The Ron Paul campaign has the establishment running scared.
For the latest proof, witness the addition to the race of yet another pro-war neocon — Alan Keyes.
Many people find it unsettling to ask questions about the reality of democracy, especially when the answers may contradict the bromides drummed into them for years in their government school civics classes.
But let's leave aside fundamental questions about the legitimacy of democracy for another day — even though such inquiries are extremely important. For now, let's assume that democracy in principle is the panacea it's supposed to be, and examine how it works in the United States in practice.
This may be discomforting for some to consider, but elections are mostly scams perpetrated by the ruling elite to con average, unsophisticated people into thinking that they control the government. This is best evidenced by the farcical presidential elections held every four years, where the establishment fields two interchangeable candidates as your "choice."
It's not necessarily that vote counts are being rigged (although such fraud undoubtedly occurs in some cases); it's that, regardless of who receives the most votes, the government is re-elected. Whether the voters chose interchangeable Socialist-Fascist Candidate A or B is mostly irrelevant.
Going back over the last generation, what was the urgent difference between George W. Bush and John Kerry, George W. Bush and Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, or George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis?
In reconsidering these races, don't look back on them in terms of relatively trivial distractions like gay marriage, stem cell research or medical marijuana; think in terms of fundamental questions about the legitimacy and nature of the state:
For example, by what right does the state presume to tax your income at any level? Are you still a free person when you have a portion of your income confiscated as the price of making a living? If you believe you are still free now, at what level of (arbitrarily determined — but, of course, not by you) confiscation would you no longer consider yourself to be free?
By what right does the state presume to steal another 15% of your income, supposedly on the assumption that you're too inept to save for your own retirement?
By what right does the state presume to tell you what you can put in your own body? Does the state have the right to protect you from harming yourself? If so, should it also prevent you from drinking too much alcohol, smoking cigarettes, eating fast food, or not exercising? If not, why should it try to stop you from ruining your life with heroin, but not with gambling, bourbon or cheeseburgers?
By what right does the state presume to tell you whom you can hire to perform a service for you, through things like licensing laws? If an unlicensed professional offers cheaper services and can provide evidence to reassure your doubts, what business is it of the states?
Think back again to the presidential races of the past generation. Based on such fundamental questions, should you have had a preference between either of the two major candidates in those elections — even if you personally choose not to vote or to even endorse the political process or the state? Would your life have been significantly better or worse by any of these fundamental criteria if one candidate had been elected over the other? If so, how? Even if one seemed preferable, did that candidate do what he promised, or not do what he promised not to do?
Even the "lesser of two evils" argument is deceptive. For example, a fairly strong case could've been made for a libertarian in 2000 that Bush was at least the lesser of two evils compared to Gore. Many who were aware of third-party candidates Harry Browne, Howard Phillips or Pat Buchanan preferred them, but voted for Bush anyway to keep Gore out of office, and because none of those other candidates had a chance to win.
But look how that turned out — "lesser evil" Bush has enlarged the budget roughly three times faster than did Clinton; has invaded two countries, one of which was clearly a criminal violation of international law, totally based on lies; has enacted the largest increase in entitlement spending since LBJ's "Great Society"; has shredded civil liberties, including issuing a series of Executive Orders that lay the groundwork for martial law and allow the government to detain American citizens indefinitely without the habeas corpus protection that is a basic right of civilized society going back over 700 years to the Magna Carta, and helping to create a massive, monstrous new federal bureaucracy, all in the name of fighting "terrorism"; and has allowed the real inflation rate to climb as high as 15% on his watch; among other atrocities.
What could Gore have done that would've been worse than all of that?
The nature of this farce and the illusion of choice is further evidenced by the fact that third-party candidates who might disrupt the establishment's script are not allowed into the debates (Perot was invited in 1992 only after he spent enough of his own money to make himself so visible that the establishment was embarrassed into including him. He got 19% of the vote, which is why they didn't make the same mistake with him in 1996, or with anyone else in 1996 or since) and are crippled from raising, and effectively spending, money through campaign finance and ballot access laws.
Even one year ago, 2008 promised to be yet another farce.
It was obvious on Election Night 2006 that the media had already anointed the "viable" candidates for 2008: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards on the Democrat side; John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney on the Republican side.
While these things can never be certain until the primaries, things appear to have basically gone according to plan on the Democrat side.
Anointed front-runner Hillary Clinton has been polling around 40% all year, likely in large part because the establishment has been pushing her as the "anti-war" alternative against the Republicans, even though she has made it obvious that she intends to keep their Iraq War, and their military-industrial complex, going throughout her term (not to mention the war she intends to make on American citizens through her social programs).
Anointed contenders Obama and Edwards are still in contention, making the foregone conclusion less obvious.
And the establishment even made it look like the voters were controlling things by placing Bill Richardson into that gray area between the anointed "top tier" and the rest, which is a hint at whom they might choose for the other half of the ticket as the vice-presidential candidate.
But, on the Republican side, something odd is happening: No matter how much the establishment media recites the script, the voters keep losing the plot.
The establishment didn't foresee when they anointed their front-runners in November 2006 that Ron Paul would enter the race.
Dr. Paul noticed the growing disdain for Bush; the fact that none of the anointed front-runners were even attempting fake, libertarian-sounding rhetoric; and the miraculous rise of the Internet and its ability to sidestep the establishments gatekeepers. He decided that this might be an opportunity to be a contender, so he reluctantly agreed to pursue a campaign if the grassroots, bottom-up support was there.
To his astonishment (and the establishment's horror), there was more support for his message than he ever dreamed.
The candidacy of Ron Paul wasn't in the script. And, as a sitting Congressman running for a major party nomination, the establishment was unable to keep him out of the debates, even though they tried to otherwise ignore him. That, combined with the open gate of the Internet, has made him a real threat to the whole scam.
In Ron Paul, liberty-loving voters — even those who totally reject the state — have a clearly preferable, major party choice: A candidate who is promising to drastically cut spending, end all foreign entanglements, end the theft of inflation, and repeal the income and Social Security taxes, bust the medical cartel, plus much more.
Among the anointed GOP front-runners, McCain crashed and burned, largely due to his stubborn, overt support for continuing — and even escalating — the Iraq debacle. He budgeted his campaign expenses at the beginning of the year based on his plans to raise $100 million this year. His voluntary donations have been nowhere near that, and he was nearly broke at the end of the second quarter. He has even had to resort to accepting federal matching funds to keep his campaign alive. In other words, he's stealing money from the taxpayers to keep his campaign alive until January, when he can steal even more to pay off his campaign debt. But, as a contender, he's finished.
That left the establishment scrambling to anoint a new front-runner to head off the Paul threat, when in any other year they could just calmly anoint interchangeable Candidate B.
Rudy Giuliani was chosen in an attempt to further exploit his 9/11 fame and lingering fears about terrorism. While he has polled at 25–30% for most of the year, that's still a softer lead than Hillary enjoys against her opponents.
Maybe the average person sees through Il Duce for what he is: a fascist low-life who made a career out of ruining the lives of innocent people and who just had the dumb luck of being mayor of New York on 9/11, and who has squeezed every last penny and every last drop of fame from that dumb luck that he possibly could.
A President Giuliani promises to make libertarians pine for the days of Bush.
When Giuliani failed to catch on as well as they'd hoped, the establishment began promoting Mitt Romney harder, the handsome, oily-slick, multi-millionaire former CEO and left-liberal governor of Massachusetts.
As governor, Romney's dubious "accomplishments" included forcing all of the state's citizens to obtain health insurance under the penalty of a $2,000 fine; a fine of $295 per employee for any company with 11 or more employees that does not provide their employees with health insurance; raising $560 million by increasing hundreds of fees, including for things like court filings, professional regulations, driver’s licenses, marriage licenses, and firearm licenses; and raising other taxes by $309 million.
Somehow, such stellar accomplishments and his phony, used car salesman demeanor failed to translate into much support; on average, Romney is still polling at 10% or less and he has had to loan his campaign over $10 million to keep it afloat.
With their anointed front-runners failing to capture the public's enthusiastic imagination, the establishment frantically searched for something else they could throw at the wall to see if it would stick.
So they recruited Fred Thompson, former movie and TV star and former Senator from Tennessee. Tall, silver-haired and with a slow, folksy Southern drawl, Thompson entered the race spouting rhetoric about the Constitution, limited government and states' rights that belies his voting record in the Senate, making it highly likely that he was recruited into the race by the establishment in some sort of back-door deal specifically to head off the growing threat of Ron Paul.
However, despite incessant coverage by the establishment media, his poll numbers, while roughly tied with Il Duce at about 2025%, are still soft compared to Hillary's; and his fund-raising totals are rumored to be anemic.
So where can the GOP establishment turn now?
With only four months until the primary season begins, the only possible front-runner who's not already in the race is Newt Gingrich. He promises to make a decision by next month, but it's too late for him to build enough momentum and raise enough money now, and his poll numbers have been steadily eroding all year, to about 6% currently.
Besides, what does he have to offer that the other anointed front-runners don't? He's another pro-war neocon, and Ron Paul would rip him to shreds in the debates about his miserable failure to enact even the most modest proposals of his "Contract with America" upon taking control of Congress in 1995.
Plus his scandal-ridden personal life doesn't help, although that's yet another category in which he can impressively compete with Il Duce.
To show how desperate the establishment is getting, after his second-place showing at the Iowa Straw Poll, which was bolstered by his months of campaigning in Iowa and his latching on to the prominently-represented "Fair Tax" faction, the mainstream media informed the public that Mike Huckabee was now in the "first tier." This despite the fact that Huckabee has little money, little or no visible grassroots support, is still (over a month after Iowa) polling at 34%, and has done horribly in every other straw poll. Huckabee isn't really in the first-tier; he's in the gray area of lobbying to be chosen for VP, similar to Richardson on the other side. (Even so, Huckabee did best Brownback in Iowa as they were competing for the same pro-war evangelical vote. Now Brownback is toast.)
The desperation over the growing Ron Paul threat was no longer hidden at this month's Fox News debate, when the establishment moderators and candidates were heard numerous times openly, rudely laughing at Ron Paul's calm, rational, sensible answers.
Of course, if Ron Paul were really the nut the establishment assures the public he is, they wouldn't have to laugh or do anything; they could just let Paul speak and expose himself. But they can't do that, because when Paul exposes himself, it's as being the best-educated, most honest, most sane person in the race. What we're seeing is the establishment's hysterical reaction to someone successfully disrupting their script.
Things got worse for them when, during the debate, Paul successfully goaded "first-tier" Huckabee into a lengthy exchange, much as he had Giuliani in May. And, as he had with Giuliani, Paul clearly got the better of it, as he asked intelligent, specific, relevant questions about the Iraq debacle, such as what its proponents hope to accomplish, how "success" is defined, how much longer it will go on, and at what financial and human cost. Typical of a politician, Huckabee responded with vague, mindless platitudes about "honor."
Of course, the establishment media informed the public that Huckabee made a fool of Paul. When the public, as usual, indicated otherwise by voting Paul the winner of the text-messaging poll, establishment gatekeepers Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes lied about the result, claiming Paul's (few) supporters were "dialing and re-dialing" to obtain a phony result. Of course, re-dialing in a phone poll from the same phone is impossible. So, unless Paul has only a few supporters who each own thousands of phones, the result was real.
Dr. Paul further exposed the lie a few days later in his campaign journal, when he wrote:
"After the debate, many young people gathered around the stage to discuss our ideas and ask questions about them (and to have me sign their badges). My colleagues got no such response, and after a few moments, u2018security' ordered me off the stage."
Don't think the anointed front-runners and their handlers don't notice things like this.
This embarrassment is likely why Alan Keyes has just entered the race, because Keyes appeals to the same pro-war, neocon Evangelicals as does Huckabee, but Keyes is smarter, better-educated and much better-spoken.
But why would Keyes, a former Harvard roommate of ber-neocon Bill Kristol, enter the race, especially this late, when he surely has no campaign money and little chance (or time) to raise any, and when he's never won even one of the numerous elections in which he's run, including for president in 1996 and 2000 and for U.S. Senate from Illinois against Obama in 2004?
Very likely, the establishment has decided to replace (or at least augment) Huckabee with Keyes as the prime Evangelical pro-war candidate, because it further muddles the line-up of candidates and because they want to avoid Paul distinguishing himself during any more debates if they can (which, of course, they can't).
So what's in it for Keyes? While, of course, he won't be the nominee, or even the VP nominee, he may have been promised a cabinet post or another ambassadorship. And, even if he hasn't, even a failed presidential run can be lucrative; it bolsters his celebrity, which he can parlay into speaking fees, book contracts, and possibly talk radio or TV gigs. Besides, a man with an ego the size of Keyes' can't resist the attention.
That the establishment is now turning to an also-ran like Keyes to help deflect attention from Ron Paul shows how scared and desperate they are — and it shows they're about out of options.
September 17, 2007