NH Voters Thought McCain Opposed the Iraq War?

James Bovard, January 09, 2008

CNN crunched the exit poll data from yesterday’s New Hampshire primary and found that “among the 34 percent [of Republican primary voters] who said they disapproved of the war, McCain had a wide advantage over the GOP field — even over Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the sole advocate of a U.S. withdrawal in the Republican field.” (hat tip to Think Progress).

Perhaps such voters did not realize the temporal difference between exiting Iraq “now” (in Ron Paul’s case) versus 10,000 years from now (in McCain’s case, according to his comment on CBS’s Face the Nation last week).

McCain has rarely missed a chance to grovel at Bush’s feet to support the Iraq war.

Why were so many voters who claimed to oppose the war so ignorant?




  • formerbeltwaywonk

    How can one not think of conspiracy theories having just observed an improbably simultaneous media attack on Ron Paul the day of the New Hampshire campaign? A remarkably successful attack that made him plunge from 14% in the polls to an 8% actual vote? After weeks where we heard very little about Paul from the mass media and beltway “libertarian” bloggers? TNR from the left, Fox News and talk radio from the right, and piling on from beltway “libertarians” who made a point of loudly repeating the TNR smears and dumping Ron Paul on the day of the primary. Your eyes did not deceive you, all this happened. It is not the result of a criminal conspiracy, but if one uses “conspiracy” as a metaphor for social networks of vast complexity, there is a strong sense in which conspiracy theories accurately, if metaphorically, explain what happened.

    The reality behind the conspiratorial metaphor is the social networking between denizens of the Beltway, who sport a wide variety of political labels but are, relative to the rest of the country, a monoculture. These denizens range from the journalists who report the mass media news to various think tank and university scholars. Vast amounts of federal money, that stuff that is taken out of your paycheck with such automatic ease, flow into the Beltway area. Directly and indirectly, almost every person who lives in or near the Beltway depends on the very income tax that Ron Paul declared he would abolish — with no replacement!

    Many of these paycheck vampires call themselves “libertarians” and inspire us with their libertarian rhetoric to support them with our attention, our blog hits, and our tuition money as well as the tax money that already funds them or their friends. But at the first sign of political incorrectness, all these below-the-Beltway “libertarians” have dumped Ron Paul like yesterday’s garbage. Now they can rest easy that they will still be invited to the parties thrown by their lobbyist and government employee and contractor friends, who for a second or two got worried by all those Google searches that Ron Paul might have some influence, resulting in some of them losing their jobs (end the income tax with no replacement?! The guy is obvioiusly a kook, and we don’t invite the supporters of kooks to our parties!). Now everybody around the Beltway can go back to partying at the taxpayer’s expense. All the money will keep flowing in, hooray!

    The lesson millions of young libertarians have now learned from our beltway “libertarians”? Libertarian electioneering is futile. Voting is futile. Democracy is futile. Anybody who actually wants liberty is a kook, as can be proven by their association with kooks. Beltway wonks posing as “libertarians” are happy to write things to inflame your hopes for liberty that they don’t really mean. Then they make sure that we elect the politicians their friends want — the ones that will enslave your future to pay for full social security for Baby Boomers. The ones that will send you off to foreign lands to kill and die. Our Beltway “libertarians” are happy to sell a whole new generation of libertarians down the tubes in order to keep their Beltway friends happy.

    • peace

      Freaking right, formerbeltway.., These beltway party animals, living off the taxpayer, see Ron Paul as their foe.
      Please publish this above analysis. The lowlifes who call Paul a kook, do so because they really do not want change.

    • richard vajs

      I watched the FOX News Republican debate from South Carolina last night. Except for Paul, the candidates all stand for three things – continued tax cuts for the wealthy, continued/expanded war upon Islam, and continued devotion to Israel. When Ron Paul suggested that it would be in Israel’s benefit if we cut so many close ties with them, the Huckster got real indignant and publically carried on about the depth of his love for Israel. After the debate, FOX interviewded about 25 people who comprised their “audience focus group”. This group said that they thought Fred Thompson was the “winner” and that Ron Paul was “the loser”. I hope that we can save this country by voting in change, but I am afraid that we are going to have to something more drastic – like not paying income taxes and let the beast die.

      • Ben

        How about stealing the diebold machines and chucking them over a bridge, Boston Teaparty style? We could dress up ‘like Muslims.’ I could really not give a damn about what the mouth breathers might make of it or Fox News would spin it.

    • http://liberrants.blogspot.com liberranter

      Beautifully stated! As for “Beltway Libertarians”, I can think of no more stereotypical of a media organ representing that ilk than Reason magazine, whose editor-in-chief, Nick Gillespie, published a truly disgusting hit piece (disguised as “objective” reporting) on Ron Paul in this month’s hardcopy issue. That was the last straw, solidifying my decision to let my long-time subscription to this pretentious, fraudulent rag lapse at the end of the month. I would encourage any remaining subscribers who truly embrace libertarianism to do the same.

    • Holy Jehosophat

      To give the “moderate” libertarians some credit, there is more going on here than just below-the-beltway selling out of principles. There is also ideological ambiguity. Think of the late Harry Brown, a fine man but one who switiched his message mid career i.e. who both ran for pres. on the LP ticket (radical?) and wrote “How to Live Free in an Unfree World” (moderate). I call this latter view the Epicurean tendency in libertarianism: even if we can’t get rid of state opression, still perhaps we can live well in the interstecies of society and refuse to give the state our moral consent. From their point of view its a realistic critique of the romantic heroism of Rand and Rothbard…from a radical point of view it’s going morally AWOL. The point I am making is that it is a conciously held ideology, not just a moral or intellectual lapse. And like the original Epicurianism of the Late Hellenistic/early Roman period it allows intellectuals to survive under the growing clouds of tyranny.

  • S Mcbride

    I think New Hampshire residents have not witnessed enough of young men and women come back in caskets from Iraq and Afghanistan or with horrific injuries and burns. Maybe because most of them are geriatrics. Once these geriatrics see New Hampshire towns start seeing entire towns emptied of their young men and women as in Virginia and Ohio and the graveyards become the most visited places every week then NH residents might give their war loving ideas a second thought. They are blind and deaf with American nationalism. They don’t see or hear anything other than Neocon Republican rhetoric. Further with most NH residents enjoying their pensions and social security benefits, they feel they need not have a care in the world. They think the countriy’s many wars are just a CNN or Fox News thrill show. Also they have not a clue how the world economics will impact their comfortable earnings. Once they start to suffer the economic pinch, can’t afford gas, start stocking up on cans and cutting coupons becomes a necessary affair- they just might get it.

  • Stanley Laham

    Perhaps they would finally learn. After all the Vietnam protests only gained furor when two to three hundred caskets were coming home every week. But don’t be too sure. My years of observation have thought me a golden rule:
    “Whoever underestimates the stupidity of the American public does so at his own peril.”

    • Kenneth

      I learned that the hard way, and I’m only eighteen.

  • A. G. Phillbin

    While I agree with those who give credit to voter stupidity, as well as well-timed media attacks, are correct, everyone seems to be missing the fundamental problem with the Ron Paul campaign: self-delusion. As someone who changed registration to Republican (will change back after the California primary) and gave money to the RP campaign, I was certainly infected by the enthusiasm of Paul’s supporters, and was quite impressed by his ability to collect huge sums of money from a large number of people. But even then, I wondered – is enthusiasm a real indication of a real base of electoral support, especially where it was needed? How many of these contributors were even registered Republicans, or thought to switch parties? How much effort was made to get people to do so? Ron Paul’s libertarian (with some paleocon mixed in) philosophy clearly is not the flavor of the month in his own party, and it certainly wasn’t going to draw many Democrats or independents, but for one thing — THE WAR. He should have made it clear that the only electoral anti-war vehicle that was catching on, and therefore that a large number of votes for Paul would change the course of the political debate.

    Now, I only just thought of this, so I can’t blame anyone else for not doing so, but what if Ron Paul were to make joint campaign appearances with Dennis Kucinich, and focused the campaigns away from the personalities and onto the issue of THE WAR and related question of civil liberties? Except in states like New Hampshire, they are not even in competition with each other, since they have closed primaries. The two of them agree on these two issues, and obviously would have to agree to disagree on the rest. It would boost the standing of both campaigns, and get people to look past the the immediate election of a president-king and onto what actually needs to be done. It would mean both campaigns would be looking beyond electing a personality, and focusing on what is needed to make America better.

    • Stanley Laham

      Such a joint effort of mutual re-enforcement for the Florida primary has already been proposed by Kucinich supporters.

      These two men have a lot more in common than just the war. Their foreign policy in general would abide by the same principles of self-determination and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states. In government both claim to be outraged by the ravaging of our constitution by this imperial executive.

      In the economic sphere, both would end the corporate welfare state and its predatory capitlism practices that inhibit individualism and destroys the middle class at home while being the instigator of empire abroad. Both vehemently oppose WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA and all other trade treaties that favor corporate transnationals and fog national sovereignty.

      No one defended the ideals of individualism more eloquently than SDS in its founding Port Huron Declaration in 1961 quoted below:

      “As a social system we seek the establishment of a democracy of individual participation, governed by two central aims: that the individual share in those social decisions determining the quality and direction of his life; that society be organized to encourage independence in men and provide the media for their common participation.”

      I think Ron Paul and Kucinich would both agree with this central premise. Their fundamental difference lies in the role of the State in the health and education of its citizens. I believe that Paul and Kucinich are compassionate and well-intentioned. It would be easy for these two men to find a common ground.

  • Tim R.

    Richard Vajs writes that after watching the Republican Debate, one of the three main things they care about is our “continued/expanding war on Islam” He says that is one of the main things they stand for.

    I am perplexed. Still perplexed. Maybe you or your friends can shed some light on this for me. Didn’t Islam declare war on us!? Didn’t 3,000 Americans perish in fire and flame while Islamic terrorists shouted “Allah Akbar!” ?

    Have not these Islamo Fascists been attacking us long, long before our intervention in Iraq? Doesn’t Shiek Nassralah of Hezbolah call us the great satan and wish for our demise? Didn’t Bin Laden’s top deputy, Aymin Al Zawahiri say that there would be peace if we just converted to Islam? These are but a few of many examples.

    I’m not looking to pick a fight, I just want to better understand the liberal/progressive mindset on this issue. I feel like you guys are telling me that the world is flat, while I know it to be round. So maybe you or your friends could kindly shed some light on this.

    • Kenneth

      I am perplexed. Still perplexed. Maybe you or your friends can shed some light on this for me. Didn’t Islam declare war on us!? Didn’t 3,000 Americans perish in fire and flame while Islamic terrorists shouted “Allah Akbar!”

      Your stupidity continues unabated. Osama bin Laden and his cohorts attacked America knowing that the strike would be exploited by America’s political class to begin a disastrous war that would swell the ranks of Al-Qaeda immensely and radicalize influential segments of the Islamic world. Oh yeah, and the actions of a small group can’t be taken as representative of Islam as a whole, particularly when bin Laden’s motive was not religion but politics.

      Have not these Islamo Fascists been attacking us long, long before our intervention in Iraq? Doesn’t Shiek Nassralah of Hezbolah call us the great satan and wish for our demise? Didn’t Bin Laden’s top deputy, Aymin Al Zawahiri say that there would be peace if we just converted to Islam? These are but a few of many examples.

      Rather than engaging in such cretinous logocentrism, it might be worthwhile to examine the circumstances of such statements. America’s support for Israel, its bankroll which amounts to a “who’s who” of Middle Eastern despotisms, and its murder of 1.2 million people in Iraq make “Satanic” a fitting description of American foreign policy. Hezbollah has its iniquities, no doubt, but as a legitimate resistance movement it simply cannot be equated with, much less construed as morally inferior to, a brutal apartheid state like Israel bent on deracinating the regional Arab population.

      I’m not looking to pick a fight, I just want to better understand the liberal/progressive mindset on this issue. I feel like you guys are telling me that the world is flat, while I know it to be round. So maybe you or your friends could kindly shed some light on this.

      No, you’ve merely habituated yourself to a certain worldview to the point where you cannot conceive of anything different.

      • Stanley Laham

        Good dissection Kenneth.
        Just one more remark. The identity of those who commandeered the planes that slammed into the WTTs and the Pentagon is still nebulous. That five Israelis had positioned themselves in advance to watch the spectacle and feted the feat with glee was irrefutably witnessed.

        • Kenneth

          Indeed? Damn. Doesn’t surprise me. Zionists are always bad news, and these look to be among the worst of the lot. My pet theory is that the CIA deliberately opted for fundamentalists like Gulbaddin Hekmatyar over democrats like Ahmed Shah Massoud during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan knowing that an armed Islamist organization would redound to the benefit of America’s rulers (and the detriment of its general populace) in the form of a terrorist attack. Certainly, the “New Pearl Harbour” metaphor is more apt than many of its users realized, since Roosevelt did just this with Japan. What do you think?

        • Stanley Laham

          Islamicism was always correctly appreciated by the Brits, the Americans and the Israelis as a useful tool to oppose any nascent nationalist democracy in India or the Middle East. Fueling Hindu-Muslim antipathies was one way the British empire kept control over the whole subcontinent with relatively so few soldiers. In Egypt they instigated the formation of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1924 to thwart the nationalist parties that were aspiring to full independence.

          In much the same way, I believe, the US was aware, during the Cold War, that Islamic fundamentalism was the most effective means of undermining the advance of nationalist pan-Arabism, personified by Gamal Abdel Nasser, to the strategic oil rich gulf. What better way to defeat Arab nationalism or socialism (imported ideas) than with the religion the Arabs invented. Hence the grand alliance of American oil and Sharia(Islamic law) in the Whahhabite Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And it worked.

          Bin Laden is merely the continuation of that policy. It is in the context of that same logic that the CIA backed more manipulable Islamists against a sincere popular nationalist like Massoud. Bizarre coincidence that he was assassinated right before 9/11 therefore eliminating any possibility that he would become the post-Taliban leader of Afghanistan.

          Of course, just like Victor Frankenstein, sometimes the creators lose control of their creation(as in Israel with Hamas or the US with Manuel Noriega). If the CIA likewise lost control of their baby(bin Laden), it would be interesting to know precisely when.

          The Alamo, the Lucitania, the Maine, Pearl Harbour and the Gulf of Tonkin were as convenient as 9/11 for the causes of expansionism or imperialism. Some were provocations, others were fabrications. Their common effects were wars. I think more and more people are becoming aware that December 7th 1941 was a date of great deceit as well as infamy.

        • Kenneth

          This is all true. You’ve broached a point that I’d neglected, though it is a bit tangential to this discussion. To add, it should be noted that Washington repeatedly failed to support genuinely democratic movements- such as the RAWA in Afghanistan and the EPLF in Eritrea- when the opportunity presented itself, despite the fact that the latter case represented a potent prophylactic against Soviet designs on the Red Sea. America’s latter day Caesars would rather see other states fall to Stalinism or some congruent form of anti-American totalitarianism than become independent democracies for the simple reason that such regimes lack legitimacy and are much more easily dislodged, plied, and used as propaganda fodder than genuinely popular ones.

        • peace

          A.G., Stanley, and Kenneth, Thank you so much for the cogency of all the remarks and information you offered above, although I don’t know whether the last sentence developed by Kenneth above is accurate.

          Well, we are now entering the third week of ’08. Will we make it through without attacking another country?

        • Kenneth

          Perhaps, perhaps not. It is mostly conjecture on my part, though I can think of no other explanation for America’s apparent indifference toward developments in Western Africa following the overthrow of Haile Selassi. A handful of mainstream commentators have bemoaned this fact- for an excellent example of this, as well as a sterling piece of journalism, see Robert D. Kaplan’s Surrender or Starve.

      • Tim R.

        By the way, Kenneth, do you know what country comes in as a close second to Israel, in terms of foreign aid? Eygpt. Funny how you and other folks on here are not quite so upset about that. But any money to Israel and you have apoplexy.

        • Kenneth

          Tim R.- Your insinuation is perfectly ridiculous, even if we assume that the allegation (which you are so fond of making) that critics of American foreign policy are aligned with the jihadists- why would I support corrupt pro-American regimes in the Arab world in either case? I have repeatedly condemned America’s funding of various Middle Eastern dictatorships time and time again- it is one of my key talking points. I do believe I’ve pointed out that America’s support for Saudi Arabia gives the lie to its claim to “spread democracy”, a fact whose importance you’ve repeatedly attempted to diminish. Alas, your accusatory remark merely draws attention from your inability to formulate a cogent reply to my argument, so I’ll leave it at that.

        • Stanley Laham

          May I also point out that a hostile Egypt would make it rather awkward for US navy carriers, battlesips and logistical support to transit the Suez Canal where they are literally ‘sitting ducks’. Maintaining an armada in the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf would be that much more difficult.

        • Tim R.

          Richard Vajs writes:

          “And, finally, the only reason we give Egypt several billion dollars a year is to bribe them into not attacking Israel.”

          Ah! Great, finally a point that we both agree on!

        • Kenneth

          Will you continue to waste our time with declarations such as this one, or will you eventually write a response with some substance?

  • http://scattermall.com Mall

    Why is it so hard to believe that a large portion of anti-war advocates are ignorant?

    The truly weird thing is that foreign policy right wing fanatics like Paul are so close to agreement with left wing fanatics such as Obama. How does one explain the fanatics of near-anarchism are so aligned with the fanatics of near-communism?

    • A. G. Phillbin

      Part of the problem is “right wing fanatics” like yourself believe that Barack Obama is a “left wing fanatic” or anywhere “near communism.” The last time I heard Obama call for expropriating the means of production was never, nor anything close to it. Another problem is your total ignorance of the true range of the concept “anarchism,” which encompasses a lot of people, from Lysander Spooner to Nestor Makhno. How do you expect to communicate with or understand anyone outside of your immediate orbit if some tepid populist rhetoric makes you whine about “left wing fanatic(ism)?”

    • Kenneth

      The tenuous understanding of political ideologies one so often finds in the neoconservative camp is asserting itself, I see.

  • Paul Jasinevicius

    Did anyone catch the “text message poll results” of viewers watching the Faux News Republican Debates?

    Viewers were asked to text message B1-B6 for the six candidates.

    Ron Paul received the most votes, 32%, the only time that Foz actually flashed the results.

    I haven’t seen the final results posted anywhere on Fox News websites or anyplace else!

    Do you think the results would be plastered all over every website and reported on Faux News if Bomb Iran McCain or Fredo Thgompson would have won this popular vote by fair and impartial voters?

    Voter Fraud takes place at Faux News, because they only print what promotes their own agenda.

    • A. G. Phillbin

      True, but perhaps quite irrelevant. I have noticed the ability of internet operators to drum up enthusiasm, which can obviously bring in bucks and get people to attend rallies, text message Fox News, etc., but it does not necessarily move the popular base. Momentary enthusiasms are easy to drum up in small numbers of people, but concerted efforts on the ground are what is needed to get out the vote. There will be future internet initiated political campaigns, so it is important to learn the lessons now.

  • Reed Richards

    John,

    This may have already been pointed out, but in case it has not, then here it is. Your assertion that the GOP initiated the war in Iraq is DEAD WRONG! Yes, a Republican President and House Speaker proposed a “RESOLUTION” in October 2002, but it was a U.S. SENATE, controlled by the DEMOCRATS, which allowed that war resolution to pass. So this fiction that this is strictly Bush’s and the GOP’s war is simply that, pure fiction. This is a Bush, GOP, DEMOCRAT war, which stars Hillary Rodham Clinton at the fore for the Donkeys. If you are truly opposed to the Iraq War, then Ron Paul is your only candidate, assuming that former Democrat Senator Mike Gravel is still in the race.

    Comment by John Smith on 2008-01-10 04:57:26 Report abuse

    Individuals should be at the core of every human philosophy.

    Individuals create social/economic/political institutions. They also create machines.

    Neither institutions nor machines should “have a life of their own”. They are either useful to individuals or they are not. If they are useful they should be protected.

    I opposed the Iraq war from the start. The Democrats do not emphasize the war enough, but on the whole they are more opposed to the war than the Republicans. The war was started by the Republicans.

    The war is a major issue; it is simply not the only issue. I am aware enough of the core anarchist ideas of Rothbard to know I would never support his descendants. I am not in favor of privatized police and fire departments. Anarchy would be the worst possible society.
    (Comments wont

  • Reed Richards

    A.G.,

    Good thinking outside the box. It certainly would not hurt either campaign to try this………………

    Comment by A. G. Phillbin on 2008-01-11 21:36:53 Report abuse

    While I agree with those who give credit to voter stupidity, as well as well-timed media attacks, are correct, everyone seems to be missing the fundamental problem with the Ron Paul campaign: self-delusion. As someone who changed registration to Republican (will change back after the California primary) and gave money to the RP campaign, I was certainly infected by the enthusiasm of Paul’s supporters, and was quite impressed by his ability to collect huge sums of money from a large number of people. But even then, I wondered – is enthusiasm a real indication of a real base of electoral support, especially where it was needed? How many of these contributors were even registered Republicans, or thought to switch parties? How much effort was made to get people to do so? Ron Paul’s libertarian (with some paleocon mixed in) philosophy clearly is not the flavor of the month in his own party, and it certainly wasn’t going to draw many Democrats or independents, but for one thing — THE WAR. He should have made it clear that the only electoral anti-war vehicle that was catching on, and therefore that a large number of votes for Paul would change the course of the political debate.

    Now, I only just thought of this, so I can’t blame anyone else for not doing so, but what if Ron Paul were to make joint campaign appearances with Dennis Kucinich, and focused the campaigns away from the personalities and onto the issue of THE WAR and related question of civil liberties? Except in states like New Hampshire, they are not even in competition with each other, since they have closed primaries. The two of them agree on these two issues, and obviously would have to agree to disagree on the rest. It would boost the standing of both campaigns, and get people to look past the the immediate election of a president-king and onto what actually needs to be done. It would mean both campaigns would be looking beyond electing a personality, and focusing on what is needed to make America better.

    • peace

      Paul and Kucinich making joint appearances focusing the issue of THE WAR and related question of civil liberties. A. G. Philbin, thanks for promoting this.

  • Sam

    This may be anathema to many people, particularly those on the political left.

    At any rate, the Founding Fathers of America did not believe in universal suffrage. They thought that only people who owned property should vote. The assumption underlying that belief was that the acquisition and ownership of property required a level of intelligence, knowledge and insight which in political matters would keep the herd instinct at bay; make such individuals less vulnerable to political propaganda and more capable of objective analysis.

    History has vindicated them. Democracy, a much abused term, requires a level of political sophistication that does not exist in America. To be blunt, there are too many naive, gullible and stupid people who vote.

    Therefore, I believe that people should be required to take a test before voting and pass it. If they cannot pass the test, they should not be allowed to vote. Allowing “unqualified” people to vote adulterates and demeans the political system. And in the final analysis makes a mockery out of a political system. Just look at the primary results in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    By way of analogy, it would be similar to having a person who has never driven a tractor trailer truck get behind the wheel and drive. Or a person who has never been to medical school perform surgery on an ill person. In other words, what most people with common sense and basic intelligence do not tolerate in most other spheres of human activity is blatantly and triumphantly tolerated in the political sphere.

    • Kenneth

      Aye, not that it makes any difference in any case, since the Republican and Democratic parties are functionally identical. One left-wing solution might be to revamp America’s decrepit educational system, but as we both know effective pedagogy can only carry us so far. The regionalization of power might be one way to limit the fallout of voter stupidity. Any other options?

    • A. G. Phillbin

      Although this is off-topic, I do have a sneaking sympathy with your point of view here, although not with the founding fathers’ veneration of property ownership as a qualification for the franchise. While the acquisition of property by an adult non-property owner from a propertyless family can be said to require a certain type and level of intelligence, the inheritance of property implies no such thing. In fact, the expectation of such inheritance can render an otherwise intelligent offspring to be indolent and self-indulgent, and only a tough-minded, attentive parent can insure that this doesn’t happen. This notion was a holdover from the feudal and monarchical era, where noble heritage (with attached property) was assumed to be superior to common heritage. Also, the acquisition of property by a propertyless person requires a different type of intelligence than that which is needed in a citizen. A citizen should be able to understand the interests of others in society, not just himself or his family.

      I can certainly see why you would want people to take a test before being allowed to vote. The concept would, of course, hinge on who wrote the test and what was in it. Also, could an oral test be administered for those whose literacy or written English skills were lacking? I would propose that a basic understanding of the US Constitution be a part of any such test. I would also propose that people would only have to pass it once in their lifetime to be eligible for citizenship, INCLUDING those born here to parents who are citizens. You would also need to reassure people that this is not a revival of the Jim Crow era poll tests, which were designed to discourage blacks from voting. Also, perhaps a “service test” would go along with the written test, in order to insure that the prospective citizens care enough about their community (city, state, nation) to do some voluntary work. It could be military or civilian volunteer work, but it has to be for at least two years, although not necessarily uninterrupted.

      Or maybe not. Maybe the best we can do is improve the level of democracy that still exists in this country. Eliminating the “winner take all” electoral system that encourages people to vote as if they were betting on a horse and replacing it with ranked choice voting would go a long way to ending the two party duopoly. We could also end the system of presidential primaries being held on different dates, and have all of them on the same day in late June, just before the party conventions. How is it “democratic” to give the people of Iowa or New Hampshire less time to decide who they want than the people of New York, Texas, or California? How is it “democratic” to depress campaigns that are slow to gear up and cause them to drop out due to low initial vote totals? A lot can happen in six months, both within a campaign and in the outside world, to influence the outcome of the election. Why not let it happen BEFORE people to get to pull that lever, punch that card, or press that screen icon? How about televised debates that are sponsored by university debate teams instead of media pimps — oops, I mean, corporations? None of these assholes (Fox, MSNBC, CNN, etc.) ever did a better job than the League of Women Voters. How about legally requiring such debates, with all candidates on the ballot in at least 40 states being automatically invited, by law? I could go on, but, like I said, this is off topic.

    • Holy Jehosophat

      Due to the salutory (but rather late in the game) influence of Hans Herman Hoppe, libertarian thinkers are at last giving serious consideration to the wise thoughts of the founders on this matter. I would guess that the holding of not just property but *real* property would be the optimal criterion for the franchise, and would combine several benefits mentioned in the libertarian, paleo, and agrarian literature. Of course residents and sojourners would need to have a set of advocacy organizations to defend their rights against electoral citizens. It would make for a dynamic world of poltical contest, not a static “utopia.” However I’m afraid the idea of an IQ test for citizenship is just more modernist nonsense…surely we all know by now that these tests are arbitrary and biased!

  • http://n.a. Johanna Swaag

    Germany had Goebbels and America has Fox. What I can say in
    Germany,s favour is that they did not have the internet,
    americans have. Say no more, notch notch wink, wink.

  • http://n.a. Johanna Swaag

    Germany had Goebbels and Americans have Fox. What I can say
    in the favour of Germany is that they had no internet. Say no more.

  • http://n.a. Johanna Swaag

    Germany had Goebbels and Americans have Fox. What I can say
    in Germany,s favour is that they had no Internet. Say no more.

  • Sayin’ Like It Is

    I hate to say it, but today’s Amerika is the very epitome of the Age of Stupid.

    The Great March of Human Folly continues unabated. Like the Romans and so many other imperialist civilizations before us, we’re marching over the cliff and into the depths of the Great Abyss. And it ain’t it a bitch to be carried off over that cliff by the mindless lemmings, no matter how much you try to resist them???

    • Kenneth

      It may be that that humanity’s ultimate destiny is to serve as a cautionary tale to any other sentient race that may chance upon Earth.

    • peace

      Abswer to Sayin’ Like It Is:
      :Sure is, while the whole world is watching and calling us a major threat to world peace.

  • PSI

    I don´t know, even though I absolutely agree on Dr Pauls stand on the Irak war, maybe the people of New Hampshire looked at his stand on other issues too – and didn´t like what they saw. Abortion – he´s against. Gun control – he´s against. Giving medical treatment to illegal immigrants – he´s against. I for one could never vote for anyone whom don´t respect half the populations (i.e. women) right to decide over their own bodies. And I could never vote for anyone that thinks it´s OK for everyone to carry arms. And I think it´s undignified for a rich country as the US to turn away people that needs treatment, illegals or not. And that´s just Dr Paul. The other candidates all have issues that should be considered apart from the catastrophic Irak war. But I do agree that the Irak war should be at top of all candidates agendas.

    • warispeace

      PSI –
      Learn how to spell and use correct grammar, and maybe someone will listen to you. Dr. Paul is a strict constitutionalist. He does not want to outlaw abortion, but rather allow each state to decide. The federal government has no authority to decide on such issues. The constitution also give us the right to bear arms. The illegal aliens are taking advantage of the free lunch they are given here, and they are abusing the system. They are taking away from Americans, and we can’t afford to support them. By the way, it’s Iraq, not Irak.

      • PSI

        Well, all opinions have a right to be heard – even the ones with bad spelling and grammar. Sorry about that and thanks for taking the time to reply anyway..!

  • Weston

    My favorite thing about comment threads on this blog is how many people are so convinced of their own opinions that they’re willing to go ahead and label everyone who disagrees with them “idiots.” Of course, this happens everywhere, and not just on the internet–but this site seems to bring libertarian self-caricature to a fever pitch. You guys are so SMART! If only the world would listen to you.

    • Kenneth

      At least they avoid the mindless eclecticism of “responsible” commentators.

      • http://westoncedric.blogspot.com/ Weston

        Yeah, but having more tools in your toolbox helps you avoid being the guy with a hammer who thinks everything is a nail. On the other hand, as far as entertainment is concerned, I’d be sad if everyone here started being nice and making sense. To that extent I totally agree with you. Idiot.

        • Kenneth

          Idiot? Was that a deliberate attempt at irony, or do the standards you hold ideological purists to not apply to “nice” people?

        • Kenneth

          I should add that I’m not a libertarian, merely someone who is fed up with the patronizing attitude of most of its critics.

        • http://westoncedric.blogspot.com/ Weston

          It was irony–self-deprecating irony, in fact. As for libertarianism, my patience for the patronizing attitude of its critics (myself included) has not yet been exhausted.

  • richard vajs

    Tim R,

    With you, every day is Groundhog's Day (as in the movie). Always the same hysteria about Islam, the same weak defense of Zionist Israel. There is nothing basic about Islam for America to fear – what we have to fear is blowback from our attempts to walk all over some Islamic countries. Our support for Zionism which believes that it has a perfect right to seize land and water from Palestine and commit slow genocide to starve the natives out puts us crosswise to every Islamic country in the world. In large part, we have generated Islamic sects that act militarily just so we can divide and conquer any successful, secular Islamic country that won't summit to Israel. Why do you think we attacked Iraq? Why was Nassar "our enemy"? What has Iran done to indicate that they are ready to attack us? And, finally, the only reason we give Egypt several billion dollars a year is to bribe them into not attacking Israel.

  • Strider

    I’m a RP supporter, but Stan and others claiming massive vote-stealing need base their claims on something other than opinion polls. It’s a lot easier to rig a survey than an election — carefully pick the respondents, ask loaded questions, etc.

    Here’s a true example: In 1995, the Brevard Co. (Florida) school board tried to foist a massive (~$100M) bond issue on the taxpayers. About a week before the referendum, the county’s leftist fishwrap published a poll it had conducted that showed 48% in favor, 40% opposed, and the rest undecided. “VOTERS LEAN TOWARD BOND”, the headline screamed. Not only did the bond issue fail, it failed by a 3-1 margin! There is simply no way an honest poll could be that wildly wrong. Obviously the paper concocted a bogus survey in an attempt to influence the vote. As one letter to the editor put it, “Who did you guys poll, the teachers’ union? Was (the school superintendent) helping with the phones?” Perhaps they first did a real poll, then killed it when it revealed the overwhelming opposition.

    Nor would chucking modern voting machines be any panacea. The Daley and LBJ machines stole the 1960 election for JFK using mostly good old-fashioned paper ballots. Then there’s the low-tech Al Gore/Tammany Hall tactics such as bribes, voting early & often, etc., that predate the War of Yankee Aggression (see the film Gangs of New York).

    The bottom line is, this is not a “pollocracy.” If it were, Dewey really would have defeated Truman.

  • Bill K.

    Seems to me this Ron Paul Revolution won’t be going anywhere. Maybe we need a Ron Paul Coup d’etat(Maybe a Virginia National Guard unit can seize the White House or something)? I can agree with PSI, I don’t really support many of his platform ideas either. Besides his view on the Illegal Invasion of Iraq he does not differ much from other Republican candidates. Maybe he should run as an independent if the Rigged Primaries don’t work? I certainly don’t support the warmongering (Democ)Rat top candidates.

    • warispeace

      Excuse you, but Dr. Paul was against the Iraq war 5 years before it started, and voted against if from the beginning. The rest of the Republicans are not only for the war, they were also in favor of the “surge” and they want to expand the war to Iran and elsewhere. Dr. Paul could not be more different on this issue, and virtually all other issues, than the rest. Where do you get your information?

  • Bill K.

    Does he believe in a woman’s choice in abortion? Does he believe in giving people a break in medical costs? Does he think unrestrained Capitalism is a bad idea? Does he want implement at least some kind of limitations on sales of weapons in the US? No, as far as I know. These are basically similar to what the other “major” Republican candidates believe in one form or another. Only his stand on the Illegal War is different. But I am open to being proven wrong.

  • Bill K.

    Correction. “Does he want to implement”

    I am actually against illegal immigration. But I am for preventing the conditions that are the causes of illegal immigration. I am against the unequal distribution of wealth in Central and South America. I am against the Crime lords and Elite families who gain huge fortunes in those countries. US Corporations make the situation worse by cooperating with these elements and many times subverting change in a positive direction.

  • formerbeltwaywonk

    An analysis of the anti-Paul smear campaign on the day of the New Hampshire primary, including its odd association with a Washington, DC subway line:

    The Orange Line: anatomy of a smear campaign

  • Tim R.

    Stanley Laham writes:
    “The Alamo, the Lucitania, the Maine, Pearl Harbour and the Gulf of Tonkin were as convenient as 9/11 for the causes of expansionism or imperialism.”

    Yes, you are right. Our whole country was built on lies and has only been a force for evil in the world. We never did anything good whatsoever. We should just call it quits as a nation and the world would be better off. In fact, since most of western civilization was “expansionist” and “imperialist” at some point, they should call it quits too.

    Just think about it: A world without western nations and their imperialism! A world where there is no United States of America, no Canada, no France, no Britain, no Australia. Heck, what a great world we would have.

    • Stanley Laham

      Tim,

      What you are attempting to do here with your circular argument is what is known in mathematics as proof by reductio ad absurdum. You start with a premise that denies a hypothesis and show that it inevitably leads to a contradiction. Therefore the premise must be false and the hypothesis true. And by doing this you have proved yourself absurd. Let me demonstrate:

      I assert that the US is guilty of expansionism and imperialism therefore you hypothesize that it means that I don’t believe the US should exist. Since this leads to an absurdity(a world without the US), your hypothesis must be wrong. So you see Tim, it is not my assertion that is wrong but your extrapolation of it that leads to an absurdity and is therefore anathema. :-)

      • Kenneth

        It seems Tim R. has seen his narrow repertoire of arguments shot down one by one and is thus reduced to reciting permutations of the “anti-American” insult. Perhaps he should leave this site and read up on the history of American foreign policy to avoid further ignominy.

  • NinaBr

    McCain Anti-War??? Last time I read, McCain was expressing his support of turning Iraq into another "100 Years War" if necessary…

    But what if he does win the election? Would Americans opt to move to Canada in order to avoid this potential "100 Years' War?" I heard Canada was ramping up its immigration centers in expectation of another wave of "Blue Staters" in the event of a Republican victory: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp

    In the independent film "Blue State," the protagonist does exactly that. He decides to flee the United States after another republican victory in 2004, due to strong liberal ideals: http://www.bluestate.com

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