The freedom to have all sorts of horrible shit happen to you.
If you’ve been following the Republican candidates running for president, you’d know how much of a circus the race has become. I’d venture to say that based on the debates , scandals and all around fuckery of the last few months, Obama has pretty much won himself the election. But there is one candidate, at least according to half of the internet, who deserves our respect and attention. You may have come across some Ron Paul supporters online - they typically type in all caps and label him as the next coming of Christ in terms of how he will turn our country around, if elected. Ron Paul has a strong and relentless internet-backed campaign, and is something of a money raising powerhouse. This year alone, he’s managed to raise millions of dollars, mostly from grass-root support. But the 76 year old libertarian running as a Republican is just another psychotic creature at the circus.
At most of the debates, Paul has shown up and said some logical things, although it’s not terribly hard to look smart when you’re standing next to a Michelle Bachmann or a Rick Perry (its too bad Huntsman is too sane to be noticed by his party). In comparison to the others stances, Paul’s seem logical, and sometimes, they are. Usually, though, people either forget the insanity of his foreign policy, his compliance of state laws violating the constitution, or his pro-life, anti gay and racist ideas. People are very excited about his plans for a weak federal government and for an non-interventionist position in the international community. Paul’s unique glorification of state governments reaches the level of unrealistic extremism. The arguments I hear over and over are that his social conservatism shouldn’t be an issue because as a libertarian, he wouldn’t act on it on the federal level. But Paul has a strategy for getting around this. He has this thing for individual freedoms, this hatred for the federal government. We get it. But what reason does anyone have to believe that state governments, which he favors, are going to be less destructive and oppressive than the federal government? Giving the states the right to do wrong shouldn’t be the solution. Paul justifies his position by heralding the Constitution. He uses this method to deflect his real stances on social issues. Yeah, ok, he says he is anti-gay, but it’s ALRIGHT! - because he supports dealing with it on the state level.
So we should support a dude who voted to define life starting at conception, who has introduced a bill more than once permitting the return of sodomy laws, who wants to disband NATO, end birthright citizenship, deny federal funding to any organization which “presents male or female homosexuality as an acceptable alternative life style or which suggests that it can be an acceptable life style” along with destroying public education and social security, in the name of states rights and individual freedoms? Yeah, alright. It’s comforting knowing that he will never get the nomination, but scary to see how many young, priveleged white males viciously support a candidate who opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and has said some shady racist stuff, and who still hasn’t distanced himself from the white supremacists who helped fund his campaign.
I don’t care if he is a strict constitutionalist and doesn’t want to impose any federal laws based on his religious beliefs. The key word there is federal. He would let the states make decisions when it came to abortion and reproductive rights - and for a libertarian, he doesn’t understand that the most valuable property you own is your own body. Unless you have a penis, of course.
He has a number of ‘hooks’ for younger voters, like his stance on the war on drugs. But really, he is a far from a pragmatic candidate for Americans and more closely resembles a radical representative of a tiny libertarian subdivision. If he were elected, the country would be deadlocked for four years with a series of vetos. And as awesome as it sounds on paper, letting states legalize illegal drugs or prostitution isn’t going to help our country recover the way it needs to. Personally, I’d be embarrassed to have another president who denies the theory of evolution, but Paul’s supporters assure us we are supposed to applaud him for his tolerant perspectives. While he has some interesting ideas, they are generally mostly untested in real life - which is terrifying. And maybe fear isn’t the right word - instead, it could just be a healthy dismissal of ideas that are at best unworkable for a variety of reasons, and at worst actively damaging.
There has never, ever been a campaign that I can recall in which Paul ran and was considered a viable competitive candidate, for that very reason - most of his ideas are on the lunatic fringe. I would be sorry for writing this angry rant if I could manage to feel sorry. But the only reason Paul seems respectable during this campaign season is because he’s not the only lunatic running anymore.