Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ron Paul comes out of the theocratic closet.

This blog has contended that Ron Paul is a social conservative who was using libertarians to raise funds. Ron Paul has consistently moved farther and farther to the fringe Right. Every time he deviated away from libertarianism it was to satisfy the social authoritarians on the Right. He’s always had an excuse for it but his voting has been consistent.

Ron Paul publicly endorsed the loony far Right John Birch Society. Ron Paul even went so far as changing his church from mainstream Episcopalian to a fundamentalist Baptist variety. Now Ron Paul has come out of the closet and endorsed the extreme Right Constitution Party.

Paul said: “I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.”

Now, there is no good reason to support Bob Barr, in my opinion. And the reasons I don’t support Barr are precisely the same reasons I opposed Ron Paul. He is a social conservative pretending to be a libertarian. And the man Ron Paul is supporting is himself a fundamentalist theocrat. I contend that no real libertarian could support the sorts of policies promoted by the Constitution Party. Let us look at the policies that Constitution Party runs on, and which have been tacitly endorsed by Ron Paul.

The Constitution Party is specifically Christianist and wants to impose fundamentalist Christianity on the United States. They don’t even pretend to respect the religious values of others. They instead claim that “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” is the “Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States.” Please note they specifically claim that Jesus Christ is the “Ruler of the Universe and these United States.” How much more clear can their theocratic tendencies be?

They say: “The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations...” They are saying that American law should be based on Biblical law -- this is Christian Reconstructionism. What does Biblical law mandate? As the Reconstructionists are not shy saying, it mandates a government that executes sinners. It is the Taliban in Christian drag.

They say that gambling “promotes an increase in crime, destruction of family values, and a decline in the moral fiber of our country.” They want to repeal federal legislation to allow the states and local communities to regulate and restrict gambling on tribal lands.

They argue that a fetus is a “pre-born child... created in God’s image.” They want the government to ban abortion entirely. They make no exceptions even for rape or incest. Their position is theological to the core. For the same theological reasons they “oppose all ‘legalization’ of euthanasia, infanticide and suicide.” What kind of theocrat can be so stupid as to want to make suicide a crime? Hey, why not? They could impose the death penalty for it, something else they support. This is what Ron Paul is endorsing.

When it comes to the war on drugs they say: “The Constitution Party will uphold the right of states and localities to restrict access to drugs and to enforce such restrictions. We support legislation to stop the flow of illegal drugs into these United States from foreign sources.”

What about state education? They say that the federal government has no role in education but they do not exclude state and local involvement in education. And they openly say that such government schooling “cannot be separated from religious faith.”

They offer bullshit about how states rights should dominate but they also make it clear that when it comes to “morality” the states have to impose Biblical morality. Under their view no individual state could grant equal rights to marry to gay couples. “No government may legitimately authorize or define marriage or family relations contrary to what God has instituted.”

They say that the states have the right “to proscribe offensive sexual behavior.” Notice that it says nothing about proscribing sexual behavior that violates the rights of others only that the states may ban sexual behavior that they find offensive. As part of their morality crusade they also with to ban “adoption of children by homosexual singles or couples.” Once again this is the candidate that Ron Paul is publicly endorsing.

As for immigration their xenophobic, nativist tendencies are very extreme. They don’t just want to “secure the border”. They want a complete “moratorium on immigration to these United States, except in extreme hardship cases or in other individual special circumstances...”. This is supposed to stay in effect until all state welfare is abolished -- as if that is going to happen in our lifetime or in the next century.

Because they are theocrats they want to ban an judicial review of legislation based on theological premises. “We particularly support all the legislation which would remove from Federal appellate review jurisdiction matters involving acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.”

They also want to abolish freedom of speech for erotica or material with sexual content because it is “a distortion of the true nature of sex created by God.” They absurdly argue that censorhip is required to protect freedom of speech: “We call on our local, state and federal governments to uphold our cherished First Amendment right to free speech by by vigorously enforcing our laws against obscenity... we also believe that our collective representative body we call government plays a vital role in establishing and maintaining the highest level of decency in our community standards.”

As for free trade, they oppose it. They say tariffs “are legitimate revenue-raising measures” and a means of protecting local companies from competition. They clearly say that the tariffs must be sufficiently high to prevent any foreign good from being able to compete on the basis of price with comparable American goods. They explicitly restrict competition from foreign competitors.

As for their opposition to government handouts and welfare they don’t oppose them with a blanket opposition. They in fact want “generous health, education and other benefits” but to veterans only.

As bad as Barr is he is still heads above Chuck Baldwin. As much as the Libertarian Party has deserted principles it is still superior to the theocratic Constitution Party. While Paul would have an excuse to not endorse Bob Barr there is no justification for endorsing Rev. Baldwin and his Christian Taliban. Well, there is no excuse for a libertarian to do this. On the other hand this is precisely what you would expect from a social conservative.

This blogger has warned libertarians that Ron Paul was heading in precisely this direction and heading there very rapidly. We were not believed by most. Ron Paul has now proven our concerns were correct. Ron Paul used libertarian sounding rhetoric to cover up his real agenda. His endorsement of an openly theocratic political party is proof positive that Ron Paul is not one of us. But then he doesn’t care anymore -- he’s got the millions of dollars that libertarians gave him to promote his real agenda. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

PS: If Ron Paul doesn't support these ideas, and his history indicates he does, then he shouldn't have endorsed Baldwin and the Constitution Party. The argument that Paul is having a hissy fit over Barr snubbing him is disrespectful to Paul. It implies that he would chuck out principle simply because his feelings got hurt. At least my view is that he has come clean and is showing some integrity by making explicit the views I contend were implicit in his campaign all along. What libertarians have to do is realize that Paul took them for a very expensive ride. The money is in his bank accounts now and he can be quite open about his views as he doesn't need libertarians anymore -- this is his last run for office. So you decide whether it is more respectful to say he is being a cry-baby over Barr or showing some integrity by coming clean on his real views.

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