Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ron Paul

One of the people I read who generally tends to be fairly on the ball about things (Glenn Greenwald) is insisting we should take Ron Paul seriously purely because he says some good things on the subject of foreign policy. The argument goes "Sure, he says some stupid stuff too, but why aren't you saying the same thing about Obama?"

Well, with respect, I am, which is why Obama isn't going to get my vote at this election, come what may.

I understand there's no perfect candidate at any Presidential election, but the reality is Ron Paul's worldview is not good. I can't support someone simply because he agrees with me on, say, the drug war and that current US government foreign policies are bad if the overall package is bad too. Obama and I probably agree on a few things too, but overall, the man is a monster. Here are my problems with Ron Paul.
  • Economically he's a kook. He believes in the gold standard and a view of currency that's caused financial disasters everywhere it's been deployed since in the world became capitalist enough for currency to matter.
  • I'm not convinced that he is much of a libertarian at heart. Paul's always advocated State's Rights when given the opportunity to, something I have severe problems with. When you're thinking about giving rights to a government, even at the expense of another, you're doing libertarianism wrong.
  • If there's a major problem with the US at the moment that's causing havoc and likely to cause even more, it's that a small wealthy elite are wielding a disproportionate amount of power. It's hard for me to see how the "libertarian" policies Ron Paul does espouse are going to help that. I do want to see businesses regulated, I want to see playing fields leveled, and I want to have social programs that ensure the "99%" don't live in fear.
  • I really am bothered by the Newsletter fiascos. Paul's defenders have come up with a lot of "explanations" for this in efforts to distance him from the newsletters in question, but the racism went on for years and somehow Paul didn't seek to stop his name being slapped on this garbage at any time during this time. Did he really not read his own newsletter?
  • Paul advocates a different foreign policy, one that might be "better" but I believe is bad too. I don't see how complete isolation can be positive for the US, even if it would be preferable to us invading any country that some on the extreme right have a hard on over.
All of these are major problems for me. At this point, the only argument for Paul is "Well, isolation better than war war war, and economy can't possibly get worse", but I don't necessarily agree. Isolation might be as bad as war war war, and efforts to destroy our independent central bank, which is the one agency that's had the freedom and power to try to mitigate the effects of our disastrous contractionary fiscal policies over the Obama years, would unquestionably be worse, especially coupled with the dismantling of the remaining Federal agencies that work to keep money flowing into the economy.

We need a better Presidential candidate, but Ron Paul isn't it.

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