Anybody, Let’s Hear it for Ron Paul

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 exceptional-ism, 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 well, 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 Record: A 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.

Also see:
Ron Paul’s Strange Bedfellows  by Katha Pollitt
Critiques of Libertarianism  by Mike Huben
Ron Paul Hates You  by phenry
What does Ron Paul Stand For?  by Bob Cesca
Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul  by Dandelion SaladComments:

    • Brenda Weber ‎”…the thirst for a fantasy future land.” This perfectly describes Libertarian philosophy. I may have to steal it…

      3 January at 20:58 · LikeUnlike ·  1
    • Don Nelson I posted on another site that even if you credit RP with some acceptable ideas you can not pick and chose which RP you vote for. If a vote is cast because he is anti war or because he wants to reduce government to a point where it can drown in a bath tub – he also comes with his homophobia, ethnic hate and extreme right supremacist ideology. A vote for part is a vote for the whole. Not my idea of a wise choice.

      3 January at 21:05 · LikeUnlike ·  5
    • Sam Mcmichael We need to build a virtual candidate by taking a bit of this one and a bit of that one… could be programed to act on the selected principles ……up-dated to meet new challenges …maybe this isn’t a new idea……

      3 January at 21:49 · LikeUnlike ·  2
    • Brenda Weber Ooohhh a president bot! Very cool and scifi.

      3 January at 22:05 via Mobile · LikeUnlike ·  2
    • Don Nelson IMHO – the disparity between what the Extreme right desires for this Nation and what the more extreme left desires leaves very little to compromise on. My hope is for a more centrist position, a more moderate result. A house divided is not long standing and I fear that the current trend may take the house down. We really do not want another ‘ civil war’. The cost would wreck home and hearth to a degree not yet witnessed. As the pendulum swings from one extreme to the other, perhaps, the best hope is to claim the middle ground and hold it. It is in the ‘holding’ that much work must be done.

      4 January at 13:58 · LikeUnlike ·  2
    • Juliana Ninety-Nine I think that would be Obama — let the gays fight all these wars; let people who exercise first amendment rights be indefinitely detained as “low-level terrorists”; let social security exist but federal social services & responsibility fall by the way side…. Oh, he’s found the middle ground alright, but it’s in the middle of a world of destruction. He’s earned my vote of No Confidence.

      5 January at 09:29 via Mobile · LikeUnlike ·  1
    • Ann Berry Ron Paul sounded good to me. Then I read one of his books. In it he said, “Most scientist” don’t think global warming is real. That could well mean if he were president, he would deregulate everything. Some polluting corporations need regulating because they are so greedy they don’t mind killing and damaging the population of the world.

      5 January at 12:14 · LikeUnlike ·  5
    • Andrew Hayes Well he would de regulate alot, because he intends to follow the law.”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.”So if you can’t find where the power to regulate corporations is in the constitution, then you may not do it at the federal level, you may not regulate drugs, or criminalize drugs, or prevent gays from getting married, or really anything. All of these things are state issues if they are not individual issues.

      6 January at 06:06 · LikeUnlike
    • Ray Dryz I would hate to see any Republican in the White House come November. However, that doesn’t mean I will invest any time or money helping Obama get re-elected.

      6 January at 09:22 · LikeUnlike
    • Juliana Ninety-Nine I’m OK with Republicans (as in TRUE conservatives — I can’t name even ONE holding ofc now) … but Obama has carried on the Bush neocon agenda far too well. Not sure what I’ll do come November. :/

      6 January at 09:27 via Mobile · LikeUnlike
    • Terry Gresham Chomsky

      Dandelion Salad Posted by personman Sun Dec 02, 2007…06:21:21 Update: I E-mailed Prof. Chomsky for confirmation. Z magazine is an official source, but some Ron Paul sup…See more
      3 hours ago · LikeUnlike ·
    • Andrew Hayes Its pretty sad to have to resort to accusing someone of being a racist and full of hate.. He clearly is not, since 2006 his Revolution has been associated with love… Re3VO7ution…But I thought I would address some serious ideas, the idea that Paul is a Libertarian. He is not. He is A constitutionalist and the constitution is by and large a libertarian document, especially the Bill of RIghts. a real libertarians would want to get rid of the patent office, the post office, and stuff like that. But Paul is entirely fine with them because they are in the constitution.He wants to repeal the 16th amendment, but through the appeals process. All he wants is to follow the law.

      3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
    • Robert Duncan Not convinced, Andrew.

      about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
    • Don Nelson Always beware of any critter that tries to change it’s spots. It remains what it has always been.

      about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
    • Robert Duncan I find it funny, this idea that the Constitution is some sacred, written-in-stone document. It’s amendable, it allows for interpretation, even to the point that an interpretitive process is BUILT IN to the document. People like Paul seem to hide behind this facade of “constitutionalism” when it suits them.

      about an hour ago · LikeUnlike ·  2
    • Doris Lynn Crouse Gent ‎Andrew, Congratulations…You’re voting for Paul !!!….So what’s your point ?!…Trying to convince us or yourself, Paul is “The” One…….

      about an hour ago · LikeUnlike

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