Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ron Holland’s Cognitive Dissonance at The Daily Bell

In today’s interview at The Daily Bell, Ron Holland discusses several topics.  My focus in this commentary will be Mr. Holland’s views of Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and the overall political process.

Needless to say, the subject of Ron and Rand has generated significant heat ever since Rand’s announcement in support of Romney.  Although the reactions are much more diverse, in general there are two camps, reflecting two paths:

1)      Rand is not as principled as his father.  Too bad.  He could have been the leader to continue to build the movement based on the momentum of his father’s work.

a.       Education is the key, as is a passionate base.  As Rand doesn’t believe what his father believes (especially on overseas involvements but also elsewhere), the freedom movement has lost its best immediate hope for the spokesman to replace Ron.  Without education, there is no hope in politics.  Without principled positions, there is no passionate base.

2)      Rand is doing what he has to do to gain further influence in the Republican Party, as this is our best hope to reduce the encroachments of government.

While I believe path 1) is the more likely path to move the people toward more freedom, I can still hope that Rand is successful in reigning in some excesses of government.  He certainly stands head and shoulders above most of his colleagues when it comes to many important issues.  So, I can only wish him well in his chosen path.

Items 1 & 2 are mutually exclusive.  While I am strongly in camp 1), I don’t begrudge anyone who holds a sincere view of 2), even though I believe success through this path is not possible absent an educated and passionate base.  Over 200 years of political history has demonstrated that changing the system from within, especially without an educated and steadfast minority prepared to do the legwork, is an exercise in futility.

In this interview, Ron Holland seems to hold both views simultaneously.  To get the full flavor, I recommend a reading of the entire interview.  However, I can offer a couple of snippets:

The same goes for education on free-market principles. The Ron Paul Campaign has been one of the greatest philosophical and educational successes in recorded history….

Mr. Holland rightly sees the value of Ron Paul in educating on free-market principles.

Yes, I feel the same [enthusiasm] about his son Rand [as I do for Ron]. Ron Paul is more doctrinaire in his views and this is crucial for educational success. [Regarding Rand’s endorsement of Romney], Rand is more of a politician and he understands the necessity of building coalitions within a broader freedom or liberty movement if we are to have political success.

Mr. Holland is equally enthusiastic about Rand, as Rand is showing that building coalitions with mainstream politicians is necessary to effect change.  (This will be a first.)

…unless Romney names Rand Paul as his V.P. candidate – and this is looking increasingly unlikely – then I don't plan to vote at all for any GOP candidates. We must show the GOP establishment that there is a high price to pay for their treatment of the Ron Paul wing of the party. On the other hand, if Rand in on the ticket I will "hold my nose," gag and vote Republican.

Given the difference between father and son (Ron is the principled educator, Rand is coalition building politician; and never the twain shall meet), it is difficult to describe a snubbing of Rand as poor treatment of Ron’s “wing” by the GOP establishment.  The two aren’t in the same zip code, let alone building.

Freedom loving Americans only have two courses of action remaining. Either we continue to take over the elite controlled GOP mafia or permanently repudiate the entire farce that is the closed two-party political monopoly system in the US. The current political system only exists to fabricate a powerless controlled opposition when there is none at the present time except for the Ron Paul wing of the party.

Mr. Holland sees as the only way out is to take over the GOP.  However, he seems to realize that the only way to influence the GOP is to compromise with it – to build a coalition.

So far, my reading of this interview is that Mr. Holland advocates taking the political, coalition-building route.  As I mentioned above, I do not begrudge anyone who sincerely holds this view. 

Although there are hints of it elsewhere, I find Mr. Holland does not sincerely hold this view:

The real solution and alternative is massive individual human action, education and repudiation of all the controlled institutions used to enslave and rule over us. This is the only option left to free people wanting to peacefully resist the power elite. As for the establishment mantra to "vote for the lessor of two evils," this only gives undeserved credibility to a corrupt process, I don't believe this garbage either.

In this one paragraph, Mr. Holland blows away much of his previous position:

  • He recognizes that education is the key to change.  Yet in his comments about the differences between Ron and Rand, he is suggesting that education has reached its limit and it is now time for compromise. 
  • He suggests repudiation of the institutions that control us, yet he admires Rand for partnering with those same institutions. 
  • He rightly criticizes the establishment’s “mantra” of voting “for the lessor of two evils,” yet he says he will vote for the lessor of two evils (if Rand is the VP on the ticket).

I do not understand how one person can hold these several pairs of conflicting views in one brain.

[Regarding the future of freedom in America]: Obviously, I'm very concerned because I don't see where the American people have the will to resist and stand up to tyranny any more. Although the Internet now gives any American the opportunity to get an unbiased free-market view of politics, history and what is really happening to our nation, the will to resist appears to be dying before our very eyes.

People will have the will to resist if they are educated and passionate.  Ron Paul offered both.  Rand may offer a minor degree of the first, but I believe he will realize little if any of the second.  Mr. Holland, by his statements and actions, is encouraging the death of this will to resist because he is supporting a path that will generate little education and no passion.  Ron Paul the movement resulted in spontaneous money bombs, rallies of thousands of college students, thousands of adults devoting time to precincts and caucuses.  This same passion will not exist for Rand the VP nominee, or for Rand the privatizer of the TSA, or for Rand the coalition builder, or for Rand the advocate of sanctions so we don’t have to bomb them instead, for now.

It is too bad Mr. Holland does not see this.  However, it is more difficult to fathom how such conflicting views can be held simultaneously.

No comments:

Post a Comment