In this week’s exciting episode of “Shit I didn’t need to hear”.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gave a strong endorsement to the libertarian wing of the GOP on Thursday, praising Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), for their political views.
“[I] am a big admirer of Ron Paul and Rand Paul for their very principled positions in the U.S. Congress on a number of issues,” Assange said during a forum hosted by Campus Reform and transparency organization OurSay.org. “They have been the strongest supporters of the fight against the U.S. attack on WikiLeaks and on me in the U.S. Congress. Similarly, they have been the strongest opponents of drone warfare and extrajudicial executions.”
Assange went on to commend the libertarian ideal of “non-violence” with regards to military engagements, the draft and tax collection. He then put forth an argument against both established political parties in Washington, claiming that nearly all Democrats had been “co-opted” by President Barack Obama’s administration, while Republicans were almost entirely “in bed with the war industry.”
The current libertarian strain of political thought in the Republican Party was the “the only hope” for American electoral politics, Assange concluded.
Look, I get why Assange is supporting Paul. Hell, If I were in a bar fight and some big ass Hell’s Angel was about to shank me with a broken beer bottle and Rand Paul whacked him upside the head with a pool cue, I’d have kindly thoughts towards him too.
But as a Progressive who is equally appalled by the Obama Administration’s war on whistle blowers AND Rand Paul’s brand of Southern Fired Libertarianism, I would respectfully suggest that Assange sit right down and enjoy a lovely meal of deep battered fried dicks.
First off, when the hell did opposing taxes become part of a non-violence movement? You want to make an argument that the tax code is fucked up and needs to be modified? I’m with you. You feel the IRS may be occasionally draconian in their methods of collection? Again, legitimate area of discussion. You aren’t happy about what the government spends the tax money on? I’ll show you my list if you show me yours. Hell, there may be a few items that overlap.
But to say that somehow the act of Tax Collection is somehow violent and that is just plain knocking off the corners of the words.
The whole idea of taxes is that we put money in a collective pile to use for the betterment of the country as a whole. Things like repairing interstate highways, updating the power grid, having a Center For Disease Control in case the Plague comes back.
Sad fact. Civilization costs money.
Unless we all agree to switch to a Star Trek like economy where money doesn’t exist, (Which by the way, I would be totally fine with.) we are kind of stuck with taxes to fund public works.
(And I won’t even get into him dragging The Draft into it because the last time I checked, we haven’t had one in forty years, which almost makes me wonder how cued into American Culture Assange really is?)
Moreover, these comments seems to once again present the American Public with the false choice between having an economic safety net but an invasive security apparatus or a non-invasive government but no safety net whatsoever.
And I’m sorry but I’m calling bullshit on that.
I’m lucky in a sense that both my Senators here in Oregon, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have been at the forefront of pushing back against the NSA, The Drone Program and the other really bad security ideas that Obama has been clinging to and they’ve been doing this while fighting for the safety net. They get the idea that Government should stay out of the way of the people but lend a helping hand when they need it.
What we need are more Merkely’s and Wyden’s and less Paul’s.
Look, I’m a fan of Wikileaks in theory. I’ve said before that in a time when Governments are becoming more secretive, we need groups like Wikileaks to restore the balance of information.
But when a man famous for advocating for freedom endorses a man who says he doesn’t believe in the Civil Rights Act…
It makes you wonder if he even knows what it means to be free?