I’m kind of dumb, but Ron Paul seems like a pretty good guy and uncorrupt politician to me. I like the fact that he’s not constrained to either side of the debate. He seems to me to be the only non-corrupt, bipartisan, and honest politician out there… or at least one of the few.
But I’ve read many contemptuous comments about him here on Mubi, so I’m just wondering why people don’t like him. Care to elaborate?
Also, I may not end up commenting back on this thread, since I’m mostly asking for opinions and information so I can decide for myself… plus, I’m a little afraid of reprisal from the Ron Paul-haters! So don’t feel bad if I don’t respond, but I promise I’ll read your comments!! :)
Did you not see Bruno?
No I didn’t – was Ron Paul in that??
Ron Paul is a nut-job libertarian who galvanizes Ayn Randists, fringe conspiracy nuts and “truthers”, anti-semites and racists (see his newsletters) and others. He’s part of a tradition of American “know-nothing” isolationism. And, hell, as libertarians go, he’s not even a consistent one since he’s still Christian right on social issues – at least Gary Johnson was consistent on that. So he wants government off of people’s backs but still invading women’s bodies. Yes, he’s right about some foreign policy issues but often for the wrong reasons.
lol, yeah briefly. It’s pretty funny.
I don’t know if he’s homophobic but he clearly didn’t like Bruno! haha
Ari – so your only criticism of Ron Paul and not his supporters is that he’s pro-life?
No, no. My main complaints are his libertarianism and his isolationism. In my mind, libertarianism is an infantile ideology that appeals to peoples’ more selfish and base instincts. With the current configuration of the U.S., getting rid of government in the way he proposes leads to complete corporate tyranny. Plus his gold standard/anti-fed rantings are just utter lunacy.
“I don’t know if he’s homophobic but he clearly didn’t like Bruno! haha”
He doesn’t dislike gay people, Santino. He just dislikes touching them (maybe he was afraid of catching gayness).
Fair enough, Ari. The ads on the site in that link were NOT safe for work, by the way!
There are many other reasons to reject Ron Paul as well, but his crazy economic ideas are more than enough. The world just doesn’t work anything like the way Paul thinks it does—bad fantasy leads to bad policy.
“I like the fact that he’s not constrained to either side of the debate. He seems to me to be the only non-corrupt, bipartisan, and honest politician out there…”
Actually, according the a study published in the American Journal of Political Science, Paul’s voting record is the most conservative of all 3,320 members of Congress from 1937 to 2002.
^ Fair enough – I guess I meant bipartisan as in “he refuses to constrain his ideas to either party…” which actually isn’t really bipartisan at all.
And as far as voting records go, he was one of the only Republicans to sensibly vote against the war in Iraq, and how many conservatives want to legalize pot? But yeah, I guess that is only two examples out of I don’t even know how many.
And I like the fact that he is a real opponent of government spending, as opposed to most Republicans who just say they are.
Oh, and I just read that he co-sponsered a bill with the most prominent gay politician, although I guess that doesn’t necessarily mean he shook his hand! ;)
“The ads on the site in that link were NOT safe for work, by the way!”
Really? I didn’t notice anything problematic. Looking at it again, I’m still confused. There’s two men kissing or an anti-meat ad?
I guess it depends on the workplace, but I would feel uncomfortable with any pictures of any two people lying prone and kissing on my computer screen… especially when they’re topless. Also, the large text saying “Tops and Bottoms Wanted,” is kind of problematic.
P.S. – I work at Ron Paul’s campaign office, so that’s not tolerated here… jk.
Ron Paul thinks that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “did not improve race relations or enhance freedom.”
“And as far as voting records go, he was one of the only Republicans to sensibly vote against the war in Iraq.”
As stated by others, that’s because he’s an isolationist. A lot of other Republicans would’ve also voted against the war in Iraq had a Democrat been president. :)
“P.S. – I work at Ron Paul’s campaign office, so that’s not tolerated here… jk.”
Baron Da Foo:
Here is a direct scan of Ron Paul’s Newsletter from about 20 years ago which should give you some examples of why Paul is not exactly someone to look up to.
Outside of his followers, Ron Paul is sometimes given credit for unconventional thinking, but the problem is that his unconventional thinking is just wrong. Libertarianism as a whole is one of those unfortunate philosophies that starts somewhere in the right place (“Shouldn’t people basically just be allowed to do what they please as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody?”) and ends up as a cesspool of right-of-right insanity (“Like ripping off poor people because they are festering sores of the world that beget homosexuals, athiests, and AIDS.”) You get occasional Penn Jilette type self-described “libertarians” that may be curmudgeonly dicks, but at least are funny and have some good points, but for the most part that special part of the political spectrum is reserved for people who believe the government should be small and accountable—unless they run it, in which case fuck the socialists and the queers, it’s big banking time!
Ron Paul also occasionally gets credit for some good ideas, like how in one speech he described how us occupying Iraq is offensive and unethical by describing how Americans would feel if the Chinese did the same to Texas. But he also is a whore for needless controversy, like when called for the Obama administration to do an audit of the gold in Fort Knox: an overly expensive and generally useless procedure that was only really used in a roundabout way to point out that the US dollar is not backed by gold and it should be (it shouldn’t — gold is as arbitrary a standard of wealth measurement as “the full faith of the US federal government” that actually backs up USD. Currency is by definition valued on spending potential, not what it is made of, whether it measures its units in precious metals or sand dollars). The administration rightly declined.
And that’s just the financial whimsy of the homeboy who thinks the Fed should just be nixed entirely (an expensive procedure roughly the equivalent of cutting an arm off to repair a fractured bone) and taxes nearly completely eliminated (for some reason not really explaining how then we’re supposed to pay for the job he currently holds…?), without getting into the social conservative aspects of his stance which go beyond “unconventional” to outright hate speech.
The political world would be a better place without his involvement, but at least for the cost of having him around occasionally he points out something that’s broken or just sort of wrong and asks us to scrutinize it, the Iraq and pot legalization points that gets him some amount of fans. I just do not think that those benefits are worth the price of his other ridiculous ideas.
why are we discussing American politics on this forum? or Is this another way to represent American dominance?
Ron Paul is not corrupt but he’s dogmatic, which can be worse. He seems to feel that there is some golden age when the country was not involved in world affairs and the only thing the government did was raise an army to its defense. That basically ignores the premise of the modern state and the idea of interdependent nations. It may work for a small town in Texas with a population of 100, but there is no way a country can run on that model.
I find it strange that Ayn Rand was an atheist and Paul is a religious conservative. The best example of the end product of Randian philosophy can be Rand herself. She died broke. She opposed tyranny but suggested that a replacement for tyranny was another kind of tyranny.
As far as cutting taxes, he at least puts his money where his mouth is, and will not sign up for the government pension he’s entitled to. In his medical practice, he doesn’t accept medicare or medicaid payments, sometimes working for free instead.
The newsletter thing sucks, but supposedly it wasn’t him… or whatever. I don’t really know what to think about that.
I don’t necessarily agree with the gold standard, but I don’t really get economics either.
As for libertarianism, I guess it’s just an ideological thing.
His views are unrealistic. Note that libertarianism is a political philosophy for people who claim not to believe in ‘isms’.
Even if Paul managed to become president there is not way Congress would go along with his view of things. Neither would most of the governors in the country. We can agree to disagree about federal spending but cutting it off completely in favor of some white shining horse of unfettered capitalism is crazy. Even the GOP wouldn’t go that far.
It might work in a small town of 1000 [upper middle class] people who all share the same political views but not in a country like ours in this day and age.
And it’s great he works for free in his practice but to expect other doctors to stop accepting medicare and then work for free is asking too much. Again, it’s an ideal that won’t work on a large scale.
I don’t know much about him but from what i’ve heard, reinforced by comments like Polaris’ and Ari’s, I disagree with most of what he seems to stand for and when i do agree (Iraq, US military interventionism, legalising drugs) i’m dubious about his reasons. I presume he’s well enough off to be able to afford “putting his money where his mouth is”. His policies would be a disaster for those not so well off and the most vulnerable. Free market capitalism is bad enough already, much more so since Reagan let the bull loose- we can do without a total rampage with the rich free to trample to their hearts’ content on the poor. Many “Pro-lifers” have a strange idea of the value of human life when they also support blasting people to smithereens cos they happen to be foreign or not to their liking. Whatever Paul’s motives over Iraq, the world can do without the US gone completely doolally with the assorted nutters given carte blanche. I’m also tired of bigoted right wing “Christian” hypocrites who ignore the main messages of Christ.
I’m not keen on the idea of any rightwinger being in the white house, but in the US it seems it’s not whether the occupant is right wing but to what extent.
Remember earlier in 2011 when everyone was afraid of a “government shutdown” because if a Congressional compromise was not reached (see: Jazz’s Congress thread)? Strictly speaking, that government shutdown that everyone was fearing is exactly what libertarians describe that they want.
Ari: “In my mind, libertarianism is an infantile ideology that appeals to peoples’ more selfish and base instincts”
Then you have no idea what Libertarianism is. The Dems play to people’s selfish instincts, which is to get someone else (in this case, the government) to give them things they do not deserve. Educate yourself before you speak, Libertarians believe the Federal government should involve not involve itself in the personal matters of the citizens and that the states should have more rights than they already do. You simplify that by saying in is an infantile ideology that appeals to selfish and base instincts. With that response, sir, you are the infantile one.
“…to get someone else (in this case, the government) to give them things they do not deserve.”
So, simple question:
If the government has no responsibility over its citizenries health, general level of wealth, education and shelter, what the hell is it there for in the first place?
“things they do not deserve”
Like freedom from enslavement, a five day work week rather than a seven-day work week, child labor laws, civil rights legislation, social security, deposit insurance, a road and rail system. etc.?
I sort of feel like libertarianism is enabled by the fact that that stuff is around so they take it for granted as if it’s always been.
Because he’s not liberal.
I don’t know anything about politics, but from what I’ve seen Paul supporters are even crazier than conservatives and more annoying than liberals. But I have no idea about his politics, he might be a genius for all I know. All I’ve seen of him is in Bruno, and that part wasn’t really funny anyway.
Ron Paul is not a genius. Definitively not a genius.
“1913 wasn’t a very good year. 1913 gave us the income tax, the 16th amendment and the IRS.”
Yet no one ever explains (certainly not Mr. Paul) why the per capita GDP (adjusted for inflation) in 1913 was $15,000, and today it’s over $45,000…