Monday, August 13, 2007

More on Wendy McElroy and Ron Paul

In the interests of giving time to the Paul skeptics, here is another post by Wendy McElroy, detailing an anti-Paul (or at least skeptical of Paul) email that she had received.

Her correspondent raises some good points about Paul from a purist standpoint, (together with some that I think are based on mistaken assumptions).

In any case, I'm still voting for him myself.

Reasons:

(1) I am not a libertarian when it comes to immigration and I am just as happy for Paul not to be libertarian on the issue as well.

(2) On the declaration of war - it was always my understanding that Paul's goal was less to get Congress to declare war because he would have supported a declared war than to force Congress to take an explicit position on the war. In this article he made it very clear that he was anticipating a "no" vote if Congress were to vote on declaring war. In other words, he was challegning the pro-warriors to commit themselves constitutionally. I will admit that he doesn't clearly say this in the speech linked to by McElroy's email corrspondent.

(3) I don't think Paul was calling gays a social problem as much as the question of whether or not to recognize marriage being a social problem, in the sense of a controversy that needs to be resolved. Having said that, I do not think that homosexuality is a net benefit to society nor do I think that the recent moves toward normalizing it socially are good. (If I were in control, society would sort of view it as a private vice or peculiarity, people would be more or less discreet in public, but harassing or picking on people for their sexuality would be condemned as boorish, rude behavior [and in cases where the law comes in to play to protect people from harassment and assault, these laws would be as vigorously enforced for those harassing gays as for those harassing anyone else).

(4) I don't know enough about Paul's absence for the FISA/Wiretap bill to comment.

(5) On the healthcare issue, I do not see his YouTube video as particularly offensive. I do see problems with "health savings accounts" as they would be managed under a governmental system, but they would be a lot better than what we have now. As for him intimating "that he agrees with Bush on health care," I think it is more accurate to say that he agrees solely on the issue of medical savings accounts (2:40-2:50 minutes in). The correspondent is explicitly mistaken in his assertion that "[Paul] says he doesn't want to cut the deficit." What Paul actually said is (3:35-3:50 minutes in) "I would tide people over by literally saving a lot of money from these overseas expenditures, enough to even cut the deficit, and at the same time not put people out on the streets." So he is in favor of cutting the deficit.

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