My friend Bill, over at Bill's Random Thoughts, had a great post on 12/18, where he unearthed a 1988 document written by Ron Paul, where he lays out his case for legalizing drugs in America. It is a great read. It also makes sense.
As I told Bill, I have been peripherally listening to the news about Ron Paul, but the thought of voting for a Republican in 2008 is so repugnant, that I have stayed away from Ron. However, his movement seems to be strong and he is raising record-breaking amounts of money. My former politician friend told me a long time ago, that getting elected is all about money. He or she with the most money, wins. I stopped by Ron Paul's campaign website a month or two ago, and something pissed me off and I haven't been back. After reading that Paul wrote something sensible about legalizing drugs, I went back to his web site, and here's what I found:
- Immigration: This is a non-issue. The Neocons, religious right, and other xenophobes (and men who only want white men running the show) have made this an issue so they can stir up fear and hate in order to get votes. That really pisses me off. I don't get Ron Paul's punitive stance either. I believe 99.9% of the people who come to America illegally, do so because they want a better life. They aren't doing it because it's easier to be here, because it isn't. They aren't doing it with intent to harm our country or the citizens in it. They want to join us in the American life. Why don't we say, "Well thanks! We like it here too! How about if we help you to become legal so we can benefit from your direct (tax) contributions." Yessssss, they are breaking the law, but they aren't hurting anybody. Change the fucking law, ok?
- Right To Bear Arms: First, I am undecided on this issue, but I lean towards, "what the fuck do we need guns for anyway?" I would like to do some research to find statistics on countries that have banned guns, and see what their crime stats are like. I lived in England at a time when no citizens could carry guns. Hell, cops carried little billy clubs. Secondly, there is some interesting dispute as to the meaning of the second amendment. Some say it means that all citizens have the right to bear arms, others say that the right to bear arms is only in connection with a militia. I'd like to research this some more too. Thirdly, if gun ownership is legal, I think a criminal check, at least, is required. And a waiting period is not such a bad thing either. Ron Paul's stance on quitting the United Nations is stupid. The world is getting to be a smaller and smaller place. We need to get along, as individuals, and as countries. The intent of the United Nations is a good one. It has its faults, but we should be a member, and work together with other members to make it better.
- Health Care: Hmmm. He has some interesting ideas. I'm not big on "free market" anything. I think that when we leave things up to corporations, they will all, with only a few rare exceptions, move in the direction of greed, and not in the direction of what is best for them and the country and their customers. I want the insurance companies and the middle men out of the fucking middle, but that will never happen when the Dems get into the white house, because all of the top contenders have had their pockets filled with insurance industry and drug company money. I think that health and health security, is a human right, and therefore, our collective society needs to somehow support that right. I tend to agree with Ron that anything that is taken over and run by the government is bound to be inefficient and costly. I tend to imagine more of a national health system, managed locally. But I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about...yet. So...I am still pondering health care.
Sorry, Ron. You might be a phenomena, but you're not my phenomena.
But for my money, the funniest news of the past week was finding out that Ron Paul has picked up the cherished Vox Day endorsement.
Vox Day is the nom de plume of prominent conservative web and local radio gadfly Theodore "Ted" Beale. His father, Robert Beale, was doing his absolute best to avoid ever paying taxes, and because of this is currently in the hoosegow. (No doubt Ron Paul's pledge to abolish the IRS resonates with Young Teddy because of the recent unpleasantness.)
Because, among other things, Voxy Ted's the guy who's referred to Barack Obama as "Hussein Osama".
You see, Young Master Ted's quite fond of expressing his blatant bigotry by dipping into the white-supremacist bag of poisonous racial stereotypes. He also says that "B. Hussein Obama" can be relied on not to "break into rap" or go around "impregnating the staff". He's told the "melanin-enhanced individuals" among us that they shouldn't talk as if they had a "mouffull of collahd motha-fuckin greenz."
But he's more than just a hater of black people. Ted's bigotry is indeed inclusive, even world-embracing; it extends to cover Jews (who he says the government should encourage, along with blacks, to have lots of abortions) and Mexican immigrants and women (he really, really, really hates women) and scientists. But he's a Good Christian, he himself says so, so it's all OK!