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What You Might Not Know About Ron Paul,
and Why You Should Know It

by Bov
January 8, 2008

Sitting on the slippery cool back seat of my inlaws' car as we ease our way through the crawl of holiday traffic in Middle Georgia, I see a sign in stencil spray-painted red white and blue lettering, standing amongst the tall reeds and grasses lining the front a strip mall that reads, "Ron Paul 2008, Save America." We're in Ron Paul country here, in Middle Georgia. I have seen no mention of any other candidate, only fading "W'04" stickers here and there. And the other day it was announced that Paul has raised more money than any other Republican candidate, a surprising development for just about everyone.

Over Christmas, while wrapping presents, we finally got a chance to watch Glen Beck's hour-long interview with Paul and I could really see why average people get excited by him, why he gives them hope -- aside from his willingness to talk about the terrible mistakes and Orwellian draconian policies that the US is currently engaged in, with shocking openness, he is also a man who has cared for people as a doctor, and that compassion, on some level, shines through in his simple sensible statements. Americans, used to Hollywood style performances at campaign time, rolled out by the corporate media machine like a prescription drug, complete with gushing orchestral music, bringing us breathlessly to the finish, are caught off guard by the surprising words he utters -lies, cover-ups, cheats - his lips tight and his voice earnest, and our own feeling of childish excitement over this breaking of all the corporate media rules.

What if?

That phrase pops into one's head when we hear Paul open up the absurdities that we live with each day, and knock them down before our eyes.

Wow, what if we really could?

What if we could bring everyone stationed all over the world back home, those installed in foreign countries to protect the corporate interests, to infiltrate, manipulate or clandestinely "regime change" other governments?

What if we really could . . . walk out of Iraq, end the phony racist `drug war,' massively reform the IRS? It is a fantasy of many that we didn't even know we had until Paul opened it up for us. Writer Bill Douglas, in his essay advocating Paul for OpEdNews, focuses on a key issue that resonates with just about everyone:

If you peel back the layers of what is making life the most miserable for Americans and the world, you find one over arching issue . . . "the military industrial complex." The decline of the US standard of living, the collapse of the US dollar, and the growing hatred of America worldwide are explained by that one phrase.
Why a Liberal Progressive Can AND SHOULD Support Ron Paul
Bill Douglas, December, 24, 2007, opednews.com

The positions that Paul is taking, that no other corporate candidate has dared to, resonate so deeply with Americans that many don't look much further into what Paul is really about. When I talk to Paul supporters, I find that indeed most are unaware of his voting record or much about his work in Congress. They know that he has been a doctor and is a "Constitutionalist" and is against the war, imperialism and for tax reform. Lance Selfa, in his article for socialistworker.org, "A maverick, but not the good kind", tells us:

Paul has managed to attract support from a wider layer of people, including those opposed to the Iraq war. To them, Paul comes off as a straight shooter who speaks unpopular truths against a two-party establishment that would rather not listen.
A maverick, but not the good kind
Lance Selfa, Oct. 12, 2007, Socialist Worker

Paul appears to want real fairness and he shows that he is willing to be labeled a radical to get there, which is touchingly American. Given that, Dr. Paul, I'm sure, would agree that voters should look at the whole picture, not just single issues. But when I actually tell Paul supporters some of the little known facts about him -- perhaps his steadfast protection of oil industry interests over the years in his voting record - they seem confused and come back as though awakening from a sleep, rubbing their eyes, "I hadn't heard that. . . . surprising. It seems like a mistake, or something. Can you send me a link?"

Americans are desperate because they have begun to realize the truth beyond even the financial crises in full swing right now and worsening by the minute: that America is indeed entering fascism - is practicing it -- but of the candidates they can choose from, only Ron Paul will confirm even just this for them, on NBC's Meet the Press.

"We're not moving toward a Hitler-type fascism, but we're moving toward a softer fascism," he said. "Loss of civil liberties, corporations running the show, big government in bed with big business."
Ron Paul defends seeking funds for Texas district
Bennet Roth, Dec. 24, 2007, The Houston Chronicle

When we hear him say these statements, Ron Paul gets under our skin and we fall in love, at least for a moment - its been so long since we heard truth uttered on corporate media that we swoon. Many have been waiting for 8 years or more for someone besides Michael Moore and Ralph Nader to say something - anything -- to make sense with reality. Paul tells us:

. . . The federal government . . . overrules state laws where state laws permit medicinal marijuana for people dying of cancer. The federal government goes in and arrests these people, put them in prison with mandatory, sometimes life sentences. This war on drugs is totally out of control. . . Prescription drugs are a greater danger than, than hard drugs.
MR. RUSSERT: But you would decriminalize it?
REP. PAUL: I, I, I would, at the federal level. I don't have control over the states.
Meet the Press' transcript:
Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), John Harwood and Chuck Todd
Tim Russert, Dec. 23, 2007, msnbc.com

So what are the facts on Paul, anyway? Russert brought up some. What is the price we must pay for what seems like common sense? What are the votes, history and positions behind the curtain that most don't know, haven't thought about, or believe don't matter? Because the real question is about what we are asking people to give up when we tell them that they should vote for Ron Paul.

It seems there may be a very high price to pay, but most have no idea of it. And with Paul's positions shifting noticibly between interviews, it's hard to even know where exactly he stands on areas like welfare and his constitutional amendments. In this essay I'd like to look at what some are saying about him, and mention what little I do know, and why these might be important to know about.

A lot of how change is happening in the US today is by duping people - lies, scams, cover-ups and media manipulation - and some of us have had to become experts at un-duping, or debunking, just to cope with reading the internet these days. Now it's time to take a close look at Ron Paul. Because the real costs of what we must give up in exchange for Paul's `radical' ideas that can and do work, are being cast aside by most, stoked by the "Revolution" Paul promises, the man who has protected the Texas oil companies for most of his career in Congress.

CONTENTS

Property Rights, Human Rights
The Truth Candidate
The Bush Fantasy Candidate
The Internet Candidate
The Rorschach Campaign: Ink blots and Issues
The 'Dismantling of Big Government' But What Does it Really Mean?
The Constitutionalist
Ron Paul and the White Supremacists
Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime: The Price of Ron Paul
Conclusion: A Glimpse of Ron Paul America

Property Rights, Human Rights

"Property rights are the foundation of all rights in a free society."
- Ron Paul, September, 2007

Wow, he said that?

Even if spoken in the context of eminent domain, this was an eye-opener for me. To some, such a quote describes a freedom from meddling and oppressive `big government,' the spectre of `communism,' or worse, `socialism.

But to others, this quote has an ominous ring, harkening back to a time when those without property could not vote, or when feudal lords controlled all property (allowing `the people' to rent), or even to our own times today when an average American couple cannot possibly afford their own home in a large metropolitan area where they might have a job, like San Francisco or New York City. In short, the thing about property rights is that some of us own, and some of us never will have the means to.

And the problem with this kind of a statement is that it's the opposite of the compassionate country doctor who cares for all . . . regardless. This is one of Paul's key contradictions, discerning between those with property and those with nothing, that some have the a piece of the foundation, others, nothing. The dividing of America begins.

But some of us feel that the foundation of all rights in a free society are not property rights, but rather, human rights -- the right to live free of torture, racism, and war, among other atrocities. Yet, these are the basic tenants of the United Nations Charter, a document created by the body which Paul considers run by "elites" and which he openly states we should withdraw from. The US helped create the UN, and signed the UN Charter in 194x, in a US city. Nations all over the world came together for one reason, the same primary reason that people support Paul and trust in his words: the desire for peace and not war, as a means to resolve conflict.

Baseless fear-mongering about the UN is classic Bush behavior but is also popularly repeated by Libertarians, most of whom know virtually nothing about the history, functioning or daily activities of UN whatsoever. It's been clear for decades that it is the US which is spreading its own military around the world and building hundreds of bases in every country, not the UN. Yet Paul claims that now the UN will suddenly take this mandate away from the US. David Swanson states:

[Ron Paul] would erode international law far more swiftly than Bush, thereby endangering us all in the long run. International law is what works against wars of aggression.
Peace, Injustice, and Ron Paul
David Swanson, smirkingchimp.com

Indeed, Ron Paul believes the US Constitution will solve most of our problems. But the laws and the Constitution are only as powerful as the Congressional representatives who are tasked with upholding them. The US Congress has gone along with the dangerous policy of granting Bush immunity from war crimes, because all it takes is a Republican majority. Following the path of actions taken during August and September of 2006 we see how easily a US effort at a `war crimes act' is sidelined to protect the guilty:

Congress passed the War Crimes Act of 1996 . . . [it] provides US courts with jurisdiction "to convict any foreigner who commits a war crime against an American, or any American who commits a war crime at all." . . . for the first time, US civilians -- including intelligence officers, contractors, and government officials -- could be criminally prosecuted for ordering war crimes. . . . Now, the recent US Supreme Court decision of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld opens the door for President Bush and Attorney General Gonzales to be prosecuted under the US War Crimes Act.
Bush Seeks Retroactive Immunity From US War Crimes Prosecution
Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, August 3, 2006, dailykos.com
The Washington Post recently reported that the Bush administration is quietly circulating draft legislation to eliminate crucial parts of the War Crimes Act. . . . the Administration plans to slip it through Congress this fall while there still is a guaranteed Republican majority.
Senate Vote Advances President's Effort to Kill War Crimes Act
Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith, September 22, 2006, thenation.com
Buried in the 94 pages of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 . . . the Bush Administration tacitly admits it has committed war crimes. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 is retroactive. It shall "take effect as of November 26, 1997, as if enacted [on that date]." Nothing the Bush Administration has done can be called into question.
How George Bush Admitted His War Crimes
Richard W. Behan, September 30, 2006, CommonDreams.org

While the Bush Administration was, not surprisingly, able to secure it's own immunity from criminal prosecution within the US, what is the relevance, then, of the International Criminal Court for the Bush Administration? In 2002, before the invasion of Iraq, the Bush Administration sought "a blanket exemption of all US citizens" from the United Nation's International Criminal Court in the Hague:

With the Bush administration gearing up for a "preemptive" war against Iraq, Washington this week dispatched a senior US diplomat, Marisa Lino, to Europe to demand that the governments of the European Union (EU) agree to a blanket exemption of all US citizens from the jurisdiction of the newly formed International Criminal Court.
US demands total impunity on war crimes
Bill Vann, October 12, 2002, wsws.org

By 2003, those demands escalated into actions to force compliance:

In a further bid to place US officials and military personnel beyond the reach of war crimes prosecution, the Bush administration cut off military aid to about 35 countries that failed to meet a June 30 deadline for signing bilateral immunity agreements. . . At least 90 have reportedly resisted the US blackmail effort.
US retaliates over war crime immunity demand
Bill Vann, July 5, 2003, wsws.org

Although the Bush Administration won the exemption, because it contained the requirement for a renewal, within just one year the exposed atrocities of the Iraq war had destroyed any possibility for such a renewal, so the exemption was short-lived:

Facing global opposition fueled by the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, Washington has dropped a contentious UN resolution that sought to renew an exemption shielding US troops from international prosecution for war crimes. The decision followed an intervention by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who urged Security Council members to oppose the resolution.
Annan Victory as U.S. Drops War Crimes Exemption Demand
June 24, 2004, Scotsman.com

But Ron Paul has supported barring the International Criminal Court from having jurisdiction over the U.S. military. Unlike much of the rest of the world, Paul sees the International Criminal Court as an affront to US freedom. Yet the ability of a renegade US executive branch to protect itself from it's own laws is already clear. Under a Ron Paul America, the rest of the world would be left with no means to limit a rogue US Administration, meaning the only recourses for desperate nations or populations would be military or other tactical responses.

So we have to ask ourselves, what if the decision to grant war crimes immunity had been left up to the US Congress and not the world court of UN?

The United Nations is an extremely complex and bureaucratic institution, to be sure, and reforms are urgently needed. But most Americans are completely ignorant about the UN. Most Americans are not aware that while the campaigns of most US Congressmembers are, essentially, powerfully manipulated by the Israel lobbying group, AIPAC (from 1978 - 2004 AIPAC donated over $39 million to members of Congress), in contrast, the United Nations has been the primary international public body in the world unafraid to treat Israel the same as the rest of the world, and to regularly condemn it's actions.

The UN is far more immune from easy corporate manipulation of our representatives and UN votes show their defiance: From 1967 to 1989, the UN Security Council passed 88 out of 131 resolutions dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict which either criticized or opposed the actions of Israel. Similarly, the UN General Assembly passed 429 resolutions against Israel during the same time frame. Yet the US has used its veto power in the Security Council to prevent such resolutions from passing. And the UN Convention Against Racism in South Africa in 2001 proclaimed - but was later forced to remove - the proposal that caused the US and Israel to walk out: that Zionism is racism.

An important body of the UN is the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (http://www.iaea.org ). This is the body that inspects nations for nuclear weapons. But Ron Paul thinks our dues are wasted on such an agency as the UN. Here's what he said in a 2007 speech:

We are still paying far beyond our fair share at the United Nations. We get stuck with responsibility, and the financing, and the burden, and the men lost, all too often. I think the thing we should be concerned about from the United Nations, (the damage that is done to us, and the potential damage that is likely to come), the greatest threat is that we have over these years been willing to turn over to the United Nations much of the control of our foreign policy and when we go to war. And that has to be changed.
Ron Paul, "Brushfires of Freedom" speech, September 2007
Ron Paul, The United Nations, and War
Allen Holm, December 13, theconservativecvoice.com

So how much are we paying to help the UN function and do things like bring aid to Darfur or to provide an international framework for scientists to interact during a global crisis like the SARS epidemic that threatened to grow into a pandemic but was stopped in time - just how much are we talking about here?

Fact: US dues to the UN currently amount to $1.96B.

Fact: the Pentagon budget in 2008 was $469B

Is preventing world nuclear war and global pandemics worth $2B? Or should we end our involvement if Africa isn't paying their fair share?

Given a potential withdrawal of the US from the UN and the IAEA that Paul would favor, the subsequent isolation of the US and the likely escalation of worldwide nuclear tensions, who would take on the important task of inspecting the world's nuclear facilities? Would nations allow private agents of the US to inspect their facilities for nuclear weapons? Perhaps the UN is expected to become a privatized corporation after the dues and participation are revoked. Despite being framed as a "peace candidate", Ron Paul doesn't seem interested in the relevance of independent nonprofit world bodies tasked with resolving world conflicts through dialog and democracy.

This isn't rocket science. This is about our future. Without any international bodies to meditate between the world's nations we are facing potential nuclear war.

Similarly, the International Criminal Court is the only means we have for a civil and just response to war crimes around the world as the US descends into fascism. It wasn't the US Congress that kept Bush out of Iraq for precious weeks before the bombing started, it was the UN. Bush was kept out of Iraq by the UN longer than anyone else in the world could have. Those few months may well be what allowed the insurgency to get a running start and for innocents to flee with their lives. Today, because of the massive sacrifices made by the Iraq insurgency, Bush Administration plans have been muddled and exposed. But according to Ron Paul:

Our anticipated war in Iraq has been condemned by many around the world for the worst of all reasons: namely, that America is acting without United Nations approval. The obvious implication is that an invasion of Iraq is illegitimate without such approval, but magically becomes legitimate when UN bureaucrats grant their blessing. . . . The administration deserves some credit for asserting that we will go to war unilaterally if necessary, without UN authorization.
Time to Renounce the United Nations?
Ron Paul, March 20, 2003, lewrockwell.com

The real problem is not the rational the UN `bureaucrats' engage in to try to stop the war, it is the horror of the US war machine itself, and those who run it. With the UN International Criminal Court, there is a slim chance that the rest of the world will, ultimately, not let the Bush Administration off the hook, even if the US Congress does. And those types of checks and balances may be the only sorts of limitations on the plans of those in power - the risk of going down in history with the label "war criminal" affixed to their names. The legitimacy and approval sought by a nation to a world body such as the UN is not an "affront" to sovereignty, but rather is the most powerful yet non-violent means known in history to keep imperialist tyrants in check.

The Truth Candidate

"I think [the role of the US government in 9/11 was] indirectly out of ineptness rather than participating in it, planning it or allowing it to happen."
- Ron Paul, Interview with Steve McGill, Oct. 2007

Ron Paul supporters and Libertarians seized upon the 9/11 Truth Movement as a vehicle to promote Paul aggressively early on in his campaign, primarily through two high-profile venues which aggressively promoted Paul to activists - wearechange.org and radio host Alex Jones. By the Sixth Anniversary of the attacks, at most 9/11 events, on many 9/11 websites, and via weekly if not daily emails, activists were hammered with the soundbyte that Ron Paul is the "truth candidate" who believes that 9/11 was "an inside job."

But discerning exactly what Ron Paul did and does believe has been another story.

In mid-2007, Student Scholars For 9/11 Truth interviewed Ron Paul and recorded his promise to talk to Dennis Kucinich about setting up a new independent investigative body to look into 9/11. The suggestion has been that 9/11 activists supported Paul (en masse, apparently) because he cares about the truth and would hold a real investigation into the events of that day. Here's a segment of a typical Paul & 9/11 truth email I get:

Presidential candidate Ron Paul and his millions of supporters are now being branded "terrorists"... Believe 9/11 was an inside job? You're a terrorist ("extreme belief system")... Opposed to the "wars of liberation" in Iraq and Afghanistan? Of course you're a terrorist ("providing comfort to the enemy")... This email you're reading? I'll likely soon be branded a "terrorist" for sending it ("fomenting dissent").

Another video in which Ron Paul was questioned about his views on 9/11 showed that Paul did seem to believe that a "cover-up" occurred, but a cover-up of what? It isn't clear. Although the original post and several of the comments suggest that Paul is the best option to expose the truths of the 9/11 attacks, later comments don't agree, and expose what will arise more clearly later on:

He basically said that the cover up was inspired by guilt as a result of ineptitude or incompetence, and in effect did not even answer the question about what he would do as president. . . . Why would people be gushing over this?
What are you guys talking about?!
Robert Rice on Wed, 06/20/2007 - 9:30am
I watched him for over an hour on C-SPAN last month and he never uttered a single word about it. He doesn't bring it up in debates. He isn't pressing for any action in the House of Representatives. Like all Libertarian style candidates, Paul is good on some things and terrible on others. But can we honestly say he is a "hero for 9/11 truth"?
EXACTLY..
RL McGee on Wed, 06/20/2007 - 4:09pm
So Ron Paul admits there's a cover up of... ineptitude. Not of murder, insurance fraud or any of the other crimes we are convinced were committed. Just ineptitude. . . . there's not a word about looking into the real cause of death for all those innocent people.
Dennis Kucinich vs Ron Paul
standard deviation on Wed, 06/20/2007 - 8:55pm
Pretty soon this blogger thread devolves into a debate over Kucinich vs Ron Paul, and in the crude and aggressive form we see all too often from Ron Paul supporters, statements are made about Kucinich which prompt this response:
How is the anti-corporate, anti-NAFTA Dennis Kucinich a "fascist, NWO shilling whore"? At least make your insults logical. . . .
I believe you are the one who is deluded
individual7819 on Thu, 06/21/2007 - 6:07pm.

In October of 2007 a video from an interview of Paul by Steve Gill was posted to YouTube and included Paul's explicit description of what he said he believed regarding the "conspiracy stuff":

STEVE GILL: I've seen videotapes and listened to audio where you deny any willingness to embrace the 9/11 conspiracy stuff. A lot of your supporters do seem to embrace the whole 9/11 conspiracy that the towers were brought down by the Bush administration. Address that. Do you think the American government, the U.S. government, had anything to do with bringing those towers down either directly or allowing it to happen?
RON PAUL: I think indirectly out of ineptness rather than participating in it, planning it or allowing it to happen. I see it's ineptness - that's why I think the investigations are always coverup of the inefficiency of government.
Ron Paul says 9/11 was ineptness and NOT "an Inside Job"
Representativepress, October 7, 2007, youtube.com

But it was Glenn Beck, in December of 2007, another right-wing Libertarian bent on exposing or destroying the "dangerous" and "violent" 9/11 Truth Movement, finally exposed the bottom line for the truth of 9/11 for Ron Paul, leaving his supporters doing somersaults to try to clean up the mess:

BECK: . . . But may I just run through these 9/11 conspiracies? No plane hit the Pentagon on September 11th. Instead, it was a missile fired by elements from inside the American state apparatus. Yes or no?
PAUL: It`s preposterous.
BECK: OK. The planes that hit the World Trade Center towers were remotely controlled?
PAUL: I mean, this is just bizarre.
BECK: OK.
PAUL: I`ve not even heard of these challenges before.
BECK: Is there -- is there any evidence or is there any doubt in your mind that the United States government was not involved in the September 11th attacks? That we did not bring down World Trade Center number seven?
PAUL: Well, yes, I absolutely believe that is true. They did not. But the connection may be, and where some people get carried away, is if you dig through those $40 billion worth of intelligence-gathering apparatus that we had before 9/11, you know, we dig up information and there was some ineptness. And sometimes when you find ineptness in government, it`s easy to make this giant leap over into conspiracy, and they do it on purpose. But, you know, we had an FBI agent on 70 different occasions reported that these individuals were flying airplanes and not learning how to land them. And he was totally ignored.
BECK: Right.
PAUL: I consider this ineptness on government, not a conspiracy that, oh, yes, we know about it, we can`t wait until the towers come down. No, I don`t believe that at all. I think -- I don`t even think I should have to answer questions like that.
Transcript: Honest Questions with Ron Paul
Glenn Beck, Aired December 18, 2007, cnn.com

At first glance one gets the idea that Paul is doing what he's supposed to do for Glen Beck, who claims to have had his life threatened by 9/11 truth activists and who clearly wants them taken down, since apparently questioning the official version of events is blasphemy.

But a moment later one realizes the many many answers Paul could have given which would actually have been both truthful and acceptable leaving no basis for "conspiracy". He could have pointed out,

Well Glen, as you may or may not know, the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks have only had about 1/3 of all of their questions answered during the 9/11 Commission Hearings. They've made a couple of films about this.

He could have even added, as many do who want to remain in their present job do,

Now I'm no conspiracy theorist, to be sure, but . . .

Except, he did not.

In fact, Paul's `9/11 Truth Revolution' opportunity just fizzled in an instant.

Instead, and with much worse consequences, Paul insisted that the "conspiracies" are simply a misplaced response to our government's "ineptness." This response sinks the truth of the 9/11 attacks for millions of people around the world, and instead, works to build Paul's theme of government ineptitude in all matters as confirmation for the basis for his own primary position against "Big Government"

The Paul supporters start their gymnastics on the 9/11 forums, mopping at the mess as fast as they can with responses like these:

I have two friends, one of whom is a legislative assistant in RP's congressional office, and anther who is a former congressional staffer for RP. Both have confirmed to me that RP is aware that 9/11 was an inside job. We have to wait until the republican primaries are over for him to start speaking out on this.
Galileo on Thu, 12/20/2007 - 2:48pm.
I can't totally withdraw from Vietnam right now. If I did I would be branded as a communist appeaser. But I can do it after I'm re-elected - so we better make damn sure that I AM re-elected." JFK said this to confidant Wayne Morse (or Kenneth O' Donnell, can't remeber which one} shortly before they gunned him down. Politicians sometimes have to keep their true opinions and plans to themselve's if they want to get elected.
I can't totally withdraw
bela lugosi on Thu, 12/20/2007 - 11:29am.
Ghandi also had a good sense of timing, and I think Ron Paul does too. The election is still 11 months away.
Ghandi also had a good sense of timing
Colombo on Thu, 12/20/2007 - 12:18pm.

Ghandi? Amazing. It appears that the Paul "pushers" on the internet will do anything to make Paul `right' for the crowd. But one poster, although no Einstein himself, slices through the muck they are creating, like knife through butter:

WOW! you RP guys are over the damn top! Did you not just watch that video? He does not support 9/11 truth . PERIOD! I find it laughable to read your comments that he is lieing now, and if we only ELECT him, he will wake up and speak the truth? That is'nt even a democratic rational!!! lie his way into office., and you support that?!? Shame! People that support a guy in the hopes that he will majically flip possions AFTER you elect him are friggin' nuts! Just admit that you are far right wing idealogs and that has absolutly nothing to do with 9/11 truth.
jph_wacheski on Thu, 12/20/2007 - 1:00pm.

It's hard to top that.

The Bush Fantasy Candidate

The fury that many have at the Bush Administration can instill a blind rage, which is understandable, but which requires a certain grabbing by the shoulders and a shaking of someone back into awareness to bring them out of that trance and show them why Ron Paul is not going to be the savior after all. This is a painful reality to face.

This fury crosses party lines, racial boundaries, and even class boundaries as our country sinks ever more deeply into a fascist state. With the increasing awareness of the dire position of the US, it's no wonder we are seeing voters reacting, not researching, and generally acting out of a fear and anger.

Most don't realize that Ron Paul defends Bush:

I'm talking the people who have hijacked our foreign policy, the people who took George Bush's foreign policy of a humble foreign policy and turned it into one of nation-building which he complained about. . . . The president himself has changed the policy. . . I liked the program he ran on. That's what I defend. And--but all of a sudden--and it didn't change after 9/11, it changed the first meeting of the Cabinet according to Paul O'Neal. He says immediately it was on the table. `When, when were we going to attack Iraq?'
Meet the Press' transcript:
Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), John Harwood and Chuck Todd
Tim Russert, Dec. 23, 2007, msnbc.com

Many think Paul is the antidote to Bush and forget that he is made of the same cloth. For example, although Paul has voted against Bush Administration energy bills, he essentially voted to protect the same oil interests that Bush does - and which have kept us in the wars in the Middle East that Paul says we should withdraw from -- even in violation of his own principles against any government subsidies. Let's take a look at Ron Paul's votes on energy and oil issues:

* Voted NO on criminalizing oil cartels like OPEC. (May 2007)
* Voted NO on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (Jan 2007)
* Voted NO on keeping moratorium on drilling for oil offshore. (Jun 2006)
* Voted YES on scheduling permitting for new oil refinieries. (Jun 2006)
* Voted NO on passage of the Bush Administration national energy policy. (Jun 2004)
* Voted NO on implementing Bush-Cheney national energy policy. (Nov 2003)
* Voted NO on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels. (Aug 2001)
* Voted NO on prohibiting oil drilling & development in ANWR. (Aug 2001)
* Repeal the gas tax. (May 2001)
* Voted NO on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol. (Jun 2000)
* Replace coal & oil with alternatives - strongly opposes . . .

So when we pull back the curtain of "Revolution," we find that much of what Ron Paul is virtually no different from what Bush, Reagan and Bush I were. Paul says he sees himself as very different from Bush I & II and Reagan, even though, as Tim Russert points out on Meet the Press, he uses their images in his brochures to play both sides of the fence:

MR. RUSSERT: . . . If Reagan's a failure, Bush 41 is a bum, and you didn't vote for Bush 41 -- 41's a bum and 43 you didn't vote for -- and you resigned from the Republican Party, why are you running as a Republican candidate for president?
REP. PAUL: Because I represent what Republicanism used to be. I represent the group that wanted to get rid of the Department of Education, that part of the Republican Party that used to be non-interventionists overseas. That was the tradition, the Robert/Taft wing of the party. There was a time when the Republicans defended individual liberty and the Constitution and decreased spending. So the radicals, the ones who really don't belong in the Republican Party and why the Republican Party is shrinking, why the base is so small, is because they don't stand for these ideals any more. So I stand for the ideals of the Republican Party. I've been elected 10 times as Republican. I've been a Republican all my life except for that one year that I ran as a Libertarian. But, no, I represent the Republican ideals, I think, much more so that the individuals running for the party right now.
Meet the Press' transcript:
Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), John Harwood and Chuck Todd
Tim Russert, Dec. 23, 2007, msnbc.com

Paul's votes, in essence, amount to isolationist policies in a world connected - from one corner of the globe to the other - in real time via the internet, the world economy, the US debt and many other factors. Today, while an isolationist policy militarily sounds good, such a policy has potentially lethal ramifications in other sectors where the US currently participates widely and interactively on the world stage.

And a worse potential problem is that all it would take to turn Ron Paul into Bush-lite is one `terrorist' bombing incident in the US. Although Ron Paul has voted according to his own principles, he has not made revolutionary efforts of the kind we are hearing of to bring about change, just as he shows how Bush could not because he was "hijacked". Lance Selfa reminds us of the conservative underpinnings that both Bush and Paul share:

Paul's positions, no matter how left-sounding, flow from a fairly (although not totally) consistent conservative worldview. . . Those who are impressed by Paul[`s antiwar stance], should recall that Milton Friedman, the archconservative economist whose free-market ideology has devastated millions of lives, also opposed the military draft."
A maverick, but not the good kind
Lance Selfa, Oct. 12, 2007, Socialist Worker

Milton Friedman is the bad guy that Naomi Klein has recently educated us all about in her new best-seller, the Shock Doctrine, which exposes the historical role of Friedman's policies set at the heart of the Bush Administration and NeoCon agenda of "shock and awe" -- using catastrophes, torture and the ensuing confusion on both nations and individuals to ram through economic policies which would otherwise never be accepted by the people, with devastating consequences. The same policies that Paul rails against -- the Patriot Act, the surveillance, the secret prisons, the right of habeus corpus -- have been put in place by those following the Friedman doctrine.

Here's what Ron Paul wrote about Milton Friedman upon his death in 2006:

The death of economist Milton Friedman last week at the age of 94 marks a great loss for advocates of freedom everywhere. He was perhaps the most successful free-market economist of the 20th century, in terms of his real-world impact on politics and policy. Many modern politicians, including Ronald Reagan, considered him a major influence in their careers. Milton Friedman was a strong advocate of economic liberty who opposed government intervention in both the purely economic and broader social spheres of our society. He believed not only in laissez-faire capitalism, but also the larger cause of individual liberty in the political sense. I was proud to know Dr. Friedman for many decades, and considered him a friend.
Milton Friedman 1912-2006
Ron Paul, November 21, 2006, lewrockwell.com

And posted on the "Daily Paul" website, one will see comments like this:

http://video.google.com
Milton Friedman with a beautiful refutation of the philosophy of socialism. This is a must watch video!
Weekend Watching: Milton Friedman's tour de force attack on socialism
Toban, November 11, 2007, dailypaul.com

But here's what a comment on the same page, citing Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, tells us about Friedman:

Milton Freidman posthumously brought us the Iraq debacle via his acolytes Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the rest of the NeoCon cabal. Yes, they were his students and Iraq was the perfect laboratory for laissez-faire capitalism. It turned into a nightmare because utopia is not achievable on earth-especially administered by brutal ideologues like Bush and the NeoCons. . . . But I am beginning to wonder, just how načve is the Ron Paul movement?
How naive are you?
Anothergreenbus, November 24 2007, dailypaul.com

Here's what Naomi Klein says in an interview:

NK: I would argue that [Austrian economist Friedrich] Hayek and [University of Chicago economist Milton] Friedman shared this dream of the pure system. These are brilliant mathematicians, in many cases, so it looks perfect in their modeling. But I think anyone who falls in love with a system is dangerous, because the world doesn't comply and then you get angry at the world.
Q: So you have these economists advocating for this pure form of capitalism -- what is the attraction of disasters to these people?
NK: Well, disasters are moments where people are blasted out of the way, where they are in a state of shock, whether they're scattered -- as after a hurricane hits in New Orleans -- or just picking up the pieces after having been bombed, or their entire world view has just been shattered -- as after Sept. 11. These are malleable political moments. And there is an awareness that disasters create these opportunities, so you have a whole movement -- much of it standing at the ready within the think-tank infrastructure. I think of these think tanks as sort of idea-warmers -- they keep the ideas ready for when the disaster hits. Milton Friedman said that only a crisis, real or perceived, produces real change, and when that crisis hits, the change that occurs depends on the ideas that are lying around.
Interview with Naomi Klein
Kenneth Whyte , September 10, 2007, Macleans.ca

Klein, in an interview on Democracy Now, also says:

AMY GOODMAN: Naomi, as we wrap up this hour, what were you most shocked by in researching the shock doctrine?
NAOMI KLEIN: I was shocked that there is this cache of literature out there, which I didn't know existed, where the economists admit it. You know, and this is what I guess I'm most excited about in the book is how many quotes I have from very high-level advocates of free-market economics, everyone from Milton Friedman to John Williamson, who's the man who coined the phrase "the Washington Consensus," admitting amongst themselves, not publicly, but amongst themselves, in sort of technocratic documents, that they have never been able to push through a radical free-market makeover in the absence of a large-scale crisis, i.e. the central myth of our time that democracy and capitalism go hand in hand is known to be a lie by the very people who are advancing it, and they will admit it on the record.
The Shock Doctrine: Naomi Klein on the Rise of Disaster Capitalism
Amy Goodman, September 17, 2007, democracynow.org

So the claim that Friedman's pure economic ideas were simply hijacked by the NeoCons for nefarious intentions is exposed as false.

The Internet Candidate

Flipping through a tiny local paper in Middle Georgia named The Patriot, I scan it for `patriotic' items -- as a Northeasterner the culture of the South fascinates me, like I'm in another country -- yet I am disappointed to find nothing special, just notices of local happenings, deaths, and church events. But then, yes, I've found it -- a notice for a Ron Paul meet-up. There is no other candidate mentioned around here, only Paul.

The Paul phenomenon here in Middle Georgia is to be expected, but on the internet, something else is going on. The vast majority of internet users are not likely Libertarians, yet Paul, like Howard Dean, is the designated 2008 internet candidate. A post by "Jim" at Irregulartimes.com, states:

How could that be? How could Ron Paul's campaign stay up so high in Technorati's rankings for so long, when no other candidate, even those with much more general public support, have failed to rise to that level of online interest?
Ron Paul Is The Email Spam Candidate for President
jclifford, November 1, 2007, irregulartimes.com

But Sarah Lai Stirland, of Wired Magazine points out,

Ron Paul's campaign has been promoted through the use of email spam, using techniques that are at minimum harassing and dishonest, and are likely to be actually criminal." Although Stirland acknowledges, "The Ron Paul for President campaign is, so far, denying involvement in the email spam operation," she concludes, "Online, it seems that Ron Paul's campaign has attracted dishonest hackers who have such disrespect for voters that they're willing to subject us to torrents of garbage clogging up our email accounts.
'Criminal' Botnet Stumps for Ron Paul, Researchers Allege
Sarah Lai Stirland, October 31, 2007, wired.com

I first encountered the phenomenon of candidates who aren't who they appear to be with the campaign of Howard Dean in 2004.

Writers with Counterpunch, Josh Frank and Sean Donahue , among others, were some of the first to notice that Dean seemed to be playing games with his audiences. Writers pointed out depending on what audience and what coast he was on, Dean's positions were morphing. It wasn't flip-flopping. It was about a careful and subtle orchestration of assuming revised positions constantly. He played to the crowd. And he knew how to play the internet game better than anyone before him. A quote I liked to pass around from Dean was his statement which caught the attention of progressives: " I was against the war, but I wasn't a protester."

I experienced the Deaniac machine at work for myself one time on the Portland Indymedia website, just prior to his appearance there, when I noticed that the sudden influx of supportive comments about Dean had what amounted to a formula in their structure. I called them on it and pretty quickly others on the site noticed it as well.

There is something curious going on with some of the Dean supporters coming to Portland Indymedia. One has to wonder if all these Dean supporters are merely ordinary people who spontaneously post here, or they an example of a what is called an "Astroturf" operation -- an organized political operation designed to create the image of a "grassroots" political movement.
Something Funny about Howard Dean Supporters?
curious, September 2, 2003, portland.indymedia.org

Howard Dean was taken out of the running in the same way anyone can be taken out, but it didn't mean he was a candidate of the people, only that most people didn't know the whole puzzle, and probably never would have until a few years into a Dean Administration. It only meant that he wasn't, apparently, the chosen one.

An earlier version of Dean's strategy could be seen in the presidential campaign of Bill Clinton. Clinton also assumed every different position depending on who needed to hear it and what would play best. I remember sitting in a cafā in San Francisco and reading the SF Bay Guardian's article endorsing Clinton, but also exposing his contradictions - even though that little local free paper is strongly Democrat, even they could not avoid point out the absurdities of this strategy.

Turning the fear and anger of the nation against the Bush Administration into a powerful political campaign to sweep up those who reject the corporate candidates takes just a few key ingredients, such as an excellent internet campaign team, a willingness to not reject any financial support (even if it comes directly from David Duke), keeping charisma or hotbutton `Revolution' ideas -- not the voting record -- located front and center, and playing selectively to different audiences.

The Rorschach Campaign: Ink blots and Issues

Carla Marinucci, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, summarizes Paul's positions:

The former practicing obstetrician, who has served in the House about 20 of the past 35 years, is vehemently anti-abortion - voting against federal funding of abortion, stem cell research and even family planning funding in U.S. foreign aid - and strongly pro-gun rights. His views have gained him high ratings from conservatives and groups such as the Christian Coalition and the National Rifle Association. Paul also is seen as strongly anti-environmental by groups such as the League of Conservation Voters, which gave him just a 5 percent legislative rating on his voting record. But Paul also appeals to progressives on a number of issues: He supports repealing most federal drug laws, including those against medical marijuana, is against the death penalty, vigorously opposes the war in Iraq and is against the Patriot Act and free trade agreements such as NAFTA. Indeed, some political analysts suggested he is the 2008 campaign's political ink blot test - able to represent whatever voters see in him.
Campaign 2008: Ron Who?
Carla Marinucci, November 28, 2007, The San Francisco Chronicle

But a lot of bloggers and campaign activists are trying to convince the Left that their one issue is worth it. It often seems that Paul supporters see whatever they are in need of seeing. The contradictions in Paul's positions are related to his embrace of an abstract ideology jammed cookie-cutter style onto the complex, diverse and multi-colored reality of world and US issues today. Perhaps he is playing both sides of the fence, but what emerges is a strangely-shaped constellation of views, a patchwork of positions on the issues that often contradict each other or, from time to time, are revealed for their cold hard truths:

Paul explained that he is against wars because they only increase government power and he is against every form of big government.
Colbert 'confused' by Republican candidate Ron Paul
David Edwards and Muriel Kane, June 14, 2007, Rawstory.com
He opposes occupying Iraq because it involves massive government expense and power. That, and not the million corpses, is his primary concern.
Peace, Injustice, and Ron Paul
David Swanson, September 1, 2007, smirkingchimp.com

The benefit of assuming contradictory positions, naturally, is support from a broad spectrum of voters . . . but only as long as they never look closely at the whole picture, or at least not until they've contributed to the campaign. This type of support, based mainly on a narrow band of positions, each appealing to different groups, suggests that Paul's support comes mainly from what is perhaps the single most powerful issue of our time: the lies of the Bush Administration. People fall into their different categories on how they oppose Bush, and they find that one category in Ron Paul, and seize on it. Only later do some wake up with the hang-over of the whole picture.

Let's take a simple hot-button issue that exposes one of Ron Paul's contradictions. Lance Selfa writes:

So the `freedom' he advocates is a society with no income taxes, little or no government programs for the poor or disadvantaged, and no regulation of occupational safety and health or food and drug standards. Interestingly, one exception to his views is abortion.
A maverick, but not the good kind
Lance Selfa, October 12, 2007, Socialist Worker

While Paul opposes `Big Government' and wants it out of our lives, as David Swanson points out, he applies a different standard when it comes to women. Swanson writes:

Women who value the right to abortion would lose it under a Paul Administration. This is not speculation. He openly says he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. That's his principle and he stands by it courageously and honestly, but most Americans disagree with him.
Peace, Injustice, and Ron Paul
David Swanson, smirkingchimp.com

But if most Americans don't agree, why is Paul for it? How is this not government intervention? Chris Schaffer, of sustainabledemocracy.org, says it is:

It should never be the role of the government to force moral positions on citizens.
Sustainable Profile: Ron Paul
Chris Schaffer, Sustainabledemocracy.org

A Ron Paul advocate blogging online about his perception of this contradiction, resolves it this way:

The man is an OBGYN and has witnessed a 2.5 month baby being placed into a bucket after an abortion. He views it as an act of violence against an individual. I see the merits of that argument. . . . seems like more conflict between my personal views and reasons verses his . . . he is personally Pro-Life.
Libertarian logic / Ron Paul
Truthmod, truthmove.org

Such reasoning is typical of how average people will try to `rearrange the map' when they discover the inherent pitfalls of the candidate they have chosen. The same position in a rival candidate would likely engender anger and rejection. Tim Russert, on Meet the Press, explained one of the classic Paul contradictions:

MR. RUSSERT: When I looked at your record, you talked about big government and how opposed you are to it, but you seem to have a different attitude about your own congressional district. For example, "Congress decided to send billions of dollars to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Guess how Ron Paul voted. `Is bailing out people that chose to live on the coastline a proper function of the federal government?' he asks. And you said no. And yet, this: "Paul's current district . . . draws a substantial amount of federal flood insurance payments." For your own congressional district. This is the Houston Chronicle: "Representative Ron Paul has long crusaded against a big central government. But he also" "represented a congressional district that's consistently among the top in Texas in its reliance on dollars from Washington.
. . . .
REP. PAUL: They take our money from us, and the Congress has the authority to appropriate, not the executive branch. And I'm saying that I represent my people. They have a request, it's like taking a tax credit, and I put it in--the whole process is corrupt so that I vote against everything.
MR. RUSSERT: All right, let me ask you this. But if...
REP. PAUL: I vote against it, so I don't endorse the system.
MR. RUSSERT: But when it passes overwhelmingly, you take the money back home.
REP. PAUL: I don't take it. That's the system.
Meet the Press' transcript:
Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), John Harwood and Chuck Todd
Tim Russert, Dec. 23, 2007, msnbc.com

These positions mainly show that Paul takes care of his own - those who vote for him -- and uses the system in whatever way necessary to do that. One can extrapolate whom `his own' would be as a president (i.e., the oil companies). If Katrina had occurred in Paul's district, we can bet he would work for funding after a disaster. But the families who survived Katrina and those who must survive future environmental catastrophes should note that under a Paul Administration, they can expect to simply `not go home again.'

The 'Dismantling of Big Government' But What Does it Really Mean?

Think about what your life might look like if no one could tell Walmart, or Halliburton, or Microsoft, `No'. . . It should be obvious that this would probably lead to a sort of wage-slavery that would leave us reflecting back on today's capitalism as `the good ole days.'
-- personman, anarchismtoday.org

Sherry Wolf, editor of the International Socialist Review, writes in her essay on Paul:

At its core, the fetishism of individualism that underlies libertarianism leads to the denial of rights to the very people most radicals aim to champion . . . To advocate for society to be organized on the basis of strict individualism, as libertarians do, is to argue that everyone has the right to do whatever he or she wants. . . . But what happens when the desires of one individual infringe on the desires of another? Libertarians like Paul don't shy away from the logical ramifications of their argument. "The dictatorial power of a majority" he argues ought to be replaced by the unencumbered power of individuals-in other words, the dictatorial power of a minority.
Why The Left Must Reject Ron Paul
Sherry Wolf, December 13th, 2007, dissidentvoice.org

Similarly, Noam Chomsky discusses Ron Paul's anti-"Big Government" stance:

Dismantling of big government' sounds like a nice phrase. What does it mean? . . . Does it mean that the economy should collapse, because basic R&D is typically publicly funded -- like what we're now using, computers and the internet? Should we eliminate roads, schools, public transportation, environmental regulation? . . . Quite a few questions arise.
Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul
personman, December 2, 2007, znet sustainers forum, reposted at anarchismtoday.org

Reporters interviewing Paul, confused by how Paul's statements on his positions would impact the reality of the US budget, repeatedly ask the same question, "But how could you pay for anything without taxes?" Paul replies that we had no such taxation before the early 1900s and did just fine, and that if we bring home everyone from overseas we will recoup hundreds of billions.

BECK: How do you change the tax code? I mean, we`ve been saying -- every American knows this doesn`t work. . . .
PAUL: Well, mine is to get rid of the IRS but not replace it with anything by cutting a lot of spending. Because we lived without an income tax before 1913. So I`m not interested in the flat tax or the -- or the sales tax. You know? Although anything would -- anything would be better.
BECK: Yes. Just what you`re saying, I mean, you`re speaking -- I mean, you know, if we weren`t both men, you know, I might have to French kiss you on the whole abolishing the IRS thing. You had me at hello. You did. No, you did. So -- so you want to replace it with -- with a -- with some sort of a sales tax?
PAUL: No, nothing.
BECK: Nothing. How...
PAUL: I want to replace it with freedom. I want to replace it with freedom and less spending.
BECK: OK. But wait a minute. Hang on just a second.
PAUL: But you`re right. Yes, OK.
BECK: I mean, I love you. Don`t get me wrong. How do we pay for the things we do have to pay for?
Transcript: Honest Questions with Ron Paul
Glenn Beck, Aired December 18, 2007, cnn.com

But in the early 1900s, a world apart from today's world, there were a lot of ugly realities that we wouldn't probably want to return to -- old or disabled people were taken care of at home by family or died harshly on the street. Paul says we can afford to take care of those who could not take care of themselves, and says he's looking out for the future of those on medicare and social security now, rather then after the system has collapsed. But we don't see the reality of these in Paul's past behavior except for his `no' votes on everything. Here is one blogger's effort at what such a libertarian reality would look like:

In other words, libertarians seek the dissolution of all social welfare programs (Social Security, Medicare, public education, welfare, etc.) based on the erroneous belief that the market can and will supply every person with all of these benefits more efficiently than the government can. Without Social Security, for example, corporations would willingly provide retirement benefits to all of their employees. Instead of welfare, private charities would be able to provide support to those the economy leaves behind. While these assumptions might show that libertarians have great faith in humanity, they don't seem particularly realistic.
A look at Ron Paul's America:'Consistently wrong is still wrong'
Greg Wildermuth, November 11, 2007, gonzagabulletin.com

Here's another viewpoint from the standpoint of the potential environmental damage from the privatization and anti-"Big Government" positions of Paul:

With half of the world's wealth in the hands of only 2% of the population, it's big business who will own the majority of land. The biggest polluters will simply buy the land, air, and water they intend to pollute. Paul believes any real environmental protection is unconstitutional and that polluting is a right.
Ron Paul on the Environment
Manila Ryce, December 4, 2007, jwharrison.com

Ultimately, the reality we see is that Paul cares for his own - as exposed in recent news stories about how Paul's own district has raked in more government money than any other in Texas -- and the rest be damned. So one question becomes, who will be Paul's "own," as president?

These positions amount to a form of isolationism -- or " libertarian isolationism" -- and it is in stark contrast to the compassionate doctor and the man who wants to protect the poor, elderly and disabled from the future disaster of the collapse of the system. Paul doesn't explain how to "fix" the system -- keep those without anything alive -- mainly that we have to cut the spending before the system collapses.

BECK: . . . How do you finally say to people, "You know what? You don`t have a right to health care. You don`t have a right to all of the things that we`ve given"? Bloomberg just today is starting to pay people for showing up to go to free school. How do you get off of that?
PAUL: . . . Well, I think you just deny them the benefits. And we will be denying the benefits when we run out of money and the system collapses. All I want to do is make sure we start before we have the financial crisis . . . And we have become an immoral nation, because we think that, if you transfer wealth through the government force, that it`s legitimate, it`s an entitlement, and they have a right to it. As long as we have that . . . there`s no way we can solve our problem. But if you feed the system and allow people to get these benefits and perpetuate the welfare state, it never will reverse. So I stay start reversing it and start cutting the spending.
Transcript: Honest Questions with Ron Paul
Glenn Beck, Aired December 18, 2007, cnn.com

But if welfare is cut now or cut later, what is the real difference? The assumption is that welfare recipients are somehow better off if they know in advance they will be cut off, and so somehow will stop being disabled, or stop having a mental illness, or stop having a physical disorder, or stop producing dependents. As long as Paul keeps the focus on the "when" he'll cut welfare, not the how or what happens next, no one is asking for the details.

The Constitutionalist

". . . the secularists wage an ongoing war against religion, chipping away bit by bit at our nation's Christian heritage. Christmas itself may soon be a casualty of that war."
-- Ron Paul, Christmas in Secular America, 29 December 2003

Ron Paul is also best known as being a Constitutionalist. His website states:

Dr. Paul never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.
Ron Paul 2008: Issue: Life and Liberty
Accessed December 28, 2007, RonPaul2008.com

But in the same way that his stance on abortion is opposite to his anti- "Big Government," stance, Paul wants an amendment to put prayer in our schools, opposite to what most would consider a "Constitutionalist" stance. Here's another example in what Tim Russert brought up in his December `Meet the Press' interview with Paul:

MR. RUSSERT: You say you're a strict constructionist of the Constitution, and yet you want to amend the Constitution to say that children born here should not automatically be U.S. citizens.
REP. PAUL: Well, amending the Constitution is constitutional. What's a--what's the contradiction there?
MR. RUSSERT: So in the Constitution as written, you want to amend?
REP. PAUL: Well, that's constitutional, to do it. Besides, it was the 14th Amendment. It wasn't in the original Constitution. And there's a, there's a confusion on interpretation. In the early years, it was never interpreted that way, and it's still confusing because people--individuals are supposed to have birthright citizenship if they're under the jurisdiction of the government. And somebody who illegally comes in this country as a drug dealer, is he under the jurisdiction and their children deserve citizenship? I think it's awfully, awfully confusing, and, and I, I--matter of fact, I have a bill to change that as well as a Constitutional amendment to clarify it.
Meet the Press' transcript:
Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), John Harwood and Chuck Todd
Tim Russert, Dec. 23, 2007, msnbc.com

Defenders of Ron Paul respond to these positions with the same formula response that Howard Dead supporters did:

"He doesn't really feel that way, he just has to say that."
"I'm not so concerned about that, I'm only interested in his other positions."
"Paul has the right interpretation, just read it."

But does he? Rather than trying to read Ron Paul's mind or have faith that Paul's interpretation is the only one that's right in the history of interpretations of the Constitution, let's just look at some facts.

The Constitution is the first document in the history of the world in which a nation was founded on the separation of church and state. Most agree that this was no mistake or casual aspect of the document, but rather, this was a founding principle. Yet, here's a speech from December of 2003, that Ron Paul gave in the House of Representatives, titled, `Christmas in Secular America':

The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders' political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government's hostility to religion. The establishment clause of the First Amendment was simply intended to forbid the creation of an official state church like the Church of England, not to drive religion out of public life. The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance. Throughout our nation's history, churches have done what no government can ever do, namely teach morality and civility. Moral and civil individuals are largely governed by their own sense of right and wrong, and hence have little need for external government. This is the real reason the collectivist Left hates religion: Churches as institutions compete with the state for the people's allegiance, and many devout people put their faith in God before their faith in the state. Knowing this, the secularists wage an ongoing war against religion, chipping away bit by bit at our nation's Christian heritage. Christmas itself may soon be a casualty of that war.
Christmas in Secular America,
Ron Paul, December 29, 2003, house.gov

But Brooke Allen, writing for the Nation, says:

If we define a Christian as a person who believes in the divinity of Jesus Christ, then it is safe to say that some of the key Founding Fathers were not Christians at all. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine were deists--that is, they believed in one Supreme Being but rejected revelation and all the supernatural elements of the Christian Church; the word of the Creator, they believed, could best be read in Nature. . . . George Washington and James Madison also leaned toward deism, although neither took much interest in religious matters. Madison believed that "religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize." He spoke of the "almost fifteen centuries" during which Christianity had been on trial: "What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution."
Our Godless Constitution
Brooke Allen, February 3, 2005, thenation.com

These quotes don't sound like the founders would actually conform to Ron Paul's claim that they would be "aghast at the federal government's hostility to religion." In the essay, `Ron Paul vs. Freedom,' Ron Chusid summarizes the positions that has taken on religion and the Constitution:

He has incorrectly claimed that, `The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers.' He has also supported keeping `under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance, has co-sponsored the school prayer amendment, and supported keeping the Ten Commandments on a courthouse lawn. Paul has both criticized secularism and claimed that the Founding Fathers envisioned a Christian America.
Ron Paul vs. Freedom
Ron Chusid, liberalvaluesblog.com

Paul's positions are more in keeping with the Religious Right than the statements of the Founders themselves, and this seems inherently opposite to the Constitution. This website summarizes the actual quotes of the Founders and states:

When the Founders wrote the nation's Constitution, they specified that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." (Article 6, section 3) This provision was radical in its day-- giving equal citizenship to believers and non-believers alike. They wanted to ensure that no single religion could make the claim of being the official, national religion, such as England had. Nowhere in the Constitution does it mention religion, except in exclusionary terms. The words "Jesus Christ, Christianity, Bible, and God" are never mentioned in the Constitution-- not once.
Our Founding Fathers Were Not Christians
July 2000, freethought.mbdojo.com

Andrew Sullivan, a senior editor of The Atlantic, in a reaction essay on Cato-Unbound.org, states:

The achievement of keeping God at arm's length in the ordering structure of a polity is very, very rare. Very few countries have achieved it in the history of the world. America's genius is to have sustained it, even while fostering an intensely religious, roiling, and often apocalyptic culture. . . . I share Mark's view of the real import of the Constitution and am unpersuaded by the attempts of some to portray it as an essentially Christian achievement. It is a secular achievement that was brilliantly masked by some Christian window-dressing.
Religious Country, Secular Constitution
Andrew Sullivan, October 15, 2007, cato-unbound.org

Finally, Ross Douthat writes on his blog on the Atlantic:

I'm personally grateful that the American Constitution is an essentially secular document - not because it protects atheists from rampaging Christianists, but because it allows orthodox Christians like myself to be loyal to America's government without requiring us to accept, whole hog, the not-quite-Christian political theology that has infused American political life from the Declaration of Independence onward. That's the beauty of our Constitutional order: It allows one to be American without being an Americanist.
Christians and the Constitution (II)
Ross Douthat, October 18, 2007, theatlantic.com

So is Paul simply rewriting the founding principles? Trying to force an unpopular and baseless Religious Right agenda onto Americans sounds like something our current Administration would do - reframing the facts along the way to fit an agenda -- but not what someone who calls for representation, peace and "freedom".

Ron Paul and the White Supremacists

"Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world. And the way I'm advising that it should have been done like the British Empire did. You buy the slaves and release them."
-- Ron Paul on Meet the Press, December 2007

Why is Ron Paul the White Supremacist candidate of choice ? To some extent, that question sort of says it all. But such claims require more than just a question, of course, and some bloggers and journalists have started to look into the matter, so here's what they have to say:

A LoneStarTimes.com investigation has conclusively established that a leading figure in the American neo-Nazi / White-Supremacist movement has provided financial support to Ron Paul's 2008 Presidential campaign. The individual in question is Don Black, the founder, owner and operator of Stormfront, a "white power" website that both professional journalists and watch-dog groups have identified as the premier English-language racist/hate-site on the Internet. . . . LoneStarTimes.com's managing editor Matt Bramanti left multiple messages last week for officials in Paul's national campaign press office seeking comment. None were returned.
Neo-Nazi leader gives Ron Paul $500
LST Staff, October 25, 2007, lonestartimes.com

Here's what wikipedia has on the incident in which racist comments were published in a Ron Paul newsletter in 1990s, the Ron Paul Survival Report, though allegedly not authored by Paul:

. . . Ron Paul Survival Report . . . included derogatory comments concerning race and other politicians. Alluding to a 1992 study finding that "of black men in Washington ... about 85 percent are arrested at some point in their lives", the newsletter proposed assuming that "95% of the black males in Washington DC are semi-criminal or entirely criminal", and stated that "the criminals who terrorize our cities ... largely are" young black males, who commit crimes "all out of proportion to their numbers". In 2001, Paul took "moral responsibility" for the comments printed in his newsletter under his name, telling Texas Monthly magazine that the comments were written by an unnamed ghostwriter and did not represent his views.

And blogcritic "SJ Reidhead" summarizes the issues on racism in his article on the subject:

Congressman Ron Paul has some very nasty white supremacist friends. If the problem dated only to this election cycle it would be one thing, but Paul has a past history of making some rather racially insensitive remarks, on a rather consistent basis.
Ron Paul and His KKK, White Supremacist, and Neo-Nazi Supporters
SJ Reidhead, November 27, 2007, blogcritics.org

Here is what Paul said in his 2004 piece, `The Trouble With Forced Integration':

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society. Federal bureaucrats and judges cannot read minds to see if actions are motivated by racism. Therefore, the only way the federal government could ensure an employer was not violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was to ensure that the racial composition of a business's workforce matched the racial composition of a bureaucrat or judge's defined body of potential employees. Thus, bureaucrats began forcing employers to hire by racial quota. Racial quotas have not contributed to racial harmony or advanced the goal of a color-blind society. Instead, these quotas encouraged racial balkanization, and fostered racial strife.. Of course, America has made great strides in race relations over the past forty years. However, this progress is due to changes in public attitudes and private efforts. Relations between the races have improved despite, not because of, the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Ron Paul On The 1964 Civil Rights Act
Assaultonblacksanity, September 15, 2007, assaultonblacksanity.blogspot.com

Here are some interpretations of Paul's statements from the website assaultonblacksanity.blogspot.com:

Was the civil rights struggle of African people in the United States a movement to bring about about "racial harmony"? Not at all. The movement was about justice, which is an entirely different concept. Who are these "private property owners, even those whose actions decent people find abhorrent"? That's code for white supremacists. What Ron Paul is saying is that the right of white supremacists to practice racism must be respected.
Ron Paul On The 1964 Civil Rights Act
Assaultonblacksanity, September 15, 2007, assaultonblacksanity.blogspot.com

Finally, Tim Russert makes an interesting point about in his Meet the Press interview with Paul when he brings up Paul's views on the Civil War:

MR. RUSSERT: I was intrigued by your comments about Abe Lincoln. "According to Paul, Abe Lincoln should never have gone to war; there were better ways of getting rid of slavery."
REP. PAUL: Absolutely. Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war. No, he shouldn't have gone, gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic. I mean, it was the--that iron, iron fist..
MR. RUSSERT: We'd still have slavery.
REP. PAUL: Oh, come on, Tim. Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world. And the way I'm advising that it should have been done like the British empire did. You, you buy the slaves and release them.
Meet the Press' transcript:
Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), John Harwood and Chuck Todd
Tim Russert, Dec. 23, 2007, msnbc.com

Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime: The Price of Ron Paul

Bill Douglas, in his opinion piece on Paul, states:

I have worked professionally and as a full time volunteer for the last 25 years for Democrats. In all that time I have NEVER heard one Democrat say that they would dis-assemble the CIA and US military interventionist empire worldwide. Not once. Ron Paul has made that his central plan.
Why a Liberal Progressive Can AND SHOULD Support Ron Paul
Bill Douglas, December, 24, 2007, opednews.com

Bill has it right on what moves us about Paul, but Bill doesn't ask the price for this flicker of hope, or what we can do about it. The support for Ron Paul on these positions may have sent a shockwave through the country's leadership and perhaps has caused some to rethink and consider taking a little of whatever it is that Ron Paul is having. But if a Democrat has never said they would disassemble the CIA and US military interventionist empire, does that mean we should now vote for a right-wing conservative Libertarian? We have to learn what the real price is for this so-called `Revolution'.

As Colbert read out a list, Paul raised his hand higher and higher to agree he would abolish the Department of Education, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy, the IRS, FEMA, the UN, NATO, the Interstate Commerce Commission, NAFTA, the WTO -- and even UNICEF, though not so much, "It wouldn't be one of my targets," he said."
Colbert 'confused' by Republican candidate Ron Paul
David Edwards and Muriel Kane, June 14, 2007, Rawstory.com

Some these require huge reforms, and some could be eliminated gradually, but some are of these extremely important and are the equivalent of pulling concrete blocks out of the foundation of one's house in order to "clean house" -- discarding them risks everything else above.

Perhaps one of the biggest prices that America and the world would pay under a Ron Paul America is the likely continued non-response to the impending disaster of Global Warming under Paul's strict adherence to not "subsidizing" anything in the public interests at all, under the belief that the market will solve everything. Here's the summary description of what Ron Paul's votes amount to on the issue of Global Warming:

Strongly Oppose means you believe: There's no such thing as global warming - it's all natural climatic variation. And if there is a problem, it won't affect us much, and we can deal with the problems as they arise.

Given this looming environmental disaster predicted to displace millions around the world, should we really discard the Department of Energy? We are entering a new era in which the country is attempting to transition away from fossil fuels and into renewables, and the DOE is one of the primary agencies organizing that effort in the US. Right now some of the biggest news in the `Green Revolution' in the US comes in the form of grants, awards, policies and research from the DOE toward solar and wind energy, while private corporations have been primarily funding biofuels which threaten to create a competition between food and energy needs as corn and soy are already heavily invested in by big corporations.

So in this time of energy crisis, must we suddenly discard the DOE because it is "Big Government"?

Why does Ron Paul vote against ending subsidies for oil companies, but won't increase funding for AMTRAK? A Ron Paul America does not fund public transportation, only the fuel for private vehicles, oil - clearly a disasterous policy in the face of Global Warming.

These Ron Paul votes and views suggest what price will be paid:

* Property rights are the foundation of all rights. (Sep 2007)

* Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)

* Voted NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research. (May 2005)

* Voted YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad. (May 2001)

* Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer

* Voted NO on increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M. (Jun 2006)

* Unlimited campaign contributions; with full disclosure. (Dec 2000)

* Voted NO on requiring lobbyist disclosure of bundled donations. (May 2007)

* Voted NO on granting Washington DC an Electoral vote & vote in Congress. (Apr 2007)

* Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border. (Sep 2006)

* Voted NO on increasing minimum wage to $7.25. (Jan 2007)

* Voted NO on restricting employer interference in union organizing. (Mar 2007)

* Voted YES on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends. (Dec 2005)

* Voted YES on eliminating the Estate Tax ("death tax"). (Apr 2001)

* Voted NO on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox. (May 1999)

* Voted YES on making the Bush tax cuts permanent. (Apr 2002)

* Abolish the federal Department of Education. (Dec 2000)

* 'Take marching orders from Constitution; not from al Qaeda.' (Sep 2007)

* Present scientific facts that support creationism. (Sep 2007)

* Tax-credited programs for Christian schooling. (Sep 2007)

* Disallow lawsuits that stop public officials invoking God. (Sep 2007)

* Socialized medicine won't work; nor managed care. (Oct 2007)

* Oppose mandated health insurance and universal coverage. (Sep 2007)

* Voted YES on continuing military recruitment on college campuses. (Feb 2005)

* Voted YES on deploying SDI. (Mar 1999)

* Allow young people to get out of the system. (Oct 2007)

* Personal retirement accounts allow investing in one's future. (Sep 2007)

* Federal government won't keep its entitlement promises. (Mar 2007)

* Rated 30% by the ARA, indicating an anti-senior voting record. (Dec 2003)

Republican Representative (TX-14): Ron Paul on the Issues

Conclusion: A Glimpse of Ron Paul America

In researching this paper I was stumbling into a lot of questionable stuff, critiques and getting tired of finding more and more in so many places, so when I came across a YouTube video titled, " Ron Paul...Dirty Secrets From the Past." I clicked on it, out of curiosity, thinking it would be nice if most of the critique on him were somehow collected into one easy to view place.

The video starts with an image of Paul as a very young child amongst a few other children who appear to be siblings. We aren't sure which one is Paul in the old black and white, shown briefly with banjo music in the background. But then comes the young high school version of Paul and the resemblance to the gentle white haired doctor we know is striking and sweet, touching. It says he worked on a farm, was a paperboy. We move forward through more images of Paul's life - a life recognizable as our own -- how he had a job at the corner store, how he played baseball for the high school team, and was even with the Astros . . .

At this point I realize I've been duped. Instead of digging up more criticisms on Paul, I've found myself swept up with a young hopeful boy who is just like the rest of us, a good and wonderful person. I feel ashamed briefly, for having looked for `dirt.' `He's okay, after all', is the unmistakable emotional sense I am filled with.

But a moment later I recover, take a breath, and realize I've been brainwashed by the visual propaganda of a personal life, and get my bearings again, like the hangover just starting to set in after the party is over . . .

It occurs to me that this feeling is like many of the "Ron Paul" feelings I've come to be familiar with -- the feeling of being duped, tricked into supporting a `truth candidate' who speaks none of truth I was told he did on the issue of 9/11/01, and a claim that the `Ron Paul Revolution' is coming by presenting only the thinnest slices of Paul possible that's palatable, doling out the suggestion of `real change' while keeping the costs under wraps, creating false hope, showing me an ink blot instead of the truth.

But if we look at the facts, the history, the interviews. the inconsistencies, the strengths, the weaknesses, we can begin to put together a best estimate of what we would be in for: my ink blot shows that Paul is slicing up the world according to a pre-determined agenda fueled in part by the Religious Right and in part by Libertarian views that property rights are above human rights, disconnected from the complexity of the reality of America.

A world according to the Libertarian, isolationist, noninterventionist, nationalist, Christian Religious Right doctrine of Ron Paul suggests that while some would rejoice (upon coming home from the war, coming home from service overseas) many in the US would likely suffer immensely: losing the basic public support services upon which they may depend each day, like bus systems, school systems and social security, having the Constitution amended to inject the ideals of one religion above others, leaving the harrowing transition away from fossil fuels to alternatives up to the corporations to control, and on and on, in the footsteps of his icons, Reagan and Bush.

The role of corporations in general in a Ron Paul America is a topic too huge to get into here, but also appears to contain the potential for unthinkable devastation of the public good in favor of private interests, even moreso than occurs today with corporate personhood - we risk being completely owned by the credit card and the defense technology corporations, private entities with property rights.

And there is also the biggest risk of all. This is the risk of losing the work of world peace that has been slowly built upon since World War II, the careful and deliberate work that brought all nations to one table to speak, a table located in New York City, a place where even Bush's adversaries can speak freely and inform the world of the dangers. A Ron Paul America would eliminate that table, that place where Chavez spoke to the world of the smell of sulfer, the place where the Bush Administration's efforts to convince the world of WMDs in Iraq were rebuked, the place where China finally agreed to allow the UN to administer aid to address the genocide in Darfur.

The remote but distinct possibility of a world nuclear war -- if the level of isolationism and nationalism that Paul calls for were enacted -- could be devastating for not just the US, but many millions or billions. Similarly, with the worldwide catastrophe of Global Warming upon us, international cooperation may be a critical factor to survival. This cooperation has no table at which to occur under a Ron Paul America.

It scares me that people who want an end to war are being led to believe that the largest effort at democracy on a world scale -- the United Nations -- is the `bad guy' tool of the elites that Ron Paul claims it is. I challenge anyone making such claims to actually attend, as I have, a UN event or conference or meeting, to read the facts on what the UN does, and take a look at its history, closely. The UN needs reform and intervention and support, not rejection and withdrawal.

The point of this essay has been to provide readers with an array of views and critique on Ron Paul in order to get the bigger picture on his campaign, because my experiences while interacting with Ron Paul supporters have suggested that they typically know only a very few issues that they agree with Paul on . . . passionately, but little more. If it seems there are "no other good choices" to vote for anyway who could win, then consider voting for a so-called Third Party, or not voting at all. If we never vote for Third Parties, they will never "win".

Americans are hoping for a revolution, but I'm not sure the kind of revolution a Ron Paul America would bring will be what many think it will. Don't go with a warm feeling after watching a video or getting an email. Don't do that to the rest of the world. Look for yourself, then look again.





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