Wonkette may call me a Paultard, but I’m sticking by my man


I’ve thought about it for months now: Do I or don’t I support him? I’ve started researching and stopped again. It wasn’t until very recently that I was sure. And then it hit me: Now what? I’ve measured what I should say and how that would be perceived. I’ve volunteered with Soulforce in the past, I work for children’s television, and I’m a contributor at InterstateQ… would the perception of these organizations be colored by my stance? Would it appear that I was speakingRon Paul, Presidential candidate for something greater than myself? I don’t know. But I know one thing:

I support Ron Paul.

There, I said it. He’s a Republican, he’s slammed by both sides and often ignored or mocked by the media; but you know what? He is the only candidate I would have no qualms about electing.

You might have noticed activity on the net deriding Paul as homophobic and racist (Good As You has collected the remarks here, though you’ve probably seen the ensuing blogosphere dustup in places such as here and here), but I am convinced that such an accusation is brash, unfair, and inaccurate.

  • Congressman Paul has consistently voted for individual liberty, personal freedom, and to protect the Constitution.
  • He wants to repeal most federal drug laws, which disproportionately criminalize people of color
  • He opposes the death penalty
  • He favors alternative sentencing to increased prison and voted against increased sentencing for juveniles
  • He also believes the border-fence (which only targets Hispanic immigrants) is an ineffective way of dealing with illegal immigration

He has come under criticism for opposing equality for gay and transgender individual, despite his repeated belief that all individuals should be respected. Additionally he voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, one of the few Republicans to do so. His oft-criticized vote in adoptions by gay DC couples was opposed because he does not support federal funds being used to promote or discourage adoption, not because it included provisions for gay couples (Advocate).

LOVE, RevolutionRon Paul understands that the government should protect all voluntary associations and should not have a say in who can or cannot be married. When asked if gays should be allowed to get married, he responded “Sure.” (here) He also opposes legislative attempts to reduce the rights of gay and transgender people.

While he is a Christian, supports credit for religious education, he also firmly believes that the First Amendment protects controversial speech and opposed measure to outlaw flag burning.

While he doesn’t support a government-sponsored health care system, he supports making all health expenses tax-deductible (and thus more accessible).

Congressman Paul would move to restore haebus corpus, end the unConstitutional War in Iraq, restore civil liberties stripped away by the Patriot Act and other similiar measures, and protect the rights and responsibilities of all Americans.

For more information, visit Ron Paul 2008: Hope For America.

For Carolina readers: The South Carolina Republican primary is tomorrow (Jan 19) and is an open primary, all voters may vote in either (but not both) elections which means even Democrats can support Dr. Ron Paul. The North Carolina primary is not until May 6, registered Democrats have until April 11 to change their party affiliation to vote for Ron Paul.

More voter registration / party affiliation change information is available here.


Comments
20 Responses to “Wonkette may call me a Paultard, but I’m sticking by my man”
  1. Matt says:

    I think we should have an InterstateQ.com debate! Brian (Paul) vs. Matt (Edwards). That would be interesting!

    I don’t agree with your conclusion that Paul is a safe vote. His past writings in his pre-internet age newsletters contain numerous instances of extremely anti-gay language and rhetoric. I wonder if the person Paul shows the world in this race and in D.C. is his true self. We all know leaders who, once they gain power, let something more sinister out. If Paul’s past writings are any indication of his true nature, I’m afraid the U.S. would be in for some pretty radical and extreme changes — for worse.

    Brian… (no offense Casey)… I’m sorry to see you be lost to the other side.

  2. Good As You says:

    Speaking of “brash, unfair, and inaccurate,” Brian: It is extremely unfair to imply that we have derided Mr. Paul as homophobic and racist. That is a gross oversimplification of what we have put forth.

    There have been two posts at G-A-Y concerning the Paul comments. While at first we did assume he had penned the columns himself (not unfair, considering they were under his name), after Mr. Paul took strides to say that he did not personally write them, our questions and concerns were directed. Our focus became more on the sort of intellectual laziness that could have allowed articles to be published for two decades under his name without his knowledge.

    All we have done at G-A-Y is put the columns out there, give our two cents about their existence, and let folks decide for themselves what they mean in terms of Paul’s stances. We have never said PAUL IS A RACIST or PAUL IS A HOMOPHOBE. We just haven’t fully accepted that the columns were printed for so many years under his name without him giving them so much as a glance.

  3. Good As You says:

    Sorry..above should say, “our questions and concerns were REdirected.”

  4. Brian says:

    Rightly put, I chose your post to link to because it (thankfully) had all of the articles in one place. Scathing criticism has come from a variety of blogs and commenters, I will edit the post to make that clear.

  5. Good As You says:

    No worries. I actually thought that maybe it came across in a way you didn’t intend, which was why I wanted to clarify.

    -Jeremy/G-A-Y

  6. KipEsquire says:

    “Additionally he voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment…”

    Ahem.

  7. techfun says:

    I just can’t stomach Ron Paul. As a product of a rural Florida school district that only had as high of standards and adequate funding as it did as a result of the FEDERAL Dept. of Education I can’t support a candidate who thinks that should be eliminated.

    “I want to abolish the unconstitutional, wasteful Department of Education and return its functions to the states.” http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/education/

    Also, anyone who lends his name to a newsletter that can put out something like the stuff mentioned in this summary of RP Newsletter items:

    In 1990, one newsletter mentioned a reporter from a gay magazine “who certainly had an axe to grind, and that’s not easy with a limp wrist.” In an item titled, “The Pink House?” the author of a newsletter–again, presumably Paul–complained about President George H.W. Bush’s decision to sign a hate crimes bill and invite “the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony,” adding, “I miss the closet.” “Homosexuals,” it said, “not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.” When Marvin Liebman, a founder of the conservative Young Americans for Freedom and a longtime political activist, announced that he was gay in the pages of National Review, a Paul newsletter implored, “Bring Back the Closet!” Surprisingly, one item expressed ambivalence about the contentious issue of gays in the military, but ultimately concluded, “Homosexuals, if admitted, should be put in a special category and not allowed in close physical contact with heterosexuals.”

  8. techfun says:

    I should have included a link to that New Republic article about his news letters.

    http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=e2f15397-a3c7-4720-ac15-4532a7da84ca

    And this blog post from Jan 15th that discusses the aftermath of that first article:

    http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/01/15/the-reckoning-over-ron-paul.aspx

  9. Brian says:

    Kip and TechFun,

    You both raise concerns in extremely important areas: equality and education. Especially since education often determines standard of level, professional advancement, opportunities to escape oppression, etc.

    When I first saw his stance against the Dept of Education, I was flabbergasted. That was *too* much I concluded. But, if all the money currently being paid in taxes to fund the Dept of Ed. was redirected to the state and local level, how much more efficiently could that money be spent?

    On the question of equality for gay and transgender individuals, you are correct. What I want in a candidate is for someone to say “I personally oppose discrimination against gay and transgender individuals and will remove equality at the federal level and will use my position of influence to persuade likewise be done at the state and local level.”

    Only Dennis Kucinich is saying that. Therefore, any other candidate necessarily involves some compromise on LGBT equality. Bill Clinton signed DOMA and Hilary called it a good thing. John Edwards is “personally opposed” and will only support civil unions. Obama? Civil unions.

    Congressman Paul however, whatever his personal views on the matter may be, advocates for equality for all people. I believe that the Full Faith & Credit Clause should apply to marriage contracts, and am concerned that he does not and therefor supports DOMA. At the same time, he wants for marriage what he wants in many areas: for the federal government to stay out of it (a position other candidates have taken in the past). I believe, if I’m not mistaken, Kerry opposed the FMA but supported state ones?

    In regards to his newsletter, no need to post a link, I included it in my article. The newsletter (which was not written by him) says some pretty ridiculous things I will admit. Though, if I think back over the years, my friends and roommates have also said some pretty ridiculous things. In fact, *I’ve* said some pretty ridiculous things. Does that mean I can’t be trusted now?

    As an advocate for gay and transgender equality, I say “I just want to be treated the same as anyone else.” If I’m attacked, I want my cases pursued, If I want to adopt, I’d like to be evaluated on my merits, If I want to get married, I’d like to do so.

    Congressman Paul says that he believes in respect and liberty for every individual and I believe that.

    Thanks for sharing your perspectives with me. I would encourage them to earnestly share them with Dr Paul and his campaign and ask for their perspective as well.

  10. Matt says:

    Brian, thanks for being so willing to discuss openly and frankly your support for a candidate who, to many, seems either unacceptable or reprehensible. Your willingness to discuss your personal convictions and opinions — and act on them when required — regardless of whatever consequences you endure is just one of the many qualities that makes you a great person, great friend and great colleague.

    I still wish you’d at least support a Dem, even if that person wouldn’t be Edwards, lol.

  11. Christopher says:

    Interesting. There are part’s of Ron Paul’s platform that I think are not only appealing, but should be more discussed by all candidates, especially protecting our Constitution and balancing our budget as well as eliminating or reducing the tendency of metastisizing bureaucracy in Washington.

    I just can’t go as far as he does in letting the Federal government out of things altogether. States’ rights have in the past shown themselves a playground for denying others their inalienable rights by majoritarian local rule. Some Federal government is necessary, just not as much as either the Dems or Repubs would like these days. Limited, not absent government is my take.

    What I would hope other candidates would get from his message is twofold: fiscal responsibility (meaning balanced budgets) by raising taxes, cutting budgets, or both; and defense of Constitutional liberties.

  12. Brian says:

    Matt, thanks for the encouragement. Looks like I’m going to need it.

    As it turns out. I missed the date to change party affiliations (which was months ago, and I’m rather annoyed about) so looks like I’m still a registered Bush-backlash Democrat. And I think I will be voting for John Edwards in the Democratic primary.

  13. Matt says:

    YAY! Brian’s still a Democrat (for at least through the primary!). And he’s voting for Edwards! Yay!

  14. Patrick ONeill says:

    Paul is not a libertarian – he is a confederate.
    He is just very deceptive about ‘the constitution” and a lot of people have wishfull thinking about him.

    He is always opposed to the “federal government” oppressing you, but he never has a problem with the state government throwing you in jail.

    His obsession is not libertarian anti-government, it is confederate “states rights” obsession with the FEDERAL government.

  15. Brian says:

    I think you may be right, Patrick. I’m not sure Ron Paul’s positions are truly libertarian. That being said, I am aware of them and support him anyway.

    I am not supporting Ron Paul for governor of Maryland or the local county council. I’m supporting him for President of the US–the head of the executive branch of the federal government.

    By looking at his voting record in Congress, I trust that he will reign in an increasingly invasive federal government, restore Constutional rights violated by the past administrations, and maintain a balance between the branches of government.

    He might not have a problem with the state government oppressing people, but he’s not going to be running any state. Governor Spitzer introduced a marriage equality bill in NY, the CA state legislature has passed marriage equality measures multiple times, and I’m confident the Maryland legislature will stand up for equality when their time comes (and you can bet they’ll be hearing from me!).

    I can’t judge Ron Paul based upon what he *might* do if he were elected to a state position, only what he has done and will do at the federal level. And from what I’ve seen so far, I like it.

  16. Matt says:

    I can’t judge Ron Paul based upon what he *might* do if he were elected to a state position, only what he has done and will do at the federal level. And from what I’ve seen so far, I like it.

    Brian, I think there is a point you are missing in all this.

    The only reason the Civil Rights Movement was able to move forward was because the visionaries and activists of the time found members of the federal government (State Department, White House, etc.) who were willing to stand up for what was right.

    I’d dare say that the Civil Rights Movement would have hit a few more speed bumps if it had not have the federal government backing them up.

    Your vision of Ron Paul’s reigning in a highly intrusive federal government, no matter how admirable and needed that is, leaves open the *huge* likelihood that Paul would not let the federal government step in when it was necessary (as it had to do during the Civil Rights Movement).

    Under Paul’s leadership, the White House would do nothing to try to solve any instances of extreme anti-gay behavior by state governments, if that should ever happen.

    I, too, think that the federal government has way too much power. I’d dare say that the majority of Southerners — liberal and progressive or conservative — agree in that aspect. However, many of us do believe that there are certainly times when the federal government needs to step in, mainly to take up its obligations to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

    America knows from experience that the states (well, at least some of the states) have a history of not being able to live up to those obligations. The federal government needs to be involved. To what extent? I don’t know.

  17. techfun says:

    Brian – I understand your points about money spent on education but I have to disagree. Without the FEDERAL educational oversight the consistency between schools in my state, say the poorer parts of North Philadelphia and the VERY wealthy surrounding suburbs would be even worse than it is now. So many states are running deficits and I have no confidence that schools would be properly funded. I think Ron Paul is more about home schooling as an option and just has an irrational hatred of any successful federal programs. I know our educational system is in trouble now, but historically its done wonderful things for families from all walks of life.

    As far as Ron Paul’s position on GBLT folks, no president is going to ram through a truly equal marriage law, but of all the contenders,Ron Paul’s newsletters show him to be the most actively hostile, or at least the most willing to demean gays and lesbians of all of them. (referring to his news letters I referred to from the TNR article in my earlier comment)

  18. Brian says:

    Not a single “major” Presidential candidate will use the federal government to advance equality for gay and transgender people.

    Barack Obama invited an anti-gay speaker to his campaign event.
    John Edwards is morally opposed to gay marriage
    Hilary Clinton refuses to standup for equality and supported “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

    All the other Republicans? Forget about it.

    This reminds me of Clinton’s recent speech in which, while praising the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it took a president to get things done. I disagree.

    Looking at the Democratic Congress (Matthew Shepard Act?? ENDA??) I’m even more convinced that there is no need to blindly support them.

    Politicians, unfortunately it seems, rarely act boldly. It is incumbent upon the citizens to demand justice. Yes, the civil rights act helped, yes using federal troops to desegregate schools helped, but those were in response to increasing public outcry: discrimination based on race is unacceptable.

    I’m sad to say that it just doesn’t seem like this crop of candidates will stand up for equality, regardless of the political cost. If there were such a candidate, who also held positions in other areas I could get behind, I would support her or him in a heartbeat. There is not.

    The public must demand more from their local leaders and their representatives in Congress. If there is enough support to pass legislation, the President won’t be able to stand in the way. It will take leaders such as MLK to show the public the error of their ways and provide a path towards reconciliation. When that happens, it won’t matter who is president.

    And of course, there is always the oppurtunity for the Supreme Court to rule that restricting marriage based on gender today is just as unacceptable as restricting marriage based on race was during Loving v Virginia.

  19. Brian says:

    Techfun,

    I found recently that the poorer parts of my own county (Montgomery County, Maryland) actually have more highly qualified teachers than the high school I attended (in one of the wealthiest parts of the county). Even more interesting, I discovered that schools in Garrett county (one of the poorest in the county) have EVEN MORE QUALIFIED teachers than Montgomery (one of the richest in the state, if not country).

    I’m not saying that educational discrepancies do not occur: tutors, driven parents, competitive classmates, etc, but states can responsibly allocate resources. I am thoroughly unconvinced that they can’t.

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