Ron Paul: The Candidacy That Won’t Die

I’ve written on more than one occasion about how I hate Ron Paul’s eccentric, misogynist, racist, xenophobic guts and never, ever want to hear his name again. But unfortunately, I’m still passing a giant Ron Paul sign every day on the way to work. And the New York Times is still writing about him. I just can’t contain my fury. (all emphasis in quoted text mine)

Attendance at Ron Paul campaign stops has nearly returned to pre-Super Tuesday levels. A group of supporters recently announced plans to start Paulville, a gated community in West Texas, where believers can pursue the candidate’s libertarian ideals as a cooperative lifestyle. Ron Paul’s book, “The Revolution: A Manifesto,” rocketed to No. 1 on a New York Times best-seller list on May 18 (it has since dropped). Supporters are starting to discuss creating yippie-ish disruptions at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul in September to gain visibility for the movement.

[. . .]

This message has hit home — not only with some traditional libertarians, but also among a small but passionate group of young voters who came of age after Sept. 11, during the debates about the Iraq war, the Patriot Act and Abu Ghraib. For them, the Ron Paul message has the feel not of 1776, but of 1968, when an unpopular war raged abroad, and a subculture of disenfranchised young people embraced an unorthodox philosophy built around a utopian ideal of freedom.

Of course, Ron Paul is a lot closer to Barry Goldwater than to Eugene McCarthy. But his young supporters, many of whom call themselves former liberals, said the peacenik left shares much with the libertarian right.

“It’s about taking the country back,” Mr. Lim said, waving off the policy differences between his old “political saint,” Mr. Nader, and his new one, who is anti-Roe (Mr. Paul opposes abortion personally, but thinks states should decide the issue) and supports gun rights. “Whether you believe in abortion or not, in guns or not, that’s not the point,” Mr. Lim said. “It’s about the way the country is going: to hell in a handbasket.”

Yeah, the country is going to hell in a handbasket, so let’s give everybody a bunch of guns and let the government decide that women should be forced to give birth! Because our society and government are so fucked up and can’t be trusted. That makes sense.

No, seriously, have people just gone ridiculously, unforgivably stupid? Yes — yes, they have. Read on.

Mr. Paul’s voters tend to be younger and angrier than most Republicans. Exit polls in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Michigan by Edison/Mitofsky showed that Mr. Paul’s voters tended to strongly disapprove of the Iraq war, and hold a far more negative opinion of the Bush administration than other Republican voters do. In Michigan, where Mr. Paul received 6 percent of the vote, 34 percent of Paul voters were under 30, compared with 13 percent of voters there over all. (Mr. Paul is also, largely, a guy thing. In the New Hampshire primary, where the candidate received 8 percent of the vote, his support was 77 percent male, according to exit polls.)

With young voters comes youthful enthusiasm. “This is the message of the Beatles, the Dylans of the world,” said Marc Scibilia, a 21-year-old songwriter from Buffalo, referring to Mr. Paul’s platform. Mr. Scibilia posted a video of his Paul-themed song, “Hope Anthem,” on YouTube, and this summer he will lead a 28-city “Freedom Tour” featuring other musicians. Mr. Paul’s message of freedom and peace is “an ancient message — it inspired people in the 60s and 70s,” Mr. Scibilia said. “I want to bring back that era of magic.”

Okay, now, I am admittedly a fanatic freak (and I bet that Dylan’s fans feel similarly), but quite possibly the only thing that could piss me off more than talking about how awesome Ron Paul’s message is hearing them talk about how Ron Paul’s message is the same as The Beatles’.

Dude, have you even heard of The Beatles? Do you actually know who they are? Because I’m rather convinced that you don’t. Either that, or you don’t know who the fuck Ron Paul is. Because I don’t care what his stickers say, Ron Paul is not Give Peace a Chance, he’s not All You Need is Love, and he sure as fucking hell isn’t Revolution. The Ron Paul Revolution isn’t exactly the same vision, ignorant douche.

[Gratuitous Side Note to go with Gratuitous Video: This isn’t the official Revolution video, but The Beatles performing live at the same location where they filmed the video. So while the official recording is technically better, this one wins a million more awesome points. Also, I love the Revolution video just because of Paul’s Katherine Hepburn pants, which make me giggle uncontrollably.]

For those still missing it, I think that Ron Paul has been ruled out on several grounds, including the whole concept of “revolution” without any well-thought out ideas (yeah! who needs a public school system?) and his being one of those with “minds that hate.”

Ignorant guy saying that Ron Paul’s message is that of The Beatles, do you realize that The Beatles were hippie liberals, Paul with his out-spoken animal rights views, George with his Indian mysticism and John with his feminism and being personally hounded by Richard Nixon and immigration officials because his views were seen as too dangerous to be even allowed in the country? That they supported civil rights? That Yoko had multiple illegal abortions that rendered her virtually infertile (Sean was quite the miracle), and she and John therefore very strongly supported reproductive rights? How about the fact that John was murdered by an insane man who was allowed to buy a gun, and that Yoko and the surviving Beatles therefore tended to have some rather negative views towards gun violence? That the movements of the 60s weren’t just about Vietnam, but about working together, creating a system of fairness, and ending violence in multiple forms? Do you get that wanting to end a war and do LSD all day doesn’t make you a goddamn Beatle? Because I’m getting the distinct impression that you don’t.

Ahem. Moving along.

Mr. Rayome, whose unkempt ash curls cascaded from a knit Rasta cap, wore an enameled American flag pin on his faded maroon T-shirt. He said that he fell for Mr. Paul almost instantly after his roommate, also a supporter, described the candidate’s lack of hypocrisy. (In Congress, Mr. Paul is known as Dr. No, for his staunch refusal to vote for any bill he thinks might expand government power.) “I said, ‘All right, I like him,’ ” Mr. Rayome recalled. “He’s a terrible politician, so he’s the best.”

Brad Linzy, who writes for a small entertainment magazine in Evansville, Ind., said that by now, Mr. Paul is more than a political preference. “The man is my hero,” he said. “He is a hero on the level of a Gandhi.” Adhering to the candidate’s calls for a hard-currency economy, Mr. Linzy, 30, keeps nearly half his savings in silver bullion, and scours antiques fairs and rummage sales for objects containing silver.

My brain. It is broken.

You know, as much as I hate Ron Paul and feel my skin crawl at the mere mention of his name, I was initially glad that he was staying in the race once it was determined that McCain would be the nominee, and really hoping that he’d take it to the end as a third-party candidate. Having him split the Republican vote isn’t exactly a downside. But now that ignorant supposed-leftists are latching onto his two good points (Iraq War and Drug War = Bad), I can only hate the guy more. The last thing we need are a bunch of privileged white males who want legalized drugs costing us a Democratic presidency. Am I over-estimating him? Under-estimating liberals? I certainly hope so. But it seems to me that wishing him away isn’t working yet.

[Top image via.]

0 thoughts on “Ron Paul: The Candidacy That Won’t Die

  1. Jill M.

    I think you summed it up pretty well when you said the following:

    “My Brain. It Is Broken.”

    Ron Paul is not for abolishing public education. He just doesn’t think the federal government should be involved in it. Leave it to the localities and the states.

    Ron Paul is merely demanding we follow the “supreme law of the land”– The Constitution. If you don’t like the 2nd Amendment, well propose an amendment to repeal it. Otherwise, banning guns is unconstitutional. If you like the prohibition on drugs, then pass an amendment to the Constitution or leave it up to the states as the 10th amendment says.

    If you are pro-choice as I am please realize that Ron Paul will again leave it up to the states.

    The federal government should be limited by the powers granted it in the Constitution. If something is wrong with that, then amend it.

    It really is rather simple. Don’t use the federal government as your own moral proxy to impose your will on others.

    I was you about 5 years ago, saying the same things. Now I know better because I just read the following… then my brain became unhurt:
    http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html

    You might want to pick up a copy of Ron Paul’s book and read it just to correct some of your wrong assumptions about his positions on the issues.

    Peace and Love,
    Jill M.

    Reply
  2. Kristen from MA

    Mr. Paul’s message of freedom

    unless you happen to have a uterus.

    Mr. Paul is known as Dr. No, for his staunch refusal to vote for any bill he thinks might expand government power.

    unless it’s the power to control those who have a uterus.

    Don’t use the federal government as your own moral proxy to impose your will on others.

    *shakes head in disbelief*

    Reply
  3. Cara Post author

    Look at that, my brain just broke again.

    Jill, if you think that it’s acceptable to leave abortion “up to the states,” you are not pro-choice. Period. If you don’t think that women in South Dakota have an equal right to not die with a coat hanger hanging out of their uteruses as women in New York do, that’s not pro-choice or pro-woman. It’s in fact very dangerous and elitist to leave something so fundamental up to states.

    Patronization is fun, but I’ve read the constitution, thanks. Clearly, you didn’t read the post. I’d love to see drugs legal. You also seem to be totally unaware that there’s very real debate over the meaning of the 2nd amendment. I happen to think that both are grounded in reason, but the fact remains that there is no definitive view on the right to bear arms by judges, legislators or the public. You can argue that gun control is unconstitutional, but to just present it as fact? No, not quite.

    I understand Ron Paul’s views very well, actually. Of course, the moment you speak out against them, people claim that you don’t understand because they just can’t fathom that someone would actually disagree with such bullshit. Last time I checked, there is no requirement in the constitution for states to provide public education. So if you abolish the federal system, that’s exactly what you’re doing, denying kids an education with any sort of standards or even the guarantee of and right to an education at all. The same goes for many other public institutions that Ron Paul wants to dismantle. “Leaving it up to the states” is dangerous unless you want a country where your basic rights are determined by where you live, not to mention it just being very well known racist coding.

    Reply
  4. yazikus

    Cara,
    Thank you for this post. Ron Paul drives me insane.
    Suddenly all these seemingly intelligent friends I have are into Ron Paul, Ron Paul Tea Parties, Ron Paul bumper stickers.
    When engaged in conversation all the say is that he is defending the constitution.
    It is like some strange contagion.
    And as for that, the constitution is an important document, but it is good for us to remember that it was written by white, wealthy land owning men.
    Ultimately those are the interests it looks after.
    Anywhoo, thank you again.
    P.S. I believe in paying taxes.

    Reply
  5. Izzy

    The Ron Paul bullshit makes me angry as well. Especially that he discusses his views as revolutionary. Hate has never been revolutionary and neither has stupidity.
    Gandhi? Really? Dude, did you miss the part about anyone that wants any gun can just go for it? Sounds nonviolent

    Reply
  6. brenna

    Dear Kool-aid drinkers,

    Ron Paul, if he could ever be a viable presidential candidate, would not, as President, have the power as afforded by the Constitution to institute ANY of the changes he proposes. The president has, basically, three powers as follows:

    1. Commander in chief of the armed forces, when war is declared by Congress

    2. To make treaties by the participation in foreign diplomacy (this has been delegated mostly to the Secretary of State). Note, these must still be approved by the Senate.

    3. To make certain Federal appointments, generally judicial in nature. These also must be approved by the Senate.

    None of these really have anything to do with the promises he’s made as a candidate. None. If you want Paulville, USA, move there (its in Texas) or elect multiple Pauls to Congress.

    No love,

    brenna

    PS. The last time we had the kind of hand-sitting strict constitutionalist Paul would have to be to be anywhere near truthful, he didn’t believe the Constitution permitted him to move to preserve the Union, even though, even to him, secession was clearly illegal. Woo, that’s what we need again. As much as I dislike Lincoln and his habeus-corpus-abolishing ways, I like my Union. But then I’m a federalist and always have been.

    Reply
  7. ouyangdan

    well put, Cara.

    if your brain is broken mine must be too.

    i get a weird Kool Aid drinker vibe from the cultish way the Followers file in behind Ron Paul mindlessly.

    FTR i have read the constitution too. what he is doing is not upholding it, he is trying to shirk responsibility of making sure that everyone is protected equally under it.

    “Leave it to the States” is a cop out. not an answer.

    Reply
  8. brenna

    Well, no. “Leave it to the states” is actually a quality, defensible position… if you’re referring to things that fall into state purview… that is, in discussing government powers, not citizens rights. The 9th and 10th amendments read

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
    and
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Discussing state powers as sovereign is really a Constitutional position. The powers of the Federal government are very specifically discussed in the Constitution. Everything left should be up to the states, at least in a pre-WWI anti-federalist world—you know, the one we’re not in anymore.

    But. It’s very clear that the citizens of the US are assumed to have rights. And, it’s very clear that no right can be breached by any state law. It is not within the powers of the states to restrict rights. It simply isn’t.

    Now. The issue remains in this discussion a philosophical one between the rights of the woman who is and the child who could be and cannot speak for himself. And, that remains one for argument. But. Since the argument is so contentious, it’s an even better calling for the only people making the decisions involved to be those with a vested interest… ie those directly affected by and involved in the decision, and not some mass decision by the general public.

    But. In short. No, “leave it up to the states” isn’t a cop-out. It may be a direct ploy to avoid Federal protection (the Fed has a reasonably solid history of protecting unpopular things), but it is most certainly not a cop-out.

    Reply
  9. Jill M.

    Ok… so maybe you have read the Constitution, but apparently you don’t comprehend it.

    The Constitution was written in plain language so everyone could understand it. It was written to protect natural human rights, not grant them. If you read it you know that it is the “supreme law of the land”, as it states clearly.

    The 2nd Amendment ends with the words, “shall not be infringed.” Banning guns or controlling guns is infringement. That is pretty simple and straightforward.

    Anyone saying “leave it to the states is a cop out” stopped reading the Constitution at Amendment 9. Because the 10th Amendment states in plain language that anything not covered in the Constitution is a State issue. So, no, saying leave it to the states is not a cop out, it is simply obeying the 10th Amendment.

    Abortion is not mentioned in the Constitution, therefore it should be left to the states. And again if you don’t like that then work to pass an amendment to protect abortion rights. I am pro-choice, but since the Constitution is “the supreme law of the land” leaving it up to the states is the current rule of law. I’d personally like to see an amendment as I suggest so it wouldn’t be left up to the states.

    Could someone tell me when Ron Paul EVER advocated HATE? A link to quotes from him? Anything? And yes I know about the newsletters back in the early 90’s. He didn’t write them, has denounced them, and hasn’t been quoted at any time since then (or before) touting anything remotely like what was contained in them.

    And saying the following:
    “Last time I checked, there is no requirement in the constitution for states to provide public education.” shows a lack of understanding. Of course there’s no requirement in the Constitution for that. There doesn’t need to be.

    Did you know that the federal government wasn’t involved in public education AT ALL until 1980 when the Dept. of Education was created? The states and local governments controlled it until then. By your logic that means we had no public education until 1980. And how has America’s public education system gone since 1980? It’s only gotten worse.

    Brenna, your comment suggests that Ron Paul or any other Presidential candidate should only run on the actual individual powers he has? Why then is Obama, Hillary, etc.. all saying they will create a health care program where everyone is covered? That can’t be done without Congress, so by your argument they shouldn’t advocate it? That is all Ron Paul is doing… advocating what he’d like to see happen and things that he will push for, just like any other candidate. Your PS stuff just confuses me. Maybe I don’t understand your point but it seems like you contradict yourself twice in it. You like your Union? Yet you call your self a federalist? Or do you mean Federalist, those like Alexander Hamilton who wanted a strong central government and no secession? Rather than the Anti-Federalists like Thomas Jefferson who believed in federalism(states rights) and the right to secession? It was commonly understood (there are numerous quotes from the founders to support it) the right to secede existed… until Lincoln ripped that apart by suspending Habeus Corpus and imprisoning thousands of journalists who spoke out against him. Lincoln was also very much in favor of “colonization”, his grand plan to ship black slaves to Liberia.

    Please explain how “leaving it to the states” is “well known racist coding”? I genuinely don’t understand that charge. The 10th Amendment is racist?

    On to another topic… what do you think about Hillary Clinton bringing up the sexist charge? True? Untrue?

    Peace and Love,
    Jill M.

    Reply
  10. GallingGalla

    Jill, I’m going to tackle one issue that is near to my heart, public education, b/c at a purely emotional level, I’d love to see it gone — based on my experiences of being brutalized in school.

    I see public education, as it is currently implemented, as primarily focused on indoctrinating the “good kids” (generally white, middle-to-upper-class suburban kids) to make them into good conforming sheeple, and warehousing the “bad kids” in an intentionally hopeless environment.

    Now, Renegade Evolution frequently asks a question of anti-sex(-work) cultural feminists — “What’s the plan?”

    So, when y’all shout “abolish public education”, I must — despite my gut emotional reaction — I must ask, “What’s the plan?”

    Home schooling? How are parents going to teach their children the skills that they will need to live in a country with so many diverse populations? How are parents going to prevent their children from internalizing isolation? How will parents encourage children to confront all the different *-isms that exist, and their own privilege? For that matter, do you even acknowledge the existence of privilege? If you don’t, what will you do if your children grow up unequipped to deal with people who have not had the same advantages as them, and might be pissed about it?

    Vouchers? Private schools? How are they any less conformance-enforcing than public schools? Indeed, many private schools are even worse in this respect than public schools.

    If you’re all about the extolling the capitalist system as The Greatest Thing Ever Invented, how will you give your child the tools to deal with sub-prime marketeers who will suck away their money?

    And how do you propose to educate children who are poor, of color, gay / lesbian, trans, intersex, neurodiverse (google it), differently-abled, fat, etc, while you and your fellow gated-community residents continue to build, reinforce, and benefit from, the structures that keep them down? And don’t throw out the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” argument, b/c that’s just part of those oppressive structures that you’re helping to build.

    What’s the plan? All I ever hear from libertarians are platitudes.

    And please don’t tell me that having individual state goverments take ownership of women’s uteruses and bodies instead of the federal government taking said ownership, is somehow “pro-choice”.

    Ron Paul. Good for the kyriarchy (google it), and not much else.

    Reply
  11. Izzy

    “Could someone tell me when Ron Paul EVER advocated HATE? A link to quotes from him? Anything?”

    Sure thing. Here’s a great quote from Ron Paul, albeit lengthy:

    ” Indeed, it is shocking to consider the uniformity of opinion among
    blacks in this country. Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5%
    of blacks have sensible political opinions…Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the “criminal
    justice system,” I think we can safely assume that 95% of the black males
    in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.

    If similar in-depth studies were conducted in other major cities, who
    doubts that similar results would be produced? We are constantly told that
    it is evil to be afraid of black men, but it is hardly irrational.”

    And here’s the kicker:
    ” Regardless of what the media tell us, most white Americans are not
    going to believe that they are at fault for what blacks have done to cities
    across America. The professional blacks may have cowed the elites, but good
    sense survives at the grass roots. Many more are going to have difficultly
    avoiding the belief that our country is being destroyed by a group of
    actual and potential terrorists — and they can be identified by the color
    of their skin.

    Emphasis mine.

    All of this is taken from the Ron Paul Poltical Report. Here’s the article:
    http://groups.google.com/group/soc.culture.african.american/msg/c8668bd3662b0fa5
    Please prove me wrong. Tell me that no one with such a wide support base could pen or support these statements.

    Reply
  12. brenna

    Brenna, your comment suggests that Ron Paul or any other Presidential candidate should only run on the actual individual powers he has? Why then is Obama, Hillary, etc.. all saying they will create a health care program where everyone is covered? That can’t be done without Congress, so by your argument they shouldn’t advocate it? That is all Ron Paul is doing… advocating what he’d like to see happen and things that he will push for, just like any other candidate.

    First, none of the other candidates are promoting a strict constructionist view, so I wouldn’t expect them to abide by it. Paul is. And so, he should. But, he isn’t.

    Your PS stuff just confuses me. Maybe I don’t understand your point but it seems like you contradict yourself twice in it. You like your Union? Yet you call your self a federalist? Or do you mean Federalist, those like Alexander Hamilton who wanted a strong central government and no secession?

    Do you think, maybe, if I said that I’m a federalist that maybe I meant that I’m a federalist?

    The 2nd Amendment ends with the words, “shall not be infringed.” Banning guns or controlling guns is infringement. That is pretty simple and straightforward.

    You missed the first part.

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State

    Despite your indoctrination, there is a legitimate debate as to the meaning of this. Now, in Florida, every state citizen is, by state constitution, a member of the state militia. But. That’s not the case in every state. Further. It’s very not simple. Banning guns is infringement. Having specific restrictions that do not create an undue burden on law-abiding citizens is not infringement. Next time you think it is, ask why felons can’t vote. I find it amusing that all these gun people don’t care about the fact that felons can’t vote. I wonder why…

    But, because of the Constitution, there’s more to the Constitution than the text itself. You should read the following.

    United States v. Miller
    Presser v. Illinois
    Miller v. Texas
    Robertson v. Baldwin
    Quilici v. Village of Morton Grove
    United States v. Cruikshank
    Cases v. United States
    Lewis v. United States
    Hickman v. Block
    United States v. Gomez
    Barrett v. United States
    Scarborough v. United States
    United States v. Bass

    It’s amazing what reality is when you move beyond propaganda.

    And, finally. While some may have stopped reading the Constitution at 9, you skipped right over it. I quoted it already, and I’ll do it again.

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Do I need to paste it again?

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    In case you didn’t catch it the first two times, that means that ALL RIGHTS SHOULD BE ASSUMED TO BE HELD BY THE PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF BEING UNENUMERATED (that means listed). Rights are reserved for the citizens. States don’t have rights. Citizens have rights. States have powers (see amendment 10). There’s a big difference. And. Because of the 14th amendment,

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws…

    which has been applied to the several states (google it if you’re confused), states must recognize the 9th amendment which declares unequivocally that all rights should be assumed to be reserved by the people. Which means, therefore, that it is not in the perview of any state to decide whether a citizen possesses a certain right. The government that we have ASSUMES rights. Well. It should. It fails to. Miserably.

    The declaration of independence is not a United States document, having been written by several disobedient colonists. However, it clearly states the philosophy behind our nation and our system of government. Inalienable rights. These are rights that are inherently possessed by human beings. They are not granted by a government. They are not allowed when social morals evolves enough. They are INHERENT to human beings, and any breach of these is egregious. Moreover, the preamble to the Constitution (which is a US document) is very clear as well. The government cannot grant the people rights because the government IS the people. I am the government of Florida, and I am the government of these several United States. And, because I am the government, I say what right I have. Not you. Not your mom. Not your pastor. And certainly not Ron Paul. What kind of libertarians are these, anyways?

    Reply
  13. Jill M.

    Izzy:
    Your first post is the newsletter I spoke of. Ron Paul didn’t write it. He’s denounced it. He’s never written or said anything like it before or since. He had many authors writing for his newsletter and he naively paid little attention to it at the time. To me the fact that nothing has come out before or since from him that could be construed as racist like that lends credence to his denouncement.

    On his “Sanctity Of Life” act that you link to… it is one area I disagree with him on. I never said Ron Paul was pro-choice. I said I was. And I said that the Constitution as it is currently written has no provision for it so it should be a state issue. I would be for an amendment protecting choice. Roe v. Wade is accomplishing it, but it’s not the proper Constitutional method. For me that is better than nothing though.

    GallingGalla:
    I never said I was for abolishing public education. I said America has had public education over much of its long history and it has been great when it was regulated/controlled by localities and states. Once the feds got involved in 1980 with the Dept. of Ed. things started really going downhill.

    See my comments above to Izzy regarding the choice/abortion issue.

    Brenna:
    Ron Paul has said himself many times that he won’t be able to immediately institute many of his ideas because instituting them by executive order or signing statements is unconstitutional in his view. He said he would work with Congress to advocate the passage of laws in line with his positions. This is no different than any other candidate if she/he should become President. Well it should be, but in more recent times Presidents have ignored the Constitution.

    On the 2nd Amendment, you are absolutely correct that there is certainly debate about the ‘militia’ meaning. I’m curious what your thoughts are on the Heller Supreme Court case currently being deliberated?

    It is my belief (and many others) that the original intent of the framers on the 2nd amendment was that the natural inherent right of individuals was to keep and bear arms without infringement. I left out the first part of the amendment, but you left out the middle. Here it is in its entirety:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    The Heller case should help give us further ground for debate.

    I don’t disagree with much else you say. In fact it seems we are right in line. In fact you sound like a Ron Paul supporter. I’ve said everything you said to others. Please explain further where Ron Paul’s positions contradict this?

    (I was writing my last post while you submitted your last one (timestamp: 11:45pm) so I hadn’t seen your 9th amendment argument post, until now.)

    Peace and Love,
    Jill M.

    Reply
  14. angryyoungwoman

    What worries me about Ron Paul: I’m permanently disabled and unable to work, but Ron Paul wants to dismantle the very programs that, you know, keep me alive. I find this a wee bit disturbing. Along with the fact that he wants to overturn Roe and he has so very little comprehension of how money works that he thinks we can go back on the gold standard.

    Reply
  15. Cara Post author

    Thank you, angryyoungwoman.

    The Ron Paul Didn’t Write It defense is such a fucking cop-out, and maybe you should ask yourself why so many of his supporters were totally fine with it for so long, and who exactly you’re associating yourself with.

    Hate:

    Racism exists because people keep acknowledging the existence of racism.

    “Illegal immigrants” should not have access to health care. Let ’em die.

    It’s impossible for pregnancy to kill a woman. Well, not really, but damn it sounds good when you support outlawing all abortion across the board.

    Oh, except that there should be medical privacy for everyone who isn’t seeking a medical procedure Ron Paul doesn’t like.

    Hooray for Google. Look, there’s even a hit for Ron Paul talking about how “state’s rights” is generally perceived to be racist without in any way actually addressing the issue.

    And Jill, you’re sounding rather fanatical. I wouldn’t tolerate it from an Obama supporter either, so watch it.

    Reply
  16. Jill M.

    Cara,
    I disagree with your cop out charge (yet again). You seem to throw that around a lot. It was unfortunate those statements appeared in his newsletter. He denounced them. He didn’t write them. He hasn’t written or said anything remotely equivalent before them, or since. You are of course free to believe him or not, as much as I am.

    I can’t find where Ron Paul says, “Racism exists because people keep acknowledging the existence of racism.” But I guess you are paraphrasing. There is not a single word suggesting “Hate” in the text of the link you provide. He preaches equal rights. You are again attempting to manufacture something that just doesn’t exist.

    There is a large divide between saying that ILLEGAL immigrants shouldn’t be able to utilize tax payer paid government services and saying “let them die”. I disagree with much of Ron Paul on immigration, but you are again jumping to conclusions. He is a doctor. He is against the death penalty. He is pro-life. He would not “let them die.” This is the equivalent of saying that Republicans let children die because they (for the most part) are against expanding SCHIP. It’s simply untrue.

    Again, he never said it is “impossible for pregnancy to kill a woman.” He just said from his own personal experience as a doctor he hasn’t ever seen a case where an abortion was required to save the life of a woman. I disagree with Ron Paul on this issue, but I won’t resort to letting my own disagreement with him cloud and distort his actual words.

    On the states rights thing… In the article you link to he talks about how racism divides us (it certainly does) and he provides the actual definition of states rights. He blames “liberals” for distorting the true meaning. It seems like a quite logical argument since in your entire post you’ve done exactly that.

    angryyoungwoman:
    Ron Paul has stated numerous times that he advocates a graceful transition. His exact words are, “No one would be left out in the cold.” He would bring our troops back from overseas to pay for the transition. Those who have become dependent on things like social security, medicare, medicaid would still get “theirs” but it would be phased out over a period of many years.

    If there is one issue where I’m in complete agreement with RP on it is economics. He’s lauded from both the left and the right on economics. People think the “gold standard” overnight is what he advocates, but the truth is he just wants competing currencies, some of which will be backed by something tangible (like gold, silver, etc) and others not backed by anything. Ultimately, the market would decide which currencies stay afloat and it would be yet another graceful transition rather than saying on day 1: abolish the currency, now it’s all a gold standard, which he fully admits would cause market chaos.

    Cara, I don’t deify any presidential candidate unlike some other Ron Paul supporters. I respect all the candidates positions on the issues. I get annoyed when “non issues” become all the media talks about. The Obama Rev. Wright thing was ridiculously overplayed. Now the Today show (I think it was) ran a piece on Hillary suggesting the reason she is probably going to lose the nomination is because of ‘sexism.’ Hillary herself has said it. She also has said some things that could be classified as ‘racist’ by your standards. I think the media plays up these things entirely too much. For me the issues are what matters.

    I disagree with Ron Paul on immigration and abortion and nothing else. I have reconciled my disagreement with him on abortion, accepting his “leave it to the states” philosophy. On immigration I have serious disagreements with him, but it is not a major issue for me like it is for others. So no, I’m not fanatical, but out of the candidates I’m 80% with him and 50% or below with everyone else… on the actual issues.

    Here is a short article/essay/whatever I found applicable to my own beliefs regarding the role of government vs. the individual.
    http://www.libertymaven.com/2008/04/02/ron-paul-rejects-the-woe-is-me-nation/1003/

    Peace and Love,
    Jill M.

    Reply
  17. Cara Post author

    Jill, IMMIGRATION can be illegal, IMMIGRANTS cannot. People are not illegal. Furthermore, yeah, Hillary Clinton has said lots of things that I find to be racist. I’ve written about it. Are you trying to call me out on some kind of double-standard? Because that really doesn’t work until you verify that the double-standard exists.

    Yes, I was paraphrasing Ron Paul’s views on race. Rather accurately.

    As for my comments about his newsletters, you didn’t address my point. Secondly, this is my first time using the phrase “cop out” on this thread. Try checking who wrote comments before attributing them.

    I have no interest in arguing with someone who isn’t going to engage in the points being made. I’m also not going to allow the very kind of fanatical propaganda that I just said I’m not going allow to be posted on my blog in terms of links, either. Particularly that kind of propaganda that explicitly and pointlessly brings John Lennon’s name into it when I spent several paragraphs in this post denouncing the use of John Lennon’s words for political purposes.

    Failing to enact the gold standard will not ruin people’s lives (and I don’t agree with the suggestion anyway). Enacting Ron Paul’s views on immigration and abortion will. I don’t get why those things that will not ruin people’s lives one way or the other matter to you more than the things you disagree with him on that will indeed ruin many lives. And at this point, I don’t give a shit, either. Ron Paul’s brand of libertarianism is one that I have absolutely no time for and I’ve wasted far too much time on it already. Goodbye.

    Reply
  18. Jill M.

    Cara,

    Thanks for the discussion. I’m sorry you felt the need to get angered over it. This will be my last post.

    Peace and Love,
    Jill M.

    Reply
  19. brenna

    On the 2nd Amendment, you are absolutely correct that there is certainly debate about the ‘militia’ meaning. I’m curious what your thoughts are on the Heller Supreme Court case currently being deliberated?

    It is my belief (and many others) that the original intent of the framers on the 2nd amendment was that the natural inherent right of individuals was to keep and bear arms without infringement. I left out the first part of the amendment, but you left out the middle. Here it is in its entirety:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    The Heller case should help give us further ground for debate.

    The middle isn’t really important, actually. No one disputes it. Disputing “the right of the people” would require suggesting that organizations or what have you to possess arms and distribute them to individuals only when they wanted to. No one, to my knowledge, is discussing that. We are discussing whether private individual citizens as opposed to individual citizens involved in organized and educated militia or military groups have the right to possess weapons. But, most people aren’t even discussing that. Most people are discussing whether certain behavior or behavioral disorders should reduce this right, just as they reduce other rights. Felons can’t vote. Felons, upon being released, can petition to resume their suffrage. Felons have broken the social contract which the Constitution, and other laws, rules over. The idea is that once people demonstrate an unwillingness to participate in the social contract, they should not receive the benefits of it. Part of this is that SCOTUS has ruled time and again that the onus is on the State to demonstrate that a certain right has the potential to cause harm. The specific tests vary from right to right depending on the relative importance of that right. For example, speech receives strict scrutiny on clear and present danger. But, the State has demonstrated that recidivism rates for violent crimes and mental instability along with a lack of education on gun safety present a real danger of gun violence to other citizens. Now, I hate the gun/car analogy, but it is, unfortunately, a valid one when used correctly. If I am drunk, I pose a danger when I drive. Almost no one disputes this, and so, we have laws restricting driving while under the influence of substances. If I haven’t learned to safely operate a vehicle and haven’t learned what the traffic rules are, my unpredictable driving poses a danger to other drivers and pedestrians. Because of this, we require licenses for driving. No one is prohibited from driving provided they meet the safety requirements established in the social contract. There are some prohibitions, such as blindness and epilepsy, because they prevent the driver from identifying obstacles or present a risk of failure to control the vehicle. If I demonstrate my inability or refusal to safely operate a vehicle, my license will be revoked and additional driving will potentially result in jail time. These do not constitute an undue burden because there is nothing inherently life-threatening about not being permitted to drive a car. There is also nothing inherently life-threatening about not being permitted to own a gun. There is, however, something inherently life-threatening about being on the wrong side of a bullet.

    While there are some who do advocate the complete ban of firearms, I really doubt it will ever occur. It will also require a Constitutional amendment, which is notoriously and purposely difficult to accomplish. The social contract we have regarding firearms generally includes the following:

    -restrictions for those with a history of violent crime
    -restrictions for those with certain severe mental disturbance generally requiring INVOLUNTARY commitment to an institution
    -requirement of a license in order to possess a firearm (and sometimes other weapons), sometimes requiring specific licenses for specific kind of weapons based on use or concealment
    -requirement of safety considerations including but not limited to: safety courses, bullet storage, weapon storage, locks, specific guidelines for homes with children, and disassemblage

    Not all of these are required everywhere. But, I really think they generally constitute legitimate restrictions. I do wonder about the functionality issue of a gun kept in the home being disassembled or locked in a safe in case of an emergency, but, i suppose that’s why gun lockers are glass. I do not believe that people should have the right to kill intruders who do not demonstrate a threat to life, but it can be hard to tell the difference. Florida “recently” passed a law that it’s okay to shoot someone running away from you. That helps me sleep well at night, let me tell you. My husband’s father owns a gun. He keeps it loaded and unlocked. That is legal here. His step children “know not to touch it” and, when my husband was young, he “knew not to touch it.” I don’t really buy it. His stepkids are dumb. But, I don’t feel unsafe in his house. I would prefer that everyone in a household with a weapon be required to take a gun safety course. I think I’d really prefer it if gun safety were part of our state-mandated life skills courses, except those are generally in high school and that’s way too late. Elementary schoolers need to be taught that weapons are designed to enable you to hurt someone more easily and they will do so if you are not careful with them. They need to learn about death and they need to learn about irreparable harm. I think the sanitized, death-free fantasy world we raise children in in this country is partially to blame for the child violence. I think violent video games may be our one salvation from that because they actually address the fact that WHEN I SHOOT YOU, YOU DON’T GET BACK UP. As it is, nowhere in the Constitution does it describe the right for a citizen to have his life preserved. There is no “right to life” (please do not confuse this with what would more appropriately be described “right to be born” discussed by “pro-lifers”). However, it is clearly blatantly assumed to be an inherent right that cannot be infringed by anyone without due process of law according to the social contract. It’s such an important right that they didn’t think it even needed to be mentioned. It’s importance clearly supercedes all other rights. Your right to own and use a weapon can never be more important than my right to my health and life. Yes, it is illegal to kill people, so we already have that law and punish that behavior. But the position of society is that punishing people who kill people is not sufficient to preventing violent death. Namely, cases of accidental death often have no culprit to punish. So, society has decided to shift the terms of the contract. Perhaps this will require further constitutional amendment, but perhaps judicial review will be sufficient. But, society decided that, when someone dies by a weapon made to kill, there should be specific rules to assign blame. If only the shooter is to blame, then the shooter acquires the punishment. But, if there is no shooter or if the shooter is demonstrated to not be malicious or the shooter is less at fault than some negligent party, then punishing the shooter does not bring a just resolution. Moreover, the issue above of prevention. People don’t like losing children because of ill-kept weapons. You could say this is an issue of personal responsibility, but the death of another person is hardly a “shape up” situation. It is difficult to say that behavior must be regulated. But, it has been demonstrated that certain things are inherently dangerous. We dont’ regulate them because people are stupid or incompetent of need daddy to watch them, we regulate them because people make mistakes, and we’d prefer that mistakes with deadly consequences be prevented as long as the burden is not too great.

    Considering that the 2nd Amendment only discusses weapons that will be used in militia circumstances, such gun-advocate discussions of hunting and home protection aren’t strictly constitutional in the way that people talk about strict constitutionality. However, we have still allowed it in the social contract because the inclusion of the word militia is intended to specifically protect the right of citizens to form paramilitary groups, including for the purpose of overthrowing a tyrannical government.

    It’s fun when people talk about strict constitutionality, especially when they aren’t aware of just how restrictive that would be.

    I think Heller will be an interesting case. I think the most interesting part will be the discussion of whether DC residents are, in fact, full citizens, and what, if any, implications that will have on congressional representation. DC is a funny place.

    I don’t disagree with much else you say. In fact it seems we are right in line. In fact you sound like a Ron Paul supporter. I’ve said everything you said to others. Please explain further where Ron Paul’s positions contradict this?

    I really don’t see how we or myself and Paul could possibly be in line considering his anti-federalist position and his insistence that state powers supercede citizen rights. Also, this discussion has not addressed the responsibilities of society, only the rights of citizens… and not even all of those. I am socially very liberal. I also agree with and promote certain amounts of economic redistribution (I’m not even afraid to say the word “redistribution”) as it contributes to the wellbeing of the society as a whole. I also demand financial efficiency and stewardship. I like social programs. I want to see more. I also happen to know that the government is very wasteful. Governor Sebellius has clearly demonstrated that you can eliminate a budget deficit without eliminating social programs. She’s my hero. I am not and could never be a Paul supporter.

    Again, he never said it is “impossible for pregnancy to kill a woman.” He just said from his own personal experience as a doctor he hasn’t ever seen a case where an abortion was required to save the life of a woman.

    The problem here is that Paul is a bad doctor and a bad scientist. No good doctor and no good scientist would ever make such an anecdotal claim. He said that in his 40 years of private practice, he never had to perform an abortion to preserve the life of a mother. No one would ever volunteer this information so loudly if he didn’t intend to disparage those who provide clear evidence that pregnancy is a very risky endeavor and that certain conditions exist which require action. I’m very happy for him that he never had to deal with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. (I’m also really happy for that Australian couple who miraculously carried an ovarian ectopic to term.) But, I wonder if his personal views didn’t scare away patients who might have needed procedures he didn’t agree with? I wonder if any women died because they were forced to seek a different doctor? Doctors are scientists and scientists don’t cite anecdote as evidence. He demonstrates a severe and horrifying disrespect for rational thought and evidentiary reasoning, and I cannot ever support someone like that, just as I could never support Hillary Clinton with her blatant disrespect for free speech. Anecdotes are fairy tales and laws should not be based on them.

    Reply
  20. dew

    Well, thanks for some great listening while I read! It’s interesting to note that 77% male thing, because once you mentioned it, I realized that the few people I know who like Paul are male. They’re also all batshit. Ok, I should be more PC. Let’s say unstable rather than batshit.

    Reply
  21. angryyoungwoman

    Cara-
    Thank you for so aptly telling that woman why the whole Ron Paul thing is horse hooey. Seriously, nothing on earth bothers me more than a crazy Ron Pauler who answers every argument with “That argument doesn’t count because . . . ”

    I don’t think the Paulites will detract much from the democratic vote. The only ones I know are really crazy and weird republicans–so hopefully they’ll destroy McCain’s campaign.

    Thanks for this, though. It made my day.

    Reply
  22. Matt Garrison

    Ron Paul may be far from perfect in the view of many voters, but he’s certainly no worse of a person than Clinton, Obama, or McCain. He deserves respect simply for being the candidate most dedicated to the idea that we should engage in peace and stop trying to police the world, even if everything else he thinks is totally repulsive to those on the liberal left. To a left-liberal, I don’t see why his views would be any more offensive or repulsive than those of any other Republican or Libertarian candidate. Like I said, at least he is dedicated to ending deadly and destructive military adventurism.

    Reply
  23. Cara Post author

    I don’t find it any more offensive, Matt. The difference is that liberals aren’t running around talking about how awesome John McCain is. Well, at least they seemed to cut that out a few years back.

    If you’d like to keep reading, I’m sure that you’ll read plenty about John McCain over the next few months. And other republicans. In fact, you can go back in the archives and see all of the thing I have to say about other republicans who are not Ron Paul. He’s hardly singled out for my hate. Actually, I think it’s Ron Paul supporters who tend to grate on me much, much more than Ron Paul himself does. You’ll see that by reading this post, too.

    Reply
  24. Matt Garrison

    I agree that Ron Paul’s message is definitely not that of the Beatles. To some that is obviously a good thing, to others it is a bad thing, and many are too clueless to see any difference. I do believe that many supporters of Ron Paul are clueless about his positions on many issues, but he represents me to a better approximation than any other candidate outside the Libertarian Party, so he got my money and my vote.

    Reply
  25. Pete

    I just have to give credit to all of you in here. This is probably the most fact filled, well thought out blog I have ever read.

    The problem here that many of us are seeing, is SINGLE ISSUE VOTERS.

    The war is such a huge issue for some, that they embrace it as their sole qualifier for voting. Or Pro-choice/pro-life. And it causes them to miss the bigger picture.

    I’m not going to state that any one issue is any more important than any other. If you find a candidate that fits your bill on every issue, consider them suspect. And they can say all they want about what they are going to do, but it takes more than a President to make that happen.

    As for everyones complaint about the Federal Government not being involved in Public education, I have to agree. Our children are our legacy. Do we trust them to some institution that can’t even make sure the toys they play with, and the food they eat is safe?

    Federal mandates have done absolutely nothing for our schools. Why should we give our money to the Federal Government to be doled out as they see fit to our states for education? Why not skip the middleman? At least you would save on the cost of the Department of Education (something that each state already has).

    Leaving issues up to the States was what our Government was designed to do. If you feel your state is deficient in an area, such as education, or reproductive rights, either change the government at election time, or move to a better state. The Federal Government is only supposed to deal with matters of state, keep an army, and keep the states from doing anything too crazy. That’s it. Everything else is left up to the states. At least half of our Federal Government should not exist right now. It is in most cases just unwanted redundancy, ineffective, inefficient, and corrupt. Their is not much they do well. So the less they do the better.

    Reply
  26. Cara Post author

    f you feel your state is deficient in an area, such as education, or reproductive rights, either change the government at election time, or move to a better state.

    Yeah, see, this is the precise problem with this kind of libertarian thinking — it’s so elitist and class-blind. Many people — hell, I’d venture that most people — can’t pick up and move states. If you can afford to do that, it probably doesn’t matter what state you live in anyway. You can buy a plane ticket to go get an abortion in NY. Why move?

    Reply
  27. Cara Post author

    Folks, I’m NOT going to let through comments talking about how awesome Ron Paul is just for the sake of talking about how awesome Ron Paul is. I don’t post infomercials, and there’s a difference between addressing and disagreeing with the criticisms in the post and simply writing an entire long comment of “How do I love Ron Paul? Let me count the ways.”

    Reply
  28. Kristen

    Cara-

    I wasn’t going to read this post because, well, I assumed we could all agree that libertarians and strict constructionists are idiots. But the comment count got me curious. In any event, you are absolutely right. Ron Paul is an idiot and I can’t believe that this requires discussion.

    Re: Strict constructionism

    No such animal. Clear your mind for a moment and re-read the constitution…do it out loud if you must. No portion of our government has conformed to the written words since the early 1800s. Period. It’s a myth.

    Re: Libertarianism

    There is this thing called the tragedy of the commons. It indicates that there are somethings for which we need a centralized authority. If you have a TOC situation, and you fail to organize, you lose economic benefits. Education, roads, and now health care fall in those categories. Nationalizing them creates economic benefits. THINK. DON’T JUST REGURGITATE OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS.

    Re: Federalism vs. Libertarianism vs. Strict Constructionism

    Federalism is not the same thing as either of those two concepts. Federalism is a political philosophy of dividing powers between central and localized governments. I am a federalist. I think property issues should be determined by local governments. I think intrastate highway systems should be determined by local governments. I think zoning issues (wrt non-civil rights outcomes) should be determined by local governments, as should taxes, waste disposal, etc. In so far as the costs and benefits are localized, the government should be localized.

    BUT in so far as the costs and benefits are not localized – the environment, education, health care – failure to administer programs on a national level is falling once again into the TOC.

    Further, a significant flaw, recognized by the framers, in any representative democracy is tyranny of the majority. A strong national judiciary is required to protect the human rights of those who are easily abused and isolated. If states were not so willing to take away a person’s right to bodily autonomy we wouldn’t need the courts, but it is because representative democracy cannot be trusted to uphold these higher ideals that we MUST have this strong judiciary that people bitch about so much.

    Okay? Great…now…moving on.

    Reply
  29. Lindra

    Cara —

    You’re right about the elitism and the class issues involved. I have never met a black Ron Paul supporter. I have met very few female Ron Paul supporters. Black female Ron Paul supporters? Non-existent. I’m sure there’s some, but the overwhelming majority of Ron Paul supporters are white males who see NO WAR and think: Geezums, I should vote for this guy! because they just don’t see how the issues apply to them.

    My father is a fanatic Ron Paul supporter. I tried to discuss with him the abortion issue: what if there isn’t an abortion clinic in their state? What if they’re late in the term and it’s either the fetus dies or they do, and because of Ron Paul there’s no doctor who’ll be willing to save them, so they have to go somewhere else?

    His answer: They can drive.

    Mine: What if they can’t afford a car?

    His answer: They can take a bus.

    A FUCKING BUS.

    There is absolutely no concept of the real suffering and limitations involved on the parts of those who are most affected by the negatives of Ron Paul’s views. None.

    Reply

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