Saturday, October 15, 2011

Proposed Ron Paul "Soundbites" for Debates

I'm a huge Ron Paul fan. I don't agree with 100% of his policies, but the vast majority. I love that he's not suave and speaks simply. However, he seems to have trouble making his points in short time frames. Perhaps it's due to the complexity of the issue, perhaps it's due to the large amount of information he could call on to answer the question, perhaps it's due to the divergence from "mainstream" political thought, thus requires more explanation, but he has trouble getting his message into "soundbites" - that is, one or two paragraphs.
After watching him in debates and feeling like his answers were correct, but just didn't pack the concise punch they could, I took a stab at writing what I would love for him to say in future debates based on what I know of his positions.
TL;DR: I'd love to see Ron Paul answer some of these questions like this:
With the rampant drug problem in this country, how can you say you want to legalize [some drug]?
Let me be clear, I am not "pro-marijuana" or even "pro-heroin" or "pro-cocaine". I think drug use can be a harmful and dangerous thing. However, I am for ending the FEDERAL prohibition on narcotics. I believe in the Constitution and in the 10th amendment. There is nothing in the Constitution about drugs and I believe that those things that are not specifically mandated to the federal govt, fall to the states. In 1919, those that believed that liquor should be banned recognized that they needed a Constitutional amendment to do so. And they needed another amendment to repeal it. Drug prohibition is no different in the need for an amendment to have a federal ban. However, there is none, so it must fall to the states. If all 50 states want to prohibit cocaine, heroin and marijuana, then fine, but not at the federal level, not without an amendment. And personally, I would not support such an amendment.
Being a strong Christian, how can you support same-sex marriage when Christianity states homosexuality as a sin?
Similar to drug prohibition, this once again is an issue of federal overreach. Marriage and its recognition is not mentioned in the Constitution as a power the federal govt has authority to oversee, regulate or restrict. Thus, that responsibility should, by the Constitution, fall to the states. I can be against an act, think it's sinful, and still not believe that it's the federal govt's job to prohibit it. Beyond that, marriage to the federal govt amounts to little more than legal declaration of shared rights (e.g. medical information sharing). Is there really a Christian reason to prohibit two people of the same sex from having the federal govt recognize them as having shared rights any more than one man being granted power of attorney for another man?
By removing national standards by eliminating the dept of education and advocating non-scientific positions like denying global warming and saying creationism is legitimate, as well as ending scientific funding, aren't you putting future generations at risk of falling behind the rest of the world educationally and competitively?
Firstly, the Constitution doesn't authorize the federal govt to dictate educational policies. The Dept of Education has only been a cabinet level agency since 1980. Are you honestly going to tell me that due to their involvement, education in this country has gotten significantly better since then? No, I believe that the US became the foremost scientific and educational country in the world BEFORE govt began funding research in every scientific field imaginable and BEFORE govt began managing education for the entire nation. Govt funding and control does expand these areas but it corrupts the systems, it doesn't really improve them. Plus,
Secondly, my positions on both global warming and creationism vs evolution is that we don't know. We have very good ideas and some evidence that supports a theory, but I believe that the science isn't definitive yet. Listen, I'm not anti-science - I'm a doctor of medicine for pete's sake. I've looked at the science for these theories and while we should continue to research and investigate these ideas, I am not convinced that they are definitive enough to be teaching in classrooms as fact and setting restrictive economy-wide policies by - doubly so when considering that the Constitution doesn't authorize the federal govt to dictate such policies.
With your focus on privacy, freedom and personal rights, why do you want to restrict a woman's privacy and freedom and ban abortion?
It's not about restricting her freedom or invading her privacy. However, as a doctor who has delivered thousands of babies, many of which were not full term, I recognize that what is inside a woman's womb is a life. In addition, the law recognizes it as a life since as a doctor, I was legally liable for that life and that life has inheritance rights. And as such I am a firm advocate for the protection of rights and the right to life is a critical one. Also note that my position is that I don't believe the federal govt has the Constitutional authority to be the "Abortion Police" - to either legalize or ban the practice. If a state wants to ban abortions or allow them, the Constitution doesn't grant the federal govt the authority to overrule that. At the core, I believe that protecting life is the first and most crucial step in protecting liberty.
Your policy calls for closing all military bases in foreign countries. Do you also want to shut down military bases in the US?
Well, I'm not sure that's necessary. How about we take it one step at a time and implement my foreign policy first and evaluate things at that point? I will emphasize is that what I want to do is cut the military, not defense. I think a strong defense and intelligence network is essential to a strong country. However, our military is overgrown and expansive. The military has become a tool of aggression instead of defense. I believe that our intervention in the affairs of other countries and the entangling alliances we get involved with cause us to be LESS safe. [If you agree that govt intervention in the economy causes problems, can't you see that govt intervention in the affairs of foreign countries causes problems? (this line can be added or removed based on who the audience is)] We are now in a position, we have SO many enemies, thanks to over 50 years of intervention around the world, where we feel we have to keep our boot on the necks of every country out there for fear they will try to get back at us. That's not only dangerous and not sustainable, it's not moral.
Are you suggesting that we invited 9/11?
Absolutely not. WE the people did not cause 9/11. But the actions of the US govt over the last 50-60 years did - and on our behalf. WE the people didn't overthrow a democratically elected leader and replace him with a puppet dictator that brutally oppressed his people, but the US govt did. WE the people didn't supply Saddam Hussein with weapons and encourage him to attack Iran in the 80s, but the US govt did. WE the people didn't give billions of dollars to dictators that oppressed their people, but the US govt did. [More detail about what the US govt has done and emphasize the difference between WE the people and the US govt] These aren't the acts of everyday Americans, as the question implies, but the acts of govt.
You have no problem with Iran getting a nuclear weapon? Aren't you basically advocating sticking your head in the sand and hoping terrorism goes away?
Our founders warned us to avoid entangling alliances and to avoid meddling in the affairs of foreign countries for fear of exactly the type of backlash we are seeing now. Look at the 1998 fatwa, bin Laden's letter right after 9/11, his letter in 2002 or 2006, or the statements of various other terrorists and the core justification behind all of the attacks was our continued military presence, intervention and sanctions on countries in the middle east. If we were to implement my foreign policy - a foreign policy NOT of isolationism, but of non-interventionism; if we were to end the active combat around the world; if we were to return our troops home from over 700 bases in over 135 countries; if we were to stop just giving money to foreign countries, countries that are often ran by authoritarian dictators; if we were to focus our defense spending on strengthening measures of ACTUAL defense; if we were to ensure a strong international intelligence network; if we are open, friendly and freely trade with all countries; if we were to do all of that, (besides saving hundreds of billions of dollars a year), why would they attack us? What would be the purpose? What would they be trying to get us to STOP doing by threatening attack?
And the idea that, without provocation or justification, Muslims will simply attack us, minding our own business, for no other reason than to get their virgins or similar is nothing but a ridiculous and ignorant caricature - even of Islamic extremists.