Aug 31 2011

Why Progressives Should Take a Deeper Look at Ron Paul and His Rightwing Ideas

ron paulThe consequences of Hurricane Irene continue to plague residents of multiple states. President Obama today declared a major disaster area in New York, and large areas of New Jersey remain under water. Last night hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents remained in the dark as electricity services to much of the state were down. Yet, conservative politicians continue to warn that the price tag of federal assistance to disaster victims is too high. Congressman and 2012 Presidential candidate Ron Paul jumped into the fray yesterday during an appearance on CNN*. In what turned into a debate with host Anderson Cooper, Paul said FEMA creates a dependency on the federal government, and drains national resources. This is consistent with his extreme Libertarian views, but not so consistent with the politics of American progressives, who have recently began to champion Paul as an antiwar crusader worth listening to. Writing for Alternet last week, Adele Stan issued a warning call to progressives who have a blind spot to Paul’s overall political views. Stan informs or reminds us, depending on your familiarity with Paul, that of the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act he said, “Forced integration… increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.” Ron Paul’s libertarian ideology has led him to compare social security to slavery. Paul is against a woman’s right to choose when it comes to abortion in any and all circumstances, and he doesn’t believe same sex marriage should be a right under federal law. Stan also reveals in detail, Paul’s long relationship with the ultra-conservative John Birch society. In 2008 Paul gave the keynote address at the Birch Society’s 50th anniversary Gala.

GUEST: Adele Stan, AlterNet’s Washington bureau chief

Read Adele Stan’s article here:

*Correction: An earlier version of this post erroneously stated Ron Paul appeared on MSNBC on the Anderson Cooper show. Anderson Cooper is a host on CNN. We regret the error.

15 responses so far

15 Responses to “Why Progressives Should Take a Deeper Look at Ron Paul and His Rightwing Ideas”

  1. Mikeon 31 Aug 2011 at 11:07 am

    1. Anderson Cooper is on CNN, not MSNBC. Beware of a writer who ignores details.

    2. Ron Paul is against the federal government regulating abortion. He is personally against abortion, citing his experiences as an obstetrician, but he thinks that should be handled at the state level. It is reasonable to assume that some states would allow abortion with little regulation, some would prohibit it, and everything in between, but it is disingenuous to imply that he would outlaw abortion if elected president.

    3. Ron Paul is against the federal government defining marriage at all. At best (or worst, depending on your position), he thinks it should be a state issue. If you dig deeper, he is actually against marriage being defined by government at any level, saying it should be handled in the churches or through private contract, which would actually be the best thing for everyone.

  2. Deanon 31 Aug 2011 at 12:12 pm

    The two lowest rated stories on this site are this one about Ron Paul and the conspiracy theory debunking episode. The fact that Ron Paul regularly appears on Coast to Coast AM, the most popular paranormal conspiracy theory radio show in the world, seems to suggest a lot about the people that are upset about this reporting.

  3. Jasonon 31 Aug 2011 at 1:04 pm

    The author of this post should look beyond blindly supporting progressive policies, regardless of the outcomes of they produce.

  4. RONon 31 Aug 2011 at 6:22 pm

    As a progressive I did take a long look at Ron Paul and I like what I see. Face it FEMA is broke and ineffective. He’s right and the Libertarians are right. Face the music.

  5. Rayon 31 Aug 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I am very disappointed in this story. Does anybody ever agree with everything a presidencial candidate says?
    I think it is more important to look at the alternatives and compare. You rather want Ron Paul or Gun slinger Rick Perry?
    Any way I think somehow some corporate/globalist opinions found their way into your show. Very sad…

  6. Simeon Whiteon 31 Aug 2011 at 11:11 pm

    I’ve been a liberal my whole life and I’m voting for Ron Paul this time. He will end the drug war (which is a war against minorities). I think that’s the most progressive idea I’ve heard in years.

  7. Donon 01 Sep 2011 at 12:15 am

    RON PAUL 2012!!!

  8. TommyOon 01 Sep 2011 at 1:34 am

    Crash course on the phony “two party paradigm” and “media created tea party”

    The media blackout of Ron Paul while bolstering other candidates illustrates nicely the two great modern schemes operating in American politics facilitated by the mainstream media – those being: the phony “two party paradigm” and the creation of the phony GOP “tea party”. First, the concept of a modern “tea party” came on board with the Ron Paul supporters back in 2007 during the campaign. Actual pounds of tea were to be dropped by a hovering blimp into Boston Harbor on the historic day of the original Boston tea party against British tyranny as a gesture of defiance to the status quo (lost of civil liberties; unending illegal wars; nation building; destruction of our currency; torture and extraordinary rendition; abuse of civil liberties under the bogus Patriot Act etc.). Party affiliation, national origin, race etc. wasn’t important – all were welcomed – only a love of liberty and a willingness to fight for it and hence among those veterans the movement is rarely regarded as “tea party” but instead the “liberty” or “freedom” movement and it is definitely not GOP or PERRY or Bachmann!!

    In 2008 when the “dynamic duo” – McCain and his side kick – Palin got their bloodied grinded behinds handed back to them by Obama. This is exactly what the mainstream media had orchestrated for the previous year – and the rank and file GOP voters predictably bought it – they bought media served “stooge of the day” McCain and side kick hook line and sinker! I invite you to research progressive AP reporter Liz Soldoti’s coverage of McCain 2008 and see how she systematically built him up “straight talk express” to become the GOP front runner – the MSM knowing he was hopeless and would get creamed by Obama!

    Immediately after the election in an attempt to do damage control the RNC/GOP and right leaning media embraced “tea party” to co-opt the movement for the progressive neo-cons – enter the right media ala FOX and the likes of social controlling neo-con personalities such as Rush Limbaugh; Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. The left media, MSNBC etc. and their social controlling components: Keith Obermann; Chris Mathews and Rachel Maddow in an effort to maintain and reinforce the phony two party paradigm immediately hyped them “racists” and “secessionists” nut jobs stressing the “tea party” as against newly elected President Obama primarily because he was black!

    Hence: the term “tea party” as currently hyped in the media is a creation of the mainstream media and simply equates to good old American progressive “neo-con”! The concept of “tea party” they propagate is a primary tool currently used to continue the “two party paradigm”. Anyone uninformed enough to buy in is being seriously played and hasn’t taken the effort to analyze the actual facts – just taking the media’s word for it like a good little boy or girl and maintain the “status quo”.

    Allow me to go a little Taoist on you – the “real” tea party you hear about is not the “REAL” tea party!

    Strange as it may seem, there is actually little socio-economic and political ideological difference between – lets say, MSNBC and FOX – only the illusion of one! Both the (so – called) right and left factions of American mainstream media are all globalists – wanting to maintain and expand American empire with all their corporate owners having direct BOD relationships with the giants in the military industrial complex such as: GE; Texaco; Chevron; Boeing; Lockheed Martin; Citigroup; Rockwell Automation; Chase, WorldCom, and JP Morgan; Halliburton, etc. and thereby financially benefit directly from the ongoing nation building and entrenched foreign occupations.

    So the mainstream media as a whole created the current “tea party” as is hyped today, to attempt to contain and control the actual legitimate “liberty movement” (being the actual REAL “tea party” started by Ron Paul supporters in 2007) – it being a threat to the status quo and use the phony “two party paradigm” to help them do it. This is the illusion of two different parties counter balancing one another – please don’t say you can’t remember recently this spring when republican Senator McCain and democrat Senator Kerry went arm in arm bellowing for illegal war with Libya? Do you not find it is strange that Obama never changed Bush/Cheney policies regarding: torture; bailouts; WARS; Patriot Act and lost of civil liberties and abuse of American citizenry. Exactly – both parties want huge intrusive central authority – its just one side prefers to balloon the size of government with aggressive warfare and less social welfare and vice-versa. Americans are spoon fed the “two party paradigm” as a controlling device through the lame-stream media – that’s why globalist neo-cons like Bachmann and Perry are being hyped as “tea party” and that is why they are desperately trying to co-opt many of Ron Paul’s life-long political positions on things, such as: auditing the Federal Reserve.

    For years have you scratched your head wondering – why are our representatives in DC doing this? Are they trying to destroy America? Unfortunately in a sense – they are. For the globalist in both parties it’s not about gaining a secure and prosperous American Republic; upholding liberty maintaining the supreme law of the land – the U.S. Constitution. It is totally about maintaining an economic empire for a select group of oligarchs using the American military – our blood and treasure! It’s about redistributing American wealth and technology and building “emerging” economies in China and India etc while de-industrializing America! It’s about destroying our education system with federal control so that our young people test dismally against students in the rest of the world in science and math! It’s about defending borders overseas while leaving our southern border in the USA open allowing for abuses of American citizens. We could go on and on about the mistreatment Americans suffer at the hands of a rogue government! However, you and I both know that throughout the process of the dismantling of America, the mainstream media tells you “its okay – remember back in 2008 when they spoon-fed us “don’t worry either top tier candidate, Obama or McCain will get us on track”!

    Yeah right! We know how that worked out!

    The media is currently working overtime to convince voters that the candidates like Romney; Bachmann and Perry are significantly different than President Obama – this is definitely pure BS! All the 2012 candidates running in both parties EXCEPT RON PAUL are deep in the pocket of international banking and the military industrial complex! This corrupt system needs to keep bailing out criminals and keep this bogus war on terror going and ramped up bombing and saber rattling all awhile keeping the American people placated with the “two party paradigm” allowing for global elites to steal American national wealth and sovereignty! Ron Paul is the only candidate significantly different than Obama and therefore the ONLY ONE capable of beating him on issues that the majority of Americans heavily support (like ending: illegal wars; torture and illegal detention; abolishing the Patriot Act and Federal Reserve; stopping the abuses of the IRS and TSA and getting us out of NATO and NAFTA etc.)

    The “establishment” is in a real bind – the media’s “ignore” phase for the “Ron Paul problem” hasn’t worked and the “discredit” phase is now underway. These types of tactics are standard procedure in any third world banana republic to marginalize legitimate opposition to the regime and status quo. They have NO place in a free representative Republic!

    So, fellow Americans if by now you haven’t acknowledged that Obama is a corporate puppet you are in serious denial or part of the subversion! If you want things to continue under the rule of the global “banksters’ and “tanksters” – maintain the status quo and allowing tyranny to grow under the phony “two party paradigm” – vote for the spoon- fed media’s “top tier”: Obama; Romney; Bachmann; Perry etc., but if want things to truly change and have the assurance that you will have the right to be heard and not silenced then begin to restore America liberty now and support Ron Paul! He can’t be bought – and the establishment knows it! They must use every means available to attempt to marginalize him – hence the blackout, ridicule and smear! Check your states regulations for rules of primary voting and do whatever it takes (you may have to join the Republican Party) so that you can cast your primary vote for Ron Paul.

    Ron Paul 2012!!!

  9. Progressive student 4 Paulon 01 Sep 2011 at 3:47 am

    Progressives should be open minded to support Ron Paul, at least in the Republican primaries.

    It should be welcomed that we’ve found common ground with a Republican who is for ending the wars and occupation. Ron Paul is the only candidate who even acknowledges the civilian lives lost that we claim to go and protect, and acknowledges our mistakes in antagonising other nations in history.

    On domestic policy I have my differences with him, but he’s right that the country is broke, and it can’t be fixed with more spending and taxation (which is essentially what Obama and the Democrats were arguing in the debt ceiling debate).
    Ron Paul has the right priorities in cutting spending (unlike most Republicans) in cutting military spending first. And the money saved from that he said half should go to reduce the deficit, and the other half he concedes on domestic spending (as you seen in interviews like with Anderson Cooper) despite his personal preference to cut both.
    I don’t agree with everything, but on balance I agree with him on what I feel are the most important and practical thing to prioritise domestic concerns over wars.

  10. zenoon 01 Sep 2011 at 10:32 am

    It makes me wonder sometimes if KPFK is really as dedicated to honest discourse as it claims or if it is really just trying to be the progressive version of FOX news. The entire tone of the piece was geared towards stemming the ‘alarming’ (to Ms Kohatkar’s contingent at least) trend for progressives to actually think for themselves for a change instead of going for the rubber stamped candidate. Ron Paul is the most straight talking politician on the hill sure you may not agree with everything he says (if you actually take the time to understand his positions instead of skimming the surface and interpreting what he says to fit your world view Sonali) but do you agree with Obama’s actions as president?
    As much as Obama has abandoned progressives, save for throwing a few token crumbs from his table, so-called leftists just can’t seem to bring themselves to really slam him for it. Why? Can anyone answer me that?

  11. Julian Alienon 01 Sep 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Texas has a disaster fund.When hurricane Ike hit Galveston in 2008 Texas told FEMA they did not require their assistance.FEMA barged in on their cleanup and angered a lot of Texans.The reason they came in was so they could use the national guard to keep local contractors from entering the most exclusive neighborhoods.We pay for our own robbery.FEMA families are all millionaires.Most States now have no disaster plan and some are trying to point fingers at someone who is trying to get his State more emergency funds without a useless bureaucracy stealing from it first.FEMA’s got some splainin’ to do.

  12. Deanon 01 Sep 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Do you listen to any of the shows on Pacifica? Most of the hosts constantly criticize Obama for abandoning the Left. Did you miss that whole thing with Cornel West?

  13. zenoon 02 Sep 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I didn’t catch the Cornel West piece but if it brought some criticism toward Obama then great – it’s about time. Still, most if not all the criticism I’ve heard on Pacifica is still presented in this tone of disbelief – as if the hosts can’t quite understand ‘why’ their man Obama is doing this or that and trying to rationalize it. Unfortunately, these same people took the first 3/4 of his presidency turning every criticism of Obama from a ‘non-sanctioned’ (i.e. non-progressive) source into a knee-jerk discussion about racial politics in America. While I’m sure there is a contingent out there that has a problem with a black man being president, not every non-progressive criticism is about race.

  14. chris bedfordon 28 Nov 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I am encouraged to see other Progressives supporting the positive aspects of Ron Paul’s agenda. My two hot button issues are ending the war economy and bringing back civil liberties. And Ron Paul significantly ‘out progressives’ our current White House Occupant in these areas.

    I have strong disagreements with Ron Paul’s platform with respect to social programs and regulation. But I don’t plan to just vote for Ron Paul and stop being active. I will fight him where I disagree by also supporting Elizabeth Warren, Kucinich and other progressive congressional candidates in the hopes that things balance out.

    No one politician is going to do it all. But I am tired of Progressive happy talk from Obama followed up by betrayals like the health care reform give-away to insurance companies.

    I strongly believe Progressives can work together with Libertarians by focusing on areas where they agree rather than points of disagreement. I see the Frank Ron Paul marijuana reform bill as one outcome of such cooperation [ ]

    I have more to say on the site that I started…. Please let me know what you think:

  15. TM Karaon 04 Dec 2011 at 9:57 am

    A president who thinks we should end the Amerikan Empire – bring all the troops, home, close our foreign bases, stay out of other countries, who doesn’t exaggerate the “TERROR” threat – in fact says it’s wildly exaggerated! – who would end the “War on Drugs” and believes government should not be involved in the bedroom – that is so far to the “left” of Obama, how could a progressive not like this guy? Oh, but he has some libertarian beliefs that run counter to positive (and extremely popular) social programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Well, I think the power of a Paul presidency would impact those things I agree with him on far more than those with which I disagree. Paul could not do away with Social Security and Medicare, but he would have much more executive power to end the imperialist madness of this country, which is at the root of so many of our problems, from oil dependency, to wasted money on nukes and bases and other military hardware, to supporting corrupt and undemocratic regimes all over the world. That’s a big step in the right direction, and while I voted for Obama with “hope”, Obama has totally dashed my hope. I see another korporate globalist Demokrat with a tendency to extend repressive government at home. I’m supporting Ron Paul.