If you read a few of the social bookmarking sites or pay attention to message boards and other similar venues, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that Ron Paul is, according to the internet, the most popular and best possible candidate for the president. The thing is, there is only one reason this is the case.
He is the only Republican against the war.
Democrats and Republicans have to fight different battles currently. The blue folk need to prove that they’re opposed to the war but will be responsible about how we get out of it, the red need to prove that they support the “War on Terror” but aren’t just blindly flailing around. With a generation on the internet who are sick of spineless Democrats who still won’t end the damn war despite having Congress and war-mongering Republicans, Paul seems to be a perfect choice with the anti-war ethos of the former and the balls of the latter.
Unfortunately, Paul suffers from a Giuliani-like flaw: take away his one issue and he’s pretty much done for. Aside from disagreeing with Bush’s foreign policy, he’s pretty much right on board with every GOP standby: keep God in school, get rid of welfare and social security, stop protecting workers and minorities. Paul isn’t a conservative, he’s a libertarian, which means he’s so far to the right he’s practically falling off the scale.
One of the most important websites on the internet is On The Issues. If you ever have any questions about any politician, they will answer them by showing that person’s comprehensive voting record and public statements on all topics. Their page on Ron Paul explains in fairly good detail why no one with a brain in their skull should ever seriously consider a vote for Ron Paul. I’ll pull out a few choice nuggets.
# Voted NO on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Jan 2007)
# Voted NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research. (May 2005)
# Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions. (Apr 2000)
# Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC. (Jul 1999)
# Voted YES on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions. (May 1998)
# Voted NO on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges. (Mar 2006)
# Voted YES on withdrawing from the WTO. (Jun 2000)
# Voted NO on requiring lobbyist disclosure of bundled donations. (May 2007)
# Voted NO on campaign finance reform banning soft-money contributions. (Feb 2002)
# Voted NO on banning soft money and issue ads. (Sep 1999)
# Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border. (Sep 2006)
# Voted NO on restricting employer interference in union organizing. (Mar 2007)
# Voted NO on increasing minimum wage to $7.25. (Jan 2007)
# Voted YES on making the Bush tax cuts permanent. (Apr 2002)
# Voted YES on eliminating the Estate Tax (“death tax”). (Apr 2001)
# Voted NO on establishing “network neutrality” (non-tiered Internet). (Jun 2006)
Now he’s not ALL bad. He voted against the PATRIOT Act, the anti-flag burning amendment, the gay marriage amendment, and in general votes along with me any time a “personal freedom” is at stake.
But that’s just the thing. Paul’s vision of a perfect America offers no balance between personal freedoms and governmental responsibility to aid in the welfare of its citizens. Any time an issue comes up where someone’s freedom to do whatever they bloody well please, Paul sides with them even when it’s to the detriment of the country at large. In Ron Paul’s America, the government will not help you, period.
In Ron Paul’s America, there will be no welfare and no social security, nor public health insurance. Thus, when local businesses are only offering 60 hour weeks at $2.50 an hour, the poor in the area either have to take that and enjoy the $150 a week they make prior to taxes and find a way to get that to stretch across keeping the kids healthy and fed and a house. Fortunately taxes are lower so more is kept, but that benefit is lost when you get ill and can’t work and are unable to both go to the hospital and get fixed up or survive while you wait to recover and get a new job.
Paul may be attractive to people who think Dems are too “wimpy” and want someone strongly anti-war, but a look through his platforms shows he’d be just plain dangerous unless both houses of Congress had a veto-proof Democratic majority. Don’t just go by the debates on Iraq or his more attractive positions like “lower taxes” without finding out how he’d lower those taxes.