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In response to:

Has John McCain Lost His Mind?

WRH Bill Wrote: Aug 07, 2014 1:22 PM
News flash, americathebeautiful... by the time the (Western) Roman Empire fell, it had been officially Christian for over a century, and more informed people than you or i (the 18th century historian Edward Gibbon, for one) have suggested that Christianity itself was an influence in causing the Empire to fall. I don't claim that's necessarily true, but the idea that Rome fell because of homosexual "debauchery" that occurred lifetimes before the fall, is even more far-fetched.
In response to:

Has John McCain Lost His Mind?

WRH Bill Wrote: Aug 07, 2014 1:14 PM
John McCain is part of the Republican Party's past. I hope Rand Paul is a major part of its future-- maybe not as the actual Presidential nominee in 2016 (I'm not sure Paul can win a general election, and there is an argument against electing ANOTHER partial-term Senator with no executive experience, even one with much better ideas than the incumbent) but at least a major influence in the direction of a sane foreign policy that does not obsessively seek out more and more wars for the US to involve itself in, and in the direction of genuine "constitutional conservatism" (rather than the McCain attitude that the Constitution ought to be swept aside if it got in the way of his proposed "campaign finance reform".)
In response to:

Quick, Hide the Past

WRH Bill Wrote: Jul 24, 2014 9:03 AM
I've read quite a few history books, thank you (including some written from a pro-Confederate viewpoint). Even if you are correct that Lincoln and the North *resisted* secession only because of wanting to collect taxes and tariffs from the South, that doesn't negate my point that the South *initiated* secession primnarily to try to protect slavery. Of the many crises and conflicts between North and South before the Civil War, the only major one rooted in tax and tariff issues rather than slavery was the Nullification Crisis of 1832 (and note that it was the Southern Democrat Andrew Jackson, not a nefarious "Yankee," who stood up against the Southern nullifiers on that occasion). Other crises were specifically based on issues involving slavery.
In response to:

Quick, Hide the Past

WRH Bill Wrote: Jul 23, 2014 12:25 PM
If it's true that the principle of "states rights" was at issue and not slavery, then I find it curious that one of the demands of the pre-war South was that the "states rights" of certain Northern states should be abridged by forbidding those states to maintain "personal liberty laws" whose effect was to provide due process of law to persons in those states being accused of being runaway slaves.
In response to:

Quick, Hide the Past

WRH Bill Wrote: Jul 23, 2014 12:22 PM
I don't generally sympathize with efforts to censor information in the name of "political correctness," and I think it's probably not necessary to hide the Confederate flag in the WLU chapel. On the other hand, I don't think African-Americans are absurdly thin-skinned if they don't want to honor the Confederate flag or the memory of Robert E. Lee, who despitde his many virtues was a slaveholder and fought in part to preserve slavery (even if that wasn't his primary goal, it would have been an effect of a Confederate victory). And in my opinion (as a Civil War "buff" who "roots" for the Union) Confederate apologists or "neo-Confederates" are engaging in their own form of "hiding the past" in the name of their own version of "political correctness," when they try to deny the reality that slavery was the main cause of the Civil War. No, not every Confederate consciously fought for slavery; and certainly, not every (or even most) Union soldiers fought primarily to end slavery. But in the years leading up to the war, nearly all the "states rights" disputes between North and South had some direct connection to slavery, and by their own admission in many of their statements, the political leaders who drove secession did so because they feared a Northern threat to the continuance of slavery, not because of any other specific issue.
If you mean that Ayn Rand didn't always live up to the highest standards of her own philosophy, you're right. However, if you hold that a philosophy is invalidated whenever its proponent falls short, then I trust that you also reject social/religious conservatism since many of its proponents have been caught behaving in ways that are "immoral" by their own standards, and interventionist pro-war conservatism as espoused by people who have not volunteered to serve in the military.
You may be right that there's not a lot of personal support for McCain here. But there seems to be a lot of support for his interventionist ideas, if not for him personally. I agree that someone other than McCain would probably have had a better chance against Obama in 2008, but that other someone would at least have needed to avoid lines like, "another 100 years in Iraq."
What you overlook, Birdman, is that many people in other nations feel much the same way as regards America and our interventionist efforts. "If you like speaking English rather than Russian or Arabic, if you want America deciding who your leaders can be and imposing on you a way of life that you view as immoral and degenerate, then don't push back against the American effort to be the policeman and reformer of the world." I'm not saying I agree with those in other countries who view the "American way of life" as a terrible thing. I don't. But I can at least comprehend their viewpoint, and figure that we may have a better chance of preserving our own way of life if we don't whip up anti-American hatred by presuming to dictate others' way of life.
So are you arguing that, since we "have an interest" and "do business" everywhere in the world, we therefore can and should intervene everywhere in the world to topple governments we don't like and dictate the policies of foreign governments? Or does there need to be a limit *somewhere* on how much we can attempt to control the rest of the world?
Tell you what, folks; as a Ron Paul admirer but not (I'd like to think) a mindless "cult follower," I'll acknowledge the possibility that Dr. Paul carries his foreign non-interventionism too far for practicality. Provided that you in turn acknowledge that maybe his polar opposite, John McCain, goes too far in the other direction with his unceasing demands for American military involvement in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Ukraine, Georgia (the former Russian province) and I don't know where all else. I voted for Dr. Paul in the 2008 and 2012 Republican primaries, but not with any real expectation that he would, or even maybe should, be elected President. Rather I wanted to signal the general direction in which I thought the GOP should move, and it was my hope that some other, more viable candidate would adopt some of his positions and become a kind of "Ron Paul lite" with a real chance of being elected. Instead, especially in 2008, the other Republicans treated Dr. Paul, his ideas and his supporters with contempt, and chose McCain, the anti-Paul, as their candidate. I had no reason to support the GOP that year, and McCain went down to defeat, at least partly because a majority of other Americans shared my opposition to his extreme military interventionism. In the early stages of the 2012 campaign, I was rather hoping that Dr. Paul might throw his support to Gary Johnson as a more viable libertarian-leaning candidate (younger and with actual executive experience as New Mexico governor). Instead, Paul stayed in the Republican race and Johnson bolted to the Libertarian Party. As I've mentioned, though I was tempted to vote for Johnson on the LP ticket, I did end up holding my nose and voting for Mitt Romney despite his interventionist noises, since Obama was so awful on domestic issues and showed a predilection for his own kind of "humanitarian" foreign intervention. But the Republicans should not count on my future vote-- or that of a lot of other Americans-- if they choose to become the Forever War Party.
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