Let's Discuss the Unknown Presidential Conntenders

Has anyone out there seen Ron Paul and Mike Gravel?

I seriously love these guys, although i’m not terribly sure who I’d want to win. I suppose that I’m out of the Obama camp now, even. This is huge news for me to even want a Republican to win, but I like Ron Paul as well.

Essentially Ron Paul is a Libertarian, I don’t agree with all of his policies (like closing the borders) but I think he has a lot of good ideas. I’m so sick of the Federal government wasting money on things that aren’t benefiting anybody. I’d prefer to shut down the whole federal government and let the states pick up the slack. At least in this way we’d have choice and also a chance to try out various different models of social systems. This isn’t his policy, but it seems a natural reaction to it. I can see Massachusetts doing some things that Texas wouldn’t.

Gravel is also great in the sense that he too seems to want to make big changes in Washington. He also has hardly any money at all. It is quite sad but we’ll see how his recent celebrity works for him. He and Gravel have good ideas about Iraq, and also about taxation. As for his age? Well, it’s about time we had a grown-up in Washington to look after the kids.

Why do I like these two candidates? They are both against the distraction politics that are used to divide people along whatever cleavages they can find. They focus on things we ALL so desperately need. It’s not about gay marriage or abortion or other minor issues, it’s about getting rid of the ridiculous state of affairs in Washington today.

Yet, neither seems to be getting much attention from their respective corners. I check on daily kos an they were hardly mentioned. What is going on here? When I go to digg.com people are going nuts over these guys. I just hope that I get a chance to earn some money and give it to these guys before the get screwed out of the race by the mainstream media.

I’m not very hopeful though. So many media outlets are so focused destroying candidates based on their issues which don’t jibe with Demographic X in State Y.

So should I prepare to be thoroughly disgusted by the state of the affairs again?

And finally, in New York, can one vote in both primaries? I realize why this isn’t allowed sometimes, but I’d like to vote for both of them because I think they are both good guys.

I hadn’t heard about Ron Paul until about a couple months ago, but ever since then I’ve read as much about him as I can get my hands on. I sincerely hope he can get a decent shot at the Republican nomination, because his honesty and more libertarian ideals are something I think we need a lot more of in the current government. The best part about Ron Paul is that the man is practically smear-proof. His voting record is spotless in terms of supporting his ideals, and in his personal life he has 50-year long marriage and is a church-going Protestant. The main issue for him at the moment is to get the media to actually notice him, most of the “mainstream” summaries I read of the debates actually neglect to even mention him, even when they lump together the other “second tier” candidates.

Digg.com seems to be where most of his supporting base is though. When I search for reactions to him on conservative blogs, a lot of them decry him as a dirty liberal because he doesn’t back the war in Iraq. Neither place is where the majority of the voter base is coming from, so it’s anyone’s guess how people would actually react to him…assuming they actually knew who he was.

Gravel is amusing, but I think his attitude and lack of money will severely hurt his chances at any significant shot at the nomination.

I’m in California and I am allowed to vote in any of the primaries, regardless of my party affiliation (or lack thereof). I don’t think many other states allow that though.

Are you guys aware the Ron Paul is resolutely pro-life and has tried to make all abortions illegal? I don’t trust any so-called Libertarian who makes exceptions to his supposed beliefs as soon as he runs across something he wants to make illegal - a real Libertarian is opposed to government interference even when the government is trying to do something he likes. Paul, on the other hand, is just a Conservative who thinks calling himself a Libertarian will get him more votes.

Mike Gravel is more open about his beliefs - but he’s somewhere out to the left of Dennis Kucinich.

You’re only allowed to vote in the primary of your registered party in New York. And I have a hard time seeing how anyone could want to vote for both Ron Paul and Mike Gravel anyway - their postions are about as far apart as any two elected officials in this country could be. It’s like saying the two posters you agree with the most on political issues on this board are Der Trihs and Shodan.

I wouldn’t actually vote for any of them, but the debates would be basically unwatchable without candidates like Gravel, Kucinich and Paul. The candidates who actually have a chance to win are basically afraid to give anything other then predictable, vague, pre-prepared statements.

No, people vote for candidates who give predictable, vague, pre-prepared statements. That’s why those candidates win.

Untrue. There is a debate in the libertarian community about abortion. All libertarians essentially believe that government’s only duty is to protect life, liberty, and property. However, some libertarians (the minority viewpoint in that community) believe that life begins at conception. Therefore, it is a proper duty of government to protect this life.

It’s not a matter of Paul makes an exception to his beliefs because he dislikes abortion. Instead, Paul’s dislike of abortion if perfectly consistent with how he views libertarianism.

Are these the “unknown unknowns” that Rummy used to talk about?

You say “abortion” like it’s something arbitrary like “wearing denim shorts”.

If he’s pro-life, then he considers abortion to be exactly the same as murder. That’s not “government interference” by that standard. Libertarians are opposed to unnecessary government spending and social engineering; they support basic human rights. If he considers abortion murder, then there’s no reason he wouldn’t try to make it illegal.

Obviously most libertarians aren’t pro-life, but the position isn’t contrary to the libertarian philosophy.

You should do a little more research. Ron Paul hasn’t done a single thing in his entire career that would help him get votes. He’s gone against everything the neocons (and most voters) stand for. He opposes the War on Drugs, opposes all foreign intervention, opposes any gay marriage amendment (although he’s strongly against homosexuality and gay marriage, he says it’s not a federal issue), he wants to return to the gold standard, et cetera.

His strong Protestant beliefs are a negative, but he’s so strongly against government interference that it wouldn’t even make a difference. He would do nothing but good for this country.

Read any one of his speeches; they’re incredible. He really stands behind freedom and all the things this country is supposed to be.

Here’s a column of Paul’s from the beginning of last year discussing his reasoning around his votes about abortion.

Federalizing Social Policy

Basically, he believes that the federal government doesn’t have jurisdiction to ban or condone abortion and that it should be decided at a state level. He’s personally very pro-life, but he clearly doesn’t want the federal government deciding the matter…which is consistant with his usual view of things.

Worth noting that despite that speech, he has supported federal laws to limit partial birth abortion.

No, Paul feels the federal government doesn’t have the right to condone abortions. He supports the right of the federal government to ban abortions and has voted in favor of such laws.

I will concede that Paul’s positions on drugs and gay marriage are Libertarian not Conservative. But abortion is not a trivial issue that can be ignored. Obviously, he strongly beleives that abortion is murder - many people believe this. But many other people do not believe that. Paul’s pro-life activism is essentially him saying, “I’ve made a moral decision and now I’m going to have the government enforce it upon everyone.” Sorry, but that can’t be reconciled with libertarian principles.

Paul also wants to return to the gold standard. He doesn’t appear to be anything more than your standard kookoo bananas Libertarian. Going to the gold standard and withdrawing from international free trade agreements would destroy our economy.

I probably should have linked this speech along with the first one, but here you go.

The Partial Birth Abortion Ban

He also displays the classic archetype of arguing against that which he says is so, but is in fact no so. For example in one of his speeches he says:

There is nothing stopping a child from praying in school. That is nothing more than a distortion of the truth to give him something to rant about.

More importantly, the federal government. So abortion is murder? Murder, as such, is a crime outside federal jurisdiction except in special circumstances defined by federal statute. Besides, I believe leaving as much as possible to the states is also a Libertarian principle – can any Libs here tell me if I’m wrong?

Can the same be said for his stance on gay marriage and immigration?

In a bill he proposed in 2000, he cites several cases that definitely seem hostile to children praying out loud in school. I’m not sure if they are still considered precedent, but they are basis enough for him to hold his opinion.


Sorry if I seem argumentative treis, I just like Paul and am trying to defend him :slight_smile:

Each candidate has show-stopping flaws in my opinion, and while many of Paul’s are outlined above, I didn’t see anyone post the major one I see with Gravel.

He’s a fan of the “Fair Tax.”

Can you outline the problems with it? I don’t really know enough to understand why that’s a showstopper.

Since it’s a side trip from the thread topic, I won’t go into it here. There are several threads on it, but this is probably the most comprehensive.

To be fair, as a Paul supporter, you might like it, but someone who supports Gravel is far less likely to find it a good thing, especially once the details are laid out all nice and pretty (as was done in that thread).