There's something about this Ron Paul guy.
And I'm not just talking about the fact that he is currently third in raising funds. I'm not just talking about the fact that he wins straw polls left and right, often by a huge margin. (81% in my home state of Alabama (2nd place was 5%), and 28% in my current state of Maryland (2nd place was 24%), to name just two examples).
I guess what I'm talking about is the fact that his message seems to resonate with so many people.
Let me say up front that I am a Mike Gravel supporter. But I want to give an honest rundown of Ron Paul, so that everyone can see what I see whenever I hear about him, which seems to happen more and more often lately.
The one thing that shines through about Ron Paul is his sincerity. He has very strong opinions, and his votes on the hill never deviate from them. One thing that he is very strong about is his absolute refusal to vote on any measure that he believes the constitution does not authorize the congress to oversee, even if he is in fact in favor of hatever that measure is trying to address. The man is a constitutionalist, through and through, and he has stood up against special interests and lobbyists of all kinds throughout his tenure. In fact, it is so well known that he remains true to his core beliefs that few lobbyists even bothered to try with him, at least up until his presidential campaign got up to speed.
Many times, looking at congressional voting records is difficult, as there are almost always extenuating circumstances with different bills. But not so with Ron Paul; his voting record is clean as the driven snow.
He has NEVER:
- voted to raise taxes
- voted for a budget that wasn't balanced
- voted to raise congressional pay
- voted for a bill that he believed was contrary to the constution, including any and all bills restricting gun ownership of any kind, and any bill that would have granted the executive power additional powers
- In addition, he voted against the Patriot Act.
- He voted against regulating the internet.
- He voted against the Iraq war.
Furthermore, he is one of the most active congressmen I've ever seen. When compared to any other single member of congress, he has introduced the most pieces of legislation, though to be honest, not many are able to get through, due to his unwillingness to work 'behind the scenes' and participate in quid pro quo policies.
In short, Ron Paul is honest, decent, and truthfully believes in his convictions. It is rare to see such a person running for President. It is even rarer to see them actually starting to do really well, as Dr. Paul is.
His foriegn policy is very similar to Mike Gravel's. He wants to pull our troops out, not just from Iraq, but from most everywhere else, too. To quote Mike Gravel on a point that Ron Paul agreed with: "Policing the world is just their way of enforcing our American empire."
Ron Paul's ideas on free trade are quite confusing. He is libertarian, yet... Ron Paul believes that free trade deals and world governmental trade organizations like ICC, NAFTA, GATT, WTO, and CAFTA are bad for our nation. To quote Dr. Paul: "We must withdraw from any organizations and trade deals that infringe upon the freedom and independence of the United States of America."
Ron Paul also strongly believes in privacy, even though he does not agree that constitution has a privacy clause in it. He's against a national ID card, against the use of a social security number in the private sector (he wants it to be gov't only), against letting medical insurance companies see your medical info, against the current US law that notifies the US gov't wheneveryou deposit $10k or more into a bank, etc.
He is also strongly against birthright citizenship. "As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong." And Dr. Paul believes that removing incentives is the only way to properly enforce laws.
He is for what he calls 'health freedom', which he describes is your ability to take care ofyour health the way you best see fit. This includes a move against the FDA, possibly to the point of shutting them down, and an opposition of any bill that would require US citizens to be immunized from any disease, such as the recent HR 5005 that authorized the forced vaccination of American citizens against small pox.
He is very strongly pro-life, as he was a practicing medical doctor for many years, and delivered many babies himself.
He is even more stringently against taxation, wanting to minimize taxes to the extreme. He wants to abolish the IRS and replace it with NOTHING. He points out that the loss of income tax will bring our national income level to about where it was in 2000. He thinks that cutting spending to that level shouldn't be that difficult. He also wants to start backing every dollar with something physical, so that the US gov't has to stop taking loans out by printing more money. He is an extreme fiscal conservative.
He wants to eliminate social security for all younger people, and yet still pay out top dollar to those depending on it, as well as actually increasing what they receive, because he believes that all taxes on social security income should be immediately repealed. This would be paid for by reducing the military.
I could go on and on. But you get the idea. His issues are pretty straightforward, and he believes in them all fairly strongly.
There are a number of things that I disagree with. But the weird part is... If he were president, most of this stuff he'd never be able to implement. And the stuff that he would be able to implement is stuff I basically agree with.
So, in a weird way, I almost wouldn't mind if he were president.
Please don't get me wrong; I support Mike Gravel. And I think removing the FDA is just as ludicrous as his consistent voting record to allow citizens to legally handle submachine guns. But I have to hand to it to him that at least he's consistent. And when you think about it, only congress has the authority to deal with gun legislation. Only congress has the authority to deal with birthright citizenship. Only congress has the authority to back the dollar. And since Ron Paul is so sincere, I cannot imagine that he would use the executive branch to subvert his own ideals in order to bring those policies into place. No, if he were president, these insane ideas that I wholeheartedly think are stupid would never come into play at all.
On the other hand, everything that I do agree with is stuff that he would then have authority to start realizing: foreign policy, trade agreements, int'l organizations, etc. The only thing, in fact, that he would have power over that I don't immediately like is the possibility of his appointing new supreme court justices. But Ron Paul seems so honest... I can't imagine him appointing anyone that wasn't a strict conservative constitutionalist. And those types of people would never repeal earlier decisions by their own court without overriding need, and so they would not vote to overturn Roe v Wade, for example.
So with Mike Gravel getting beaten back left and right, and with Dennis Kucinich saying incredibly stupid things like "I saw a UFO" on live national television, I'm really starting to think hard about Ron Paul.
And I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet.
Thanks for the great post about Dr. Paul. I have a lot of respect for Mike Gravel as well, and I commend you for supporting him. If you ever decide to change your mind, there is always room in the Ron Paul camp for another intelligent American patriot! (as opposed to what passes for intelligence & patriotism on F*x News and some other outlets...) (^_^)ReplyDelete
Hello Mr. Herboso. I enjoy your post. You give Dr. Paul more respect than most Republicans.ReplyDelete
In regards to Paul's positions, he says most of the things he believes (like dismantling Medicare and Medicaid) are philosophically and theoretically based. He knows that to put personal responsibility back to the people requires a paradigm shift in people as a whole. He would like to do away with a lot of the bureaucracy but knows there needs to be a transition period and it can't happen overnight, if at all.
I agree wholeheartedly in your support of Mike Gravel...but as you seem to notice, as we get closer to elections, it seems only Paul is making any headways into the political arena. I don't like the "He has no chance" mantra that is frequently touted, whether it be concerning Gravel or Paul. But it seems like two chances to pick an honest president--Gravel or Paul (well Kucinich as well)--and it seems Paul is coming out on top. I hope you make the best decision. If it's either for Gravel or Paul, correct!
Thanks for this fair review of Ron Paul. I have a lot of respect for Mike Gravel (and a good amount for Kucinich too). They are the only candidates in this race really speaking truth to power. I decided about 5 months ago to throw my support behind Ron Paul. The reason is simple ~ I believe in freedom. Freedom is not just about personal matters like sex and religion. Freedom is also about our rights as individuals to keep what we create. There is a strong case for charity in the world, but I don't think that charity should be left to the government.ReplyDelete
I still have some issues with Ron Paul. The first was that "R" next to his name. I live in a closed primary state and registering as a Republican was the last thing I would have expected myself to do. I held my nose and got over it.
I believe that people should vote for the candidate that best represents their beliefs. Some people gave Ron Paul a rats chance in this campaign just a few months back. But times are changing. We are now third in money and the campaign is growing geometrically.
If Mike Gravel ends up dropping out, I think you could find a welcome place here in the Ron Paul Revolution.
If Gravel does indeed drop out, you're welcome in Pauldom. Honestly, even though I am a very non-liberal sort of person (differing from you greatly on your gun control position, maybe on health care perhaps) I'd just welcome a rising tide of HONEST disagreement and real debate on these fundamental issues rather than the race to an authoritarian middle that seems to be our destiny with the "typical" candidates in the crop. So you're wrong on gun control ;) at least you see that Ron is ultimately a good person who wants to do right by this country for the right reasons. The same could be said of few in the race in my opinion. They are far too tainted by the grease of the machine we've let them build over the years with our apathy.ReplyDelete
Anyway, I'll stop rambling. Good post. I appreciate your statement.
Regarding NAFTA, WTO, CAFTA and Ron Paul's position on them.ReplyDelete
Ron Paul is pro-Free Trade. He thinks it is in our economic interest to do so.
His writings on the subject however open up a whole other can of worms that does not get discussed in regards to WTO, CAFTA, NAFTA.
Excerpts from these Ron Paul articles:
The World Trade Organization Barrier to Free Trade
Belonging to the WTO undermines national sovereignty. An encouraging sign is that those on the left, who frequently champion international causes, are becoming more aware of the shortcomings of organizations like the World Trade Organization when it undermines domestic laws, such as those protecting health, workers, environment, and consumers. The argument that membership in the World Trade Organization does not undermine national sovereignty is not supported by the facts. The CRS report on the World Trade Organization (August 25, 1999) is explicit in its explanation: "As a member of the WTO, the United States does commit to act in accordance with the rules of the multi-lateral body. It is legally obligated to insure national laws do not conflict with WTO rules."
CAFTA: More Bureaucracy, Less Free Trade
"I oppose CAFTA for a very simple reason: it is unconstitutional. The Constitution clearly grants Congress alone the authority to regulate international trade. The plain text of Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 is incontrovertible. Neither Congress nor the President can give this authority away by treaty, any more than they can repeal the First Amendment by treaty. This fundamental point, based on the plain meaning of the Constitution, cannot be overstated. Every member of Congress who votes for CAFTA is voting to abdicate power to an international body in direct violation of the Constitution. "
"It is absurd to believe that CAFTA and other trade agreements do not diminish American sovereignty. When we grant quasi-governmental international bodies the power to make decisions about American trade rules, we lose sovereignty plain and simple. I can assure you first hand that Congress has changed American tax laws for the sole reason that the World Trade Organization decided our rules unfairly impacted the European Union. Hundreds of tax bills languish in the House Ways and Means committee, while the one bill drafted strictly to satisfy the WTO was brought to the floor and passed with great urgency last year. "
WHAT IS FREE TRADE?
"We literally encourage the exportation of jobs by providing overseas protection in insurance that cannot be bought in the private sector. Here a company in the United States goes overseas for cheap labor, and if, for political or economic reasons, they go bust, who bails them out. It is the American taxpayer, once again, the people who are struggling and have to compete with the free trade. "
It is nice to hear an actual intellectual response about Ron Paul from someone who does not (yet?) support him. I think we will find more and more people feel this way about Dr. Paul and will come to realize he is our best option. When you are fully ready, we will welcome you to the revolution! Mike Gravel, like Ron Paul, is a nice change of pace when it comes to politicians. Honesty is so rare in this arena, kinda sad how bad it is...ReplyDelete
Wow, you are pretty informed about the issues and Ron Paul. I have to disagree about something (among other things):ReplyDelete
"I could go on and on. But you get the idea. His issues are pretty straightforward, and he believes in them all fairly strongly."
His issues are straightforward but not to an average voter with no background in the Constitution and other things. I wish people would stop caring about superficial issues like gender, race, and UFO sightings and focus on the issues and why they are correct or incorrect.
Let me clarify a few more things:
-Ron Paul is not against free trade. He is against government-managed trade which deals like NAFTA are. Much like how he is for diplomacy but wants to withdraw from the UN.
-I thought that privacy was implicitly defined in the fourth amendment?
-Removing the FDA would not be as bad as you think. Companies would not put out a drug without testing it themselves, because if something bad happens, then they lose their reputation and can be sued for millions in punitive damages. The FDA also prevents potentially life-saving drugs to be used on terminally-ill patients who have nothing to lose.
-The right to bear arms is specifically mentioned in the Constitution in order to allow citizens to take charge should a tyrannical government arise. If you have noticed, some of the most brutal regimes stop private gun ownerships. Also, a study was done which showed that not a SINGLE gun law has reduced gun crime.
-The weakening dollar is due o the Federal reserve printing money out of thin air. This system also allows the US to go to war with money it doesn't have. You wouldn't accept bountiful sand as currency, why would you accept bountiful cotton paper unless it represented something valuable?
In regard to privacy, I'd like to quote the fourth amendment:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
In a way, yes, this protects privacy. But not explicitly. I might also argue that it protects the right of abstract buildings to not be trod by gov't employees. You might say this is an absurb interpretation, but it makes about as much sense as saying that is an implicit defense of privacy.
The problem with law is that you have to be very specific, or else end up accomplishing nothing at all. Some judges think the ninth amendment grants privacy rights, but to my mind, that just means they're grasping at straws. Privacy is not protected in the constitution, even though if it were written today, it would surely include that term.
The problem is there is a distinct difference between what is RIGHT, such as protection of privacy, and what an outdated document like the constitution actually says. I agree with Dr. Paul that privacy is not in the constitution, and I also agree with Dr. Paul that privacy is an important thing to fight for.
Your comments on the FDA make sense in theory, but in actuality I believe that you are mistaken. Even today, medical mega corporations test their products in the most unethical of ways, and they try their best to get away with as little testing as is mandated, to the point where when they put out a product for malaria, for example, it undergoes almost no testing, since the majority of the users of the product are in a third world country; whereas viagra testing, as I understand it, went through extensive trials, since it was made available to people in the states.
I, for one, do not trust major medical research groups without some sort of oversight.
If we take the constitution literally on the requirement to allow citizens to bear arms for the reason that was originally intended, then the citizenry should be allowed access to whatever the military has access to. If the point is to protect ourselves from a military uprising, as was the initial intent of the amendment, then we should be allowed to bear arms such as scud missiles, rocket launchers, and nuclear devices.
As such, it is quite obvious to me that we cannot follow the original intent in any way, and so would do best to repeal it.
That said, I am unsure as to what level of weaponry should be allowed legislatively to be in place; I just don't think it should be a constitutional issue any longer.
As for studies on gun crimes, I only know what I have seen, and that is that the United States consistently has extreme levels of crime while countries like Finland and Japan have far lower. And only in America is the idea of bearing arms such an important issue.
As for backing the US dollar... I don't accept rocks as being valuable either, yet the gold standard seems to be what Dr. Paul is looking toward. The only things of value are what we determine ourselves to be valuable. So why not keep it at the abstract level?
To be sure, I don't like the idea that the gov't can just print money in order to take out a loan. But so long as it truly intends to pay it back, then there is no long term negative effect. The problem is not that the US dollar isn't backed by something physical; the problem is no one is paying down the national debt as they should.
At least that's my two cents.
I know what you mean about wrapping one's head around the idea of backing a republican. I never thought I'd even consider it. But when you back a candidate, you're backing a man, not some organization that's so large that dischord occurs even within its ranks.
I definitely hear you, and I'm certainly thinking hard about Ron Paul.
To michael costello:ReplyDelete
I agree that HONEST disagreement and debate is exactly what we need. We need to talk about issues, instead of the incessant crap that goes on with most of the candidates.
That is very interesting. So he is pro-free trade, yet he objects to free trade agreements because he finds them to be unconstitutional. Now that is a position I can definitely respect.
Interestingly, I am very much against int'l free trade agreements, though I suppose it for very different reasons. (c: I'm one of those bleeding heart liberals that doesn't like how free trade is hurting the economies of the world as a whole.
I appreciate your fair treatment of Ron Paul, and I'd like to add a couple of comments:ReplyDelete
The Constitution is a document that limits the power of the Federal Government. It is NOT a document that grants rights to individuals; individuals have inherent rights. The fear that enumerating rights would lead people to feel that those were the only rights they had led Hamilton & Madison to oppose the Anti Federalists' attempts to create a Bill of Rights. The compromise that allowed a BoR into the Constitution -- and therefore allowed ratification of the Constitution -- was the Ninth Amendment. The Ninth Amendment states "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. [emphasis mine]" I don't know that Ron Paul thinks there's not a right to privacy, he just believes the Tenth Amendment's grant of powers to states trumps it. Although I'm an avid Ron Paul supporter, I disagree with him on that issue. However, if we ever get to the place where that argument even matters, I think it's a big win.
The second point I'd like to make is that the "lefties" have contributed to situations like we have now in Iraq by systematically destroying the Constitution's restrictions on government when it suited them. The FDA, for instance, is an unconstitutional institution. There is nothing in the Constitution that grants the Federal Government dominion over the drugs we take. When you participate in systematically destroying the infrastructure that restrains government power, you can't be shocked when the "other side" uses that to screw you in ways you didn't expect.
To save the United States, we all have to start respecting and obeying the Constitution.
I loved your post. As a local (Ellicott City), I am glad to see that someone else likes Ron Paul for what he would do for the country during his term. So many people worry about him abolishing all of these agencies and government entities, but he is a firm supporter of the fact that the President of the United States doesn't have the single-handed power to do that! Because he respects the founders, he is the prime candidate whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. We don't need a Republican or a Democrat in the White House - we need a sensible, steady, reliable human being - something we haven't had for quite a while.ReplyDelete
Thanks again for considering Dr. Paul. I hope to see you at the GOP Primary!
"Your comments on the FDA make sense in theory, but in actuality I believe that you are mistaken. Even today, medical mega corporations test their products in the most unethical of ways, and they try their best to get away with as little testing as is mandated, to the point where when they put out a product for malaria, for example, it undergoes almost no testing, since the majority of the users of the product are in a third world country; whereas viagra testing, as I understand it, went through extensive trials, since it was made available to people in the states.ReplyDelete
I, for one, do not trust major medical research groups without some sort of oversight."
You and Ron Paul are idiots for arguing for NO oversight.
Gold is deemed valuable for its relative rarity and properties. Cotton is very easy and cheap to mass produce.ReplyDelete
We don't have enough Gold in the world *by far* to satisfy the need for currency.ReplyDelete
It's a shitty idea sponsored by crazy people.
You don't seem to understand how it works. What's crazy is that I print a piece of paper and you accept it as if it has any value. If gold was abundant, then it wouldn't be so valuable now would it?ReplyDelete
Gold's price is set depending on its rarity and demand for it. We could use carrots as the basis for money, but they rot easily. Gold is easily transformable, easily verified, easily traded, which is why it became the backing for the money.ReplyDelete
I have nothing against using anything else than gold, but you need to understand money must be based on true assets, not fiat. The power to print money at will is the root of all evil in this country.
"We don't have enough Gold in the world *by far* to satisfy the need for currency."ReplyDelete
Erm...there is *some* gold in the world - you agree with that? That's all you need. Any amount is enough.
"As for backing the US dollar... I don't accept rocks as being valuable either, yet the gold standard seems to be what Dr. Paul is looking toward. The only things of value are what we determine ourselves to be valuable. So why not keep it at the abstract level?"ReplyDelete
If you accept that "the only things of value are what we determine ourselves to be valuable", you're half way there. Now read this: http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/moneyvalue.html
"I am unsure as to what level of weaponry should be allowed legislatively to be in place; I just don't think it should be a constitutional issue any longer."ReplyDelete
Just try doing anything to the 2nd amendment... lol
Crime rates are higher in states where guns are more controlled. And the reason there is so much violent crime is because of the war on drugs.
"I, for one, do not trust major medical research groups without some sort of oversight."ReplyDelete
You are WRONG. We are arguing for private third-party oversight and testing. Like Underwriter's Laboratory, a private firm that tests electric and electronic consumer products. UL is a lot less corrupt and bureaucratic than the FDA, and is a lot more reliable, because it's private.
You would need billions of dollars and 10 years to get a revolutionary cure for cancer passed through the FDA, how many people would be cured if not for the red tape?
The approval process makes it less profitable for big pharma to innovate and create new products, they mostly derive new products from their old so testing is easier. That's where the subsidies go.