Here is the follow-up to an article I wrote soon after Obama's inauguration, in which I predicted that:
"...four years from now, an Obama presidency will not look very different from the George W. Bush presidency, or from what I imagine a John McCain presidency would bring."
I told readers that if I was wrong about this, I would re-think my beliefs "about our political system and about politics generally." But asked them that if I turned out to be right, to please do the same.
"I'm asking each of you to consider the seemingly bizarre proposition that there really is no significant difference between candidates offered up by the established party system; that Republican and Democrat are virtually indistinguishable; and that neither party has at heart the interests of you or me or "the American people." I'm asking you to consider the possibility that continuing to vote for these people just helps to perpetuate the very ills you seek to cure."
None of my friends (to whom this article was addressed) officially took me up on this offer. But I've heard from a few who have since done some re-thinking - if not of their fundamental beliefs about political systems, at least about their support for Obama. They may not be voting for my choice in the presidential elections - happily, one will not be voting at all! But they have been honest enough to look at the reality of what their candidate has created and decide to withdraw their support, and I respect them for that.
In my follow-up, I re-visit my specific predictions - which for the most part have come true in spades - and I urge former Obama supporters who care about things like peace, civil liberties and a functioning economy, to vote for Ron Paul. But I also caution that:
"We should of course be wary of placing our hopes for "change" in a politician who will rule over us. Any politician. Even Ron Paul. If we want to live in peace, then we must reject the coercive violence upon which a political system is built. We cannot continue to grant individuals the right to rule over others, the monopoly to both make and enforce laws, the monopoly on "justice" and on defense – and then act surprised when those individuals use their powers to their own benefit and to our detriment."
It probably seems odd for someone who does not believe in the political process to advocate that people vote for anybody. I've explained my support for Dr. Paul before, but yes, it is odd. It may even be hypocritical. Essentially, I support him because I believe that a Ron Paul presidency would save an awful lot of lives. It would also get an awful lot of non-violent "offenders" out of cages, and would make things better in a myriad of ways, not by expanding the reach of government but by reducing it. Of course it's possible that I'm wrong about this - I only hope we get a chance to find out. But I've been right about politicians before. It would be nice if those who profess to care about things like not murdering foreigners and not trampling the civil liberty of Americans would start to listen.