The recent swell of support for US Presidential candidate Ron Paul is astounding. And I can see why: he’s anti-war, anti-torture, anti-taxes and anti-government-screwing-with-individuals. In other words, he’s not a sadistic, subhuman, nut-job radical like Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney. But when you probe a little deeper, and I just mean read the Wikipedia entry on his positions, you might be vexed. Here are 10 disturbing political positions of Ron Paul.
While I think most would agree that ignoring your county’s constitution like the Bush Administration is a bad idea, being a staunch constitutionalist is equally dangerous because the constitution is an historical document that gets out of date. Sensible countries rewrite their constitutions once in a while, but we all know the USA is not a sensible country. Doesn’t it seem reasonable that some things that made sense centuries ago might not make sense anymore?
For: Gun Ownership
The arguments for gun ownership are bogus. In the U.S., the second amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” For you gun-happy rednecks out there, I’ll try to put this simply: Since a well regulated Militia is no longer necessary for U.S. security, the right to bear arms must be re-evaluated. As for the “I have the right to defend my family argument,” has it occurred to anyone that if the bad guys think you have a gun, they’re a lot more likely to shoot you then if you they think you’re unarmed? Increasing the number of armed civilians does not act as a deterrent, it just escalates the cycle of violence. I dare you to show me just one scientific study that shows that having a gun will deter a crackhead from robbing you. There is just no evidence that people are safer in a gun-toting society, and it’s no good to point at safe gun-happy societies because that does not show causality.
Against: Federal Department of Education
I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but the US education system SUCKS. I don’t give a damn whether the constitution says education is a state matter, the system is broken and needs to be fixed. Education is a global concern so I don’t see why it can’t be addressed at the national level. While I agree that this No Child Left Behind thing is a joke, that’s no reason to scrap federal education programs.
Against: Separation of Church and State
Now this is just stupid. Tolerant Christian society is an oxymoron. Religions are intolerant by nature: they set out a bunch of rules, supposedly derived from God, and then do not tolerate violations. Besides, if the church is going to have some say in government, which church will it be? Catholic? Anglican? Methodist? Mormon? Quaker? How about all of the above? How the hell is that supposed to work? What about the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs? They have just as much right to vote and participate in the pseudodemocracy as the Christians? Why not throw in a few reps from the Church of Scientology? If Tom Cruise could speak in the senate at least the viewership might improve; we’ll just need to bring in a couch.
Religion has no place in politics. Religion plus politics equals the crusades, witch trials, persecution of minorities, subjugation of women and laws against blow jobs. Oh it all sounds good with all the talk of God loving you and a few days off for Christmas, but wait until you get a few laws against birth control, premarital sex and oral. Then see how you like.
For: Voluntary School Prayer
Ron Paul says if people want to pray in school, let them. That sounds good right? Wrong. Allowing prayer in school will quickly stigmatize anyone who does not pray when their classes do. This facilitates the brainwashing of children into a particular religion. If you inculturate a child into a religion before the child has fully developed critical thinking skills, freedom of religion (or freedom of thought for that matter) is impossible. This is precisely how Islamic terrorists are developed. I suppose you rednecks out there somehow figure that brainwashing children into Islam is bad, but brainwashing them into your religion is OK. Would it surprise you to learn that many Muslims think the same thing?
A libertarian (like Ron Paul) is someone who believes that everyone should be free to do as they please, as long as they don’t interfere with the rights of others. This has some cool consequences, like how corporations would not be permitted to pollute the air or neighboring properties. Unfortunately, Libertarians generally promote free market capitalism. A simple thought experiment shows why this is folly: the free market treats everyone fairly in the sense that everyone can bid their money, goods and services for the money goods and services of others, e.g., if you want police protection or medical care, you can pay for it. The problem is that not everyone can bid, particularly children and people who have not yet been born. Thus, under a free market structure, future generations are subjected to the myopic despotism of the current generation. Because the impacts of environmental destruction are long term, the people who will be most affected can’t bid (they’re children or not yet born), and environmental impacts are undervalued by the free market. The underlying assumptions of free market capitalism are quite obviously invalid.
For: Privatized (Free Market) Health Care
Privatizing healthcare is evil. Here’s just one reason: children born to rich parents get good care, and children born to poor parents get no care. Would anyone like to stand up and argue that the medical care provided to a sick child should be determined by the income of its parents? I didn’t think so.
Opposition to late term abortion I understand. Opposition to early abortion I do not. If life begins at the moment of conception, then practically every woman who is trying to conceive is a mass murderer because not all eggs attach. This doesn’t make sense. Why don’t people understand that when a woman doesn’t want a baby, there’s usually a damn good reason?
Pragmatically speaking, abortion is beneficial to society. Economist Stephen Levitt (author of Freakonomics) became famous for showing that the legalization of abortion caused the rapid decrease in crime in the US in the late 90s. Moreover, one of the greatest threats to the continuation of the human species is overpopulation, so a few less babies is probably a good thing.
For: Withdrawal from the United Nations
I cannot fathom why Ron Paul wants out of the UN. Someone please enlighten me so I can annihilate the argument.
For: Federal Regulation of Marriage
Why is it that Ron Paul wants to get rid of federal regulation of education, taxes and Homeland Security and just about everything else, but not marriage? Why is it that Ron Paul thinks people should be able to do what they like, unless they’re Gay? Same sex marriage does not interfere with anyone’s rights, so how in the hell can a self-confessed libertarian be against it? This doesn’t make any sense, unless Ron Paul is just anti-gay.
Come to think of it, I don’t think there’s anything in the U.S. constitution that denounces hate speech, Nazism, burning a cross on a black person’s lawn, bribing a judge or child pornography. Do you endorse these things Ron Paul? If not, why should we have laws about child porn but not prayer in schools? Child porn is a bad thing, but religious brainwashing of children leads to ethnocentrism, terrorism, global conflict, persecution of women and gays and countless murders. Not even child porn can compete with that for evil.
How do you make up your mind, Dr. Paul, when the constitution doesn’t comment? Can’t you see the terrible consequences of massive deregulation in a country full of radicals, rednecks, racists, right wing whackos, warmongers and Bill O’Reilly?
To all you Ron Paul supporters, are you sure this is where your country ought to go?