The world is full of angry people who want to blow you up for no good reason. Haha, just kidding! This article is about Ron Paul.
I heard from a friend that I should look into the candidacy of Ron Paul. As it turns out, Ron Paul is insane. His platform is the most quixotic mess I?ve ever seen. A quick thirty minute jaunt around his website showed me why third party candidates never get elected.
Ron Paul is technically a Republican, but he?s a former Libertarian party presidential candidate, and much of his platform is recognizably Libertarian. Some of it though isn?t recognizably anything. He supports, among other things, the abandonment of the modern economy and a return to the gold standard; withdrawal from every international organization; increased border security in the form of some kind of physical barrier to discourage immigration; the relinquishing of all American military bases abroad; and the swearing of allegiance to Seamus a magic leprechaun.
OK, so that last one I made up, but this guy?s a complete nutter. Or... is he? Well, it?s complicated. When you first glance at his agenda, you get the idea that this man is an unhinged loon?a head-in-the-sand isolationist totally out of touch with historical and political reality; however, when you actually take the time to examine his justifications, you occasionally find yourself agreeing with them.
The main crux of Paul?s arguments stems from his deep commitment to upholding a fairly strict interpretation of the constitution and his belief in the sanctity of personal freedom. Tough to argue that either of those isn?t a noble idea.
For instance, Paul feels that we as a nation should totally withdraw from organizations such as the UN, NATO, NAFTA, and the WTO, just to name a few. This seems, on the face of it, crazy. Why in the world would we abandon all these institutions that we helped to create? Surely something as noble-minded as the United Nations can?t pose a threat to American liberty! Only... it can, and it does.
The argument goes something like this: you, as an American citizen, have certain rights. You, as a human being, have certain rights. Among the most basic of these rights is that you CANNOT be forced into service by a government you did not elect.
Imagine Luxembourg and Liechtenstein go to war. To do the fighting, they grab a bunch of kids from Plano, shove rifles in their hands and yell? I don?t know, something inflammatory and French. The idea of being sent to fight a war not sanctioned by a government you elected is called impressment, an idea Americans should find no less repugnant today than when we fought a war over nearly 200 years ago.
Another contentious issue Ron Paul takes on is abortion; he?s staunchly pro-life. He has no religious motivation whatsoever for believing that abortion is wrong. Rather, he views the issue entirely legalistically.
A child, in this case a fetus, is no less human than its parents, and therefore no less entitled to certain rights, among them the right to LIVE. In an abortion, the rights of the child are consigned to a place beneath those of the parent, essentially making the commitment to the latter?s convenience at the cost of the former?s existence. Whatever your religious feelings, this argument is difficult to ignore.
When it?s all said and done though there?s still some stuff that?s fairly inexplicable to me. The complete abandoning of our military presence abroad seems pretty whacky. Paul, no doubt addressing an frequent criticism of his position, stresses that we shouldn?t be ?isolationists? but instead use diplomacy and trade, rather than arms, to achieve our foreign aims. It sounds a bit too Neville Chamberlain for me, and while noble, utterly unrealistic.
While we?re on the issue of isolationism, Ron Paul doesn?t want us to withdraw from everything because it may ?threaten American sovereignty.? His stated reason for wanting to avoid foreign military entanglements is that we don?t have enough troops to guard our own country. I?ll say that again because this bears repeating. He thinks we need more troops at home guarding our country. Against what?!?! If we read further down his site we learn the answer: immigrants.
Ron Paul basically opposes immigration. Not just illegals crossing the border, or as part of a plan to help secure our ports against terrorists. The impression I got from his website is that he genuinely feels people just should not come here. Couple this xenophobia with his complete misunderstanding of a modern economy and it becomes really difficult to support him.
Nevertheless, his platform, while quirky, clearly isn?t just the raving of a mad man (a la Pat Buchanan). His positions are actually a thoughtful, systematic attempt to oppose what he views as threats to the sovereignty and freedom of the American public.
Ron Paul is, in his own enigmatic way, more committed to genuine freedom than any modern president, and for that, he shouldn?t be simply written off as a fringe candidate.