A friend of mine who is famous on the Internet, er, Chris Pirillo, just asked me to support Ron Paul. He’s not the only one. I’ve been hearing a lot of hype about Ron Paul. So, I went to Ron Paul’s Web site and looked at his issues stances to see if I could get why Ron is getting so much hype from some bloggers and see if Ron is really someone who deserves my support (so far I’ve been a bit partial to John Edwards cause I’ve heard him speak several times and think he’s the best of the field so far — at Microsoft I met Hillary Clinton too and she’s really smart too).
I don’t get Ron Paul’s hype. His issues page is devoid of substance on issues that really effect most of us. He focuses on the divisive issues of immigration and abortion (great “wedge” issues) but doesn’t say a single word about the issues that are already driving the presidential campaign: our war strategy, our energy/global warming strategy, our health care strategy, etc. Not a single word is on his issues page about those issues.
He has Pirillo all excited because he comes out tough on fiscal policy. The problem is this policy will NEVER get enacted due to political realities in this country. I remember back when I was a conservative Christian that I bought into this kind of belief system (lots of people believe that you should run a more libertarian-focused fiscal policy and Ron Paul lays that out very well). It’s a nice theory, but getting it enacted is really tough (impossible) and right now our country is in a total fiscal mess because of the war spending that we’ve done (which makes cutting back spending even more impossible than usual). Reduce taxes in the next eight years? If you believe that’s possible you’re smoking some good dope — yet politicans like Ron Paul will tell you that’s what we should do because they know at least 5% of us will bite on that (and usually more, I saw Ronald Reagan use that to great effect). That’d be like Maryam telling me “hey, we should reduce the amount of money we send in for our mortgage every month.” Not gonna happen but we keep believing that’s possible in politics over, and over, and over. And we get idiots as leaders as a result.
Let’s compare Ron Paul to Hillary Clinton’s page (she’s largely seen as the front runner on the Democratic side). Her issues page is more detailed and speaks directly to our #1 issue: ending the war. Ron Paul doesn’t say anything about what he’d specifically do if he were President on this issue on his page (he might have said something somewhere else, but I’m looking at his issues page, which is where he SHOULD say what he’s going to do as President). Yet he talks about abortion which really doesn’t affect most of us the way this damn war does or the way that our energy policy does (I’ve never had an abortion, but my gas prices keep going up).
Barack Obama takes that issue on head on too as does John Edwards. In fact, all three Democratic candidates are doing a MUCH better job on their Web sites and on social media sites than Ron Paul is.
So why, again, is Ron Paul getting support from bloggers? I don’t get it. This guy doesn’t even deserve to be hyped up if he isn’t going to take a stance on the tough issues of the day. Immigration and abortion and fiscal conservatism are NOT the big issues facing us.
What about his stance on Global Warming? He doesn’t have a single word about it on his issue page. What about rebuilding Louisiana? Not a single word. Fixing the health care system? Not a single word. I believe all three of the Democratic candidates believe we’ll need to nationalize health care. That’ll cost money. Yet Ron Paul wants to pull more money out of government and “give back to the people.” I’ve heard this line before. It doesn’t work.
But, then, this is the world that brought us Paris Hilton and George Bush, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when bloggers hype up someone who isn’t willing to talk about the REAL issues of the day.
Count me out.