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What makes Ron Paul tick?
February 6, 2012 7:21 AM   Subscribe

“He believed in not too much federal government,” said Siegfried Smith, a classmate. “And this was a time when we didn’t have a lot.”
posted by Renoroc (164 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
What if there was a Ron Paul post and no one came
posted by txmon at 7:27 AM on February 6, 2012 [24 favorites]


Do they talk about his Nazi friends anywhere in this article, or do I have to read that somewhere else?
posted by koeselitz at 7:29 AM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wartime rationing also left a mark. When he saw a local butcher shop ignoring the rules on Saturdays and selling “all the meat you wanted, at a price,” Mr. Paul wrote, it was “my first real-life experience in the free market solving problems generated by government mischief.”
The problem of course being "how can we make it so poor people starve faster".
posted by DU at 7:31 AM on February 6, 2012 [53 favorites]


There's no such thing as too much federal government.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:32 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wartime rationing also left a mark. When he saw a local butcher shop ignoring the rules on Saturdays and selling “all the meat you wanted, at a price,” Mr. Paul wrote, it was “my first real-life experience in the free market solving problems generated by government mischief.”
Rationing was mischief?
posted by lumensimus at 7:32 AM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


The man is nuts.
posted by spitbull at 7:33 AM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


How about the practice of inserting earmarks into bill he knows will pass, but then voting against those self-same bills so he can say "I've never voted for an earmark!" ?

I tell you Paul is one Machiavellian MoFo, and that's no lie.
posted by edgeways at 7:35 AM on February 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


The interesting thing about Ron Paul is not how nuts he is. It's how much less nuts he is than the Republican party overall.
posted by DU at 7:36 AM on February 6, 2012 [14 favorites]


I wouldn't say "less", I'd say "different".
posted by edgeways at 7:37 AM on February 6, 2012 [23 favorites]


Ron Paul's been running a commercial in Minnesota that's so surreal I keep seeing it and thinking I've gone insane. Or that he somehow hired Stephen Colbert to run his media campaign.
posted by COBRA! at 7:38 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure, but can he eat a tablespoon of cinnamon?
posted by Ad hominem at 7:40 AM on February 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Wartime rationing also left a mark. When he saw a local butcher shop ignoring the rules on Saturdays and selling “all the meat you wanted, at a price,” Mr. Paul wrote, it was “my first real-life experience in the free market solving problems generated by government mischief.”

Yeah, I can think of a lot of things that the Federal government does wrong, but that is a terrible terrible example. Food shortages lead in short order to rioting and all manner of other unlawful behavior. This one butcher not being able to have a red-letter sales day is a price that I'm willing to pay to not have people starving and burning the whole place to the ground.
posted by gauche at 7:40 AM on February 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Oh Cobra, please post us a link if you can find one.
My day isn't bizarre enough, yet.
posted by Seamus at 7:41 AM on February 6, 2012


Well, the crazy stuff Paul says is at least more-or-less self-consistent, probably because of the reaction to this: a bundle of visceral conservative political impulses in search of an intellectual framework

That said, is there any other kind of conservative than "I really hate the poor (and minorities and women) but how can I hide that behind a list of obscure policies?"

posted by DU at 7:41 AM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Uhh..that quote should terminate with 'framework".
posted by DU at 7:42 AM on February 6, 2012


Oh Cobra, please post us a link if you can find one.
My day isn't bizarre enough, yet.
posted by Seamus


Here you go.
posted by COBRA! at 7:42 AM on February 6, 2012 [16 favorites]


The interesting thing about Ron Paul is not how nuts he is. It's how much less nuts he is than the Republican party overall.

.
posted by Fizz at 7:44 AM on February 6, 2012


Latest Gallup Poll:

GOP BALLOT SUPPORT

Romney 35%

Gingrich 24%

Santorum 16%

Paul 12%

Other 3%
posted by three blind mice at 7:45 AM on February 6, 2012


That's pretty good.... (in an OMFG WTH sort of way). I bet he has someone from Ventura's advertising staff on board in MN.
posted by edgeways at 7:47 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here you go.

I think that's the same company who does those Ford commercials where 23 mpg is touted as some kind of miracle of efficiency.
posted by theodolite at 7:47 AM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Here you go

I wish I could stop laughing, because the fact that somebody thinks that ad is persuasive is terrifying.

Department of Education? GONE! Interior, Energy, HUD, Commerce? GONE! Later, bureaucrats!
posted by uncleozzy at 7:48 AM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


With mushroom clouds!
posted by COBRA! at 7:50 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Department of Education? GONE!

Wow. It's really incredible how obvious some people's plan for holding on to power is ("keep 'em stupid"). What's even more incredible is the percentage of people who claim to be the only ones who can think (computer nerds, present company excepted, obvs) who enthusiastically endorse that plan.
posted by DU at 7:50 AM on February 6, 2012


Here you go .

"This week on WWE! Ron "The Undertaker" Paul takes on Mitt "The Not TOO Macho Man" Romney in a no holds barred debate. Two will enter..."

...one will probably drop out at some point when he realizes he's wasting his time.
posted by Fizz at 7:52 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speaking as a pasty nerd, I find the stereotyped depiction of a bureaucrat in that ad highly offensive.
posted by Bromius at 7:54 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rationing was mischief?

I suspect that, for Ron Paul, waging war against the Axis was mischief.
posted by Skeptic at 7:56 AM on February 6, 2012 [13 favorites]


The only thing that would make that ad better is if he just started making up departments to cut. "Department of paper pushers! gone! Department of four eye newt watchers! see you later!"
posted by Ad hominem at 8:00 AM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think you can read a lot of things into Ron Paul's platform that aren't really there. You interpret his stance on being against the Federal war on drugs as being pro-libertarian, or his stance against the Federal Department of Education as being anti-intellectual, or his stance against the Federal Reserve as being based on some sort of economic theory, or his stance against the military as being anti-war. But the bottom line is that he wants to dismantle the Federal government, and everything more or less stems from that. If you try to piece together a coherent overall worldview for Ron Paul that isn't based around the idea that anything the Federal government does is inherently bad, I think you will have a hard time coming up with anything that makes any sense at all.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:02 AM on February 6, 2012 [16 favorites]


This could be worse. Think "Ronna Paul". Palin's wink, smirk and freshness plus Paul's sanity, cynicism and Machiavellian streak. She'd be unstoppable.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:08 AM on February 6, 2012


You know, an unlabeled link to a Ron Paul story is rather cheap. I'm sure we could do this all day long, for our favorite political people, but is that what we want Metafilter to be?
posted by andreaazure at 8:10 AM on February 6, 2012


After watching that ad, I'm definitely voting for Ron Paul to be Dennis Leary's truck.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:11 AM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


@seanmpuckett: Think "Ronna Paul"

Sounds like an Adam Sandler flick about libertarian politics. Adam, would, of course, play both roles. And learn a little something about Family Values at the end, because this is a fantasy story.
posted by Mad_Carew at 8:11 AM on February 6, 2012


Ron Paul IS John Truckasaurus!
posted by steambadger at 8:15 AM on February 6, 2012


You know, an unlabeled link to a Ron Paul story is rather cheap.

The title of the FPP is "What makes Ron Paul tick?"
posted by edgeways at 8:16 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Look Ron, it's all right there in the title:

United - Federal Government
States - Local Government
of
America - the big land mass where we make it all happen.
posted by grog at 8:22 AM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I am going to watch that video over and over again all day.

Also for some reason the dog they used as a shih tzu looks to me like it's incorrectly proportioned to be an actual shih tzu, but I don't know enough about the breed to be sure.
posted by winna at 8:22 AM on February 6, 2012


The title of the FPP is "What makes Ron Paul tick?"

And ron_paul appears in the NYTimes' URL if you read those before clicking through.
posted by rewil at 8:25 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's even more incredible is the percentage of people who claim to be the only ones who can think (computer nerds, present company excepted, obvs) who enthusiastically endorse that plan.

That's always been the issue I've had with so many acquaintances who espouse any serious libertarian leanings. They almost all seem to assume that they would naturally! be a part of the elite that the masses look-to for guidance and leadership.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:27 AM on February 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


Also for some reason the dog they used as a shih tzu looks to me like it's incorrectly proportioned to be an actual shih tzu, but I don't know enough about the breed to be sure.

I love that they decided to single out a specific dog breed to make fun of; I mean I get that Shih Tzu owners aren't likely Ron Paul voters, but it was still kind of weird.

I also loved the lines "that's how Ron Paul rolls" and "later, bureaucrats." Oh, and I loved the fact that the whole ad had all the subtlety and nuance of a Spike TV ad for a UFC fight. Basically, there's nothing about that ad that I didn't love.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:30 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


He's catchin' on, I'm tellin' ya!
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:31 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


They almost all seem to assume that they would naturally! be a part of the elite that the masses look-to for guidance and leadership.

Yes. It's the Doomer's Burden to be the one who has his shit together after the unwashed, lazy, greedy, (brown) masses get what's coming to them. You see this in survivalist disaster porn, too.

I sometimes get the feeling that if Ayn Rand had been more popular in high school, American politics would be totally different than what it is now.
posted by gauche at 8:39 AM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I love that they decided to single out a specific dog breed to make fun of...

The line is "...whimper like little shih tzus...". It's a pun, see.
posted by DU at 8:40 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


The irony is that most libertarians wouldn't fare well under a system of unfettered individuality and the only reason they have the freedoms and rights they do is because they're protected by government.
posted by rocket88 at 8:40 AM on February 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


I love that they decided to single out a specific dog breed to make fun of; I mean I get that Shih Tzu owners aren't likely Ron Paul voters, but it was still kind of weird.

I think it was chosen for the 'hurhur sounds like shit' and a nice disgusting heap of homophobia and misogyny. The monster truck contingent can't be tainted by associating with little fluffy dogs! Never mind that all the little fluffy dogs with which I have been acquainted are stone cold killers on a tiny scale. They're little and fluffy! Surely the Ron Paul aficionados must shun them!
posted by winna at 8:43 AM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


He was reared on nightmarish stories of currency that proved worthless, told by relatives whose patriarch had fled Germany in the dark of night when his debts were about to ruin him.

The levels of stupidity one would have to have to be ruined by debt in the middle of a hyperinflation are truly baffling.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:44 AM on February 6, 2012 [14 favorites]


Ron Paul is the last shaman.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:44 AM on February 6, 2012


The irony is that most libertarians wouldn't fare well under a system of unfettered individuality and the only reason they have the freedoms and rights they do is because they're protected by government.

A lot of the libertarians (and doomers) that I've known are also some of the most ridiculously litigation-happy people you've ever met.
posted by gauche at 8:45 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Re the wwf Ron Paul campaign video: Hmmm last time I checked in Canada the provinces were the authorities in charge of most of the things Ron Paul wants to cut at the federal level. I guess those Canadians are bat shit insane as well.

The irony is that most libertarians wouldn't fare well under a system of unfettered individuality and the only reason they have the freedoms and rights they do is because they're protected by government.

The irony is that you seem to be unaware of the last 10 years. You also don't seem to have even a basic understanding of what libertarianism is as a political philosophy.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:45 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


GOOGLE SHIH TZUS
posted by shakespeherian at 8:45 AM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


The levels of stupidity one would have to have to be ruined by debt in the middle of a hyperinflation are truly baffling.

Hah! I didn't catch that, but this is a great point.
posted by gauche at 8:45 AM on February 6, 2012


You also don't seem to have even a basic understanding of what libertarianism is as a political philosophy.

Ron Paul, too.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:46 AM on February 6, 2012


There's no such thing as too much federal government.
Which is why everyone in the former soviet countries all loved their governments and thought they were awesome.

Seriously, this is ridiculous. Obviously too little government just opens the door for corporations to control everyone's lives. But too much government can be a problem as well. Anywhere you have an agglomeration of power, it causes problems.

Also, Ron Paul is clearly less dangerous or less crazy then Gingrich or Santorum. But they get a pass because they are crazy in a 'conventional' way, wanting bomb Iran, put poor children to work and (in the case of Santorum, at least) obliterate the church/state separation turn all the government's social welfare programs over to evangelical churches.
Wow. It's really incredible how obvious some people's plan for holding on to power is ("keep 'em stupid"). What's even more incredible is the percentage of people who claim to be the only ones who can think (computer nerds, present company excepted, obvs) who enthusiastically endorse that plan.
Once again, the department of education does not actually run education in the united states, it's done, and paid for by state governments. The only thing the Dept Ed. does regarding k-12 is no child left behind, which everyone claims to hate, which is reasonable because it sucks.

Yet, people are completely willing to ignore that and act like Ron Paul wants to de-fund all k-12 education (or something). The Dept Ed does do a lot of student loans, so simply getting rid of it would be a problem, but since those loans are paid back it's not something that drains on the budget.

I mean, I don't really consider myself a Ron Paul supporter. And honestly, since he's not going to win the republican primary, what difference does it make? I think the war on drugs is terrible, and I think that the fact that a politician with at least some mainstream appeal is against it is a really good sign. (Yes, he would allow states to have their own anti-drug laws, but states are currently allowed to have their own anti-alcohol laws, and they can already add penalties on top of what the federal government does)

The other thing is that venom spewed towards this guy is just bizarre. It's really hard to understand why people seem to hate this guy so much. Yes, his economic policies are misguided, but he's also anti war, he's anti torture. He's willing to speak out on those issues in front of republican audiences and get booed over it at debates.

But the result is that so-called liberals seem to flip out and seem to absolutely loathe the guy.

I have to say it makes you all seem very bitter. I mean re-titling a ron-paul video "Creepy fat bearded white men support Ron Paul" (even though there plenty of women and non-bearded, non-fat men in the video. Although everyone was white, this was an ad for the NH primary, a state that is 94% white, and 1.1% black)

Even Dennis Kucinich likes the guy. I don't think Kucinich is very realistic in what he thinks is possible, and neither is Ron Paul. However, ending the war on drugs, as well as being anti war, and anti-torture are good things that Liberals should be celebrating.

Instead, when someone does with an R by their name, people who are calling themselves liberals are, as we see in this thread, flipping out and are apparently full of loathing. They're not saying "Ron pauls economic ideas aren't workable" they're saying "LOL People who like Ron Paul are fat creepy weirdos!!!"
United - Federal Government
States - Local Government
of
America - the big land mass where we make it all happen.

That's one of the more nonsensical arguments I've heard in a while. "United" simply means "together" It doesn't mean a central controlling government, any more then the "United Nations" every member nation needs to do what they say. The UN government is a co-coordinating body, not an authority.


Beyond that, it's just ridiculous. North Korea is called the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea". Are they democratic? Obviously not.
posted by delmoi at 8:48 AM on February 6, 2012 [16 favorites]


What is apparent from that article is that Ron Paul, far from being the "breath of fresh air" his followers claim, is an archaic throwback to the 1930s. His whole political program can clearly be traced back to the anti-New Deal, isolationist, conservative GOP wing of Robert Taft.
posted by Skeptic at 8:50 AM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Last time I checked Ron Paul doesn't label himself a libertarian, but rather as sympathetic to libertarian ideas. He does label himself a "Constitutionalist".
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:51 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ooops forgot to quote who I was responding to....that's a response to you, shakespeherian.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:52 AM on February 6, 2012


The irony is that you seem to be unaware of the last 10 years. You also don't seem to have even a basic understanding of what libertarianism is as a political philosophy.
No thanks to internet libertarians, who are invariably idiots. In fact, when I was trying to think up why it is people hate Ron Paul, my guess is that it actually has a lot to do with idiotic internet 'libertarians'/objectivists.

I suspect that's what's behind a lot of the Ron Paul hate. Memories of internet arguments (since all the people involved are, by self-selection people who like arguing about politics on the internet) with people who were self-described libertarians or worse Objectivists who seemed insane and also quite stupid. So they project all the hostility they have towards those people on Ron Paul, assuming he's the same kind of thinker. And frankly, probably he is.

But one of the things that you'll notice about politics if you pay attention to it is that one person could be wrong on one issue and then suddenly your best friend on another. For example, one of the major opponents of SOPA on the commerce committee was Darrell Issa. Other then that, he's a typical republican on most issues.

Or Joe Liberman, for example who everyone hates on most Issues was actually one of the major proponents in the senate of repealing DADT.

It's ironic that, while Obama always talks about how important it is to reach out the opposition -- A lot of people seem to be absolutely unwilling to do that mentally.

And since all politicians do some horrible stuff, if you actually follow politics closely you pretty much have to be able to forgive whatever, or else you are just going to have to hate all politicians.
posted by delmoi at 8:59 AM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


... the anti-New Deal, isolationist, conservative GOP wing of Robert Taft.

You say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by Bruce H. at 9:01 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


but he's also anti war, he's anti torture.

....anti gay, anti black, anti women... Oh wait he didn't know about or write that newsletter, except you know people that support him say he did.

and neither Gingrich nor Santorum got anything remotely like "a pass".

and he was the nominee for the Libertarian Party in '88, so it may be fair to class him as Libertarian.
posted by edgeways at 9:01 AM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ad hominem: "The only thing that would make that ad better is if he just started making up departments to cut. "Department of paper pushers! gone! Department of four eye newt watchers! see you later!""

4 eye newt watchers is part of the EPA.
posted by symbioid at 9:04 AM on February 6, 2012


Or the FEC. There's 2, one for the animal, one for the politician.
posted by symbioid at 9:05 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


you seem to be unaware of the last 10 years.

If that means what I think it means then the "last 10 years" is an example of uncontrolled and unregulated corporatism growing powerful enough to control the government.
posted by rocket88 at 9:07 AM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


the dog they used as a shih tzu looks to me like it's incorrectly proportioned to be an actual shih tzu

Being that this is Ron Paul, perhaps the dog is part bull terrier.

Because you know what you get when you cross a bull terrier with a shi tzu.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:08 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Instead, when someone does with an R by their name, people who are calling themselves liberals are, as we see in this thread, flipping out and are apparently full of loathing. They're not saying "Ron pauls economic ideas aren't workable" they're saying "LOL People who like Ron Paul are fat creepy weirdos!!!"

I don't loath Ron Paul. I think his policy positions are pretty nutso in a way that I would probably regard as charming-- That's our Ron Paul, resident congressional loony!-- if his vocal internet supporters were less obnoxious. Which I realize isn't fair to Paul, but it's like: There are scores of shitty films made every year, but every time Michael Bay makes a shitty movie, we all jump all over its shittiness and point out every way in which it's shitty and make gifs of Michael Bay blowing up everything in sight. Context is responsible for a lot of the response, here: Michael Bay's movies make millions of dollars, and they're shitty. You can't have a substantive conversation on the internet about fiscal policy without people telling you to Google the gold standard.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:11 AM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Hey, I'm a creepy, fat, bearded white man, and I do not support Ron Paul.

That said, my wife and I were in the car this morning when a "buy gold bars" commercial came on the radio. She asked me if there really are people out there with hoards of gold bars in their basements. I said, "Oh, yes. Basements, attics, strongboxes in closets, inside mattresses. These are the people who are expecting the total collapse of situation, and believe that gold will somehow be more valuable than canned food or ammunition."
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:16 AM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


believe that gold will somehow be more valuable than canned food or ammunition

Or gardens. Or friends.
posted by DU at 9:24 AM on February 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


Or slave shackles. Or whips.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:30 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


These are the people who are expecting the total collapse of situation, and believe that gold will somehow be more valuable than canned food or ammunition.

The problem being, of course, that, as society increasingly rejects their particular world-view and moves further away from them, they become more convinced that the total collapse has, in fact, occurred, leading to even more advanced craziness on their part. Eventually, even they will decide that ammunition would be a good thing to have. And use.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:31 AM on February 6, 2012


Faint of Butt, no one argues that gold is much of a hedge against apocalypse -- but social disasters don't tend to be apocalyptic. Instead, they are revolutions, invasions, bouts of hyperinflation or famine -- they happen a lot, and gold is extremely valuable every time they do: portable, anonimizable, universally acceptable wealth. Spend some time around people whose families were wealthy in South Vietnam or pre-Communist mainland China or Russia, or who were on the wrong side of the partition of India and Pakistan, etc., and they'll often recount how the only thing that distinguished the families who successfully fled and those who did not, and how easily those who fled returned to prosperity, was how much gold they could lay their hands on in the days (or hours) when it became clear what was going down. (This is not to discount the value of ammunition in such circumstances; in my experience people who have physical gold close to hand are not short of weapons or ammo go with it!)
posted by MattD at 9:32 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


....anti gay, anti black, anti women... Oh wait he didn't know about or write that newsletter, except you know people that support him say he did.
Yeah, except he's not officially any of those things, those are all things that you people just feel he must be, even though he says he's not. If Ron Paul actually had a chance at being president, those things would need to be looked at closely. But clearly he doesn't. So why not take the guy at his word?

In terms of gay rights, his position is the same as Obama's, as well as the other major candidates in 2008. He's not pro-choice, which is obviously a problem, and again that would be a big issue if he were actually going to be president. But like I said, obviously he's not.
and he was the nominee for the Libertarian Party in '88, so it may be fair to class him as Libertarian.
I'm certainly not trying to argue that he's not a libertarian, someone else said he only leans libertarian, but obviously calling him a libertarian is fine.
I don't loath Ron Paul. I think his policy positions are pretty nutso in a way that I would probably regard as charming-- That's our Ron Paul, resident congressional loony!-- if his vocal internet supporters were less obnoxious. Which I realize isn't fair to Paul, but it's like
Well I haven't really seen any here. On the other hand, reddit is very pro Ron Paul, to the point where you don't see a lot of back and forth either.

But keep in mind, one of the reasons Paul Krugman ended up being so opposed to Obama was because his internet supporters kept harassing him. Do you guys even remember 2008? Obama and Clinton supporters all hated eachother. It was actually pretty hilarious. Remember Hillaryis44.org? my god they're still at it. The craziness on that site provided plenty of entertainment.
posted by delmoi at 9:32 AM on February 6, 2012


So why not take the guy at his word?

Does "his word" include the newsletter he published with his name on it? And photos of him shaking hands with people?
posted by DU at 9:37 AM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Well I haven't really seen any here.

No, but I think that accounts for the severity of the liberal pushback you describe-- we're on Metafilter, and people on Metafilter who go into political threads are probably people who have spent a good deal of time looking at other political threads on the internet. There's haven't been many people here proclaiming their love for Transformers 3, but that doesn't stop us from long threads making fun of Michael Bay.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:39 AM on February 6, 2012


He's not pro-choice, which is obviously a problem, and again that would be a big issue if he were actually going to be president.

This is the biggest reason why I despise him and resent his supporters who claim to support him because fuck yeah freedom. In another thread someone even came right out and said that abortion isn't a problem for him so why would he care about it when choosing a candidate? Hey, maybe because women are people too, and we also enjoy freedom.

The fact that so many men that I know and otherwise like are happy to support him because hey, I could smoke pot legally! the abortion thing isn't my problem! disgusts me.

It makes me feel like they think that I am less of a person than they are and less deserving of freedom. I hate it.

I'm not even going to get into Ron Paul's nasty virulent racism. If you can't figure out why liberals would hate someone who put out a violently racist newsletter then you are being deliberately obtuse.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:39 AM on February 6, 2012 [22 favorites]


Obama and Clinton supporters all hated eachother. It was actually pretty hilarious. Remember Hillaryis44.org? my god they're still at it.

IIRC, hillaryis44 isn't actually Clinton supporters, just Republicans pretending to be. From the domain registration or funding or something?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:46 AM on February 6, 2012


Belatedly, how on earth did I type "situation" instead of "civilization"? Oh, well.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:46 AM on February 6, 2012


"You people" eh? heh nice.

Of course I am referring to his newsletter, which folks other than Paul have said he knew about and supported the content. And given his his two facedness on issues such as earmarks and special interests I remain, shall we say, skeptical of his disavowal.
posted by edgeways at 9:46 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's always been the issue I've had with so many acquaintances who espouse any serious socialist leanings. They almost all seem to assume that they would naturally! be a part of the elite that the masses look-to for guidance and leadership.
posted by gyc at 9:50 AM on February 6, 2012


That's always been the issue I've had with so many acquaintances who espouse any serious socialist leanings. They almost all seem to assume that they would naturally! be a part of the elite that the masses look-to for guidance and leadership.

Piffle.
posted by DU at 9:53 AM on February 6, 2012


That's... that's not what socialism is.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:55 AM on February 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


I know a few self-described socialists. None of them work for the government in any capacity. If you told any of them that they were socialists because they wanted personally to wield greater power over others by means of government bureaucracy, they would fall off their chairs laughing.
posted by gauche at 9:57 AM on February 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


So why not take the guy at his word?

He's defended those statements in the past. Should I not take him at his word in those cases?
posted by brundlefly at 10:01 AM on February 6, 2012


you can read a lot of things into Ron Paul's platform that aren't really there.

Mr. Constitution hasn't said a darn thing about 'executive orders' and, to the best of my memory, never introduced articles of impeachment VS G W Bush. (If he's made a statement on Executive Orders - so post a link)

The separate 'Campaign for Liberty' sends out stuff that is "not" tributed to Paul at all and might be part of the 'reading into" claim. But without citation of 'a lot' and 'platform - its actual contents' I can't say.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:03 AM on February 6, 2012


After Ron Paul's statement that he is okay with emergency contraception in cases of "honest rape", I feel quite comfortable in my opinion that he is a loathsome human being.

For some, his anti-drug-war stance may make them see things otherwise, although I question their sanity. Next up -- at least he made the trains run on time.
posted by JackFlash at 10:12 AM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Belatedly, how on earth did I type "situation" instead of "civilization"? Oh, well.

There's got to be a "Jersey Shores" joke in there somewhere
posted by TedW at 10:29 AM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Paul on, among other things, executive orders.
posted by Bromius at 10:29 AM on February 6, 2012


Maybe the newsletters are not "honest" racism and therefore don't count?
posted by patrick54 at 10:33 AM on February 6, 2012


Ron Paul believes that if people are given their time and money back, they'll not only flourish but help their family, neighbors, friends and city with the excess -- and they'll do it more efficiently than the government with fewer slipping through the cracks.

It is a much more positive view of regular people and their common bonds than what tends to be popular on MetaFilter.
posted by michaelh at 10:35 AM on February 6, 2012


+1 to Delmoi's comments on this whole thing. I cannot understand the venom spewed toward the guy. I'm not exactly a Ron Paul supporter, but the fact that he's actually got people thinking and talking about certain issues (proper role of the Federal Reserve) is important in my book, and dismissing him outright is shortsighted.

I don't think we're going back to the gold standard anytime soon, but he makes good arguments for fiscal restraint, keeping vigilant against government overreach and limiting the influence of power brokers and corporatists.
posted by tgrundke at 10:36 AM on February 6, 2012


But the result is that so-called liberals seem to flip out and seem to absolutely loathe the guy.

I have to say it makes you all seem very bitter. I mean re-titling a ron-paul video "Creepy fat bearded white men support Ron Paul" (even though there plenty of women and non-bearded, non-fat men in the video. Although everyone was white, this was an ad for the NH primary, a state that is 94% white, and 1.1% black)


Eh? We don't hate him because he's any more or less crazy than the rest of the GOP circus; we hate him because we can't swing a dead cat without hitting three guys who want to tell us how he is a shining paragon of neo-liberal sensibilities, but that we just can't see it through the thin patina of his horrible racist tendencies, childish misunderstanding of fiscal policy, and utterly insane ideas about foreign policy. I too hate the war on drugs and everything related to the Department of Homeland security, but I'm not willing to accept that the only blow we can strike against the system is to elect a man who really, truly wants to see poor people starve to death.

The fact that most of his supporters are in fact creepy fat bearded white men (who like to hang banners off of overpasses with the incredibly patronizing position that we don't like him because we just don't UNDERSTAND him) doesn't help to invalidate this caricature.
posted by Mayor West at 10:39 AM on February 6, 2012 [14 favorites]


Ron Paul believes that if people are given their time and money back, they'll not only flourish but help their family, neighbors, friends and city with the excess -- and they'll do it more efficiently than the government with fewer slipping through the cracks.

It is a much more positive view of regular people and their common bonds than what tends to be popular on MetaFilter.


And one that history has never vindicated.

Ready to go back to sharecropping? If you think having some amount deducted from your paycheck for taxes sucks, just try to imagine for a moment not even getting a paycheck and being paid only in board or company scrip.

That's what happens when there's no one with resources but capital.

The answer is to make the state work better for people, not to dismantle it and rush headlong back into the bad old days of private capital as law.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:51 AM on February 6, 2012 [27 favorites]


Ron Paul believes that if people are given their time and money back, they'll not only flourish but help their family, neighbors, friends and city with the excess -- and they'll do it more efficiently than the government with fewer slipping through the cracks.

Soooo, Paul believes in reinventing the wheel 307 million times? That things like racism and homophobia and small mindedness do not exist? That the madness of crowds is a myth, or even something noble? That people will chose to volunteer at the soup kitchen rather than buying a new cell phone or play another 3 hours of SkyRim? We are all paragons of nobility if only the government wouldn't tax us, lawdy lawdy lawdy please sir may I have another?! If that is what Paul truly believes he is honestly dumber than a box of rocks. Such schemes may work well in small scale societies that are relatively homogenous, but in a trans-global multi ethnic/gendered/religious environment? No. It will not work. It has not worked. It breaks down into bloodshed and cleansing sooner or later.


I don't like Paul because he strikes me as the "Intelligent Design" of politics. And I tell you I hate ID more than just about any given religious institution.
posted by edgeways at 10:54 AM on February 6, 2012 [13 favorites]


Why again should I care what some guy "believes"?
posted by thelonius at 10:55 AM on February 6, 2012


I really don't get it. Paul is anti-women, anti-gay, anti-black. But in the midst of his psychotic ramblings he also manages to spit out the word anti-war and people sieze on it as a sign of his genius. These people remind me of Dennis Hopper ranting in Apocalypse Now:

"Why would a nice guy like you want to kill a genius? Feeling pretty good, huh? Why? Do you know that the man really likes you? He likes you. He really likes you. But he's got something in mind for you. Aren't you curious about that? I'm curious. I'm very curious. Are you curious? There's something happening out here, man. You know something, man? I know something you that you don't know. That's right, Jack. The man is clear in his mind, but his soul is mad. Oh, yeah. He's dying, I think. He hates all this. He hates it! But the man's a...He reads poetry out loud, all right. And a voice...he likes you because you're still alive. He's got plans for you. No, I'm not gonna help you. You're gonna help him, man. You're gonna help him. I mean, what are they gonna say when he's gone? 'Cause he dies when it dies, when it dies, he dies! What are they gonna say about him? He was a kind man? He was a wise man? He had plans? He had wisdom? Bullshit, man! And am I gonna be the one that's gonna set them straight? Look at me! Look at me! Wrong!"

And better: (Apologizing for severed heads adorning Kurtz's headquarters) "The heads. You're looking at the heads. I, uh – sometimes he goes too far, you know – he's the first one to admit it!"

posted by JackFlash at 11:02 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


The irony is that most libertarians wouldn't fare well under a system of unfettered individuality and the only reason they have the freedoms and rights they do is because they're protected by government

As the late, departed, Optimus Chyme once put it, "Uh you think that two cell phones can boil an egg, presumably because you're a mental defective; you wouldn't last three months in a libertarian America because you'd spend all your money on colloidal silver supplements and handguns."
posted by octobersurprise at 11:08 AM on February 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


I cannot understand the venom spewed toward the guy. I'm not exactly a Ron Paul supporter, but the fact that he's actually got people thinking and talking about certain issues (proper role of the Federal Reserve) is important in my book, and dismissing him outright is shortsighted.

Especially in the context of Ron Paul's ideas about the Federal Reserve "getting people thinking" actually means "getting people to indulge in dumb fantasies"

...which they are of course free to do. It's just that the rest of us don't confuse this with anything that's worth anything for society.
posted by patrick54 at 11:22 AM on February 6, 2012


As the late, departed, Optimus Chyme once put it, "Uh you think that two cell phones can boil an egg, presumably because you're a mental defective; you wouldn't last three months in a libertarian America because you'd spend all your money on colloidal silver supplements and handguns."

In threads like these I miss that dude. That whole linked thread is full of the same old same old "he's not really racist" nonsense as now. It's tired as hell.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:26 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ron Paul believes that if people are given their time and money back, they'll not only flourish but help their family, neighbors, friends and city with the excess -- and they'll do it more efficiently than the government with fewer slipping through the cracks.

How many people donated their $300-600 2001 Bush stimulus checks to charity? 59% repaid debt, 41% saved it, and approximately 21% spent it (source [pdf]). So, at most 21% donated it to charity, and I suspect the true number is much lower. When people are given "their money" back by the government, they do not use it altruistically. Ron Paul's belief is empirically false.
posted by jedicus at 11:38 AM on February 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Not to mention the fact that rich people, by definition, have plenty of money even without getting any "back". And have they wiped out the homeless problem yet?
posted by DU at 11:44 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ron Paul believes that if people are given their time and money back

How will Ron Paul give us our time back? Will he put us on the three-day-week standard at the same time he puts us back on the gold standard?
posted by octobersurprise at 11:49 AM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Give me my youth back, I'll vote for that motherfucker right now. As often as I'm able.
posted by maxwelton at 11:51 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Replicants for Ron Paul! WE WANT MORE LIFE FUCKER!
posted by octobersurprise at 11:59 AM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hope you don't mind if I answer some of the requests for explanation all at once.

That's what happens when there's no one with resources but capital.

The answer is to make the state work better for people, not to dismantle it and rush headlong back into the bad old days of private capital as law.


That is part of an answer. I wouldn't say "the" answer. I wouldn't say Ron Paul believes in "private capital as law" ever existed nor did it work nor could it. I did say Ron Paul believes that many people should have capital.


Soooo, Paul believes in reinventing the wheel 307 million times?

Yes, it's...kind of how culture progresses in a tractable way. As I said, he thinks more of people than you do, and I think more of them too. That said, I certainly don't think much of videogame culture myself, and I am glad that many people such as you and I try to convince family and friends that videogames are largely a waste of time.


How many people donated their $300-600 2001 Bush stimulus checks to charity? 59% repaid debt, 41% saved it, and approximately 21% spent it (source [pdf]). So, at most 21% donated it to charity, and I suspect the true number is much lower. When people are given "their money" back by the government, they do not use it altruistically. Ron Paul's belief is empirically false.

Stimulus checks were marketed as something to blow; even 10% is above the charity giving rate in the United States; IIRC people were a bit pressed for money at the time; people behave differently with their own money than they do with windfalls; people would get used to having more money and use it better if it was a fact of life, just as is the case with anything else. I think at best you could say stimulus checks are a dumb way to reduce the tax rate (they are.) IIRC Ron Paul did not think they were a good idea either.


Not to mention the fact that rich people, by definition, have plenty of money even without getting any "back". And have they wiped out the homeless problem yet?

That is a ridiculous standard and you know it. Nobody has ever done that. What Ron Paul wants to do is increase the number of people with enough money, broadly, so that would reduce homelessness directly and indirectly. I suppose some of them might become rich after that? Would that be so bad?


How will Ron Paul give us our time back? Will he put us on the three-day-week standard at the same time he puts us back on the gold standard?

I thought I might have to explain what I meant. :) Regulation is a pretty heavy tax on our time because it takes reading, form-filling, compliance software, etc. to deal with it. That's true in business and in our personal lives. Just one example, tax season, should suffice. Not only does red tape take time to navigate, it causes people to hesitate or not even try because they can't or don't think they can navigate the complexity. And, it increases business overhead which, especially in small businesses, means lower pay and fewer employees on payroll. Finally, it decreases the effectiveness of non-profits. Ron Paul thinks that there is a benefit to many of these rules but that they are outweighed by the costs. I realize you disagree but at least you understand what I meant by the time remark now.
posted by michaelh at 12:02 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does "his word" include the newsletter he published with his name on it? And photos of him shaking hands with people?
Oh my god a politician Shook Someone's hand!?!?!?!?! In the presence of Camera!?!?!? HOLY SHIT!!!!

---
With respect to the newsletters, he says he didn't write them/know about them. So if you assume he did, that's actually the opposite of taking him at his word.

I don't know why this is so complicated for people. He has official positions X, Y and Z. If you disagree with him on those, that's one thing. But assuming he really believes Q or the opposite of Z and then hating him for it is completely irrational.
He's defended those statements in the past. Should I not take him at his word in those cases?
You obviously don't need to take him at his word if you don't want to. But it's a bit like neo-cons who say we should "take Iran at their word" that they are all insane apocalyptic religious fanatics who will stop at nothing to nuke Israel as soon as possible, so we must invade. Picking and choosing which statements you want to believe is not the same thing as 'taking them at their word'

It's also way too weird that the newsletters could be driving all this hatred. I asked in the other thread how people reconcile that with the stuff Hillary was doing in the 2008 campaign with all the race baiting and everything she did after new Hampshire. She never apologized or renounced it the way Paul has with the newsletters. And it was only three years ago, rather then 30.
The fact that most of his supporters are in fact creepy fat bearded white men (who like to hang banners off of overpasses with the incredibly patronizing position that we don't like him because we just don't UNDERSTAND him) doesn't help to invalidate this caricature.
The only supporters of his I've ever seen in real life were college students, but then again I used to live in a college town. They all seemed pretty attractive. I would guess that the median supporter of any politician is a middle aged, overweight white person. Probably a woman in the case of the Democrats, though (note I said median, not mean).
I really don't get it. Paul is anti-women, anti-gay, anti-black.
Obviously it's true that Ron Paul is pro-life, but are every other candidate in the republican primary. Pretty much every Republican in the future is going to be pro-life. He's not any less anti-gay then the standard democratic platform, which is opposed to gay marriage. All the 2008 candidates, including Obama were opposed to it, although Obama has said he's open to changing his opinion back to what it was before he started running for national office. He also voted to overturn DADT and voted against the federal marriage amendment, so apparently he's less anti-gay then most republicans. (for example, he was one of 15 to republicans to vote to overturn DADT) So he's significantly less anti-gay then the standard issue republican.

The anti-black stuff makes the least sense, in terms of his stated positions today, in comparison what people say he must really think.

Look, we live in a society where 1 out of 100 white men are in prison while one in ten men are. Not "were ever in prison" but currently, at this moment, are incarcerated.

On the other hand, Newt Gingrich thinks we should execute pot smokers and says poor black kids have no work ethic so we should enslave them make them work as janitors.

So it seems like the argument is that republicans are totally evil, and that even though Ron Paul is actually less bad on those issues then most republicans, he's still a republican and thus totally evil.

That's obviously OK I suppose but Obama is going around talking about how we have to cooperate them and all this stuff. But if you cooperate with evil aren't you also aiding evil?

Anyway, I'm not a Ron Paul supporter, I'm just confused about all the hate. It's just weird. My own feelings toward the guy: I thought if he won the republican primary, that would be a good thing, but it's obviously not happening.
But in the midst of his psychotic ramblings he also manages to spit out the word anti-war and people sieze on it as a sign of his genius.
Yeah, here's the other thing: We're actually killing people overseas. Blacks, gay people and women in the U.S are not being killed (except by local governments, of course), believe it or not being more concerned about seeing civilians blown up then gay marriage is a reasonable position to have. Now that Obama is getting us out of Afghanistan and scaling down the military it's less of an issue then it was in 2008. There are still the issues of civil liberties and so on.

In a certain sense I think Ron Paul is kind of living in a fantasy land, but so are the people who want to bomb Iran or whatever. The difference is that their fantasies are violent, brutal fantasies about blowing people up. And as we've seen with the Iraq war, the danger is they can make their fantasies come true.

If Ron Paul were to win the nomination, it would have made the anti-war position the bi-partisan consensus. It would have been a deathblow to the neocons. It's no surprise that the person who first published the 'newsletters' was Jamie Kirchick, who is a hard-core warmongering neocon.
That's always been the issue I've had with so many acquaintances who espouse any serious socialist leanings. They almost all seem to assume that they would naturally! be a part of the elite that the masses look-to for guidance and leadership.
Yeah, That's not really how socialism works.
posted by delmoi at 12:04 PM on February 6, 2012


If you want to know one of the reasons I find Ron Paul reprehensable, look at this
speech.

Two of his arguments in this speech really stand out to me.

1) The Civil War was due to an overpowerful Federal Government wanting to restrict individual choices to decide the Jeffersonian/Hamiltonian arguments left over from the founding of the nation.

2) The power of the Federal Government should be derived from the consent of the governed therefore the federal government should have respected the South's right to secede.

The implications of these arguments are breathtaking. The first implies that slaves don't deserve individual choice. The second implies that their consent is not necessary for them to be governed by the laws of the US or the Slave States.

These are human rights issues. The implication is that slaves weren't fully human.

Ron Paul is either making some completely wacky and illogical arguments, or is a racist making racist arguments, or is a non-racist pandering to racists for votes. Or some combination of those things.
posted by jclarkin at 12:06 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


As I said, he thinks more of people than you do, and I think more of them too.

...Except for people who work in the government, or people who demand a particular service from their government, because those aren't people in the same way that people who don't have a representative government working on their behalf are?

I don't get it: does Paul not understand that it's all made of people, including the "bureacracy" he despises so much? If it stands to reason that people's inherent good will make the world work perfectly in the absence of the rule of law, then doesn't it stand to reason, people's inherent good will win out when we're creating and prosecuting laws?

After all, private law--contract terms, agreements, etc.--must likewise be susceptible to whatever corrupting factor inherently taint the rule of law.

What, are teachers, mail men, and pollution inspectors aliens from Mars from Paul's perspective? Why doesn't he trust all those good people?
posted by saulgoodman at 12:15 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


delmoi, you're arguing against a strawperson who hates Ron Paul but totally, I dunno, hugs a giant cardboard cutout of Newt Gingrich while making love-eyes at Rick Santorum.

Also, why should we take a politician at his word? If we saw Ron Paul drowning kittens and he said "hey, these aren't kittens, they're rocks" you'd be like "I don't understand the hate! The man SAYS he's not doing anything wrong!"
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:24 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Stimulus checks were marketed as something to blow; even 10% is above the charity giving rate in the United States; IIRC people were a bit pressed for money at the time; people behave differently with their own money than they do with windfalls; people would get used to having more money and use it better if it was a fact of life, just as is the case with anything else.

Then show that they were donated at a rate of at least 10%. As far as I'm concerned, Paul is making an extraordinary claim, which requires extraordinary evidence. The available evidence is that the steady decline of tax rates in this country since the 1960s has not improved the lot of the poor, whether in the form of short-term stimulus or long-term tax cuts. In fact, income inequality is worse than ever and class mobility in the United States is worse than Victorian England. European social democracies score better on both counts and have universal healthcare to boot.
posted by jedicus at 12:27 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Plus, if people can be so easily swayed from their finer impulses by "marketing"...well...
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:33 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure stimulus checks were the government "giving money back" in the way a Paul supporter describes it. It was a plan to borrow billions of dollars to distribute to people to consume and put back into the economy. It was socialism, essentially, and I wouldn't be surprised if Paul disliked the stimulus program on that basis. So I wouldn't necessarily conclude anything about the stimulus program, other than that it was a weird and expensive social program for the GOP to push through, which ultimately didn't have the intended effect.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:35 PM on February 6, 2012


But I do agree that tax policies have driven income inequality to historic levels.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:37 PM on February 6, 2012


Sorry, another long one.

What, are teachers, mail men, and pollution inspectors aliens from Mars from Paul's perspective? Why doesn't he trust all those good people?

That's a good question. Those are more low-level people and I don't think Ron Paul distrusts them. He more distrusts heads of agencies and the heads of business that collude with them because of the potential for corruption or the way that errors of omission are magnified. Because of that, he thinks that the regular people are compromised in their ability to excel.

I personally can say I have liked all the financial auditors I've ever met and found them competent on any particular day, but their agencies (the state of Illinois, the SEC, FINRA, NCUA) are a bit of a joke and in the aggregate something is obviously wrong. I think that's reasonable to say given what's happened in the last five years.


Then show that they were donated at a rate of at least 10%.

No, I was just taking half of your 21%. If you would like to claim an amount, please go ahead. If you want to say it's less than 4% then I'll drop the part about 10% being higher as the rest stands.


The available evidence is that the steady decline of tax rates in this country since the 1960s has not improved the lot of the poor, whether in the form of short-term stimulus or long-term tax cuts.

The size of the federal government also correlates to this, and you do not get to decide whose claims are extraordinary. And as I said, tax/legal regulation complexity is difficult for regular people to navigate so they are at a disadvantage in a progressive system (heavily rewards declaring lower income) that tries to close loopholes (creates more rules and exceptions.)


Plus, if people can be so easily swayed from their finer impulses by "marketing"...well...

I would have said propaganda but I thought that might be too strong. Yes, it and advertising are problems in this country and I'm glad you are against it. I hope you work to reduce its prevalence in your community as I do.
posted by michaelh at 12:41 PM on February 6, 2012


I'll have to leave this for now. I'll read anything people say in response and perhaps revisit this here or in another thread. I hope you've all enjoyed talking about this. I mean that sincerely.
posted by michaelh at 12:44 PM on February 6, 2012


The size of the federal government also correlates to this

By what metric? The Federal Government now has fewer personnel, per capita, than it has ever had.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:47 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


The only reason the "size of government" in dollars keeps going up is because a lot of things are keyed to inflation (and have to be in order to make today's $10 in service go the same distance tomorrow).
posted by saulgoodman at 12:49 PM on February 6, 2012


I'm just confused about all the hate. It's just weird.

Unless all mockery is "hate," I'm not seeing this. I see a lot of mockery, some of it mean-spirited, maybe, but not a lot actual hate. I don't hate Ron Paul. I think he's a mildly charming, nutty, snake-oil salesman. He's great at selling some vacuous idea of "freedom" while living—and helping his constituents to live—off the benefits of a government that he professes to despise.

Regulation is a pretty heavy tax on our time because it takes reading, form-filling, compliance software, etc. to deal with it. That's true in business and in our personal lives.

You realize that government isn't the only institution that "taxes" our time in this manner? It takes me about an hour to complete my state and federal income taxes. I've spent much more time than that struggling with banks, or insurance companies, or hospitals, or just returning something I bought at the mall. Does Ron Paul propose to do something about these impositions on my time? And if not, why?
posted by octobersurprise at 12:50 PM on February 6, 2012 [14 favorites]


okay, maybe fewer personnel per capita than it's "ever had" is a little over the top--but it's definitely far fewer than it's had at any time in recent history since the 60s, and it's been steadily "shrinking" by that metric...
posted by saulgoodman at 12:58 PM on February 6, 2012


My take on it is this: If you like anything the federal government is doing, have liked anything the federal government has done during your lifetime, or think that your state benefits from having the federal government in place to make decisions at a national level that can shape the discourse in your state, then Ron Paul is probably not the candidate for you.
posted by mikeh at 1:05 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not only does red tape take time to navigate, it causes people to hesitate or not even try because they can't or don't think they can navigate the complexity. And, it increases business overhead which, especially in small businesses, means lower pay and fewer employees on payroll. Finally, it decreases the effectiveness of non-profits.

Isn't this the truth!

I am a member of a small LLC which runs a community workshop here in Seattle. We are a bunch of friends who live in the city and like to make stuff, and we decided to go in on a commercial space together. It's open to the public on a membership basis. We have no employees and make no profit.

To sign a lease we need insurance and a bank account. To get a bank account we need a business license. To get a business license we need a federal tax ID. There was a state tax ID in there somewhere too. I forget, it was a lot of paperwork. It took us over a month to get it all sorted out - all in our free time, of course.

Now it's tax time (well, we're actually late). None of us understand how taxes work for organizations like this, so we either have to spend hours of our free time learning about whatever laws there are that govern LLCs of our sort, or we have to hire an accountant to sort it out for us. In the end I expect we won't pay any taxes, because we don't make any money, so it's all a big waste of effort for everyone.

Well, then again, for all I know the government may try to make us pay taxes based on revenue, or something. We're not technically a non-profit you see. Why not? Because non-profit status, from all we've heard about it, takes even more months of form-filling and hoop-jumping. It's too much work for our workshop - we are all volunteers and nobody has that much free time to waste.

There is a whole lot of crap involved in running a business, whether you make money or not. It is very much a tax on your time, and that time has to be paid for somehow. This increases the minimum size a business must reach before it can be viable.

Our workshop is only viable because it was started by a bunch of well-paid techies who had surplus cash they were willing to spend on it with no chance of any return ever. It only continues to be viable because the quantity of free time our members are willing to spend maintaining the place exceeds the amount of time required by bureaucratic overhead. If we actually had to make this thing pay for itself, or if the bureaucratic overhead were to increase, we would have to shut down - and that would be a shame.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:19 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


delmoi, you're arguing against a strawperson who hates Ron Paul but totally, I dunno, hugs a giant cardboard cutout of Newt Gingrich while making love-eyes at Rick Santorum.
I'm arguing against what people are clearly posting in this thread.
Also, why should we take a politician at his word? If we saw Ron Paul drowning kittens and he said "hey, these aren't kittens, they're rocks" you'd be like "I don't understand the hate! The man SAYS he's not doing anything wrong!"
I'm not actually saying you should take politicians at their word in general, I guess they all seem pretty dishonest. But Ron Paul isn't going to be president or the republican nominee, so his only real power is to promote ideas. I think a lot of the ideas he's promoting are good ones (ending war and torture, ending the drug war) and some are misguided (ending the fed, the gold standard). The stuff that's "bad" is the completely standard republican position, i.e. against abortion and gay marriage.

In that sense, all that really matters is what he actually promotes, not what you think he "secretly" believes.

It's actually similar to the arguments that Obama secretly hated America because a handful of sermons by Jeremiah Wright, or because he knew Bill Ayers.
posted by delmoi at 1:26 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have long maintained there is nothing intrinsically more valuable about gold than coal. It's a good conductor. It's malleable. It's pretty. And it's rare, but then so are two-headed alligators, and no one hoards those. It is no less a symbolic form of value than paper money. These literal-minded goldbugs are victims of a cardinal illusion.
posted by spitbull at 1:45 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ron Paul is an objectivist. His son is named Rand after Ayn Rand.

I've been following Ron Paul for over 15 years. A long time ago he would run as a libertarian but got tired of losing so he ran a republican. He is a libertarian objectivist at his core.

I used to listen to him on Alex Jones's radio show on the pirate patriot radio station in Austin. The man is not a good person, and he should not be in office, and thankfully his powers are limited in his current capacity.

Please Internet, do not be duped by his populist message. He complete worldview is totally distorted and fucked.
posted by roboton666 at 2:06 PM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


That's pretty good.... (in an OMFG WTH sort of way). I bet he has someone from Ventura's advertising staff on board in MN.
I don't think it's specific for MN. I have definitely seen it before, and (I assume) well before any significant MN advertising. Maybe a month ago, or something like that?
Last time I checked Ron Paul doesn't label himself a libertarian, but rather as sympathetic to libertarian ideas.
Kind of like his stance on racism!
posted by Flunkie at 2:37 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


"believe that gold will somehow be more valuable than canned food or ammunition"

Or gardens. Or friends.
posted by DU


Logged in just to favorite that.

This seems to be the central dichotomy in the thinking. I haven't thought much about Paul either way. And the facts seem variable in the cases of some arguments, so I've withheld an opinion. Is he a racist? Isn't he? I don't know. What I can criticize though is his position.

"From 2001 to 2011, his holdings in gold, silver, mining companies and other bets on an economic collapse more than doubled in value,"

People dedicate their lives, sacrifice their own fortunes, safety and peace of mind
to prevent catastrophic collapse and apocalypse. He's betting the country will go to hell and he's making money on it. I dislike opportunistic parasites, but damn if I don't hate host-killing parasitoids.

Same thing on confirmation bias radio talk radio "buy gold" all the "end is nigh" b.s. like you're smart if you plug into saving up for the end times before all the other suckers who will be left high and dry when the great upheaval comes (as though investing in it and thus leveraging the odds it will happen is "smart" where sacrificing and working to prevent it is stupid)

The whole "ant" and "grasshopper" Aesop thing is garbage. Ants are symbiotic for the most part, where they do dominate and exploit local resources they're considered invasive parasites, just like locusts.

Paul is right in the respect that skills (and their attendant human relationships) are a valuable, IMHO the most valuable, commodity and hedge against not only catastrophe, but the prevention of catastrophic upheaval (if you have a lot of friends, you're worried what might happen to your people, if you have a lot of gold you're worried people might take it. Strategic responses flow accordingly, and obviously in process, from each position).

However what most indicts him there is WHY he believes one should, for example, be a doctor. Not to maintain those social ties, encourage stability, promote general welfare and encourage altruism in oneself and reciprocal altruism in one's social environment, but because someday if a totalitarian society comes (which you've made even more likely by your investment choices) you won't be put against the wall because you can be trusted to operate safely on the fascists.

Yeah, that's swell.

Look, I've got enough hardware to overthrow a small country but not because I'm investing in social upheaval. As it happens I'd do quite well in chaos having lived and operated in it. But having seen it, I know how much it sucks. So I work against it as much as possible. And I'm more than willing to take a hit or a pay cut now to mitigate the risk that it won't happen here, despite the fact that I may prosper afterwards.
Not because I'm saintly, but because it's insane to live otherwise.
I mean, who wants to live that way?
Hell, I know the odds of a nuclear bomb going off in Chicago all things considered. I could live in a bomb shelter, have bug-out plans, obsessively practice and drill, stockpile food, maintain several safe locations, etc. etc. and call myself the smartest bastard in the midwest when I and my family survive. Or, y'know, devote those resources and my time and energy into cutting those odds so millions of us survive and I don't have to cover my scat with lime the rest of my life. Which is something we really take for granted.
That and talking to other people. Neat stuff. Worth fighting for. Fuck gold.

"Wow. It's really incredible how obvious some people's plan for holding on to power is ("keep 'em stupid")."

Even more shortsighted - the fact that they are going to die at some point. How selfish do you have to be to be willing to screw up the world for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years by economically reinforcing systemic ignorance so you can enjoy ... whatever ... for a few decades.

"They almost all seem to assume that they would naturally! be a part of the elite that
the masses look-to for guidance and leadership."


I get the same thing. People like that are all about aggressive competition, dog-eat-dog, social darwinism, the strong rule, blah de blah. I say "Then let's settle who's top dog right now." Crack my knuckles. Suddenly aggression and violence is wrong, in part because somehow interpersonal violence is anathema, while depriving someone of their dignity and livelyhood through force is just fine, 'cause it's not violent- or something.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:09 PM on February 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think a lot of the ideas he's promoting are good ones (ending war and torture, ending the drug war) and some are misguided (ending the fed, the gold standard).

Those are pretty selective examples. Personally, I'd have gone with his opposition to the Civil Rights Act and removing the separation of church and state, myself.

Would you really sell out every minority and marginalized American just so you can legally get high?
posted by rocket88 at 3:13 PM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


[W]hen they closed the books one year and found that they had $60,000 left over to split, Mr. Paul proposed that they invest in gold coins.

“I still have my Krugerrands,” Dr. Pruett [former partner in his medical practice] said. “We paid $132 apiece. They’re worth about $2,000 today.”


Huh.
posted by epersonae at 3:18 PM on February 6, 2012


epersonae, I think he's saying that each individual Krugerrand is worth about $2000 today, having cost $132 a pop. That is, the $60,000 that they spent on Krugerrands got them something worth about $900,000 today. Really, though, his "$2000" is a rough rounding; they're only worth about $1720 apiece today. So, in total, they're worth about $775,000 in total.

$132 a pop means it was something like 1975, which in turn means that if they had invested in an S&P 500 tracking mutual fund, their fund would currently be worth about $935,000, i.e. over 20% more than their Kruggerands are worth.
posted by Flunkie at 3:36 PM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Well that makes sense, and thank you for adding the extra context of a comparison to other investments.
posted by epersonae at 3:42 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


gyc: "That's always been the issue I've had with so many acquaintances who espouse any serious socialist OBJECTIVIST leanings. They almost all seem to assume that they would naturally! be a part of the elite that the masses look-to for guidance and leadership."

FTFY.
posted by symbioid at 4:07 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


LOL woops! CONTEXT PEOPLE! (the italics should have made it clear, but still).

Protip: Plutor's excellent mefiquote script.
posted by symbioid at 4:09 PM on February 6, 2012


The size of the federal government also correlates to this

Echoing another poster: by what metric? You'll have to discount Social Security and Medicare, since they've increased primarily because the population has grown, not because of increases in overhead. From 1990-2000, discretionary spending actually fell slightly on an inflation-adjusted basis. Since 2000 it has grown, primarily because of stimulus and security/military spending. As the economy recovers and we withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, a lot of that spending will go away.

In terms of laws and regulations, yes, it has grown, but part of that is because new technologies, products, and even countries have come into being, so over time some growth in the number of laws and regulations is inevitable. The alternative is to rely more heavily on the common law, and if you think sifting through statutes and regulations is a pain, you just try researching case law.

In terms of regulation stifling business: the U.S. actually does pretty well in this regard. Three of the metrics used by economists in comparing the ease of doing business across countries are the average number of days and legal steps required to start a business and the average cost of doing so, as a percentage of per capita GDP. By those metrics, the U.S. ranks quite well: 6 days, 6 steps, 1.4% of per capita GDP (i.e. approximately $670). Overall the U.S. ranks 4th in the ease of doing business, according to the World Bank.

Unsurprisingly it also ranks 72nd in the ease of paying taxes. But this has nothing to do with the progressive tax system (as you assert) and everything to do with the maze of ever-shifting credits, deductions, and other special treatments. We could keep or even increase the progressive structure of the income tax while dramatically simplifying the tax filing process for the vast majority of individuals and businesses. For starters, the IRS could send out pre-filled tax forms or offer a pre-filled online form, but special interest groups (mostly the tax-preparation industry, a multi-billion dollar parasitic drain on the economy) consistently lobby against it.
posted by jedicus at 4:14 PM on February 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


“I still have my Krugerrands...”

Unlike all those idiots who lost money opposing apartheid on principle.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:25 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


But they get a pass because they are crazy in a 'conventional' way, wanting bomb Iran, put poor children to work and (in the case of Santorum, at least) obliterate the church/state separation turn all the government's social welfare programs over to evangelical churches.

Well, he does think social welfare programs should be dismantled and handed over to churches. The reason people argue so vociferously against Paul vs those other jokers is that everybody knows what Romney and Gingrich stand for. But a whole lot of younger people who are interested in legalization and peace and the NDAA are not thinking of the government as a body that exists for a reason and would be working better if it didn't have so many people in it actively trying to break it down, like Paul and like most of the anti-social-safety-net, pro-trickle-down post-Reagan Republican Party. They don't realize he's just applying an across-the-board principle that would also destroy the EPA, for example, and remove the last remaining checks on corporate power. How many weed-smoking 25-year-old Ron Paul fans know he thinks global warming is a hoax? They're just assuming he's basically a good guy, for the most part.

And that's how he sells himself. I think what gets a lot of progressives especially infuriated is that he seems to be promising unprecedented personal freedom but is in fact proposing to remove all restrictions on people and especially organizations that already have the most power, which both want to extract things from and have no obligation to serve/protect/answer to the rest of us. And if this guy runs as a third-party candidate, which is not unlikely if he actually gets popular enough to affect the course of the national debate (the only possible use for him), the risk is that we get the version of Ron Paul that only wants to keep hollowing out the federal government without actually abolishing it, so that even more people grow up with the idea that it has to be either weak or corrupt there's no reason to have one, or at least to bother voting or running for office or trying to increase the maximum personal income tax rate on people who make more than $500,000 annually. Plus we get to keep the wars, and the four or five states that might have legalized pot (California is full of people pushing back against it; it would be very close) will have to keep making people get cards.

Also, explaining the problems with libertarianism to 25-year-olds who think they're hippies gets demoralizing after the second or third one.
posted by Adventurer at 5:31 PM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ron Paul Blames Florida Loss On Expensive Advertising Costs Of Poster Board, Markers
posted by XMLicious at 6:36 PM on February 6, 2012


Would you really sell out every minority and marginalized American just so you can legally get high?
Ooh, personal attack, classy. I don't want to "legally get high." I want to see an end to shit like this, obviously guns are the 'target', but policies like that result in the arrest of a lot of black people. Do you really need to have it explained to you how the war on drugs is bad for African Americans and Hispanics in this country?

I don't think not hating a guy who has the same policy on gay marriage as Obama means
"selling out" gay people. Obviously the Abortion issue is a more serious - but it's completely bog standard republican fare.

There is also the issue of civil liberties and Muslims/Arabs in this country, which as far as I can tell is only being addressed by Paul.

(Also, it's cute how you don't even bother specifying how Ron Paul is throwing "every" minority under the bus, it's just taken as a given.)

And speaking generally, not just about Ron Paul, it honestly seems like a lot of people are more interested in bashing libertarians conservatives then they are about the actual problems faced by minorities in this country. "One in ten black men in jail in the U.S? Who cares, when there are Objectivists to hate!?"

Not only does it not convince anyone of anything, it actually devalues the charge of racism because republicans will just see it as an attack democrats use or see it as being "hypersensitive" or "PC-police." It feeds into the lie that people Rush Limbaugh spread about "Racism" only existing in the minds of liberals and only existing as a weapon used by them against conservatives. You're acting like the strawman liberals that conservatives always bash.

The other annoying thing is this idea that if you don't bash someone, or push back on anything about someone that you think is incorrect you must be a supporter of them. I said I wasn't a Ron Paul supporter. I just don't get the crazy levels of hate - or if it's not hate then derision. Like I said several times, the fact that he's running as a republican against war and torture is a good thing for the country.
$132 a pop means it was something like 1975, which in turn means that if they had invested in an S&P 500 tracking mutual fund, their fund would currently be worth about $935,000, i.e. over 20% more than their Kruggerands are worth.
The stock market has been a terrible investment over the past 10 years. Had they invested in gold in the stock market on Jan 4th, 1975. and switched to gold on December 24th they'd have about $8,230,243.90 (20.72x in the stock market, 6.62x in gold. The price of gold was mostly flat before 2000, while the stock market has been flat since then) Also, simply pointing this out is not actually a defense of Ron Paul either.
posted by delmoi at 6:41 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


He is personally, he says, pro-legalization and for treating drug users like patients instead of criminals. But he doesn't want to fund any government programs that would permit treating patients like criminals; he wants churches and charities to do it. He doesn't want the federal government to tell the states what their drug policies should be; he wants to hand it over and let them answer to voters who are irrational about anything with the word "drugs" in it the same way Congress has to. I believe there are a handful of states that would be willing to legalize marijuana and marijuana only, although not every medical marijuana state would be able to manage it. Once you start talking about hard drugs you hit the wall of resistance that makes it nearly impossible to fund a needle exchange in this country. And at this point there is so much money in the prison industry and in building private prisons that there are not going to be a lot of people being let go. Would this be better than nothing? Yes. But it isn't a policy. It's an abdication, like all his other positions, in favor of 50 different policies, some of which will be good and some of which will be absolutely draconian.

The thing that is especially odd to me about treating states' rights as the answer to the drug war is that his own state of Texas, presumably the state he has been thinking of all this time when he arrived at the position that "states' rights" is the solution to everything, would not be decriminalizing anything. I'm honestly not convinced his drug war talk isn't just pandering to a wider audience the way the blatant racism in the newsletters (mostly Lew Rockwell's, but in the '90s he admitted culpability for some of it) was meant to tap in to the largely-underserved audience he needed then.
posted by Adventurer at 7:02 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


he doesn't want to fund any government programs that would permit treating patients like criminals

Or the other way around. Or both, actually, since he doesn't want to fund any government programs period.
posted by Adventurer at 7:04 PM on February 6, 2012


I believe there are a handful of states that would be willing to legalize marijuana and marijuana only, although not every medical marijuana state would be able to manage it. Once you start talking about hard drugs you hit the wall of resistance that makes it nearly impossible to fund a needle exchange in this country.
Well, the point is, he's a mainstream (or relatively mainstream) politician who is actually pushing in the pro-legalization direction. Yes, only a few states like California or Oregon would legalize marijuana at first, but having done that other states would see that it's not a big deal.

The policy is exactly the same as the 21st amendment, which overturned prohibition. Today every state has legalized alchohol, even though that wasn't true at first. Many states chose to stay 'dry' Allowing states to legalize drugs, obviously, would be a good first step.

I don't know the idea that not allowing states to legalize drugs could somehow not help bring an end to the drug war doesn't really make much sense.
The thing that is especially odd to me about treating states' rights as the answer to the drug war is that his own state of Texas
Yes, and in Texas they arrest people for having a 0.8 BAC in bars however, that does not mean that alchohol isn't broadly legal in the united states.
posted by delmoi at 8:04 PM on February 6, 2012


Unlike all those idiots who lost money opposing apartheid on principle.

"Diplomatic immunity."
posted by kirkaracha at 8:17 PM on February 6, 2012


I'm just confused about all the hate. It's just weird.

Annoyance and frustration more than hate.

So, say you're attracted to dudes, and single. People keep to set you up with this guy. He lives in a small pyramid of human skulls of unknown origin, believes that wiping is a communist plot, has visible halitosis, is deeply and fervently devoted to (and dependent on) his horrible mother, is an objectivist, and also really likes the film Blade Runner and enjoys hiking.

Of course, you like Blade Runner because it's a wonderful meditation on what it means to be human, and he thinks replicant sex slaves would be teh win (he talks mostly in leetspeek, did I mention?). And you like hiking to enjoy nature and get fit, but he likes wandering around building imaginary Wal-Marts in his mind.

And every now and then, people try to hook you up. "You like Blade Runner, and so does he!" they say. "But... the not wiping... and the stink... and the probable mass murder!" You say, but they just look at you with their dead eyes and say "And he likes hiking! I like hiking! Maybe I will date him myself!" "No," you say "to do so would risk death! Or at the least getting poop on you!"

You can see how you might end up with a harsh attitude towards the man and the people who keep bringing him up.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:24 PM on February 6, 2012 [14 favorites]


Do you really need to have it explained to you how the war on drugs is bad for African Americans and Hispanics in this country?

The man is on record as saying employers, business owners and landlords should be completely free to discriminate without government interference, and that's okay because market forces will create others to cater to the minorities. Do you really need to have it explained to you how much worse that would be for African Americans and Hispanics?
posted by rocket88 at 9:43 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ron Paul is an objectivist. His son is named Rand after Ayn Rand.

Cripes man! Can't even get a basic fact about his son correct (not that I haven't heard the same thing repeated numerous times by folks who supposedly great insight into the man). I mean five seconds on google. WTF?

And the parroting and misrepresentations has just become humorous now. "Did you know Ron Paul cheats at baseball? He even wears a maxi-pad." Every single thread with some gross misrepresentation if not outright lie. You've become parodies of yourselves. I don't even have time anymore.

More and more the Greenwald piece is coming into sharp focus, but it's not the warped moral calculus that's at the heart of it.

It that the American left is intellectually and morally bankrupt at the moment.

Rock on!
posted by quintessencesluglord at 3:01 AM on February 7, 2012


It that the American left is intellectually and morally bankrupt at the moment.

We didn't buy krugerrands when we had the chance, dammit. Fuck.

Seriously, one MeFite getting a fact wrong about why Ron Paul's son just happens to have a first name that is the same as the last name of the most famous patron saint of libertarian stupidity does not mean "the left is intellectually and morally bankrupt." If telling lies or "misstating facts" about your opponent is a measure of bankruptcy, then the anti-Obama forces should be collecting empty cans at this point.

Ron Paul is a crazy man. Crazy men who are hungry for power scare me.
posted by spitbull at 4:48 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


It that the American left is intellectually and morally bankrupt at the moment.

oh oh please save us Ron Paul you're our only hope!

People don't agree with you and they are morally bankrupt. heh. "...why do you look at the splinter in your brother's eye, and not notice the beam which is in your own eye?"
posted by edgeways at 5:13 AM on February 7, 2012


Thanks for setting me straight pitbull!

Now if you could stop being such an ass, I'd greatly appreciate it!
posted by roboton666 at 5:31 AM on February 7, 2012


the American left is intellectually and morally bankrupt at the moment.

I would say Americans, as a people and clulture, are intellectually and morally bankrupt at the moment. Nations who are not intellectually and morally bankrupt do not invade other countries who have not attacked them and then proceed to slaughter over a million people.

I have no illusions about Ron Paul solving all of our problems, but as delmoi pointed out, at least he is out there talking about some very important issues which will ultimately determine whether this country stays a constitutional republic or descends into fascist authoritarianism.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:22 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Like I said several times, the fact that he's running as a republican against war and torture is a good thing for the country.

Ron Paul's willingness to enter the gladitorial match that GOP race has become and vocally oppose torture and war is a good thing, by any measure. Credit where it's due, it takes balls just to be the guy who's frustrating all that bloodlust. But let's be real here, his record of actually halting war and/or torture isn't any better than Obama's own compromised record and probably not even as good. I don't recall seeing Ron Paul at the anti-war protests of '02-'03. I don't remember his vociferous criticism of the Bush years or his demands for resignations and investigations following Abu Ghraib.

If, by some miracle, Ron Paul did become President, the evidence suggests that he would either hew more closely to the GOP line or face the same difficulties Obama has faced in actually doing something about war/torture/civil liberties.

So yeah, Ron Paul talks the good talk when it comes to torture and war and civil liberties. And that's worth something, because just saying the right thing is always worth something. But what annoys about the "Yes, but" Ron Paul supporters ("Yes, he wants to demolish the federal government, but he's opposed to war!" or "Yes, he pandered to racists for years, but he hates the prison-industrial complex!") is the insistence that just by saying he opposes war Ron Paul is absolved of holding all of his nuttier and more dangerous ideas and the insistence that any mockery of those nuttier ideas is a sign of hatred. (I have also mocked Cynthia McKinney. Like Ron Paul, sometimes McKinney makes sensible observations; and like Ron Paul, she's just as nutty and ineffective the rest of the time.)
posted by octobersurprise at 8:25 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The levels of stupidity one would have to have to be ruined by debt in the middle of a hyperinflation are truly baffling.

Really? I'd think that an ordinary level of stupidity and greed would suffice. Until you get to the point for loan contracts where repayments on loans are required to be in gold, or the inflation rate is compounded on top of the loan rate, it makes a lot of sense to leverage as much capital as you can and over-invest in capital equipment, infrastructure, and mergers. A lot of huge conglomerates formed in Weimar Germany because of this. It seems like a gamble between losing your relative wealth advantage (if you have any) or increasing your risk of your business interests becoming grossly inefficient.

In any case, whether his grandfather was a brilliant man or a complete moron, it wouldn't alter my assessment of Ron Paul for the better.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:46 PM on February 7, 2012


Ron Paul is doing nobody decent any favors because a high-profile politician talking about ending wars and the drug war isn't helpful when that politician is also the Honorable Representative from the KKK. Associating good policies with trash like Ron Paul is not good for those policies.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:37 PM on February 7, 2012


when that politician is also the Honorable Representative from the KKK.

cite?

And no that shitty fpp you posted the other day doesn't count as reliable or convincing evidence.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:12 PM on February 7, 2012


cite?

Even if you don't believe in your messiah's links to A3P, he's still racist vermin.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:23 AM on February 8, 2012


Now if you could stop being such an ass, I'd greatly appreciate it!
posted by roboton666


Calling the left "intellectually and morally bankrupt" for not buying into the libertarian fantasy is being an ass. Now if you could grow a thicker skin on your own assy ass.
posted by spitbull at 5:37 AM on February 8, 2012


your messiah

He's not my messiah. As a general rule I don't usually support politicians. The reason I plan to vote for Dr. Paul has nothing to do with any illusions that he will be elected, or even if elected will actually be able to change anything for the better. What is important to me is what he is saying about personal liberty, the dangers of too much government power, and the need to reign in the military industrial congressional complex ect.

he's still racist vermin.

Who are you supporting again? Oh right President Obama. How many innocents have his actions as president killed? How many innocents have been killed as a direct result of what Dr. Paul has said or done? So if you feel comfortable supporting a know mass murderer over a person who may or may not be a racist then go ahead that's your right. I am willing to admit that in the past Dr. Paul may have, at the worst, had some racist ideas or, at best, pandered to racists to get votes. This isn't really that different from many celebrated statesmen. Senator Byrd was a perfect of example of this. People can change. When you cast Dr. Paul as a static entity not capable of change you bely your intellectual depravity. At the end of the day whether Dr. Paul is or isn't lying about his views on race isn't that important to me because he will never be elected to high office. What is important to me is that what he is saying needs to be said and it isn't being said by anyone else on the current political stage.

I did get a chuckle, though, reading an Obama supporter claiming I have a messiah. So thanks for that.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:01 AM on February 8, 2012


Hey look president Obama is being racist to. I would put forward the idea that suggesting all Asians are short is the same as suggesting all African Americans are "fleet footed".

Do I really think that Obama is a racist? Obviously no, but I hope I have illustrated that taking quotes out of their larger context and then extrapolating another person's world view based on those few quotes is a dishonest endeavor. If you feel comfortable judging Dr. Paul go ahead, I tend to judge people on their actions because, as the old saying goes and as metafilter proves day in and day out, talk is cheap.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:18 AM on February 8, 2012


What is important to me is what he is saying about personal liberty (unless you're a woman), the dangers of too much government power, (unless it's directed at oppressing women)
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:12 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


You mean "The Dangers of FEDERAL Government Power". Seriously, just listen to him. In fact, he has come out in opposition to the Incorporation Doctrine, time and again.
"Prior to the 1890s, the Bill of Rights was held only to apply to the federal government. Under the incorporation doctrine, most provisions of the Bill of Rights now also apply to the state and local governments, by virtue of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution."
I'll argue that is his singular overriding belief system, and why we think he's such a danger.
For example, here's a quote about Lawrence vs Texas:
Consider the Lawrence case decided by the Supreme Court in June. The Court determined that Texas had no right to establish its own standards for private sexual conduct, because gay sodomy is somehow protected under the 14th amendment "right to privacy". Ridiculous as sodomy laws may be, there clearly is no right to privacy nor sodomy found anywhere in the Constitution. There are, however, states' rights – rights plainly affirmed in the Ninth and Tenth amendments. Under those amendments, the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards.[145]
That's great... "Ridiculous as sodomy laws may be..." SEE!!! He's all for stopping sodomy laws... Ah, but then, he's completely for the right of the States to "decide for themselves 'social matters' ("like sex").

The irony, of course, is that these typical Libertarians will continually go on about how the liberties in the US Constitution are "Negative Liberties" (the right to be free from some interference) not "Positive Liberties" (the right to be given something).

And yet, here Ron Paul is using tricksy language in order to obfuscate his actual position by claiming that there is no "positive liberty" (right to privacy, right to sodomy) in the Constitution. Letting alone whether that's the case or not, the man is not particularly consistent in his worldview (or he's disingenuous, and I'd argue it's the latter).

The more and more you look at him, the more you see that his one and only one issue is "states rights". Nothing more nothing less. And yes, this means he will go against his supposed support of "Individual Property Rights" (the hallmark of Capitalism, no?) as long as it's not the Federal Government. So he'd rather that people don't even have a right to attempt to appeal to the federal government to overturn something they perceive as unjust, and must and only must do any fighting back locally.

Here's his stance on Kelo (the eminent domain Supreme Court ruling):
If anything, the Supreme Court should have refused to hear the Kelo case on the grounds that the 5th amendment does not apply to states. If constitutional purists hope to maintain credibility, we must reject the phony incorporation doctrine in all cases — not only when it serves our interests. The issue in the Kelo case is the legality of the eminent domain action under Connecticut law, not federal law. Congress can and should act to prevent the federal government from seizing private property, but the fight against local eminent domain actions must take place at the local level. The people of New London, Connecticut could start by removing from office the local officials who created the problem in the first place.
(just google ron paul kelo - I'm not linking to Lew Rockwell).

It's nothing to do about personal liberty, it's about states rights, period. Once you grok that, it all falls in to place.

Does that mean some good things can happen? Maybe. But so can plenty of bad things.

It's up to you whether you believe the Bill of Rights should apply to the Federal Government only or to the individual states as well. I know where I stand.
posted by symbioid at 7:37 AM on February 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


And if you ARE more on the Capital-L Libertarian side of things, then a good website that is trying to reclaim Libertarianism from the more Paleo- wing of that strain of thought and back to a more "enlightened" view is Bleeding Heart Libertarians

Make no mistake, they ARE Libertarians, I find myself pissed off at some of the things they say that go against my liberal sensibilities, BUT they go about their Libertarianism in trying to make the case for it via classic enlightenment thoughts and maybe updated with newer strains of thought, not stuck in some archaic pre-1890 world-view of Southern Slave States-Rights.

They discuss Ron Paul a lot, and the history of the race-baiting (Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell were the prime culprits for a lot of that, according to them).

Just a little link to make you know that just because I personally don't support Ron Paul and don't consider myself a Libertarian (capital L) doesn't mean I don't try to understand and continue alliances on issues that matter, and with people who have a more humanistic aspect on things... Maybe someone else might be interested in reading it as well...
posted by symbioid at 7:57 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


The reason I plan to vote for Dr. Paul has nothing to do with any illusions that he will be elected, or even if elected will actually be able to change anything for the better. What is important to me is what he is saying about personal liberty, the dangers of too much government power, and the need to reign in the military industrial congressional complex ect.

as the old saying goes and as metafilter proves day in and day out, talk is cheap.

Thank you for spelling it out so clearly. This is the same reason most of the Paulistas on the internet will vote for him. Not because he can or will do anything about anything but because he says things that make them feel superior to other people on the internet.

To which I say, have fun! Knock yourself out! Don't forget to vote for your favorite Kardashian at the same time!
posted by octobersurprise at 9:01 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not because he can or will do anything about anything but because he says things that make them feel superior to other people on the internet.

Another reason some people are into Ron Paul (or Nader) is because they can at least pretend from some of the things he's paid lip service to that he hasn't been bought and paid for by the status quo defending corporatist lobbying machine. In that sense, he could be anything or nothing and be as attractive. I have some sympathy with people who are disgusted with the limitations of our two-party system — with it's backroom maneuvering, whackjob primaries, and a media that appears out to sabotage any candidate that doesn't meet some kind of opaque litmus test that appears similar to "would I want to be in their clique in high school" I'm thinking mostly of Howard Dean here. People so disgusted that they'd throw their vote away on any kind of viewpoint that appears ready to shake up the status quo. It might be more effective in the short term to get engaged in the politics of the party that was least unpalatable, but I don't see the upside, ever, for people with views that will probably never be represented by either party as it stands now. Whether those views be anti-war (Ron Paul race war comebacks aside), anti-corporate personhood, or people hostile to the use of regulation to create captive markets.

There is a certain seductiveness too in the idea that the error we've stepped into as a country is one of failure to embrace parsimony in our systems of rules and government. It's very attractive to engineers, programmers and people who are accustomed to analyzing systems and seeing where the introduction of complexity makes for counter-intuitive side effects. I'll acknowledge here that engineers and programmers aren't always so good at the analysis of people and how they can game even the simplest system.My big beef with Ron Paul is that his analysis can always be counted on to be shoddy. He's theoretically against subsidies, but he always votes for tax credits because he sees them as a tax cut and thus a reduction in government, even though it's adding complexity and introducing a transfer of wealth to a special interest. Something that I'd think a real libertarian would always oppose.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:43 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The bankruptcy in all of these discussions is the failure of each side to simply follow the strings where they ultimately lead. And all of the strings lead back to corporate interests. Not the same interests, certainly, which is why there's any discussion, or indeed an election, at all. In a sense all we have to talk about is which kind of shit sandwich we'll be dining upon next week: cow shit, horse shit, bull shit. It's still a shit sandwich.

There is a candidate who professes to like a small government. His strings are being pulled by corporations who do not yet have a deep reach into the current machine. Those companies will benefit from direct user fees and a reduction from "competiton" from the state.

There are candidates who like war/patriotism and being tough on crime. Their strings are being pulled by the corporations who are heavily invested in the war/police machine. They will benefit from tax money rolled into fighting wars of any kind, both real and imaginary.

There are candidates who are okay with government size and not too excited about war but focus on "growing" the economy. Their strings are being pulled by corporations who profit from consumer spending and infrastructure builds and lower taxes. They'll benefit directly from reduced taxes and increased consumer surplus, as well as reduced barriers and regulations to doing business.

But the candidates can't say this. Instead they have to inspire a certain population to believe in *something* simple and sound-bitey so they can get the votes. So they patch together ideologies out of whatever seems it might appeal to people who would object least to the corporate agenda.

I loved Rick Perry because he was so transparent, he was like a glass puppet, you could see the strings through his body. All these other guys pretend to be opaque but they are hardly more so. They're just as transparent but wrapped in gauzy rhetoric.

Santorum might be the only one who is exactly what he says he is, a bible-thumping moralist, but if he doesn't come out with a corporate friendly message he's never going to get out of the primaries. Morals aren't very profitable.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:03 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Unsurprisingly it also ranks 72nd in the ease of paying taxes. But this has nothing to do with the progressive tax system (as you assert) and everything to do with the maze of ever-shifting credits, deductions, and other special treatments. We could keep or even increase the progressive structure of the income tax while dramatically simplifying the tax filing process for the vast majority of individuals and businesses. For starters, the IRS could send out pre-filled tax forms or offer a pre-filled online form, but special interest groups (mostly the tax-preparation industry, a multi-billion dollar parasitic drain on the economy) consistently lobby against it.

I'm not averse to the tax system being simplified to the point where I'm out of a job, but it's not an easy process to get accurate information returns (1099s, W-2s, K-1s) from corporations and partnerships in time for the deadline as it stands now. Pushing it earlier would mean many of the pre-filled returns would have to be amended anyway. Perhaps in conjunction with forcing the onus and penalties for misfiled personal tax returns onto the employers/partnerships who issued erroneous informational returns?
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:42 PM on February 8, 2012


Who are you supporting again? Oh right President Obama.

You know, it's interesting. If you call Ron Paul out on things, Paulsies will either call you a neoconservative or they'll call you an Obama fan.

Buddy, I'm no Democrat, and I'm no fan of Barack Obama. You assumed that, and it was stupid and presumptuous of you.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:45 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


"“We quadrupled the TSA, you know, and hired more people who look more suspicious to me than most Americans who are getting checked,” he says. “Most of them are, well, you know, they just don’t look very American to me. If I’d have been looking, they look suspicious … "

Dude's a racist. Get out of your denial hole already.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:53 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speaking of the war on drugs and black people: NYPD Marijuana Crusade Led to Cops Killing a Teenager in the Bronx. I just came across that and thought of this thread.

I think anyone who is seriously gives a shit about the problems poor minorities still face in this country has to take ending the drug war seriously, or at least have a plausible reason why they don't need too. The idea that it's "throwing minorities under the bus because you want to get high" to want to end it is insane.
posted by delmoi at 1:31 PM on February 9, 2012


I think anyone who is seriously gives a shit about the problems poor minorities still face in this country has to take ending the drug war seriously, or at least have a plausible reason why they don't need to

I think maybe where we differ is that some of us feel that the prospect of Ron Paul actually becoming president or vice president or winning the election for a Republican by running independently is such a nightmare that we'd rather let the gradual acceptance of medical marijuana take its course and move things along (since only some of those states -- which do not yet include New York, fwiw -- would actually take action anyway, and are certainly not going to be moving any faster when it comes to more profitable drugs like cocaine and heroin) and wait for a saner candidate who holds the same positions, like say Kucinich. And after the primaries, when he's got a whole country to pander to, is he even going to be talking legalization, or is he going to be talking increased border security and finding ways to abolish the personal income tax (which is one of his pet themes)? I'm not a fan of encouraging candidates who I think would sort of break the country for good if they were successful (don't even bang unless you plan to hit something, etc.), and it's alarming that he has all these supporters -- not on Metafilter, but in Real Life -- who don't know what libertarianism even is, or know anything about his policy positions beyond the NDAA and drugs (i.e. overturning Roe v. Wade, not protecting gay rights, not protecting anybody's rights at a federal level, anti-Civil Rights Act, global warming is a hoax, eliminating regulations on corporations, "the greatest hoax I think that has been around in many, many years if not hundreds of years has been this hoax on the environment and global warming," "education is not a right," lowering the corporate tax rate to 15 percent, etc. etc. And what the hell did he want to repeal the Motor Voter law for? It's like Ronald Reagan's Last Laugh.)
posted by Adventurer at 6:29 PM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Buddy, I'm no Democrat, and I'm no fan of Barack Obama.

So, pray tell, who are you voting for? The tooth fairy? Mickey Mouse? All fine choices by the way given the current lineup.

You assumed that, and it was stupid and presumptuous of you.

Maybe we can agree to not insinuate each other are stupid moving forward? Also you "assumed" that I believe Ron Paul is the messiah....oh wait no you didn't you clearly chose language which is blatantly untrue given my prior statements in the thread...so come off your high horse already.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:51 PM on February 10, 2012


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