Senator John McCain insists his views on fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan represent the ideas of our fighting men and women, but recent figures on which candidate is receiving the most financial donations indicates the Arizona senator lags far behind. Between January through March of this year, anti-war candidate Ron Paul received the largest amount of money donated by military personnel, a total of $201,271. According to Jesse Benton, speaking for Rep. Paul: “I think they’re sick and tied of being sent overseas on these police actions and getting caught in the middle of these civil wars, and want someone like Ron Paul speaking sense.”
Senator John McCain received $132,133, but, his major Democratic opponent, Senator Barack Obama, received nearly one-third more money by obtaining $178,456. Senator Hillary Clinton received $85,000. Massie Ritsch, of the Center for Responsive Politics noted: “To see to anti-war candidates getting more money from the people fighting the war or providing support for the war effort was surprising to us.”
The figures are based on donations of at least $200 so it is possible those sending in $10 or $25 might be supporting Senator McCain. The bottom line is there has been a notable switch on the part of many servicemen away from complete support for Republicans who toe the Bush line. I guess most servicemen and women simply don’t want to be fighting in Afghanistan ten or twenty or a hundred years from now.
Ron Paul is a very nice man. Unfortunately, he appears trapped in a nineteenth century approach to confronting 21st century issues. At times, one wonders if Congressman Paul ever studied any aspect of America’s labor history or actions of 19th century robber barons. He captivates many young people with cries of ending government intervention in the lives of the population and offers an interpretation of American government which bears slight resemblance to reality of the past. His followers urge a return to olden times when government was limited and individuals had more rights. The Paul interpretation of America’s past is fantasy, not reality. The American government was always involved in the lives of people, unfortuantely, more often on the side of the wealthy and corporate leaders.
American history from, literally day one, of this nation entailed government being involved. For example, here is a short list:
1. Northwest Ordinance which banned slavery in the region and allowed for sale of land to establish schools.
2. Purchase of the Louisiana Territory which doubled the size of the nation.
3. Building of the National Road(later, Highway 40) to assist transportation needs.
4. Establishment of the Bank of the United States.
5. Purchase of Florida.
6. Government expenditures to build roads and canals.
7. Removal of Cherokees from their land.
8.. Passage of protective tariffs to assist new American industry. Famous Tariff of Abominations which upset many southerners.
9. Alien and Sedition Acts of the 1790s which abridged freedom.
10. Missouri Compromise.
11, Declaration of war against England in 1812 which was unpopular in New England.
So far, the list really doesn’t go past the 1840s. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the growth of industry resulted in workers toiling in unsafe conditions and extensive child labor under control of strangers rather than family members. The so-called “free enterprise” system Mr. Paul extols resulted in abuse of working people, and the necessity of government action to force employers to install safety conditions, to have preparation of food, etc.. Has Congressman Paul forgotten Theodore Roosevelt, a great Republican who challenged Big Business by seeking government action to break up monopolies?
In a sense, Ron Paul presents the history of America from the top down. He apparently believes there were benevolent business leaders, who when left to themselves without government scrutiny, behaved admirably. There is a famous picture of Walter Reuther, head of the United Automobile Workers, whose face is bloody after being beaten by Ford Company goons. Does Mr. Paul realizes America needed an active government to end child labor and unsafe working conditions and to assist workers in their efforts to form unions? Does he understand we needed an active federal government to create a program for retirement?
Mr. Paul is obviously against the income tax. What exactly does he want to replace it? Many of his supporters seek to end the income tax and substitue a sales tax. The wealthy of this nation would be deliriously happy if the income tax was replaced by the sales tax. However, the poor would suffer. My problem is that Congressman Paul appears to be oblivious of the needs of the middle class and poor people. They need universal medical insurance, not tax deductions. I find it shocking a doctor opposes the necessity of national health insurance.
Mr. Paul is a nice man. He seeks to end the war in Iraq and have the military come home. I agree with that goal, but he lacks any comprehension of what is entailed to have the military return home. It can not happen in a week or a month. It will take time and planning. His anti-Iraq war stance is simply another indication of a lack of sophisticated analysis of 21st century life. We inhabit a planet in which there is a global complex economy. The actions of a suicide bomber in Afghanistan can impact our stock market. The nice congressman simply lacks comprehension of modern complexity and can only mouth platitudes that might serve nineteenth century life, but are outmoded.
The best thing he has done for America is to energize youth to become politically active. The next step for those individuals is to read history.
Posted in Conservatives, Democrats, Education, Fred Thompson, Human Rights, Iraq War, Liberals, Mitt Romney, Republicans, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani
Tagged Ron Paul
As the primary season opens tomorrow, the candidacy of Ron Paul looms as an important factor in the election of 2008. There is no question he will never win the Republican nomination, but his run as an independent might have disastrous consequences for those concerned about the end of war in Iraq and the erosion of civil liberties in the United States. In a sense, Ron Paul, could become the Ralph Nader of 2008. the Nader votes in Florida in 2000 transformed a Gore presidency into a Bush fiasco and the horror of Iraq. There will be many contested state elections in which a few thousand votes could turn the tide and provide right wing Republicans a chance for victory.
Ron Paul supporters ignore the consequence of a Giuliani or Romney or Huckabee victory. At least two of the Supreme Court’s liberal members who have fought for individual rights are rather elderly and their death or retirement opens the door for a new president to make two key selections that could alter the composition of the court for at least two decades. A Republican victory ensures the death of abortion rights in America, it maintains the horror of Guanatanamo, it ensures the Patriot Act will be supported, and makes more difficult fighting to obtain equal rights for gays and workers.
A Republican victory in 2008 will make more difficult creation of an equitable system of health care in this nation. Ron Paul and his libertarian views on ending the income tax or opposing national health insurance or opposing worker rights to form unions makes him a poster boy for the corporate world. If he siphons off votes in key states and allows a Giuliani to win then Paul has done more to maintain the madness of Iraq than any other candidate. Ron Paul claims he wants American troops withdrawn from Iraq but his candidacy stands an excellent chance of ensuring that does not happen.
In the 2000 election, Ralph Nader supporters were righteous in their indignation against voting for Gore on grounds it made no difference who won. That attitude allowed Bush to triumph. The question confronting every Ron Paul supporter is whether it holds true today– does it make a difference if a Giuliani or Thompson or Romney wins as against a victory for a Barack Obama or Edwards of Clinton? If Ron Paul wants to end the war in Iraq, he will gracefully walk off the stage and avoid a third party candidacy.
Posted in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Conservatives, Democrats, Fred Thompson, George Bush, Hilary Clinton, Iraq War, Liberals, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, US Foreign Policy
Tagged abortion, Iraq, Republican victory, Ron Paul
There is a growing sense among both Republican and Democratic members of Congress that the issue of when and how the United States becomes involved in fighting a war should be under the control of Congress, not merely the Executive. A proposed bill would amend the War Powers Resolution which was enacted during the Vietnam War over a Nixon veto in an effort to restore Congressional control by requiring the president to report any military action to Congress within 48 hours. It also required the president to withdraw forces after 60-90 days unless Congress didn’t explicitly vote an extension. The Constitution clearly places power to declare war in the hands of Congress, but in recent years presidents have simply bypassed that body and deployed troops in war situations. According to Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North carolina, “Throughout American history, the balance too often has been ignored” since Congress has not been allowed to exercise its war making power.
The proposed legislation would prohibit the president from ordering a military actions without congressional approval unless American troops were attacked. This proposal is certainly in the spirit of what our Founding Fathers wanted when they wrote the Constitution. AS Republican congressman, Ron Paul, stated, “we don’t want the debate after the war,”
Posted in Conservatives, Democrats, George Bush, Human Rights, Iraq War, Liberals, Military, Peace, Politics, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Congress War, presidential power, Ron Paul, War debate