So I think I’ve finally jumped the fence and turned into a Ron Paul supporter. It feels kinda weird. I don’t like the idea of voting Republican. I thought I would never even consider that, but the more I watch of him, the more I realize he is not like other republicans.
I will admit the initial reason I started looking at Ron Paul over Obama is his stance on marijuana legalization. I have since found a long list of other reasons to support him, but Ron Paul supporters are often accused of just wanting to get high, as though marijuana legalization is some stupid side-issue that only affects a few hippie stoners and we’re just stupid and selfish for choosing a candidate based on this issue. I particularly resent this attitude.
If a politician refused to acknowledge that women have equal rights, would you really blame women for not voting for him, even if he were the perfect candidate in every other way? There are countless gay people who make their voting decisions based on gay issues. Do their fellow liberals say condescending things about them and accuse them of just wanting to have butt sex? Why are marijuana smokers belittled and treated like our issue is not important when we are the most persecuted group in America? For every gay person who wishes the government would give him a piece of paper acknowledging his marriage, there’s a dozen pot smokers who fear going to prison, losing their jobs, their homes, getting beaten by police, and having their families torn apart. Not to mention the sick and dying patients who need it to lead a normal life. The government, as a matter of policy, blatantly lies to our children about who we are and how we behave, hides scientific evidence and manipulates its people into looking down on us. There is no social group in America that faces as much misinformation, hatred and discrimination, so I would feel justified making my decision based on this issue. Ron Paul claims that he’s never been in the same room with someone smoking marijuana and has never known a user, yet he still sees us as human beings and respects our choices. This, to me, is indicative of a deeper intelligence. If the liberals cannot produce a candidate who sees me as a human being and respects me as a person, then sorry, I’m gonna go to the other side.
It seems odd that, as an anarchist, it took me a long time to warm up to Ron Paul, mostly because he’s a capitalist anarchist, which in my opinion, won’t work long-term (for the simple fact that someone has to print the money and there’s no way to ensure they won’t become corrupt) though I do think it would be preferable over our current system. I’m not a fan of money, so putting it in charge of everything scares me, so I understand why Ron Paul scares so many liberals, but again, I think it’s preferable to our current system. At least money works more consistently and with less bias than politicians. I’d prefer a world based on love, kindness, team-building, common goals, and peace, but I’d settle for a world that’s not based on insanity, and Ron Paul is the only one who has a plan to make that happen. It seems like most politicians and their supporters, both liberal and conservative, seem to be on the same basic page about many things. Everyone seems to feel like we have to keep the status-quo and just make the best of it. We’re in Iraq for better or worse. Let’s just make the best of it. Education is failing, but lets just try to tweak the current system because there couldn’t possibly be a better way. Our transportation system is in shambles, but lets just try to revive the auto industry. The banks are failing. Let’s just bail them out and move on. Ron Paul, though I don’t agree with everything he says, is the only candidate who has the balls to call for real, long-term change.
So Ron Paul is accused of wanting to “gut education”. At first when I heard this, it rubbed me the wrong way. My instinct is to say that there’s no way we can cut spending on education and just leave the next generation hanging. Now I’m thinking that’s unfair to assume that’s what Paul has in mind. There’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t want a transitional period and there’s no reason to believe that because he doesn’t support federally controlled education he doesn’t support education. The federal government has been doing an awful job with our education system so far. It’s so massive and inflexible that, as much as I hate corporations and capitalism, I think a dynamic, money-based system would leave fewer kids behind than our current system. It’s not my ideal, but it would be better than what we currently have or anything the liberals have suggested.
He’s also accused of being a racist. I think this is unfair as well, because when it comes to the bottom line, what really matters is do the policies that he supports benefit minorities and help them to live more equal lives? Perhaps there were a few newsletters that had some inappropriate language (BTW – how can liberals call pot smokers petty for voting based on our desire to smoke when they’re asking us to discredit a candidate over some wording in a couple newsletters he didn’t even write?). However, I think the fact that Ron Paul has the courage to speak out against the two most racist entities in America: the drug war and the death penalty is pretty good evidence that he’s not particularly racist. He also doesn’t want to blow people up just for being Muslim. Ron Paul actually changed his opinion on the death penalty because he learned how crazy racist it is. But the drug war is really where the racism lies in The United States. If you look at the actual statistics of how much marijuana is consumed by minorities versus how many are in prison, it’s pretty easy to argue the drug war is ludicrously racist. Ron Paul is the only one with the courage to speak out against this so I think it is tremendously unfair to accuse him of being racist.
The deal is similar with gay marriage. He believes the government has no right to dictate marriage, period. Regardless of what he believes about gay marriage himself, getting government out of marriage would be beneficial to the gay community. There are countless churches across the country who already perform gay marriages. Taking the issue out of government would put it square in the lap of the churches and the communities. The churches are not going to want to appear divided, the LGBT community is not going to back down, and the communities are not going to want to be assholes to people’s faces. It’s easy to be an asshole on the federal level. Much harder on the community level. Thus, gay marriage would flourish organically and people’s minds would change naturally, instead of forcing them into a perspective that would make them resentful of the gay community.
There’s a host of other issues I agree with him on, and I’ll hopefully be able to address those in upcoming posts, but it is worth mentioning that after watching many hours worth of Ron Paul speeches and interviews in the last couple weeks, Ron Paul still has not changed my positions on any single issue. Everything he’s saying, with the exception of the things I disagree with, are all things I’ve believed for over a decade. There are a few things I disagree with, of course. Abortion, for one, though he’s not a nut about it. He came to be pro-life because he cares about the rights of the person-to-be, compared to Obama, who is opposed to abortion because his religion tells him to be. Paul believes global warming is a myth, but again, he’s not the anti-environmentalist that people try to paint him as. Sure he considers creationism a possibility, though again, he’s reasonable about it and doesn’t see it as fact.
But all of these arguments pale in comparison to the real reason I’ve finally decided to support Ron Paul. Because he believes in peace. I’m thirty-three years old and this is the first time I’ve ever seen a serious political candidate who genuinely believes in peace. To me that’s more meaningful than anything else. He thinks aggression should be seen as an absolute last resort (this seems like common sense to me, but he appears to be the only one who sees it), and he’s consistent in this belief with his social policies, with the way he interacts with his enemies, right down to the fact that he didn’t spank his children. I’ve lived my entire life under the shadow of war, knowing it’s there, in the background, never being directly affected by it, but always wondering how truly horrifying it could be, but at the same time not wanting to know. I’m sick of knowing the rest of the world hates me because of the deeds of the nation where I was born. I’m sick and tired of seeing my tax dollars going toward racially and financially motivated, unconstitutional acts of worldwide aggression.
So the bottom line is I want a president who believes in peace and thinks I should be treated as a human being. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. In all fairness, I think Obama is the best president I could have hoped for out of any traditional candidates, but he’s not good enough for America. I want a man of peace in the white house.
But it’s not so much about the Presidency. Ron Paul isn’t particularly running for president. He’s running to present a new perspective, one which America desperately needs. He doesn’t stand much of a chance against Obama, even if he could beat Romney in the Primaries, so why not support his message of peace and freedom in the meantime? I don’t support everything he stands for, but the important parts are far too important to ignore, and I think the liberal community, and the world as a whole, would be well served to support, or at the very least, really examine his perspective.
“There’s something wrong when you’re more afraid of your neighbor than you are of your government.” – Ron Paul