Left: Ron Paul at his Greenville campaign HQ, yesterday. All photos by Steven Vaughan. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ron Paul's rally was held in front of his campaign headquarters, and the crowd was fairly impressive. For a GOP candidate, his supporters are pretty diverse--a good mix of mountain hippies, southern maverick types, wacky homeschoolers and diehard Republicans, all applauding madly for Ron. I interpret a lot of the enthusiastic support for Ron Paul as strong antiwar sentiment, and that is heartening.
At one point, he pledged to protect the health supplement industry, which is my business after all, and I applauded, too.
Other things he said, I did not applaud.
A recent discussion at Renegade Evolution's blog was particularly enlightening. The discussion was primarily between Kumogakure (who calls himself a Men's Rights Activist) and Anthony Kennerson, although others also participated.
Kumogakure posted an extended economics interview with Ron Paul on his blog. Anthony responded, touching on several of my own misgivings about Ron:
Sorry, K, but there are just too many things about Ron Paul that I just can't gloss by enough to support him, even with his opposition to the Neo-CONS.Belledame agrees:
1) His ancient pro-Great Depression economic policies (generally reduced to bringing back the gold standard and reducing everything to the level of small town economics);
2) His just-as-ancient social policies (not only the aformentioned by Ren anti-choice positions on reproductive freedom for women, but the fact that he rolls with the crowd from Stormfront and the Militiamen); and
3) The fact that although he is critical of the warmongering of the Bush clan and their Democratic enablers, he could just as rapidly endorse ending it all with the One Big Bang...ala, nuclear weapons.
There are enough right-wing populists here already; and quite a few of them happen to be Democrats. Pardon me while I hold out for a genuine progressive populist who won't sell poor folk (especially poor folk of color) down the river.
yeah, what AK said wrt Ron Paul, and more besides which i don't have time to get into now. he's not a friend. I think a lot of people just like the idea of a third party outsider, like Perot.Indeed, it is worth noting that Ron Paul is not in favor of gay marriage. It is also worth noting that he was unreservedly anti-abortion during the rally yesterday. Kumogakure replies:
As for the abortion thang, while RP is against it (as I am), he has said that this issue is one that belongs to the States, which I can live with.
Let the people decide on a State by State basis, and let the best side win!
Oy...there was a discussion of this on Pandagon yesterday. If you leave as important a decision as abortion up to the states to decide, then you are essentially screwing over any woman who lives in a 'conservative' state--you're screwing over most of the middle of the country, the people who would have the biggest tendency to be poorer, and in a position where they could not go out-of-state for an abortion. If abortion is legal throughout the country, then it can be decided upon by each individual woman whenever she might have the need to decide.Interesting that a self-styled libertarian wants to EXPAND government authority when it comes to women's wombs. Isn't that something of a contradiction?
1) Being a Finance/Economics guy by education and profession, RP's gold standard ideas are actually beneficial for quite a few reasons, long and short term.Well, that's a relief! Kumogakure continues:
Feel free to visit my blogspot for the detailed financial analysis. As it stands now, the U.S. is already insolvent, and the threat of massive financial turmoil is quite real.
On top of that, the current fiat money regime we have now is pretty "old skool," not to mention that the Federal Reserve was created, under false pretenses, by wealthy Wall Street and London bankers, to suck the wealth right out of the pockets of the everyday guy and gal.
2) While it is true that some of the White Supremacist crowd rolls with RP, that doesn't bother me (as a black man) because, when one looks at their claims in detail (not the I'm better than you because I'm white thang, which is absurd), I can understand why they would support him.
There are very real policies and agreements that the U.S. has made that run all over the constitutional rights of folks, which is one of the reasons why I became a Mens Rights Activist in the first place.
3) Actually, RP is very much against attacking other nations, but he is for defending our borders proper. I don't know about you, but I think it's time for us to stop policing the globe. Don't confuse national defense with militarism.
Anything is possible, but the chance that RP launches a nuclear strike against some-young-country is a pretty remote.
Under a fascist/totalitarian regime (which is where we are going; google "nspd 51"), neither you nor I will have any opportunity to debate the issues, as they will be decided from on high, by our future Philosopher Kings who will decide what is best for everyone. Believe you me, that's not my style.Anthony replies:
You might not agree with my positions, but I will not impose my will upon you. I believe that everyone, man, woman AND child, has equal rights AND responsibilities, not special rights and privileges.
If there were black folks at the Ron Paul rally, I didn't see them.
Sorry, but some fundamental human rights simply should NOT be left to individual states to determine for us. That's how slavery and Jim Crow and lynching and back-alley abortions were able to take shape. Some folks simply aren't wealthy enough to move to states with more progressive laws....and why should they be left to suffer??
The fundamental difference between you and I, K, is that you fundamentally reject the role of government as a social good to level the playing field; while I totally accept and expect government -- whether of the state, local, or federal level -- to be used as a tool for counterbalancing private, unchecked power. I may not like what government does on a lot of issues, but I fear far more what the lack of countervailing power against private privilege and power has done to both the underprivileged and the planet. Government can't and shouldn't do everything, of course, but it can do a lot of good...and people not of privilege have as much a right to expect government to resolve their claims as the wealthy do.
As for Ron Paul: say what you like about the benefits of the "gold standard," but it was and remains a relic of a time that has long since been bypassed by technology and more humanistic policies.
And...it does not even bother you as a Black man that Paul favors the very people who would effectively terminate your and my very existence as Black people??? Because you "understand" why such people support him??? WOW...then you are even more elitist and reactionary than I ever expected. Paul's reputation as a racist and a xenophobe is well documented; and no blurbing of House speeches will change that fact.
As disaffected I am with the Democrats and their tepid, craven pseudo-liberalism, rest assured that I will NEVER, EVER endorse his kind of right-wing libertarianism...or ANY Republican, for that matter.
But, it's your choice, and while I am totally in the opposite direction politically as you are, I recognize and accept your right to disagree with me as strongly as I do with you.
Ren wraps it up:
er, I have issue with RP, even as my libertarian self. his views on abortion, religion, general things like that? Not my cuppa...He is also very gung-ho about border security and illegals. How much of that is anti-terrorist and how much is anti-Mexican, I don't know.
but he does have some views which are appealing to my capitalist pig dog gun owning self.
Not appealing enough to vote for him, but appealing...
If the man was pro-choice and less, well, right wing in the religious areas...I MIGHT be tempted.
More about Ron:
Immigration and the Welfare State and The Immigration Question, essays by Ron Paul.
In Repair: My correspondence with Ron Paul about gay rights
USA TODAY - Ron Paul to Jay Leno: "I could win"
On the Issues: Ron Paul on Health Care
CAFTA: More Bureaucracy, Less Free Trade and Free Trade in Pharmaceuticals, essays by Ron Paul.
Listening to: Gang of Four - To Hell With Poverty