Friday, January 6, 2012

Keep Your Distance: Ron Paul Is A "Full Bore Crank"

There is nothing charming about Ron Paul.  Much like a broken clock, he gets a couple of things right -- anti-war and anti-torture.  But that does not make him interesting or credible or anything close to a reasonable candidate for President.

I couldn't agree more with Kevin Drum who describes Paul as "a full bore crank. In fact he's practically the dictionary definition of a crank: a person who has a single obsessive, all-encompassing idea for how the world should work and is utterly blinded to the value of any competing ideas or competing interests."
This obsessive idea has, at various times in his career, led him to: denounce the Civil Rights Act because it infringed the free-market right of a monolithic white establishment to immiserate blacks; to dabble in gold buggery and advocate the elimination of the Federal Reserve, apparently because the global economy worked so well back in the era before central banks; suggest that the border fence is being built to keep Americans from leaving the country; claim that Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional and should be dismantled; mount repeated warnings that hyperinflation is right around the corner; insist that global warming is a gigantic hoax; hint that maybe the CIA helped to coordinate the 9/11 attacks; oppose government-sponsored flu shots; and allege that the UN wants to confiscate our guns.
It is one thing to be non-interventionist, but taken to the extreme views that Paul holds, it would mean that U.S. participation in World War II was misguided.  On the domestic front, Paul notoriously asserted his belief that FEMA should not have responded to Hurricane Katrina. And more recently confirmed his view that there is no need for sexual harassment laws in the workplace.

And that's not all. "As we've all known for the past four years, you can layer on top of this Paul's now infamous newsletters, in which he supported a political strategy consciously designed to appeal to the worst strains of American homophobia, racial paranoia, militia hucksterism, and new-world-order fear-mongering."

The "bottom line," as Drum says, is that Paul is not merely a "flawed messenger" for anti-war and civil liberties positions, "he's an absolutely toxic, far-right, crackpot messenger for these views."  As  Drum concludes, "if you truly support civil liberties at home and non-interventionism abroad, you should run, not walk, as fast as you can to keep your distance from Ron Paul."


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