Reading is fundamental. That was an old phrase I used to see in libraries, but it's clear to me this needs to be repeated because, evidently, many Americans have trouble with comprehension.
Take for example the race for the GOP presidential nomination. It seems that every month the excitable media has a new candidate who is pegged as the front runner. First it was the laughable Michele Bachmann, then it was Rick Perry, who shot himself in the foot with his public gaffes. And in turn we went through the minstrel-like Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich. Even Donald Trump, who has never even contested a political race, got a turn.
Next up on the stump is Ron Paul, the libertarian darling of the Republican party. I have learned the hard way that Ron Paul has a rabid following online. These are people who will flame your site with nasty comments if you dare to challenge Ron Paul's gospel.
I can see why many people are attracted to Paul's idealistic message of keeping government out of people's lives and ending foreign military adventures. Members of the military like his plan to withdraw from overseas bases, young people like his plan to decriminalize marijuana and conservatives like his plans to cut government spending. The problem is most of these ideas are not feasible in the real world.
All of those ex soldiers won't like Paul's plans to slash government spending, including the VA and the GI bill, young people won't like it when their government-backed student loans are eliminated, because Paul claims that is not in the constitution, and conservatives, who tend to be pro-war, probably won't like it when he says we should talk to our enemies and blames our foreign policy on meddling in other countries' affairs.
Ron Paul isn't even liked by his own party, who tend to find his views too liberal or too wacky for their liking. Can you really see Evangelicals getting behind legalizing prostitution and cocaine, which libertarians tend to favor.
I have my own problems with Paul. Firstly, as much as I am against military adventures, there are times when the United States has to get involved in foreign affairs. For example, if we stayed neutral in World War II, Hitler would have taken over Europe. Also more recently, the United States had to respond to the 9-11 attacks, although invading Afghanistan and Iraq was not the right way to do it.
I also tend to think that government does have a role monitoring and regulating business. And programs like Medicare, student loans and the EPA are useful services that don't need to be eliminated.
I am also disturbed by Ron Paul's association with neo confederalists and white supremacists. Ron Paul will deny that he is racist, but he has a troubling track record. Why is he is so virulently against the Civil Rights Act, why has he been pictured arm-in-arm with white supremacists and why do so many white supremacists flock to his side? And why did he get a 100 percent rating from the fascist John Birch society, a group so far right they were eventually kicked out of the right-wing movement by William F. Buckley?
I am not even going to get into the argument about the racist comments in his 1990s newsletter. Paul claimed that although his name appeared on the masthead, he was not responsible for the articles in the publication. This issue has been covered in depth by CNN, Newsone, New York magazine and several other news sources.
But that doesn't explain why the 2008 Paul campaign refused to return a $500 donation from stormfront.com and why white supremacist William Daniel Johnson held a fundraiser for Ron Paul in 2007. Acording to the Michigan Messenger, "Will Williams, a former leader of the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group, posted on the neo-Nazi Vanguard News Network that white supremacy supporters should support Paul for president. 'Till then I recommend folks get involved in the Ron Paul ‘revolution’ and work with political activists in your communities who are attracted to his anti-globalist message,' Williams wrote. 'Be disciplined. Blend in; find common ground with them and artfully radicalize those who are receptive and avoid those who are not.'"
If you can stomach it, go on www.stormfront.com the main Internet site for white supremacists, and you will find it crawling with Ron Paul fans.
Paul evidently thinks America's race problem can be solved by freedom. In an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Paul played down the racial problems of the 1960s, even though Matthews said he remembered seeing "whites only" signs throughout the South in the 1960s. Ron Paul was also the only congressman who refused to honor the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. He later said that he would not have signed the bill.
In material from his 2008 campaign, his web sites states: "Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism. Their obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist. The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims."
However the real reason why America was largely able to win the battle for racial equality was because the federal government decided to step in and enforce desegregation laws in schools and also enforce voting rights laws. And this decision was not without a price, it essentially cost President Lyndon Johnson a second term and cost the Democratic party the South.
However reading that quote it's quite clear why white supremacists love Ron Paul. But that's neither here or there, Ron Paul is too liberal for the conservatives and too conservative for the liberals.
The only way he could get on the presidential ticket is by running as a third-party candidate and he already tried that back in 1988, only to eventually endorse America's favorite country club racist Pat Buchanan. Ron Paul seems to be in love with running for the sake of running, getting his name out there and sucking up donations from his acolytes. Dream on, man. I think John Huntsman is up next.