- Politics and Social Issues
Ron Paul On the Issues
Ron Paul's Political Views
A libertarian leaning Congressman from Texas, Ron Paul served without much publicity for 30+ years before becoming one of the leading conservative thinkers (and fundraisers) with his surprisingly publicized run for the Republican nomination for President in 2008 and 2012. Although he is now retired from politics, Paul's influence remains through his son Rand Paul, a Senator from Kentucky. This hub will take a look at former Congressman Paul's political views to see how they match up with his reputation as a libertarian thinker.
1. Federal Deficit: Paul has been a strong opponent of dramatically cutting government spending, including eliminating programs such as Medicare, phasing out Social Security, and reducing funding for almost all government programs. His stance on these issues during the 2008 campaign in many ways paved the way for the rise of the "Tea Party" movement during the 2010 Mid-Term campaigns.
Relevant Quote: "The baby boomers are retiring and they're going to demand what they put into the system and it's just not there. What we need to do is not only live within our means, but start paying down the deficit, and offer an opportunity at least for the next generation to get out."
2. Abortion: Paul is anti-abortion and believes that "life begins at conception." That having been said, Paul believes that abortion is an issue that should be decided by the states and not the federal government. This is shown in his voting ratings from the various anti-abortion groups, as Paul received a 0% rating from NARAL (a leading pro-choice group), but only received a 53% rating from NRLC (a leading pro-life group). Paul did vote for the ban on partial birth abortions, but judging from his statements he would seem to be unlikely to use federal government power to actively change abortion laws.
Relevant Quote: "The first thing we have to do is get the federal government out of it. We don't need a federal abortion police. That's the last thing we need."
3. Gay Rights: Paul has a mixed record overall, consistently refuting efforts by social conservatives to ban gay marriage while simultaneously refuting efforts by gay rights activists to enact legislation classifying crimes against LBGT individuals as hate-crimes. As befitting his libertarian stance on most issues, Paul does not want to see the federal government involved in either side of this issue: gay people should received no different treatment than any other citizens.
Relevant Quote: "If you want to change people, you do it through persuasion, through family values and church values, but you can't do it through legislation because force doesn't work."
4. Civil Rights: Similar to his stance on gay rights, Paul has consistently voted against legislation like the USA Patriot ACT that he believes wrongly expands federal government power at the expense of civil liberties. By the same token, he has consistently voted against affirmative action and other social programs designed to help minorities because he views them as an unwelcome increase in federal government power.
5. Drugs: Probably Paul's most "liberal" stance (at least in terms of how the political spectrum is currently viewed). Paul thinks the drug war is a total failure and the federal government should repeal most drug laws. Paul received a A rating from the Vote-Hemp PAC.
Relevant Quote: "On the issue of drugs, we have spent nearly five hundred billion dollars on the War on Drugs, since the 1970s. Total Failure. Some day, we have to admit it."
6. Education: Wants to close the department of education but keep public schools, handing them over to state and local control. Also wants to encourage home and private schooling through tax write-offs. Overall Rep. Paul hasn't given many details on his education plans.
7. Gun Control: A very strong supporter of gun rights, given an A rating by the NRA. Thinks the federal government should have nothing to do with regulating guns.
8. Health Care: Paul thinks the health care industry is extremely over-regulated and that this explains the recent massive increases in health care costs. Would cut back on the power of the FDA, reign in pharmaceutical lobbyists, and increase competition between HMO's and health care providers to help lower consumer costs. Is strongly opposed to government run health care programs, but believes that the system as it currently stands is clearly not working.
Relevant Quote: "We need to get the government out of the way....we don't have enough competition. There's a doctor monopoly out there. We need alternative health care freely available to the people."
9. Immigration: Probably Paul's most aggressive issue in terms of the use of federal government power. Believes that the immigration problem is caused by our generous federal government social welfare programs. Voted for the border wall, thinks that the government should restrict immigration as much as possible and end the current rule that anyone born on American soil automatically becomes an American citizen. Rated 83% by USBC (a interest group supporting restrictions on immigration).
Relevant Quote: "I see the immigration problem as a consequence of our welfare state."
10. Welfare: Would ban all federal government welfare handouts. Believes poverty is a problem better handled by the states and private charities.
Hope this proved informative, please check out my other hubs on Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton's positions on the issues if you are interested. And make sure you vote in your primary (if it has yet to be held) and on election day in November.
All quotes come from http://ontheissues.org/Ron_Paul.htm.
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