Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Will The Real Republican Party Please Stand Up?

Most readers know me as a political partisan, a 'capital L' Libertarian. While I love the Libertarian Party, I love liberty more, and really couldn't care less which party gets the job of moving policy in a liberty direction done.

I've found it interesting over the years, that liberals and conservatives alike tend to try to push me to the Republican party. Why liberals concede that the Democratic Party is not the home for one who loves liberty is beyond me. But, another topic for another day.

Today is the day of the Iowa caucuses for the Republican Party. Today is the day we find out if, in Iowa, the Republican Party will embrace liberty in the form of Ron Paul, or if it will embrace one of the various authoritarian strains of Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, or Mitt Romney.

Many leaders in the Indiana Republican Party, at various levels, have tried to get me into their tent. My belief is that they really just want to plow me under, to disappear me within their organization- as they have done over the years with several former Libertarians. Can't name a one elected to anything as a Liberty Caucus Republican in Indiana.

The rationale, I'm endlessly told, is that more can be done by working within the Republican Party. Bigger stage, better chance of electability, etc. But I've never seen proof that liberty has been embraced by Indiana Republicans. Lip service? Oh, yes. Acts? No sir or ma'am.

There is truth to the rationale, though. Ron Paul ran as a Libertarian in 1988, and barely made a noise on the national level. Running in 2008, he won over a dedicated national following, and here in 2012, he is on the cusp of actually winning Iowa today. If he does win, this causes me to take serious notice- for the implications for his campaign, and for the place of liberty in the Republican Party, as well as the place of the Libertarian Party.

As I said, I don't really care which party carries the pro-liberty candidates. I will back them. If Ron Paul is winning caucuses and the primary elections, I have to be with him as far as he runs. The longer he is viable, the longer the message of liberty is in the media and on people's minds, and if he wins the GOP nomination, he could become president of the United States. I can't ignore that.

So, my first glance will be towards the vote totals. My second will be to the reaction of the Republican leadership in Iowa and nationally. They already hinted that they would ignore Iowa's results if Ron Paul wins.

Now, my Republican friends. If I'm supposed to seriously consider a move to the Republican Party, you just have to show me better faith than that. Ron Paul has been treated like garbage by GOP leadership for roughly the last 5 years. Is this any way to lure people to your party?

So, I'm watching to see what the real Republican Party looks like. Go, Ron Paul!

Reunion Notes

I had the great pleasure of seeing Death Of Samantha play one last time, at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, over the holidays. I really never expected to have the chance, as they broke up in the early 90's, so it was a great unexpected treat.

D.O.S. did not disappoint. It might have been one of the better shows I had seen them do on multiple counts: 2-hour+ set, songs spanned their entire catalog, campy skit with drummer Steve-O emerging from a coffin to start the show, big appreciative crowd, band appreciative of the moment and very into the event, adequately rehearsed prior to show yielding well executed songs. Back in the day, some of these elements would be present, but never all.

Like any 'last show' (I don't know if they'll do this again), there were things that were missing for me. Hard to complain of course, but there were a couple songs they didn't play that would have been on my personal dream set list. There were a few friends that didn't turn up that I associated with the band. Not everyone who ever played in the band got to participate. But, on its' face, the night was a great success, and a hell of a lot of fun. So, here are some video clips I shot, for your enjoyment:

If it seems like the guitar is too loud in the mix, understand that I went out of my way to position myself opposite Doug Gillard's amp, and right against the stage so that I would not directly pick up the blare from the P.A. speakers. I wanted Doug's guitar up front, but also, I knew that the P.A. sound would be so loud that it would badly distort within my camcorder. Overall, I was pretty happy with the sound.

I loaded all 21 songs to my YouTube channel, so if you want to see them all- or music by other Cleveland bands like My Dad Is Dead, Children's Crusade, or Oral Authority- follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/user/mikekole?feature=mhee