Why Ron Paul Isn’t the Savior You Think He Is

By YeOldeScribe ~ August 20th, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

One of the knocks against the progressive movement (and there are many of them) is that it’s full of people with half-brained, crazy ideas that would never actually work in the real world of politics. Some people see progressives as visionaries that are out of touch with reality; that while their ideas may be good in theory, progressives can’t turn those supposedly good ideas into good policies or good law. Personally, that’s not strictly the view of progressivism that we take – PoliticalProgressives sees the progressive movement as one that is accepting of new ideas, of course, but also of one trying to forge a better middle ground between the staunch Republicans and Democrats. It’s no secret that our political system has become more polarized than ever, and what used to be a small divide between the two parties has turned into an impassible chasm. Many people are looking for a way to bridge the gap and unite the parties again. We see progressivism as a great way to do that.

Some people are arguing that Ron Paul could do it better. Still others argue that while Paul may not be able to bridge the parties, he’s the right choice for America because he’s not afraid to “tell it like it is” and he predicted some of the problems that are plauging our country right now. In order to properly evaluate Paul, we’ll take a look from a few different angles: Can Paul bridge the parties? How was he able to predict America’s downfall? Could his ideas have fixed the problem, and are they good for America’s future? Is he being ‘shut-out’ by the mainstream media? Keep reading for the answers to these (and many more) questions.

Can Paul Bridge the parties?

This answer is quite simple – no. Not in a million years. We’re not sure where the notion that Paul was ‘progressive’ or ‘middle of the road’ came from, but it certainly isn’t true. About the only way you could rationally think so would be to say that since the Republicans don’t like him, he must be a centrist. But let us offer a different conclusion: He’s so far to the right, he’s even too conservative for the current crop of Republicans! No, we didn’t think such an entity was possible either, but it makes sense. You can talk all you want about Paul’s defense of civil rights when he fought against reinstatement of the PATRIOT ACT, but one good deed does not mean a spotless record, as we’ll soon point out. To put it bluntly, Sarah Palin has a better chance of uniting the parties – at least some people in her party still like her.

How was Paul Able to Predict America’s Downfall?

This is where Paul should get the most credit. Paul was the only person willing to call the situation for what it was. He was the only person (besides kids with a fourth-grade knowledge of economics) who realized that banks were getting too big and causing people to make poor decisions with money. He also predicted that the value of the dollar would continue to shrink against both European and Asian currencies. Finally, he also said the mounting national debt would soon cause serious economic harm to our country’s economic system.

Paul was more than right on all three accounts (except for maybe the dollar dropping against Asian markets, but if Paul had the ability to predict tsunamis and the devastation they cause, then he’s in the wrong business). Yet aren’t we all giving him a bit too much credit? As we’ve said before, it doesn’t exactly take a rocket scientist to figure out that when banks and the American government are essentially taking in bad loans that the dollar is going to suffer because of it. We’ll give the man props for being one of the few people willing to speak up on the issue, but let’s not adorn Paul with the Medal of Honor quite yet.

Could Paul’s Ideas Have Fixed the Problem?

This answer is almost easy to give as the first one was, and the result is the same: no. Paul’s solution to our economic woes? Return to the gold standard. Right, like that’s a plausible solution to our economic woes. Sure, he’s got other ideas floating around, but you’d need either a super-computer or a bottle of strong vodka to understand them. As much as I usually loathe all comments on CNN (or any website, for that matter), one guy actually hit it right on the head: “His financial philosophy has a lot of drinking and thinking ideas but still doesnt solve the problem only changes the blame of what is the problem.”

Even if you throw out his crazy ideas that make no sense (which you shouldn’t) and even if you discount the things he’s said in the past (which you shouldn’t) and even if you assume that his less crazy ideas are plausible (which you really shouldn’t), Paul’s “solutions” only work in theory. We can’t stress that enough. Lots of things work in theory – like communism – that don’t actually come remotely close to solving problems in real life. Most of Paul’s schemes probably fall under this umbrella. What we need are actual solutions to our world’s problems, not something only an astrophysicist or Bill Gates’ latest creation could decipher.

So is Paul being ‘shut-out’ by mainstream media?

Yes – but it’s probably not for the reasons you think. Most people assume that the media isn’t listening to Paul because there’s some sort of unwritten media rule that you can only do stories on the perceived winners – or at least leaders – and that Paul isn’t getting a fair shake. None of that is true. First, the media has a history of writing about candidates who aren’t at the top of their political party – just ask John Kerry, who benefited greatly from an Iowa paper which decided to do a front-page story on the candidate who was unlikely to even place in the top three in the 2003 primary.  Kerry won Iowa, and the rest was history. Also, Paul has achieved success – he came a fraction of a percent from beating Bachmann in the Iowa straw poll, and he did receive some press for that, albeit not as much as you’d expect. So why was that?

Let’s assume for a second that Paul’s supporters are right. “The Media” (you know, that big, angry mob of liberal journalists who foam at the mouth when they see the color red) has it in for Paul, and they’re not covering him because they’re afraid that when people hear about all his marvels, they’ll see the work of a saint (and not that of a crazy person) and be compelled to vote for him. In what world does that make sense? What possible reason could “The Media” have for blackballing Paul, if that’s indeed what happened? (Pro Tip: There isn’t one.)

The actual solution is much simpler: most mainstream media stations see Paul for what he is: a guy who has an occasional good idea, but is out of touch with reality. We’ve previously done a post on Paul, but let’s just take a look at some of the highlights of Paul’s publications:

* Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for that pro-communist philanderer Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a Congressman. What an infamy that Ronald Reagan approved it! We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.

* Even in my little town of Lake Jackson, Texas, I’ve urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense. For the animals are coming.

* Opinion polls consistently show only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions, if you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.

* Hip-hop [is the] thing to do among the urban youth who play unsuspecting whites like pianos.

* Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.

Combine that with Paul’s penchant for coming up with complicated, far-out schemes for fixing our nation’s problems, and is it any wonder that the mainstream media doesn’t take him seriously or want to talk to him?

Look, we won’t deny Paul has plenty of good ideas. Term limits for all national politicians is one of them. The sunlight clause (requiring that bills can’t be passed until enough time has passed for the people voting on them to read them) is another. But for every good idea Paul has, he’s got at least one (if not two) crazy ones that would almost certainly hamper our country’s growth and development.

We understand that many people have jumped on the Paul bandwagon as he’s urged cuts in defense spending and reducing government (whatever that means to him). But we also urge people to look at the big picture. Look at not only what the man has done recently, but also look at his proposed solutions to the problems he’s so adequately pointed out and predicted.

Maybe then it will become clear to the masses why the mainstream media got smart and stopped listening to Paul a long time ago.

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13 Responses to Why Ron Paul Isn’t the Savior You Think He Is

  1. Liberty

    You’re a liar, those are not quotes, and you are a worthless excuse for a human being for trying to spread stuff like this. You can’t win against his ideas, the ideas that come straight from out constitution, so you make stuff up. Nice work, go back to your hole.

  2. YeOldeScribe

    Liberty,

    Here are three sites which verify the quotes as being true and published under Paul’s name:

    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/angry-white-man?id=e2f15397-a3c7-4720-ac15-4532a7da84ca

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_01/012913.php

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_paul

    If you require additional links beyond the ones provided or if you have trouble accessing those links, please let us know.

    As we said in the original article we linked to, the quotes in question were published under Paul’s name. Now, there is no way to definitively prove he wrote them, and he claimed in 2008 when the articles were first brought into public purview that a ghostwriter penned them. Even if that were true, they went out on publications bearing his name, meaning that he wanted other people to know that those were his sentiments at the time.

    Could Paul have changed since then? Sure. But there’s no denying that those quotes are his, and that he has to be responsible for them – something he has never done. His viewpoint is bad enough, refusing to take responsibility for it is even worse.

    PoliticalProgressives takes claims of accuracy seriously, and we’d also like to know which other points you feel we’ve made up. At the same time, we feel the need to point out that the vast majority of Paul’s ideas do not “come straight out of the constitution”, and we’d challenge you to prove that they do. It’s one thing to question a story we’ve written, but please limit the personal attacks, as they detract from your argument and make you look foolish.

  3. Scott Martin

    In your own wiki reference it sites Ron Paul disavowing the small mindedness of these statements, denying authoring them yet taking responsibility with the statement that he still bears some moral responsibility for their publications. If you examine the immense amount of publications that Ron Paul has written, it is plausible that something slipped through a publication that has confirmed ghost writers. You do appear in your opinions (which you are certainly allowed) to be biased in some way towards giving him the benefit of the doubt. What you fail to do in this article (besides quoting claimed ghostwriting) is actually explain which of Ron Paul’s ideas are crazy and why. Specifically, which idea or “two, would hamper the country’s growth and development”? You do claim that his ideas are far fetched, and from today’s mainstream policies that have gotten us where we are that certainly is true utilizing that as a cross reference. You also claim them to be complicated. I would suggest that you attempt to become educated on what confuses you so you can offer an actual challenge to any one idea. I am not attacking you personally, merely challenging what appear to be limited understandings that provided such a perspective. Bravo Zulu for beginning a conversation in the first place, that is always a good step towards understanding.

  4. Scott Martin

    Additionally, it is an incorrect statement to say Ron Paul endorses a return to the gold standard, he does not (again look at your own wiki ref) That is a Ron Paul sound byte and not an understanding of eliminating legal tender laws, removing sales tax on gold/silver and creating a competing currency (allowed by constitution) to eventually replace Fed created monetary system (allowed in 1913). While Ron Paul’s philosophy may seem “far out” to some, his voting record is the most consistent of any congress member ever. If you take the time to understand beyond the sound bytes and get educated on the difference between Austrian and Keynesian economics, you’ll not only understand but be able to predict precisely where he stands on every financial issue.

  5. libertyismoreimportant

    You can dis on Ron Paul all day long, you are not the first and won’t be the last – your not even the best. You can call his ideas unworkable and him unelectable, you can ride that horse as long as like but in the end he is the ONLY ONE in either party talking about real reform. He is the only with a plan that takes the drastic steps necessary to right the ship of state, not only fiscally but militarily, socially and economically. If there was another candidate with even an outline of a plan that could actually work I would consider voting for them.

    Ron Paul is not the savior of our nation, nothing even close and he will say so himself. He is the old country doctor come along to make us take our medicine, as nasty and terrible tasting as it is. You are just one of the cry babies whining about having to take the medicine because it tastes bad. Here’s a small clue to the future, if we don’t take our medicine now we may be too sick to take it later.

    Frankly I have a reach point personally where debating about it is pointless, the uni-party system in America isnt going to allow a radical to come into power and upset their apple cart. I will support Ron Paul because I try to be an optimist. They would shoot him in the street before they let that happen. Which unfortunately puts us on the path to ruin, most likely followed by a revolution and afterwards as always happens in democracies that suffer revolution – we will end up in a dictatorship, marshal law, brown shirted police and the whole ball of wax.

    Now be a good boy and take your medicine!

  6. Cornelius

    Of course RP is not the savior for progressives but progressive have several good reasons support his candidacy: http://progressivesforronpaul.blogspot.com/2011/08/this-blog-is-not-about-endorsing.html

  7. Sam

    Hi there. Interesting article. I will vote for Barack Obama myself, but I haven’t quite made up my mind about what to think about Ron Paul or his ideas. I can’t give a source, but I have heard him recommending things like…

    -End the Federal Reserve
    -Return to the Gold Standard
    -Do away with the Department of Education

    He also recommended drastic cuts in terms of healthcare spending. He defended these views by saying that, with education, prices would go down without all the government spending on it, and he made the same point with healthcare. In terms of the Federal Reserve, many Ron Paul supporters argue that it is a private bank. I’m a little confused because I know that the President appoints at least some of the people in charge of it, correct? They also claim it has not been audited, but I find information saying to the contrary. Lastly, wouldn’t a return to the Gold Standard result in rapid deflation?

    I’m not meaning to offend any Ron Paul supporters with my comment; I am genuinely interested to know how his ideas work. I would also like to mention that I think that despite my being skeptical of his views, I think Ron Paul is a genuinely good person who wants to do good things and help people. I’m just not quite sure his theories will work in the way he says they will.

  8. MidWESt

    This is a poorly written article based on conjecture and assumptions. You say that Ron Paul’s policies will not work and that he cannot create a bridge between republican and democratic ideals, yet you provide no actual reasons at to why he would fail. You also purposely use words that encite panic like “communism” and you associate them with Dr. Paul.

    Also, the paragraph stating your dismissal of the notion that the mainstream media is blackballing Ron Paul was uninformative and lazy. Not only did you not state a reason for we might believe this idea, but you dennounced it in its entirety by using the “big guns” of your article which were the alleged quotes by Dr. Paul himself. It is clear that the reason some of us believe that the media is trying to snuff out Ron Paul is that almost every single major media group is owned and operated by a select few people that have their own polical agendas. This point is made clear by the incredibly biased material that is released by Fox and other major media outlets. You’re naive if you think that they don’t use their position of power to sway the public into thinking more like them.

    It is clear that this piece was not well thought out or well planned, and it makes your website look like it was written by an overzealous and uniformed teenager.

  9. Crystal O'Mara

    Your entire paragraph to: “Could Paul’s Ideas Have Fixed the Problem?” is worthless. You go on and on saying he is crazy, yet the only point you made was the gold standard? Really? You obviously have no idea what Ron Paul was saying about gold. Do your homework. I am open to see why people like you think his ideas are unrealistic… however you failed miserably. Thanks for wasting my time.

  10. YeOldeScribe

    We certainly have gotten a lot of feedback over this post. We would like to once again simply state that everything that we said was factual and we’ll stand by what we wrote. One thing to keep in mind is that many people will have many opinions – it’s what makes our country great! We’re also acutely aware that die-hard Ron Paul supporters will not be swayed to vote against their champion because of our little post here.

    While we appreciate lively discussion, we’d like to remind people once again to be respectful of others and their opinions. While we certainly don’t agree with much of what either Ron Paul or his supporters think, we respect everyone’s right to vote for the candidate of their own choosing without being ridiculed. We would hope the same courtesy would be extended by Rep. Paul’s supporters to others.

    Thank you for reading, and do feel free to keep commenting!

  11. Luke Bunch

    No one ever said Ron Paul is a savior. He’s simply a symbol for everything the Founding Fathers stood for and this great country was founded on, and he’s the only candidate fighting for the rights and civil liberties of the American people. There are TONS of Republicans who like him (go to youtube and compare his crowds with Romney’s if you don’t believe me), but Ron Paul is not even Republican in reality to begin with. He’s a strict Constitutionalist, Libertarian, Fiscal-Conservative, and Non-Interventionist (NOT to be confused with “Isolationist”). He’s only running as a Republican because in the US we have a very rigid two-party system that makes it nearly impossible to run as a third-party candidate (and no third-party candidate has ever won at any point in US history for this very reason). Also, he wouldn’t be in the public/televised party debates had he not ran as a candidate for one of the two parties. The point isn’t that he “unites” the parties, he simply isn’t bound within the parties as the other candidates nearly always are. He gets just as much if not more support from Democrats and Independents than Republicans. Not to mention the fact that he beats Romney and ties Obama in a general election pole for this very reason. But really, that’s not the important issue. Let me ask you this: do you want more insane spending? More big government? Giving up more civil liberties for the sake of “national security”? More depreciation of our currency? And more wars that are unjustified, undeclared, and illegal under the rules of the Constitution? Because that’s what you’ll be voting for if you vote for anyone other than Ron Paul. Do you realize that Ron Paul’s campaign received more donations than every other candidate from both parties combined, And that he’s the only candidate calling for immediate withdrawal of the troops from the Middle East? Not to mention that he is the ONLY war veteran from either party running in this year’s election. And he was one out of the TWO people who voted against the war in the first place. Do you realize that there were over 40,000 regulations passed on January 1 alone, nearly all of which are technically illegal under the Constitution? They use loose and dangerous wording that can deem just about anyone a “terrorist”. Do you realize that under the NDAA (signed by Obama After he claimed he would veto it) the military has the authority to patrol our streets (which the Founding Fathers always tried to insure would never happen) and can arrest American citizens for things like protesting and deem them “terrorists” or “national security threats” for things like opposing the war. And they (we, US citizens) can be detained indefinitely and without trial in military prisons. You will cease to be a US citizen at that point and have no rights whatsoever (AND they can torture you and keep you indefinitely in off-shore prisons). Do you realize that under the new Anti-Trespass Bill (signed by Obama) that if someone holds a sign, speaks out, or makes any form of public demonstration when Secret Security is present (even if they don’t realize Secret Service is there), they can be held in federal prison for up to ten years? And what about this insane internet surveillance/spying they’ve been pushing (SOPA, PIPA, CISPA, you-name-it)? They can’t just walk into your house without a warrant and/or justified-cause and start going through and making copies of all of your files, financial records, and personal information, not to mention listen in on your conversations, read your text messages, and monitor your phone contacts. So why should they be able to monitor/record everything that you do electronically on a pro-active and permanent basis? This stuff IS happening in the United States right now, and if for some reason you haven’t heard about it, go look it up. It’s not a conspiracy theory, and it’s not even being kept secret. They simply say it’s necessary for “national security” the same way they did with the Patriot Act (and the same way many countries throughout history have robbed the people of their rights). And if you want to talk about being trustworthy, Ron Paul has a more solid record than probably anyone in US history. Obama has let me down time and again by doing the exact opposite of what he promised (I never had anything against him until after he took office), and Romney (aside from now having nearly the same exact policies as Obama) has flip-flopped on so many issues that it’s hard to even keep track of them. I will not vote for anyone other than Ron Paul. I will not insult the history of this great nation by choosing to vote for one or the other criminal. And I will continue to speak out for the cause of freedom, civil liberties, and everything that our great nation was founded on.
    Thank you for your time.

  12. Luke Bunch

    UPDATE: I meant to say that he received more donations –From Active Duty Military– than all of the other candidates from both parties combined.

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