Ron Paul teams up with Ralph Nader on the Fox News program Freedom Watch with former judge Andrew Napolitano.
Unsurprisingly, the two political mavericks have a lot in common – at least when it comes to the libertarian intersection of “extreme” progressive and conservative positions on a range of issues such as venal corporatism, so-called free trade, reckless military adventurism, unaccountability of the Federal Reserve, and so on.
I seriously doubt that these two inveterately subversive, highly contrarian individuals could ever put aside their significant differences (obviously not touched on in this short interview) to combine forces on a 2012 presidential ticket, but it’s highly entertaining to imagine the fireworks they would ignite if they did!
Former Texas congressman turned right-wing activist, lobbyist and now through his “FreedomWorks” organization, major funder of the insurgent Tea Party movement, Dick Armey whips up a crowd of disenfranchised rubes at CPAC with an antagonistic speech railing against President Obama.
To all of these people that vehemently resent so-called “big government” I have a simple proposal: immediately stop utilizing any and all government programs.
Quit driving on our public highways and roads for starters. Turn off your municipal water supply and drill your own well to obtain water. Turn off all the power to your house because that likely comes from a crown corporation or has financial linkages to the nefarious government. Cease and desist from using the Internet, because that was developed by the government. Oh, and stop watching TV because we own the airwaves and simply lease them to private broadcasters. If you need medical treatment, go to a private clinic or fly to the USA (although that might be difficult as the airports themselves are run by quasi-private agencies). If your home is broken into, call Brinks or some private security firm to come to the rescue. Likewise, if your house catches on fire or better yet, grab a hose and put it out yourself. Oh wait… you can’t do that because the water is supplied by the government.
I’m being facetious, of course, but you get the idea. Hey, I’m not a fan of “big government” or bureaucracy either, but the fact of the matter is that despite all of its flaws, it provides the infrastructure that enables our quality of life to exist. Simply calling for an end to government “interference” is ridiculous unless such demands are backed up with solid, comprehensive and practical proposals for alternative methods of public service delivery.
As for the nub of Armey’s grievance about “income redistribution” — well, what’s so wrong with that? In countries such as the USA, Canada and the UK where the economic divide between the rich and the poor is now so abject as to be completely ludicrous and the “middle-class” is rapidly becoming an endangered species, is it really such an abhorrent idea to “spread the wealth”? And think about that for a bit… substitute the expression “spread the wealth” for “income redistribution” and see if the arguments maintain the same validity.
Kind of a frightening thought. Sort of like a strange twist on Invasion of the Body Snatchers…
The always insightful documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis explains how, over the past few decades, everyone has turned into “paranoid weirdos” (much like Richard Nixon); how the media did this to us and how it’s deprived politics of the ability the change things for the better.
Well, it’s about time! Good on Jane Hamsher, the folks at Firedoglake and other liberal web activists for their tireless efforts in finally galvanizing the (hereto absent) spine of progressive Democrats.
Putting this same sentiment into a Canadian perspective, what are the lines in the sand which “progressives” are unwilling to compromise on when it comes to the Liberal Party? What issues are they prepared to hold Michael Ignatieff and his team to account on should there be an election in the fall?
It’s a somewhat idle question at this point of course because the Liberal Party hasn’t articulated anything beyond platitudes and frothy bromides for the most part. Whatever “plan” they’ve apparently devised — that Warren Kinsella unsurprisingly claims is “the best” — remains completely shrouded in secrecy… at least from the rubes expected to vote for it whenever the opposition decides the time is right for a change in government.
Still, it would interesting to know what core principles Liberal supporters are absolutely not willing to bend on when it comes to the environment, healthcare, childcare, balancing the budget, and so on…
I have this somewhat disturbing sense too, but much like Pete am willing for the time being to just “wait and see and stay hopeful and stay cheerful until I really see something start to happen…”
I suspect he’s also bang on about Obama being most likely to govern “just to the right of the left.”