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Would you be saying this if the majority were Ron Paul type Republicans? I know it's a stretch of the imagination but hypothetically speaking of course.

Hypothetically speaking, if the majority were REALLY Ron Paul type Republicans, and were really serious about decreasing the size of government, and they were already voting that way, then it wouldn't really matter too much if the President were a Republican or Democrat. Ultimately, even though the President can play a role, Congress can control the direction that government takes (either by asserting itself, or acquiescing to the President's wishes). Reagan had to play politics to get some of what he wanted, and Tipp O'Neill got his way a good chunk of the time. Clinton--in his last 6 years, moderated a lot of his policy because of the Republican controlled Congress. Bush, on the other hand, had the GOP in Congress convinced that they had to follow him (helped by 9/11), and they gave him what he wanted.

A Ron Paul Republican majority Congress--if they all stayed that way--would be able to have a huge effect on spending (and hence on policy), no matter which Party's President was in power. That being said, if they controlled Congress and Ron Paul were elected President (hypothetically, of course), the change could be even faster.

All in all, though, I'm not terribly optimistic about the prospects of a Ron Paul-type Republican majority. I think there are very few people out there--even if Ron Paul Republicans were elected to the majority--who can truly resist the seduction of political power. The only way it works, is if Americans as a mass movement were willing and eager for government to get smaller, AND to quit giving THEM things. Our system preys on the natural tendencies of all of us--to get whatever we can from wherever we can. As long as there is a significant number of people who are willing to take what government can give them, most politicians will try to find ways to give those people what they want.

The best we can hope for, I think, is for a strong enough presence in the legislative body of Ron Paul-types, and a strong grassroots effort (visa vis the Campaign for Liberty, perhaps) which will be able to mobilize and let folks know that they're being watched, and which can make their lives miserable on key issues, so that we can impact enough of the "others" on important matters. You don't have to HAVE all the members of the legislative bodies--you merely have to be able to INFLUENCE enough of them to make them vote your way on important issues.

Every time I hear D.C. politicians talking about "bipartisan efforts", "reaching across the aisle", or "putting partisan politics aside", I cringe. I *want* a divided government. The last time I heard all of these catch-phrases was for the bailout legislation, and look what we got.

I agree with the video -- when Congress and the President are marching in unison, it generally means bad things for our country.

I believe that in order for us to achieve that goal we are going to have to work hard to get conservatives/libertarians elected in the Congress and Senate. I feel the presidency is a lost cause because Bush has screwed up so badly and McCain, whether he wants to admit it or not, is very similar in a lot of areas. I think most Americans are just fed up. As painful as it might be to see Obama elected I think that the passing of McCain's peak influence will be good in that he is from the era of America that felt it always had to intervene in world issues with the military, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq times 2 and hopefully the Republican party will say goodbye to this mentality. It was wrong in each case I mentioned and now we just can't afford it. I do feel the next two years are going to be a struggle to reign in Obama's socialistic tendencies but I remember the strong shift to a conservative House and Senate with the " Contract with America " group in the 90s and it can happen again.

The passing of the era question is certainly not inconsequential--McCain's generation--perhaps because of that Cold War mentality--is probably more willing to intervene.

By the same token, if you believe the Zeitgeist Addendum which you sent to me, Mark (I'm about halfway through it, so my analysis is incomplete), it seems more likely that the personalities don't really matter--so, whether it's McCain or Obama, many of the same forces are still at work. Democrats and Republicans alike will intervene to prop up the empire.

We don't have the "true believers" positioned, even, to take on a majority of the establishment incumbents in the next 2-4 years, and I'd be surprised if we'd be positioned to "take over" (by "we" I mean those conservative-libertarians) Congress in 8 years. We can, perhaps, pick off a few seats here and there, and give Ron Paul some allies, but to grab a true majority, and to assume that none of them--once elected--will change their tunes, is probably not politically realistic.

Of course my prime concern is not the war in Iraq, per se, but rather the economic framework that we operate under and the ripple effect that has not only on foreign policy, but on civil liberties. The move you sent, it seems to me, Mark, suggests that it's our underlying corporatist system which causes us to intervene. Our corporatist system (if that's what we have) is developing more and more into corporate socialism. I'd rather do anything possible to slow that process down--even if it means divided government and voting for one of the "evils" in order to make that happen. Again, it's the partisan bickering that will inevitably slow it down--not stop it, but keep it from spinning quite so fast.

I am not arguing for the scenario I wrote about but what I think is the eventual outcome of the presidential election. I am preparing for the inevitable. John McCain is too much like Bush to get elected, people are tired of the ineffective mold and will try change for change sake, not that it's better or even if it's probably worse.

On the Zeitgeist Addendum, I am not advocating everything being said in it but found it highly interesting and also found it to be somewhat of an extension of some of Dr. Paul's thoughts on the Federal Reserve and the military economic factions that control a lot of what is going on with our foreign policy. I found the energy ideas to be highly fascinating and wonder about the pragmatic applications of their suggestions to become free of world entanglements by being energy independent and if it is not happening due to some people who control what direction our country goes in.

I think you're right, it's probably inevitable, Mark. I'm just not quite ready to completely toss in the towel to total socialism, because I have a hard time seeing how we get out of it without even worse things happening. Socialism breeds dependence--even among those who long to be free of it. Dependence breeds totalitarianism--even when it's not called that.

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