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#3 Ron Paul is not a “Republican”

September 16, 2012

Nothing drives me crazier than when liberals say they agree with RP’s foreign policy (bullshit-cough), but he’s just as crazy as all the other republicans on other issues, so we better still vote for Obama. I was a long time fan of Bill Maher (who is actually a big admirer of Paul’s, and helped boost his initial craze in mainstream), until I heard him say those exact words, citing his stances on federal regulation. Then one of his liberal guests jumped in and added that some liberals think Paul’s ideas are appealing because of his foreign policy, but they should realize that a lot of what he says comes from a “hateful” place, as he mocked him for stating that the Civil War was unnecessary. The implication was of course that Paul is a racist Southern right winger, who wouldn’t mind if we still had slavery. Instead of discussing his real position on the matter –that we should have been able to end slavery without a war, as other countries did, and that it was actually just another profit war- they changed the subject right after bringing it up; a cowardly smear from his guest and a disappointingly passive response from Maher (haven’t watched him since…).

Nothing could be more untrue than this propagated idea that Paul’s foreign policy views are the only ones that can appeal to liberals (not that they truly believe in them anyway, as it turns out). His stances on EVERYTHING from federal regulation to healthcare, education and immigration reform, are as different from those of the other “republicans” as night and day. He wants THE OPPOSITE OF TRICKLE DOWN economics.

The reason people don’t realize this is because of the language he often uses, which they only hear in sound-bites. Ron Paul is trying to transform the republican party back into what they were supposed to be once upon a time (which is wise because convincing liberals SHOULD be the easy part), and explains his positions from a conservative point of view, so a lot of the language is frightening to liberals when taken out of context.

To better understand the distinctions between Ron Paul and the establishment republicans (otherwise known as “neo-cons”), let’s begin with Bill Maher’s statement that he’s “just as crazy as the others,” because of his views on big government and more regulation; that they are actually what create the problems in our society.

When Ron Paul says the words “Big Government,” he’s actually talking about BIG BUSINESS. When he talks about the evils of “Federal Regulation,” he is referring to CORPORATE LOOPHOLES, because big business controls the federal government through lobbying, calling all of the shots on all of the bills, essentially creating the so-called regulations themselves. What the OTHER republicans mean when they talk about “big government” and “regulation,” is that they want big businesses (AKA their political sponsors) to be allowed to continue their evil practices and profit motivated abuses without interference from the federal government on behalf of the people, while they continue to work hand-in-hand with the government in order to perpetuate this system which favors them.  Ron Paul is actually talking about getting the government out of bed with the evil, giant, too-big-to-fails once and for all, so small businesses can finally have a chance to thrive in an entirely different type of economy.

Another bit of language that freaks most liberals out is the idea of “letting the market self-regulate.” Of course this sounds like what the other republicans advocate: allowing big businesses to do what they want without any legal consequences. But it actually means the exact opposite. There are very strict and key regulations under the market such as full transparency. You also can’t commit fraud or destruction of person or property. In fact it’s the involvement of the federal government in business that allows institutions to override these rules and creates the morally hazardous conditions. This is because regulations are NOT what you think they are. Basically they are entire books, with hundreds and sometimes thousands of pages of caveats and fine print that no person or business could ever interpret without a team of expensive researchers to make sure all of the rules are being adhered to.

All this does is give the largest corporations the competitive advantage, because they are the only ones who can afford such teams. Without these so-called regulations, small businesses that use ethical practices would actually have a chance in Hell to fight back and compete with places like Wal-Mart. These executives have government insiders who design the “regulations” that will cater to their interests, and then the lobbyists simply buy the votes to get the right ones passed. Now do you see why thinking that government regulation is a bad thing, isn’t always a bad thing?  A legitimate regulation would be summed up in just a few sentences or pages, for EVERYONE to adhere to, without any special privileges or loopholes to be exploited by ANYONE. Anything less should be considered fraudulent.

The libertarian theory behind the uncomfortable sounding “market regulation” argument is supposed to be that once you end the marriage between The Government and Big Business (what Ron Paul defines as “Big Government,”) everyone including the major corporations actually become ACCOUNTABLE for crimes such as FRAUD and destruction to person and property, although many libertarians get confused about this, as Paul often notes, and fall into the right-wing ideologies we despise so much: “let big business do what it wants”. When big business is controlling the government, it essentially allows them to get away with anything, with BEACAUSE of regulations. If they happen to go bankrupt because they misbehaved or gambled our money away, the government will use more of our money to bail them out, regardless of how unpopular and unconstitutional that is. Thanks regulations! Good thing we voted.

In a libertarian or “free society,” as Ron Paul defines it, corporations could not have business relationships with the government at all so there would be no such thing as lobbying. Furthermore, regulations would not allow corporations to operate without transparency. This is key because transparency is what keeps businesses honest, and forces prices of goods and services down through legitimate competition, guided by the will of the consumers.  Note that this would actually make it easier for us to get companies on the side of socially conscious, environmentally friendly, strictly organic types of objectives (which are actually effective). But we don’t have transparency, and we should be up in arms about this.

Did you know that it’s impossible to get a price or quote for any medical treatment from a hospital because of insurance regulations? They won’t tell you a thing in advance. They’ll say “come in so we give you an unnecessary exam, and if insurance won’t pay for it, we’ll bill you as much as we want to for the visit and/or treatment because there’s no way for the public to access or scrutinize our internal costs. Can you name any other service you would sign off on a purchase without access to the price? It’s CRIMINAL to operate this way.

If transparency is once again a requirement of the market system, the big nasty corporations won’t be able to get away with committing mass fraud like have been for decades, and in theory, and the Enrons of the world couldn’t even exist. The people would actually be able to hold a company liable, or put them out of business via winnable lawsuits, boycotts and demonstrations. NOT get forced to bail out that institution that harmed them. The abusive corporations would simply self destruct or be forced to shape up immediately. Interesting way to look at it, no? Corporations wouldn’t even be able to get away with polluting because that is destruction of person and property, and the government regulations wouldn’t be there to protect them from the people, who would now essentially be controlling the regulations, as they should.

While this approach is very deliberately mischaracterized as being friendly to big business, so the two main parties can keep fighting and never accomplish anything, these are the ways the market is thought to be a better regulator than the federal government.  Regulation by the market, under Ron Paul’s definition, is regulation by the people. Not regulation by big business, and we cannot expect our big business government to protect us from big business. They are for them. Not for you.

I hope you’re starting to see why Ron Paul is not even in the same category as other republicans and shouldn’t even be associated with them or their “principles.” He’s also different from other libertarians, but I will cover that later. First, I’ll get back to the main purpose of this essay, which is to demonstrate why he supports my values as a progressive, better than any other candidate.

Paul the Anti-Neocon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADINuxdKC4A.

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