Anybody, Let’s Hear it for Ron Paul, 2012

by Terry Gresham

There may be some truth to the idea that while progressives are busy studying political science and Law and such the conservatives are busy studying marketing (Lakoff)  And thus the conservatives tend to be able to effectively push their product much like soda pop.  Catchy targeted somewhat meaningless phrases like: Mama Grizzles, Christian family values, Sharia Law, Free Market, and such resonate a deceptively clear message that their voters rally around.  In a climate of exceptionalism, we hear an extremely sexy religious message fueled on fear and mistrust— exclusion of  others— which is an easy message to sell.  Should we buy it?  What is the 99% to do?  There may not be an easy solution for progressives to use as a remedy, only encouragement.  Have progressive movements ever been easy?  Women earned the right to vote not until 1920, much much much went into that effort.  We must join together, but we must also be weary of traps.

But today, we are the Slogan Generation.

Take for instance the selling of the Ron Paul package, all shiny except for the charges of racism which may or may not be founded–Ron’s bigotry may just be due to libertarian blindness and the thirst for a fantasy future land.  Years ago, I once was fond of wondering if Paul would be a great politician worthy of my support.  Boy, was I wrong.  Granted,  he does say cool stuff and he says “Liberty” and “The Constitution” quite a lot, too.  But, snake is the word I use for Paul more and more as I learn more about libertarian politics and what words mean in Libertarianese (Koch speaks this language as well)   My concern has somewhat to do with his bigotry which is obvious, but moreover, it has to do with his voting record and his wacky bill sponsorship.

Kenneth Quinnell, for Crocks and Liars, writes: Ron Paul’s Racism Isn’t the Worst Thing About Him

“Anyone considering Paul as a candidate should certainly take into account his views on race, gender and the LGBT community — all of which are atrocious — but they should also take into account the vast array of other issues in which he is not only incredibly wrong, but where his policy prescriptions would make things worse.Some Occupy Wall Street supporters are Paul supporters, but Paul is very clearly aligned with the 1 percent. He says some things that sound good, but his voting record on issues related to corporations and the rest of us is bad. For instance, his lifetime voting record on:

  • Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad is 13.40 percent progressive
  • Corporate Subsidies 31.18 percent
  • Education, Humanities, & the Arts 13.19 percent
  • Environment 11.35 percent
  • Fair Taxation 9.01 percent
  • Government Checks on Corporate Power 15.16 percent
  • Health Care 12.62 percent
  • Housing 6.10 percent
  • Labor Rights 13.51 percent
  • Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful 15.88 percent Even on the issues he’s supposed to be good on, his record is mediocre:
  • Human Rights & Civil Liberties 33.66 percent progressive
  • Justice for All: Civil and Criminal 30.71 percent
  • War & Peace 47.92 percent”

Please, check out these percentages at Progressive Punch for Paul’s Overall Lifetime Progressive scores

————————————————————————————————————————————Ron’s RecordA great source worth a look is at Project Vote Smart.  Paul’s record is easily seen. Like if one where interested in how he voted on:Dec. 20, 2011  HR 3630  Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Extension    Ron Paul  Did Not VoteAnd get a load of this.

Dec. 13, 2011  HR 3630  Reduces Payroll Taxes and Unemployment Benefits  Ron Paul  Did Not Vote


“– He has favored all manner of other right-wing policies, in the following case with a single bill, which includes provisions for such things as supporting corporal punishment, requiring that young people seeking reproductive care have their parents notified, allowing churches and religious organizations that run “public” services to discriminate against potential clients, and moving us back to school segregation. H.R.7955: A bill to strengthen the American family and promote the virtues of family life.
Fortunately, Ron Paul rarely gets anywhere with his proposals. I doubt there would be many progressives, or even many liberals, who would like where this man comes from politically, or where he wants to take us.”  – Orcinus

The Daily Kos’s contributor, Plentry, puts it this way on Paul as someone to consider.

“Your affection for Paul is far from mutual. Through his words, his actions, and his votes in Congress, he has made one thing abundantly clear over the decades: Ron Paul hates you. By building him up, by supporting him, by taking him seriously, you are not driving a wedge into the heart of the Republican Party–you are only giving him a helping hand along the road to his goal of destroying just about everything you stand for.” – Plentry

I  do love Ron when he says words like freedom and liberty.  I almost want to reach out and grab those tasty words.  Like if I were a person living in Iowa—I would love his promises on non-pasteurized Milk.  I should love Ron Paul’s ideas on legalizing pot, too, or a truck load of other cool stuff—as if I were reaching out for a free Coke or Pepsi.  I would love thinking that a policymaker is kissing my ass for a change.  Yet, I have come to the conclusion that Paul’s slogans are merely cheap messaging bits—the stuff politicians say to divert attention away form their true intentions and behavior.  His words are ammo carefully sugar coated. And, in the political playground there is the Devil to pay for candy.  Messaging is not always a bad thing, but in Paul’s case, yes, it is.  I am not falling for the message of the one percent—I almost fell for the catchy slogans—I’m not buying it anymore.

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