Ron Paul may be a religious douchebag, but I’m voting for him anyway. Here’s why…

“Leave the young people alone, and they’ll find out that they prefer lovemaking to warmongering”
–Congressman Ron Paul

It’s been a while, humans. Sorry for that.

But once again, I’m here with a purpose. And that purpose is patriotism.

I consider myself a patriot the same way I consider myself an atheist; in other words, though the term might make me uncomfortable because of the connotations associated with it, it is nevertheless an accurate term when applied to me. I love this country. We may not be the best at everything. We may have a lot of problems. We may not always be on the same page. But, for the most part, we the people represent a concept that was quite revolutionary at the time of our founding, and remains pretty revolutionary today: liberty.

Sadly, a lot of patriots forget this concept; which is sad, because it’s the very concept this country was founded upon. Li-ber-ty. Not safety. Not religion. Not economic or social equality. Fucking liberty.

Here’s the thing. As I mentioned before (and in every other entry on this blog), I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in any kind of god. I don’t hold any kind of religious beliefs. And I also really resent non-believers being excluded in the political arena. But I’m also not one of these knee-jerk liberal atheists that only vote on one issue. I’ve made no bones about my attraction to the concept of classic liberalism, and when if I vote, I try to weigh the pros and cons of each and every candidate before I make a decision. The same way everyone should, I think.

With that in mind, I now turn my attention to Congressman Ron Paul.

Ron Paul has taken a lot of flack from both sides of the political spectrum. Liberals find him too conservative. Conservatives find him too liberal. And some just think he’s nothing more than a big bag of guano-crazy anarcho-extremism.

And that may or may not be true. But I’m voting for the bastard anyway.

I’m certainly not going to sit here and suck Ron Paul’s veiny, libertarian cock. In fact, I’m going to start by listing the areas where I disagree with him, just so we’re all aware that I’m not out to over-sensationalize anyone.

So without further ado, here’s where Ron Paul and I do not see eye-to-eye.


PART 1: Where Ron Paul and Black Jeezus Disagree

Freedom of Religion

“The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion. The establishment clause of the First Amendment was simply intended to forbid the creation of an official state church like the Church of England, not to drive religion out of public life. The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance.”
–Ron Paul, “The War on Religion

So I figured I’d start with where I most disagree with R-Pizzle. Entering into evidence, Exhibit A, the quote above. Granted, he wrote this way back in 2003, but he hasn’t come out and officially reversed his position on the issue, so we can only assume he still feels this way.

Most of the aforementioned knee-jerk atheists would be quick to dismiss Ron Paul solely on this basis (mostly because… well, he’s wrong). I am not one of these atheists.

Yes, he’s also voted in favor of the We the People Act, which would have effectively allowed states and local governments to display religious text and imagery in public buildings. And that’s a bad thing. But I still don’t think it’s reason enough not to vote for the motherfucker.

In short, if the Ten Commandments showing up in a county courthouse is the worst thing I have to worry about with a Paul presidency, then I’d say it’s pretty meager as far as sacrifices go. I mean, we already tolerate violations of the Establishment Clause on our money. If dealing with some religious imagery means we won’t be sending our kids off to die in the desert and our money won’t be ablaze, that’s a tradeoff I’d be more than willing to make.

And what’s more, I know for a fact I’m not the only atheist who feels this way.

Abortion

“I am strongly pro-life. I think one of the most disastrous rulings of this century was Roe versus Wade. I do believe in the slippery slope theory. I believe that if people are careless and casual about life at the beginning of life, we will be careless and casual about life at the end. Abortion leads to euthanasia. I believe that.”
–Ron Paul, in a 1999 Speech to Congress

Women’s rights is another big issue for me, although I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t devoted much attention to abortion rights on this here blog. Which means I’m now pretty much forced to summarize my own views right here, in a handy little paragraph. So here goes…

If you believe that life begins at the moment of conception, such that the rights of a fertilized egg are equal to or even supersede the rights of the adult female carrying said fertilized egg, then you, sir, are a douchebag. Not only are you a douchebag, but (in my opinion, anyway) you are a sexist douchebag, because such a belief diminishes women to an unprecedented and completely despicable degree. It’s almost like equating women with saliva, and declaring that both deserve equal protection under the law.

And if you, in addition, believe this issue to be black-and-white, you can add “moronic” to the list of adjectives as well.

Ron Paul disagrees (to which I respond…). He wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned. But unlike most candidates on the conservative side of the aisle, he adopts a much more libertarian standpoint, and would rather leave the legality of abortion up to the states to decide for themselves.

See, this is why you shouldn’t make a ruling on a candidate based on ten-second sound-bytes. Because, whether you’re conservative or liberal, if you really think about this option, it’s not a bad compromise.

Roe v. Wade forces all states to accept abortion whether they agree with it or not. Which means, in some cases, their tax dollars are being spent to enforce laws that they believe are morally wrong. Yes, they’re mistaken. You know that, and I know that. But whether or not we think they’re mistaken doesn’t matter. What matters is that if we leave this question up to the states, some will inevitably uphold the current abortion policies, while others will vote to ban it. So if, say, Alabama votes to ban abortion and some woman gets pregnant and really wants to abort, she can go to a state where abortion is legal and spend her own money in that state, which in turn improves the local economy of that state, thus providing an incentive for those states who choose to allow legal abortions.

Likewise, if a citizen doesn’t want their tax dollars being used to enforce a law that makes abortion legal, they can pack up and move to one of the states that bans it. No one’s being forced to adhere to a law they don’t agree with.

Now, before I get a bunch of vitriolic comments, YES, I UNDERSTAND THAT THIS ISN’T AN IDEAL SOLUTION. And I’m fully aware of the negatives and externalities. But this is an extremely touchy issue that Americans have been bickering about for decades, and even though I believe that a fetus =/= a human, I can’t empirically demonstrate the validity of this view any more than a Christian can show the opposite. A compromise needs to be reached, and one that is fluid enough to be able to change over time as the American people become more and more educated about women’s issues and the right to choose.

Forcing one view on everyone through federal policy, even if I do agree with that view, leads only to polarization and does little to combat the root of the problem. Leaving it up to the states, while not a perfect solution, is still a more elegant one than any of the other options.

Evolution

“Well, first I thought it was a very inappropriate question for the presidency to be decided upon a scientific matter. And uh, I uh, I think it’s a theory. The theory of evolution. And I don’t accept it as a theory. [snip] The creator that I know created us, each and every one of us and created the universe, and the precise time and manner and uh, you know, I just don’t think we’re at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side.”
–Ron Paul in 2007, when asked if he believes evolution to be true

I know I’m about to lose a lot of atheists here, as I can’t imagine too many rationalists being willing to cast their vote for a candidate who is unwilling to accept a scientific fact that’s as well-supported as germ theory or gravity. Needless to say, I disagree with him here as well. Quite ardently.

And I also disagree with Paul’s assertion that it’s an “inappropriate question.” The teaching of intelligent design in public school classes is absolutely a political issue, and one that has even been ruled upon by federal judges. Bear in mind also that the president appoints federal judges, which makes it especially relevant during a presidential campaign.

But take a look at what Paul writes in his latest book, Liberty Defined:

“No one person has perfect knowledge as to man’s emergence on this earth…The creationists frown on the evolutionists, and the evolutionists dismiss the creationists as kooky and unscientific. Lost in this struggle are those who look objectively at all the scientific evidence for evolution without feeling any need to reject the notion of an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator. My personal view is that recognizing the validity of an evolutionary process does not support atheism nor should it diminish one’s view about God and the universe.”

See, that’s not so crazy. He believes that a person who accepts evolution after careful review of the evidence isn’t wrong or misreading the facts. I can get behind that. It’s certainly not what I’d ideally like to hear from a presidential candidate, but at least he’s not insistent on every American believing that his imaginary wizard friend poofed everything into existence.

Unfortunately, he’s gone on record [PDF] saying that he would support the presentation of “scientific evidence that contradicts the theory of evolution.” And, actually, I’d be in favor of that too. That is, if such “scientific evidence” existed anywhere outside of the vivid imagination of uneducated creationists.

And yes, he thinks states should decide what they want to teach in public schools, but if you’re paying close attention, he adopts pretty much the same stance I do concerning public education overall. He thinks public education funding should switch to more of a voucher system, which would allow parents to choose their children’s schooling options from a number of private alternatives and receive public funds to cover the cost. I’ve already written about this issue, so I won’t repeat it again. In sum, this option is much less intrusive and is likely to produce a much better education system overall, at least in my own opinion.

Even if this weren’t the case, I still think Ron Paul’s stance on evolution is far from the biggest thing on my mind when deciding which candidate to vote for.

Possible Deal-Breaker: Gay Marriage

“Having federal officials, whether judges, bureaucrats, or congressmen, impose a new definition of marriage on the people is an act of social engineering profoundly hostile to liberty.”
–Ron Paul, “Protecting Marriage from Judicial Tyranny

The gay marriage issue is certainly a deal-breaker for me, especially since my best friend is a homo-gay; I simply can’t envision myself supporting a candidate that believes same-sex couples do not deserve equal marriage rights.

The problem with Ron Paul is that I’m unsure of his official stance on gay marriage, since he’s continually given conflicting opinions on the matter. On one hand, he supported the Defense of Marriage Act, and he also introduced the aforementioned We the People Act, which would have removed such questions from federal jurisdiction and left them up to the states.

But on the other hand, if you actually read the legislation, both these votes are consistent with his stated view that in a best-case scenario, the government should have absolutely no say in marriage, and would simply enforce private marriage contracts (regardless of sexual orientation) and grant divorces. And, when asked about his stance on gay marriage, he’s gone on record saying, “I am supportive of all voluntary associations, and people can call it whatever they want.”

Additionally, he voted in favor of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010, though I’m not sure how relevant that is to his stance on gay marriage.

Bottom line, this is one of those issues for which I’m going to require a straight answer from Ron Paul. Yes, I agree that the government (federal and local) should have no say in a person’s private voluntary associations whatsoever, and should do nothing more than enforce private contracts in the matter.

But that is not the current situation in our current America. The government has somehow taken it upon themselves to overstep their boundaries yet again and afford special privileges and incentives to citizens who decide to get married; and if a government decides to do this, it absolutely cannot withhold these benefits from certain citizens on the basis of their sexual orientation. It has to either make these benefits available to all its constituents, or not do it at all.


PART 2: Why Black Jeezus is Voting for the Bastard

Reason #1: War & Foreign Policy

“There’s nobody in this world that could possibly attack us today. I mean, we could defend this country with a few good submarines. If anybody dared touch us we could wipe any country off of the face of the earth within hours. And here we are, so intimidated and so insecure and we’re acting like such bullies that we have to attack third-world nations that have no military and have no weapons.”
–Ron Paul, in a 2007 Washington Post interview

Ron Paul was one of the first politicians to openly oppose the War in Iraq, from its very ill-conceived beginning. And he continues to this day to oppose U.S. presence in Iraq, accusing the government of using the War on Terror to drum up enough fear to curtail civil liberties.

In fact, his stances on all wars follow a consistent pattern of non-intervention, which I absolutely love and fully support. The cruelties and inhumanities of war notwithstanding, just think how much federal money would be saved by withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Korea, Germany, Japan and every other goddamn corner of the world where we’re neither needed or wanted.

Lots of candidates say they would end the wars, including Barack Obama (fat lot of good that promise was, right?). But Ron Paul is the only candidate with the consistent voting record and massive balls to back up his statements; and as Commander in Chief he would actually have the power and resources to get that shit done.

He’s also opposed to U.S. monetary support of Israel (of which I, myself, have yet to hear a good argument in support) and voted in favor of ending the pointless trade restrictions with Cuba. A thousand fucking points to Gryffindor for that shit.

Reason #2: The War on Drugs

“We need to repeal the whole war on drugs. It isn’t working. We have already spent over $400 billion since the early 1970s, and it is wasted money. Prohibition didn’t work. Prohibition on drugs doesn’t work. So we need to come to our senses. And, absolutely, it’s a disease. We don’t treat alcoholics like this. This is a disease, and we should orient ourselves to this.”
–Ron Paul, at a 2007 GOP Presidential Forum

This is where Ron Paul and other libertarians completely lose the conservatives. And, for the life of me, I cannot understand why.

If you’re a fiscal conservative, you should be against any policy that wastes tax money. The War on Drugs has been wasting our tax money for forty fucking years, with absolutely no results. If you’re a “small government” advocate, you should be against any policy that sets out to make the government needlessly larger and subject the American people to search and seizure procedures that trample even the most basic of human rights. If you’re hard on violent crime, you should be against the single policy that has nearly doubled the murder rate, greatly increased the instances of assault and robbery, and given unprecedented power to street thugs and drug cartels who use violence to control the market.

And the icing on the cake? I have yet found a single person who, when asked, is able to name one solitary reason why illegal drugs should remain illegal that wouldn’t also apply to alcohol or tobacco. None.

So, yes. Ron Paul is right on the fucking money when he says that drug addicts need to be treated like addicts and not like criminals. And it’s a shame more politicians don’t have the cojones to say so.

Regardless of how you personally feel about drugs, keeping them illegal is so much more costly than legalizing them. Costly in so many ways, that to still be in support of Prohibition after researching the facts is tantamount to willful ignorance and waste.

Reason #3: Fiscal Responsibility

“Capitalism should not be condemned, since we haven’t had capitalism. A system of capitalism presumes sound money, not fiat money manipulated by a central bank.”
–Ron Paul, “Has Capitalism Failed?

Liberals, hear me out. I love you, I do… but your economic policies are monumentally shitty.

You don’t solve an economic crisis by taking more money from people and using it to subsidize goods or hire people to do things that the general public wouldn’t pay for of their own accord. Christ, even saying it sounds asinine.

First, Ron Paul has, from the very beginning, voted against all unbalanced budgets, and his stance has always been about reducing the tax burden. He would do this, he says, by drastically reducing the size and scope of the government, eliminating or greatly shrinking several federal departments including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Internal Revenue Service.

God-damn wouldn’t you love to never have to deal with the IRS ever again?

A lot of us have been conditioned to think that the government cannot operate without taking money from our paychecks. But in reality, the federal government can operate just fine with the money it generates from tariffs, excise taxes, property taxes and sales taxes… if it simply (a) doesn’t overstep its boundaries, and (b) discards superfluous spending. In fact, prior to 1913, this was exactly the case.

This also includes getting rid of the welfare state, which pushes the irritable buttons of a lot of liberals who think a government solution to a wide-scale problem is the only possible solution. Listen to me, okay? Welfare, in short, is when you care so much about people you’ve never met that you’re willing to steal from other people you’ve never met. Make sense? Yea, didn’t think so.

But it’s not just a monetary issue. It’s a social and moral one as well. Welfare programs do nothing to address the issue of poverty or it’s underlying causes. All they do is place a band-aid on the problem, enslave the people that depend on them, and spawn more antipathy and hatred. Obviously, we should make an effort to reach out to those in need and take measures to combat poverty. But only measures that are likely to work. Current welfare programs fail miserably at this.

Oh, and Ron Paul was also against the federal corporate bailouts of 2008. So to any ill-informed shitheads who think he’s just another politician in the pocket of big business, think again.

Reason #4: Fucking Civil Liberties, Motherfuckers!

“The moral and constitutional obligations of our representatives in Washington are to protect our liberty, not coddle the world, precipitating no-win wars, while bringing bankruptcy and economic turmoil to our people.”
–Ron Paul

There are several facets to this, so I’ll try to blast out as many as I can.

Ron Paul has voted against Net Neutrality (if you wouldn’t, then your ass needs to read more). He has also opposed the Patriot Act consistently, from its very inception.

He’s an ardent supporter and advocate of the right of jury nullification, a concept of which too many Americans are still regrettably unaware.

He supports the federal decriminalization of prostitution and online gambling.

He’s against capital punishment, an issue that he actually changed his mind on during his time in office.

He opposes the federalization of airport security and supports disbanding the TSA along with the DHS.

I could go on and on and on, but I think you get the idea. Representative Ron Paul knows that human beings have rights, and that the role of the government is to ensure that we keep them, not to take them away.

Reason #5: He’s Sexy as Hell

I know it’s a dangerous business, letting sexiness determine viability as a presidential candidate (see: Sarah Palin), but god damn… look at that sexy motherfucker in the picture. Those eyes. That charming-ass smile. And clearly he takes care of himself (he’s a doctor, after all). How are you not turned on right now?

I’m secure enough in my heterosexual masculinity to admit that Ron Paul is one good-looking man. And mine eyes have seen plenty of man to go around.

But seriously, though…

I’m not naive enough to think that one man will solve all of our social and economic problems. I’m not counting on one candidate to single-handedly bring us into a state of democratic and constitutional utopia. And like I’ve already stated, there are several things about Ron Paul that I just plain do not like.

But what I vote for, ultimately, is liberty. Mother fucking liberty. And for my vote, Ron Paul just happens to hit most of my bullet points. No other candidate I’ve seen even comes close.

That may change. It’s pretty early to tell, and some points of contention may indeed arise between now and November of 2012. But until I find someone better (or until someone endorses my own presidential candidacy and funds my campaign), I’m sticking with Paul. Mostly because I’m sick and tired of the same old shit, and want someone who has the balls to back up his talk with his votes.

Hopefully, the rest of you American humans agree.

11 Responses to “Ron Paul may be a religious douchebag, but I’m voting for him anyway. Here’s why…”

  1. Derek Gittler Says:

    Coincidentally, I posted something very similar to this this morning on Reddit, at least in regard to religion. http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/i0bvk/why_ron_paul_is_the_best_candidate_for_atheists/

    No candidate will ever fit everyone’s views 100% but considering what he does stand for, even in the important areas that you and I disagree with him (and they’re about the same), I think his concept of Liberty not only far outweighs the downside, but would prevent him from using the Federal government to impose those views.

    Thank you for this post.

    • Markus Says:

      There’s a reason I can’t go to /r/atheism anymore, it’s pretty much a branch of /r/politics, except the people who post there are even worse.

    • blackjeezus Says:

      I can’t stand the off-the-cuff liberal atheists that’ll dismiss a political candidate based on fucking three or four sentences uttered in an interview. Without even looking at the entire issue.

      Sorry you got downvoted into oblivion. Thanks for the support though. Hopefully, if Paul really is taken seriously this time, he’ll make a few of them eat their words.

  2. Markus Says:

    Great points. As an atheist, I have a hard time agreeing with his personal stances on his religious beliefs, but unlike other politicians, he’s willing to make fair compromises (in accordance with the constitution) instead of shoving them down others’ throats.

    But, like you, my main reason for supporting Ron Paul is personal liberty. If he’s able to accomplish even 1/10 of what’s on his agenda, America will be headed in a better direction.

  3. Waldemar Figueroa Medina Says:

    Very good little blog post here. I also come from reddit after signing up to share a link to a one hour video where I thought the format let Ron Paul explain his views in more than 30 seconds and without interruptions. The link didn’t last three seconds before being down voted to oblivion and didn’t get a single comment about it. This is the video if you have an hour to spare or something lol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSgNXehimRM

    When the country is so fucked up, how can you prevent the only one who would actively (and with the authority) end all the foreign intervention just because he’s a christian? Or because he’s pro-life? His own libertarian view means his personal beliefs are irrelevant because he doesn’t want to impose his beliefs on you and doesn’t want you to impose his beliefs on him.

    This applies to abortion, to religion, and to gay marriage, and to drugs and what have you. He accepts that he is nobody to tell you who you want to marry, that it is your business even though he personally believes something different. In a free society people should be allowed to have differing religious beliefs without having a government body imposing stuff on everybody. He also thinks wasting your life on heroin is stupid and wrong, but thinks you have the right to do whatever the hell you want with your body and if you’re stupid enough to try heroin if its legal than you should go right ahead but don’t expect him or anybody else to do the same. Who knows, maybe you regret it and actually seek some rehabilitation instead of rotting in jail being raped in the ass for a stupid mistake that we are all susceptible of doing once.

    Same thing applies with prostitution, he thinks it’s disgusting, but doesn’t see why he is anyone to prevent you from fucking for money if he doesn’t have to do it also.What business is it of anyone what voluntary transaction of ANY type even sexual goes on between two people?

    I mean what is up with people wanting to impose their shit on everyone else? If religious tolerance has come to a point where people can believe in anything without any persecution just as long as they respect others and are not imposing anything by force, then why can’t everything else make that leap? In what way does it harm me that umm.. Frank smokes pot in his room? Or that he sleeps with a whore Friday night? Or that he marries a guy or a horse? If I don’t have to do any of those things myself, or if it doesn’t affect me in any way, then who gives a fuck what Frank does?

    Sigh, sorry for the rant. Needless to say, I’ve just become a regular visitor to this blog. Hopefully it’s a great place to debate these things without slander and ignorance being thrown around. Thank you for keeping the right perspective on things and not having the world (or the US) revolve around you and your views and that we can all just do whatever we fucking want without imposing shit on others no matter how much we disagree. Peace.

  4. Patrick Says:

    Check out Gary Johnson as well.

  5. Ryan Says:

    Paul is actually correct about the First Amendment and the Founders. The phrase “separation of church and state” isn’t in the First Amendment, nor did the Supreme Court use it in an opinion until 1940, when it decided Everson v. Board of Education. In fact, after the Civil War, a number of Republicans proposed to have the “separation” language added to the Constitution. But after their amendment failed, scholars started arguing that’s what the existing language of the First Amendment required.

    Interestingly, it was the KKK and other nativist organizations that re-popularized the idea that the First Amendment required a separation of church and state in the 1920s. And guess who wrote the Everson opinion? Hugo Black, a former Klansman.

    Also, when Paul argues the Establishment Clause shouldn’t apply to the States, he has a strong argument based on the text: The First Amendment says, “CONGRESS shall make no law . . . respecting an establishment of religion.” That seems to preclude it from applying to the States, although the Supreme Court has said otherwise and held that the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the First against the States.

    Still, even if Paul got his way and somehow overturned that precedent, most state constitutions require a separation of church and state anyway. So at most it would affect some highly religious Southern states, but not many others.

  6. Offlogic Says:

    Well, I respect Ron Paul, like I do Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders, on some levels. He doesn’t scream hypocricy and I like his social libertarian views… but I’ll cordially disagree on your choice.

  7. Kris Says:

    Ron Paul is the greatest leader this country can have since JFK. And even surpass him and bring the euphoria of liberty and freedom of choice back to the way it was when this country was founded. And that will do a lot of good in a modern mechanized media-saturated world when someone can legitimately once again believe in something and know its the right thing… and not just sit in from of the TV watching american idol wishing it was them on stage.

  8. Not a Libertarian Says:

    Someone who is controlling on social issues and laissez faire on financial ones is a dyed in the wool conservative-NOT a Libertarian. For us paeons, we get more expression of personal freedom when both corporations and government are closely monitored and regulated, as both are composed of the lowest form of human-sociopathic, and power and money hungry. I would rather prefer to vote for a candidate that values social freedom.

    • blackjeezus Says:

      For us paeons, we get more expression of personal freedom when both corporations and government are closely monitored and regulated, as both are composed of the lowest form of human-sociopathic, and power and money hungry.

      [citation needed]

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