This is a follow-up to my August 2011 blog “Nine Myths about Libertarianism” which anyone who has obviously stumbled upon this site by accident should take a look at first.
BEING A CANDIDATE for President of the United States invites scrutiny. It also invites volumes of talk and speculation from people who appear to getting paid by the word for their opinions. Other than the re-emerged Newt Gingrich, the candidate that has garnered many outlandish accusations is Ron Paul.
At first the mainstream press ignored him and hoped that we would too. But that did not happen and Ron Paul’s popularity grew. So the alternate plan is to now broadcast that people who believe in Ron Paul as a candidate are “followers”. Yes, Ron Paul has been described as a cult leader or he has a “cult following”. Iowa must be just flooded with “followers”. This is the “can’t win” scenario those who support Ron Paul’s run for the Presidency and Libertarians in general face all the time.
Other terms used by radio mainstreamers like that renowned war monger, Sean Hannity and his egomaniac co-horts; the volatile Andy Levin, faux Libertarian Jay Severin and “I hate everything I don’t understand” blue-collar millionaire Howie Carr include: “Ron Paul Lunatics”, “fanatics” and people following Ron Paul “in lock-step”.
Andy Levin has described Ron Paul as a “kook” which I find a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black if anybody has had the astricted “pleasure” of listening to this guy go nuts about some “super important” subject that we should all drop what we’re doing and immediately go running out into the streets in protest. I’ve listened to Levin and if anybody is a kook, it’s him. Sometimes I swear he’s going to have an aneurism right on the air the way he gets worked up into a frenzy. If anybody knows anything about being misunderstood, it should be Andy Levin.
When all these Talk-Jocks were on the outside looking in, it was all about gaining support as outsiders and finding a following. Now that they are “in”, it is they that are in lock-step.
But at any rate, although I don’t pretend to know Ron Paul, I actually listen to what he says and know something about the principles he stands for which are the principles most Libertarians share.
Ron Paul is for Open Borders - Then why did he vote to institute the fence along the US border with Mexico? Why did he vote against Amnesty for Illegal aliens in this country? Why is he against the extension of taxpayer paid benefits to illegal aliens? It makes no sense to say he is for open borders if he didn’t vote that way. I never heard him say it but have been told by many a right-wing Republocrat that he said it. It just doesn’t jibe with what I’ve heard him say and the way he has voted. Unlike another Congressman named Barack Obama, Ron Paul has a voting record other than “Present”. I suggest people check it out.
Ron Paul knows as you and I know that a poor, dependent and divided population is easier to rule and that a nation of self-confident individuals who can make a living on their own is a libertarian ideal. I find the open borders argument tiresome.
Ron Paul is weak on foreign policy – The thing I hear most is “Isolationist”. I don’t understand how “Free trade and non-intervention” is Isolationist. Especially the free trade part. There are many pundits with an agenda who say the world is different today, that being involved in the affairs of sovereign nations is necessary in a new world. But this “World Policemen” hat has not made the United States one bit safer. The Isolationist card is always thrown when someone’s views vary from the idea of populating the world with our military personnel. This is foreign policy? Trade agreements and alliances are foreign policy and the money spent keeping bases all over the world can better be spent on defense right here at home. In addition to this, Ron Paul has never said the United States wouldn’t come to the aid of an Allie. The United States and it's people give greatly when there is a friend in need. I don't see this changing, do you? but Ron Paul has said that, in the case of Iran, that the United States has no right to interfer and that the drum beating for interferance is mearly another excuse for the US to start another war. This is something we've been doing since I've been alive and has not made us any safer in the long run. It has actually worked in the opposite since all the Arab nations are now clamoring for the bomb because they now know that having it offers some protection.
Ron Paul is protected from criticism by his “followers” who call up the talk shows and challenge them on everything they say negatively about him. – First off, I guess his "followers" aren't doing such a good job but my second thought would be "So nobody else calls when their candidate is shown in a negative light?"
Ron Paul is popular for a reason. It is obvious that his message resonates with people tired of trying it “the old way” AGAIN. I admit that I have felt that some of these attacks on Mr. Paul also attack my own belief system. Let’s face it, what Libertarians believe is often misrepresented in the press. Not surprisingly, the Tea Party is in the same boat. Some of the stuff I hear just galls me to action.
Ron Paul goes to the debates and he makes the radio talk show rounds like all the candidates do. He goes on Fox News and seems as open to the slings and arrows as anybody on the campaign trail. I say ask the guy anything. The world needs to know. It isn’t like he’s a stranger to the American public or has changed his tune over the years. It's that now more people are paying attention.
SO WE SHALL SEE how Ron Paul does in Iowa or if his heightened status and the criticism it brings will have any sway with the public. The people who have the microphone and the forum can do with it as they please but we don’t have to believe what they say.