I'm going to talk some politics, even though most of the time I prefer to discuss my beliefs about government (political philosophy), rather than the specifics of the current political game.
I mentioned in a comment on my last post that I am a Ron Paul supporter. I also alluded to my belief that, while Dr. Paul's ideas are having an influence on Americans' view of government, the "powers-that-be" will never allow him to appear on a major party ticket. While that may put me into the ranks of conspiracy theorists, I believe that the powerful group of politicians and corporate special interests at the top determine what choices we, the "proletariat", are offered at the ballot box. A selection from either party is acceptable, as long as corporate interests and the warfare state are well-represented, so that there is no real transfer of power.
A candidates' ownership by corporate interests is easy enough to secure; just purchase his loyalty with huge donations. (Go ahead and Google the leading candidates' top campaign contributors if you're not convinced.) The support for perpetual war is also important because people who are convinced of its necessity to protect their safety are easier to control and extract money from.
We can choose Democrat or Republican, and bicker over the scraps from the table all we want, as long as no actual regime change takes place. If we don't like the figurehead that's out front, we will be given the opportunity to choose a new president from acceptable options. The people will get all fired up, choose a new leader, breathe a sigh of relief at dodging the bullet of socialism, or evil corporate greed, and go on about their business just trying to live their lives on what's left of their paychecks, unaware that socialism and corporate greed march on alive and well, and that their "important election" actually changed nothing. This is why I hold the unpopular view that voting means very little, and that we will not be able to vote ourselves out of socialism or corporatism. At this point, I see our two-party system as merely an illusion to keep the masses persuaded that they are choosing for themselves.
Before you start throwing tomatoes at me, let me at least point out that I was inspired to write about this because of an article I read this morning, Ron Paul’s Nevada Disappointment: Apathy? or Fraud? by Joel McDurmon. The article pointed out that Ron Paul's disappointing third place finish in the Nevada caucus was a bizarre anomaly. This graph showing Paul's statistics from the 2008 and 2012 caucuses speaks for itself:
I don't think the political and corporate elites are worried about a third-party run by Ron Paul. Their major concern is to make sure he is not chosen as the Republican candidate. Typically, all a third-party candidate can do is to pull votes away from major party candidates. As long as they don't defeat the two-party illusion and actually win the election, they are nothing more than a distraction. The people believe that democracy has prevailed, and the status quo goes on unimpeded.
I know, I know...I sound so bitter and negative. I hate that. So what's the positive in this? The positive is that unexpected things sometimes happen. Sometimes it's election results, but surprising changes can come from other sources too. Never underestimate the power of one man standing on his principles and speaking out, no matter who labels him a kook, or an isolationist, or "unelectable" (What are those crazy Texans thinking, electing a man who's unelectable over, and over, and over?). I believe many people are listening, but changes in ideology take longer than just a couple of election cycles.
The most common thing I hear is, "I like Ron Paul, but I disagree with his foreign policy." That tells me that Paul's ideas are having an influence, but for some reason people still hold on to their pro-war ideology. I keep asking myself why war is the sticking point for so many, and why we like it so much. Is it because we're afraid of terrorism? According to law enforcement, potential home-grown terrorists are apparently lurking on every corner right here (You know, those Ron Paul supporters, gun-rights advocates, "sovereign citizens", pro-lifers), so I'm not sure if that's it. Maybe for evangelicals it's because we want to support Israel, but we seem to have no problem supporting her enemies when it's convenient, so I'm not convinced that's it.
Somehow this idea of empire-building all over the world seems to be all wrapped up in the flag and patriotism and sealed with a cross. To borrow a phrase from a friend, we "put a God sticker on it". This ideology persists in spite of the fact that it's bankrupting us and causing other nations to despise us, which actually makes us less safe. You can see that it smacks of religion when it supersedes the Bible itself. When Ron Paul suggested in one of the debates that we should follow the Golden Rule in our foreign relations and do unto others as we'd want them to do to us, he was booed! I have to wonder how many of those Republicans that were booing the scriptures are Christians. So just what God is it that we follow in this "Christian" nation? I have to admit, the war-mongering still has me baffled. If I sort it out, I guess that will have to be a topic for another post.
I think that's enough politics and crazy conspiracy-theorist ramblings for now, so I will think on these things some more and get back to you.