South Carolina – You’re Kidding, Right?

by Chuck Donovan

“..knowledge is always and everywhere a scarce resource, costly to acquire and hence rarely possessed in abundance” – Robert Higgs

South Carolinians proved Mr. Higgs correct this weekend with the landslide victory they gave to central planner Newt Gingrich.  Clearly none of those voters took my Newt Challenge.

Seeing the results I feel as though I woken up in some alternate universe that does the opposite of everything it says it wants.  It says “freedom” and chooses slavery.  It says “choice” and chooses coersion.  It says “peace” and chooses war.  It says “limited government” then chooses Communism and Monarchy.   It says beat Obama then choose the likes of Santorum, Romney, and Gingrich.

Oh yes, Obama will have great difficulty beating a theocrat, a technocrat, or a bureaucrat. (Yes, I do mean the opposite.)

Is it just that voters don’t know?  I can’t believe that because it assumes a national epidemic of intellectual sloth and/or stupidity.  It is too depressing to think my fellow human beings could be so incompetent.  What I prefer to think is that current government imposed system of control and inflation has my fellow human beings so busy they make group mistakes.  They support Democratic and Republican leaders.  Their passions and desperation add fuel to central bank induced bubbles.  They quickly and hopefully accept that government is doing a necessary and good job.  They think Colbert and John Stewart give them news.  What else could it be?  Could it be that Americans are just too busy trying to survive.

So they grab a straw.  …like Gingrich.   …or Mitt.   …or Santorum.

You gotta be kidding me!

Maybe it really is an epidemic.


Here is a statement from an American who does bother to get it.

America’s Choice: Ron Paul or Unlimited Government,

January 22, 2012 By

“.. a fundamental difference between Ron Paul and any other candidate for president in 2012, Republican or Democrat. It concerns the role of government. Only Ron Paul actually uses the words “role of government” in speeches or debates. Why? Because only Ron Paul believes that the role of government in society is limited. You will hear the other Republicans use the terms “small government” or “smaller government,” but rarely, if ever, will you hear them say “limited government.” On this principle, there is no difference at all between Obama, Gingrich, Romney, or Santorum…. Only Ron Paul argues that there are limits on the power of the government. The rest merely argue about how that power should be exercised.

This concept of limited government is so absent from modern American political discourse that it is necessary to define it. If Americans still truly believe that certain rights are inalienable, then there are certain things that the government is simply not allowed to do, not even with the support of a majority vote. In other words, those inalienable rights cannot be voted away, because they do not belong to the majority. They belong to each individual. That is limited government. Only Ron Paul defends it.

Nothing illustrates this better than Ron Paul’s position on what is supposed to be the fundamental principle around which American society is organized, liberty. Ron Paul defends liberty unconditionally while his Republican opponents openly attack it, just as Obama does. Many of them use the term “individual liberty,” but once it comes to specifics they are in lockstep with Obama.

Liberty has a definition and it is not “the ability to do whatever you want.” There is a natural limit to liberty that precedes the government. It is not created by the government. The natural limit of liberty is the equal rights of others. In other words, an individual has the right to do whatever he pleases as long as he does not invade the person, liberty, or justly acquired possessions of others.

This means that the individual might do things that others don’t approve of, like use drugs, watch pornography, or practice a religion that is antithetical to their own. Others are free to disapprove of these activities, but they are not justified in using violence against the people who engage in them – and all laws are backed by the threat of violence. In fact, since these activities do not invade the person, liberty, or property of another person, individuals have an inalienable right to engage in them. Governments at all levels should be powerless to prohibit them. That is, if the society really is organized around liberty. “No man has a natural right to commit aggression against the equal rights of others ,and that is all from which the law ought to restrain him.” That was how the author of the Declaration of Independence defined liberty. You either agree with him or you don’t. There is no middle ground. 

At the federal level, the defense of liberty is defined by the first 10 amendments of the U.S. Constitution, popularly called the Bill of Rights. If there is anything of substance that makes America freer – in the real world – than the average banana republic, it is these limits on government power. Yet even on these most basic principles, only Ron Paul takes a stand for liberty. The other Republican candidates agree with Obama that these protections can be sacrificed in the name of security.

…The true choice is between Ron Paul and unlimited government, which is government under Obama, Romney, Gingrich, or Santorum. That means a government that can tax you for anything it wishes to, can detain and search you without warrant or probable cause, and can send soldiers to arrest you and imprison you indefinitely without legal representation, a hearing, or a trial. It is a government whose power knows no limits, that can forcefully control every area of your life and force you to pay for its domination of the entire globe. Whatever happens in the years ahead, Americans cannot say that they did not have an opportunity to choose liberty over tyranny. This may be their last chance.”

Only one correction to your well written article Mr. Mullen.  The last line might read, “This may have been our last chance.”

In liberty,