H.O.T.W. Deconstructing the Constructionist: Ron PaulDecember 30th, 2011 | Posted by in Blog | HOTW
Among the winning* crop of Republican presidential hopefuls (*yes, that was a thinly veiled reference to Charlie Sheen’s unforgettable insanity of several months back), only two stand out as almost sane…or indeed, almost human. Note, I did say almost. The lucky winners would be the far more reasonable Jon Hunstman, and that right-wing extremist in libertarian’s clothing, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. Unfortunately for the certainly anemic and more likely extinct reasonable Republican primary voter, only Ron Paul is relevant at this point. Currently, Dr. Paul (22%) is only trailing the inevitable Republican nominee Mitt Romney (25%) by the margin of error in a recent CNN poll. Huntsman has been permanently relegated to the hinterlands of permanent single digit support.
So, who is Ron Paul? Oops…not so fast. Perhaps, without the requisite presumption that question implies, “What is Ron Paul?” may be a more precise query. So, what is Ron Paul? As it turns out, we needn’t labor too hard to synthesize a cogent, inclusive and economical response to that musing: He is a hypocrite! What the…!? How the…!? You can’t be referring to Congressman Ron Paul from Texas, who convincingly demonstrates his ideological purity every time he opens his mouth!? Listen pal, you can say that about the rest of those nut jobs, but not Ron Paul! He’s a doctor for Christs sake!
I have to be honest: I wanted Ron Paul. Unlike previous Hypocrites of the Week that screamed out, “Look at me! Look at me!” I was determined to get the dirt on Dr. Paul. Whereas, Gingrich, Perry, Bachmann and the like were no-brainers for the HOTW feature, Dr. Paul posed some problems; namely, he presents as an honest, straight-shootin’ Tea-Partying libertarian, not a right-wing nut job that needs a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Unfortunately for the Republican electorate, that characterization just doesn’t hold water for several reasons, but one stands out among them:
In my opinion, the most egregious of Dr. Paul’s betrayals of his own ideological chastity, was his recent signing of the Personhood USA Personhood Republican Presidential Candidate Pledge. Before I discuss the implications of that pledge, a little history is in order.
Dr. Paul has often been referred to as the intellectual godfather of the Tea Party movement, largely due to his long-held libertarian views; he was, in fact, the 1988 presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party. To explore exactly what that means, we have to look no further than the Tea Party’s co-option of the Gadsden Flag, which reads Don’t Tread On Me (sic). Although some may argue what exactly the contemporary meanings of the flag and its warning Don’t Tread On Me may be, it takes no brainiac to define them in the context of libertarianism and the Tea Party. Don’t Tread On Me simply means, “Keep your damned government out of my Medicare!” Oops, wrong quote! That quote was just one of those priceless moments during the healthcare debate of 2009-10 when, at a town hall meeting, an irate right-winger yelled that ridiculous statement out to her Congressman. The correct quote that in my opinion defines the contemporary meaning of Don’t Tread On Me is, “Keep your damned government out of my personal life!” I suppose I could have just written, “Keep governmental intrusion to a minimum,” but as one can plainly see, there exists no flourish in that statement…
So, libertarianism, the Tea Party and Ron Paul are all about limited government, with particular limitations on federal government, and with an emphasis on keeping that government from interfering in the private lives of its citizens.
On 12/22/11, when succumbing to pressure from the most boorish extremes of the Republican primary electorate (which is all of the Republican primary electorate these days), Dr. Paul signed Personhood USA’s Personhood Republican Presidential Candidate Pledge. Here is some of the text from the pledge:
I __________________ proclaim that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God, and is endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right to life.
I stand with President Ronald Reagan in supporting “the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death,” and with the Republican Party platform in affirming that I “support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children.”
…I oppose assisted suicide, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and procedures that intentionally destroy developing human beings.
If the proponents of the pledge were successful in their efforts, the result would be the most personally intrusive federal regime in the history of our great country. If such freaks and radical elements of the population as a whole are permitted to proceed unchecked (which thankfully is not likely), you can plainly envision that slippery slope hurtling toward insanity, such as the banning of certain types of contraception. In fact, taking The Pill might be considered tantamount to murder! Any reasonable individual will at once identify such ends as madness and a great example of right wing social engineering (Newt’s good for something!).
To say that the legislation proposed by the signatories of the pledge is a frontal assault on Roe v. Wade is, well, elementary. But such an assault on personal liberties perpetuated by a self-described libertarian is fetid hypocrisy. If the pledge signed by Dr. Paul isn’t the government all up in your business, what is? Libertarian my a$$!
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