By Eric Blair
Saturday July 9th 2011
There aren't many people still calling Ron Paul's ideas radical. In fact, his credibility in the eyes of many has only been fortified since his 2008 candidacy due to his consistently accurate analysis. His 2012 presidential campaign is in full swing, armed with a formidable war chest, impressive straw poll victories, and the same resonating message of peace and liberty. Yet, he has been completely ignored by the progressive media.
It almost seems as though the progressive media chooses the Republican challenger by simply reporting on the people they love to hate. They exhaustively write about Romney and Bachmann, clearly casting them as the prime targets. They use their precious news space to endlessly speculate about Sarah Palin and Rick Perry who aren't even in the race yet. And, once again, they seem to be distracting their readers with mundane mind-numbing drivel and typical wedge issues instead of real issues. But they don't have enough ink to cover Ron Paul?
Perhaps the reason they avoid discussing Ron Paul is that many progressives may find his message appealing, and you can't have that from a guy with an "R" after his name. If progressives were principled enough to cast aside labels, they would likely find Paul to be the candidate most suited to fulfill their concerns.
Here are five reasons progressives should support Ron Paul for president in 2012:
1. Peace: If you're a progressive whose main issue is ending our imperial wars, there is simply only one candidate to support, and that's Ron Paul. Indeed, Paul has gained much respect from anti-war liberals for his consistent stance against preemptive wars, permanent occupations, and torture. Certainly no other Republican candidate can claim credibility should they come out against foreign military action. And if progressives can't tell by now that the Nobel Peace-wielding president with a "D" after his name is a fraud in terms of ending the illegal and immoral wars, detention, and torture, then the audacity of hypocrisy will surely win the day.
Obama's unconstitutional, preemptive resource war in Libya is no different (and maybe worse) than Bush's conquests. It causes a principled observer to vomit at the sight of progressives supporting Obama's Libya assault, not to mention the five other sovereign nations where he continues to murder and displace civilians. The consequences of the perpetual war state that Paul warned about over a decade ago are just beginning to surface and will eventually be obvious to all. Ron Paul is the only candidate who has properly assessed the wars from the beginning and who is committed to ending them, as well as foreign military aid. Therefore, he is the only logical choice for anti-war voters.
2. Civil Liberties: Despite Obama's intoxicating rhetoric during the 2008 campaign about curbing the war on drugs, he not only continues to crack down on lawful medical marijuana patients, but even secretly arms Mexican drug gangs -- as if to feed an immortal monster that must continuously be slayed. Additionally, Obama's regime, in a direct assault to health-conscious citizens, has expanded the drug war to other natural products like raw milk and vitamins and supplements. In fact, armed federal agents and SWAT teams have been used in tyrannical raids of peaceful farmers and private food cooperatives.
Furthermore, Obama's administration has unabashedly expanded the unconstitutional surveillance state that he railed against in his first presidential campaign. The Fourth Amendment right to privacy is all but dead and many progressives readily admit that America is becoming a police state. Yet, the PATRIOT Act, once deplored by the left, was extended for four more years via Obama's virtual signature with no new privacy protections or meaningful debate. All while most progressives and all establishment Democrats remained silent. Ron Paul has introduced legislation to end federal prohibition of marijuana, to end the abuses of the TSA, and to decriminalize raw milk. It couldn't be more clear which candidate will fight for your liberties.
3. Economy: The real political debate about the economy is not about unions, taxes, or the budget cuts; it's about a living wage. When progressives support unions, they support them because workers are paid a living wage with humane benefits. And opponents of public unions are typically bitter because taxes are extracted from their modest living wages to pay for public workers benefits, while they are now forced by law to purchase impossibly-expensive private health insurance. If the debate was focused on what the primary threat to a living wage is, then Ron Paul would be the clear choice for economy voters. Inflation, which Paul has been warning about for decades, is the biggest enemy to the middle class and the poor. It's also the main reason companies can't afford to give raises or hire new people.
It was reported this week that food is up 39% this year, while gas prices are up nearly 20%. Whose middle-class income has increased by that much this year? Crucially, every single dollar of deficit spending, even if to help the poor, affects each and every person directly through cost-of-living increases across the board. That is vital to understand for progressives that care about the poor, who are clearly hit the hardest when the price of essentials rise. And deficit spending has a limit, eventually. When the day of reckoning comes, we'll likely pine for the days of food increasing by only forty-percent every six months. Monetary policy is the culprit to economic imbalance; everything else is a distraction. In other words, the economy will never be fixed until monetary policy is addressed no matter how many adjustments are made. Ron Paul, Chairman of the House Committee on Domestic Monetary Policy, is by far the most qualified candidate to transition to a new, sound monetary system.
4. Healthcare: This is probably the biggest hurdle for Ron Paul to win over progressives. Liberals who support single-payer government healthcare were brazenly betrayed by Obama during healthcare reform. The massive new bill did absolutely nothing to expand affordable coverage and only served to bolster the private insurance-big pharma cartel that progressives love to hate. Admittedly, Ron Paul doesn't support a single-payer healthcare, mainly because he believes that would just swap out a private cartel for a public monopoly -- both of which will naturally limit patients' options for medications, treatments and costs. Significantly, Dr. Paul does have some direct experience in the medical field, and Paul does not necessarily oppose public health programs at the state or local level, as the Constitution permits them to make those decisions.
Dr. Paul believes that by increasing genuine competition by reducing the barriers to entry for private clinics or natural health practitioners, more than enough affordable options will be made available. Imagine if a naturopathic physician was permitted to open a free clinic without cumbersome restrictions dictated by central planners (i.e. large insurance companies and the government). If they were effective, patients would likely flood them with gratitude and sufficient donations to operate. Now imagine millions of those types of clinics competing to service communities. How can anyone oppose competitive health options? Apparently, those who now run the entire health system are the only ones opposed to such competition -- especially from natural health professionals. The point is, there are options outside the private insurers-vs-universal care debate that can be very beneficial. The healthcare system will not be fixed overnight, but it starts with opening competition, which Ron Paul desires to usher in.
5. Wedge Issues: Since wedge issues seem to be the only thing the progressive media wants to discuss about mainstream candidates, we'd be remiss not to mention Ron Paul's stance on them. In regards to abortion and gay marriage, Paul's first response is that it's none of the federal government's business to dictate those decisions. Although Paul opposes abortion philosophically, he is adamantly against forcing his personal beliefs on others. He supports the states' right to determine their own laws. Pro-choice progressives who demand a federal abortion policy seem no better than zealot pro-lifers who wish to forcefully impose their beliefs. Ron Paul doesn't solve this divide, but proposes the only sensible middle ground.
Same-sex marriage is slightly more complex. Ron Paul said he supports the right of gay couples to marry because he supports all voluntary associations. However, in terms of tax benefits, since he opposes the income tax from the outset, he tends to oppose all the special credits granted for certain behavior, like marriage. That said, he supports decisions to be made at the state level and not by federal decree. Again, it's the only fair and Constitutional compromise any candidate has proposed.
Some believe that Ron Paul is unelectable, therefore why bother? Or even if he does become president, he won't be able to move the heavy machinery to make effective changes. Well, don't we have to start somewhere? Even if Paul doesn't win the nomination, the longer he has the stage to promote the message of peace, liberty, and economic sanity, the better off America will become. The more educated they will be about the Federal Reserve System, the better for when real monetary solutions become necessary. The more he speaks truth to power, the more he exposes the false political paradigm where there are very few meaningful differences between establishment candidates despite their labels. Progressives should join Ron Paul's peaceful revolution now if they expect any real change.