18 November 2007

Ron Paul in depth

I've already explained here why I could never support Ron Paul -- an anti-choice stance on abortion is a "deal breaker" issue for me. But there is much more to him than this.

Emptv.com has put together an issue-by-issue exploration of Paul's positions, with an abundance of citations and links. On most social issues, his aims are indistinguishable, in terms of what their practical effect would be, from those of the Christian Right. (I note that he favors the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research which is my own biggest single complaint about the Bush administration.)

Orcinus has been analyzing the Ron Paul phenomenon in depth, focusing on the strong support he has received from racist and extreme-right elements; see here, here, and here. Paul's defenders argue that this is "guilt by association", and if Paul were merely receiving unwanted support from extremists whom he has done nothing to court, they would have a point; but that is not the case (read this too). Orcinus has also posted Paul's entire legislative record, and defends its coverage of him against critics here.

This TNR blog posting and follow-up are also of interest.

Almost everyone will find a few things about Paul to like; I'm all for gun rights and asserting American national sovereignty against UN encroachments, for example. But on the whole Paul's ideology is extremist, authoritarian, unrealistic, devoid of pragmatism, and dangerous.

Update 1: There's much more good information about Ron Paul on Terrence C. Watson's blog.

Update 2 (1 December 2007): This posting and its comment thread offer some alarming insights into Paul's views on separation of church and state.

Update 3 (11 January 2008): Here's the TNR exposé of Paul's newsletters, and some libertarian comments on them collected by David Frum.

Update 4 (13 January 2008): Here's further commentary from Virginia Postrel and Glenn Reynolds, and a blog for people who are annoyed with Ron Paul.

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3 Comments:

Blogger John Evo said...

We can only hope this guy runs as an Independent. He will steal very few independent votes who otherwise would have voted Democratic and only hurt the Republicans.

I don't understand the fascination some otherwise quite intelligent folks have for him. If they are interested in an "outsider" they should be supporting Gravel or even Kucinich (even though Dennis could be seen as an insider on a certain level).

18 November, 2007 20:02  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

We can only hope this guy runs as an Independent. He will steal very few independent votes who otherwise would have voted Democratic and only hurt the Republicans.

I'm hoping that too.

I don't understand the fascination some otherwise quite intelligent folks have for him.

It seems almost more like a cult than like a conventional political movement. I don't get it either.

I've heard that Kucinich is also against abortion rights, by the way.

19 November, 2007 05:30  
Blogger Lady Monchhichi said...

I like Paul on several issues but also diverge on several others. I feel I must divulge that I am currently heavily involved with politics. I belong to and have ran as a Libertarian (state seat) otherwise known as the we will never win group.

Anyways I have attended some Paul get together's in KC and it is a cult like mentality. They do not take criticism at all and also house many conspiracy theorists..i.e. contrail and 9/11. I actually had someone who worked at a supermarket tell me I knew nothing of physics and that my fancy degree was worth zilch.

They are rabid, small and beer bonged the Kool Aid. They seem big because they are fierce and sit at their computers spewing the word of Paul.

19 November, 2007 18:10  

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