Recently a friend told me he supports Ron Paul for president because “he plans to end the phony, evil, imperialistic War On Terror and end the War On Drugs.” I told my friend that Dr. Paul can easily afford to make those claims precisely because he knows he will never have to back them up.
He knows those claims are wildly popular with a growing number of people who are frustrated with the limitations of the two party system which offers no remedy for those twin atrocities.
President Ron Paul would end the war, but refuse to provide long-term government medical, psychiatric and financial help to war veterans and their families. He would make all drugs legal, yet refuse government funding of drug addiction education, prevention and recovery programs. If our allies in England or France were to be invaded or attacked by Russia or China, President Paul believes it’s none of our business, we should only protect our own country.
But he will not get elected to the presidency. The Republican Party will not allow him to be their standard bearer for that reason alone, not because “he plans to end the phony, evil, imperialistic War On Terror and end the War On Drugs,” but because they know he has a snowball’s chance on a Death Valley two -ane black top on the 4th of July of winning a general election.
He stands for the most important things that the corporate beneficiaries of GOP rule desire: no regulation, no taxes, every-man-for-himself-only-the-strong-survive “free” market rule. Yet his supporters are convinced that he is some kind of rebel and antidote to greedy 1%er corporate plutocracy. They think Dr. Paul’s remedy to all of our nation’s ills is so simple we’ve been staring right at it all the time:
Amputate! Cut taxes. Cut spending. Cut education. Cut regulation. Cut consumer, employee and environmental protections. Cut equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws. Cut the UN. Cut out the Federal Reserve. Hell, cut out the whole damn government! This is guaranteed to work, money back if you can catch him with whatever limbs you have leftover.
But he will not win. Because in order to win the presidency, one must win the support of the African American community, which he won’t for reasons I will mention below; he won’t win Latinos because of his cruel and dismissive attitudes toward immigrants; nor women because of his anti-choice stance and refusal to recognize the need to have and enforce gender anti-discrimination laws; and Gays, because of his homophobic ideas about military service and anti-discrimination laws. He will need these constituencies in order to win, but none of them like him or trust him. It is no longer possible to be elected president in America today by appealing solely to the demographic of conservative and libertarian white men.
Dr. Paul is smart enough to know that he will only see the inside of the Oval Office on the Congressional VIP Tour, so he is free to promise to end the War on Terror in the face of the bellicose generals and corporate titans of the gargantuan, ‘president shooting,’ Military Industrial Complex.
Dr. Paul knows he will never have to fulfill his promise, so he can swear up and down he will vanquish the profits of well-connected, international drug-money laundering banks, giant security companies that dominate the private prison industry and its attendant manufacturing and assembly slave wage labor force.
Dr. Paul also knows that as president he won’t have to disappoint and anger his supporters, who will call him a sell-out and accuse him of ‘caving’ when he fails to deliver on all of his promises right away due to an intransigent Congress who will block his every move and make it look like his fault.
Dr. Paul, like Ralph Nader knows he is free to call for and promise all kinds of good things that many of us want to see become reality. It is a really good thing to have voices like theirs always out there, reminding the two-partiers what many if not most of us really want. But to actually govern in a democracy, you have to be able to work with and compromise with colleagues. Those two guys have never demonstrated a willingness or an ability to do that.
To even get elected people have to like you, and neither of these guys are all that likable. Ron Paul is unlikable if you are in any of the demographics mentioned above, and Ralph Nader comes off like that puppet who lives in a trash can on Sesame Street.
Ron Paul may or may not have written those racist words in the newsletter bearing his name in a giant banner on its front page 20 years ago as he claims, but I remain unconvinced that it is his compassion and desire for justice for African American youth that motivates his call to legalize drugs.
And I’m afraid I do believe that this Congressional Representative of the United States Government who hates government so much he wants to be the leader of it, really does believe in, and is preparing for the “coming race war” his newsletter warns about.
I believe this man who would refuse official recognition of the slain civil rights icon whose stone monument will stand on the National Mall, not far from Dr. Paul’s seat in Congress, long after he himself has been long dead and forgotten as a minor footnote in history, and who would deny recognition of the truly heroic effort in the face of jail, violence and death of a young woman who refused to give up her seat on the front of a bus to a man like himself, thereby shifting the consciousness and uplifting the soul of a nation….
I believe that this man does believe in his heart that “only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions,” that “95 percent of the black males in [Washington DC] are semi-criminal or entirely criminal,” and “if you have to use a gun on a youth, you should leave the scene immediately, disposing of the wiped off gun as soon as possible,” and that after the Los Angeles riots, “order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.”
“If he did not write these things and does not think them himself, if Ron Paul is so libertarian that he won’t even police people who use his name, if his movement is filled with incompetents and opportunists,” it’s been asked, “then what kind of a president would he make?”