I personally think it’s cute to see those Ron Paul “Revolution” bumper stickers all over campus.
I love to see our edgy, youthful members of society rallying around the man who wants to “fix” Washington and more importantly, decriminalize marijuana. Isn’t he so wonderfully progressive? Wrong.
Single-issue voting aside, let’s look at the problem of Ron Paul.
He may end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we’ll see the rise of a domestic war front as our good friend takes on economic stability, checks on corporations and both the Civil Rights and Women’s Rights Movements.
We’re looking at a man with a 0 percent rating from the Women Employed organization, 0 percent from Citizens for Tax Justice, 38 percent from Human Rights Campaign, 8 percent from Environment America, and an F from the National Education Association.
Let’s begin with his inflexible economic policy. Austerity, designated 2010’s Word of the Year by Merriam-Webster, would result in $1 trillion worth of cuts if President Paul were in charge.
Paul may spend his Saturday nights reading economic textbooks, but he could potentially be the cause for economic turmoil.
Huffington Post writer Matt Bruening believes that “cutting $1 trillion would push GDP downward by more than 6.5 percent without even counting any multiplier effects.” Even the European Union’s leaders have recently admitted that austerity is not enough.
The New York Times reported European leaders “have come to realize that austerity measures, like those being put in countries like Greece and Italy, risk stoking a recession and plunging fragile economies into a downward spiral.”
Why run toward something that the rest of the world has tried and erred on?
Paul also wants to isolate the government from business to the point of demolishing all government created regulations.
Paul’s crusade against the Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the federal minimum wage can be dangerous to lower to middle class families who will be most affected by it.
OSHA’s mission is to make companies provide a safe working space for its employees, including requiring protective clothing in bio-hazardous waste zones. That sounds reasonable, right?
Not for Ron Paul. He’s introduced legislation on more than one occasion to repeal workforce protection acts (including H.R.736 and H.R.2720).
The companies enjoying unlimited freedoms and limited regulation may reap the benefits of the free market, but it is our lower classes who will inevitably suffer from his time in office.
Economy aside, the topping on this revolutionary cake is the man’s racism. He not only voted against the creation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday, but referred to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a “massive violation of the rights of private property and contract.”
That’s right, folks, he would have voted against the Civil Rights Act because it infringed upon the rights of corporations because it no longer allows them to refuse minorities or women employment because of their race or gender.
Is his active stance against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 not good enough for you?
Well then, let’s take a look at the infamous Ron Paul newsletters. In the 1990s, a series of inflammatory and severely racist newsletters were released by his office.
They included priceless jewels such as “if you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be” (1992) and even attacking the gay community by saying “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.”
For anyone interested in further researching the validity of these newsletters, I suggest they take a look at The New Republic’s collection of quotes and links to PDFs of the articles. These statements are racially charged and in my view, disgusting.
Even though Ron Paul may not have personally written the newsletters, he certainly did proofread and sign his name on to them.
His former secretary and supporter, Renae Hathway, claims that he always proofread the newsletters. “It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. . . . He would proof it,’’ Hathway said to The Washington Post.
These newsletters may have been published over a decade ago, but it happened and one cannot take such actions back.
Look, I’m not saying the other candidates (including President Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate) are without flaws, but don’t fool yourself into thinking Paul is the progressive out of the lot of them.
If you truly believe in Ron Paul’s values, that’s great. Vote for Ron Paul. However, if marijuana is the only reason you’re voting for him, check his record first.