The Ron Paul Effect 72


On balance, I view Ron Paul as a good thing.

I view myself as a libertarian and, in many ways, my criticisms of Ron Paul are that he is a more consistent libertarian than me. I want to see government provide health and welfare services, and run natural monopolies.

But much more importantly, Ron Paul is infinitely more consistent than the vast majority of those who label themselves “libertarian” in the UK and US, but are in fact just extreme right wingers with no concern at all for civil liberties, and who support the idea of a massive military force controlled by the government to annex foreign resources. Their “libertarianism” amounts to no more than a desire to be allowed to make money unscrupulously, without interference or tax. Paul Staines is the prime example of a false libertarian.

Ron Paul is not a false libertarian. His 21% showing in Iowa is going, for a while at least, to make it impossible to maintain the usual near total exclusion of anti-war and pro-civil liberties voices from the mainstream media. That is a great achievement. Having been given vastly less mainstream air time than Bachmann or Perry, that will now change for Paul – and even as they strive to limit that change, the establishment will hate that.

So, on balance a very good thing indeed. There are whispers about past racial attitudes. I have met Ron Paul, and am obliged to say I did not like him very much. But for a spell Americans are going to be able to hear someone question the trillions spent on foreign wars while US families suffer – and even a raising of the billions given to Israel. That outweighs a great deal of baggage.


72 thoughts on “The Ron Paul Effect

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  • Hydraargyrum

    Glenn_uk, I don’t defend certain of his past actions and many of his domestic positions. Far from it. But when it comes to the anti-war message he is the only game in town, can we at least agree on that? I am very concerned that we will be lead into another insane war, this time with Iran. I wish it wasn’t so, and that Dennis Kucinich or even Russ Feingold would have primaried President Obama. I would not then have felt the need to lend my support to Paul. His candidacy at least allows discussion of the insanity of US foreign policy, at a time as fragile as this I support that.

  • GDSS

    Glenn,

    Your questions and my answers:

    Do you think there should be NO publicly funded education? Yes. Private schools do a better job and will compete for students. Competition will reduce the tuition prices, as it does in cell phones, computers, etc. In Florida, we pay $11,000 per child per year and are #49 in the country. It is not fair that a person without children has to pay for someone else’s child’s education, and a bad one at that.
    – Do you think health care should NOT be freely and publicly funded, available as required to all citizens? Yes. I think everyone is responsible for their health and if they choose to eat badly, smoke, drink, should suffer the consequences. We need real education about nutrition, not the ridiculous food pyramid the FDA designed that is all wrong. Again, in a truly free market (without corporatism and the pharmaceutical lobby) the health care prices would be reduced without insurance companies as it was in the 1970s. I do not have health insurance nor do I want it. It should only be for catastrophes. Think about it like car insurance, you change the oil, you don’t expect the insurance to cover the expense.
    – Should there be NO social safety net whatsoever (leave it to the Church? Yes, the charities and the churches do a better job administering these programs. They will take in money and use only about 15% for adminstration versus government using 55% for administration costs and only 45% for actual care
    – Should there be NO social programme funded by the public at all? Yes, it should only be voluntary. When you get to keep more of your own money instead of giving it to the government to throw away, you have more to give to charities.
    – Should I be able to discriminate against people using every bigotry possible, and ban the target from my restaurant/hotel etc. as my personal right? (EG, gays, lesbians, blacks, Asians, scousers -c’mon admit it guys!)Yes, if you want to be immoral, you can discriminate. Except that if you have a business, you will not be profitable if you exclude certain classes. Right now people say they don’t discriminate, but it is ok to kill innocent Arab women and children? Discrimination is immoral, but since our Creator allows us free will, we must also allow others their free will as long as they don’t violate a person’s God given rights. If someone doesn’t want to sell you something, go somewhere else. Those stores that sell expensive junk, aren’t they discriminating? A poor person cannot buy their item. So what? It is better for everyone to keep all of their income and decide who to give anything to. Our creator only requests 10% – why do governments think they should get more than that? We already pay sales taxes, cell phone taxes, light bill tax, etc. The White House was built when we had no income tax. Our taxes go to pay the interest on the money we borrow from the ILLEGAL and UNCONSTITUTIONAL Federal Reserve. If we get rid of them all over the world, the world would be a better place.
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  • Kevin

    Ron Paul describes a coherent world view based on a set of principals, not how the world actually is, but as a template for how it should be. The criticisms of Paul are often shallow and irrational more emotional based than anything that has a construct attached to it. Murray makes the point that Ron Paul is a better libertarian than him and in the same breath he says he does not like the man? He sees that the man is principalled and he is uncomfortable with that? Why, would he rather have a corrupt politician that makes him look morally superior than a man who actually is morally superior and happens to be running for President. That is the rub, is Ron Paul actually too good for America? Do we really want an honest politician or just a slightly less corrupt one? Paul makes the majority feels uncomfortable because he is actually better than them. Most of America is fat dumb and lazy, they like their food chemicals and reality TV. The wars they could care less about since they are not directly affected by them and they are no longer on TV. Most don’t have a clue what Ron Paul is talking about since they have never actually learned what the American political system actually is? Why did they coin money rather than print paper? Why would anyone in their right mind turn the money creation factory over to a private banking cabal? A corrupt society likes a corrupt leader. Water seeks it’s own level. The sad truth is that Obama does reflect what America has become, there are no accidents here.

  • Sam

    Glenn UK : All these socialist programs sound great on paper but they never work, make people dependent, and more importantly. WE CAN’T AFFORD THEM.

    In the UK we are never going to have a serious libertarian movement anyway, so why are you worried? The population is totally trained by default to believe nothing gets done without the government.

    And as for Ron Paul, he ran as a Libertarian once 20 years ago, but he has always been a Constitutionalist Republican in the tradition of Thomas Jefferson or Andrew Jackson, rather than some kind of Ayn Rand objectivist.

    But then I suspect if you had the chance you would probably vote for Obama again in November.

  • sammy

    Glenn you are quite hysterical. Even if Ron Paul was elected President he wouldn’t be able to pull off half that program. And that isn’t even the point of the candidacy. We need a debate with real contrast, the gulf between Paul and Obama provides it. or you would rather an election campaign between Obama and Romney? Who agrees with Obama on just about everything. Obama will promise the earth like last time but wont deliver. So what difference does it make if he masquerades as a ‘progressive’ to assuage your delicate sensibilities.

  • jon

    The same people that did 911 are the same people counting the votes. Ron Paul, Iran, China, or the American Citizens are not going to stop their plans for a one world government. An attack on Iran will begin World War 3 and billions of you asleep, useless eaters will be killed.

  • crab

    I never learned that to help or give to other people just makes them dependent. I suppose i could come to believe that, if brought up in it. But i certainly wasn’t. These old words ‘cant afford’ are fickle. I think we cant afford to let people who are struggling in the world, suffer too much, and degenerate into unwanted, unloveable ‘others’.
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    But if North Americans finally achieve no public schools, healthcare or welfare or anything else for their country, will their country stop the economic and military hits on every other country that has been trying to arrange them? -The way these things go, RP should have no problem with his extreme economic social reforms and get absolutely nowhere with the military / foreign policy problems.

  • C.Davis

    One thing that can be consistently depended upon among the masses of Alinskyites, ACORN employees and other money party minions of every stripe is to proffer the obvious red herring That Ron Paul is against ALL public_________(fill in the blank) when his position is that these matters are absolutely state’s rights issues with few exceptions.They all seem to resist being weaned off the bloated federal government teat, which is just another mechanism for separating a citizen from the fruits of their labor and a sure fire way of demanding obedience in the voting booth by the disadvantaged.
    Sure some states have come up with ridiculous laws, that’s why you have states, as a sort of firewall. Evwn if a silly law spreads to a few adjoining states, sooner or later, the next state will put a stop to it. If the feds come out with a real boner There’s no stopping it until we’ve had to suffer until we can get enough states reps and senators to ash-can it. That’s why the NWO or any other world government won’t work.
    You can’t blame all the bottom feeders for rising to the bait, though, there’s lots of sinecures in danger with a Paul presidency.That’s why they’re REALLY scared, in spite of what the genuine rubes parrot.

  • glenn_uk

    Crab: You’re absolutely right. What these RP devotees really ought to consider, is whether the Powers That Be would sooner give up empire, or give up all social programmes, plus that commie Nixon’s Environmental Protection Agency, all foreign aid and so on. It’s a pretty good bet that RP _could not_ stop foreign military intervention by the US, but he’d meet very sympathetic consideration to his imposition of the rest.
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    It’s probably too much of a shock for those who hate social programmes to take this in, but the majority of welfare recipients are white. And the majority of them are in “red states”. Which means the majority of welfare recipients are God-Fearin’ Gun-Totin’ “Family values” Republican voting white-trash in solidly Repug states. As with Reagan’s non-existent Welfare Queen black woman, who drove downtown for her welfare cheques in her Cadillac, these ACORN-generated Democratic-voting black welfare recipients are a myth, told by right-wing propaganda, to hoodwink the fearful and the racist (such as C.Davis, just above).
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    Sam: We can’t afford these social programmes, eh? Well, just let people starve, become criminals, or you can pay for them to be jailed. Can you afford that any more easily mate?
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    Sammy: A genuine (presidential) debate between anyone would be a first. But you won’t find RP making an argument for ending Social Security in public, and he’d never be allowed to make his quite reasonable points such as his questioning US support for Israel’s madness. It’s always constrained, two points of view within an allowed spectrum, anything too far outside will be dismissed as “non-serious”.

  • glenn_uk

    GDSS: Thank you for your honest answers, they are appreciated – you’ve got more guts than all the other Ron-bots writing here put together.
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    Schools – no, private schools do not do a better job. Private schools always work with smaller classes and can pick and choose their students – public schools are the dumping grounds. Try private schools with a class size and disposition imposed on the public system, you’d find things are very different. Unless, of course, that magic “free enterprise” fairy-dust would make them all wondrously efficient and the pupils attentive. I suppose you think public school teachers are all fat, lazy and overpaid. You’ve listened to that Limbaugh nazi, who gets nearly $100M a year to sell his stupid and gullible audience lies about these overpaid public workers, I take it?
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    Healthcare: OK, you don’t have health insurance. I take it you’re young and healthy. Different story when you’re older, or have had less luck. That’s the trouble with health insurance when only sick people start to buy into it – isn’t it just too obvious? – it becomes incredibly expensive. That would almost be like saying nobody needs to buy car insurance until they have an accident. The premiums would be rather pricy. Sure people should be more responsible for their health. Your prescription for them failing to do so isn’t just harsh, it’s murderous and tortuous. Being ill on its own is not a joke, few people (even in the NHS!) are laughing at how much money their, say, lung cancer treatment must be costing after a lifetime smoking.
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    But do me a favour and stop claiming everyone’s responsible for their own heath – that’s just a childish simplification. Some people behave like idiots all their lives and stay healthy, some get ill through no fault of their own. Your argument would fall very flat if you had even the least awareness that there are such things as “children’s wards” in hospitals. Maybe you could try giving that one an honest think-through for a few seconds. If you did, you’d realise your whole argument falls apart. OMG – who do we blame – the parents? Your argument smacks of a complete lack of life experience.
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    Church/ Charity – So only those with a conscience or religious affinity contributes, while the tight fisted (usually the rich) end up contributing nothing to society’s unfortunates? What about people from the “wrong” religions? Really, you must be some sort of sociopath to want to do nothing for those at the bottom layer of society, just leave it for someone else.
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    Finally – we get to the core of the matter – yes, you say, you should be able to ban blacks from your restaurant if you don’t like them. Because that would be unprofitable, so it wouldn’t happen, you say? Just like it wasn’t for all those businesses that said “No black or Irish”, “No Chinese or dogs” etc. etc. before racial discrimination laws kicked in, you mean? Actually they did just fine – good ol’ boys like you favoured those places, so they became very profitable for white bigots. That “market will take care of it” is utter BS, just like the rest of RP arguments.
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    Surprised to see you comment on The Creator and all that. Good Lord, do you think Jesus would have anything in common with the “let him die!” crowd you favour? (Ref to the recent Repug debates, where that got the greatest cheer from the crowd, as the option for a healthy man in a coma who didn’t have healthcare following an accident. Your option.) Didn’t Jesus say something about that which you do for the least among you, you do for me, care for the needy, sick, poor and all that sort of thing? Astonishing hypocritical that you’d favour a system guaranteed to do the very opposite of such imperatives. If you really do believe in all that Christian horseshit, try reading Matthew 5-7 and then tell me why the Sermon on the mount was just all wrong.

  • Jon (Mod)

    Heh, the above comment attributed to “Jon”, was of course not me – even though I normally sign in just the same way. Must get me one of those Gravatars!

  • Ade

    I’ve been following Ron Paul too, he did start up the Tea Party but I think it was co opted by the ruling establishment, so he bowed out.
    They seem to be against the Greedy Banks now which is not quite what Ron Paul wants, he’s for capitalism, free markets, it’s the fraud he’s against.Trouble is, the way the tea party has now been coopted now, it is being steered towards being an anti freemarket agenda, the plebs think they are fighting against corporate greed, but their movement has been co opted by those who will lobby for more Govt control of the free market, which of course means the Corporatists get to kill off true free market capitalism.
    This whole corprate greed thing has been allowed to happen precisely so the masses will demand change.

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