Ron Paul emerges as an opponent of liberty

ronpaul520x305

Ron Paul's recent hold on first place status in the Republican Iowa caucuses continued to slip in the final hours before the vote as the stories about his not so libertarian past continue to emerge.

While he claims to support personal liberty, many of his policy positions would do little to help the liberty of ethnic or sexual minorities. While he states that he believes marriage equality is the province of the states, he is now saying that he would have supported the Defense of Marriage Act were he in office at the time of its passage, and he even went so far as to introduce the We the People Act, which would prevent Federal courts from hearing cases on LGBT-rights cases.

Additionally, he opposes the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prevent employment-based discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Paul also opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ended racial segregation of schools and businesses, on the grounds that it violates the rights of businesses.  He voted against reauthorizing the 1965 Voting Rights Act in 2006, citing property rights and claiming that it was too costly.

Paul's economic policies, while consistent, would serve to benefit the most fortunate Americans. He supports a 10 percent "flat" tax, which would drastically cut taxes for richer Americans, while punishingly raising them for the working class. He has also voiced a desire to cut Medicaid, which provides health coverage for low income Americans, and a desire to privatize Social Security, which would tie retirement accounts to the whims of the stock market.

Ignoring the fact that tens of millions of Americans have benefitted from the program, Ron Paul calls the Federal college loans a "total failure." His disconnect from reality is even more frightening when one learns that the United States is projected to be short 16 million college educated workers in 2025.

Recently, Dr. Paul got into even deeper hot water over political and investment newsletters published under his name back in the 90s that contained racist and homophobic content as well as conspiracy theories. Even more disturbing, in 1993, Mr. Paul sent out an 8-page direct mail solicitation that contained a concentrated amount of this prejudice and conspiratorial thinking.

Among other things, it warned readers of a "coming race war," and claimed that the government was planning to track citizens via new currency. This letter also stated that a "federal-homosexual" conspiracy existed to cover up AIDS, as well as that people with HIV/AIDS "enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick." To round things out, the solicitation referred to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which Paul voted against, as "Hate Whitey Day."  At the bottom of this 8-page appeal for subscriptions is Dr. Paul's signature.

Overall as the reality TV show otherwise known as the 2012 Republican nomination process continues, it remains clear that Republicans still have no idea who they want to carry their banner against President Obama next November. So far, this has proven to be been a roller coaster of a spectacle, with dramatic raises and drops in poll support in the Republican party's desperate quest to nominate someone other than Mitt Romney.

Ron Paul's strong denials about his past do not match up with his past comments on these newsletters. In fact, during a 1996 interview with the Dallas Morning News, he defended racist comments made in a '92 newsletter, and claimed them as his own. The combination of the signed mail solicitation and his 90's support of many of the vile statements in the newsletter he published ought to make some reexamine his character.

Eric Dondero, a former assistant to Ron Paul for over 15 years, issued a statement on the website Right Wing News, in which he defended his former boss against charges of racism and anti-Semitism, however he did add that Paul was "personally uncomfortable" around homosexuals.

He recalled Dr. Paul meeting with a gay supporter, and refusing to use his personal restroom, instead asking his staff to find an "excuse to excuse him to a local fast food restaurant so that he could use the bathroom." Dondero also told of an incident in which Paul refused to shake the hand of a gay supporter, and "literally swatted his hand away."

Whether Ron Paul continues to ride this new wave of support to win in the Iowa Caucus, or whether he will follow his "anti-Romney" predecessors and lose support once he's in the spot light remains to be seen. While his political consistency is something to be admired in D.C., his policy positions and past actions ought to leave many progressives too bitter a pill to swallow.

Photo: Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex. (Charles Krupa/AP)

 

Post your comment

Comments are moderated. See guidelines here.

Comments

  • He said he would pardon all non-violent drug offenders.

    Posted by John, 01/04/2012 9:13am (4 years ago)

  • The most amazing thing happened last night. After two weeks of bashing Dr. Paul for everything under the sun, the media (bank owned) were unable to bring Dr. Paul down like they did the others like Cain.

    The next most important piece of news is this; Romney received less votes than last time, Dr. Paul gained more than 100% more than last time. That puts Dr. Paul on the upswing.

    Santorum, if his votes were real, was just like the others getting a sudden boost. But those are weak votes that blow with the wind to whoever the media wishes.

    Only Dr. Paul has the money to fight Romney, and it's all about the anti-romney vote.

    Posted by TC, 01/04/2012 8:33am (4 years ago)

  • I agree with the author and Thomas below and I am amazed that Ron Paul, the the ideological father of the tea-party, is so popular among young people like me. I urge anyone who thinks he could be called libertarian in any way to look at his website where he calls for a war on immigration and outlawing abortion.

    And Thomas is right, a libertarian in its logical definition is what we now call an anarchist. Someone who favors only limiting the secondary aspects of government like public welfare while strengthening the primary aspects of gardening the property and capital of the ruling class should simply be called a conservative.

    Posted by , 01/03/2012 1:27pm (4 years ago)

  • People like Ron Paul have hijacked the word "libertarian". It actually used to apply to the left. Instead, it's become a moniker for all of the Ayn Rand-loving nutcases that espouse her extremist individualist "every man for himself, only the strong shall survive" nonsense. I am an atheist, so I don't throw the word "evil" around very much, but I do regard Ayn Rand and her theories as evil and vile. I wish more Americans realized that this is the literal "Fountainhead" of all of the teabaggers' ideology: "Blame the poor, the unlucky, the sick, the disabled, the disadvantaged. It's their own fault they couldn't overcome adversity and succeed, and they just suck up all our resources and keep us truly great people behind, so we must leave them to die while we forge a society of great people only." That's not an exact quote from Rand, but it sums up her philosophy quite succinctly I believe. Her word is gospel to the privileged class. This is why the GOP must be stopped and exposed so that it can't turn good Americans against one another. We're all in this together. It's a small minority of privileged people with massive wealth and power that keep us apart.

    Posted by Thomas Crescenzi, 01/02/2012 6:15pm (4 years ago)

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments