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No kids, I am not watching tonight’s edition of the GOP presidential debate. Frankly I think I’d prefer to put my knuckles to an orbital sander.

I am, however, catching some of the tweets about the debate…Both serious and hilarious. And I’m a bit scared to find myself coming to the conclusion that the voice of reason among all of the candidates is: Ron Paul.

(Ron Paul in what we like to call “Jolly Mode.” I think he just told a joke. Or is waving from the parade he’s in. Or his arm is just stuck there permanently.)

What’s that? You don’t know who this guy is? Want to learn more? Sure! I’ll help out there. From his own campaign website (Yes, all quotes are directly from his website. You can dig through it if you wish to find the quotes I’ve lifted, or you can just roll with it and read on here):

Ron Paul was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Gettysburg College and the Duke University School of Medicine, before proudly serving as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s. He and his wife Carol moved to Texas in 1968, where he began his medical practice in Brazoria County. As a specialist in obstetrics/gynecology, Dr. Paul has delivered more than 4,000 babies. He and Carol, who reside in Lake Jackson, Texas, are the proud parents of five children and have 17 grandchildren.

Yes, he’s a doctor. A real, honest-to-God MD, who could contribute to national health care by becoming OB-GYN-in-chief. Seriously, though, this guy is proud of the fact that he’s delivered more than 4,000 babies. That fact is all over his site. It’s like he wants to be known as the placental president or something. Perhaps a bit bothersome, though, is that he set up his practice in Brazoria County…What the hell is a Brazoria? Isn’t that a kind of Dairy Queen location? Dairy Queen Brazorias? Or was that a response to pictures of Sophia Loren (i.e. “What a pair of Brazorias!”)

Sorry…Composure. Serious political discourse…

While serving in Congress during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dr. Paul’s limited-government ideals were not popular in Washington. In 1976, he was one of only four Republican congressmen to endorse Ronald Reagan for president.

And look where that got him: still serving in congress to this day and nary a sniff from the Republican National Committee. Of course, we all recall that Reagan managed to have his ass handed to him by Gerald Ford (of all people) in ’76. That’s like getting beaten by the old lady you just helped cross the street.

Let’s see where the man stands on key issues:

  • He has never voted to raise taxes.
  • He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
  • He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
  • He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
  • He has never taken a government-paid junket.
  • He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.
  • He voted against the Patriot Act.
  • He voted against regulating the Internet.
  • He voted against the Iraq war.
  • He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
  • He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.

Okay…So he’s got the Republican stuff down pretty good: no on taxes, gun ownership, and…um…the Patriot Act? The Iraq War? What the hell’s wrong with this guy?

He supports the gold standard:

If our money were backed by gold and silver, people couldn’t just sit in some fancy building and push a button to create new money. They would have to engage in honest trade with another party that already has some gold in their possession. Alternatively, they would have to risk their lives and assets to find a suitable spot to build a gold mine, then get dirty and sweaty and actually dig up the gold. Not something I can imagine our “money elves” at the Fed getting down to whenever they feel like playing God with the economy.

I giggle when I hear the term “money elves,” because that’s who works at the Federal Reserve…They’re wonderful little people. Wait. Are they the ones with the rainbows and shamrocks?

Ah, but seriously…So to go to the grocery store and buy the enormous quantities of food my family goes through in a week, I’d have to have gold and/or silver to buy it. And to sell anything or work for anyone, I should first ask my customer or employer if they have the gold on hand to pay me. Or I can go and dig it up…Great.

Sounds sane compared to some of the crazy crap Michele Bachmann spits out on a daily basis.

Some other highlights: he wants to eliminate the income tax completely because he feels it isn’t Constitutional, and is also a Communist plot. But to replace some of the lost income to the national government (he proposes “massive” cuts in federal spending) Paul is in favor of a consumption tax. So if you don’t buy anything, you keep your money and don’t give anything to the government. Somewhere, the Unabomber is smiling at that thought.

He wants to abolish the current financial structure of healthcare and it’s insurance companies and HMOs and government paid programs and replace it with a purely market-driven model where doctors can compete for business through quality and cost. Sounds like a great plan for your next heart bypass! We’ll be watching for the buy one, get one deals for vaccinations, or the frequent buyer program: have ten office visits and get this amazing canvas oxygen tank carrier free!

He uses only one word to discuss his civil liberties stand, and that word is “privacy.” He cites the internet and connected health care records, and the Patriot Act, and claims that individual privacy should be maintained above all else. Hang on…Right next to that multi-paragraph section is the sign-up to get his newsletter…He’s just looking for some personal information from me…I’m sure it’s perfectly safe to give it to him.

The dude’s even figured out global warming:

I try to look at global warming the same way I look at all other serious issues: as objectively and open-minded as possible. There is clear evidence that the temperatures in some parts of the globe are rising, but temperatures are cooling in other parts. The average surface temperature had risen for several decades, but it fell back substantially in the past few years.

So wait…Is it real or not or…? I’m confused. It’s going up, down, sideways?

The question is: how much? Rather than taking a “sky is falling” approach, I think there are common-sense steps we can take to cut emissions and preserve our environment. I am, after all, a conservative and seek to conserve not just American traditions and our Constitution, but our natural resources as well.

We should start by ending subsidies for oil companies. And we should never, ever go to war to protect our perceived oil interests. If oil were allowed to rise to its natural price, there would be tremendous market incentives to find alternate sources of energy. At the same time, I can’t support government “investment” in alternative sources either, for this is not investment at all.

Government cannot invest, it can only redistribute resources. Just look at the mess government created with ethanol. Congress decided that we needed more biofuels, and the best choice was ethanol from corn. So we subsidized corn farmers at the expense of others, and investment in other types of renewables was crowded out.

Now it turns out that corn ethanol is inefficient, and it actually takes more energy to produce the fuel than you get when you burn it. The most efficient ethanol may come from hemp, but hemp production is illegal and there has been little progress on hemp ethanol. And on top of that, corn is now going into our gas tanks instead of onto our tables or feeding our livestock or dairy cows; so food prices have been driven up. This is what happens when we allow government to make choices instead of the market; I hope we avoid those mistakes moving forward.

So there you go: global warming causes hemp ethanol and corn in our gas tanks and government making choices. I’m so glad that’s been cleared up.

And finally, his stand on education:

The Department of Education has given us No Child Left Behind, massive unfunded mandates, indoctrination, and in some cases, forced medication of our children with psychotropic drugs. We should get rid of all of that and get those choices back in the hands of the people.

Yes! Finally! Give ME the right to choose which psychotropic drugs to give to my kids! It’s about damned time that I get to decide these things without the government getting involved!

There you are: Ron Paul, sensible voice of the people, and the only logical choice to lead the Republican party into the 18th century.

Thank you and good night.

See you tomorrow.