There are many people around here who have followed Ron Paul for longer than I have and know considerably more about him than I do, and for the most
part I would defer to them for matters of fact (I believe a lot of the info on him is spread over several threads around here).
A cursory but reasonably well sourced overview of his positions is available on wikipedia.
On the subject of separation of church and state, Congressman Paul wrote in his "Texas Straight Talk" column,
"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."
To make a very long and irate rant very short and civil, I will say that a quick glance at Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom and
other writings of both Jefferson and Madison blows his interpretation right out of the water. In fact Madison used the words "perfect separation
between the ecclesiastical and civil matters" (1822 letter to Livingston), and "line of separation between the rights of religion and the civil
authority... entire abstinence of the government
" (1832 letter Rev. Adams). Preferential treatment of a single religion is not less egregious
than the prejudicial treatment of others, and his characterization is either ignorant or dishonest. Were more relevant constitutional rights not under
more pressing threat, he'd be off my list over this.
I applaud Mr. Paul for never having voted to raise either taxes or his own sallary, however I feel that he goes to far in wishing to abolish the IRS
and the income tax. The requirements of our time necessitate a level of spending that would be difficult to sustain without some derivative of the
current tax system. Extensive reforms would get my support, but anybody who wants to sell me on outright throwing the current system away had better
have a real bang-up idea for what will replace it. I could stand to see more from him on this, but I tentatively suspect that he will be too radical
for my taste.
His property rights and market effects approach to environmentalism seems like a copout to me. He was right to try and remove subsidies from oil to
level the playingfield but that isn't enough. He says the market will decide which alternative fuel wins out, not the government. For the government
to stimulate the market by researching and investing its capital in the area that research indicates to be best is not taking anything away from the
market. We don't have 20 years to wait for oil supplies and interest rates and patents etc to make the market right for private investors to muster
the capital and the cajones to take on big oil. We have investors right now who have the motive to take the risk- taxpayers who want their kids to
breathe free in the future.
I believe that if the government let's go of healthcare and let's the market do whatever it wants that prices are going to go up and service is
going to decline because we are talking about a scarce commodity. This is not widgets coming out of a factory where you can cut prices and up
production and make the same amount of money while gaining market share on your competitors. This is the work of a hard to enter profession using
expensive, highly specialized equipment to do things that EVERYBODY needs. Demand is incurably higher than supply by a very large margin and that
means high prices, period. We've got to do what hospitals do when there are too many victims: triage. We need to screen demand on a need basis,
we've got to carefully plan to maximize supply, and we've got to reduce care to an at-cost basis by taking public ownership of the industry, with
every taxpayer as a shareholder and their profit motive measured in terms of service rather than dollars. Innovation will not be effected because
innovation ultimately comes from individuals, not the structure itself, and that means that merit-based pay bonuses can provide innovation while still
I disagree with him on his views that public schools should face competition either in the form of vouchers taken out of school funds or in the form
of tax credits for the same purpose. It's a simple matter of economies of scale. Once you build a school for 3000 students, you're stuck with that
school. Now if 10% of the student population takes the tax credit or the voucher and leaves, you've got the same school with 2700 students, and
almost exactly the same funding needs, but they've lost 10% of their funding. In essence, it increases the unit cost of diplomas.
Our education system needs to become more uniform and efficient, not compartmentalized and subjected to exceptions for the fortunate.
Last but not least Ron Paul, as I understand it, does not believe in violence except for the explicit purpose of self defense. This is commendable.
The problem is that I believe in international law, and I believe that force is foundational to law. If we didn't have cops, what kind of protection
would our laws offer? I like him because I think I can count on him to get us out of Iraq, but at the same time I wouldn't want him if things were
different because I couldn't count on him to get us into
a fight that really needed fighting.
Once America has removed the plank from its eye (Iraq) and made amends for this tremendous lapse, we will eventually have to resume our former
character, which we displayed in rallying friends and rivals alike for an international response to the invasion of Kuwait.
An American president has got to be willing to set an example if he has any intention of advancing the cause of international law and peace. To do
that, an American president must not be afraid or unable to make a case to the world when it is time to fight, even against a mighty foe, or even
against a friend.
Until the day comes when America is willing to stand with Russia and China in opposition of an Israeli crime, and China is willing to stand with
America and Britain in opposition to an Iranian crime, or 4 members of the security council stand together against the crime of the 5th, regardless of
who it be- until the precedents have been laid down to create such commitment to international law, we will always be kidding ourselves when we speak
of the cold war in past tense. We have precedents to set, starting small, with conflicts like Darfur, by using every bit of leverage we can muster to
achieve international sollutions, even if it requires a UN Military commitment, and if I wasn't more concerned about simply ending our own current
violation of international law, I would have a hard time supporting a candidate who couldn't step up to the plate on that.
I've been extremely long winded on these issues and I appologize. It wasn't my intent to make this thread about those things, but when I'm gonna
explain something I have a habbit of going all out.
All that being said though I have to reitterate, he's not without his merits. There isn't a candidate out there I wouldn't have any problems with,
and I'm strongly convinced that facing Ron Paul and a Dem senate, I'd get the things I want the most with a relatively low amount of fallout
attached to it.