Campaigns/Elections

Cato's Crane Profiled: He'd Vote for Paul, Except He Doesn't Vote

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The Cato Institute's founder and president Ed Crane (for whom I worked at Cato 1991-94) is profiled admiringly in the Examiner.

He whips out some of his favorite lines ("I always knew it was important, from a Libertarian standpoint, to be tolerant of alternative lifestyles, but until I went to that [first LP] convention, I had no idea just how many alternatives there were"), and surveys the presidential field with disdain.

In a shocker to those deeply enmeshed in the cosmo-paleo wars, Crane admits that, were he a voter, he'd vote for Ron Paul. But perhaps more importantly, breaking a very common American politico-cultural taboo, he admits he doesn't and won't vote.

The writer, Patty Reinert, is pretty observant, as she chooses a final line, from Competitive Enterprise Institute's Fred Smith, that will resonate with those who know Crane's sense of humor:

"Ed and I were in a diet contest once," Smith said. "I won, but as I was gloating and telling him I won, Ed let me know he had just gotten another million-dollar contributor."

For more on the history of Crane and Cato, see my book Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement.

NEXT: Kidney Theft: Urban Legend No More

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  1. How evil! How racist! A cosmotarian willing to vote for a paleo! I thought Paul was supposed to be a country bumpkin, unfit for the grand libertarian limelight. How can we blindly obey you O great cosmotarians, if you contradict yourselves willynilly?

  2. jj-

    This cosmotarian recommends that you buy CO2 offsets for all the straw you’re burning.

  3. To be precise, he says

    Ron Paul is a friend, he added, but “I mean, he wants to build a wall. How can a libertarian be anti-immigration?”

    and

    If he absolutely had to vote, which he wouldn’t and never does, Crane said, “I guess I’d vote for Ron Paul, because he’s for the market and against the war.”

    A ringing endorsement…..”If he absolutely had to vote.” Sounds like he’d be holding his nose. We have Lew Rockwell’s racism and hatred to thank for that!

    Ed Crane is a libertarian who has devoted his life to freedom. Lew Rockwell is a racist who has devoted his life to racism and hatred. If I had to vote, I’d vote for Ed Crane.

  4. Thoreau, straw prices are kinda high at the moment. Seems you cosmotarians have burned an abundance of it.

    Seriously, I identified myself as a paleotarian only once reason, cato, and club for growth started attacking Paul’s candidacy for all the wrong reasons. Paul is not that bright. Paul has that southern, rural image, not conducive our sparkling cosmopolitan capital. And worst of all, Paul is a christian–gasp!

    On the first accusation: Paul, a Duke medicine graduate is brighter than any man in politics today. As a student of medicine myself I’ve gained newfound respect for the ivy med schools. This country would be fucking blessed to have Paul handling policy in the white house. The second and third accusations drove me over the top. I don’t know what silly war paint I have to wear to be a paleo, but after the groundless, nonsense accusations of the cosmos, I’m joining the other side, even if it is populated by racist Christian hicks.

  5. Sandra,

    The Ludwig von Mises Institute has done a work that rivals Cato in spreading libertarianism. the online library they maintain, the journals, the economic symposia etc have made it easy and inexpensive for a curious person to study the economics and political theory underpinning libertarianism.

    Lew Rockwell for all his faults has probably done more to spread the word than any other individual alive today. As deplorable as his actions regarding the whole newsletter fiasco are, they in no way justify pretending his good work never occured.

  6. Seriously, I identified myself as a paleotarian only once reason, cato, and club for growth started attacking Paul’s candidacy for all the wrong reasons. Paul is not that bright. Paul has that southern, rural image, not conducive our sparkling cosmopolitan capital. And worst of all, Paul is a christian–gasp!

    Woh! It’s hard to read your comment because of all the straw smoke. When did anybody at Reason or Cato say anything of the sort?

  7. Just to be clear, jj, Cato never attacked Ron Paul. A Cato vp was quoted (in The Nation, I think) saying he didn’t see the constituency going anywhere and then, after the really evil newsletters came out, another Cato vp wrote a note on their blog this month, that seemed more sad than anything else, saying that those statements in the Ron Paul newsletters (thanks, Lew Rockwell) did not represent libertarianism.

    If Ron Paul could win, we’d all be better off. It isn’t very likely to happen, is it? So we’re dealing not with a trade off of policies (unlibertarian on trade and immigration, but very good on war and taxes), which I could handle,, but with a messenger who now has to carry some baggage of being associated with objectively racist and evil statements, which he says do not represent his position, because he didn’t read his own newsletters. That and the kooky nature of some of his positions, like no immigration from “terrorist nation,” muddy the waters.

    I’d vote for him for president, especially against all the others. But I’m not going to get that chance. And no one else is to blame for that. Anyone who thought from the start that he could win was deluded. So I have to ask how he is as a messenger. And thanks to some unlibertarian policy positions, I’m not all that pleased, but I could live with them. And thanks to some really evil statements in the past under his name, I’m embarrassed and pretty angry.

    That has nothing to do with the straw man of “cosmos” and “paleos,” which is just silly. I don’t care whether he buys at Armani or KMart. Who cares? It’s whether he’s a good messenger for freedom, and the Lew Rockwell scandal has diminished his effectiveness a lot.

  8. In my 8 years of being a daily reader of blogs and columns at both lewrockwell.com and mises.com, I have NEVER once read anything the even resembled a racially/religiously/gender/etc. insensitive remark. In fact I was always astonished at the tolerance from those whose views were somewhat akin to some who have a bad reputation for that. yes, they are typically very frank and opinionated — and I suppose many take that the wrong way — but I find the attacks on these organizations peculiar.

  9. “Woh! It’s hard to read your comment because of all the straw smoke. When did anybody at Reason or Cato say anything of the sort?”

    Reason definitely shilled for Paul in a big way. They overlooked a lot of things about Paul that they normally object to. Reason often attack evangelicals and to my knowledge rarely has anything good to say about religion. I would say the are actively anti-Christian but they certainly didn’t play up Paul’s religion or look at it as a plus. Paul’s religion I think was viewed as tolerable fault. It was only when Paul was linked to racist comments and it became too embarassing to shill for him anymore did Reason turn on him.

  10. We need a profile of Urkobold’s Crane.

    Here, at Reason.

    Like, now.

  11. I should add that I am pretty dissapointed by the juvenile reaction of Rockwell’s circle to the negative publicity. Blockposts calling reason (t)reason magazine, for example and rantign about the Kochtopus are pretty puerile reactions.

    They would have garnered far more mistake if they had reacted calmly and spoken honestly about their motives and how the newsletters came to be composed. Aftr all, many of the charges are not backe dup by the source material. for example the passage cited as “praising David Duke” actually contained what I thought to be a dispassionate analysis of David Duke’s insurgent campaign. It wasn’t normative but rather descriptive.

    In the end, had they held their heads up and reacted honestly and forthrightedly, accepted the loss of reputation that would inevitably follow the admission of how the objectionable rants about “homosexual agendas” and the like came to be produced, they would have been far better off in the long run.

    In the end, their hysterical counter-smears only serve to convince people that the smears are hitting uncomfortably close to home. They need to start asking themselves WWMD (What would Mises Do?).

  12. I would not say they are actively anti-Christian.

  13. Isn’t it fun when both sides of an argument are wrong?

  14. When did anybody at Reason or Cato say anything of the sort?

    Or the Club for Growth, for that matter? I didn’t agree with the Club’s critique of Paul, but it was a purely economic criticism. None of jj’s fantasies appeared in it.

  15. regarding Ron Paul on immigration: why can’t people see that he understands that the issue is not about immigration as much as it is about the welfare state? He’s not anti-immigration. he’s anti-welfare state which leads to illegal immigration being an issue in the first place. His proposal for immigration reform (or whatever), as i see it, is only a temporary measure while we transition out of the welfare/warfare state. am i wrong?

  16. Ed Crane won’t vote for Paul?

    The more interesting question is: Would Bob Crane have voted for Paul?

    Bob Crane was a better cosmotarian than practically anyone.

  17. (god forgive me for even honoring this dichotomy, but I’m sick of it all anyways)

    Cosmotarians: Those rat bastard racist nazi Rockwellians! If they stepped away from their League of the South meetings for long enough they might come around, but I doubt it!

    Paleos: Those limp-wristed lib-‘mo-tarians should stop worrying about transsexual prostitutes and start condemning Martin Luther King for the monster he was!

  18. Ron Paul could support a wall because that’s what voters, at least in his constituency, want. Kind of anti-market not to try to supply what people are demanding. Paul could also reduce all the legal red tape that immigrants have to go through in the first place, making the wall somewhat moot.

  19. Ron Paul believes in the sovereignty of the US and the right of the US to control its borders. Eventually, that would have gotten him cross with Reason who deny both. In some alternative universe where Paul won the election, I can’t believe Reason wouldn’t have eventually turned on Paul over that. Also, Paul is not an interventionist, but I fully believe he would bomb the crap out of anyone foolish enough to attack the US and would have despite himself gotten the country entangled overseas. Reason would have turned on him over that to. I think the newspapers just facilitated a divorce that would have happened eventually anyway.

  20. JL,

    That’s a little like saying I’m only pro-war until the rest of the world converts to libertarianism. And if it’s temporary, why the wall? If it’s that important to keep people out, you’ll likely always find a reason.

  21. Oh and BTW, I “support” Paul in that I’m happier when his numbers are higher rather than lower and would vote for him if Colorado had a primary (too lazy and busy for the damn caucuses). In lieu of writing myself in, I’m always settling for second best! 🙂

  22. “That’s a little like saying I’m only pro-war until the rest of the world converts to libertarianism. And if it’s temporary, why the wall? If it’s that important to keep people out, you’ll likely always find a reason.”

    Not necessarily. Even if you had an extremly liberal immigration policy, you would still have to control the borders if you wanted to keep criminals out and be able to deport people who committed crimes. If you don’t shut off the border, you have no way of controling who gets in. There is nothing inconsistent about saying that you are going to create a legal way for law abiding people to come to the US and work and live but are also going to build a wall and make sure that those who are not law abiding don’t get in and stay out once they are kicked out.

  23. “I mean, he wants to build a wall. How can a libertarian be anti-immigration?”

    yet again, the immigration = illegal immigration lie/meme.

    building a wall doesn’t mean you are anti-immigration.

    it means you are trying to prevent ILLEGAL immigration.

    this lie comes up in thread after thread – the lie that trying to prevent ILLEGAL immigration means
    1) “hating” immigrants
    2) hating illegal immigrants
    3) being against immigration
    4) being a closet racist
    5) not having libertarian cred

    etc.

  24. Interesting this should appear today. Take a look at this

  25. You don’t understand Whit, Reason and many of its commenters are transnationalists. They deny that they US has any sovereignty or any ability to control its borders. A person, like myself who is nationalists and pro immigration would say, yes we should have immigration but there are certain people we shouldn’t let in the country, most notably criminals. A transnationalist would tell you we have no right to keep criminals out of the country because we have no right to control our borders. If the MS 13 gang leader from Guatemala wants to come in, he can. If he commits a crime while here, we throw him in jail, but the fact that he committed crimes in Guatemala doesn’t give the US the right to deny him entry. That is why they object so much to building the wall. It is not about immigration so much as the denial of the US any right to control its borders. As I pointed out above, if you believe in sovereignty and the idea that some people shouldn’t be allowed in, no legalization policy alone will eliminate illegal immigration because there is always going to be someone you want to keep out who is going to try to get in. But if you deny the right to keep anyone out, then no one is illegal.

  26. That’s a little like saying I’m only pro-war until the rest of the world converts to libertarianism. And if it’s temporary, why the wall? If it’s that important to keep people out, you’ll likely always find a reason.

    not really. there is a big difference between starting an aggressive war and controlling the influx of people who want to take advantage of entitlements that are funded with taxpayer money. not that all of them are here for that reason. it would be disastrous to apply a rigorous form of libertarianism in this country overnight. it would be unjust to those who have become dependent on(fallen victim to) the careless actions of the state. there has to be a responsible way to transition, and I think Ron Paul has that right.

  27. He’s not anti-immigration. he’s anti-welfare state which leads to illegal immigration being an issue in the first place.

    The problem with his position is that the idea that illegal immigrants are sucking up more in welfare than they have been contributing has been debunked — in the pages of reason.

  28. freerider,

    Interesting article. HB1 Visas are really lousy. So are guest worker programs. If we are going to let people in, it ought to be to stay here and become citizens. I can think of few things more destructive for society than creating a large class of guest workers who are denied the full rights, responsibilities and benefits of living here. Libertarians ought to object to guest worker and HB1 type programs.

  29. Libertarian shlibertarian. Cosomomartian democradicatarion … All these labels to divide and categorized. I am a humanitarian! let’s get rid of parties and unit.

    Just having some fun know this wouldn’t happen but imagine if it did.


  30. The problem with his position is that the idea that illegal immigrants are sucking up more in welfare than they have been contributing has been debunked — in the pages of reason.

    contribute to what? the state? I thought we all agreed here that contributions to the government are not efficiently returned to the taxpayer? I think that argument is flawed.

  31. I like to read both Reason and Rockwell and Mises. I’m sad at the attacks that happen from both sides. Can’t we all just get along? I’m fairly new to reading these blogs and articles, only for about a year now, but I’ve never read anything racist or homophobic or anything of the sort any of these websites. I certainly don’t agree with those perspectives, but 20 year old newsletters aren’t really a dealbreaker for me since everything else I’ve seen demonstrably counteracts that notion. I’ll be campaigning and voting for Paul. Keep in mind that many States, like Florida for example, still have not yet elected delegates to the Convention. That will be done in caucuses after February 5th. Paul still has a reasonably, although very slim, chance of success. After all the other candidates drop out, he’ll be able to compete, one on one, with the frontrunner for delegates, and then it will be up to the activists to bring it home. IF it doesn’t work…I’ll keep driving my beat up 1993 Saturn SL1 and write a check for another $2300 to his independent bid for the Presidency.

  32. A transnationalist would tell you we have no right to keep criminals out of the country because we have no right to control our borders.

    Name one person who writes or comments here who believes this.

  33. Sandra, as a Jew whose family died in the holocaust, I must say that I fear socialism just as much as I do fascism and racism. I have benefited substantially from the content on Lew Rockwell’s web site, and from Mises.org. Only an excessively biased partisan could deny the value of these web sites. I can’t speak for rockwell, but I can say that LRC and Mises are not racist sites.

  34. “You don’t understand Whit, Reason and many of its commenters are transnationalists. They deny that they US has any sovereignty or any ability to control its borders”

    you are correct. and while i may disagree with them, policywise, i don’t have a problem with that. i have a problem with their CONSTANTLY misstating the issue as i demostrated. i think far more people here are not 100% transnationalist but DO think that we do not have the authority to require all sorts of jumps and hoops for citizenship and entry. we DO have that authority. in essence, our system says you have to prove your worthiness. i think many here think we should have to prove an immigrants unworthiness. imo, the onus is on the immigrant.

    and of course crossing illegally is a crime even if you are worthy. and should be. rule of law should mean something. as should borders.

    plenty of people think the borders should be OPEN. bully for them. but they should discuss the issue honestly, not make ad hominem attacks, and false equivalencies.

    there ARE people who hate immigrants. just like there are people that hate minorities. but being against ILLLEGAL immigration does no tmean you hate immigrants any more than being against racial preferences mean you hate minorities. or being against bank robbery means you hate men (since men are 90%+ of bank robbers).

    your point about the transnationalists (and the various shades of grey between them and the sovereignty folks) is true. and i have no problem with those of different policy stances. i just have a problem with liars and obfuscators who instead of discussing the ACTUAL issue will try to redefine terms, demonize the opposition, play the race card, etc.

  35. As far as I know, no one at Reason responded to Raimondo’s critiqute. It’s probably too late now, but this blog has left me wanting.

  36. “A transnationalist would tell you we have no right to keep criminals out of the country because we have no right to control our borders.

    Name one person who writes or comments here who believes this.”

    They don’t say it but they don’t have to. Why does Reason object to border enforcement? They should be objecting to the immigration limits and BS programs like HB1 and guest worker programs. Instead, they rail against building a wall. I don’t buy for one minute that if the US had open borders that Reason would embrace enforcement. It has been stated by numerous commenters on this thread that the US has no right to keep anyone from entering the country. If you have a right to hire anyone you like, how is it that the government has the right to tell you that you can’t hire someone from Brazil with a criminal record? They really don’t.

  37. Link to Raimondo’s critique here.

  38. A person, like myself who is nationalists and pro immigration would say, yes we should have immigration but there are certain people we shouldn’t let in the country, most notably criminals.

    I take it, then, that you are completely for the migration of the 495,000 noncriminals who illegally enter per year, and that you wish to change the law so the only illegal immigrants are the 5,000 who are actually criminals.

    Then we agree. But I don’t think you necessarily need a wall. Given an adequate supply of legal immigrants, there is no incentive for anyone to employ illegal immigrants. And with the much, much, much smaller illegal immigration problem, all the resources of border enforcement can be focused on those few who were denied entry or who evaded the entry approval process.

  39. Sandra: Just to be clear, jj, Cato never attacked Ron Paul.

    Cato denied the viability of the Paul campaign, thus helping drown it along with the other naysayers. If what they did was perfectly reasonable, why could they not predict the re-ascent of McCain or the demise of Thompson and Giuliani?

    Cato has had NO measurable substantial influence on public policy, and yet it stays in existence–and I am glad it does. In the early days they CONSISTENTLY ignored Paul, or pooh-poohed his candidacy. In trying to appear more mainstream than any libertarian can be, Cato did to Paul what Cato’s detractors do to them.

  40. They don’t say it but they don’t have to.

    Oh.

    It has been stated by numerous commenters on this thread that the US has no right to keep anyone from entering the country.

    Still waiting for an example…

  41. Anyone who thought from the start that he [Paul] could win was deluded.

    So were those that thought Giuliani, Edwards, Thompson, or all-but-one of the current candidates could win. Why do you insist on seeing it as more realistic to predict the demise of Paul than the demise of the others?

  42. Or the Club for Growth, for that matter? I didn’t agree with the Club’s critique of Paul, but it was a purely economic criticism.

    Club for Growth criticized Paul, primarily not because he was a porker, but because he was fiscally conservative to a fault. They cut his throat (and yes, he would have gained greater GOP respect if they had not) because, as they put it, the perfect is the enemy of the good. If he had just compromised a little, he would have helped us all a lot more.

    Don’t they realize that they are a minority in congress. Their few little poster-boys do no more than ranting about pork on the House floor. They are starting to sound no different from another candidate from TX. Since they don’t have the votes to shut down pork, would the club have the compromise? I think not.

  43. Anti- illegal immigration or not, a wall is obviously anti-American.

    I thought Paul said the idea of a wall is “offensive”? Did he change he mind to pander more to the nutjobs?

    It’s interesting that Paul and others can stand on principle on MANY issues that most people hate, but people think he must bend to “the will of the people” on the most offensive issues?

  44. “But I don’t think you necessarily need a wall. Given an adequate supply of legal immigrants, there is no incentive for anyone to employ illegal immigrants. And with the much, much, much smaller illegal immigration problem, all the resources of border enforcement can be focused on those few who were denied entry or who evaded the entry approval process”

    A lot of the criminals don’t come here for jobs, they come here to commit crimes and run their criminal enterprises and the like. Also, if you legalize those workers you are going to subject their employers to things like minimum wage laws and workman’s comp and the like. That will lower their attractiveness to employers. The fact is that immigration is leveling off. There is only so much demand for low skilled labor. If you got rid of crap like guest worker programs and HB1 programs and made employers treat immigrants the same way they treat natives, the demand for immigrant labor would go down along with immigration rates. My fear is that the amoral corporate right will use immigration reform as a way to create a class of second class guest workers unable to bargain with their employers the way natives do. That would be a really bad outcome. But, yes we are in agrement.

  45. I believe Ron Paul was criticized recently for being opposed to a wall on the border.

  46. My fear is that the amoral corporate right will use immigration reform as a way to create a class of second class guest workers unable to bargain with their employers the way natives do. That would be a really bad outcome.

    Yes. That immigration law is not simple, unbiased, and fundamentally free means lots of opportunities for rent seeking or worse.

    But, yes we are in agrement.

    Excellent.

  47. but being against ILLLEGAL immigration does no tmean you hate immigrants any more than being against racial preferences mean you hate minorities.

    Are you trying to be ironic?

    Being against illegal immigration in today’s day and age means you are for immigration preferences.

    Care to rephrase? Or reconsider?

  48. no, i don’t care to reconsider. read my earlier post. the issue is this. is the onus on immigrants to prove their worth, or on the govt. to prove their unworth?

    that’s really the issue. which metric? imo, the latter.

    of course i am for immigration preferences – preferences for skills, education, etc.

    of course, race should not be an issue.

  49. “Anti- illegal immigration or not, a wall is obviously anti-American.”

    no, obviously it is not.

  50. hahaha for the President of Cato doesn’t even vote? It’s stuff like that which proves the libertarian movement isn’t going anywhere just focusing on thinktanks and academia. It needs to be the kind of people that Ron Paul is inspiring (who actually vote and don’t just sit in an office and bitch), which is why it’s laughable that anyone who claims to be libertarian would say he’s bad for the movement.

  51. The problem with immigration stems from the inner contradiction of “the state”.

    Since the state is geographical monopoly, immigration is always is going to something other than property rights.

    I dont think any pro immigration people can claim everyone has a right to pass into private property.

    They claim in essence that anyone can get into “public property”, also meaning get under the jurisdiction of “the state”.

    If you are an anarchist devoid of contradictions there is no problem of immigration.

    But if you are statist you are screwed.

    If you are anti immigration, you are stopping land owners to invite foreigners to their own property, which is wrong. If I own acres of land and if I want to invite a foreigner to my land to work and live, I have to get permission from others that has nothing to do woth this.

    If you are pro immigration, you are forcing the supposedly share holders of public lands who might not want strangers.

    If you guys want to get rid of the contradictions, I suggest you become free market anarchist.

  52. Just for Sandra and JJ, Lew Rockwell’s long promotion of racism has been very well documented.

    Tom Palmer, who the Rockwell groupies love to hate, has done the dirty work of finding what Rockwell promotes and he has documented it to my satisfaction on his website under the archived category of ‘The Fever Swamp’. If you dig through the items, and a search for Rockwell will locate some of the best nuggets first, you will find ample documentation. The Mises articles are bait to find clever people who like Mises (I was one) and then they get the material on the great glories of the Confederacy, the wonders of the pre-Civil Rights Movement South, blah, blah, blah.

  53. kerem,

    I agree but the problem is we don’t have that type of situation right now. The state owns too much property, and steals and redistributes our money. it clouds the ideal scenario you suggest.

  54. Club for Growth criticized Paul, primarily not because he was a porker, but because he was fiscally conservative to a fault.

    In other words, its criticism of Paul had nothing to do with “Paul is not that bright. Paul has that southern, rural image, not conducive our sparkling cosmopolitan capital. And worst of all, Paul is a christian–gasp!”

  55. Anti- illegal immigration or not, a wall is obviously anti-American.

    Anti-illegal immigration or not, a wall is really, really expensive boondoggle that ain’t gonna work.

  56. Brian, you should have titled this blog post
    They’ll Need a Crane, after They Might Be Giants ‘ EP.

  57. But if you are statist you are screwed.

    Statist. Anarchist. Whatever.

    What I am is a human being who wants to live in freedom and respect others freedom. I can live with some amount of imperfection in meeting that goal.

    I was born in a historical era where the prevalent paradigm for making rules for a bunch of people living in the same geographical area is a curious 17th-Century European invention called the nation-state. Nation-states are sort of outdated in today’s globalized, networked world, but they’re what we have to work with for now.

    Border enforcement would be OK with me, as long as we are pretty open about letting peaceful, productive people come here to work and live, and we got rid of quotas that prevent, for example, most folks from Mexico from any legal avenue for immigrating here.

  58. When I go to local LP meetings, I find that most people there are voting for Ron Paul as well. Those that haven’t switched their party affiliations to Republican temporarily tend to be those who don’t vote.

    When I think of cosmotarian, I don’t think of Crane, I think of Postrel. Being a cosmotarian is more than just working for a thinktank inside the beltway. It requires an active disdain for those libertarians out in the provinces.

  59. When I think of cosmotarian, I don’t think of Crane, I think of Postrel. Being a cosmotarian is more than just working for a thinktank inside the beltway. It requires an active disdain for those libertarians out in the provinces.

    Virginia will be very interested to hear that the Beltway now encompasses her home in California.

  60. JL is right. Ron Paul does not like the idea of a wall, he’s stated that on numerous interviews.

    I don’t see how the wall is “Anti-American”. It’s a physical barrier, nothing more, nothing less. Are rivers anti-American?
    Is the fence in my backyard anti-American?

    What’s the big deal? It will stop what it stops. It’s a step in a direction. I’m not saying it’s the right step, but people are over-reacting.

  61. It’s a physical barrier, nothing more, nothing less. Are rivers anti-American?

    That depends.

    Rio Grande – certainly unAmerican. Foreign name and it does not maintain a strong enough current to keep out our friends from south of the border.

    Mississippi – there’s an American river! It’s named after a state. It takes its damn sweet time traversing this great country because it knows how much there is to take in along the Iowa shore. It knows the beauty of Arkansas. That’s a damn fine American river.

    Colorado River – I’m not so sure. I think the name is Mexican and it is doing a damn fine job of eroding away our great land. I think it’s a fifth columnist.

    Willamette River – that’s certainly an American river. It rhymes with “dammit.” And I think it is doing its best to wash those dirty hippies in the Northwest.

  62. Why don’t they just throw the boards of Cato, Reason, and the Rockwell people into a locked room with a keg to every four men and get this silly stuff settled. Now we’re looking as pathetic as those revolutionaries in life of Bryan.

  63. I am voting for Ron Paul, whether or not he can win. If Romney wins, I’ll grudgingly vote Republican. If McCain or Huckabee, then screw it all.

  64. highnumber,

    LOL. Yes, and the Mississippi obeys under strict supervision.

  65. I met Ed Crane at the Washington State LP convention a few years ago. He was trying to raise money for CATO. It was dishonest of him not to say he doesn’t vote, given where he was and what he was doing.

    Change can’t be stopped. It’s the only constant in the universe. I vote for anybody is a vote for peaceful change. Not voting is voting for eventual violent change.

  66. By the way economy is going immigration will cease to be a problem for US anyways.

    US Government owes trillions of dollars that it can not possibly pay. So there will have to be a big devaluation of the dollar, aka inflation, to wipe the debt off.

    I live in a country that has seen over 100% yearly inflation, and recently got rid of 6 zeros from its money, so believe me I know. This is how it works.

    So oppposing Ron Paul because of his immigration policies is kind of stupid imo.

  67. “Not voting is voting for eventual violent change”
    Actually, given the way our liberties have been restricted, ultimately by the voters, I would say that they’re setting themselves up for a violent revolt.
    Screw democracy, I prefer my liberty.

  68. x,y-
    Actually — against my better judgment — I did reply to Raimondo over on my blog IYI.

  69. no, i don’t care to reconsider. read my earlier post. the issue is this. is the onus on immigrants to prove their worth, or on the govt. to prove their unworth?

    that’s really the issue. which metric? imo, the latter.

    I think you are reversing yourself again here. You mean the former, no?

    I of course think it should be the latter.

  70. gorak wrote:

    Why don’t they just throw the boards of Cato, Reason, and the Rockwell people into a locked room with a keg to every four men and get this silly stuff settled. Now we’re looking as pathetic as those revolutionaries in life of Bryan.

    I don’t have anything to add, really. I just think that bears repeating.

  71. Virginia will be very interested to hear that the Beltway now encompasses her home in California.

    I didn’t mean to imply that she lived in DC, or was a “beltwaytarian”. I was using her instead as the prototype for “cosmotarian”. She helped instigate the word, after all, with her assertion that a certain libertarian was not a “tolerant cosmopolitan”.

  72. My goodness! What a lot of to and fro.

    jj says that “Cato denied the viability of the Paul campaign, thus helping drown it along with the other naysayers. If what they did was perfectly reasonable, why could they not predict the re-ascent of McCain or the demise of Thompson and Giuliani?”

    Is anyone who doesn’t jump on board denying a candidate’s viability? I don’t understand the argument. Does jj think that if someone at Cato had said more nice things about Ron Paul (and some did indeed say nice things), then he would not have gotten 3% in the Florida primary? That seems naive.

    jj says that LRC is not a racist site. Of course, non-racists write for it. But jj has evaded the issue. Ron Paul has himself pointed the finger at Lew Rockwell as the author of those horrible racist remarks. Ron has to ask himself why he let them go out over his name, but I believe him when he says that the views are not his. But the fact that non-racists write at LRC is hardly evidence that Lew Rockwell is not a racist, when we have Ron Paul’s own statement (which was not released, but reported by his chief of staff to reporters to have been written and agreed to) that Rockwell is the author of the racist comments, not to mention other evidence of his views.

    If Ron were to cut ties with the racist Rockwell, he’d have my vote. And if there were an election between Ed Crane and Lew Rockwell for who has done more to promote freedom, I know which one gets my vote.

  73. Except that Postrel is pro-Iraq War, which is an atypical position for those who have been pointed out as examples of cosmotarians, despite efforts to cherry pick examples to the contrary. That makes her a poor prototype.

  74. Wrote that too fast. Pro-Iraq War is an atypical position to see in materials published by Cato or Reason, both of which have been held up as prototypical cosmotarian organizations. However, there are a few individual Pro-Iraq War statements made by individual associates of those organizations, or guest columnists — those have been cherry picked to try to paint cosmotarians as pro-war.

  75. Actually, all of the backbiting between “cosmotarians” and “paleotarians” reminds me more of the South Park episode “Goobacks”, in which a bunch of the rednecks decide the best way to solve their future-immigrant problem was to have sex in a pile. Mostly it’s just the ridiculous idea that if we attack each other, call each other racists, or constantly question each other’s ideological purity, the rest of the country will decide that we have good ideas that should be implemented.

  76. As a once (and future?) talk host the biggest outpour of negative response I ever generated was the show when I “came out” as a non-voter…

  77. I didn’t mean to imply that she lived in DC, or was a “beltwaytarian”. I was using her instead as the prototype for “cosmotarian”.

    You said she had an active disdain for the people living out in the provinces. But she lives in the provinces herself (currently in California, until recently in Texas), and her reporting is generally very sympathetic towards Middle Americans, frequently pointing out the ways they do not conform to stereotypes beloved by pundits and politicians.

    I disagree with Virginia’s foreign policy views, but the idea that she’s some Washington elitist just doesn’t match the evidence.

  78. Who’s Sandra and these other rabid anti-Rockwell types? They give me the same creepy feeling as door-to-door Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    They seem to be a different–even more distasteful– flavor than the standard Reason/CATO sell-outs.

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