Thursday, April 9, 2015

RAND PAUL: Don't Count Him Out So Fast, Antiwar Folks . . . .

I support anti-war candidates. (Know any?)
I know, I know: you think he's a nut.

He's a Republican at heart.

Underneath -- or perhaps on top of -- all that "freedom" and "liberty" stuff, he's really just a privileged white male.

And anyway: Libertarians? There's no political "there" there . . . .

And yet.

Given that the Democratic alternative in 2016 is a war hawk ("One Little Word That Will Sink the Hillary Clinton Presidential Run ('Obliterate')") maybe what we should be doing is thinking about opening up some political space.

I therefore propose that we put the real question into the political discourse: just how systematic does an antiwar candidate need to be?

THESIS: A big move toward US demilitarization counts more than the next 9 things.

U.S. military bases throughout the world
The US is responsible for so much suffering in the world, and the simple act of undoing as much US militarism as possible -- leaving foreign countries, closing bases, stopping arms sales, stopping military buildup -- would be a huge first step.

And the first step among first steps is consistently saying NO! to the temptation to intervene.

So: you can have a list as long as your arm of all of Rand Paul's misstatements, errors, inanities, immaturities . . . . it's all irrelevant. Getting the one big thing done is what matters.

Part and parcel of this is evaluating how Paul maneuvers in the legislative context. He can be a moving target (to say the least). See: "What Rand Paul Thinks About Defense Spending" by Nick Gillespie in Newsweek, April 7, 2015.

ANTITHESIS: It's not enough to be isolationist; we need a leader who will build the Peace System.

Focinha Favela slum in Brazil
“This is one of the largest shantytowns in South America
with over 200,000 inhabitants. There are many such slums
along side modern high rise buildings, in cities of Brazil.”
(Source: Wiki Commons)
The work of the World Beyond Team to define "A Global Security System: An Alternative to War" helps make clear that the problem of war is systematic, and that it's not enough just to say "No!" to war -- it's necessary to dismantle the war system and build a peace system in its place.

Therefore, one must ask of Rand Paul or any other "antiwar" candidate, "Do you support measures such as . . . "

(and more . . . )

Let the debate begin!

Related posts

This resource weaves together the learnings of major peace efforts of recent times, and lays the foundation for a massive push for education and action.

(See News Worth Spreading: "There IS An Alternative to War!" )

Yesterday, as all the other senators sat patiently through the obfuscation of Barack Obama's Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse -- Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey -- Rand Paul gave 'em hell.
"Stand up for us and say you’re going to obey the Constitution and if we vote you down — which is unlikely, by the way — you would go with what the people say through their Congress and you wouldn’t go forward with a war that your Congress votes against."

(See Obama's Syria "Vote" in Congress: Democracy? or Theater? )

Hillary Clinton signaled the beginning of her 2016 presidential campaign with a spread in People magazine in June . . . not to mention the publication of a memoir, Hard Choices. It's a campaign full of "get tough" posturing.

(See One Little Word That Will Sink the Hillary Clinton Presidential Run ("Obliterate") )

There has been a good sign in 2013, in that many people have become outraged about government surveillance. A recent Pew poll found that Americans are now more worried about civil liberties abuses than terrorism. I believe a big question in 2014 will be whether challengers successfully address the issue of NSA surveillance in their campaigns.

(See What Will Election 2014 Boil Down To? )