At the first presidential debate, the candidates of the Left-Right Party Ra’ed the bailout, Ra’ed the war, and Boom-di-A’ed the Warfare-Welfare State of America.
But that boat’s sinking fast. The fundamental effectiveness of our military prowess has long been in doubt, and its displays are way past dismaying. We spend and spend, bomb and bomb some more, kill, maim and murder our "enemies," research and deploy all kinds of defensive and offensive technologies. Yet Americans feel less safe and more hated than ever. It turns out people fight best and longest for reasons of the heart, and the heart cannot be broken. This is why we will ultimately leave Afghanistan, we will leave Iraq, and we will abandon the rest of our imperial outposts, with nothing to show for it but some formerly enriched American companies and some formerly enriched people, their parasitic success diminished by constant fear of prosecution and the realities of contract cancellation.
Ultimately, Americans resent money spent abroad, and the people who spend it. McCain with his strange "Country First" slogan and Obama with his domestic-welfare-through-more-state-spending message are both trying to appeal to this sentiment — even as they remain wholly accountable to pro-war commentators and donors.
The state will attempt to solve the current dilemma by bringing its military-security-prison spending home. It’s already happening, with Blackwater in Juneau, and on the continental US, and in a hundred other ways, only some of them involving tasers and concertina wire.
The M-S-P complex is one unhappy group of voracious and powerful parasites, and they won’t be satisfied as easily as the current crop of needy investment banks. There is an important bitter lesson in the weekend’s Wall Street bailout — one Americans need absorb slowly, completely, and thoughtfully.
The bailout, a completely counterproductive expenditure of our futures by non-representative tyrants, could have been prevented by small "r" republicanism. For a brief moment, the Party Republicans in the House rediscovered their Paulian core, and resisted, for a whole half weekend, the paper pump priming compulsion of Our Government and Its Allies.
They had a flash of strength thanks to that antiquated and magnificent republican mechanism — the people’s voice! The common men and women of this country, young and old, white and black, poor and not poor, communicated consensus to Washington. That consensus was "NO!" Their antipathy for any bailout of Wall Street ranged from a common sense of "NO!" to a more righteous justice sense of "NO!" to a scholarly and economic logic sense of "NO!" It was an interesting conundrum for Washington.
The American people lost that battle. Inflationary theft of current resources and future prosperity of the great mass of Americans who understood and opposed the bailout was the order of the day.
Yet, the collapse of the warfare state, and the evaporation of the current sheen of domestic tranquility and prosperity are coming. Yes, the government and its business and media partners, like all parasites faced with starvation and scratching will tighten their grip, profusely irritating the host, weakening our resolve. The Ron Paul Revolution will seem not to have worked, as we watch a presidential campaign narrowed down to earnest Tweedle-Dee and earnester Tweedle-Dum.
But sometimes appearances deceive. In fact, the Ron Paul Revolution continues to grow — and the latest financial crime against the people has served well to broadly expand awareness of the wisdom of sound money and transparent constitutional government. The blatant fecklessness of Washington insiders and controllers in this pseudo-crisis has helped people get smarter about the state, its imbedded cronies, and their dangerous capabilities and intentions.
My question is this: At this time, with an awakening American populace — sharpened by their own growing financial insecurity, intellectually honed by exposure to the logic and truth of the Paulian message — who the heck really wants to be President?
McCain blindly lifted two Ron Paul planks as his own (Prosperity and Peace) and chose a solid anti-abortion, regular-folk vice president who wasn’t Ron Paul. He did this because he wanted to win votes, at least before last week. But now conservative media and his own staff, through idiotic press strategies and pre-debate vacillation, seem determined to sink Palin and McCain. Americans don’t like Hamletian candidates — McCain and his people know this, so one must assume this was a political Freudian slip.
Then you have the poll leader, the friendly face of socialist warmongering, who cannot even garner the support of the royal Democratic family, which seems to prefer Palin-McCain, at least for the next four years. Obama’s own party, having made its name in racial division, simultaneously embraces that pretext for failure.
In the race for the presidency, what we are really seeing is a race to lose the presidency. And while it may not be immediately apparent, this is a total win for the American people, and the country.
A reluctant president, barely elected by voters and clearly refused by the vast majority of Americans who either voted otherwise, or voted "none of the above," is a lot different than the current tyrant. While Bush 43 was electorally rejected by the majority of Americans, this living proof of the Peter Principle actually wanted to do his god’s work in the oval office. The next president will be infused with doubt, not fervor.
The next president will face a panicked Congress that has tasted blood — some of it their own. The next president — having sold themselves as competent and "Not George W. Bush" will be assaulted on all sides by a reality not fashioned by their advisors. The next president will be ripped apart by the rapacious demands of the M-S-P beast and a new reality blasted out for them by inflation-pinched, angry Americans no longer in awe of their stupid king, or his complacent, genuflecting Congress.
No matter who "wins," both candidates now understand that there will be no bread. They do realize, however, that the circuses will be held as scheduled, in a certain oval arena. No one, not even battle scarred McCain and the shining breastplated Palin, want to play that gig.
LRC columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, has written on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for MilitaryWeek.com, hosted the call-in radio show American Forum, and blogs occasionally for Huffingtonpost.com and Liberty and Power. To receive automatic announcements of new articles, click here.