I’m adding this as a postscript to my post “I Has Me Some Candidates” since the original post was a week old and exploded in size.
In that post (like every other in which I mention the Ron Paulistas), I commenced ripping on the people who spew unending slogans and often two-page run-on sentences in support of a man who has a lot of good solutions, and some great ideas, but has always made me hesitant to support him because he always seemed just a bit unhinged.
Well, in fairness, if I had to watch a party I belonged to tear itself apart by trying to outspend Democrats for 6 years while I watched, I’d have gotten unhinged too. The following four were even worse.
But this brings me back to the definition department:
Idiot Absolutism – A fanatical commitment to a political position, philosophy, or candidate, that allows for no reasoning, compromise, discussion, or acceptance that there are any other options; the result of which is a cult-like marginalization of said position, philosophy, or candidate.
This is the reason I had not supported Ron Paul until now. In fact, it took listening to the man himself, in a debate with smooth-talking snake oil salesmen (Pawlenty and Santorum) for me to shift my position here. Than and ignoring the cacophony of fanatics.
So let me cite some Reagan here. The fact is, despite his faults and inconsistencies, Reagan did more to advance the ideas of conservatism than any politician had in the prior decades. This was not because he was the strongest and most consistent conservative. It was because 1. he could articulate conservatism better than most people, and in a way that most people understood it; and 2. when he applied conservatism, he did it fearlessly and effectively, which drew even critics in and won them over.
This is the antithesis of idiot absolutism, as it involves compromise and calculation. And it got some good things done. Not everything was good, but compare the eight years of Reagan with the eight years of George W Bush. ‘Nuff said.
Which brings me to something we can learn from liberals, progressives, and socialists/communists/Marxists. Incrementalism forces changes into existence where absolute demands crash and burn. That explains the massive creep, over a century, from a pretty free country (with obvious exceptions) to the monolithic, nanny-state, Imperial Federal Government we have ruling over us today.
So I’m on board the Paul train/wagon/bus/psychiatric hospital ambulance/whatever for now. Because I think that this next election year will be the year of the libertarian. I think the American people are ready. And if Ron Paul can capture that magic, then he stands a good chance. If he doesn’t, and he flounders in the primaries, then I’ll pick the best acceptable candidate. It sucks, but finding a good candidate this time is critical. And getting the right candidate, and a GOP congress to back him (and not collude to do stupid shit like much of 2001-2006) may be within our grasp.
So again, I say, Live in the now. And this time, fight to win.