23 November 2014

Ron Paul, especially in comparison to his fellow Republicans, does seem a very likeable fellow. His position on ending our nation’s wars and interventions is on target, I believe. However, seeing some otherwise positive, well meaning folks becoming so infatuated with Mr. Paul that they call him “progressive” is ridiculous. For me, it’s brought to mind an old proverb I’d heard about ‘Freedom.’ “Freedom,” the saying goes, “means different things to different folks. Freedom for the fox means freedom to eat the hen, but freedom for the hen means freedom from the fox!”

We really do need to look a bit closer at just whose liberty & freedom it is that Mr. Paul is most interested in protecting. In this time of increased rights for corporations and fetuses, and decreased ones for regular working folks, ’freedom’ no longer has a neutral meaning. Ron Paul has been damned good, but the ‘freedom’ he’s been good at fighting for isn’t ours!

In the most recent period, massive struggles have developed in Ohio and across the nation, as obscenely rich corporate interests launched attacks on working people’s collective bargaining rights, Social Security and Medicare, women’s health care, pensions, gay people’s rights, and other areas. Where has the “progressive” Ron Paul come down on these important struggles? Consistently, on every single, issue Ron Paul comes down on the side of corporations, and their ‘rights,’ and solidly against the rights of embattled regular people.

In our state, we had to mobilize millions to beat back the attack by Kasich and GOP in the form of SB 5. In Wisconsin, Indiana, New England Right to Work (for less) bills are being pushed though. On the issue of worker’s rights, Paul has come out strongly AGAINST working folks. He issued a statement “cheering passage” of the Indiana law. But Paul isn’t just a supporter here, he’s called for a national Right to Work Law. He has a 100% rating from the National Right to Work Committee. For Paul, it isn’t his concern that in states without free collective bargaining, with Right to Laws, workers make $5,333 less. Paul stands against worker’s rights and unions in every form and stands up for the ‘right’ of corporations to rule ‘freely’ over ‘their’ workforce.

On Social Security, Paul has sponsored legislation (HR 2030) to cut Social Security benefits, privatize and destroy it. His concern certainly couldn’t be with our nation’s seniors, retirees. Social Security is our nation’s most successful program, pulling aging Americans out of poverty. Last May on Fox News Paul stated that “Social Security, Medicare are both unconstitutional!’ He compared these important life saving programs to “slavery!” Corporations have never supported Social security, Medicare, our nation’s old folks would certainly have a different take on this one.

Not only does he support the current ultra right drive for fetal ‘Personhood,’ he sponsored HR 2597 (Sanctity of Life Act of 2007), which would’ve made that the law of the land five years ago. He’s for ending Occupational Safety & Health, Child Labor Laws, Minimum Wage Laws and Unemployment Compensation. While touting ‘liberty,’ Paul was an original sponsor of the divisive ‘Marriage Protection Act of 2004,’ which attacked rights of gay Americans.

Some have argued that Paul is really a “true conservative,” sincere and consistent in his views, and for this he should he praised, supported. On questions of race and the long struggle against racism, again Ron Paul has stood up strongly AGAINST the rights of African Americans and other minorities. Paul put into the Congressional Record in 2004 that the “Civil Rights Act increased racial tensions and decreased individual liberty.” That was the same year he was the ONLY vote against a Congressional Resolution supporting the Civil Acts Act on its 40th anniversary. On Meet the Press this past year he said he “would’ve voted against the Civil Rights Act,” but went on to clarify that it was “because of the property rights element.” He sponsored legislation (HR 3863) to exempt religious schools from anti-discrimination laws and HR 5909, which would specifically end civil rights enforcement in our nation. If you’re seeing a pattern developing here, Paul really does carry this “true conservative” stuff to its logical conclusion.

In 2007, on Meet the Press, Paul said that “Lincoln was wrong to go to war,” going on to say that the government should’ve “bought all the slaves and set them free.” Paul belongs to the Mines Institute, a pro-Confederate organization. Beyond the basic historic fact that Lincoln did not “go to war,” the Confederates first fired on Fort Sumter, Paul seems willing to bend the rules on bailouts, if only for slaveholders!

On every question Ron Paul has been consistent, standing up for the rights of corporations and the wealthy to be free from government regulations. It is these very regulations, that are the people’s rights, won through hard, difficult, bloody struggles to be free from corporate rule. Paul and other highly funded conservatives, like the billionaire Koch Brothers, have been very successful at selling the idea that the government is always wrong, that if we just get the government out of the way, everything will be great. But it was only thorough government action, brought about by regular people fighting for their rights that we have been able to wrench gains from the corporations.

Only people exercising democratic control of their own government have been able to guarantee people’s right to vote, civil rights, the right to organize free from company intimidation, rights of all people to live where they choose, Social Security, Medicare and so much more. This is what we call ‘Democracy!’ Corporations don’t have that!

Paul has been good at fighting for corporate rights. Our fight is for the people. That’s the one that’s Progressive!