What in hell are young people and so-called liberal Libertarians, aka Progressives, thinking about? Have they completely lost their minds? Or, have they stuck their heads up some orifice in a part of their anatomy a bit south of their waistlines?
So Ron Paul has a couple of talking points that appeal to you and me - legalizing weed, dismantling TSA, ending U.S. military involvement overseas, killing the Patriot Act - not that he would have the authority to actually do any of these things. But what about all his excess baggage - his racism, his anti-feminism, his disdain for the poor?
What about all those white supremacist followers who's ideas you supposedly shun? Groups like Stormfront and people like David Duke and other nationalistic racists. You really can judge a man by the company he keeps, and trust me, people like this aren't the least bit interested in keeping company with you. In other words, like the sheep on the right, you're being duped by Ron Paul and the likes of Glenn Greenwald. As soon as the election is over, you will be discarded. Why? Because, despite your momentary loss of sanity and your narcissism, your little hearts still beat with a semblance of compassion for your fellow man. These people have no compassion. None. Zero. Zilch.
I share the frustration, if not downright anger, writer and anti-racist activist Tim Wise expresses in his recent article for "mature audiences":
. . . to the so-called progressives who sing the praises of Ron Paul, all because of his views on domestic spying, bailouts for banksters, and military intervention abroad, the fact that 90 percent of his political platform is right-wing boilerplate about slashing taxes on the rich, slashing programs for the poor and working class, breaking unions, drilling for oil anywhere and everywhere, and privatizing everything from retirement programs to health care doesn’t matter: the fact that he’ll ostensibly legalize drugs is enough. And this is so, even though he has merely said he would leave drug laws up to the states. . . .
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I want those of you who are seriously singing Paul’s praises, while calling yourself progressive or left to ask what it signifies — not about Ron Paul, but about you — that you can look the rest of us in the eye, your political colleagues and allies, and say, in effect, “Well, he might be a little racist, but…
How do you think that sounds to black people, without whom no remotely progressive candidate stands a chance of winning shit in this country at a national level? How does it sound to them — a group that has been more loyal to progressive and left politics than any group in this country — when you praise a man who opposes probably the single most important piece of legislation ever passed in this country, and whose position on the right of businesses to discriminate, places him on the side of the segregated lunchcounter owners? And how do you think they take it that you praise this man, or possibly even support him for president, all so as to teach the black guy currently in the office a lesson for failing to live up to your expectations?
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My guess is that you don’t think about this at all. Because you don’t have to. One guess as to why not.
It’s the same reason you don’t have to think about how it sounds to most women — and damned near all progressive women — when you praise Paul openly despite his views on reproductive freedom, and even sexual harassment, which Paul has said should not even be an issue for the courts. He thinks women who are harassed on the job should just quit. In other words, “Yeah, he might be a little bit sexist, but…”
It’s the same reason you don’t have to really sweat the fact that he would love to cut important social programs for poor people. And you don’t have to worry about how it sounds to them that you would claim to be progressive, while encouraging support for a guy who would pull what minimal safety net still exists from under them, and leave it to private charities to fill the gap. And we all know why you don’t have to worry about it. Because you aren’t them. You aren’t the ones who would be affected. You’ll never be them. I doubt you even know anyone like that. People who are that poor don’t follow you on Twitter.
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In short, regardless of what Paul may believe on certain issues, and which may fall squarely in the orbit of that which is progressive or left, his hard-core acolytes (and the ones who would be empowered most by his success) are anything but that. They want the government to stop taking their tax dollars and “giving them” to Mexicans and blacks, or anyone of any race or ethnicity who in their mind isn’t smart enough or hard working enough to have their own private health care. They don’t want the government to help homeowners who got roped into predatory loans by banks and independent mortgage brokers: instead they blame the homeowners for not being savvy enough borrowers, or they blame government regulation for ostensibly “forcing” lenders to finance housing for minorities and poor people who didn’t deserve it.
And no, you can’t separate the man from his movement, so don’t even try.As Wise so wisely states, "judgement matters." Take the time to read the article in its entirety, including the section on your hero Glenn Greenwald. Hopefully you can still regain some of your lost sanity and get a reality check of your own since you seem so fond of pointing out the "reality" of everything under the sun. Protect yourself from having to look back 25 or ten or five years from now and exclaiming, "I regret supporting that lunatic more than anything I've ever done."
If Wise's article doesn't convince you, then take a look at Paul's voting record, especially his votes on abortion, agriculture, arts and humanities, campaign finance and elections, and - looking beyond the Patriot Act - his votes on civil liberties and civil rights, education, employment and affirmative action, energy, environment, and the list goes on and on. Study it. Put a little check mark besides the ones you agree with and a zero besides the ones you don't agree with. Then, compare the totals.
While you're doing some much needed homework, check out this article about what this libertarian utopia would look like, if Ron Paul were elected and followed through on his campaign promises. Read his comments on Social Security, etc., and those on returning campaign money to white supremacists and the Civil Rights Act. If they aren't enough to make you toss your cookies, take a look at some of his most memorable quotes.
Do yourself and all the rest of us a favor. Do your homework, look beyond the few talking points with which you agree and please remember Molly Ivins' famous words, "Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention."
FURTHER READING on Paul's writings which reveal conspiracy theories on slavery, Christmas and dietary supplements.
UPDATE -- 9/13/12: Ron Paul One Of The Most Corrupt Members Of Congress, Report Finds