Friday, January 18, 2008

Ron Paul: Symptom, Not Disease?

A few posts ago I mentioned how I'm coming to dislike people who blog anonymously for the purposes of cheap, empty slams on public figures- even when I agree with some of the slams being made.

Well, I recently found another anti-Ron Paul blog, quite possibly the same person as the creator of Ron Paul Revealed. This blog, The Ron Paul Survivors' Report, is credited to one "Ron Lawl," who has a hobby of making "LOLRons" every bit as unfunny as the "editorial cartoons" on the Ron Paul Revealed site.

However, one of his more recent posts does resonate with eight years of anger and frustration left in me from my Libertarian Party experience: this proposed flyer to be used in response to a Paulian propaganda distributor.

The specific point of resonance is the second paragraph, which I'll rewrite a bit to target it at one of the main sources of Ron Paul support- Libertarian Party leadership and anarchist activists therein.

You know what your problem is? You don't listen. You want to know why your party doesn't catch on? Try asking people. Maybe instead of telling voters that tax is theft and how we should all go back to private schools for the rich only, you should have paid more attention to what *the electorate* cared about. It's funny how you advocate the free market, but your own marketing skills are terrible. You have an elitist attitude where everyone else is a mindless sheep and all you have to do is "get the word out." Well, here's a thought: maybe you're wrong. Maybe the voters have already heard of the Libertarian Party... and they just don't like you.

Bear in mind, for the first half or so of my association with the LP I was one of those elitists. Thinking of everyone who disagrees with you as "sheeple" or outright evil gives you a warm fuzzy feeling of superiority. I got over myself and started listening to the doubts I had about Libertarian policy because I got tired of hitting my head into the same brick wall over and over- the resistance the public, even those eager for an alternative to the Republicrats, have to anarchism.

I then began hitting my head against a different brick wall- the purists and anarchists in the LP who wanted to keep their warm fuzzy feeling. I brought up my own disagreements with the extremes of Libertarian thought, gave examples of intelligent objections given me by those I'd discussed Libertarianism with. I was ignored, and when I couldn't be ignored I was attacked as a closet Republican, statist, Communist, etc. I kept on fighting, even when I was burned out and dreaded the very mention of the word "Libertarian," because I believed there was a party worth saving from itself, with people like me in it who were being driven out or silenced by the anarchists.

Then came first the state and then national LP endorsements of Ron Paul for the Republican nomination for President... and I knew there wasn't anything worth fighting over in the Libertarian Party.

And the biggest reason why there's nothing worth fighting over in the Libertarian Party is that most of the old leadership, the long-time activists, and the loudest voices in the party have the same attitude that Ron Lawl attributes to Ron Paul activists. It is the attitude that the only reason people might disagree with LP positions is that the people are too stupid to understand them. Once people are "educated", they will have no choice but to acknowledge the intellectual (and moral) superiority of Libertarian thought, join the party, and work for eventual Libertarian victory.

With the Rondroids, you can just replace "Libertarian" with "Ron Paul."

It's a rotten attitude.

It's an attitude that will cost you friends and make you a pariah- as I discovered when I was trying to argue people into submission to Libertarianism.

It's the exact opposite attitude to that used by most successful political candidates.

It's the attitude Ron Lawl claims drives Ron Paul's supporters.

It's an attitude I know, for a fact, drives the core of the Libertarian Party.

And, to a great extent, they're the same people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You make some valid observations, but I would watch quoting Ron Lawl too much. He's a known feisty liberal tied to the Wonkette blog that seems to do nothing but bash Ron Paul these days, and worse, For those not in the know, 4chan is an anonymous image board that's often come under fire for hacking/vandalizing other websites through "raids," and sometimes images of child pornography appearing in their /b/ section. "Lawl," like "lulz," is a variation of LOL that originated on 4chan. Given the ferocity of anti-Ron Paul troll posts that hit 4chan's news discussion board every day, it's probable that Ron Lawl got the chip on his shoulder sparring with equally ferocious Paulites there.