The real Ron Paul, in his own words. If you find yourself saying 'Yes, but...' and following up with anything that could vaguely, conceivably be considered supporting or defending Dr. Paul in any way, shape, or form, first take a look at what he actually believes,
'He believes that human life starts at conception, and that casual elimination of the unborn leads to a careless attitude towards all life.' (ronpaul.com)
“I am strongly pro-life. I think one of the most disastrous rulings of this century was Roe versus Wade. ... Abortion leads to euthanasia. I believe that.” (excerpt from Congressional speech, Oct '99)
“The first thing we have to do is get the federal government out of it. We don’t need a federal abortion police. That’s the last thing that we need. There has to be a criminal penalty for the person that’s committing that crime. And I think that is the abortionist. As for the punishment, I don’t think that should be up to the president to decide.” (excerpt, GOP YouTube debate, Nov '07)
So, to sum up Ron Paul on abortion - Roe v. Wade is one of the most disastrous rulings of the last century, abortion should be illegal, although it should be a state crime, 'abortion leads to euthanasia', and since life begins at conception, any woman who has chosen to abort a fetus has committed some form of manslaughter, murder, or engaged in a criminal conspiracy to commit same.
(Again, excerpted from RonPaul.com. Edited for length not content, my highlights.)
Ron Paul’s six point plan puts a stop to illegal immigration:
1. Physically secure our borders and coastlines. We must do whatever it takes to control entry into our country...
2. Enforce visa rules. Immigration officials must track visa holders and deport anyone who overstays their visa or otherwise violates U.S. law.
3. No amnesty. Estimates suggest that 10 to 20 million people are in our country illegally. That’s a lot of people to reward for breaking our laws.
4. No welfare for illegal aliens. ... But taxpayers should not pay for illegal immigrants who use hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, and social services.
5. End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong.
6. Pass true immigration reform. ... But current reform proposals would allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the Heritage Foundation. This is insanity.
So, to sum up Ron Paul on immigration - We must do 'whatever it takes' to control entry, deport anyone who violates US law (no exceptions mentioned, so as a student you better not jaywalk), boot out any undocumented person in the country, refuse to allow any human being who doesn't happen to be here 'legally' any form of healthcare, education, or social service help, remove the decision of the Founding Fathers to make anyone born in the US a citizen, and rework immigration laws to prevent masses of immigrants from entering the country, because it's 'insane'.
On Drug Laws:
“[...] the federal war on drugs has proven costly and ineffective, while creating terrible violent crime. But if you question policy, you are accused of being pro-drug. That is preposterous. As a physician, father, and grandfather, I abhor drugs. I just know that there is a better way — through local laws, communities, churches, and families — to combat the very serious problem of drug abuse than a massive federal-government bureaucracy.” (Nov '08, NYT interview)
To sum up Ron Paul on the war on drugs, end it because it is costly and ineffective. Ron Paul still 'abhors' drugs and drug abuse, but again, merely wants local law enforcement to deal with it, rather than federal law enforcement.
On Foreign Affairs:
Excerpt, statement on Libya, August, '11
"The current situation in Libya may be a short term victory for Empire, but it is a loss for our American Republic. And, I fear it may be devastating to the Libyan people.
There is no doubt that Moammar Gadhafi is a bad guy, and that he has brought harm and misery to his country. However, our involvement in another country’s civil war is costly and unconstitutional."
(Ron Paul had also already filed a lawsuit against the administration in June of '11 over its 'illegal war in Libya'.)
Excerpt, Ron Paul '2008' campaign video about Israel. (Oddly, despite the graphics identifying it as such, the 'interview' talks about President Obama and Resolution 242, so was obviously actually not a 2008 'campaign' video, but must have occurred after the 2008 election.)
"I think Israel should be treated as an independent nation and not a puppet of our state, because right now what they have is they depend on us for military and they depend on us for money; and if they want to have a peace treaty, they have to ask us; if they want to defend their borders, they have to get permission. ... Well, being a non-interventionist, I believe that we shouldn’t tell Israel what to do, they should decide where the borders are. And I think it’s wrong, I certainly wouldn’t dictate to Israel where their borders should be, and they should work it out with their neighbors."
Ron Paul believed Libya was an exercise in 'Empire', rather than preventing a massacre and deposing a dictator and his sons who had promised that the streets of the cities in his country would run with blood, and actually tried legal action to stop US involvement, and allow that dictator to do whatever he wanted, because it wasn't 'our business'. He further believes that, despite all evidence to the contrary, Israel somehow has to 'get our permission' to 'defend their borders' or have peace treaties, and that it should be up to them to determine their borders.
Statement on Ron Paul from RonPaul.com
"Ron Paul works towards the elimination of the inefficient Department of Education, leaving education decisions to be made at the state, local or personal level. Parents should have the right to spend their money on the school or method of schooling they deem appropriate for their children."
Pretty much says it all. He would eliminate the Department of Education, and defund public schools by allowing individuals to choose where their money goes. Presumably, if you were not a parent, you then wouldn't pay any money towards educating any children, although I welcome any clarification if anyone can find out if he's addressed that more directly.
(From the RonPaul.com website, from a list of points that I think they're saying came from his book 'The Revolution: a Manifesto.)
No one has a right to medical care. If one assumes such a right, it endorses the notion that some individuals have a right to someone else’s life and property. This totally contradicts the principles of liberty.
And the rest of the talking points went downhill from there, with an emphasis on "If you can't afford healthcare, it should be up to individual doctors to decide whether or not to be charitable and treat you." Ditto the 'hold bake sales' to raise money sorts of things.
Global Climate Change:
“The greatest hoax I think that has been around for many, many years if not hundreds of years has been this hoax on [...] global warming.” – Ron Paul on Fox Business, Nov. 4, 2009
“[The Copenhagen treaty on climate change] can’t help the economy. It has to hurt the economy and it can’t possibly help the environment because they’re totally off track on that. It might turn out to be one of the biggest hoaxes of all history, this whole global warming terrorism that they’ve been using, but we’ll have to just wait and see, but it cannot be helpful. It’s going to hurt everybody.” – Ron Paul on the Alex Jones Show, Nov. 5, 2009
Ron Paul, climate change denier.
So, in summation:
(And note, these are all positions Ron Paul supporters think are good and post on their websites in support of Ron Paul.)
Thoroughly anti-choice, anti-woman.
Thoroughly anti-immigrant, anti rights of common humanity.
Not for drug legalization, but merely for making drug use a state level crime.
Ignore foreign dictators promising to massacre their citizens.
Thinks Israel is somehow a puppet of the US, and doesn't think we should intervene on behalf of the Palestinians in any way.
Believes individuals should be able to spend or not spend money on education as they choose, and that there should be no national educational standards.
Does not believe healthcare is a right, and if you can't afford it, you should only get health care if someone provides you with charity.
Climate Change is a hoax.
So there you have it, in the words of the man himself and his fans and supporters. That is what Ron Paul stands for. (Note that we didn't cover racism and homophobia, because those have been covered elsewhere in greater detail.)
I don't believe the messenger invalidates the message, but if a message is worthwhile, it stands on its own, and isn't served by being tied to an individual with so many positions so completely antithetical to all liberal and wider Democratic stances.
12:54 PM PT: For a second dose of 'teh Paul', check out Empty Vessel's Other than being a bigot... diary. Apparently we were having a psychic connection and published twinned at birth diaries mere moments apart.