Thursday, August 23, 2007

I suppose it has been awhile

So I do not have the mentality or discipline of a good blogger, I guess that is Rebekah's part in our marriage. But I do typically have something to say, and while it may not or may not often be of much value, that doesn't seem to deter me too much. I wanted to tackle politics tonight, because it seems there is this big puff about Ron Paul among many of my friends, and I frankly don't get it. He holds to a basic isolationist view when it comes to foreign affairs. "why should the United States be the big parent to the world?" This is a question that feels strong and good, and ideal...but is lacking in realism. We are living in the least isolated world in all of its history; there has never been a stronger need for overseas politics, business deals, sanctions, military presence, aid, communication etc. Being involved in it as the Biggest and most Powerful economy leads to inevitable conflict and difficulty. This, of course being a sign of a fallen world in need of redemption...but I am trying to talk politics. (I can't really talk politics) Ron Paul seems like an Idealist to me.

Idealism can have great power in that it can distance people from actual action. For example, we all want to love someone ideally and we would give our life for this imaginary (or actual) person, and sell all things for this great love and care about nothing but them. And when we are done sharing the greatness of our hearts, we snap at our spouse because she did not put the hand towel back on the hook, and complain that her stuff is strewn about the living room. I am not suggesting that we should not have ideals, because we have to have standards by which we gauge actual behavior, but when the actual behavior is secondary to the ideal, then we have trumped reality for a false belief that, "When the big action is needed, I will do it, but don't trouble me with the day to day decisions." But I am talking politics, not philosophy.

Integrity is what you do when no one is watching, and idealism can fall into what you want everyone to think that you do when no one is watching. Now, let me clarify, that I understand that ALL politicians are throwing Ideals around every time they open their mouths, but I guess these thoughts have been on my mind because of the way many seem to think that Ron Paul "Gets it." Nobody gets it, but Ron Paul seems to not be getting the one thing that most do...we are connected irreversibly.


Jenny said...

being totally non-political myself, I respect what you have to say here Chris. I think people like that Ron Paul seems to use the constitution as his point of reference- it makes him consistent and predictable. Unfortunately, life is anything but.

johnhinson said...

Is he holding a magic 8 ball? if so, I would vote for him. A tool of a true leader.

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed to read this, Chris. You seem to be missing major points, including the biggest (even though you mention it in your blog post): Integrity.

Now, as disclosure to the rest of you, I'm one of Chris' friends on the Ron Paul bandwagon. But not without reason. I am very interested in politics and have become more so over the last five years.

His perspective that the current terrorist attacks are blowback from years of our *interventionist* approach to the world is echoed by intelligence experts around the world (including the former head of the CIA). He believes that you can't police the world without repercussion. That's high in the list of why he's against the invasion and occupation of Iraq. There are other reasons, of course, such as the fact that the "war" was never declared by Congress which is required by the Constitution.

To take a slight tangent, I have been wondering lately how Christians can resolve the dilemma between wanting to be like Jesus and thinking offensive wars or wars of aggression are OK (or as you've said before, Chris, sometimes *necessary* in this New World). I know the question is a little bristly, but I really do want to know the answer: Who Would Jesus Bomb? I saw it on a t-shirt but it's stuck with me. How *do* you reconcile that? At what point would Jesus say "OK, push the red button?" I assert he'd never say that, but IANAP (I am not a pastor). Hopefully you don't dismiss that as a silly question, because I'm sincere. OK, end of tangent.

To evaluate politicians' values, basically the only thing you have to go by is their voting record. Ron Paul has consistently voted for small government, constituionality, and fiscal responsibility. He was one of the few that voted against the Patriot Act, the Iraq War and numerous appropriations bills when calls for vengeance against the terrorists were at their most feverish pitch. He does the least amount of pandering of any politician I've witnessed and his nickname of the Good Doctor seems well-deserved. His belief is that most issues are local issues (state level and lower) versus federal issues.

If not Ron Paul, who *do* you like instead in the Republican field? (And I assume you won't be voting Democrat, though neither side is very different once you get past minor divisive talking points). So help me if you say McCain ;) A lesser of two evils is still evil. You have to be bold about voting on principle, not voting "to win."

Ron Paul is the best opportunity this country has seen in a long while to return to true conservatism. The Republican party is not that of our fathers, but has been hijacked by a New Conservatism that is only conservative in name. Fun fact I learned this weekend: Since 1776, the US has amassed a $9 Trillion dollar debt. 50% of that has been accrued while a Bush has been in office. What a legacy! (And if you include Reagan, the number jumps to 70%). We need Ron Paul before China comes a-knockin'.

It's disheartening to see your first post in 8 months is to harp on Ron Paul. I'm sure several people in the church read your blog and, as a comment above says, your opinion is respected. Hopefully you have a chance - only a year left before the election, right? - to reconsider (and consider the alternatives).

Jay said...

Alright, so its obvious that you believe wholeheartedly in the policy of "Interventionism." (This used to be called "Rule of Empire" or "Feudalism" in other times) I just need you to explain to me how this is a good thing.

The product of the foreign policy that you support:

simonsenfamily said...

Appreciate your post Chris! Dave, I appreciate your comments as well. Gives us all something to think about so we can make our own decisions. Isn't America great?