I had a brief conversation with an old friend yesterday, and she presented today's moment...
Ron Paul, who most agree is Republican in Name Only, was once a standard-bearer for the Libertarian party. Who's to say that he is running as a "republican" in the early going for the media coverage, name recognition, and fundraising opportunities? Supposing his campaign goes nowhere, and he finishes a distant 6th overall.
Well, he's still got all that money and all the publicity....and could very easily mount a third-party campaign after the convention for the general election. Add a possible run by Mayor Bloomberg (Independent, but formerly republican) and what sort of effect would that have on splitting the vote? It may not make the democrats a shoo-in, but it's certainly food for thought...
Speaking of New York mayors...how ya liking Rudy's campaign these days? (some have taken to spelling his name "9ui11iani" recently). Seems like he would have been a great candidate in 1984...
Washington, D.C. - A recent campaign ad by GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani marks a low point in fearmongering, according to the Libertarian Party. "Giuliani's newest campaign ad is about as absurd as they come," says Libertarian Party Executive Director Shane Cory.
"Giuliani's ad reaches a new low for integrity in campaign advertising," says Cory. "Playing on the fears of American citizens is disingenuous, abhorrent and completely unbecoming of a presidential candidate. His mentality must be: 'If you can't convince them to vote for you, scare them into submission.'"
The campaign ad, titled "Ready," uses apocalyptic video footage of the Middle East, including riots, Hamas demonstrations, militant-uniformed children and even the late Benazir Bhutto. Audio phrases such as "hate without boundaries" and "a nuclear power in chaos" enhance Giuliani's doomsday scenario. The video closes with a shot of the destroyed World Trade Center tower and a voice saying: "In a world where the next crisis is only a moment away, America needs a leader who is ready."
"It's morally repugnant," says Libertarian Party National Media Coordinator Andrew Davis, "That's all there is to it. Scare tactics are what Americans are trying to leave behind with the Bush administration--not continue for another four years."
"Honestly, the ad seems to be taken directly from the pages of Orwell's 1984," Cory concludes. "Are we fighting Eurasia or Eastasia today? This should be a good indication of the society we'll live in should Giuliani be elected as President. It will be a society where war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength."
Here's the ad:
There's an interesting story from a website called "The Statesman"...apparently Libertarians are gaining some traction in local elections...unfortunately at the expense of the Democrats. I'm all for a third party...but I'd rather see the 'other guys' lose ground.
The Libertarian Party reports 173 candidates running for federal, state and district offices this year. For the first time, the party said, it will have candidates in every statewide race, as well as 30 of 32 congressional races, 12 of 15 state Senate contests, and 102 of the 150 state House seats.
If Republicans and Democrats are concerned that Libertarians could make a difference in a close race, they have no one to blame but the Democrats. (Republicans will find that easier to do than Democrats, of course. It might even be a liberal plot!)
See, the Libertarian Party's regular appearance on the ballot can be traced to the decline of the two-party system in Texas. It needs 5 percent of the vote in a statewide race (or 2 percent in the governor's race) to gain ballot access without going through the expensive, arduous process of collecting names on a petition. Only once in the past 16 years (2002) have the Libertarians failed to clear the 5 percent threshold.
The secret? In the years that Democrats fail to field a candidate in every statewide race, it becomes easy for Libertarians. In 2006, for example, they got as much as 24 percent of the votes in some statewide judicial races in which the only other candidates were Republicans.
"We rest easy every time that happens," said Wes Benedict, the Libertarians' executive director. "We panic when it doesn't."
Rest easy, Libertarians. This year, Democrats couldn't find a hungry criminal defense lawyer to file for one of the spots on the state Court of Criminal Appeals.
I'll leave you today with news from the "I am not afraid" campaign from our friends at DownsizeDC....we're fighting the wrong enemy; it's cars we all should fear!
We're in far more danger from our own cars than we are from terrorism.
Nearly 800,000 people have died in car accidents in the last twenty years. During that time there have been exactly two Islamic terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, with less than 3,000 total fatalities. That's more than 200 TIMES as many Americans dying in their cars as at the hands of Islamic terrorism. And yet . . .
We've turned the whole world upside down in response to the two terrorist attacks. We've launched invasions, created vast new bureaucracies, shredded the Bill of Rights, compounded regulations, spent hundreds of billions of dollars, and disrupted travel and commerce. But no one is suggesting that we do 200 times as much to address the driving risk, which is 200 times greater.
Can we conclude from this that Americans are brave when it comes to their cars, but cowardly when it comes to Islamic terrorism?
We think the proper conclusion is that Americans have VASTLY OVERREACTED to the threat of Islamic terrorism, and that the politicians have encouraged and exploited this overreaction to expand the power of government.
If Ernest Hemingway had the right definition of courage — “grace under pressure” — then our country has shown little grace in the face of not much pressure. To us, the official government “War on Terror” amounts to one giant national cringe.
We can do better, with less effort and more grace.
There is really only one way to win a war on terrorism. Stop being afraid!
Achieving this victory does not require large armies, invasions, illegal spying, torture, detention camps, Kangaroo courts, or multi-billion dollar Congressional appropriations. Neither does it require us to shred the Bill of Rights or the Geneva Conventions. All it requires is a little backbone. And a little common sense.
The minute the first politician proposed the first imposition on the Bill of Rights, or the first call to invade Iraq, or the first request for large new bureaucracies to fight the anemic mosquito, the terrorists won, and we lost.
And they've been winning, and we've been losing, ever since.
Can we stop being afraid?
Ah, as a wise man once said..."The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."