The Fatal Flaws in Ron Paul’s Radical Message
Every once in a while, a comment pops up from someone who stumbled across a blog I wrote weeks – or even months – ago, and I wish the person making the comment had joined the discussion earlier. One such comment has come from “Metatron.” It is a reasoned rebuttal of my claim that Dr. Paul’s libertarianism is a disguise, that he actually favors policies that would intrude in Americans’ lives and turn the clock back to the oppressive conditions of the Nineteenth Century.
(Interestingly, Metatron is listed in Wikipedia as: “an angel in Judaism and some branches of Christian mythology.”)
In the blog, I quoted the following excerpt from an article by Adele M. Stan:
He’s the anti-Civil-Rights-Act Republican. He’s an anti-reproductive-rights Republican. He’s a gay-demonizing Republican. He’s an anti-public education Republican and an anti-Social Security Republican. He’s the John Birch Society’s favorite congressman. And he’s a booster of the Constitution Party, which has a Christian Reconstructionist platform. So, if you’re a member of the anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-black, anti-senior-citizen, anti-equality, anti-education, pro-communist-witch-hunt wing of the progressive movement, I can see how he’d be your guy.
Metatron came to Dr. Paul’s defense, pointing out that:
We have relegated our sovereignty to a global banking elite that does not have the American people’s best interests in mind. If they did, they would have given all the money they did to the defaulting home-owners instead of international banks. It would have more directly solved the problem. Instead, they have sought to bolster the banks and consolidate the wealth of the working class in the process.
The fact is that the government isn’t very efficient at spending other people’s money. Were the cost-plus, no bid contracts handed out to Haliburten et al during the Irag war really the best way to spend our tax dollars?
The problem is Crony Capitalism and the corrupting influence of money in politics. Politicians are bought and paid for, and the media gets paid to tell the acceptable storyline. Sure there is room for a right vs. left bicker, but if the topic ever turns to something truly exposing, it is shunned, marginalized, discredited, twisted or outright hidden. That is what is happening to Dr. Paul now, and what your article helps facilitate.
Metatron indicts President Obama for filling his cabinet with “Wall St. and Monsanto execs.” And I have to concede that I wish the president had not called on the “expertise” of the same old boy network that I suspect of swindling America and the rest of the world. But in Obama’s defense, I suppose he needed their inside knowledge to keep things functioning at a time when the American economy was in free-fall.
Obviously, I agree with some of what Metatron has to say.
But even if I accept Dr. Paul as a libertarian, I could not support his candidacy.
Yes, we should bring the troops home. Yes, we should dismantle the banking and financial system – but carefully; the consequences could be catastrophic. Yes, the government bureaucracy is often incompetent, wasteful and overbearing.
But tearing down the federal government and letting the states run our lives would be a terrible mistake.
As a reporter, I have covered state and local politics for decades, and I found that the closer to home it is, the more corrupt politics becomes. At the local level, it’s basically you-scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours. And at the state level it’s often unabashed looting. Consider the Florida Legislature.
Human nature being the way it is, government must be removed as far as possible from the hurlyburly of daily life if we are to achieve any kind of justice in society. Without a strong federal government, America would have made little progress in civil rights, for example. The Ku Klux Klan might still be hanging black people from that mulberry tree less than 50 miles from my home in Florida.
Then there’s the confusion that would ensue if each of the 50 states had its own set of education, immigration and legal rules. (As well as health care and other social services).
With Americans free to move back and forth among the states, it just couldn’t work.
So why am I talking about Ron Paul when either Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich is considered most likely to become the Republican Party’s nominee for president?
Because he has a substantial and growing constituency. And with Romney and Gingrich to choose between, Republicans might want to take another look at the old warhorse.
In Salon today, Steve Kornacki writes:
Paul is generally faring better — much better, in some instances — in polls than he was in the 2008 cycle, running in the high single-digits nationally (better than Rick Perry) and emerging as a dark-horse contender to win Iowa, where a recent survey showed him bunched in what amounted to a four-way tie for the lead. And the center of the Republican Party has moved sharply to the right since 2008, toward the outsider-friendly anti-government purity that Paul embodies. Plus, the GOP race is unusually unsettled — the “inevitable” Mitt Romney can’t break 25 percent and Newt Gingrich, of all people, is now threatening to open up a wide lead nationally and in some of the early states — and delegate apportionment rules have been altered in a way that could stretch out the process.
Still, Kornacki finds that Dr. Paul isn’t likely to win the Republican nomination race. He concludes that:
Despite his clearly improved standing, the evidence remains strong that Paul is a uniquely unacceptable option for a wide swath of the Republican electorate — suggesting that he faces an impenetrable ceiling in his quest for the nomination.
But you never know.
With Mitt being branded everywhere as “unlikable” and Newt proposing to revoke child labor laws so that 9-year-olds could work as janitors in their schools, Ron Paul is looking more viable all the time.