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Ron Paul: a Liberal Viewpoint

(((originally posted at http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&frien... with the intent of explaining my support of Dr. Paul to my very-liberal friends.)))

I am a liberal. I believe in whatever social or political solution best serves the common good, even if it means raising taxes and expanding the government. As a tree-hugger, I haven't owned a car since 1994 - I've commuted to work on foot for over a decade. Dennis Kucinich is by far my favorite living Democrat. Hell, prove to me a nation can best achieve prosperity, peace, stability, and freedom within a Communist framework and you can call me Comrade.

But I will be hanging up my Green Party affiliation in the near future in order to register as a Republican, to vote for Ron Paul in the primaries. Here's why:

Foreign Policy: Ron Paul is the strongest, most unequivocal, anti-interventionist and anti-war figure on the board right now. He'd pull us the hell out of Iraq and put an end to all the US meddling abroad that makes us the most hated nation in the world. He's in favor of monetary policies which, unlike the current system, would make it much harder for the military-industrial complex to write itself unlimited loans against America's future for its bloody adventures today. And, unlike Obama, Clinton, and all the Republicans, Paul does not kowtow to AIPAC, which is lobbying heavily for a preemptive nuclear strike on Iran.

Freedom: Ron Paul can rightfully boast to be the top defender of Constitutional American freedoms in the country. In an era where the Patriot Act, the Military Comissions Act, and any number of illegal executive orders from the White House have essentially turned the US into a totalitarian state, our freedoms need more protection than ever. There is no other candidate with a record that even comes close to Ron Paul in this area.

Finances: Ron Paul is the only candidate on the map who will act to repeal the Federal Reserve. Everyone else is too chicken-shit to touch this absolutely crucial issue. A sound monetary system, as Paul has championed for decades, would end inflation, stabilize the economy, drastically improve the national deficit, force the Federal government to better account for its spending practices… and eventually obviate the Federal Income Tax. This would mean that all the untold trillions of dollars that we have been funneling into the pockets of private (and war-financing) banks since 1913 would stay with taxpayers... the vast majority of us.

Federal Subsidies: Ron Paul is against all corporate welfare, and his voting record in Congress reflects this without exception. Ending corporate welfare, aside from being the fair thing to do, would save taxpayer money and force companies to respond to the needs of consumers rather than to artificial government incentives. In the farming industry it could also have the additional effect of allowing Mexican farmers to compete with American agri-business on a level field… and reduce the economic pressure to immigrate to the US illegally.

Free Trade: Ron Paul opposes NAFTA, GATT, CAFTA, and the WTO.

Caveats: I'm tempted to question Paul's Libertarian policies on environmental issues… but the top polluter in America is the military, which would be drastically less active under non-interventionist leadership. I do disagree with his pro-life stance on abortion… but he interprets the Constitution as not giving the federal government authority on the matter either way. I lean towards a system of medicine such as the one in France or Canada... but Paul's approach to de-regulation would make prescription drugs more affordable and alternative treatments more available (and there's the annoying fact that Paul is a medical doctor himself… he might know a little about heathcare). Then there's immigration: I'm equally uncomfortable with pretty much every side of this issue, so consider me neutral… Paul's a hard-ass on this one, and his stance is as responsible and consistent as it is unforgiving.

Paul the Person: I have my disagreements with him here and there, but this I can say: His integrity in the public sphere is beyond question. His commitment, consistency, and courage with regard to safeguarding the rights and interests of Americans is unparalleled. His positions on virtually every issue are clear, well-reasoned, and a matter of public record. He is the most intellectually rigorous and yet bullshit-free candidate on the field. There is very good reason that he is the clear favorite for President on the Internet, and the one the corporate media most seek to suppress. In terms of sheer quality, he demolishes all his Republican rivals and makes short work of virtually all the Democrats. With the possible exeption of Kucinich, Paul is the only person in the public eye I can comfortably endorse for President in this race.

Ron Paul has made me a Republican. Bugger.

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Welcome to the revolution.

Dear Citizen Mudra,
Welcome to the revolution. I only discovered Dr. Paul a few months ago myself along with Austrian ecomonics.

I don't mean to sound like a suck-up but yours is quite possibly the best explanation I've seen to date explaining the Ron Paul Revolution. I even emailed it to some friends.

I work for a young woman, half my age. She describes herself as a liberal extremist. I described myself to her as a conservative extremist. We both agree on important issues.

Some of the other posts seemed to nit pick Dr. Paul. Hey guys we have got to save our constitutional republic or the rest will not matter anyway.

I have even done something I have never done before, sent money to a political campaign. I have also pledged one half of what I make from my first novel, FREE'S WORLD, to Dr. Paul's campaign.

Thank you,

I'm very grateful for this info

I live in a blue blue green county where everyday we have one of 26 liberal antiwar/antiBush organizations demonstrating in front of our town hall and along the scenic highway flying peace flags and rainbows and carrying signs. They protest every monday at our congressman's office. I approached a group of demonstrators last week before work and asked them if they knew about Ron Paul. All of them (about a dozen) said "NO", and someone shouted, "Is he a Republican?" I said "yes", and I got screamed at, "Republicans ruined this country", Republicans are the problem", I'll NEVER vote for a Republicans I don't care if he was Jesus Crist", half of them actually ran away from me. Only one person from the group took my flyer, a "truther", who wasn't really part of the group, and all he really wanted to do was give me his DVD "for free". I walked to work (I'm a conservationist and never drove until I was 30, and own and drive my first car, it's 21 years old, gets 26 mpg, and I drive the speed limit) I looked at the flyer and I thought, this isn't going to get any of the Code Pink, Boobs not bombs, Vets for Peace, Ladies in Black, to want to research Ron Paul because it's designed to make Republicans look at Ron Paul. I want to make a new flyer that would attract these antiwar protesters, and I need help because I've never been a Democrat and really don't relate to those who think the bigger the government, the better the government. Your forum is a good start for me, and I really appreciate you taking the time and making the effort to share this information. THANK YOU.

It's certainly good to see

It's certainly good to see Paul getting wide support. Of course, the way the parties have been going, trying to maintain the liberal/conservative dichotomy becomes harder as both parties fail to represent so many views--like such bizarre ideas as respect for the constitution and liberty. I'm surrounded by liberals in Che T-shirts and continue to try to convert them; I myself am more definitely a libertarian (which used to be called "conservatism" and before that "liberalism". We certainly do abuse language in this country.) I mostly fail to understand how people can believe that any good can come from centralized power. But anyway--

I do have one rather large problem with Dr. Paul, and that is with regard to immigration. There is absolutely no justification for his views. First, the current laws do not work, so simply enforcing them better will do nothing. Second, it would be hugely expensive, and I certainly don't want my tax money spent on immigrants. Immigration, both legal and illegal, positively impacts the economy. Even with welfare programs where illegal immigrants (who are often poor), like all poor citizens, are net winners, their contribution to the economy and the contributions of their children (who are citizens and whose contributions are therefore not counted along with their parents') are wholly beneficial. (The Economist, The Cato Institute, and The Washington Post agree with me, and I haven't found any significant sources that disagree.) Furthermore, illegal immigration is a response to economic demand (welfare and birthright citizenship do not have a significant impact on the amount of immigration). Immigrants are absolutely not stealing jobs from citizens. Yes, there is unemployment, but some unemployment is a necessary consequence of a free market and anyone believing otherwise is deluding himself. That a country can have a free, globalized market and closed borders is positively absurd.

Furthermore, libertarianism is about allowing people to do as they please and follow the market, and Dr. Paul's tough position on immigration is no different than trying to control the economy and people's personal lives with government in any other way. Dr. Paul says that only citizens have constitutional rights--he may be essentially correct, but that doesn't justify his position fiscally or morally. People are still people, and that is the heart of the philosophy of liberty. The worst thing (aside from the fact that his position is not in any way taxpayer friendly) is that such a position encourages factionalism and nativism, which are inherently opposed to liberty. His idea that we must "preserve our culture" is patently absurd.

So I guess what I'm wondering is, is anybody else confused by Paul's position on immigration, or can you justify it with a philosophy of liberty? If so, I'd like to hear more.

Immigration Debated here in the Last Few Weeks

Take a look at the immigration debate we had here a few weeks ago: Is Ron Paul Confused on the 14th Amendment?. There were 80 replies to this thread, more than any other to date.

The rule of law

As I understand it, Dr. Paul's position comes from a clear belief in the rule of law. Congress has the right to limit immigration, and those laws are entirely constitutional, regardless of their moral/ethical implications. As such, we should not reward those who break the law, but should attempt to modify the law to make economic and moral sense.

In this light, "tough on immigration" is a misleading phrase. "Tough on law breaking" comes closer to it; He's stated that he's against the IRS, but doesn't advocate not paying taxes. He wants to remove the EPA, but hasn't suggested not complying with it. As such, I see nothing inconsistent in this.

To quote Luis Alberto Urrea

To quote Luis Alberto Urrea of the Washington Post:

"How many times have Americans heard the term "illegal"? How many times has the law being broken been explained? We all know what a "coyote" is, but have talking heads spelled out the difference between civil law and criminal law? Yon illegal immigrant -- have I likened thee to a speeding ticket?"


His position is certainly inconsistent with his position as the "taxpayer's best friend" and his ideals of minimal government interference and a free market. Although this may be about the rule of law, he shouldn't be supporting the laws that exist.

a Liberal Viewpoint

David Cameron
Murda, great to have you on board.
I'll be voting for Ron Paul as well.
I see only three candidates that speak that truthfully from their heart: Paul, Kucinich, & Gravel. And the so called "front runners" are receiving their campaign money from big banks, big corporations, e.g. the military/pharmaceutical/media/banking/oil cartels.
As much as I appreciate Kucinich's genuine sincerity, I am concerned that he still believes that for every problem, there's an expensive government solution. I disagree. I would prefer to keep my own money and find my own solutions.
This election is certainly about militarism, but for me my big "hot button" is civil liberties and freedom. Paul is the only candidate who brings this issue to the table. Without freedom, American's have nothing!
Paul would work to repeal the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, shut down Homeland Security (we've already got enough agencies in this arena), would never violate habeas corpus, would reinstate the constitution and restore freedom.
I do not believe any other candidate appreciates or understands what freedom really means.

David Cameron

Dr. Paul needs to reach

Dr. Paul needs to reach liberals far more than the religious right. The religionists are authoritarian by inclination and a poor fit for a candidate inclined to be libertarian.

I believe Dr. Paul can reach liberal voters by being more outspoken on controversial issues rather than mincing his words.

Famous Quote from Justice William O. Douglas

"The Constitution is not neutral.
It was designed to take the government
off the backs of people."

Famous Quote from Justice William O. Douglas

"The Constitution is not neutral.
It was designed to take the government
off the backs of people."

re: reaching

I have a sneaking suspicion that it's easier to convince a "liberal" to vote for a Republican than to convince a "conservative" to vote for a "liberal". If that's true, one could argue that Dr. Paul is better off continuing to court the "conservative" base and letting the "liberals" figure out on their own that he actually addresses their concerns better than their own candidates do.

In any case, this is a unique campaign in that it is driven largely by a huge number of independently-acting "cells" which are free to spread the message in whatever form they choose. The San Francisco cell certainly targets the "liberal" population more than you'd see elsewhere.

But, yes, I wrote the article because there isn't too much media out there yet to address what should be obvious to anybody who does the research: the liberals ought to be swarming to Dr. Paul's camp.

Liberals for Ron

Great stuff, Mudra -- I've forwarded the link to your post around to friends.

I think you're right about what's easier, but at this point, anyone who wants Ron Paul to win in the primaries needs to convince Republicans to vote for him, or lots of others to register Republican in closed states.