Mercifully, the “Ron Paul Revolution” appears to be over.
Did I agree with some of his stances? Yes, I did. I thought we needed to be out of the war business altogether, and that includes the “War on Drugs.” I also have some respect for him as, in sharp contrast to most of the GOP Chickenhawk Caucus, he actually served his country as a Doctor in Vietnam, treating our wounded soldiers.
But that’s about it, as far as any use I had for him. He is an Objectivist, a Randiot of the worst order, and I don’t care to live in the dog-eat-dog world he envisioned. And I was also rather taken aback by this “freedom” lover’s desire to turn women into property, and make it okie-dokey to discriminate against anyone, anytime.
His despicable offspring is still in Government, but at least he’s leaving. And to that, I say: Good Riddance. I never did want to live in 1712, myself.
Rep. Ron Paul, an icon to the libertarian Right and to some on the anti-war Left, gave a farewell address to Congress that expressed his neo-Confederate interpretation of the Constitution and his anti-historical view of the supposedly good old days of laissez-faire capitalism.
In a near-hour-long rambling speech on Nov. 14, Paul also revealed himself to be an opponent of “pure democracy” because government by the people and for the people tends to infringe on the “liberty” of businessmen who, in Paul’s ideal world, should be allowed to do pretty much whatever they want to the less privileged.
In Paul’s version of history, the United States lost its way at the advent of the Progressive Era about a century ago. “The majority of Americans and many government officials agreed that sacrificing some liberty was necessary to carry out what some claimed to be ‘progressive’ ideas,” said the 77-year-old Texas Republican. “Pure democracy became acceptable.”
Before then, everything was working just fine, in Paul’s view. But the reality was anything but wonderful for the vast majority of Americans. A century ago, women were denied the vote by law and many non-white males were denied the vote in practice. Uppity blacks were frequently lynched.
The surviving Native Americans were confined to oppressive reservations at the end of a long process of genocide. Conditions weren’t much better for the white working class. Many factory workers toiled 12-hour days and six-day weeks in very dangerous conditions, and union organizers were targeted for reprisals and sometimes death.
For small businessmen, life was treacherous, too, with the big monopolistic trusts overcharging for key services and with periodic panics on Wall Street rippling out across the country in bank failures, bankruptcies and foreclosures.
Meanwhile, obscenely rich Robber Barons, like John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan, personally controlled much of the nation’s economy and manipulated the political process through bribery. They were the ones who owned the real “liberty.”
It took the Great Depression and its mass suffering to finally convince most Americans “that sacrificing some liberty was necessary,” in Paul’s curious phrasing, for them to gain a living wage, a measure of security and a little respect.
So, under President Franklin Roosevelt, laws were changed to shield working Americans from the worst predations of the super-rich. Labor standards were enacted; unions were protected; regulations were imposed on Wall Street; and the nation’s banks were made more secure to protect the savings of depositors.
Many social injustices also were addressed during Ron Paul’s dreaded last century. Women got the vote and their position in the country gradually improved, as it did for blacks and other minorities with the belated enforcement of the equal rights provisions of the 14th Amendment and passage of civil rights legislation.
The reforms from the Progressive Era, the New Deal and the post-World War II era also contributed to a more equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth, making the United States a richer and stronger country. The reforms, initiated by the federal government, essentially created the Great American Middle Class.
But in Paul’s view, the reformers should have left things the way they were – and he blames the reforms for today’s problems, although how exactly they’re connected is not made clear.
Paul said: “Some complain that my arguments make no sense, since great wealth and the standard of living improved for many Americans over the last 100 years, even with these new policies. But the damage to the market economy, and the currency, has been insidious and steady.
“It took a long time to consume our wealth, destroy the currency and undermine productivity and get our financial obligations to a point of no return. Confidence sometimes lasts longer than deserved. Most of our wealth today depends on debt.
“The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected. As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary.”
But Paul’s blaming “progressive” reforms of the last century for the nation’s current economic mess lacks any logic, more a rhetorical trick than a rational argument, a sophistry that holds that because one thing happened and then some bad things happened, the first thing must have caused the other things.
The reality is much different. Without Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive Era and Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the direction of America’s capitalist system was toward disaster, not prosperity. Plus, the only meaningful “liberty” was that of a small number of oligarchs looting the nation’s wealth. (It would make more sense to blame the current debt problem on the overreach of U.S. imperialism, the rush to “free trade,” the unwise relaxing of economic regulations, and massive tax cuts for the rich.)
This guy never belonged in Government at all, this much is clear, let alone the Presidency. You are free to be an elitist, intolerant crackpot if you wish to be, but you sure as hell aren’t free to impose your vision of things on ME. As my people say, didayolihv, udlonasdi. I, for one, am not going to miss you.