Being a libertarian, I’m sure someone will engage in wiseassery and suggest that it must be the drugs. Or perhaps it is braggadocios to assume anyone actually cares enough about my ramblings to comment either way. But there are times I question reality. And no, not just because I still see fresh Obama stickers on high end, late model vehicles indicative of the driver’s financial success. People, as a group, no longer surprise me.
But certain individuals still possess the power to gobsmack; to make me wonder if I’m really awake. I know I’m a day late on this, but I had to fall asleep and wake up again to make sure I was truly conscious. And I’m only reasonably sure of the fact, still.
Ralph Nader’s hopeless devotion to unbridled socialism usually has the effect of me tuning out his gravelly inane sputterings. But yesterday—in an apparent attempt to fill some minuscule yet requisite quota of logic—Nader, appearing on Andew Napolitano’s Freedom Watch, heaped praise on the early Tea Party movement. And he nailed it, from inception to co-opting.
Asked whether he saw similarities between the Tea Party movement and the “Occupy Wall Street” folk, Nader told Napolitano:
“Well, before the Tea Party movement was hijacked by the corporatist Republicans, yes. They were very much worried about the Wall Street bailout, they were worried about the restrictions on civil liberties in the PATRIOT Act, they were worried about bloated military budgets, and criminal, unconstitutional wars of aggression. You remember those early days. But, you know, they were taken over by groups in Wall Street—Dick Armey’s group and others. And, uh, the Tea Party now is basically the corporatist wing of the Republican Party.”
Huh? That could have been something awaiting me in my inbox from Lew Rockwell this morning. If it were a mere quote, I would dismiss it as an error of ascription. I included the video link as a remedy to the disbelief of the reader.
He continued, as did my astonishment:
“Here’s what I think is going on with Occupy Wall Street: it’s basically a kind of visceral justice movement, dealing with unfairness of the bosses in Wall Street who have violated, when they crashed, the bosses of Wall Street crashed on the workers, on the investors, and on the taxpayers, starting in 2008, as everybody knows. This Occupy Wall Street effort is basically saying, it’s really saying, ‘Look you guys, you guys are running the show, Wall Street and Washington, running the show, you’re violating basic principles of fairness between human beings that are religious principles—the Golden Rule; ethical principles, legal principles, and Constitutional principles.”
While Mr. Nader has called countless times for government to use force to alter or eliminate things he himself opposes, and would likely, in possession of his druthers, add obscenely burdensome taxation to the profits of people and companies irrespective of any receipt of bailout money, simply for the crime of success. And it is likely that he would have injected some Leninist solution to the economic mess we’re in, given the chance. Toward the end of the above quote, I was squirming with feelings of pending doom, waiting for Nader to chop the head off any respect he had earned, with a demand for some sort of state-based “justice.”
And though he sneaked in a questionable reference to “fairness,” he didn’t lose me. And the seeming lack of reality continued.
As The Judge shifted gears to the President, Nader continued to get it exactly right. And I found myself in a continuing and confusingly bizarre political alliance with the man responsible for the creation of the leviathan NHTSA.
Asked about the executive branch’s unilateral decision to assassinate Anwar al Awloki, Nader nailed that, too:
“That’s not a President, that’s a dictator. That’s a complete violation of due process, separation of powers. You don’t put in the White House—and our framers, as you know so well with your books, the founders of our Republic refused I say refused, article one, section eight, to begin with—to put the power to exercise violence abroad, and plunge the nation into war, in the hands of the President. He has done that now. He has outdone Bush in his unconstitutional behavior. Not just with what you described, but he also attacked Libya without any War Resolution, never mind Declaraton of War from Congress, without any authorization or appropriation of money. That’s the way of a dictator. He tok a billion dollars, himself, and put it on the war.”
Angrily agreeing, Napolitano interjected, “And Ralph, like a potted plant, the Congress did nothing!”
Nader replied, and here’s where I bruised myself with a final pinch, “You wait and see what someone does in the Congress, pretty soon — Ron Paul.”
I harbor no illusions about the state of the Republic. It feels a lot like what I imagine did Rome’s final days: corruption reigning supreme, despotism growing, rights trampled, and the experiment failing from the legion of enemies within the walls.
How bad must things be for Ralph Nader to champion the Constitution, to praise what the Tea Party was supposed to be about, to damn the state for interceding in the economy, and to look to Ron Paul to stride into the House on a white steed and save us from the tyranny of government?
I must be dreaming.
But is my dream a pleasant one in which even those thought far too wrong to ever “get it” are awakening to the ideas of freedom? Or is it a nightmare in which the state has grown so despotic that even life-long liberals are frightened enough of a nearly omnipotent government that they are flirting with with the idea that the state is truly the evil gang it has become?
Update by Stephen VanDyke: Here’s the video by Nader where he makes more than a few spot on observations: