictable.



Re: Email to David Swanson
Posted by Willem on January 20, 2012, 3:55 pm, in reply to "Email to David Swanson"

: In case you are not aware, Ron Paul proposes
: a military budget of over $500 billion per
: year.

A massive military budget need not imply more wars. The Soviet Union had one (bleeding the country dry), but waged far fewer wars than the US ever did.

NOT PART OF ORIGNAL THREAD: The USSR was never on par with the USA militarily and - unlike the USA - could cite very real security concnerns (lost tens of millions in WWII). The USA, on the other hand, is bordered by Mexico and Canada, making claims to need a military that darfs all others on earth for "defence" the height of absurdity.

If it's a choice between a very strong superpower who's mainly concerned with protecting its own borders and a slightly weaker one who bombs countries whenever it sees fit, I'd rather have the former.

NOT PART OF ORIGNAL THREAD: This isn't the choice RP offers. His masive proposed military budget plus his support for Israeli aggression (defended Israel's bombing of Iraq, make clear he'd defend their bombing of Iran, declares support for Jeruslamem as Israel's capital) and his vote in favor Afghanistan war after 9/11 make that clear. That's says quite a lot about a guy who is far from the presidency, hence facing no huge pressure to compromise.

Re: Email to David Swanson
Posted by menno hert on January 20, 2012, 4:50 pm, in reply to "Email to David Swanson"

Here is another one of Ron Pauls promises (under the heading "Common Sense Reforms"):

"--- *Abolish the Welfare State – Taxpayers cannot continue to pay the high costs to sustain this powerful incentive for illegal immigration. As Milton Friedman famously said, you can’t have open borders and a welfare state.---"

http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/immigration/



Swanson's reply:
Posted by emersberger on January 20, 2012, 5:25 pm, in reply to "Email to David Swanson"


i relentlessly oppose diverting an ounce of activist energy into supporting any politician and am clearly opposed to empowering ron paul



Re: Swanson's reply:
Posted by gabriele on January 20, 2012, 5:58 pm, in reply to "Swanson's reply:"

You must have frightened him, Joe, with that e-mail

Would that apply also for people like Galloway, Nader, Kucinich, etc.?

Also, discussing those issues and pointing out the corporate media performance around Paul campaign to see how those media close its ranks to manufacture and protect that two-party consensus, is that empowering Ron Paul? In that case, we are all guilty, including the good David Swanson who wrote that article, article that ends like this:

"There is another rule I would much rather break than the golden rule. It is the rule that says that because Ron Paul has disastrous domestic positions we are forbidden to point out how revealing his excellent foreign policy stands are in presidential primary debates."

Why is so bad to point out that even a right-wing conservative is better (much better) than Obama when so many liberals and leftists keep supporting Obama and still hope in that fraud? Maybe this debate could break the Obama-mania spell? And if you are so concerned about saving energy, why you keep campaigning against Paul instead of against Obama or Romney? Who's more dangerous? Isn't Obama more dangerous because so many liberals and progressives still believe in him?

g.

The golden rule
Posted by walter on January 20, 2012, 6:07 pm, in reply to "Email to David Swanson"

Joe, I note that you are still saying this:

“Some leftists have even suggested that the vulnerable people in the USA should essentially be sacrificed because “Paul will end the wars”.”

As I have told you, I find that quite an offensive stretch/distortion. You repeat it repeatedly.

NOT PART OF ORIGINAL THREAD:

in fact, two Counterpunch regulars (Ron Jacobs ad also Mike Whitney) expressed this ridiculous idea quite clearly. And I had pointed it out repeatedly on the board but Walter somehow missed it. That's why I didn't bother to respond to him in this thread

http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/12/30/ron-paul-and-the-killing-machine/

http://www.counteis-terrified-of-ron-paul/ rpunch.org/2011/12/27/why-the-establishment-


Nothing has been distorted.


Does that mean that you have no problem with this:

“Some leftists have even suggested that the Iranians under military threat from the US should essentially be sacrificed to boost the US welfare system.”

TOO SILLY TO MERIT A REPLY. HENCE IT NEVER RECEIVED ONE IN THE ORIGINAL THREAD


Re: Email to David Swanson
Posted by ceemac666 on January 20, 2012, 11:07 pm, in reply to "Email to David Swanson"


where is this coming from?
Is it "in my head" or "in my guts"?
I suspect the latter

Reply from Freddie Deboer regarding a very similar email
Posted by emersberger on January 20, 2012, 7:10 pm, in reply to "Booing the Golden Rule - David Swanson, ZNet"


Hey,

That is a very valid set of points. I could fairly be accused of overestimating the amount of change that Ron Paul could achieve. I suppose I have to retreat to a relatively weak, but still important point: that my purpose is not to praise a potential Paul presidency (which I couldn't), but to find some solace in the existence of any consideration of non-interventionist views.

Thanks for reading.

-F

Isn't it political suicide to say "I will close down defence projects"
Posted by CJ on January 21, 2012, 7:50 pm, in reply to "Reply from Freddie Deboer regarding a very similar email"


Correct me if I am wrong but hasn't Chomsky pointed out that the military-defence-industrial establishment has spread the production of "defence" equipment throughout every state in the US so as to control the political debate on foreign policy. If states are threatened with cuts in these areas by candidates isn't that tantamount to cutting your own political throat?
Even suggesting small cuts seems a very courageous policy.

Obviously no right thinking person wants to see this massive defence spending by any nation - but pragmatically surely you first need to put in place the alternate industries to avoid massive unemployment problems. Its like Thatcher closing down the mines - look at the economic and social devastation she created for ordinary working communities.

Re: Isn't it political suicide to say "I will close down defence projects"
Posted by emersberger on January 21, 2012, 9:17 pm, in reply to "Isn't it political suicide to say "I will close down defence projects""


Yes any serious attempt to scale the US war budget down into a rational defence budget would have to be accompanied by smaller but still very large governmnet stimulus into non-military projects - or else popular support for the military cuts would be undermined. Money taken out of the war budget woud have to be diverted to productive uses. Private tyranies (i.e businesses) have neither the capacity not the incentive to engage in any such project. RP is ideologically opposed to any such effort by the government.

Militray spending - like all govvernment spednig does 'trickle down" benefits to the rest of the population. Dean Baker, on his blog, I think recently pointed out studies showing how inefficient military spending is compraed to sending on health care and educatin in terms of delivering benfits to the US population.

You pointed out one of many reasons why it is tactically impossible to separate the dismantling of the US empire from the struggle for justice domestically (or vice versa). That is a point MLK was making very prominently before he was gunned down.


Re: Isn't it political suicide to say "I will close down defence projects"
Posted by emersberger on January 22, 2012, 2:34 am, in reply to "Re: Isn't it political suicide to say "I will close down defence projects""


One of the studies I referred is lined to in this Dean Baker blog post

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/more-on-the-military-spending-fairy

I've also appended the blog post below coz it summarizes the key points

More on the Military Spending Fairy
written by Dean Baker, Dec 2011

My friends at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts did a new study examining the evidence on the military spending fairy. The issue at hand is the whine heard across the country that cuts in military spending will cost jobs.

In a severe downturn like the current one, cuts in any government spending will cost jobs, the question is how many. Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' employment requirement tables, they find that on a per dollar basis spending on health care or energy conservation creates 50 percent more jobs than spending on the military. Spending on education creates more than twice as many jobs as spending on the military.

In other words, if the point of spending is to create jobs, then the military is the last place that we would want to put our dollars. But, many in Washington believe in the military spending fairy who blesses the dollars spent on the military with unmatched job creating power that has no basis in normal economic analysis.


Re: Isn't it political suicide to say "I will close down defence projects"
Posted by Keith-264 on January 22, 2012, 5:33 pm, in reply to "Isn't it political suicide to say "I will close down defence projects""


What was found around the country before the war pigs built their factories? Factories! Schools, hospitals, shops etc. Cutting war spending in return for spending at least as much on bringing back the jobs (which were abolished to pay for far fewer jobs in war industry) should interest the punters.

264, the last working class hero in England.


So we all agree on the economics - but the politics continue to be controlled by the MSM
Posted by CJ on January 22, 2012, 6:20 pm, in reply to "Isn't it political suicide to say "I will close down defence projects""


So we all agree, as do the economists, that war spending is far less beneficial for jobs than other Government spending.

But this doesn't actually take us anywhere in a nation where the MSM is largely controlled by the Offence industry - because the only message heard by the people is :
1. military spending is patriotic
2. cutting military spending is treachery
3. government spending on anything but military security and banking is socialism/marxist.

In other words we are back to what is the message that the people can see and is it coming from a source that they can trust?

If no-one in the USA trusts socialism they will not listen to the message about cutting war spending and job creation by better government spending.

If the messenger is a republican presidential candidate people may hear half the message that needs to be heard - stop spending money on wars and "do as you would be done by". The other half of the message - spend money on job creation - will need to be made once the first issue( and for us the most urgent), the foreign policy issue, has been heard and accepted by the people.

Cheers

Re: So we all agree on the economics - but the politics continue to be controlled by the MSM
Posted by emersberger on January 22, 2012, 6:46 pm, in reply to "So we all agree on the economics - but the politics continue to be controlled by the MSM"

:
: If no-one in the USA trusts socialism they
: will not listen to the message about cutting
: war spending and job creation by better
: government spending.
:
This assumption is wrong
For example, consider this poll
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-4931888-503544.html

Chomsky, over the years, has provided plenty of evidence showing US public opinion as well to the left of policy makers on mumerous issues. Propaganda is obviously very important, but it is not omnipotent - espcially regarding domestic policy. Even in foreign policy, poll results are often very surprising.


Re: So we all agree on the economics - but the politics continue to be controlled by the MSM
Posted by CJ on January 22, 2012, 7:41 pm, in reply to "Re: So we all agree on the economics - but the politics continue to be controlled by the MSM"


You are right - I should have been more precise:
If 80% of the USA do not trust socialism even if they heard a socialist agenda published by the MSM they will not listen to the war cuts policy it contains.
The point I am making is that they are more likely to listen to such a policy coming from a republican.

Since the US Government has never adopted a peace loving policy whatever the polls or public views have been, maybe voting for someone who at least speaks of "do unto others.." is worth a try. Let's face it nothing else has worked despite the worthwile efforts of many hard working activists. Even OWS appears to be faltering despite its popular appeal.

cheers

Re: So we all agree on the economics - but the politics continue to be controlled by the MSM
Posted by emersberger on January 23, 2012, 6:54 pm, in reply to "Re: So we all agree on the economics - but the politics continue to be controlled by the MSM"


--Previous Message--
: You are right - I should have been more
: precise:
: If 80% of the USA do not trust socialism
: even if they heard a socialist agenda
: published by the MSM they will not listen to
: the war cuts policy it contains.

The poll I linked to says

"Twenty percent, meanwhile, said socialism is better. The remaining 27 percent weren't sure."

I don't see how you can include the group of 27% who say they "arn't sure" if socialism is better than capitalism as being among those who would reject any policy that had a "socialist" label pinned on it. According to this poll, it seems at least 47% would not refuse to cosider policies labelled "scoialist" - and tha tpercentage rises among people under 30.

In fact, US public support for a "single payer" health care system is quite high in the USA despite the fact that the political class and the corporate media not only rejects it but has gone out of its way to demonize it as "socialist".

FAIR has done some very revealing work about that.

This article sums up FAIR's research on "single payer"
Posted by emersberger on January 23, 2012, 7:05 pm, in reply to "Re: So we all agree on the economics - but the politics continue to be controlled by the MSM"

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/03/07-6

Basically the corporate media blacked out a very popular idea and - when it was mentioned at all - was ususlly mentioned by pundits very hostile to it who labelled it "socialized mdeicine" or "governmnet run" medicine. Despite all of that - polls showed the US public as preferring the ignored and derided "socialist" idea by a two to one margin.

Re: So we all agree on the economics - but the politics continue to be controlled by the MSM
Posted by CJ on January 24, 2012, 2:11 am, in reply to "Re: So we all agree on the economics - but the politics continue to be controlled by the MSM"


I said :

If 80% of the USA do not trust socialism even if they heard a socialist agenda published by the MSM they will not listen to the war cuts policy it contains.
The point I am making is that they are more likely to listen to such a policy coming from a republican.

Why is it unreasonable to suppose that if people are not prepared to say socialism is better than capitalism that they do not trust socialism?
In fact I have a suspicion that the definition of socialism is a term that is rarely agreed upon in any case particularly given that a poll conducted 3 weeks later suggested that 26% of the US adults think the US is wholly or partially socialist!

(Tuesday, April 28, 2009 Twenty-one percent (21%) of American adults say that the U.S. economy is partially socialist and another five percent (5%) say generally speaking it’s already a socialist economy.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/general_business/april_2009/26_say_u_s_already_has_partially_socialist_economy )

Interestingly from the same people you referenced- Rasmussen Reports- a recent poll ( 20 January 2012) suggests even less people today favour government control :
Seventy percent (70%) of American Adults think a free market economy is better than one managed by the government. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 15% believe a government-managed economy is better. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/general_business/january_2012/70_prefer_free_market_to_government_managed_economy

Isn’t RP one of the strongest of the free market and anti-government control proponents and as such most likely to be listened to by 70% if not 84% of American adults?

Anyway is anyone else in the race saying "do unto others..." on foreign policy - I would honestly be interested to read them?

Cheers


Re: So we all agree on the economics - but the politics continue to be controlled by the MSM
Posted by emersberger on January 24, 2012, 4:07 am, in reply to "Re: So we all agree on the economics - but the politics continue to be controlled by the MSM"


--Previous Message--
: I said :
:
: If 80% of the USA do not trust socialism
: even if they heard a socialist agenda
: published by the MSM they will not listen to
: the war cuts policy it contains.
: The point I am making is that they are more
: likely to listen to such a policy coming
: from a republican.
:
: Why is it unreasonable to suppose that if
: people are not prepared to say socialism is
: better than capitalism that they do not
: trust socialism ?

When you write "they will not listen" you appear to be accusing them of ideological rigidity that there is simply no evidence for. A good example is single payer which I ponted out. There is no way they should prefer that option by a 2 to 1 margin if the word "socialism" drives the overwhelming majority (80% as you suggest) to cover their ears. When the idea of single payer is mentioned at at all by the corporate press it is almost always derided as "socialist".

: In fact I have a suspicion that the
: definition of socialism is a term that is
: rarely agreed upon in any case particularly
: given that a poll conducted 3 weeks later
: suggested that 26% of the US adults think
: the US is wholly or partially socialist!
:
That is a very sensible conclusion on the part of those 26%. "Socialism for the rich" is the best defintion of capitalism as it exists in the real world.

: (Tuesday, April 28, 2009 Twenty-one percent
: (21%) of American adults say that the U.S.
: economy is partially socialist and another
: five percent (5%) say generally speaking
: it’s already a socialist economy.
:
: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/general_business/april_2009/26_say_u_s_already_has_partially_socialist_economy
: )
:
: Interestingly from the same people you
: referenced- Rasmussen Reports- a recent
: poll ( 20 January 2012) suggests even less
: people today favour government control :
: Seventy percent (70%) of American Adults
: think a free market economy is better than
: one managed by the government.

Not surprsing- especially when the terms are left vaguely defined. What is governnet run - a bunch of bureaucrats in DC deciding among themselves what prices shoud be? I woudn't want that either. When the issues are concrete and clearly defined - as in the case of single payer - the ideological rigidity you seem to feel the overwhelming majority of US citizens have simply does not show up - even with the corproate media trying its best to create it.

A new
: Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey
: finds that only 15% believe a
: government-managed economy is better.
: Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.
:
What percentage would support a democratcically run economy as opposed to one dominated by 1% of the population? You can obviously change results dramatically depending on how you ask the question.

Last thoughts?
Posted by CJ on January 24, 2012, 6:25 pm, in reply to "Re: So we all agree on the economics - but the politics continue to be controlled by the MSM"


You write:
When you write "they will not listen" you appear to be accusing them of ideological rigidity that there is simply no evidence for. A good example is single payer which I ponted out. There is no way they should prefer that option by a 2 to 1 margin if the word "socialism" drives the overwhelming majority (80% as you suggest) to cover their ears. When the idea of single payer is mentioned at at all by the corporate press it is almost always derided as "socialist".

By my prior statement –
“If 80% of the USA do not trust socialism even if they heard a socialist agenda published by the MSM they will not listen to the war cuts policy it contains. The point I am making is that they are more likely to listen to such a policy coming from a republican.”
-I am not accusing anyone of anything.I am in fact following an observation made by Manuel Castells : “the message is effective only if the receiver is ready for it... and if the messenger is identifiable and reliable.” ( Communication Power : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Communication-Power-Manuel-Castells/dp/0199595690/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320591376&sr=8-1#reader_0199595690 )
In other words – everyone does this, according to Mr Castells, and I think it is a valid observation IMO. Or as I said earlier if no-one trusts the messenger they won’t hear the message.

My point to finally clarify is : at the moment Ron Paul is getting more publicity than anyone else in the MSM on the foreign policy of “do unto others as you would be done by” – because he is a candidate for the presidency and because he is a republican more people will be willing to listen to him than to others and on the foreign policy issue this is a good thing since without this people would not hear any alternative to “kill our enemy” Gingrich!


I suggest:
that socialism is a term that is rarely agreed upon and that according to polls 26% of the US adults think the US is wholly or partially socialist!

You write :
That is a very sensible conclusion on the part of those 26%. "Socialism for the rich" is the best defintion of capitalism as it exists in the real world.

If you say that these 26% of people define capitalism as socialism for the rich then the current discussion we are having has no basis at all – not only is the term “socialism” difficult to agree upon but also the term “capitalism” – and we cannot really conclude from these polls anything at all since the terms are not defined sufficiently for us to judge.

I raised socialism only as I assumed this is the only other political sphere likely to have produced a similar message to RP on foreign policy of “ do unto others…”



So I would like to summarise our debate :


1.This was a post about David Swanson’s Z net article where he says:
“Newt Gingrich says that the proper thing to do with enemies is "Kill them." That, of course, receives ecstatic applause.What could Paul say in response? He could have quoted almost anything Jesus Christ or Ronald Reagan or Ayn Rand had ever said and been booed for it. He chose a response that further guaranteed booing: he opposed U.S. exceptionalism. He suggested that other nations might merit the same respect as our own. If another nation were doing to ours what we do to others, we wouldn't like it, Paul pointed out. Perhaps we should follow the golden rule, he said. And he was booed for that.
And yet Paul goes on to speak against launching a war on Iran, and in support of ending our current wars
And he concludes :
“There is another rule I would much rather break than the golden rule. It is the rule that says that because Ron Paul has disastrous domestic positions we are forbidden to point out how revealing his excellent foreign policy stands are in presidential primary debates.”

2. You write to David Swanson
…” I don’t actually disagree with anything you said in this article. However, it isn’t just Ron Paul’s domestic policy positions that are horrendous …” basically saying his foreign policies are not really what they appear to be in view of his budget proposals and linking his brutal domestic policy to his foreign policy and emphasising the damage he will do to popular movements.
Swanson replies :
“i relentlessly oppose diverting an ounce of activist energy into supporting any politician and am clearly opposed to empowering ron paul”

3. Willem writes in rebuttal of your budgetary argument :
A massive military budget need not imply more wars. The Soviet Union had one (bleeding the country dry), but waged far fewer wars than the US ever did.

4. Gabriele points to Julian Assange as a supporter of RP and adds political comments about Obama and also emphasises the conclusion of Swanson in 1. above.

5. menno hert adds comments on other RP policies – abolish the welfare state and immigration

6. ceemac666 disagrees with you

7. Walter objects to what he describes as your “distortions” about essentially sacrificing people.

8. Freddie Deboer comments :
“my purpose is not to praise a potential Paul presidency (which I couldn't), but to find some solace in the existence of any consideration of non-interventionist views.”

9. Greenwald’s point, that valuing his voice is not “supporting him.”

10.I write
: cutting defence is cutting your own political throat due to the wide spread of Military spending in all states.
[Just a point of clarification – you understand that I wrote this as an attempt at reconciling Ron Paul’s statement on defence and his budget proposals. In other words how can any candidate for President hope to be elected if he declares that he is totally against defence spending ? So how does he balance that with his declared foreign policy - “do as you would be done by..”? He says there is a distinction between “military and defence spending” the former wasteful the latter is national security and purely defensive.
Does he believe this ? Who knows? The point is he seems to be the only candidate who is proposing the golden rule.
Unless you can point me to someone else who currently has the ear of the MSM – albeit being squeezed wherever they can.]

11. We then get into a discussion which is more about semantics than about principal.

I say if no-one trusts the messenger they won’t hear the message. I make the claim that if no-one trusts socialism then no-one will listen to a socialist candidate espousing the golden rule. I suggest they are more likely to listen to such a policy coming from a republican.

You say that polls show public opinion is well to the left of policy makers and quote pollsters Rasmussen in April ’09 showing 20% saying socialism is better than capitalism , 27% being unsure and only 53% saying the reverse.

I thought it reasonable to say that the poll meant if 80% were not prepared to say capitalism is better than socialism then that same percentage do not trust socialism.


We have now entered page 2 territory on the message board perhaps I will end my contribution here.

Thank you for an interesting and polite debate. I think I share your political views in general, I too have no love for RP its just that sometimes these people are able to do and say things others cannot .

Cheers

Re: Last thoughts?
Posted by emersberger on January 24, 2012, 7:57 pm, in reply to "Last thoughts?"

About the Ron Paul stuff – my position is in the notes you‘ve referenced. And I’ll leave at that.
As for this

:
: I suggest:
: that socialism is a term that is rarely
: agreed upon and that according to polls 26%
: of the US adults think the US is wholly or
: partially socialist!
:

Yes it is vague but has also been constantly demonized by for over a century now in the USA.

: You write :
: That is a very sensible conclusion on the
: part of those 26%. "Socialism for the
: rich" is the best defintion of
: capitalism as it exists in the real world.
:
: If you say that these 26% of people define
: capitalism as socialism for the rich

That isn’t what I meant. It is quite sensible to recognize the massive role government play in the economy - far beyond simply enforcing property rights and contracts as right wing “libertarians” would like. It is the reality. So if people – whether they like it or deplore it, want more of it or less of it – recognize that that capitalism as practiced in the USA is in actually a form of “socialism” I think they are correct.


then
: the current discussion we are having has no
: basis at all – not only is the term
: “socialism” difficult to agree upon but also
: the term “capitalism” – and we cannot really
: conclude from these polls anything at all
: since the terms are not defined sufficiently
: for us to judge.

They are certainly vague terms, but one has been demonized relentlessly- for ages. The other hasn’t been. Quite the contrary. Moreover when you ask people a preference of one over the other, the terms are far less vague especially for people who are old enough to remember the Cold War. Again, related to that point, note how many more people under 30 years of age (30% compared to 20%) preferred “socialism” to “capitalism”.

Here Some other polls you may find of interest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/health/policy/21poll.html

EXCERPT
Americans overwhelmingly support substantial changes to the health care system and are strongly behind one of the most contentious proposals Congress is considering, a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll….

The national telephone survey, which was conducted from June 12 to 16, found that 72 percent of those questioned supported a government-administered insurance plan — something like Medicare for those under 65 — that would compete for customers with private insurers. Twenty percent said they were opposed.

NOTE HOW DIFFERENT QUESTION GEST DIFFERNET RESULTS. Yet, even here, we see that US citiznes are far more capable of thinking beyond the corporate media’s consensus than people often assume. There is nothing approaching a balanced debate on these issues – or even a 60-4o split.

http://www.pollingreport.com/health.htm
"Which of the following approaches for providing health care in the United States would you prefer: a government-run health care system, or a system based mostly on private health insurance?" Options rotated

Government- run::: Private insurance :::Unsure
% % %
11/3-6/11 39 56 6
11/4-7/10 34 61 5
Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:11 am
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