Sunday, December 18, 2011
There is no question that Washington has become deeply corrupted by lobbyists and special interests groups. It has always been a strategy of power to pool resources. That's the fundamental purpose of those lobbyists and special interest groups. That being said, the corruption of buying votes in Congress is rampant and unchecked at this point. But that begs the question, how do we change that? How DO we bring our country back more in line with the foundations of our Constitution?
First, let me say that lasting change must come from two different directions concurrently. The internal enemies of our country, Progressives/Liberals/Socialist/etc, have gotten this country to where it is through decades of unrelenting work at taking over our education system, our entertainment industry, our media and even our churches. If we are going to bring our country back to the right...and keep it there...we cannot simply elect a good conservative president and re-take the Senate. We must commit ourselves to retaking those institutions where the Progressives have won the hearts and minds our young.
That being said, this coming presidential election carries significant importance. Newt Gingrich has been criticized over the course of the campaign for having called Paul Ryan's plan for our Medicare system, "right wing engineering". However, if you look at the video, he wasn't speaking of what he thought of the plan itself...but what he thought of the method of trying to pass such aggressive reformations without a strong consensus from the people. In his thought, it was no different than what Obama did in forcing Obamacare onto the people without our support. As much as the ideas Ryan proposed were good, and Newt said as much, it was not a good idea to push them onto the people without a consensus from them to pass such legislation.
That, in a strong sense, is what we're facing in this election. We COULD vote in someone with strong conservative convictions and an uncompromising commitment towards governing strictly by the Constitution. But there are two problems with that. One, how does an UNcompromising president get anything passed through a Congress where his uncompromising manner would rapidly isolate him from? And two, even if he were to garner sufficient support from Congress to pass his legislative proposals, would such dramatic changes in our society be acceptable to a large enough segment of society that it wouldn't come back on him through social revolt? People don't like change as it is...and they certainly won't like the rug of how they're used to having things done pulled out from under them. It makes them feel off balance, insecure, and the first sense they have that things aren't going the way they were told they would, they're bail back the security of the way things were.
So let's look at the candidates and see them through these filters:
Senator Santorum has a reasonable good history as Senator. He's been in positions where he has helped the leadership in the GOP to accomplish many good objectives. Congresswoman Bachmann has not had a long career in the House, and although she has been outspoken and a verbal leader in the House, she has rarely been in a position of leadership and thus, has never had to do the work necessary to garner the support needed to pass any of her proposals. Dr. Paul is, in my opinion, much worse. In 24+ years as a congressman, he has never once shown the ability to author a bill and garner the support necessary to get the bill passed. For all their idealism, neither Bachmann nor Paul have ever shown they have the skill set necessary for a president to implement their ideals into legislation.
We could also vote for someone with executive experience. There are three candidates in this campaign who have had to do their share of compromising in order to get things done in their respective states. Mitt Romney had to do it in a state where conservatism is almost an endangered species. In doing what he did, he actually didn't enact much of anything by way of conservative principles. Is that his fault? Does that mean Mitt is not a conservative? We don't really know. That's sort of the problem. Governors Perry and Huntsman did well in their states while working with conservative legislatures. Even so, Governor Huntsman still espouses to more moderate views on many issues. Governor Perry has done well with a supportive legislature and his views still remain conservative. How he would do with an uncooperative legislature is not known.
Lastly, we have former Speaker, Newt Gingrich. For a large portion of Newt's twenty years in Congress, he has been in a position of leadership. He was Minority Whip for several years. The Whip is the person in the party who goes around whipping up support for an upcoming vote. He will work the members of, in his case, the GOP caucus to get them to vote in a way the Caucus leaders would like them to vote. He also is the one to whom those members will communicate their concerns over a specific bill. They will also let the Whip know if there is anything they want added to or changed in a bill before they will vote for or against it.
As Speaker, his position and power was even greater. He had to make sure that he had enough votes to get his bills through. He had to make sure to work with the president to ensure his signature. In his years as Minority Whip, Newt had to work with first a GOP president (Bush, Sr.) and then a Dem. president (Clinton). As Speaker, he had to work solely with a Dem. President.
The most common thing that we idealists forget when vetting our candidates is the fact that a president, as a leader, in order to garner sufficient support to get his agenda passed into law, must know how to work with people with political ideologies quite different than their own. We've seen over the past three years what happens when we have an idealistic president who hasn't the skill set to work with a Congress that isn't always on the same page as he is. When he had a majority in Congress, he still had to force his ideas onto us (Obamacare). He was able to garner enough votes within his own party to pass those bills, but the public, to this day, is still rebelling against it. And when he no longer had a majority in Congress, he was completely exposed for his utter inability to get anything accomplished.
Do we want our next president to be in the same boat? Ideals are wonderful...and are easy to have when you aren't in a position of leadership. I want a president who has ideals...but also has the will power and wisdom to be able to pick and choose what to push for and when to push for it...how to negotiate for what he wants and knows how to get things done. Does it mean sometimes he has to put aside some of his goals, for now, in order to achieve the more important one today? Yes. And frankly, we NEED a President who knows how that's done.
THAT is why I will vote for Newt Gingrich. Has he had to put aside some ideals at certain times in order to achieve what he perceived was a higher ideal? yes. Does that make him less conservative? You could argue that, but you'd be hard pressed to prove it. That's called leadership. And we definitely need a leader. We need someone capable pulling the country away from the left and back to the right. Would we like it if he could pull us ALL the way back to the right? Sure. Can that be done this time round? In my opinion, no. It has to be done in stages. That's how we got in this mess in the first place.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) says “If you have the inconsistency then you’re not defending liberty.” Paul has always been inconsistent. This inconsistency was noted by conservative commentator Mark Levin who says “Paul is poison. Hate America first crowd.”
A major reason is because the Texan advocates policies which are the exact opposite of his rhetoric. If you visit his website it indicates he supports many things he actually opposes.
With Ron Paul you always have to read the fine print. His speeches before conservative audiences are often impressive, but the reality is completely different. Some examples are:
- Paul is a registered Republican but expresses considerable disdain for the GOP. He says there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats. In 1987 the Congressman said “I want to completely disassociate myself from Ronald Reagan,” and described his administration as a “dramatic failure.”
He accused George H.W. Bush of war crimes, and wanted to impeach George W. Bush because of the non-existent North American Union. He says Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is part of the “international conspiracy” and endorsed his primary opponent.
Paul refused to endorse Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008, and was the only Republican to express approval when Democrats captured control of the House and Senate in 2006. If Paul is not nominated, he refuses to pledge support the 2012 GOP presidential candidate.
- The Congressman says he supports a strong national defense and emphasizes his military service. He was an Air Force gynecologist who never left the United States. Today he wants to cut $1 trillion out of the Pentagon budget. He would abandon NATO and abolish the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act.
He would give up America’s veto power in the UN Security Council as well as all military assistance to Israel. He would also ignore the major lesson from WW I and WW II, collective security. He would abandon our allies who paid 100% of the costs of Operation Desert Storm and have suffered 35% of all combat casualties in Afghanistan.
- The Texan says he is an advocate of free trade, but opposes practically every free trade agreement. As the Club for Growth notes, Paul “lives in a dream world if he thinks free trade will be realized absent agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA. Paul himself argues that ‘tariffs are simply taxes on consumers,’ but by opposing these trade agreements, he is actively opposing a decrease in those taxes. While Paul’s rhetoric is soundly pro-free trade, his voting record mirrors those of Congress’s worst protectionists.”
- He claims to be a right to life champion, but his plan allows abortion on the state level. He is against taxpayer funded abortions but not self paid abortions in the states’ rights category.
- He claims to be against illegal immigration. He did vote for the 2006 Secure Fence Act and claims to support the Border Fence, but he also voted against it on numerous occasions and has repeatedly said it is not needed. He says sensors at the border are enough. He also says the military is not needed on the border, and the Border Patrol is sufficient.
The Border Patrol is not mentioned in the Constitution and he use to claim they were unconstitutional. On one hand Paul is arguing for complete sovereignty and isolationism, but on the other hand he is opposing the border fence.
- He also claims to be against amnesty but his book, Liberty Defined, advocates it. He claims to be against birthright citizenship but his book supports it. He also opposes the E-Verify system to check employment.
- He says we should not tell other countries what to do, but is always the first to criticize Israel.
- He describes himself as a fiscal conservative but he has voted for numerous pork barrel projects and was against the Constitutional Amendment for a line item veto. He says it is unconstitutional because it gives too much power to the president. Paul is one of only four Republicans who supports earmarks, and opposes the GOP Ryan plan to cut the deficit by $6.2 trillion over a decade.
- Ron Paul says he is for health care reform, but he opposes the GOP plan. Republicans believe excessive litigation increases health care costs and they advocate tort reform. Ron Paul is against it because it “damages the Constitution by denying states the right to decide their own local medical standards and legal rules.”
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Ten years ago, 19 hospitals in Philadelphia were in the business of delivering babies. Next month, only eight will remain.” This is because of “high expenses for malpractice insurance.” The result is that hospitals lose about “$2000 per delivery” and are being forced to close their OB units.
- He says the growth of entitlements are a major problem and admits they are insolvent, but opposed George Bush’s social security reforms. Paul wants to end social security, medicare and medicaid, but would not accept the Bush plan as a interim step to reduce costs.
- He has criticized welfare for decades but was one of of just four GOP Congressmen who voted against extending welfare reform in 2002. Most Americans are not fond of welfare but the “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996″ was a GOP proposal signed by a reluctant Bill Clinton.
When Clinton added his signature the sign on his desk said “Welfare to Work,” and the promise came true. The act resulted in a large reduction in the number of people collecting welfare and that is why Republicans have supported its continuation.
- Paul says he is against gun control but advocates policies which would allow states to disarm their residents.
- He says he is against gay marriage, but voted against the amendment to define marriage as only between a man and a woman. The amendment would have outlawed gay marriage but not civil unions. At the 2007 Values Voter Debate Paul said, “True Christians believe marriage is a church function, not a state function. I don’t think you need a license to get married.” By that definition any liberal church would be free to perform gay marriages that would be recognized by the state.
- As a medical doctor he took the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm and to “prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.” Nevertheless, Paul is at the forefront of the anti-vaccine movement which has had a serious impact.
Now the U.S. is struggling with a large number of cases of measles and other disease which were once thought to have been eradicated. According to the Centers for Disease Control, America is experiencing the largest outbreak in 15 years.
- His admirers claim he is the only truthful lawmaker on Capitol Hill, but he tells outrageous lies. Paul falsely claims 1) Israel created Hamas, 2) Palestinians are starving and confined to a “concentration camp,” 3) the United States financed Osama bin Laden during the first Afghan War, 4) the CIA is behind the sale of illegal drugs, and 5) there is an “international conspiracy” focused on the non-existent North American Union.
- Rep. Paul has won the presidential straw vote at the last two Conservative Political Action Conferences, but his 2011 rating from the liberal ACLU is 80%. They oppose all aspects of the War on Terror. Paul voted against the constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. He is against the death penalty, allowing silent school prayer, and school vouchers.
- Paul claims to be a champion of individual liberty but is the only lawmaker to oppose the 1964 Civil Right Act, and voted against the legislation on its 40th anniversary. This is the law which allows blacks to eat at the lunch counter and says they cannot be turned away from hotels.
Ron Paul is not a conservative or a “Constitutionalist.” He is a libertarian who has been consistent since his election to Congress in 1976 in advocating unilateral disarmament of America’s defense and trade policy. Many of his supporters describe themselves as conservatives, but they back a national security agenda which is almost identical with the radical left.
Among the many additional reasons conservatives should oppose him are:
DEFICIT SPENDING: He claims to be for limited government but Ron Paul was one of four Republicans who opposed the Paul Ryan budget plan to reduce the deficit by $6.2 trillion over a decade. Ryan is Chairman of the House Budget Committee. Paul said it did not cut enough, but he would not accept the Ryan plan as a starting point. He also said it was “maintaining our empire” and “being the policeman of the world.”
EARMARKS: He is the only GOP candidate who continues to support earmarks and pork barrel spending. When Neil Cavuto asked him about this Paul replied: “I think you’re missing the whole point. I have never voted for an earmark. I voted against all appropriation bills. So, this whole thing about earmarks is totally misunderstood.”
Earmarks are placed in appropriations bills while they are in committee. This is what Paul has always done, and then he claims to have never voted or an earmark. He votes against every appropriations bill but knows they will pass by a wide margin.
The end result is that he receives his usual $400 million in earmarks every year. In Texas he brags about these pork barrel projects, but in the presidential campaign he claims to be against earmarks. Paul is one of only four Republicans on Capitol Hill who requested earmarks in the 2011 budget.
Paul defends earmarks by saying “I don’t think they should take our money in the first place. But if they take it, I think we should ask for it back.” The earmarks he requests are a complete contradiction of his self-proclaimed “opposition to appropriations not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution.”
TRADE: He claims to support free trade but votes against practically every free trade agreement.
He wants America to leave the World Trade Organization, and is one of the greatest protectionists in the Republican Party.
ABORTION: He claims to be pro-life, and says Right to Life is the foundation for all rights in the Constitution. He even says “life does begin at conception.” The truth is that he is really pro-choice on the state level. That is the purpose of his Sanctity of Life Bill.
He is essential saying it is fine with him to kill a child if a state agrees. During the 2008 campaign every GOP candidate had a zero rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America, except Ron Paul. He received a 65% score in 2006, 75% in 2005 and 65% in 2004.
IMMIGRATION: He claims to be against illegal immigration, but has repeatedly voted against the border fence (with one exception in 2006), as well as the E-Verify program to stop employers from hiring illegal aliens. In fact, he is against all laws prohibiting employers from hiring illegal aliens.
He opposes Arizona’s get tough policies and the deportation of people who are here illegally. He claims to oppose amnesty but that is what his program advocates. If a state wants open borders that is fine with him.
When he ran for president in 1988 as a Libertarian, Paul advocated the official policy of his party. He said, “As in our country’s first 150 years, there shouldn’t be any immigration policy at all. We should welcome everyone who wants to come here and work.” At the same time he advocated the complete elimination of the Border Patrol, which he said was unconstitutional.
He has since changed his mind and now has strong rhetoric against illegal immigration on the campaign trail. This is not supported by his voting record or other actions. Former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) recent said: “I served with Ron Paul in Congress for 10 years. He was a member of my Immigration Reform Caucus, and I consider him a friend ...Unfortunately, it appears that Paul’s views on immigration have now shifted into the pro-amnesty camp.”
In their “2012 Presidential Hopefuls Immigration Stances Report Card”, NumbersUSA gives him an “F” rating on immigration. The organization says:
The ratings add up to an overall stance that just barely misses warranting an F-minus and squeaks through just better than President Obama. It is significantly worse than the grade of former Speaker Newt Gingrich who had previously been the worst of all Republican Hopefuls on immigration. . . only one Republican in Congress has a worse grade on border issues than Ron Paul. Furthermore, he has failed to act in every category of immigration during this new Congress. Like most amnesty supporters who say they oppose “amnesty,” Dr. Paul seems to buy the false choice between “legalization” or mass deportation.
DEFENSE: If elected president, Paul, 75, says he could see “no reason” to ever justify military action:
There’s nobody in this world that could possibly attack us today. I mean, we could defend this country with a few good submarines. If anybody dared touch us we could wipe any country off of the face of the earth within hours. And here we are, so intimidated and so insecure and we’re acting like such bullies that we have to attack third-world nations that have no military and have no weapons.
The Texan wants to ignore all state sponsors of terrorism. He claims no one will ever attack us but that is what the America First isolationists said in the 1930′s right up until Pearl Harbor. The terrorists have attacked us: 1993 (World Trade Center I), 1996 (Khobar Towers), 1998 (African Embassies), 2000 (USS Cole), and 2001 (9/11). Paul’s “non-intervention” policy would have barred America from helping Europe against Hitler.
There would have been no West Berlin airlift (1948), the North Koreans would have been allowed to take over South Korea (1950). We also would have ignored Grenada (1984), and there would have been no Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait (1991).
Paul says he supports a strong national defense but the $1 trillion in Pentagon reductions he is seeking would end all modernization and readiness programs. It would return America to the hollow military of the 1970s when many service members were eligible for food stamps.
Bush and Obama now agree on practically every war on terror policy including the Patriot Act and the use of Predator drones. They are opposed by Ron Paul and Code Pink. 
FOREIGN POLICY: The introduction to Paul’s book, A Foreign Policy of Freedom, says the Cold War and the War on Terror are both a “farce”, and designed to justify a larger role for government. He compares the U.S. role in Iraq and Afghanistan to “a schoolyard bully.”
The Congressman says if he was President:
1) He would not have authorized the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. He said killing bin Laden “was absolutely not necessary.”
2) No U.S. soldiers were killed in the former Yugoslavia but he believes it was wrong to join the NATO mission which stopped genocide, ethnic cleansing and rape camps. The Milosevic dictatorship would have continued and Bosnia would have been taken over if it was up to Ron Paul.
3) Ron Paul’s foreign policy is to walk away, but that will not make our nation safe and it will not stop terrorism. The problems associated with radical Islamic fundamentalists will remain. It is not a problem we can just turn over to Europe or the UN (which does not have an army). If we abandon the war on terror we will soon have to confront it on the U.S. homeland.
SADDAM HUSSEIN: Ron Paul was not only opposed to Operation Desert Storm in 1991 to liberate Kuwait, but to this day he continues to defend the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. He says Iraq invasion was justified because Kuwait broke off negotiations and was slant drilling in an attempt to steal $14 billion of Iraq’s oil.
He says “Over 500,000 people were slaughtered in Bush’s war.” The accusations are absurd. Iraq had plenty of money through the UN Oil for Food program, but the dictator decided to build 54 palaces instead of feeding his people. Kuwait never stole Iraq’s oil.
If Rep. Paul had his way, Iraq would have been allowed to take over Kuwait and he would have done nothing if they threatened to capture three-quarters of the world’s reserves by taking over the Saudi oil fields. An attack on Kuwait and Saudi Arabia would have violated the UN charter and had terrible repercussions for our energy security. Paul would not have responded because “it did not involve an attack on America.” He always voted against placing sanctions on Saddam Hussein, and he opposes sanctions on Iran.
WAR ON DRUGS: Paul would immediately end the war on drugs. All dangerous drugs would be legal if they were approved by a state government.
CIVIL RIGHTS: He is the only Republican in the House or Senate who opposes the Civil Rights Act. We have heard his sovereignty arguments before. That is what the Southern states said when they started the Civil War. They said it again in the Southern Manifesto of 1957 to keep black children out of public schools, and they repeated it in 1964 when they tried to stop the Civil Rights Act. Because of states’ rights opposition, Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy had to send in the U.S. military to open the schools.
HUMAN RIGHTS: Rep. Paul has always been a friend of dictators because he consistently votes against sanctions and human rights resolutions. He was the only Member of Congress who voted against “condolences and sympathy” for Myanmar (Burma) after the devastating 2007 cyclone. Paul is also the only Republican Member of Congress who will not vote to condemn the Islamic Republic of Iran for gross human rights violations.
Iranian women have to endure cruel torture. They have been hanged and stoned to death for behavior which is normal in America. They are routinely jailed for the following offenses: 1) Anyone who has tucked her pants inside her boots. 2) Those who do not wear long dresses under their winter coats. 3) Those who wear a hat without wearing a scarf or Hijab underneath. 4) Long boots, tight pants and tight coats are strictly forbidden.
When confronted with evil, Ron Paul always looks the other way. He says what happens in Iran is not our business. That was also the attitude in the 1930s when Hitler’s treatment of the Jews was well known, but was ignored by the League of Nations because it was “an internal German matter.”
Similar to Paul, the isolationists in 1941 wanted to ignore Japan’s seizure of Indo-China because it did not involve an attack on the United States. The U.S. government rejected their advice and placed sanctions on Japan. America did nothing in 1933 when Japan took over Manchuria, which is one third of China. Even if there is no change, I am glad the United States has gone on record in opposition to the cruel behavior of the Islamic Republic.
ISRAEL: In defending many of his past controversial statements, the Ron Paul campaign frequently mentions his endorsement by “Americans For Israel.” This is a front group which was specifically established to promote Ron Paul. It has no other focus.
The candidate says we should worry about our own borders not Israel’s. He is the only Republican who refused to vote for the resolution condemning Iran’s President after he said “Israel should be wiped off the map.” The Congressman would end all foreign aid to Israel but never mentions that 85% of it is military assistance.
Paul claims Israel created the terrorist group Hamas, and the United States financed Osama bin Laden during the Afghan War against the Soviet Union.
Both statements are outrageous lies. Paul has also said he would end America’s special relationship with Israel. In “The Revolution: A Manifesto,” Paul wrote: “I see no reason that our friendship with Israel cannot continue. I favor extending to Israel the same honest friendship that Jefferson and the Founding Fathers urged us to offer to all nations. But that also means no special privileges like foreign aid. . .” With good reason, the Republican Jewish Coalition has barred Paul from their candidate forums.
GAZA: He claims Israel is keeping food, medicine and humanitarian supplies out of Gaza, even though the Red Cross says this is not true and there is no crisis. He says Palestinians in Gaza are confined to a “concentration camp.” Israel’s blockade is only stopping weapons, but Paul says Hamas was democratically elected so they should have weapons. He believes they are entitled to more Katusha rockets even though they have already launched 10,000 of them at Israel during the last six years.
He voted against House Resolution 34 (1/09/08) recognizing Israel’s “right to defend itself against Hamas rocket attacks” and reaffirming U.S. support for Israel. Paul said:
I am concerned that the weapons currently being used by Israel against the Palestinians in Gaza are made in America and paid for by American taxpayers. What will adopting this resolution do to the perception of the United States in the Muslim and Arab world? What kind of blowback might we see from this? What moral responsibility do we have for the violence in Israel and Gaza after having provided so much military support to one side? . . I am also appalled by the longstanding Israeli blockade of Gaza — a cruel act of war — and the tremendous loss of life that has resulted from the latest Israeli attack that started last month.
IRAN: Ron Paul says he will not vote for a resolution criticizing Iran because 1) We should not comment on the internal affairs of another nation and 2) The Islamic Republic is not attacking anyone. Iran is the chief sponsor of the terrorist groups Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Their oil wealth has made them the central banker of terrorism.
Iran does have terrible financial problems, but nevertheless, the nation’s official budget lists over $1 billion which is distributed to terrorist organizations on an annual basis. They also train and provide guidance and weapons to numerous terrorist and militant organizations. They have been meddling in Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza for many years. Iran’s nuclear activities and human rights abuses are not the only ones that violate UN resolutions. The Islamic Republic’s support for terrorist organizations does so as well.
INTELLIGENCE: He accuses the CIA of being in the drug business and says they need to be “taken out. . . There’s been a coup, have you heard? It’s the CIA coup. The CIA runs everything, they run the military. They’re the ones who are over there lobbing missiles and bombs on countries. … They’re in businesses, in drug businesses, they take out dictators … We need to take out the CIA.”
A suicide bomber attacked Forward Operating Base Chapman in Afghanistan and took the lives of seven CIA agents. They are heroes who were on the front lines protecting us. We should be praising them, not making false allegations. The CIA did not invent crack cocaine and they have never been in the drug business. It is Muslim extremists who intentionally target civilians, not the CIA or the US military.
Rep. Paul wants to abolish the CIA and when the Wikileaks revelations were made he said:
No one suggests that the White House or the State Department should be embarrassed that the U.S. engages in spying and meddling. The only embarrassment is that it was made public. This allows ordinary people to actually know and talk about what the government does. But state secrecy is anathema to a free society. Why exactly should Americans be prevented from knowing what their government is doing in their name? . . The truth is that our foreign spying, meddling, and outright military intervention in the post-World War II era has made us less secure, not more.
GOLD STANDARD: He is the author of four books advocating a return to the gold standard. It did not work in the past, and no country has ever been able to maintain it. Gold is not sound money and it can be easily manipulated. Gold based dollars were devalued in the past to make exports cheaper. Gold would decrease the U.S. monetary supply by about half, cause massive deflation and threaten an economic collapse. The Congressman advocates private money (anyone can have their own currency), a 100% gold ratio and outlawing Fractional Reserve lending. Very few economists are advocating a gold backed dollar.
ECONOMY: Paul believes in the Austrian School of Economics which is totally ignored by mainstream academia. The standard economics texts used on the university level do not even mention it. There are no more than 75 scholars worldwide who follow the Austrian School while there are over 20,000 PhD level members of the American Economics Association. Mainstream economists use the scientific method, but the Austrians reject it. Mainstream economists make heavy use of statistics, but the Austrians claim they have little value. Mainstream economists believe in fiat money, while the Austrians believe in the gold standard. Libertarian economics is a small cult.
Similar to the Austrian School, Paul proposes simple but highly impractical solutions. For example, how should we solve the current crisis over the debt ceiling? It is easy according to the Congressman. Just abolish the Federal Reserve Board, declare bankruptcy and have the Fed destroy the government bonds it now holds. Paul says “We owe, like, $1.6 trillion because the Federal Reserve bought that debt, so we have to work hard to pay the interest to the Federal Reserve. We don’t, I mean, they’re nobody; why do we have to pay them off?”
First, the Fed returns that interest to the government (it was $79 billion last year), and 2) Paul’s solution is a contractual breach and it could never happen. Unlike corporations, sovereign nations cannot declare bankruptcy, and all of America’s Federal Reserve Notes must be fully collateralized. As of last year, the 12 Federal Reserve Banks held $1.066 trillion in Treasury securities, and $925 billion was pledged to secure their note issues.
So for the Fed to return these securities to the Treasury for cancellation would require the Fed to recall 98% of the U.S. currency in circulation. Paul’s recommendation would lead to an insolvent central bank, which he desires, but it would be disastrous for our economy.
GUN CONTROL: The Congressman has always been a strong supporter of gun rights, but his unusual views are a real danger to the Second Amendment. He rejects the entire idea that the federal Bill of Rights should be applied to the states.
If the states did not have to follow the bill of rights they could ignore the Second Amendment and disarm their residents.
He wants no restrictions at all, but there is no right to own a bazooka, tank or fighter jet. The radical libertarians want no restrictions on gun ownership. No background checks to prevent convicted criminals, registered sex offenders, suspected terrorists, illegal immigrants or anyone else from getting their hands on fully automatic weapons.
NORTH AMERICAN UNION AND AMERO CURRENCY: The Texas Congressman is a firm isolationist and wants to pull out of NATO, the WTO, and to abandon America’s veto in the UN Security Council. He promotes many conspiracy theories. He has spoken frequently of the dangers of the North American Union (NAU) and an “Amero” currency. Neither of these things exist, and were never planned by the U.S. government. Nevertheless, Paul was one of four lawmakers to co-sponsor a resolution outlawing an NAU whose only advocate was an obscure university professor.
The Boston Globe said Paul “has made the North American Union one of his central issues.” The NAU and the Amero are complete and total fantasy, but this conspiracy theory is difficult to ignore because in 2008 it was among the topic three subjects raised in the over 125 “Ask Mitt Romney Anything” town hall meetings. The other two were Iraq and healthcare.
The single Amero currency for the US, Mexico and Canada was proposed in 1999 by Canadian economist Herbert Grubel. This was when the euro was first entering circulation. Grubel admits no government official has ever approved of his plan, and “There wouldn’t be very much benefit for the United States.”
The Congressman’s current website makes these outrageous claims: “NAFTA’s superhighway is just one part of a plan to erase the borders between the U.S. and Mexico, called the North American Union. This spawn of powerful special interests, would create a single nation out of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, with a new unelected bureaucracy and money system. Forget about controlling immigration under this scheme. And a free America, with limited, constitutional government, would be gone forever.”
NAFTA SUPERHIGHWAY: U.S./Mexico trade has quadrupled since the NAFTA agreement was signed in 1993. The agreement added to the economic boom in Paul’s home state of Texas. nevertheless, one of the Congressman’s greatest fears is a new highway.
He has nothing to worry about. The NAFTA Superhighway conspiracy theory was mentioned repeatedly by the Congressman during the 2008 campaign. When he participated in the CNN GOP presidential debate on November 28, 2007, Paul said:
They don’t talk about it [the NAFTA superhighway], and they might not admit it, but there’s been money spent on it. There was legislation passed in the Texas legislature unanimously to put a halt on it. They’re planning on millions of acres taken by eminent domain for an international highway from Mexico to Canada, which is going to make the immigration problem that much worse.
The “NAFTA Superhighway” was a name private contractors gave to their proposal for expanding an existing road, Interstate 35. It was never a government project. Paul later used the term to refer to the Trans Texas Corridor which was canceled. It was always a state and never a federal initiative. Ian Grossman, a spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration told the Los Angeles Times, “There is no such superhighway like the one [Paul is] talking about. It doesn’t exist, in plans or anywhere else.”
This conspiracy theories were completely debunked by the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, Newsweek and the urban legend site Snopes.com.
WERE OTHER GOP LEADERS ISOLATIONISTS? The Congressman claims he is following a GOP tradition by advocating isolationism, and points to the policies of former Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. Mona Charen responded to this by noting:
He argues that by embracing isolationism, he fits within a Republican tradition stretching back to Eisenhower ‘who stopped the Korean War’ and including Nixon ‘who stopped the war in Vietnam.’ Let’s recap. Eisenhower threatened to use nuclear weapons against China. It was the Eisenhower administration that had a hand in toppling Iran’s Mohammad Mossedegh (an intervention that Paul has elsewhere cited as causing the U.S. grief 25 years later when the Islamists took power). Eisenhower also intervened in Guatemala, Cuba (planning for the Bay of Pigs began during his tenure) and Lebanon.
Nixon, an isolationist? Most observers, whatever they may make of detente with the USSR and the opening to China, agree that Nixon was an emphatic internationalist. For the record, he intervened in many countries including Chile, Peru and Cambodia. And he saved Israel by resupplying her during the Yom Kippur war. Neither his successes nor failures grew out of a Paulesque policy of ‘minding our own business.’
RON PAUL IS FOR A THIRD PARTY, NOT THE GOP: Paul was the 1988 presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party and abandoned the GOP at that time. A vote for Paul will be a vote for a third party. He refused to support the last GOP candidate and of course he will not support the 2012 GOP nominee.
In the last campaign he issued a “blanket endorsement” for former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) of the Green Party, independent Ralph Nader, Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party and Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party.
Paul endorsed the four candidates after they signed a joint policy statement to “bring the troops home, investigate the Federal Reserve,” and oppose the Patriot Act, FISA and the Military Commissions Act. The Congressman said he opposed Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) because “I couldn’t find anything that we agreed on.”
When asked why he ran as a Republican instead of a Libertarian, Paul responded: “Because the system is so biased against alternative parties. . .Republicans and Democrats are actually alike on economic policy, monetary policy, foreign policy, everything. They pretend they are a little bit different. . . there’s no difference, they’re both for sending more troops to Afghanistan, they’re both for all these laws to address the subject of terrorism and the Patriot Act. There’s really no difference between them.”
McCain’s 2010 rating from the American Conservative Union is 100%, and in 2009 it was 96%. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) lifetime ACU rating as a Senator is 10%.
Rep. Paul did not see any differences and instead endorsed Cynthia McKinney who was the highest elected official to support the 9/11 Truth movement, which believes the U.S. government knew in advance about the attacks. She endorsed the 2008 primary opponent of Nancy Pelosi because she thought the then Speaker was not sufficiently liberal.
Paul endorsed Ralph Nader who as the Green Party candidate in 1996 and 2000 claimed Al Gore was not a true liberal on environmental issues. He described Bush and Cheney as “war criminals.” Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party is a protectionist who is also associated with the 9/11 truth movement. He believes “the South was right in the War Between the States”, and leaders of the Confederacy were not racists. The Constitution Party opposes the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party was opposed to every program in the War on Terror which was endorsed by George W. Bush and subsequently Barack Obama. Barr was employed by the ACLU to lobby against the Patriot Act.
In 2007 he said one of the candidates he identifies with is the most liberal Member of Congress, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), the founder of the Progressive Caucus.
When the GOP lost control of the House and Senate in 2006, Rep. Paul was pleased. Controversial radio host Alex Jones asked him if the Democratic victory wasn’t a “rejection of neo-fascist imperialism.” Paul replied, “Yeah . . . This was a healthy election as far as I’m concerned.”
ANTI-VACCINE MOVEMENT: Ron Paul and his anti-vaccine supporters are wrong. Vaccinations save millions of lives every year. People no longer die of cholera, smallpox, scarlet fever, and dozens of other diseases which were once endemic to the United States.
Children should be immunized. A very small number of people have adverse reactions, but there is no reason to stop these programs. The benefits far outweigh the risks.
We cannot return to the days when thousands of children were in iron lungs or walking on crutches because of polio. When Ron Paul was in high school he had friends and neighbors who died of polio. He admits there is an effective vaccine, but does not approve of any mandatory medical treatment because it is a violation of the 14th amendment. Paul says government “should never have the power to require immunizations or vaccinations.”
The Congressman was asked “If a dangerous disease was spreading like wildfire would you change your view and require immunization in a dire situation?” Paul responded “No, I wouldn’t do it, because the person who doesn’t take the shot is the one at risk.”
PROSTITUTION: He describes himself as an evangelical Christian, but prostitution is fine with him if it is approved at the state level. He says prostitution can be legal because it does not hurt anyone. He is wrong. It hurts the women who are being trafficked, whether it is voluntary or not. Prostitutes have been killed, but the more common problem is drug addiction. Other concerns are the spread of diseases such as HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and herpes. Many men have brought these diseases home to their wives.
EXTREMISM: He says one of his first political mentors was the late Rep. Larry McDonald (D-GA), who was Chairman of the extremist conspiracy theory group, the John Birch Society (JBS). McDonald was the first person Paul called when he decided to run for Congress in 1974. Paul was the keynote speaker at the JBS 50th anniversary dinner. JBS is the organization which accused President Eisenhower of being an agent of the Communist conspiracy and they were thrown out of the conservative movement by Barry Goldwater and William F. Buckley. Many JBS officials have had a prominent role in the Paul campaign.
Paul has voted to protect the privacy of sexual predators. He will not require operators of wi-fi networks who discover the transmission of child pornography to report it to the government. He was one of 14 Congressmen who opposed the “Child Abduction Emergency” or “Amber Alerts.” The decision to declare an Amber Alert is made by the State Police or Highway Patrol.
He said Governor Rick Perry’s (R-TX) attendance at a 2007 Bilderberg meeting was “A sign that he’s involved in the international conspiracy.” Paul also does not want the Census Bureau to be allowed to collect demographic data on age, race, and income. The data is essential for determining allocation of state and national budgets.
NEW WORLD ORDER: After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the liberation of Kuwait, President George H.W. Bush used the phrase “new world order” in his 1991 State of the Union Address. Bush said:
Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order. In the words of Winston Churchill, a world order in which ‘the principles of justice and fair play protect the weak against the strong.’ A world where the United Nations, freed from Cold War stalemate, is poised to fulfill the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations. The Gulf War put this new world to its first test. And my fellow Americans, we passed that test.
Bush later described this as the world our Founding Fathers wanted. He was definitely not referring to a world government, or a single currency, bank, or religion. Bush was never part of any conspiracy to deny Americans their rights or sovereignty. Ron Paul refused to accept this explanation, and for the past two decades he has spoken of a conspiracy. In 2007 he said:
The first President Bush said the New World Order was in tune– and that’s what they were working for. The U.N. is part of that government. They’re working right now very significantly towards a North American Union (NAU). That’s why there’s a lot of people in Washington right now who don’t care too much about our borders. They have a philosophical belief that national sovereignty is not important. It’s also the reason I’ve made the very strong suggestion the U.S. need not be in the U.N. for national security reasons.
There is no U.S. elected official who is advocating the programs Paul describes, and the NAU does not exist. The only group I could locate which is associated with such a strange plan is one affiliated with Ron Paul. The Congressman has been a Distinguished Counselor at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute since it was formed in 1982. Once again, Paul believes in the strange Austrian School of Economics, and one of its most important books is the massive Human Action by von Mises. Von Mises is the one who advocates a one world government. He says one of the four requirements for a free market is a single coersive government. The late economist believed free trade would lead to global supplier of a given product.
ROSA PARKS: She started the Montgomery Bus Boycott which was a milestone in the civil rights movement, and deserves the gratitude of all Americans. The only lawmaker to vote against giving her a Congressional Gold Medal was Ron Paul.
He said medals cost too much and offered to make a personal contribution to a private medal, and also claimed Rosa Parks would not want it. Rosa Parks was alive at the time and gratefully accepted the medal.
Rep. Paul tries to portray himself as the only consistent fiscal conservative on Capitol Hill, and his supporters praise his opposition. As usual, they never tell the truth. The Rosa Parks medal did not cost the taxpayers anything.
It was funded by the Treasury’s Private Enterprise Fund, and the entire cost was offset by replicas which sold out. The Congressman’s offer to make a personal contribution was one of his many hollow gestures. Paul’s Republican and Democratic colleagues said his arguments had no merit, and the Congressman knew they were telling the truth.
He was a co-sponsor and voted for the Boy Scout Commemorative Coin. It came out of the same fund, but this time the profits went to the Boy Scouts, not the Treasury. The taxpayers paid for the Boy Scout coin, not the Rosa Parks medal.
RACISM: Ron Paul says he is not a racist but once again, he is the only Republican in the House and Senate who opposes civil rights. He has always denounced the legislation and voted it against it on its 40th anniversary. The “Ron Paul Report” newsletters began in 1978 and in the 1980s the publication’s gross income was in excess of $1 million/year. The newsletters were filled with racism, and for 15 years the newsletter staff included his wife and daughter.
During the 2008 presidential campaign major publications reprinted some of the racist comments, and Paul claimed he did not know what was in the newsletter which carried his name. In the previous two decades he had never voiced a complaint.
The newsletter said: “Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a Congressman. What an infamy that Ronald Reagan approved it! We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.”
Along with “even in my little town of Lake Jackson, Texas, I’ve urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense. For the animals are coming. . . opinion polls consistently show only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions.”
The Congressman received $500 from Don Black of the white supremacy group Stormfront, and despite numerous media inquiries he never returned it. Black is also a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. According to The New Republic:
“In the early 1990s, newsletters attacked the ‘X-Rated Martin Luther King’ as a ‘world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours,’ ‘seduced underage girls and boys,’ and ‘made a pass at’ fellow civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy. One newsletter ridiculed black activists who wanted to rename New York City after King, suggesting that ‘Welfaria,’ ‘Zooville,’ ‘Rapetown,’ ‘Dirtburg,’ and ‘Lazyopolis’ were better alternatives. The same year, King was described as ‘a comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.’ While bashing King, the newsletters had kind words for the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke.”
Paul supporters falsely claim the Congressman has been vindicated because the NAACP says he is “not a racist”. That never happened. In 2008, George Linder, the president of the Austin, Texas branch of the organization, made that statement. Linder emphasized he was speaking as a private citizen and was not authorized to speak on behalf of the NAACP.
REAGAN, BUCKLEY AND TAFT WOULD NOT HAVE SUPPORTED PAUL:
Ron Paul supporters often claim Ronald Reagan, Senate Majority Leader Robert Taft (R-OH) and conservative journalist William F. Buckley were admirers of the Texan, and would have supported him. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Despite all of Paul’s harsh comments about Reagan, his most prominent 2008 TV featured the former president. The narrator said: “We need to keep him fighting for our country,” and the words are attributed to Reagan. This was a pro forma endorsement Reagan had given to every GOP lawmaker in 1982.
When Paul tried to use the quote in his 1996 Congressional campaign, Reagan’s former attorney general, Edwin Meese III, flew to Texas to insist that Reagan had offered no recent endorsements.
Taft was an isolationist prior to WW II and opposed NATO after the war. However, Taft was not as extreme as Ron Paul. He supported the creation of the United Nations, the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine. He also advocated “100 percent support for the Chinese National government on Formosa,” “occasional extensions … into Europe, Asia, and Africa,” and he wanted to keep six divisions (120,000 troops) in Europe.
Buckley had libertarian tendencies and advocated the legalization of marijuana, but was not a Ron Paul supporter. He contributed to the 2008 McCain campaign. When he was running for president in 1988, Paul was the only guest on Buckley’s TV program which lasted for for an hour. A 2007 interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, had this exchange with Buckley:
QUESTION: You know who Ron Paul is — the congressman. He’s derided and discounted by many conservatives and his fellow Republicans as a kook. Yet his strong stands in favor of limited constitutional government, lower taxes, more personal freedoms and nonintervention overseas make him in many ways sound like a conservative of old — a Robert Taft, or a Coolidge kind of conservative in some ways.”
BUCKLEY: “I agree, yeah.”
SUMMATION – HE OPPOSES PROGRESS: Ron Paul’s answer is always the same simplistic solution. Remove the role of the federal government and everything will be fine. All Republicans advocate a balanced budget and major cutbacks in government programs, but there are many vital areas in which it would be foolish to abolish federal role. The best summation of Ron Paul’s career comes from the Club for Growth in their 2007 White Paper, “Ron Paul The Perfect as the Enemy of the Good.”
Ron Paul is a purist, too often at the cost of real accomplishments on free trade, school choice, entitlement reform, and tort reform. It is perfectly legitimate, and in fact vital, that Members of Congress develop and propose idealized solutions.
But presidents have the responsibility of making progress, and often, Ron Paul opposes progress because, in his mind, the progress is not perfect. In these cases, although for very different reasons, Ron Paul is practically often aligned with the most left-wing Democrats, voting against important, albeit imperfect, pro-growth legislation. Ron Paul is, undoubtedly, ideologically committed to pro-growth limited government policies. But his insistence on opposing all but the perfect means that under a Ron Paul presidency we might never get a chance to pursue the good too.