Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You Can Only Truly Win By Being Right

At the meeting of a liberty-minded political action group this week week, we were visited by a couple of men who had just won their elected seats in the county. One of them was a seasoned political operative who had been in the county for a number of years and in other places around the country.

He made an interesting statement. Many of us embrace constitutional and libertarian ideas, so in his enlightened wisdom, he said something to the effect of, "Libertarians, I love them, God bless them, but you can't win elections by being right all time." It was an extraordinary statement. On one level, he echoed Ed Griffin's conclusion that we have to come to power before we can implement our ideas. In a practical sense this holds true. Lenin preached this and many others. However, in that statement, also lies the seeds of corruption.

The first job of the politician is to get elected. The second job is to stay elected, somewhere, sometime after that he must get around to carrying out the ideas and wishes of those who voted him into office. The challenges are fierce. The opposition is vicious. The temptation to form questionable alliances, make compromises and backroom deals is very persuasive. The activity of staying in power can become so all-consuming that it seems the issues, voters care about most, never see the light of day. The politician gets caught in the game of the lesser of evils and he becomes evil to his own end.

"Libertarians can't win by being right all the time." Says who? When do we get to the business of the people? How long must it take? How many elections and re-elections do we have to win? How long must the voting public put up with the political games and shenanigans before their business is addressed? Why can't we win because we're right? Or better yet, Can we win by being right?

Ron Paul, the congressman from Texas has won 11 terms to represent his district is an example of winning by being right. What does that say? He's a constitutionalist, a libertarian, a Republican. He fights fair and his ideas are based on logic, an understanding of history, economics and the foundations of this country. He does what he says he's going to do. He votes his conscience and is frequently the lone voice of dissent in Congress. He has more principled integrity than any other member of congress, the senate and the executive and judicial branches combined and he wins elections. Maybe the key to winning elections and getting our voices heard in Washington and Sacramento is by being right. Maybe this is what is needed to turn around our country.

Maybe the key to making genuine changes in our government is to communicate the right message to enough people. What good is winning elections if the right ideas are never implemented?

The GOP in this last election cycle lost the presidency, and a majority of seats in Congress and the Senate by promoting a message of big government, aggressive wars, violating civil liberties and corporate bailouts and budget deficits. It completely abandoned the foundational principles of its own party's roots. It lost the election by being wrong on all of these issues and now efforts are being made to find better ways to communicate, without changing the essential message, without bringing the GOP back to its core principles. Maybe it's time to be right for a change. Maybe voters want to be right about who they elect to represent them.

If we keep electing wrong individuals who have wrong ideas, how can we ever expect anything to go right?

Libertarian Michael Badnarik once said, "If I give you a choice of at 45% chance of lethal injection, a 50% chance at the electric chair and 5% for escape what are you going to vote for? The electric chair because you are likely to win? What are you going to vote for? Escape!
But it's only 5%!
I don't care! It's the right thing to do!"

My conclusion is being right on the issues and the candidates is the only way to really win in politics. Winning for the sake of winning ensures the voters continue to lose.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with this thinking is that being "right" is subjective, even when it comes to upholding the constitution. The US Supreme Court shows us this all the time. In the end, it's just another man's opinion, even if it's the law. This is the reason God didn't want Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil because that kind of thinking is a trap.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Broadlighter said...

So I guess that depends on what the meaning of the word is, is. The 10th Amendment does not place any restrictions on the federal government or reserve those powers not delegated to it to the states and individuals.

So I guess we're headed for the Tower of Babel all over again.

The founders were very clear about what they meant and all the succeeding generations have just been trying their darndest to prove they were mistaken. That seems to hold true, even for the Constitution's process for changing it. That's my opinion.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Ardi said...

Right is always simple, always allows others freedom, and never takes freedom from them. The Constitution, as intended by the founders, is in alignment with that. The Fed is not.

5:25 PM  

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