(Originally Published in the UCC Express in February 2012)
It’s somewhat difficult to believe that Barrack Obama won the U.S presidential election in November of 2008. This difficulty arises because it seems as if it was just yesterday that it happened. Time has a nasty habit of doing that; passing by at a rate so fast that the next thing you know, there’s another election looming. Obama personified hope during the 2008 election campaign and he marketed it as such, as that’s what the U.S presidential elections boil down to: marketing. Everyone believed in this concept called “change” that he promised he would bring to the U.S political landscape. His followers were fanatical in their devotion with “Yes We Can” becoming their mantra, which if they repeated often enough, would ensure that the opponents of their idol were crushed. Well now, just over three years later, there appears to be another man who has captured the collective imagination of the voters across the Atlantic. The man in question is of course, Ron Paul.
The hope and promise, which Barrack Obama relied on, seems to have long faded and instead seems to have found its way to the aforementioned 74 year-old former Air Force pilot, obstetrician and Republican Congressman from Texas. Ron Paul is the one to watch out for it would seem. Despite being a Republican Congressman, he is seen as the Republican of the liberals due to his Libertarianism. He is outspoken on the issue of America military intervention in other countries, something that he is opposed to, he wants to lower the income tax to 10%, end taxes on personal savings, and end the war on drugs, something he referred to as “a detriment to personal liberty”. These are laudatory policies indeed and something that we haven’t even seen hinted at in the U.S in a long time. It also helps that his three competitors for the Republican presidential nomination are Rick Santorum (a gay-bashing, climate change denying nutcase), Mitt Romney (an elitist Mormon nutcase) and Newt Gingrich (simply a nutcase). It would seem that if there is to be any hope of a resurgence, both economically and socially in the U.S, then Ron Paul is the one to choose. Well, please allow me to pop that particular bubble for you.
Ron Paul is probably the worst thing that could possibly happen to the U.S presidency. Granted, the other three competitors for the Republican presidential nomination are hardly exemplars of logic and social justice, what makes Ron Paul so dangerous is the fact that he is just as bad, if not worse than the other three and his supporters are even more fanatical than Obama’s were in 2008. He is an anti-woman, pro-corporate, gay hating, left-wing bashing maniac who wants to abolish the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S Constitution which separates church and state, end all foreign aid, dismantle what public healthcare there is, slash funding for the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), dismantle the departments of Education, Interior, Commerce, Energy and Housing and Development, and effectively abolish social security.
But of course remember, he is the saviour of American politics! He is the only political bastion of personal freedom, in the form of Libertarianism, left in the echelons of power. This is simply false. He is anti-woman because he wants to limit the reproductive rights of women, believing that life begins at conception. He is gay hating as he wants to outlaw gay marriage stating that, “Having federal officials, whether judges, bureaucrats, or congressmen, impose a new definition of marriage on the people is an act of social engineering profoundly hostile to liberty.” His hatred for the left borders on paranoid psychosis and he believes that the “secular left” are waging a war on Christmas, among other things, writing in 2003 that “the secularists wage an ongoing war against religion, chipping away bit by bit at our nation’s Christian heritage”. He is an avid champion of free market economics, believing that almost everything should be privatised, including federal owned national parks, and that government intervention should be kept to the bare minimum.
It is on the topic of healthcare though that I find his views particularly vile however. In a televised debated sponsored by CNN and the Tea Party, which took place in September of last year, a hypothetical scenario was posed in which a 30 year old working man, who chose not to pay for health insurance falls critically ill. Paul was asked what his stance would be on such an issue. His response was that the hypothetical man “expects the government to take care of him…What he should do is whatever he wants to do, and assume responsibility for himself”. When the host of the debate, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, pressed him on the issue further and asked him if he was effectively saying that society should just let the man die, he said no but at the same time avoided going into detail by stating the church would take care of someone in the position of the hypothetical man; that it is a testament to the liberties of the American people that they can or will be able to choose in this way, free from government tyranny in the form of unwanted intervention.
What Ron Paul wants is the total dismantling and abnegation of any form of government intervention, or as he sees it, interference, in society. The “free market shall provide for us all” and “liberty for everyone” have become the mantras of him and his supporters. Instead of “liberty for everyone” however, the American people would be left with complete and total liberty for private enterprise at the expense of their own personal liberty. Noam Chomsky in a recent speech referred to Paul’s Libertarianism as “corporate tyranny” and that’s just what it would be if he gets into power. Even though it is unlikely that he will win the Republican nomination for various reasons, what makes Ron Paul so dangerous is not that he holds all of the aforementioned views. Even his Republican Party competitors hold similar views. What makes him dangerous is that his supporters truly believe that he is the only one who can save American politics and society. The dichotomy that has been created is that if you are against Ron Paul, then you are against liberty. A more perverted twisting of the truth I have not seen in quite a while.