Rand Paul & A New Awakening

In Recent News on May 19, 2010 at 9:37 PM

Yesterday was the big day for Paul supporters across the country from each party and independents alike, however it centered around a single state, Kentucky, and the GOP.  Rand Paul, the 47-year-old ophthalmologist (eye doctor) and son of the more famous Ron Paul, took on former Democrat and Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the Republican Primary in the state. Normally little attention would be paid to a GOP senate primary half a year before the mid-term elections, however this was an exception. This was not just a contest between two candidates vying for the chance to enter the elite club that is the US Senate, it was a contest that could define the Republican Party for years, if not generations to come.

Grayson seemed the ideal candidate to the Republican leadership, he was a former Democrat, had few strong ideological positions, and was running as a yes man for the party establishment, they figured they could shuffle him in, win a few center-left independents along the way, and add another political robot to their supporter ranks in the senate. He quickly won the endorsements of everyone from Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, to former VP Dick Cheney, to one time presidential hopeful and moderate Republican Rudy Giuliani. The establishment was completely and 100% behind Grayson and he was ready to repay them by playing their game, however it did not exactly go according to plan for those in Washington.

Rand Paul may not have been backed by the GOP establishment, but he had something much more important on his side, the grassroots supporters. He, like his father Ron Paul did in the ’08 presidential campaign, set fundraising records by raising $433,509 in a 24 hour period, shattering any amount raised by a Kentucky senate candidate before and this was before the general election had even begun. The proverbial big figures may have thrown their support early and often behind Grayson, but the little man proved that it is he who controls this country. Finally, last night, when push came to shove, not only did Rand Paul manage to defeat Grayson, he did so by a massive margin of 23.4%

So perhaps you are still wondering why this single election was important, sure Rand Paul is against the party establishment, and sure he beat the odds and when, but what does it prove, what does it mean, why should I care? The fact is that, alone, this race proves nothing and accomplishes nothing, however you must look at it as part of a broader trend. Any self-respecting political “expert” would have put his money on Grayson, he had the name recognition, the establishments backing, and the ‘moderatism,’ by which they mean lack of truly substantial positions on most topics, to reach out to independents. However the people of Kentucky were unaffected by these traditionally deciding factors, they actually took some time, researched the candidates, looked into them and thought about who really deserved their vote and who they really wanted in Washington and by a massively overwhelming majority they backed the underdog, senator-to-be Rand Paul.

However, as I said, one must look at this as part of a greater trend. I’m not just talking about a right-wing/libertarian trend, though it tends to come from that side, a side which I identify more closely with, but also the left. Arlen Specter, former Republican, now Democrat, and one of the ultimate political ‘players’ and establishment figures, gone in the primary. In Utah a long time ‘moderate,’ again the term means that he has no real strong political views or opinions, Senator Bob Bennett, gone in the primary. Senator Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas, forced to a run off. You can even look at the Florida gubernatorial race where Christ, a well established RINO and current state governor, had fallen so far behind in the polls that he abandoned the Republicans altogether for the prospect of an independent campaign. Traditionally this would signal an easy Democratic win, with the right-wing vote split, however the Dem in the race there is polling at a measly 18% as opposed to Rubio and Christ who are both in the 30%s (Rubio ahead by several points).

The fact is that the American people are experiencing a new awakening, unlike any they’ve had in years. Regardless of ideology or party identification, they have begun to realize that it is not the establishment parties that control the country, the elitists and fools up in Washington don’t control the United States either. We the people of the United States of America control this country, our elected officials in Washington are our employees, they serve us, not the other way around. John F. Kennedy once said: “Do not ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” I have a slightly different phrase; “Do not ask what your government is going to do, tell your government what it is to do.” Long ago George Washington warned, in his farewell address, that political parties were a great threat to democracy and a detriment to the people’s ability to rule their own country. Now, well over 200 years later, I think the American people are finally awakening and realizing the danger that comes with a political duopoly.

The Reason Behind Liberty

In Ideology on May 16, 2010 at 8:28 PM

When one comes across an argument in favor of individual liberty and freedom from government intervention, both fiscally and socially, the argument usually centers around practicality.  The comment “socialism is great in theory but it just doesn’t work” has become all to common in my opinion. Take that and combine it with the old, “communism is the perfect form of government but it goes against human nature,” and you have a dangerous trend. True, though it may be, that socialism doesn’t work and that communism is against human nature, the other half of these statement are so very wrong. Saying communism and socialism are idealistic and would be perfect makes them into something beautiful and something to be striven for.

Communism and socialism, and their daughter with fascism, progressivism, are not in any way perfect, or idealistic, or in any way something to be striven for. The entire concept of any of these ideologies is that a man is incapable of running his own affairs, that individual rights and liberties are not only not a necessity but also damaging to the all mighty greater good. Fascism, which it is without doubt most people see as the world’s most evil ideology (partly thanks to the joint US-Soviet post WWII propaganda campaigns which focused on fascism and ignored the USSR’s own atrocities), is really no different then communism in all aspects but one, the fact that communism seeks a single world government, while fascism seeks to establish a single ethnic government but seeks to ignore the other nations. Both communism and fascism, and socialism for that matter, are evil. The goal is to wipe out the individual. Everyone is to think, act, speak, and live as simply part of the whole, part of the machine.

However, while these seemingly common arguments that socialism and communism would be perfect persist, the arguments for liberty and freedom are becoming weaker and weaker. The typical argument coming from the pro-liberty side of the great political spectrum is that a government that favors the rights of the people and the individual is more efficient and less debt ridden. For that matter the most ideological argument that comes from that side is that liberty is American and has always been American and that America should remain a land of liberty. Obviously both these are true, socialist economic systems have always ended up a muddled mess, leaving millions starving and hungry and very few people with a possession to their names, and America has always been that great shining city on the hill for all the world to look up to in terms of liberty. However we should not argue in favor of liberty because it is practical, or because it is American, or, for that matter, even that it’s what the founding fathers had in mind or that it’s what the Untied States is based on.

Those who make that argument that liberty is classically American should look back, really look back, at the founding fathers. They had no precedent to build off, they had no nation to conserve. Their goal was not to preserve liberty but to create it. This fact has become muddled in history and that great liberty they fought and died and risked it all for has become not only forgotten but cast aside, perhaps for one reason more then any other, those in favor of liberty no longer really argue in favor of liberty. It is time that we freedom minded peoples of this country changed our argument and tactics. As I said America should not have liberty simply because it has always had liberty or because a smaller government is a more efficient government.

America and everyone, for that matter, should have liberty because it’s what’s right. Everyone should have the right to themselves, to do as they please with their money and their land, so long as it hurts no one else. The ability for man to control his destiny is the fundamental goal we should be seeking.  We must begin to argue, as the founding fathers once did, that liberty and freedom are to be sought because the right to oneself is the single most fundamental and democratic right their ever was. The right to be able to tell the whole world you don’t care what they think and to do things the way you see fit. We must be wiling to engage socialists and communists and progressive and fascists in ideological debate. Because my idea of a Utopian society is one where the government doesn’t care what you do as long as you hurt no one else, a society where everyone controls themselves and I think that this idea greatly trumps that socialist utopia of everyone living as a single unit.

We must be willing to really defend liberty, defend the real reason behind it. Only when we start to engage them on their own battlefield, the battlefield of idealism, will we truly be able to ensure that the rights of life and liberty will forever be ensured to ourselves and our posterity.

Ama-gi Exclusive Interview: Johnson for America

In Interviews, Recent News on May 14, 2010 at 3:34 PM

I recently came into contact through email with Josiah Schmidt, the head of an organization known as Johnson for America ( ). The goal of the organization is to “draft” former New Mexico Gary Johnson to run for president. I recently asked Schmidt several questions about the governor and the organization trying to draft him:

1. Who is Gary Johnson and why do you think he should be our next president?

Gary Johnson is the former two term governor of New Mexico, who came
from outside of politics to beat a former Republican governor in the
Republican primaries, and to then unseat an incumbent Democratic
governor by a ten point margin, in a state where Democrats outnumber
Republicans 2 to 1.  Gary Johnson was a governor who vetoed more bills
than all his other contemporary governors combined, who cut taxes 14
times, and who balanced the New Mexico state budget.

We need to send Gary Johnson to the White House because our very
survival as a nation depends upon whether or not the government gets
out of the way and stops suffocating this society and this economy to
death.  We have a mountain of debt, regulations, and malinvestments,
thanks to the federal government, and this lethal cocktail will
devastate America for decades to come.  That is, unless we take our
medicine, stop trying to stimulate and bail our way out of this
recession, and let the free market work.  Gov. Johnson is the only one
who can be trusted to make the right decisions for our future.

2. What is your overall goal at Johnson for America?

I started the Johnson For America organization before Gov. Johnson
began his foray back into the national policy debate in 2009 as a way
to spread the word about Gov. Johnson’s record and philosophy, and as
a way to introduce Gov. Johnson to the Republicans of today.  Because
Gary’s 501(c)4 group (the Our America Initiative) is legally
prohibited from being used as a vehicle to promote Gary for the
presidency, it is Johnson For America’s goal, as an unaffiliated
grassroots support group, to drum up support for a 2012 run.

3. Do you think that Gary Johnson will agree and run for president in 2012?

Absolutely.  I have had the privilege of speaking to Governor Johnson
on multiple occasions, and one of the things that always strikes you
about him is his deep passion for and belief in the American dream.  I
think Gary sees how that dream is being threatened, and I don’t
believe Gary is the kind of leader to sit back and just let that dream
die.  I do not believe he will pass up this once in a lifetime
opportunity to elect a President who truly believes in things like
free markets, individual liberty, and limited government.

4. How would you you describe his place on the political spectrum
(libertarian, conservative, ect.)

Gary has embraced both the “conservative” and “libertarian” labels,
quite accurately in my opinion.  He wants to conserve what is good
about America, and he wants to do that via the philosophy of liberty.

5. Governor Johnson is well known as an advocate for the legalization
of Marijuana, what benefit would this have on  America and our crime
and justice system?

As Gary points out, half of what the government spends on the legal
and judicial system if for drug-related crimes–crimes which do not
involve one person doing harm to the body or physical property of
someone else (i.e. not really crimes at all).
If the police and the courts weren’t spending all that time locking
people up for committing these peaceful, non-violent acts, perhaps
they would be spending more of their time stopping real crimes or
returning stolen goods.  Right now, if you get your TV stolen and you
go to the police station, you’ll basically get told that you’re not
going to get your TV back.  But if you go to a police station and
inform them that your neighbor is growing tons of marijuana in their
back yard, you can bet the cops will be on that situation within a
matter of hours to days.  There’s something really backward about that

6. Obviously right now New Mexico’s border state of Arizona is having
quite some turmoil over the illegal immigration issue. What is
Governor Johnson’s stance on illegal immigration and immigration in

Governor Johnson believes that immigration is a good thing, because it
expands the division of labor.  As immigrants come from Mexico, for
instance, and take low level jobs for inexpensive pay, employers can
afford to put those savings toward hiring Americans for better jobs.
Immigration is a good thing.  However, illegal immigration poses
financial and national security problems, and Gary believes we need to
look at ways to encourage people to come here legally.

However, something to keep in mind is that if we don’t get our fiscal
matters in order, our immigration problem will soon turn in to an
emigration problem, as people attempt to flee America’s high taxes and
regulations.  In fact, many Mexicans near the border are already
attempting to get back into Mexico, because the jobs have disappeared
from America.  Unfortunately, we may be nearing the day when Americans
are scrambling to get into Mexico to work.

7. What about his stance on other hot button social issues such as gay
marriage or abortion?

Gary is a federalist when it comes to social issues, or any issue that
the US Constitution doesn’t authorize the federal government to touch.
He believes, as the 10th amendment mandates, that these issues should
be handled at the state level.  Thus, he supports overturning Roe V
Wade and sending the abortion issue back to the 50 states, and he
would oppose either forcing the entire country to legalize gay
marriage or forcing the entire country to ban gay marriage at the
federal level.

8. Economically how would you describe the former governor’s positions?

Gary Johnson is an unabashed support of free market capitalism.  He
has said repeatedly that government does not create jobs or wealth.
Only the marketplace creates jobs and wealth.  All the government
ought to do is confine itself to as limited a role as possible, and
stay out of the way.  Gov. Johnson is a proponent of less spending,
fewer regulations, lower taxes, and a non-inflationary monetary

9. What is the governor’s view, to the best of you knowledge, on the
power of the federal government as well as executive powers?

One of Gary Johnson’s favorite sayings is that “every law passed is a
little bite out of freedom.”  When it comes to federal power, Gov.
Johnson is almost invariably of the opinion that less is better.  Gary
understands the fact that the US Constitution is a document of few and
enumerated powers, and that any power not explicitly authorized by the
Constitution is reserved to the States and the People.

10. Seemingly Governor Johnson has many ideals which clash with the
Republican Party and especially certain elements of the religious
right as well as neocons. Do you think there’s any chance he might
seek election from a third party nomination or even as an independent?

Gary has been asked about this many times, and he has always responded
that he will not run as an independent or third party candidate.  He
believes in working within the Republican Party to make it a vessel
for individual liberty and sound policy.