Ron Paul: The We the People Actby Don Lacey on Apr. 26, 2012, under Abortion, Arizona Families, Atheism, AZ Politics, Campaign 2012, Christianity, Conservatism vs. Liberalism, Critical Thinking, Economics, Education, Environment, Ethics, Faith, Government, History, Islam, Libertarianism, Logic, Religion, Responsible Government, Sanity, Separation of Church & State, Supreme Court
Here is the latest from Jim Wilson:
My beef with Ron Paul: The We the People Act
Ron Paul’s ship sailed a long time ago but many of his rabid supporters still see a chance of him winning the presidency, perhaps in an unlikely successful massive write-in campaign. Ron Paul supporters, attach unbelievable messianic praise to him. They express apocalyptic horrors when you bring up his lack of success in the primaries. His rabid followers have built a personality cult around this champion of small government. Many a dictator would be jealous of his devoted followers. More realistic Paul supporters are just thankful for his swaying of public opinion, and hope that it will influence a new crop of government minimalist in the coming decades.
I appreciate what Ron Paul has brought to the presidential debates and political discourse in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential cycles. His sincere anti-war stances and genuine opposition to an expansive federal government were in many ways refreshing, especially in the context of the hypocrites he shared the stage with. It largely explains why the passion his supporters expressed was much louder and more enthusiastic than that of the more numerous primary participants who ended up going with Romney and Santorum. I would be very happy to see the libertarian wing of the Republican Party become the dominant one and displace the current bunch of big government moral guardians, war profiteers, fiscal maniacs, and crony capitalists. Unfortunately, there is so much nasty baggage accompanying Ron Paul, that prevents me from getting behind him, and that should be red flags for any of my secularist friends and readers as well. For example:
We the people Act
Ron Paul originally introduced, the horrendous We the People Act in 2004 and 2009. It failed to pass both times, but had it passed it would have limited the ability of federal courts to hear “any claim involving the laws, regulations, or policies of any state or unit of local government relating to the free exercise or establishment of religion.” The same also goes for issues concerning: sexual practices, orientation or reproduction, or right to marry. It also would have permitted the President or Congress to impeach any judges who hear cases on these matters.
This is essentially free license for state and local level religious and sexual tyranny. Under this act, the states would be able to explicitly endorse any religion, promote it with public schools and do so with tax payer money. This may sound good to some Christians, but if a different sect of Christianity, like Mormonism or, better yet, a group of Muslims, got elected to state or local positions of authority, they would be singing a different tune. Your religion should be between you and whatever it is you worship. The fact that so many Christians want to bring the federal or state governments in is disgusting and offends personal freedom. It is clear that Ron Paul’s vision for America is compatible with large tyrannical state governments and a national government too weak to prevent this.
“States rights” rhetoric is mind blowing especially when it comes from people who bad mouth “the state” as in the central government. They seem to excuse state level violations of constitutional rights, like freedom from government imposed religion or sex laws. The states get the power from the national government and it is completely appropriate for the national government to prevent them from violating constitutional rights. The states rights advocates, are the people who consistently come out on the side of limiting personal freedom as in supporting slavery and state based racial segregation. There are some exceptions like, state level support for legalizing marijuana.
Most of Ron Paul’s career has been spent pandering to some of the most reactionary and nastiest elements of the conservative movement including the disenfranchised white men angry about the civil rights act which he opposes. He has a following of conspiracy theorists. He’s also against the rise of feminism and Gay rights as revealed by his controversial newsletters. One of his newsletters states, “I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in [Washington, DC] are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.” Also a newsletter refers to Martin Luther King Jr. day as “Hate Whitey Day.” In June 1990, one of the newsletters said, “I miss the closet. Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities. They could also not be as promiscuous.”
Some claim that Ron Paul didn’t write the newsletters but he had to know what was being written in his name, and his fundraising letters were apparently even worse. Bad mouthing blacks and gays was a deliberate strategy by Paul and his associate Lew Rockwell, who wanted to “reach out to rednecks” who disliked the free love, joint smoking, libertarian movement, and were put off by cultural changes-since the sixties. His rhetoric has always tacitly promoted the notion of states as the rightful imposers of social conservatism on the population.
Fortunately, Ron Paul has dropped his focus on appealing to angry white males, but he still holds onto some of the baggage of that era, as the We the People Act shows. This is not to mention his equally atrocious Sanctity of Life Act which grants person-hood to zygotes and grants states the right to completely outlaw abortions and forbids federal courts from hearing related cases.
Note, none of this is consistent with small government or any real kind of libertarianism, and as such, the libertarian movement needs to find a hero without all the social conservatism, racist and theocratic baggage.