Well, Christmas has been successfully completed. I went to parties, ate holiday-themed foodstuffs, and visited a whole bunch of relatives. All in all, it was a pretty nice time.
I also managed to have a traditional Jewish Christmas with Matt, Brian and Spencer, first at the third annual Christmas Eve visit to the Red Room and then with a meal of Chinese food and a screening of Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, which was totally great. If the “requiem” in the title had you worrying that this would be more of an art-house flick, let me encourage you to give the movie a chance anyway. Sure, it’s kind of a think piece. But that one time when the guy gets acid blood dripped on his arm and he’s all like AAAH AAAH AAAH and then his arm falls off and his kid’s right there? And then it gets worse? Pretty awesome. Also, all of that happens in the first five minutes.
But it did get me thinking. I found myself discussing politics at various points during Holiday Family Time, and frequently trying to explain why I didn’t think my relatives should be as favorably disposed toward bold truth-teller Ron Paul as their initial impression of the man had left them.
Ezra already did a much better job of this than I ever could. But, predictably, some of the Paul supporters in his comment section remain unconvinced. I mean, sure, there might be some minor downsides to dismantling our already meager social safety net, adopting a set of monetary policies that most economists think would be disastrous, and in general returning the most brutal excesses of rapacious late nineteenth century capitalism. But that’s all a small price to pay for the satisfaction to be had from an intellectually consistent political philosophy, right? Besides, Paul’s supporters have got a blimp. It seems like you’d have to be pretty on top of things to have a blimp.
But AvP2 has provided what I think is a compelling argument against the Paul platform. Consider this: if Dr. Paul is keen to remove us from our foreign entanglements and dismantle the Department of Education (take that, tyranny!), what hope do you think there is for the Bureau of Secretly Nuking Small American Towns After Alien Invasions? You think you’re going to be able to fund that after getting rid of the income tax? Please.
Now I know that I’m likely to get some Paul supporters showing up in comments, arguing that perhaps we’d actually be better off without faceless government bureaucrats deciding in secret whether to rain nuclear death upon small town America. To this I can only say: go watch Alien vs. Predator: Requiem and then get back to me. I’ll admit that I’m not all that familiar with the complete works of Friedrich Hayek, but I would be surprised if it deals adequately with how the state should respond to rapacious space invaders with mouths-within-mouths and acid for blood.
Big government: it’s the only way to be sure.