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Ron Paul: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

After being more or less ignored by the masses during his last two presidential bids, Ron Paul is now getting some real traction, which scares a lot of people. He scares lefties, who love Big Huge Government. He scares the right-wingers who, despite their claims to the contrary, also love Big Huge Government. He scares the military-industrial complex because he’d put an end to their extremely profitable war mongering. He scares the mass media, who love the status quo, especially the governmental barriers to entry that protect them from competition. Everyone who benefits from being in bed with the government finds him a very scary guy.

Although he has a long track record of speaking his mind, leaving no doubt where he stands on every issue, the smear merchants are working overtime to discredit him. They take things out of context, exaggerate his positions, and often resort to outright lies. Their desperation is almost entertaining.

The Ugly
The ugliest claims against him are without merit.

The Newsletters – The left has pulled out the race card, because they always pull out the race card. In this case they’ve dug up a few nasty statements made in newsletters from twenty five years ago and insist that makes him a horrible racist. Even some right wingers have joined in on this normally lefty trick.

He didn’t write those things, and has disavowed them, but facts never stop the desperate. They ignore the fact that in the thousands of interviews since then he’s never made a racist statement. They ignore the fact that one of the reasons he’s changed his mind on the death penalty is that it disproportionately affects blacks. They ignore the numerous times he’s pointed out the horrible effect of the War on Some Drugs on the black community. Forget his long track record on race issues – it’s those old newsletters that matter, you see.

Pointing out such facts to a Paul hater is like presenting biology facts to a creationist. Facts don’t matter. The haters will just continue to spew their nonsense, at which point it’s best to just say “have a good day” and move on.

Nasty People Like Him – This isn’t unique to Paul; it’s a standard operating procedure used by nearly every candidate against their opponents.

Everyone in the public eye attracts the approval of people they’d rather have nothing to do with. Paul is no exception. Just like every other candidate (in every national election) he has been endorsed by a few dirt bag individuals and scummy organizations. On occasions he’s even been photographed standing next to dirt bags without punching them in the face. The RP haters gleefully present such photos and endorsements to condemn Dr. Paul with the old “guilt by association” trick.

It’s is a tired, old and lame tactic that won’t fool anyone with more than a dozen functioning brain cells.

The Bad

Evolution – He doesn’t believe in it. This is disappointing, but hardly unique in American politics.

Abortion – I disagree with him on this issue more than any other. He wants to return the abortion decision to the states. This would mean women in the toothless states would have fewer rights than those elsewhere.

I did some volunteer work for his last presidential campaign, and discovered, much to my dismay, that about a quarter of the people our local group were there solely for the abortion issue. They were ecstatic about the prospect of having 50 new battlegrounds, 50 new opportunities for their endless war on a woman’s right to choose. I found this sub-group annoying and a bit creepy.

Separation of Church and State – Ron buys into “The US was Founded as a Christan Nation” myth. He hasn’t gone as far as some of the hard core fundies who have vowed to make tearing down the wall of separation a top priority, but it’s still something worth being concerned about.

The Good

Education – Ron wants to shut down the federal Department of Education and return decisions about education to the states, where they belong.

The Department of Ed has a current budget of about 70 billion dollars. It’s accomplishments include shutting down hundreds of college athletic programs under Title IX, the No Child Left Behind program (ask any teacher about that one) and now the Race To The Top. Their goal is to homogenize education so it’s exactly the same everywhere, impeding innovation and experimentation. Under the DoE guidance, performance by American students has remained embarrassingly abysmal.

Eliminating this department would not only save us tens of billions of dollars each year, but would instantly create 50 different real life experimental platforms for primary education. Some states would stay with the status quo. Some would experiment a little, others would experiment a lot.  We’d see, first hand and in real time, what worked and what didn’t. Primary education would have to get better without the Department of Ed, because it can’t get much worse.

War and Foreign Policy – Obama, like most presidents before him, promised peace. Instead, he got us into yet another war. It was a piddling little half-a-war, but a war, none the less. Although we’re withdrawing from Iraq on Bush’s schedule, there appears to be no end to our involvement in Afghanistan, and now we’re rattling sabers at Iraq.

Dr. Paul believes the job of the military to protect America’s borders, and little else. They’re not there to get involved in every petty little squabble, or even major altercations between other nations. He wants to bring the troops back home from every where, and leave other nations to fend for themselves.

This has been mis-characterized as isolationism, but it’s not – he also wants free and open trade with virtually everyone.

Our endless intervention in other nations affairs benefits no one except for the government itself and the huge war industry. We spend trillions of dollars and sacrifice the lives and limbs of some of our best people, resulting in the world hating us.

Dr. Paul believes we should should only participate in wars declared by congress, as the constitution mandates. We haven’t declared war since WWII, ignoring the Constitution and getting involved in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and dozens of other smaller skirmishes and battles. Every one has cost us money, lives, and in most cases, the goodwill and friendship of other nations, including those we were allegedly helping.

He’d close most foreign military bases and bring the military back home, where they belong, to defend our borders. This would reduce our military costs to a fraction of what we spend now.

He’d eliminate all foreign aid, which he describes as taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries.

The War on Some Drugs – When alcohol prohibition ended the government immediately started The War on Some Drugs so the enforcement officers could keep their jobs. The result has been a disaster on every level. We now have a higher percentage of our population in prison than any other country; most are there for non-violent drug “crimes.” We’ve militarized our police force. Early morning raids on peaceful people’s homes are now common. These raids often result in the death of citizens, and occasionally the police. The phenomenal profits of the black market make police corruption inevitable, and asset forfeiture laws provide an incentive for cops go after anyone for even the most trivial drug offense. Street gangs finance their violence from drug sales. The forth amendment has been gutted. Mexico and Central America are war zones. The War on Some Drugs has ruined and ended far more lives than drugs ever did.

Ron wants to end this war entirely, to get rid of the federal government’s involvement at every level. States will be left to make their own decisions on the matter. While differing laws in different states will result in some chaos, it will be a vast improvement over the mess we have now.

The Economy – Dr. Paul wants to end the Federal Reserve, a system that was not authorized in the constitution, and return the responsibility for the money supply to the federal government, where it belongs. He’d like to bring us back to the gold standard (which is probably impossible at this point) so there will be something of value behind every dollar. Most importantly, he wants to get the government out of the way of businesses, so entrepreneurs can actually do things without bureaucrats interfering with every decision and bogging down every project.

He’s predicted several economic booms and busts, including this most recent one, which was initiated by the government’s instance that everyone with a pulse should be able to buy a house, regardless of their ability to pay for it. He rejects the Keynesian economics that have created and exacerbated our current mess and embraces Austrian economics, which embraces individual freedom over government intervention.  He’s no mere dabbler in this subject – he’s written several books on it.

Corporatism – One of the biggest problems in the US is the fact that our government is controlled, almost completely, by corporations. Here’s Ron’s take on that:

 

Gay Marriage – Like most people in his age group, he’s not comfortable with homosexuality. But he wants to get the federal government out of the marriage business completely, solving the problem by ignoring it at the federal level.

Out of 27 house republicans Ron Paul was the only one who voted against The Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. He voted to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Activist Dan Savage sums up Paul’s position well: “Ron may not like gay people, and may not want to hang out with us or use our toilets, but he’s content to leave us the fuck alone and recognizes that gay citizens are entitled to the same rights as all other citizens.”

Civil Rights – Obama just signed a bill that allows American citizens to be detained forever without trial or access to a lawyer or any other civil rights. All it takes is for one cop or bureaucrat to say “he’s a terror suspect” and he’s gone, vanished, disappeared.

That’s pretty much all you need to know about Obama and civil rights.

Dr. Paul was among the few people who voted against this.

The feds have been chipping away at civil rights for as long as I can remember. Much of it was done to make The War on Some Drugs easier. Now the emphasis has changed to The War On Terror, an even better excuse for removing the few civil rights we have left.

 

If you’re not familiar with Dr. Paul I urge you to do your own research. Put fresh batteries in your bullshit meter and turn the sensitivity knob to MAX, then go searching. Paul scares a lot of people, and those people, who either directly benefit from Big Huge Government or simply love it for some unfathomable reason, will spew an enormous amount of misinformation, disinformation, half truths and outright lies at you. You’ve got to be smartenized enough to dig down through all that crap before you can find the pony.

Be alert to sins of omission as well. The MSM not only lies about Paul, but often simply leaves him out of the picture. You can see this in action right now. Romney and Santorum tied in the IOWA caucus, with Ron just two points behind them, but anyone who gets all their news from the MSM wouldn’t even know he was in the race – they’re simply ignoring him.

He’s not the perfect candidate. He’s not even the best candidate. (But Gary Johnson has no chance now.) But he is the best candidate with any a chance of winning.

If you like our moribund economy, our endless wars on nations abroad and citizens at home, federal rules and regulations making every decision for you, the rapidly growing and increasingly violent police state, the relentless attack on the few freedoms we have left, the government being run entirely by corporations, severe censorship of the Internet (coming soon), and all the other things that come with Big Huge Government, vote for Obama/Romney/whoever else. They’re all the same and are as interchangeable as lego bricks. If you’d like to see some real change, not just a slogan on a poster but real change, work to get Ron in place.

The United States is rapidly approaching the point of no return. Once we become a bankrupt and completely totalitarian state it will be nearly impossible to retrieve our freedom and our wealth. Consider applying the brakes before we slide off that cliff. Consider supporting Ron Paul.

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16 Comment(s)

  1. I don’t trust him, but I trust him more than all the other candidates.

    Nobilis Reed | Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

  2. It blew my mind how much he was ignored. I went to school for journalism so I’ve seen, “behind the curtain,” at most of what happens for news. Every time I see, “Mitt Romney is in first with 24% with [whomever is in third] trailing Ron Paul with 12%,” I wonder if other people notice.

    As for everything else, I pretty much think you’re spot on.

    Michael | Jan 5, 2012 | Reply

  3. If I were an American, everything mentioned under the category of “The Bad” would be a dealbreaker for me. Sorry.

    GJ203 | Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

  4. I find it hard to believe that Ron Paul doesn’t accept Evolution as fact. It boggles the mind. He’s a doctor.

    Joy | Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

  5. If the US does not at least make Ron Paul its viable candidate against Obama, then it has really lost its soul, the foundation of its statehood. Liberty.

    Marcus | Jan 9, 2012 | Reply

  6. The thing about Ron Paul is that he supports freedom…the freedom of states to take your civil rights away, and the freedom of businesses that cater to the public to discriminate based on race. To claim that he won’t try to legislate his morality is ludicrous. He’s ALREADY TRIED. He recently signed a GOP pledge to support an attempt to FEDERALLY define life as beginning at conception. He’s introduced repeatedly the We the People Act which would strip the Supreme Court from hearing cases regarding the Separation of Church and state, the right to privacy (that means even federal violations of the 4th amendment couldn’t be challenged in court), or equal protection (no hope of gay marriage rights to be universally applied). Doesn’t anyone else find it a little mind-boggling that Ron Paul wants to strip the Supreme Court of the power to hear the kind cases the institution was formed to rule on in the first place? Incidentally, he penned that bill when the ink was still drying on Lawrence vs. Texas. You see, Ron Paul has no problem with the STATES telling you what you can and can’t do in the bedroom, and whom you can and can’t do it with. He said “the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex.”

    Ron Paul is not a libertarian. He’s a neo-Confederate.

    Brian | Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

  7. As far as the newsletters, here are statements written in the first person from Ron Paul’s perspective (when attacking the Martin Luther King holiday, the article said “I voted against it when I was a Congressman”), in a newsletter with Ron Paul’s name in the byline and his signature at the bottom, published by the organization that he started and was running at the time.

    At any rate, there are two losing propositions:

    Either Ron Paul is a racist and wrote those articles (and it wasn’t just one article, there are several statements spanning several years),

    OR

    Ron Paul is so incompetent that he couldn’t even manage what was being said in his name by his own organization.

    Brian | Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

  8. @Joy,

    You should read what was being published in his name in his newsletters. His organization also claimed that AIDS can be transmitted via saliva, that gay people actually enjoy getting AIDS because of the attention, and that drug users share needles out of solidarity because the free market would have provided them with clean needles otherwise. He also claimed to be “scientifically certain” that life begins at conception.

    Ron Paul is a doctor like a Chiropractor or a Dentist is a doctor.

    Brian | Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

  9. ” Obama just signed a bill that allows American citizens to be detained forever without trial or access to a lawyer or any other civil rights. ”

    No he didn’t. The bill contains no such language other than preserving the status quo.

    Brian | Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

  10. Wow! You are against abortion being controlled at state level but want to take education away from the federal government? So those toothless states of yours with their backwater education systems will not teach sex-ed and leave the federal government to deal with the fall-out? What fucking planet are you from?

    Jay | Mar 27, 2012 | Reply

  11. Thank you for your intelligent and reasoned reply.

    Dave Hitt | Mar 29, 2012 | Reply

  12. I found your page by searching “The good and the bad: Ron Paul”, hoping to do my own research for some unbiased Ron Paul stance info.

    While I appreciate the fact that you have also included “the bad”, I wish you would have handled this article with less of a heavily biased hand. You note that we should all have our “BS meters” on and turned to maximum sensitivity (noticing when Paul is ommitted from political talks and media coverage etc.). Yet you do almost the exact same thing here, ommiting key references, facts, dates, proof, evidence, and most importantly, an open mind.

    I appreciate this page, and some of the information did in fact help me add to my newly forming opinion, but practice what you preach.

    And if you really want people to open their eyes to the potential of Ron Paul, you would be wise to pen this more journalistically (the utopian brand with integrity, not the kind that sadly pervades most of our “news media”) or you’re no better than the people you are trying to out.

    mollination | Apr 23, 2012 | Reply

  13. Quick Hitts is, always has been, and always will be a heavily biased site. It is not a research site. It is not a journalistic site. It is a site for my thoughts, ideas and opinions. Bias on this site if a feature.

    You can take it. You can leave it. You can do more research to see if my opinions and biases are valid or not. (This is the best of the three options.) But please don’t expect unbiased reporting here. That’s not what this place is for.

    Dave Hitt | Apr 23, 2012 | Reply

  14. Thanks Dave Hitt,
    The internet has created a generation of idiots. Hello, any one heard of primary research, this is garbage. We live in a two party system. As a liberal, I love this dude. If he could make a ballot like Ross “big Ear ” Perot, he will ensure a liberal victory. Then of course, you know what comes next. Socialism, subtracting the outliners, I venture to guess the average in income is rocken 30 K a years. What’s that like 400 bucks in taxes? Seriously, do we really need the federal government, military, roads, traffic lights, and IQ tests. Yes, and your hard earn money – which a 4 year old Chinese kid would do for a nickel and a handful of rice. Get a grip, the demise of this country are the uneducated “blogg’otards” that think they are journalists. Community college oversold that concept.

    Juri Doctorate | Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

  15. I just read that comment four times and I still don’t know what juri was trying to say.

    Brian | Nov 22, 2012 | Reply

  16. Me either, Brian. It’s like listening to a bum mumble as he stumbles down the street. I recognize the words, but don’t see any cogent thoughts in there anywhere.

    Dave Hitt | Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

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