Thursday, September 13, 2012

HOT: Tom Woods on Jesse Benton

Tom Woods has just put out a tell it like it is post on Jesse Benton.  The summary to the post says it all about how sincere Tom is about this entire thing and how much of an impediment he sees Benton:

Finally, please note that I stand to gain nothing by clearing the air like this. Nothing but grief and more burned bridges. But sometimes you have to do what you have to do, regardless of the consequences for yourself. It’s quite possible that this person will make his way back into our circles at some point, and I want to urge people not even to consider donating to anything with his name on it. 
Incidentally, if Rand Paul intends to run in 2016, the single most effective way he could convey to the public that he is not really serious, and that people should withhold their donations, would be to hire Jesse Benton.
The full story of Benton keeping Woods away from the Ron Paul campaign needs to be understood and Tom explains it fully in his post, My Memories of Jesse Benton.


  1. Rand's entry into politics was the worst thing that happened to the Ron Paul movement. Ultimately, Rand served to neutralize Ron Paul. It was Rand's campaign staff that was sent to contain the Ron Paul movement. These folks never believed in Ron's ideas. They shut out the true supporters like Woods, and immediately started coordinating with the Romney camp. When the Romney people cheated and disrespected Paul's delegates, Benton and Rand didn't make a peep.

    Ultimately, the establishment used Ron's family against him. Ron himself was caught between a rock and a hard place, like a man whose wife doesn't get along with his mother. Out of deference to his son, he capitulated rather than carry on the fight. He never fired Benton, Olsen and the other Rand plants. But nor did he give up his principles or sell out by endorsing Romney.

    How sad it is that Ron's own son, of all people, would be the one to wreck his legacy.

    1. I beg to differ. Ron Paul gave up his principles when he chose to support his son over his principles. Let's stop sugarcoating that Ron Paul was caught between a rock and a hard place and didn't give up his principles because he did just that. That fact that "he capitulated rather than carry on the fight" says it all. Ron Paul gave up his principles instead of his son. When push comes to shoves, the principles fly out window. Abraham was willing to kill his son Isaac for God.

    2. I am the OP. When I say that Ron Paul didn't give up his principles, I mean that he never stopped talking about foreign policy and civil liberties in the debates and interviews. He never changed his views to suit the neocons and talk radio blowhards.

      Yes, he gave up the fight for the nomination, but that is a matter of tactics, not principle. He was never going to be allowed to win — the best we could have hoped for was a big fight at the end. That would have been great, yes. And no doubt, Rand's position as a senator and likely 2016 presidential candidate influenced Ron's decision.

      You are basically attacking Ron because he's human. Despite being exceptional for his knowledge, wisdom, ethics and integrity, he isn't PERFECT. Nobody is, not even you. He loves his wife and children and didn't want to create a huge rift in the family just to prolong an effort that most Americans didn't even appreciate. Nobody can run a campaign alone. Ron had to trust others and he chose the wrong people to trust.

    3. Anon 12:44, what principle did he give up exactly? I'm not saying I agree with how the campaign was run or who he had running it but I've yet to see Ron Paul waver on any of the ideas he's been talking about for the last 40+ years.

      I think it is fine to say that you think Ron Paul should have got rid of people like Benton, Tate, and Olson, or that he should have publicly stated that he disagreed with the path Rand was choosing. But those aren't matters of principle unless we are content on abusing the English language in an attempt to lash out in anger.

      I would also say that I understand why Ron Paul hasn't disowned his flesh and blood. The guy doesn't attack Barney Frank or Ben Bernanke but he is supposed to attack his own son?

      As long as he continues to preach the same libertarian message that he always has then I'm prepared to cut him some slack if he doesn't find it necessary to cause discord with his family by attacking those he disagrees with.

    4. Response to Anonymous at 12:44 PM:
      The choice Abraham faced was a divine sting operation. Paul's choice was the real deal. With the exception of this difference the Abraham metaphor is really good.

      I weep for Ron Paul. Like an irresistible force against an immovable object, his integrity smashed head on into a love for and loyalty to his own flesh and blood.

      What would have been the political difference in the US had Paul's dilemma not existed?

      This is a tragedy that would have had Shakespeare chomping at the bit. Future historians, and I have to believe our progeny will be free to write the truth, may find Paul's dilemma to have been a Very Big Deal.

  2. I'm not one to comment on something like this, but I just can't help myself.

    Call Jesse Benton what you may (for me 'twat' comes to mind almost immediately), but we need to move past this.

    Like so many others, Ron Paul introduced me to libertarianism. Doug Casey converted me, but Ron Paul introduced me. Libertarianism is bigger than this. Ron Paul, one may say, started this. But he won't end it. We will.

    As a libertarian in university I was rare. In my 'introduction to politics' class I was the only person to suggest a foreign policy of 'minding our own business.' By fourth year, there were thirty or more speaking this way.

    I once debated a real statist about how all urban property exploitation is the fault of a lack of private property rights. I converted him. He is now a good friend.

    I wrote a paper (heavily citing from Hans Hoppe) about how monarchy is a better form of government than democracy and received an A+, and a 'I never thought of it this way' from my professor.

    The libertarian message is clear. It is easy to convince other. This is bigger than politics and Jesse Benton.

    The movement is alive and well. We just need to maintain a clear and concise message. Hell I've written letters to the editor of my local newspaper and no one has been able to counter my arguments because they are so sound.

    Libertarianism is bigger than Jesse Benton.

    1. That is so cool, what you did Vince.
      Inspirational stuff.

    2. Yea, good job Vince. It is really encouraging that you were able to convert so many people. I just started becoming a hard core libertarian just after college and after I got out of the Marine Corps reserve. I wish I knew back then what I know now, both were great places to convert people. In a strange way I think the Marine Corps would have been the best place because there were so many idealists. We just had the wrong ideals in many ways (glorification of the warfare state for one) but it seemed to me that Marines were always willing to sincerely listen to any opinion and have a thoughtful debate on any topic, even if they were in disagreement with it. Given enough time, I know I could have converted a bunch of them.

  3. I am not in a position to say definitively who is in the right and who is in the wrong, but my sense is Benton didn't like radical libertarian influence of Woods and he also saw Woods as a potential rival (Woods I am sure can argue his positions on things better than either Benton or Tate), and, this in turn leads Benton to bad mouth and blackball Woods from the campaign.

    Woods is a very intellectually capable individual and he, in particular, commands a lot of respect among grassroots libertarian activists. If I were Rand Paul and I was seriously thinking about running for president in 2016, I would want to mend any hard feelings that exist with Woods and bring him aboard as a top adviser. Rand has significant problems with his base that Woods I think could help mend by the start of the campaign for the 2016 nomination.

    1. Come on everybody knows that Tom is a great guy and I haven't heard a single good thing about this Benton character.
      + I don't think it's smart politics to hire an anarchist in a presidential run...this will never happen anyway, Rand Paul has made clear where he stands - he likes the power and prestige of his new position.
      Having said that, I still think he is an ok guy and fundamental change will not come through electoral politics anyway. Woods shouldn't waste his time in such endeauvours he's far too valuable for the cause of liberty as a thinker and speaker.

  4. Everyone who knows anything about the Liberty movement knows that Woods is infinitely superior to this Benton piece of trash. Woods is a hero for standing up against him. It took enormous courage to do what he has done. The Liberty movement owes more to Tom Woods than they will ever be able to repay. Hopefully the powers at be in C4 understand this now.

    Also FYI: Rand would be sinking his own ship if he hires Benton in 2016. He won't receive a cent from me or anyone I know if he brings this guy on.

  5. As I said in my comment, my gut tells me Benton probably was all or mostly at fault, but, to be fair, nobody e outside of Benton and Woods was actually there, so who can say for certain?

    Regarding you other comment ,why wouldn't it be smart politics for Rand to hire Woods? Isn't Woods the answer to the much criticized pro-establishment approach of Benton? Doesn't Woods command a lot of respect among the grassroots? And if Rand is serious about running in 2016, just how does he go about rebuilding his libertarian base which has been alienated by his decision to back Romney (I also believe Rand's appeal to mainstream conservatives is as limited as it was for his father, so that is not an alternative)?

    I also don't understand why electoral politics was worthwhile when Ron Paul was running, but now suddenly it isn't? This just sounds like a big cop-out. Ron Paul can't be the only candidate the libertarian movement can rally around--can it?

    Regarding Woods future plans, he hasn't stated one way or the other what he wants to do regarding electoral politics. But I could see a very successful political future for him, if he wants to go in that direction. He certainly has the brains and communication skills, and I think his instincts are better than most. Most importantly, like Ron Paul, he comes off as a very sincere individual in his beliefs.

    1. Woods' wife has indicated that she strongly dislikes Rand and his apologists in various facebook postings. The feelings are likely mutual with Tom. I'd say there's almost no chance of Tom working with Rand in the future, unless Rand morphs into Ron 2.0 immediately.

  6. RE: hiring a committed anarchist to help run a political campaign...

    RP along with very few of the liberty movement understand anarchy. RP is like a member of the French Underground who infiltrated the Nazi Party. Everything he does is to dismantle the occupying apparatus. This is the goal of all his actions since he has been in office. When doing so, it is often wise to cite official Nazi documents in Nazi meetings. So Ron cites the Constitution even though he is sympathetic to anti-federalists Patrick Henry and others.

    We must think like subversives. Indeed we are subversives by definition in that we are in the minority and are against the establishment. Hiring an anarchist like Woods to help a campaign is not hyprcritical or contradictory. Neither is holding office even if it means wearing a Nazi uniform as a member of the French Underground. Members of the French Underground feigned loyalty to Hitler to gain positions where they could get travel documents to forgers who would smuggle dissidents out of the country, they relayed info about important supply trains to other members who would sabotage the tracks and blow up the trains, they did many things to undermine the occupying apparatus all the while saying "Sig Heil" and wearing a uniform that they detested. I am sure that RP hates his pay coming by theft (taxation) and that is why he doesn't participate in pensions etc. But you must put on the Nazi uniform in order to dismantle the occupying apparatus from within.

    Make no mistake, RP has NEVER advanced the occupiers and ONLY tried to dismantle big gov't. We need many more who are committed to this course of action. Molyneux can rail against the Nazis all he wants but someone has to penetrate them and gum up the works. Subversion and Opposition are not "either or"... they work hand in hand. Long live subversion. Long live the R3VOLution.

    1. Great post! Too bad Rand isn't like his amazing father. But then again, who has been? Even good old Thomas Jefferson had a spotty record as President. No one has had a federally elected voting record like Ron Paul in the history of the nation.

    2. Great post, you make an interesting point about subverting the system from the inside but does this mean that Rand Paul might be potentially doing the same thing? Maybe Rand is really a hard core anarchist that is just biding his time until he gets into power so he can "subvert" the system? Maybe Rand hates the establishment more than his father does and is willing to become part of it so he can deal the establishment a more deadly blow when he has the opportunity? Or is this just wishful thinking on my part?

  7. Rand is not Ron and he will never be. Ron Paul was not a politician he was a conduit for real economics, real history and real political thinking outside the government bullshit apparatus.
    What is Rand teaching his 'followers'? Read more reason magazine? be a beltway libertarian? this is all nonsense.
    Ron has created hundreds of thousand of people open to libertarian thought. Our job is now to grow and support hardcore centers of anti-government thought like the mises institute, C4ss, Fee or whatever floats your boat. We need to build and radicalize a cadre of young intellectuals and activist that will transform american society from the ground up. We need to take over the joke that is the libertarian party and build a radically non-interventionist and 'fiscally conservative' wing within the republican party. (just to get our programm a little bit into the mainstream) This will be Ron Pauls legacy.
    A presidential run is just an educational device. We won't be able to actually elect a good president. The transformation of the society at large is hard work and pushing a lever will not do it.

  8. Almost 3,000 likes on Tom's Benton post. Awesome.