Tim Reilly, in the preface to his Beatles biography Tell Me Why, states that there are so many books about the Beatles that another one requires justification. The same could be said of American presidential candidate Ron Paul – there are so many videos, forum posts, and blog posts about him that another one seems unnecessary. However, there are a handful of issues about him that I haven’t seen addressed very often in the jungle of online material, so I’ll just make a few points here.
First, to all those YouTube users out there, stop adding cheesy rock soundtracks to Ron Paul videos. This one, for example. Ron Paul’s tallest hurdle is showing skeptic that he is a legitimate candidate, and several members of his fanbase are hurting him. I find it more difficult to take seriously a video with Aerosmith playing in the background, even – or especially – when the video’s topic is a serious one. Unfortunately, some of his supporters even fall into the category of Fandumb.
Secondly, I’d like to address a common criticism of him. There are several articles and forum or blog posts I could choose from, but I’ll use this entry from Second Page Media as my example. The author, Jad, does make a few valid points, along with several that I’d disagree with, but for now just take a look at this quote:
Ron Paul is against a woman’s right to choose. He is pro-overturning Roe v. Wade under the guise of letting individual states take up the matter. Government telling people how to use their bodies: doesn’t exactly smack of Libertarianism. Lines up directly with the conservatives, though.
As far as I know, Ron Paul does have pro-life leanings, but that’s irrelevant to Roe. The issue is whether the federal government, particularly the Supreme Court, has the right to regulate this and similar topics, or whether it is the province of the individual states (to be fair, in this case Jad does acknowledge this somewhat).
Ultimately, the discussion here is how broad the role of government should be. According to Ron Paul and his supporters, the only powers the government should have are the right to do things its people cannot do themselves – provide for national defense, for instance. Everything else should be handled at the most local level possible, a hierarcy of sorts. Does any level of government have the right to regulate personal issues? Those who support public healthcare, welfare, business regulation, and other issues would not be out of luck under a Ron Paul administration; these would just have to be handled by the individual states, as per the Constitution.