« Chris Dodd Thanks The Netroots | Main | Benny Lava (Updated) »


January 2, 2008

The Appeal of Ron Paul

-- by Dave Johnson

Insiders talk about Huckabee as the Frankenstein's monster the Republicans created with their strategy of stirring up religious strife. They worked so hard to divide us along religious lines to get votes - but then a candidate shows up who is an actual right-wing Christian, not just a vote-pandering corporatist, and they don’t know what to do about it. It’s fun, in a way, to watch the right's machine -- Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing blogs. etc. -- in total panic, trying to get their audience to pull back from voting the way they’ve been telling them to vote for so many years.

I think the DC Democratic leadership has made the same mistake with their cautious, pander-to-the-so-called-center strategy (as conservatives move that "center" ever rightward). Like the Republicans, they thought they owned their base. They paid lip service to get progressive votes but then engaged in the kind of strategerizing and "afraid Rush Limbaugh will say something bad about them" approach we have had to endure rather than just doing what is right. (The point being that Rush will say something bad about you anyway, no matter what you do.) They let the war go on, took impeachment "off the table," wouldn't force Republicans to actually filibuster (thereby requiring 60 Senate votes for Democratic interests but only 50 for Republican), let Bush continue to violate the law and Constitution with impunity - even refusing to enforce their own Congressional subpoenas! They think their “base” has to stick with them no matter what.

So then along comes Ron Paul. HE says the war is wrong and illegal and must be stopped. HE says we have to enforce the Constitution above all. And surprise of surprises, he is drawing support. A letter in Tuesday’s San Jose Mercury News illustrates my point:

Ron Paul stands up to examination
For the first time I can remember, we have a presidential candidate who is actually saying elected officials should keep their oaths and follow the Constitution. I was vacillating between choices, but after a closer look at Ron Paul, all doubts are put to bed. As commander in chief, he would end this financially ruinous war for the right reason: because it is illegal. He would also restore sound monetary policy and stop the "inflation tax" that nobody talks about. It is amazing how many of our problems would be mitigated if officials simply lived up to their oaths. For me, voting has always been selecting the best bad apple, but this is the first time I've actually been inspired. Google Ron Paul and be convinced.
Ron Paul is this year’s Howard Dean. You can’t go to a farmer’s market around here without encountering a Ron Paul volunteer. In their enthusiasm to help fix the country many new voters are being drawn into the Ron Paul sphere.

Bringing in new voters is always a good thing. And opposing illegal aggressive war. torture, and demanding that the Constitution and laws be followed are to be praised no matter who is doing it. Heck, listening to Paul talk about these things almost makes me want to support him!

But then these recruits are then subjected to the other side of the far-right libertarian agenda. First there is the lunatic "Secret NAFTA Superhighway" conspiracy stuff. It's a catchy phrase that seems to affect people's brains, but it doesn't mean anything. It's just nut stuff. People's understandable concerns about trade deals that practically require the destruction of jobs and the environment are used by Paul as a way to mainstream far-right "black helicopter" thinking.

Then comes a dose of really bad economics. There's the "get rid of the IRS" and gold-standard nonsense. And the talk that the Federal Reserve is some kind of secret internationalist cabal has a hint of the old-time antisemitism of those who say that Jews have a secret conspiracy to control all the money.

And I don't fault a candidate based on who supports him or her, but Ron Paul sure does have a lot of militia, white supremacist, etc. groups endorsing him. So I do have get a bit suspicious about where he is coming from.

Unfortunately he is also a possible Ralph Nader whose independent run could siphon off enough votes that would otherwise have gone to Democrats to throw the election to the right. Anti-war, pro-Constitution support draws votes away from the Democrats, not Republicans. That guarantees the war continues and the shredding of the Constitution is completed.

Posted by Dave Johnson at January 2, 2008 8:20 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.seeingtheforest.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-t.fcgi/3538

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Appeal of Ron Paul:

» I don’t get this whole Ron Paul thing from Syndicate and Hague
Ron Paul supporters frighten me. I keep reading things about his candidacy and his supporters and I just don’t understand how people can throw their support behind the man. From the Seeing the Forest blog: Ron Paul is this year’s Howard Dean. Y... [Read More]

Tracked on January 3, 2008 9:44 AM


Comments

Fess up Dave. You like Ron Paul! yay!!

Question: Can you put partisanship aside or not? Given the Democratic congress's record on Iraq since they took over, do you really want to support a candidate who comes from that group?

Paul does not want to see the erosion of US sovereignty to through an American Union, like the European Union. The NAFTA superhighway is just a concrete example of the implications of this trend. I'm personally ambivalent about his position on this.

He's a radical on civil liberties; so much so that he believes we all have a right to keep what we earn. Therefore, the income tax is a violation of our civil rights. Good stuff!

The Fed erodes the value of the dollar, which makes our citizens poorer. If you care about poverty, you should want the meager savings of the poor to hold their value. Also good stuff!

Finally, I hope he's not like Dean. Dean peaked too early and lost. Thankfully, Paul hasn't peaked yet. There's hope!!

Posted by: Jay Muntz [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 3, 2008 10:34 AM

"Given the Democratic congress's record on Iraq since they took over, do you really want to support a candidate who comes from that group?"

No. As a matter of fact I currently work for Bill Richardson.

I agree with you about NAFTA. It's just that this whole "NAFTA Superhighway" thing is nuts. They'rebuilding a highway. It isn't secret, and it isn't about NAFTA (except for the plan to use Mexican ports to get around American unions...)

As for this "right to keep what we earn" nonsense, We, the People have a right to tax ourselves to develop infrastructure (physical, legal and economic) that builds our prosperity.

It isn't the Fed that erodes the value of the dollar. It's borrowing. Supply and demand. We spread too much credit and too many dollars around they become worth less.

Have you seen the Where Does Money Come From?" series?


Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 3, 2008 11:10 AM

As a matter of fact I currently work for Bill Richardson

Fair enough. He's probably the most reasonable Democrat running.

On taxes, you are also correct. The income tax was unconstitutional until the 16th amendment was added to pay for WWI. Ron Paul asks "We The People" to repeal the 16th amendment. "We The People" can make mistakes sometimes, you know.

On the Fed, you're right that it is the borrowing. The problem is that the Fed is ultimately on the lending side of that borrowing. New money doesn't come into existence until the Fed lends it. In other words, it creates new money which dilutes every greenback in your pocket, leaving you poorer.

I think I've watched that film before. I believe they claimed that the Fed botched things when it caused the Great Depression. (maybe I'm thinking of something else) More reason to get rid of it. The housing bubble is also the result of mismanagement by the Fed.

Anyway, Ron Paul's proposal is that Gold and Silver be legal tender to compete directly with the dollar. You would then be able to open a bank account in gold if you wanted. You would not have to pay sales tax when you buy gold or pay capital gains tax when you sell it. This way, you could choose whether you trust the Fed to preserve the value of your savings or not. It would just give citizens a choice, which would be a nice thing.

I'm just glad the guy is there to spur discussion on these topics. I really hope he does well tonight!

Posted by: Jay Muntz [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 3, 2008 12:55 PM

Ron Paul has been running for years on the Libertarian ticket and getting nowhere. Now because he is running as a Republican the media is giving him air, and the old party Libertarians are out promoting him with more money than ever.

He is still the same scary fanatic he always was, emphasizing only the government actions Liberals hate (for good reasons)but would eliminate all other government activities as well, giving that power over to anyone that could rip off or bully, with no recourse whatever, much as Bush has already done in any case.

Posted by: FreeDem [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2008 7:32 PM

Ron Paul has been running for years on the Libertarian ticket and getting nowhere. Now because he is running as a Republican the media is giving him air, and the old party Libertarians are out promoting him with more money than ever.

He is still the same scary fanatic he always was, emphasizing only the government actions Liberals hate (for good reasons)but would eliminate all other government activities as well, giving that power over to anyone that could rip off or bully, with no recourse whatever, much as Bush has already done in any case.

Posted by: FreeDem [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2008 7:39 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?



Email this entry to:


Your email address:


Message (optional):


Return to main page