Who is Ron Paul? Politics, Mavericks, and Barnyards

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Sometimes I think I am just too jaded when it comes to political candidates that are running for national office. I tend to ignore the politics of a major election until the last few weeks, when I finally come to my senses and realize I have a responsibility to make an informed choice when I vote, (which I always do, and hope you do also). It sort of feels like having to go into the far corner of the chicken coop’s pen in the middle of a rainy winter to gather up the old hen that has finally succumbed to her age. Politics and sloppy barnyards… I know they both need to be dealt with, but I still walk with trepidation and on tip-toes, hoping not to get anything too disgusting or permanent on my boots!

Having admitted that, here is another admission. Due to a happenstance of channel surfing, the battle for the White House has caught my attention earlier than usual this go round. I was flipping through channels a few nights ago and came across a re-run of some thin, older, guy answering questions in front of a crowd in New Hampshire. Being from New Hampshire myself in a previous incarnation, I paused to see what was going on. Turned out it was someone named Ron Paul. (Wonder if he has a first name for a middle name also?) Anyway, I just caught the end of it, but he actually had some very interesting things to say that definitely were not of the usual political double-speak persuasion.

Huh? The questions were about foreign policy and spending on “colonial” foreign excursions and what he said made some sense. I think he is a Republican Congressman from Texas, but I will have to do some web searching and look into him further to see what his views are on topics closer to my heart, (and this site). whoever he is and where ever he is from, he certainly is not getting much coverage in the political media I pay attention to. But, then again, I don’t pay much attention to election politics.

My first impression does make me wonder if he any chance at all of being around next fall? He seemed a bit of a maverick and that might not bode well for him politically. The U.S. voter finds it acceptable to elect the occasional maverick to Congress or a Governorship, but it may never happen in the White House. I guess the argument could be made that the White House is no place for a maverick, but we do need a change in the way our Country’s business is done and how much worse could it really get?

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Will Sig
1 JD Thomas

Ron Paul has some interesting things to say and his positions on a lot of capital B Big issues drum up support, but from what I have read on his website (http://ronpaul2008.com) he seems to want to roll back much of what helped create the middle class in the US in 20th century. This statement of his, direct from his website, scares the heck out of me.

The federal government has no constitutional authority to fund or control schools. I want to abolish the unconstitutional, wasteful Department of Education and return its functions to the states. By removing the federal subsidies that inflate costs, schools can be funded by local taxes, and parents and teachers can directly decide how best to allocate the resources.

Having lived in both affluent, mostly white, areas with great schools, and poorer areas with a wider mix of races with schools that could really use help has shown me that even with Federal school funding and regulations there can be a huge disparity between school systems. I can’t believe anyone would believe that eliminating the already fairly low national standards for schools would result in a better education for poor kids in rural areas where they don’t have the option of selecting from an array of religious or publicly funded charter schools the way they do in a place like my current hometown of Philadelphia.

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2 Will

Good points, JD. As I read a bit more about him last night, I started to see that he, like all the others, has certain views that I might not agree with. One thing to think about is the likelihood that any particular view would be able to be implemented through Congress.

In the case of the schools, I don’t think he would be able to do it, although there is a lot of apathy and animosity towards public schools right now. Over 10% of the elementary school age children in our area are now homeschooled. I noticed that when I started homeschooling our three children years ago, I became less concerned about the elementary school’s curriculum. I never lost interest in influencing the quality of the high schools as all 3 will go or went to public high school. Not really as socially responsible as it could be, but the reality is that people focus on the issues that affect their own lives.

In Paul’s case I don’t think he would be able to abolish the IRS either, although I would really support him on that one.

Who knows how the whole thing will shake out by next fall. I just hope it does not become solely Hillary against McCain. that would be really discouraging!

-Will

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3 Alan

I blogged a bit about Ron Paul on my politics blog http://capitaLels.blogspot.com

RP does have some intriguing ideas but given that he is Libertarian running as Republican I don’t give him a prayer of being the nominee.

and if it’s Hillary vs McCain in November I may have to write in Mickey Mouse.

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4 Anna

Hi Will, I will be back to learn more about Ron Paul later, you know how much I care about my beauty sleep, lol. However, please check out my latest post, somewhere in the middle I gave you little acknowledgment, I think your blog goes hand in hand with my photos for this post. I was going to tag you but not sure if you like those games, but hey never to late to jump on the wagon, lol. I will see you later. Anna 🙂

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5 Will

Thanks for your kind words in your post on your site today, Anna. First time I have ever been so warmly acknowledged in the same article as self cleaning toilets! LOL!

The post got me interested in learning more about the current generation of wind turbines. Here in Southern Oregon, the fruit growers use big wind turbines to stir up the air when it frosts and the trees are blooming. The machines are actually quite deadly for birds, but the spin almost as fast as plane propellers. I think the wind turbines are slower, so maybe not so bad for the birds.

Alan’s site listed in comment 3 above has some good info on Ron Paul and other White House wannabes.

-Will

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6 Anna

Thanks Will, and no problem. BTW I think my review of you was better than the environmental toilet, lol. So finally I got to read this post. I hate to tell you I never followed politics until may be 2-3 years ago (more Canadian politics though for now). I just wasn’t interested, until finally I start seeking what I was paying my taxes for, and now I am in. I started with green party first, I said they must be good if they are green party, but then, as I investigated further, I found that my vote was kind of waste, and started to support the majority government. So the whole political thing gets me angry that politicians are never to the point, disorganized, and they usually run around the bush, lol, and most of all attack each other like children and want to take out each other every time they find negative things, I think I was better as a child, lol. I don’t know much about American politics, however, few weeks ago I was watching M. Moore’s ‘Sicko’, and I just couldn’t believe about the healthcare in US, and to find out that Hilary stands behind the healthcare, but is she fits the presidential hat – I don’t know, because I just don’t know much about American politics. So this is my few Canadian cents added to this post, lol, Anna 🙂

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7 JD Thomas

Anna, strange as it may sound, I’d recommend America by the folks at the Daily Show. Its a humorous book, but it has enough real stuff in it to give you an idea about US politics. And it make it easier for you, there are occasional segments called “how we do it in Canada” by Samantha Bee (a Canadian correspondent on the program).

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8 Max Coutinho

Hello Will,

I came through Anna. My name is Max :).
I really enjoyed this post of yours, since I am also interested in the US elections (although I confess I am not paying as much attention to it as I should).

Ron Paul is a maverick indeed, cause here in Europe he is hardly mentioned (if mentioned at all); we are too focused on Clinton, Obama and Giulianni (Europe likes him for his accomplishments as a NY Mayor; did you know that he came to Portugal – a few years ago – to lecture on lowering the criminality rates?)…

We are a bit disappointed at the stunt Mrs Clinton pulled in NH (by the way I loved the way you said you were from there in a previous life lol lol) *nodding*…

Anyway, I just dropped by to introduce myself; and to see what’s your blog all about (and I liked it; I will come back for more) :)!

Cheers

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9 JD Thomas

I keep hearing many people mentioning things along the line of:

We are a bit disappointed at the stunt Mrs Clinton pulled in NH

I really don’t get it. I have seen the complete video footage and heard the complete audio of the question asked and her response while in my car so I could hear just the sound in her voice and I don;t see how anyone could call it a stunt.

Yes, she was emotional. She was talking about a subject that she has deep feelings about or else she would not be running. I’ve gotten choked up myself the same way and I know what it feels like. I don’t know what the “stunt” part is supposed to be. Sure, Clinton usually comes off as very reserved, but there is nothing wrong with her dropping that stoic mask and let people know she actually cares about things sometimes.

She was asked a question by a woman her own age who is a little awed of Clinton’s energy and ability to seem upbeat. She answered it and broke down a little in talking about her concerns about the US, and thats it. As a stunt, its not as good as tying a cherry stem in a knot with just your tongue.

By the way, the woman who asked the question, went on to vote for Obama. (She was interviewed on NPR.)

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10 Will

Hi Max! And welcome! I do hope you will be back often. I like how you post all your articles in both languages. I wonder if good old Google counts that as “duplicate content”? LOL

I am no political expert either, but I think one of the biggest problem Clinton has with some U.S. voters is that she often comes across as stilted, insincere and staged. Then she runs into two problems. First she sometimes has difficulty being seen as sincere even on the issues she is really passionate about. The second is a situation like this one where, being tired and emotional she let the human side show through. Some, because of her normal personality, saw it as staged.

We can’t know for sure, but I think, given clues of her past, her relationship to Bill, and the seemingly great job they did raising their child, it was not staged. I might be wrong.

It did work to her advantage, but I think she has worked hard to hide that side of her in the past. She is obviously happy with the result in NH, but I don’t think she would have agreed before hand to try it as a stunt. But, who knows, she is a master politician.

I am not a Hillary fan, but so far, I am not a real big fan of any candidate, on either side. I just hope that by November, I am not holding my nose as I vote!

-Will

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11 Will

JD – Good one! Do you have a link you can post to the video of this? 😉

As a stunt, its not as good as tying a cherry stem in a knot with just your tongue.

-Will

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12 Will

Well, after a couple of weeks of sporadic reading about Paul, it is apparent he is not a candidate that will go very far. His views on some issues are indeed refreshing, but on others, down right scary!

I think many voters, including myself, are looking for a candidate that is as far from the typical political barnyard as possible. On the surface Paul appeals to that, but underneath, he is a bit of a crank.

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13 Will

Good examples of “down right scary”!

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14 JD Thomas

Anyone really thinking seriously about Ron Paul should read this New Republic article that examines the content of his newsletters.

Selections From Ron Paul’s Newsletters

A couple Highlights:

In the course of defending homophobic comments by Andy Rooney of CBS, a 1990 newsletter notes that a reporter for a gay magazine “certainly had an axe to grind, and that’s not easy with a limp wrist.”

and

The October 1992 issue of the Political Report paraphrases an “ex-cop” who offers this strategy for protecting against “urban youth”: “If you have to use a gun on a youth, you should leave the scene immediately, disposing of the wiped off gun as soon as possible. Such a gun cannot, of course, be registered to you, but one bought privately (through the classifieds, for example).”

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