Idiot Absolutism

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.

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About patrickmspeaks

Father, tech-head, political sage, and the Illustrious One of (little) 3x2 fame, I have been blogging for a few years now, and want to stretch in new directions, discover new things, and redefine redefining just for the fun of it. Nonetheless, having produced a pointless paragraph about me, I'll stop before something bursts.
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6 Responses to Idiot Absolutism

  1. Soapboxgod says:

    Our R3vOlution is now. It amazes me that anyone could have any doubts at this moment. Why just today it was anounced the U.S. is dipping into pensions upon hitting debt ceiling. You think they won’t come after yours and mine? My dear friend they already have.

    Glad to have you onboard. Let’s hope you don’t fall off.

  2. myagent2000 says:

    Gary JOHNSON is a more calm sounding version of Ron Paul plus he has the added benefit of actually doing the things he’s talking about. Only ONE issue in 2012: CUT Federal spending. Johnson has cut govt spending, will cut spending, and doesn’t care what DC or K Street thinks about it.

  3. dmarks says:

    Soap. Why oh why is the government running pensions anyway?

    I think it should be a no-brainer for the government to immediately dismantle the pension programs and give everyone their money back or pension owed (in a lump sum) so they can manage this money themselves.

  4. Soapboxgod says:

    Gary Johnson is a fine candidate compared to the establishment. My beef with him is the persistent cost/benefit analysis he keeps talking about. I’m not interested in a cost/benefit report before I’m interested in whether or not something is constitutional.

    The billionaire Pohlad family in Minnesota that owns the Twins baseball team put a cost/benefit analysis together wherein they made their case that the baseball team provided a huge benefit to the metro area and raising taxes on Hennepin county slaves (without a referendum!!) was worth the cost.

  5. Soapboxgod says:

    Worth the cost to build that brand spankin’ new baseball stadium with the taxpayers picking up a good portion that is.

    3 words>>>> Broken Window Fallacy.

  6. David Miller says:

    Patrick, while I may not agree with your ultimate conclusions, your analysis of the problems of absolutism is spot on.

    Now, since no GOP candidate will be getting elected without worshipping at the altar of absolutism in the primaries, how do you see whoever wins the primary season winning in November 2012 with a general public that favors the realpolitic style you described?

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