Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ron Paul in 2008

Have you started thinking about next year's presidential election? I hadn't, but then my friend Carolyn blogged about her support for Ron Paul, a candidate I'd never even heard of. Carolyn & I have fairly similar political leanings, so I went to his website to see what his views were.

He's a Republican. I live in Los Angeles. I know how unpopular the Republican party is in liberal L.A. However, don't dismiss him just because he's a Republican. He is a candidate that advocates smaller government, lower taxes, immediate withdrawal from Iraq and personal freedom.

I encourage you to check out his website that lays out his stances on all the major issues to see if he is the candidate for you!! He is incredibly popular on the internet and has many, many videos on YouTube.com. I've never been very involved in politics, but when I found out about him, I joined my local MeetUp group and plan on helping them get the word out in 2008! I also plan on donating to his campaign, something I've never done before. Not being one of the "top" candidates, he needs support to garner coverage in the main media.

Here's one of the popular videos of him on YouTube:


Anonymous said...

Understand he's VERY committed to smaller government: "He would eliminate most federal government agencies as "unnecessary bureaucracies", such as the U.S. Department of Education[22], the U.S. Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Internal Revenue Service[19]. Paul would severely reduce the role of the CIA; reducing its functions to intelligence-gathering."

He also advocates not only lower taxes, but nearly no taxes at all. He basically wants to return the Federal government to a state that existed in the late 1790's. If that's what you want, more power to you - but be sure to fully understand who you are supporting.


Aaron said...

I'm not gonna bash your guy, because I think it's important for people to get politically involved. But there are some red flags about Ron Paul that you might not have heard. He gets a lot of (positive) attention due to his war stance, which I think is great. More public figures should be like Paul, candid about the horrible mistakes made and the need to end the wars quickly.

He wrote some vaguely racist things in the 80's and 90's (you can Google it, but for example: "Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions.") Of course he has apologized for those and it's quite dated, but it may be an insight into his thinking.

He's essentially a Libertarian running as a Republican - when he says "smaller government" he really means "no government except to defend the borders."

I think he's the Nader of the right. He has a small core of loyal followers, he consistently polls at 1 or 2%, even among people who are familiar with him. He'll drain a small part of the vote, get some media attention on his most vocal issues (which is currently, I think, the most valuable contribution of minor candidates who don't continue past the primaries), and stand less than a snowball's chance of being nominated or elected.

And by all means, go to the Meetup and let us know how it goes. from my limited experience, Ron Paul supporters have a tendency to be....passionate. And....excited, and....defensively loyal. (Please don't tell them where I live.)

swaits said...

Don't forget, Ron Paul *has* to win the Republican nomination. He's said the won't run as an independent - and he's been a man of his word for a long time.

Anyway, to vote in his primary, in California anyway, you MUST be registered Republican. Oddly, Independents are allowed to vote in the Democratic primary. Whatever.

So, this takes all of about 5 minutes of your time. Google "california voter registration" and fill out the form online. The state will basically print the form for you and mail it to you. Then you add a few more details, sign it, and send it back. A few weeks later you get your new registration card.

The kicker is YOU NEED TO DO THIS TODAY if you want to vote in the primary!!! CA votes on Super-Duper-Tuesday this year which is getting close.

Yes, I'm a Californian, and I'm all registered up and ready to go.

Thanks for helping spread the good word about Dr. Paul. He's our only hope!

Stephanie said...

Yes, I know he's for MUCH smaller government, which doesn't really concern me. Just the opposite, I think it'd be a nice change. I suspect that if it wasn't working, it'd change, but the idea of not having the government being a caretaker to the American population and forcing people to take care of themselves is very appealing to me. I think too many people rely on the government and aren't responsible for themselves!

Yeah, I know he's a Libertarian in Republican's clothing! That's why I like him. And why I need to change my party affiliation before the primary from Libertarian to Republican, so I can vote for him in the primaries. I don't think he really has a chance, but I'm hoping the attention will generate more interest in him perhaps for the next election. Or maybe show the people who do get elected that there are people out there who want something different and they're willing to "throw away a vote" to let that be known.

As for the racist stuff, people say stupid stuff. I've also heard that he's taken donations from racist/white supremacist groups, but without doing any research to support this, my guess is that all political candidates take donations from various questionable groups. Money is money, especially in politics.

I was talking to a friend about this last night. I think the thing I like most about Ron Paul is that he comes across as very sincere and like he's really telling you what he believes. I am a big fan of directness and I feel like I'm getting that from him!

Giles said...

Ironically, in the short time we (Stephanie and I anyway) have been alive, the Republican party has gone from being the party of small government and fiscal responsibility to being the party of nation building and deficit spending. (They've been the party of "sticking their nose in other people's bedrooms" almost since inception.)

Now the Republican Party is characterized mostly by its leadership deficit, though Ron Paul would probably have been quite at home once, say in the days before Nixon - which is probably when he joined. . .

The fact that Ron Paul is running as a Republican (after an unsuccessful bid as a Libertarian in 1988) is a dramatization of the flaws and insanity in our two-party sporting events, which unfortunately also masquerade as our means to make public policy. He's probably the only "major party" candidate I could stomach voting for, but that's because he's not really a major party candidate. Those are chosen for their capacity to annoy the opposing team rather than their capacity to lead.

Anonymous said...

Wants to withdraw from the UN, opposes all contraception, wants to return to the gold standard, wants guns in schools, wants to eliminate social security and the minimum wage, eliminate labor unions....republican, democrat, libertarian, martian - the guy scares me. If he's the best a "third-party" can come up with, I can see why we only have 2...

Other than that, he seems OK - a little too isolationist in foreign policy, but that'd be an improvement from the current regime's view.

Giles said...

Sure, he has his share of crazy ideas, they're why you don't find me on his campaign donor list. However, I'm less scared of his crazy ideas than those of his compatriots. Perhaps that's only because I know his crazier ideas aren't likely to be implemented by our shared-power government no matter what office he holds - or perhaps I suspect he overstates a few of his positions for emphasis, but for comparison lets consider just two of the crazy ideas the other candidates are likely to succeed at implementing.

The other Republican candidates are all "modern" (as in nation building/deficit spending) Republicans. To a man, they want to stay in Iraq until we "win" - though I haven't heard a single one of them articulate a method for determining how we'll know when we've won. The first time W claimed victory was May 1st, 2003; ask him how that worked out. Combine that with their shared delusion that these foreign problems aren't related to past US policies and you have a recipe for disaster. For examples of just how related these things really are, read this: http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/05/15/ron-paul-vs-giuliani-on-the-root-causes-of-terrorism/ or consider that the $2 billion in US aid to Islamic fundamentalists fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan between 1979 and 1989 just might be related to the Islamic Fundamentalist regime which we found it necessary to depose in 2001 - especially since a young Saudi named Osama bin Laden was fighting alongside the indigenous Afghan mujahideen we openly supported.

Now the pattern we've seen with bin Laden in Afghanistan and Saddam in Iraq is probably repeating with Musharraf in Pakistan. Just to prove that these delusions aren't unipartite, Obama has been calling for the use of force against Pakistan while other parts of our government are busy propping up the current dictator there. Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it, and those whose appraisals of their enemies' intentions are as inaccurate as W's and Guiliani's are doomed to foreign policy failure whether they are repeating history or not.

Since I'm an equal-opportunity politician hater, I'll talk about the Democratic presidential candidates now. Their greatest shared delusion is that the problem with US health care is that there isn't enough money being spent on it yet. While they claim their goal is to cut health care costs, their plans all call for increasing the amount of health care sold in this country - either through government subsidies, mandatory spending enforced on people who (like me) can afford overpriced US health care but choose not to purchase it, or both.

Manditory unsubsidized insurance is nothing more than an attempt to capture money currently spent on medical tourism and prescription drug imports (google those terms) and force it to be spent at already bloated US health care corporations. Legal restrictions on alternatives eliminate what little incentive the health care industry has to keep prices under control.

Subsidies and other means to decouple health care payment from health care decision making (such as the proposed legal requirements for insurance companies to insure anyone without adjusting rates for heath risk) create an artificial tragedy of commons - nobody will say 'no' to high priced medical care if they can get any benefit at all - somebody else has to pay. And why bother spending money on a healthy lifestyle, picking up the pieces is already paid for.

The combined effects of alternative restrictions and demand increases are great for the health care industry (or at least its stock prices), but for consumers of health care it means all the drawbacks of socialized medicine without any of the benefits. Wait - did he just say BENEFITS of socialized medicine?!? Why yes; where do you think we're importing all those prescription drugs from anyway?

Ron Paul may be crazy, but the other candidates are too - and his opponents' crazy ideas have the kind of powerful corporate or political interests behind them needed to become reality. (In our two party system, "use up the other team's resources" is a powerful political interest.) Since I don't have a choice for "not crazy," I can live with Paul's crazy ideas more easily than I can live with Giuliani's or Hillary's. I'll take eliminating Social Security over eight more years of war in Iraq any day.

Anonymous said...

He's insane. Thinks that evolution never happened.

Carolyn said...

I haven't stopped by your blog in a long time - but I'm so glad to see you're researching R. Paul. I realize he's a long shot, but I really appreciate his conservatism.
It's really amazing how many people claim he's crazy, but then don't really know how to back that statement up. Is it really all that crazy to follow the constitution? Is it that crazy to expect people to take care of themselves, and to limit the government's interference in our lives?

I just have to say - I love the comments by Giles - love your attitude, and think you're a genius.

Go Ron Paul!