Five reasons why voting for Ron Paul is crazy

There’s a lot to like about U.S. Rep. and GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul. In fact, if you worry at all about our country’s unsustainable budgetary excesses, there’s a lot to love about him.

Then again, I have a soft spot for politicians who simply say what they believe and worry about the consequences later. For instance, I have in the past been a supporter of Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich. Unfortunately, he was clearly unelectable – not because he took far-left positions, but because when he stood next to George Bush, John Edwards, or John Kerry, he looked like a Sea Monkey.

Still, that didn’t stop me from voting for him in the 2004 Wisconsin primary. He lost, garnering only 3.3% of the vote, and I decided from that day forward that I would focus my energies only on candidates who could get on all the rides at Six Flags.

Now, along comes Ron Paul. On the surface, he seems to represent a lot of the things I believe in: He’s wary of our military adventurism. He thinks we run up deficits that are far too large. He thinks the War on Drugs is an expensive bust. He supports the Second Amendment (as a good American, I support all the amendments, though I’ve known gun rights advocates who I’m convinced would need more than four hours of training to get through a Saturday morning Build-A-Bear workshop without maiming someone, so I’m not sure why we can’t require training for people who want to carry dangerous weapons).

Paul also likely has some appeal to the business community, because when it comes to advocates of tiny government and fewer regulations, they don’t get much tinier than him. And his followers are highly motivated and eager to get the word out. He’s still polling fairly low (a recent Fox News poll has him at 9% support among GOP candidates), but the way Republicans have waxed and waned in this election cycle, you never know.

Another thing in Paul’s favor is that his supporters recently ran afoul of Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly ran a poll asking his audience which Republican candidate they supported. Paul won, but O’Reilly disqualified him, essentially arguing that too many Ron Paul supporters voted for Ron Paul. And hey, anytime you can get O’Reilly’s wee mind to collapse in on itself, I’m on board.

And he’s honest. Boy, is he honest.

But I still think it’s crazy to vote for Ron Paul.

I know I’m going to hear about this later. My sister-in-law is a huge Ron Paul supporter. Then again, she lives in Idaho. I’ve been there. It’s a nice state, but it’s like one of those old Star Trek planets where the sky is a different color and all the aliens look like 1960s Mormons.

But my sister-in-law is, honestly, one of the smartest people I know, so I’ve tried to wrap my mind around the burgeoning Ron Paul phenomenon. But I just can’t get there.

And since I hate conflict and curl up like an armadillo on bad acid in the face of even the slightest confrontation, I figured I’d get my anti-Ron Paul argument out of the way now, before Christmas comes and I’m forced to stutter my way through it in person.

Now, the truth is, Ron Paul isn’t really a Republican. He’s a libertarian. Which means he more or less believes that the free market can take care of absolutely any problem, and if the free market can’t take care of it, it’s not a problem worth worrying about. Indeed, you get the sense that he thinks time stopped when the ink dried on the Constitution.

So, with all due respect to my Idaho kinfolk, here are five reasons why I think voting for Ron Paul is crazy:

1. Paul has said that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are “technically” unconstitutional. That’s really all you need to know about his viability as a candidate. He might as well say that old people would make really good wintertime fuel for the vacation homes of rappers and MTV reality stars.

2. Paul has opposed antitrust laws. This is old stuff, but in a 1983 television appearance, in which Paul looked disturbingly like the shrunken head of McLean Stevenson on a Sears mannequin torso, he said this: “I’m convinced that the legislation against monopoly is much more harmful than helpful.” I’m sure the robber baron guild loved that.

3. As recently as 2004, Paul criticized the Civil Rights Act of 1964, saying, “[It] did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty." Yeah, plus it devastated the “whites only” sign industry.

4. Paul has criticized the Americans With Disabilities Act, saying, “The ADA should have never been passed.” Again, the thinking is that the market will protect people’s rights – because it always has in the past.

5. Paul thinks the environment can be protected without government intervention. On his campaign website, he says he would “[e]liminate the ineffective EPA. Polluters should answer directly to property owners in court for the damages they create – not to Washington.” Seriously? Thanks in advance for the bloodstream full of lead, Ron. Maybe it will give me super powers.

So there it is. Gee, Christmas could be interesting this year.

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