Wednesday, January 23, 2008

An open letter to Republicans, Conservatives, Constitutionalists, or Libertarians.

This is an open letter to those who identify with Republicans, Conservatives, Constitutionalists, or Libertarians. With the primary in full swing we find ourselves wondering about the credentials of those on the Republican side of the aisle.

Each candidate has been weighed, measured and, if talk radio is to be believed, found wanting. IF you are going to vote, then you better vote for Ron Paul.

Instead of a thirty second sound bite with all the attached mudslinging or chest thumping, I offer the following and only ask that you apply your own good name, and moral courage.

Jeff Foxworthy coined the phase “If you believe”. And then went on to define a group of people. Well, I am not Jeff, and this isn’t comedy. So here goes:

IF you believe that a bloated bureaucracy of a Central Government is the way to go, don’t vote for Ron.

IF you believe that it’s ok to be the world’s policeman, don’t vote for Ron.

IF you believe that the money issued by the Federal Reserve is as “good as gold”, don’t vote for Ron.

IF you believe that the only way to address the poor is through federal welfare legislation, don’t vote for Ron.

IF you believe that we are destined to join a one-world government as a client state, don’t vote for Ron.

IF you believe that the federal government has a responsibility to provide and regulate your health care, don’t vote for Ron.

IF you believe that government spending is just fine, don’t vote for Ron.

IF you believe the federal government is the best judge of your kids’ educational needs, don’t vote for Ron.

IF you believe “Shall not be infringed” means that you have to ask permission to buy and carry a weapon, don’t vote for Ron.

IF you believe that our income tax is fair and balanced, don’t vote for Ron.

Now, with ten reasons not to vote for Ron, are there any practical reasons we should vote for him?

All labeling aside, Ron Paul is a Constitutionalist. He actually believes that the Congress can only do those things enumerated in Art 1, Sec 8. He believes that as a matter of personal liberty it is the government who must justify removal of liberties rather than you who must defend the keeping of them.

In each of the ten Foxworthy reasons, they are either here ,or on the way. None of them are truly constitutional. In each case someone has read into the document and twisted it’s plainly stated meaning until they found what they wanted. Then it was created within the smoke filled rooms.

Ron Paul wants to change that. He doesn’t have a magic wand. Not everything he advocates will immediately stand up to the challenges of the real world or a Congress determined to maintain its power. What he wants to do is bring the USA back to a constitutionally correct government.

What would we get from a Ron Paul presidency if Congress opposed his Constitutional adjustments? We’d get an electorate that would become very educated in Constitutional matters quick, fast, and in a hurry.

I can picture him in a weekly address telling the people exactly what bills were vetoed and why. He would quote to the people chapter and verse exactly how the bills were not in alignment with our Constitution. Then in the same address, he’d tell the people which bills were passed into law anyway by an override vote.

The Sunday TV shows would begin to feature constitutional scholars who would argue the esoteric nature of any President Paul decision.

To be truthful, Paul might not be terribly effective within his first term. The paradigm shift would have to start from the ground up with his setting the example. By leading the way and casting a light back upon the Constitution we can hope for a more informed electorate, and, eventually, constitutionally oriented leaders to stand for election.

Today, the immediate issue is whether it is worth your time to vote for Paul. No one wants to walk away from the polls believing their vote to be wasted. Actually it is worse than wasted if your vote helped to elect the worst of the evils presented. That is what happened to those who voted for Ross Perot. The pragmatic question is: Can Ron Paul and the US Constitution be elected in November?

That question is where you must stake your own good word, or integrity. It’s the point where you decide to invest in your own moral courage and do the right thing. In order to get past the pragmatic question, you have to look at where we are and how fast we got here. Following adoption of the Constitution we would, from time to time, veer from the path. But, from about 1934 to now we have totally careened off the road and into the wild .

Now, more than ever, we need a Constitutional check on the federal government. We cannot rely on the federal courts to do this. That’s because every piece of law is assumed to be Constitutional unless it is challenged. And, in order to challenge it, the challenger has to achieve “standing” before the court. This fact was demonstrated when the Supreme Court stated that an individual taxpayer has no standing to challenge how the collected taxes were spent.

Ron Paul has about thirty years in government service and a record that none can match from a Constitutional point of view. He routinely returns money to the federal treasury that wasn’t needed during his reelection campaigns. He consistently votes against bills that restrict personal liberties or expands the reach of the government beyond the limits imposed by the constitution.

Many label him as a kook or nutjob because of a few of his supporters or because they truthfully cannot envision a nation actually governed by the letter of our Constitution. They cannot imagine a state such as Kentucky or Mississippi being able to conduct its’ own business without requiring an infusion of cash and conditions from the Federal Government.

They cannot envision a United States that maintains the worlds best military and yet refuses to interfere in another nation’s internal politics. A non-interventionalist USA would still locate, close with, and destroy our true enemies without the need to consider the entanglements of modern diplomacy. If attacked by terrorists, nothing would stop us from responding. We can also defend our friends without creating enemies.

No one doubts that we are moving toward socialism in all but name. No one doubts that the treasury and tax structure is in shambles. No one doubts that this election will pivot us onto a path that it may not be possible to return from.
Each time Ron Paul runs and loses he’s garnered more and more attention. The message is getting out. But, without his example in the white house, the message will be drowned out by the legislation that increases our government’s size and reach. It will be drowned out by the tax increases and by the entitlements programs. It will be drowned out as we lose our status as the most successful free and sovereign nation on the planet. It will be drowned out as the Bill of Rights is watered down. It will be drowned out as the last vestiges of a States unique identity and way of life are forever snuffed out in favor of the strong central government.

Now, I am asking you to commit your own good name and your integrity. I am asking you to reach deep into your store of moral courage to do what is right. I am asking you to commit your voice and send this letter to your friends and neighbors for discussion. And of course, I am asking you to vote for Ron Paul in your primaries and in the General Election.

Very Respectfully,
PE Gwinn

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Candidate Perfect Didn't Promise Any Of This

We need Candidate Perfect. Originally it was simply Mr. Perfect, US Citizen at large, who ran for President of the United States. He or she took that oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States literally. Wow, imagine that. Candidate Perfect did not do the following.......

The first thing he didn't do was make promises that he cannot keep. Candidate Perfect did not promise to:

  • "Obama will protect tax cuts for poor and middle class families, but he will reverse most of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers" - source

  • "Obama will level the playing field for all businesses by eliminating special-interest loopholes and deductions, such as those for the oil and gas industry." - source

  • "Strengthen our voting laws so that every citizen can fully exercise his or her constitutional right to vote." Hillary Clinton - Source

  • "As president, Hillary will: Lower taxes for middle class families by: extending the middle class tax cuts including child tax credit and marriage penalty relief, offering new tax cuts for healthcare, college and retirement, and expanding the EITC and the child care tax credit." - Source

  • "John McCain will permanently repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)." - Source

  • "Institute The Line-Item Veto. Give the President the same power held by most state governors, to veto individual elements of a spending bill and strip out unnecessary spending." Mitt Romney - Source

  • "Give President Flexibility. Authorize the Executive Branch to spend up to 25 percent less than Congress appropriates for a given project or agency." Mitt Romney - Source

  • "Restore Supermajority Requirement. Impose congressional rule requiring a three-fifths (60%) supermajority to pass any law that would raise taxes." Mitt Romney - Source

  • Why didn't Candidate Perfect make promises like this? Because they are not within the authority of the President of the United States. According to the US Constitution, only Congress can do these things as they are legislative in nature. He or she doesn't have the lawful authority to simply wave a magic wand, and pooof!!!, kiss the boo-boo and make it all better.

    Candidate Perfect sez: "Beware of Politicians making promises they cannot keep."

    Edited to Add that Right about now, Ron Paul is looking more like candidate perfect.

    Thursday, January 03, 2008

    Fatal Flaws

    Well, the Iowa Caucus is in full swing and the pundits are going at it hot and heavy. Personally I like the way the Democrats do the caucus thing. More on that later. This post is on my view of the fatal flaws of our election system and the candidates themselves.

    I might as well alienate the democrats first off. The only ones with a shot are Clinton, Obama, and Edwards. Problem is that they are stamped from the same mold. The fatal flaw is universal (socialist) health care, bigger government, and no commitment to do anything but continue manipulating the current tax code. Also, I don't trust any of them with the lives of my (both US Marines)daughter and son-in-law. None strike me as being able to command troops to kill or die for our nation. If they are not defeatist, they are at least retreatist.

    Now for the Republicans. Right off, the fatal flaw for Rudy in my eyes is that I don't trust him. He and Bill Clinton are two of a kind. Don't get me wrong, he appears to have run NYC with the iron hand of a Mafia Don. And I cannot deny that I have read articles lauding him for achievements in there. But, in my gut I don't trust him.

    Same goes for Mitt. He is too slick for my tastes. Might as well be the Republican John Edwards. I understand that a politician must make compromises and play to the masses. But, Mitt has virtually reinvented himself. I can't decide if he's a steroid enhanced Democrat or Republican Lite.

    Huckabee strikes me as a like-able guy and even as an honest man in general. But his fatal flaw is immigration. I don't care what position he takes, but he isn't sticking with it. I like his endorsement of the FairTax.

    McCain is a hero to me. I respect him for his service during the Vietnam war. While that makes him a hero, it doesn't make him Presidential. Mr. McCain has run for President so many times that I think he is on autopilot. I don't claim to be a conservative. I am a realist. McCain/Feingold is allegedly a freedom of speech issue. To me it was simply another piled on layer of red tape.

    Thompson is simply going to crash and burn. I think he waited too long to get in and if he has any charisma or spark, it's past time to show it. I don't expect a cheerleader, but the leader of the free world needs to be inspiring. Come to think of it, the others need this too.

    Ron Paul. Philosophically I love this guy. But, his philosophy is not reality based. Like it or not we have been steadily eroding personal liberty for well over 200 years. RP is a constitutional scholar but you can't turn back the clock. Isolationism is a great idea, but not in a world of terrorists and WMD. I like that he actually tells people that "we cannot do that, it isn't in the constitution." But when reality and philosophy collide, reality will win.

    None of the other Republicans were anointed by the media. Today that means they don't stand a chance. And that brings us to the electoral process itself.

    I like the primary system. People complain about the little states not having a say thanks to the electoral college. But, look at the order of the primaries. Little states lead the way, it balances things.

    The fatal flaw in our system is the secret ballot. In Iowa, the democrats actually stand in person to be counted. I like the openness of that. I think you should fill in a ballot that is scannable. Your name and signature should be on it. You should stand and be counted. No election controversy. Siomply bubble in a scantron and stand there as they scan it and place your ballot in a locked box.

    Well, on TV the prediction is Obama and Huckabee. Of course there is at least another hour or two in order to get it wrong :)