The Holes In the Ron Paul Story
Ron Paul bills himself as a libertarian, and speaks loosely of libertarian philosophies. He may seem to some like a man who believes in individual liberty, smaller government, and the Constitution. In truth, that’s simply not the case. This is a point-by-point refutation which demonstrates that Ron Paul is actually a clever bigot who has no problem with the government telling people what to do with their bodies and lives.
One of Ron Paul’s most famous claims is that just about everything is a State’s Right. It’s surprising how many people don’t bother to follow that statement out to its logical conclusion. Dodging admitting to your personal biases and bigotry by calling it a State’s right is clever enough, but the dodge remains disingenuous, because that just means that the State’s legislation will take your rights from you instead of the Federal government doing so. It does not provide for any liberty. Moreover, it excuses the Federal government from acting on one of their most important responsibilities, which is to protect the individual from the tyranny of the masses. Those Constitutional guarantees found in the Bill of Rights are not to be abridged. Not ever, under any circumstances. Since it is a Federal Constitution, it most certainly is incumbent upon the Federal government to protect the individual’s civil liberties. It most certainly is not within that agency’s prerogatives to require that the individual chase after those guarantees 50 times, once in each state. According to Ron Paul, though, (and I have this from him directly) that’s exactly what U.S. citizens would be “free” to do. Meanwhile, individual citizens are still subject to the whim and will of the majority until they procure those Constitutional guarantees for themselves — once in each state.
Why would a freedom-loving man do such a thing? Let’s get past his rhetoric and get to the truth. The man is not comfortable with gay people.
Eric Dondero, former Senior Aide to Ron Paul from 1997 through 2003, reports (see Eric Dondero’s Ron Paul Statement) that Ron Paul slapped a gay supporter’s hand way. He also refused to use another prominent gay supporter’s bathroom, going so far as to tell Dondero to find some excuse to go to a restaurant, so he could use the bathroom there. (It apparently hasn’t dawned on Dr. Paul (a physician) that gay people in San Francisco use public bathrooms, nor that he isn’t going to get HIV from shaking hands.)
I also watched a concealed camera comedy episode in which Sasha Baron Cohen (a slapstick comic well-known for Punk-ing people) acted as though he was coming on to Ron Paul. Paul was livid, flustered and clearly homophobic in his responses, shouting “He’s queer, he’s crazy! … He took his clothes off! This interview is over!”
Actually, Cohen didn’t take his clothes off. He dropped his pants (underwear on,) after making a comment about lighting some candles and having been a dancer. It was obviously not a sincere come-on, and he didn’t lay a finger on the much older man. He was actually several feet away. But Dr. Paul was so busy being homophobic that he couldn’t even recognize the obvious Cohen set-up. Apparently neither Ron Paul nor his staff did their homework, or they would have known that Cohen is prone to such stunts.
The bigger point, though is that the reaction of Ron Paul in the situation is hardly the character or aptitude of a man suitable for the presidency. What makes it worse is that, asked about it in an interview, Ron Paul conveniently edited himself, reporting only that he said “this interview is over.” He knows his bigoted remarks won’t go over well, and tries to conceal that truth about himself.
So we see the real reason why Ron Paul claims it’s a States’ issue . He doesn’t want to be seen as the homophobic bigot he actually is, so he shuffles these things off, instead of actually standing up for the rights of ALL citizens to live their lives as equals in the eyes of the law. But his voting record tells a different tale. He had no problem voting FOR the the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” but now claims that it’s a state’s issue. Ron Paul also co-sponsored the Marriage Protection Act, which would have barred federal judges from hearing cases pertaining to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. The man’s voting record is pretty clear. Ron Paul is no friend to gay people, or anyone else who doesn’t fit into his conception of what is acceptable. He just doesn’t want to admit it.
You’ll note that he has less of a problem telling others what to do when it comes to his Pro Life platform, though.
For a man who claims to be a proponent of freedom, he would like to tell a woman what she must do with her own body, what pains and responsibilities she must carry. There’s a LITTLE more room for such things in the status quo, but within the world that Ron Paul says he would like, there would be NO support for a pregnant mother from the government, and yet that same government would demand that she carry an embryo full term, care for that fetus in her own body, bear the sore body, the nutritional requirements, the safety requirements, etc. and then be put through the rigors of either raising a child for the next 18 years, or the emotional pain and distress of adopting that child and always wondering what happened to him/her. The final hole in his position is that he would trust the woman to do all of that responsibly, REQUIRE that she do so, and yet he would not trust her to make up her own mind as to whether or not she’s up to doing so. All of this, in a world already overrun by 7 BILLION people… because Ron Paul would force his religious beliefs upon us all. To go all the way into this is a huge topic in and of itself, but suffice it to say that for every happy ending, there are thousands of children raised unwanted, feeling the sting and suffering from the resentment of being unwanted. That is no way for a child to grow up. Yes, Dr. Paul, there are quality of life issues far more important than the existence of it… and the choice simply should not be yours to make OR impose upon others.
Ron Paul doesn’t really believe in that States’ Issue line. He’s smart enough to realize that it would never happen here, and that if it did it would be entirely dysfunctional. He’s luring voters in on a false notion, with false hopes that he, as president, would be entirely unable to deliver. But it SOUNDS good to a people who are feeling overwhelmed by complex government.
Initially, the libertarian perspective that Ron Paul claims to offer sounds inviting. He says he doesn’t want people to pay taxes, wants no overbearing federal government, no war on drugs, no wars abroad. But in truth, he’s not advocating any of that. Despite claims to the contrary, Dr. Paul voted to authorize George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. But it’s not just that he’s playing both sides. He’s dodging the hard questions by pushing it all to the States, who will allow THEIR majority rule to impose the very same things on everyone.
Is state rule even an actual majority? Likely, not. The ones to make the rules will be those who have the time to invest in lobbying (at a state level), and those politicians who have squeezed their way into office. There, at a state level, the EXACT same thing will happen that is already objectionable now — except without the benefit of the federal government stepping in when the States are out of line or get heavy-handed. What then?
Under Ron Paul’s “States’ Issue” philosophy, if you don’t like the way a state’s laws are, you can TRY to change them. Or you can move, and HOPE to find a state where the laws are more favorable to the way you want to live. That may prove slow and costly, if it’s possible at all — especially if you own your home. Now let’s see how it works in practice. In practice, let’s say you want to stop slavery, because you see it to be morally wrong to own a person. You may be able to do so there in Illinois. But in Georgia, they don’t want to stop slavery. So in Georgia, if you’re black, you’re chattel. How does that happen? Because that’s the way the state wrote their rules! Think it can’t happen that way? Think again. There are copious volumes of laws at a state, county or local level which are blatantly unconstitutional… and still being enforced every day. If you think the US Supreme Court is overrun with cases now, just imagine if the States could legislate away rights all they want.
Then there’s the whole Evolution thing.
Ron Paul has gone on record as not believing in the theory of Evolution. How this man was able to become a physician and still impose his religious beliefs on science is beyond me. Had he acknowledged that his Creator could use Evolution as a means of creation, that might have made a bit of sense. But to claim that Evolution is invalid in the face of evolution itself happening all around us? The man is simply too inflexible in his beliefs to acknowledge the proof that’s right before his eyes… and that makes him a dangerous choice.
Ron Paul, Racist?
Not so certain on this one… but it isn’t looking good. His newsletters came out with decidedly racist comments, and they were written in the voice of someone claiming to be him, in the same small town where he lives. But now Ron Paul is denying that he wrote them, and says he doesn’t know who did. And that bothers me. We’ve already seen him to conveniently edit out his homophobic slurs, so we know he’s prone to doing so. More importantly, though, if he can’t manage to control his own newsletters and what is put out in them, is this really the man we want running our country? I can hear it now: I don’t know who did that, but it wasn’t me! Yeah, right, Dr. Paul.
My Personal Take
So far, it’s been the facts. Now I’d like to editorialize a moment. A flat tax is a good idea. The rich paying the same PERCENTAGE of tax is only fair. But no taxes at all, that’s simply not reality. As President Obama said in last night’s State of the Union address, the government should be there to provide that which the government can do better than private industry. What sorts of things? Roads, for starters. Libertarian roads would be a nightmare. I’ve seen what that looks like in Africa. No thank you. Lots of other things. Water delivery and sewerage systems, for example. Do you REALLY want a lack of standards on that? (But of course that wouldn’t actually happen. The states would put their own in place, as they do now. But there wouldn’t be any oversight, any Clean Water Act to keep a greedy industrial state from dumping toxic and lethal waste and byproducts into the water table, the rivers, the oceans, no Clean Air Act to keep the skies cleaner…
These are only points, though. The overall point is that we are now a nation of 312 MILLION people, on a planet of 7 BILLION people. We’re no longer 13 colonies with a population in the thousands. It’s simply a complicated matter to have that many people living together and have them do so harmoniously. Ron Paul wants to make it seem like it would be so simple… but once you get to the point of allowing the Tyranny of the Masses, it wouldn’t be simple any more. Not at all.
Reciprocity won’t address the issues either. If you’re free to grow and smoke your own MJ in your house or yard, that doesn’t mean the next county over won’t decide it is illegal, and arrest you for the smoke on your clothing. Think it can’t happen? In New Orleans, you can go into a drive-through and get a quart of margarita, alcohol and all. You can sip or chug away while driving. But the very next parish (county) over is Dry, no alcohol sold or allowed. They don’t want all that amoral, lawless, godless partying going on in THEIR back yards, no sir-ee, Bob!
In short, Ron Paul’s lying to you. He’s promising what he can’t deliver, and sidestepping the very real issues that affect millions of Americans every day, by summoning up the imaginary notion of it being a States’ Issue. There are definitely plenty of problems in this country, things we need to fix and change. But those changes won’t come by waving Ron Paul’s magic “States’ Issue” wand. They’ll come from a lot of hard work and coming together for our common goals, as we have done throughout the history of this nation. There’s ample room for freedom in the system as it is now — far more than if you had to fight for your civil rights 50 times instead of once. Don’t drink the Ron Paul Kool-Aid.