Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ron Paul

OK, now that I have your attention...

Having dutifully spent at least part of the past 4 days with family as required by the Constitution, I finally had a chance to check back in on the political world today. And what a world it is.

As I enjoy reading both Glenn Greenwald and Ezra Klein, I was disappointed to find two of my favorite Internets reads in a bit of a tiffy over Ron Paul. While I don't want to arbitrate on the matter of which of the two is constructing straw-men, Glenn's mention of Paul's opposition to the War on Drugs piqued my interest, and as Ezra invited his blog-readers, I ventured over to the candidate's website and to the "issues" page to get a wider overview of the situation.

I searched pretty hard, but didn't find anywhere on Paul's "issues" pages where the candidate mentions any opposition to the War on Drugs (Greenwald's post does link to a 2001 article in which Paul criticizes the War on Drugs as "an excuse to attack our liberties and privacy").

Beyond not finding anything on Paul's issues webpage about the drug war, I did discover that while Paul believes that "The federal government decided long ago that it knew how to manage your health care better than you and replaced personal responsibility and accountability with a system that puts corporate interests first" (Health Care) he also believes--and has introduced legislation to that effect--that Congress (not women, families, or their doctors) can and should decide that "life begins at conception" (Life and Liberty).

How does Paul feel about immigrants? Well, the candidate wants to "end birthright citizenship" (Border Security and Immigration Reform). That "birthright citizenship" is specified by the U.S. Constitution (14th Amendment) doesn't come in for comment on the candidate's issue page.

Paul also is under the mistaken impression that all the foreigners from south of the border are getting Social Security benefits from the payroll tax contributions of reg'lar 'mericans. Under the Social Security issues page he says: "It is fundamentally unfair to give benefits to anyone who has not paid into the system. The Social Security for Americans Only Act (H.R. 190) ends the drain on Social Security caused by illegal aliens seeking the fruits of your labor." I don't know what Paul is talking about here. Actually it works the other way around--undocumented workers (illegal immigrants) pay Social Security taxes but are not eligible for benefits from those earnings.

The candidate does have one issues page established on behalf of one of the first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution (i.e. the Bill of Rights). Want to guess which one? Well, the Second Amendment, the gun amendment, of course.

And while Paul doesn't have a special issues page declaring his opposition to the War on Drugs (nor does he mention such opposition in any issues page) he does have a special issues page set up to list his opposition to..."taxes on tips". That "...waiters, waitresses, and other service-sector employees have to pay taxes on the tips they earn", Paul believes, "is an outrage".

And while Paul did and does oppose the war in Iraq, the candidate also believes in those black helicopters: "The ICC wants to try our soldiers as war criminals. Both the WTO and CAFTA could force Americans to get a doctor’s prescription to take herbs and vitamins. Alternative treatments could be banned." and "So called free trade deals and world governmental organizations like the International Criminal Court (ICC), NAFTA, GATT, WTO, and CAFTA are a threat to our independence as a nation..." and "Let’s not forget the UN. It wants to impose a direct tax on us. I successfully fought this move in Congress last year...".

There's also a special issues webpage on racism, which according to Paul only occurs when governments act to protect Constitutional equal and civil rights. The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act are, according to Paul, just meddling examples of "collectivism", which threaten our "liberty".

Of course, now that I've quoted The Candidate from his own issues pages, I am sure this site will now be the object (or target) of the Ron Paul Internets army.

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