Tuesday, February 5, 2008

On The Contradictions and Revenge Fantasies of Ron Paul's Supporters

Over at A Stitch In Haste, Kip Esq. has some thoughtful observations about the following:

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Police confiscated two display photos of scantily clad men and a woman from an Abercrombie & Fitch store and cited the manager on a misdemeanor obscenity charge, authorities said.
...
City code makes it a crime to display "obscene materials in a business that is open to juveniles," Bernstein said.
Call this exhibit #1. As Kip points out, the offending posters, one of which you can see below, do not remotely qualify as obscene according to the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution.

However, as Kip also points out, according to Ron Paul's interpretation of the Constitution, the local or state government would be well within their rights to ban stores from using photos like this one.

Which brings us to exhibit #2. This is only one example of the kind of thing we're going to see from Ron Paul supporters as the "good doctor's" campaign slides into the abyss: revenge fantasies, especially against the media, the source of all their troubles (or so they seem to believe.)

"TommyzDad", a "Senior Member" over at the RonPaulForums, asks, "What kind of 'payback' would you like to see extracted from the MSM when Dr. Paul wins the House?" I will reproduce the first reply to his question in its entirety. Interestingly enough, the poster's user name is "Rockwell":
Immediately suspend their license for 90 days and freeze all assets from sale or transfer.

Hold public hearings to allow for any complaint from the citizenry, investigate. Issue subpoenas and take depositions from all executives to respond to charges. If found in violation of FCC laws revoke licenses and suspend all rights to future broadcasting on public airways of any responsible parties. Forfeiture and siezure of all property, equpiment, assets of those networks found to be in violation and sell off such property with funds to be used for the general welfare.

Rewrite FCC guidelines to prohibit the use of public airwaves by any organization with more than X employees, or more than X assets. Mandatory non-profit status and salary/compensation caps.

I'm sure I could think of others, that's a good start.
Now, the last time I saw a revenge fantasy like this, it was on the Democratic Underground forum, and it was from some lefty venting his spleen at the insurance industry.

But these are Ron Paul supporters. They're supposed to reject the idea that the FCC should be allowed to regulate the news broadcasts while it seizes the property of those who fail to comply with its edicts. That's the revenge fantasy of a fascist, not a libertarian.

Moreover, it's unlikely Ron Paul would support expanding the power of the FCC to make the fantasy possible. I wonder if "Rockwell" knows that.

Which brings our two exhibits together. Do Ron Paul supporters even know what the good doctor really stands for? Do they know that, under Paul's interpretation of the Constitution, states could prohibit the display of photographs as mild as the one displayed above? That, on his interpretation, the California law that led Paul Robert Cohen to be prosecuted for wearing a "Fuck the Draft" jacket is a perfectly legitimate exercise of state police power?

I bet they don't. Or maybe they just don't care. But a general ignorance of the ramifications of Ron Paul's anti-federalist (but hardly pro-liberty) ideology would explain their failure to realize that it would drastically expand state police power, while explicitly limiting the federal government's power to enact the kind of revenge fantasy cited above.

Or, like I said, maybe they don't care about consistency. Or liberty. And that would make Ron Paul's acolytes no different, essentially, from the supporters of Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

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8 comments:

Windy said...

I know what Ron Paul stands for and I agree that that person youo quoted doesn't have a clue about Ron Paul or true liberty. The best revenge is living well, and that is what I intend to do for as long as our fascist rulers allow or as long as the economy remians relatively functioning. As for politics, I give up. It's obvious the people prefer fascism to freedom, and they deserve wht they are going to get with the people they appear to voting for.

Anonymous said...

Not all of us are like Rockwell. I fully agree with Ron Paul that Fox and all the other networks have a right to do what they're doing because they are private companies. But it doesn't mean I have to watch them nor buy the products of their sponsors. Not only that, the knowledge of blatant media bias can be spread to many acquaintances. This isn't a revenge scheme rather an honest anger at the election manipulation. I believe all Americans should be worried about them choosing our candidates for us.

Anonymous said...

The belief that politics should be local is why I do support a stronger State. You have far more chance of managing your government the closer they are to your environment and needs. You are citing an example of a poster, what about the Real ID which was opposed by several States and put in on the back burner by the Federal group. The Federal government is now a nation unto itself, it's the Hollywood of politics and it gets bigger, dumber and less in touch with local realities every single year.

Tam said...

Yes... some of us do understand Ron Paul's positions... I think though that many others don't. He is basically a Constitional Libertarian. meaning while he believes in liberty, he also believes in a strict interpration of the Constitution.

In your photo example, just as the Constitution does not allow the federal government to ban the display of such phots, it also doesn't get the fe gov the right to force the states to not ban such it.

I think that what many miss is that, under a strict reading of the Constitution, the fed gov has very little roll in governing... and any advances in liberty (once we get the fed gov off our backs) need to be made on a local and state level

Anonymous said...

What would be the difference between the government having the power to censor the aforementioned photo and the state having the power? I don't want a born again Christian from Alabama telling me what i can and can't see (hence the dislike of a sprawling federal government). Dr. Paul believes that power belongs to the states, towns and local municipalities (in essence, the people) not the oligarchical rule of the Federal Government. Civil unions is a fine example of this. NJ permits civil unions. Dr. Paul might personally believe that marriage is meant for a man and a woman, but the government has no right to tell you that. This may account for the large increase of the gay population in NJ. A single voice has much more volume in a movie theater than in a stadium.

Marcel said...

Ron Paul supporters are a crazy bunch. Now the candidate himself is crazy, but at least he's consistant. But it seems that he draws supporters from all corners of the political spectrum purely because he stands for "freedom". Where else do you see cannabis users, white suppremacists and anarcho-capitalists stand shoulder-to-shoulder for a common cause?

Anyway, I wrote a song about this phenomenon, and you can find it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2RcTmNG_VQ

Terrence C. Watson said...

Good comments, everyone. I address them in a separate post:

http://fusionistlibertarian.blogspot.com/2008/02/response-to-comments.html

Terrence C. Watson said...

Grr, the linked post is here