Paul’s plans need further scrutiny
This primary season (which seems to have started incredibly early) social news sites across the Internet have been victims of a small and enthusiastic group of spammers. Anyone familiar with digg.com and reddit.com has seen their work: a massive collection of links to pages, videos, images and all sorts of other media supporting Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.
I’m not usually one to discourage people from partaking in political discourse, but I’m concerned that Paul is going to turn into this generation’s Lyndon LaRouche – an insane politician driven by antiquated and dysfunctional ideas and supported by brainwashed followers.
For evidence of the beginnings of the Paul-supporters’ insanity, one should first take note of his platform. He talks about abolishing income tax in favor of "non-protective tariffs" and returning the country to the gold standard. These two things indicate that both Paul and his followers have never studied history: we had such an economy and taxation system before the passing of the 16th Amendment, which legalized income tax.
It should be noted that there is absolutely no such thing as a non-protective tariff: all tariffs have protective effects, encouraging the consumption of domestic resources instead of foreign ones that may be cheaper and just as effective. Furthermore, the gold standard was left behind in the 1970s as the supply of gold was found to be too rigid of a base for the global economy.
However, Paul’s isolationist stands, which would have us abandon NATO and the United Nations, are even more troubling. A willful ignorance of the world outside our borders is not a desirable situation in this era when the flow of information is just as important as the flow of money and goods. Ignoring our foreign affairs problems won’t solve them, but electing someone who would use diplomacy instead of military threats to deal with international issues will.
As for immigration, the one issue that the Republican Party wants to push this year, Paul has embraced the most absurd idea ever heard: building a fence between the United States and Mexico in order to curb illegal immigration. Not only is the idea particularly racist, it does nothing to address real security concerns. While the drug trade does in fact cross that particular border, a fence will do nothing to stop it.
What’s more, a fence will do little to stop terrorists from entering the country, as most of them at least get into the country through legal means. Of course, his immigration policies are about as functionally deficient as all of the other Republican candidates’ proposals, so Paul has a fair amount of company in that particular delusion.
Paul’s supporters should take a long, hard look at their man and ask themselves if they really want any of his policies.