Skip to comments.You've Got to Hand It to a Man Who Tells It Like He Sees It
Posted on 02/13/2009 9:50:06 AM PST by dbz77
It is considered dangerous in the mainstream media ever to reference Congressman Ron Paul of Texas as anything but a political anomaly. Well, here I go about Paul, just as I did in my new book, "Paranoid Nation," in which I discussed the impact he had on the 2008 GOP presidential contest. (And no, I'm not calling Rep. Paul paranoid).
In November 2007, I was in the pressroom after the CNN/YouTube Republican debate in St. Petersburg, Fla. That was the night Mike Huckabee stole the show with his comment that Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office. One has to take into account the fact that the debate was taking place in a metropolitan area that had already seen housing prices plummet and home sales dry up. Yet not one candidate raised the issue of housing or the impending financial crisis.
Actually, there was one candidate that night who focused on where the nation was really headed. Attacked and derided by the more "acceptable" GOP candidates, it was Ron Paul who warned that America was "going bankrupt" and that our infrastructure was decaying. He also harped the loudest on the need to cut spending.
Throughout the 2008 campaign, Paul kept telling anyone who would listen that the nation was literally printing money to pile up massive debts, and that there would be a major price to pay for Congress and the president being asleep at the wheel.
Now look where we are. We are spending money faster than we can print it, our nation really is going bankrupt, and Congress is being forced to deal with real issues such as infrastructure even as it pours massive amounts of pork into a stimulus bill that in reality has turned into the largest appropriations bill ever passed. It's a bill that was cobbled together in haste by a Congress that didn't even realize we were in trouble as late as November 2007.
Not all of Ron Paul's ideas were on point. But his general theme proved to be right on. And the Republicans ran the exact sort of milquetoast general election campaign that I expected. No theme and no passion.
Now Paul is taking another position that puts him at odds with his party's traditional stand on a controversial issue -- Cuba. Paul has co-authored legislation with several Democrats to allow travel by American citizens to and from Cuba.
That will anger many in the Cuban-American community who believe that punishing the Castro brothers is still critical. Maybe. But let's look at the other side of this argument.
The United States has had an embargo on Cuba for decade after decade. The Castro regime has managed -- with help from various friendly communist nations and others -- to stay alive the whole time.
Paul and others who support the bill believe that as Cubans see the modern conveniences that Americans carry with them, and as more Americans spread the word of how life in a democratic republic is -- even in a darn-near depression -- that Cuban citizens will start to want to see life in their country change as well.
I have no opinion as to which side of this particular argument is correct. But it is clear to me that the Castro boys are on their last leg, and there are many who would not be shocked to see the island liberated in the coming years. If American travel there would contribute to that liberation faster, then Rep. Paul would once again have taken a position unpopular in his party but correct in its assessment.
While Ron Paul may not be everyone's cup of tea, I have to hand it to the man for being willing to take tough stands on issues. I well remember several of the Republican presidential candidates smirking as they listened to what they perceived to be Paul's "conspiracy theories." Well, they weren't conspiracy theories. They were, for the most part, realistic assessments by a guy who wasn't afraid to speak out.
Perhaps the Republican Congress has taken a little more of a Ron Paul approach to issues as well. With the exception of a small handful of the usual suspects, they stood together against a stimulus bill that may have been well-intended when it started as an infrastructure "put-people-to-work" piece of legislation, but then turned into a monster once it went through Congress.
Perhaps Paul's colleagues should spend more time listening to his views. They may not all be on the mark, but when it came to this financial collapse, Paul nailed it.
Ron Paul ping
It is this very way of thinking and positioning ones self that reflects the exact opposite of what Ron Paul did/does regularly. Assess and make statements of reality. Not ‘political correctness’ BS.
Wait ... this is an example ... right?
Not meant to attack you ... it is a demonstration of how our own thinking; and actions have been influenced by political correctness. We fear taking any stand with our peers,... for all kinds of reasons. Mostly self preserving ones ... that might cause people to call us ‘radical’ or ‘extremist’ or not a team player.
It is insidious in its infiltration of America's thinking.
We hardly recognize it.
Please ... not insult intended, really.
***Perhaps Paul’s colleagues should spend more time listening to his views. They may not all be on the mark, but when it came to this financial collapse, Paul nailed it.***
Yep. And now we’ve got Obama implementing a New New Deal, repeating the same mistakes that caused us a decade of suffering.
Or did it just open up the door for unscrupulous Western businesses to exploit them, so the upper management (on both sides) could live like kings?
Not necessarily, cause the folks who WANT to travel to Cuba will likely be Castro apologists, anyway, and talk DOWN the US. It's also unlikely that Americans who travel to Cuba will ever meet many Cubans, except for those who serve their meals, and clean their rooms.
China is changing VERY rapidly. Behind the goofy rhetoric of their leaders, they have been rapidly adopting pro-market reforms, and the standards of living are improving (especially among the newly minted middle-class). The difference in nutrition is particularly telling - 10 years ago, protein intake was an “interest metric”, and now it just looks silly to talk about in most regions there. At any rate, I would not be surprised if capitalism is now much more popular with the Chinese middle-class than the American middle-class.
Some of the most popular books have titles such as, “The Eight Most Valuable Business Secrets of the Jewish” (we would flinch in response to such a title, but Jews, in the capacity of finance and markets especially, are generally ascribed a very positive stereotype in modern China, so this title does not carry the uneasy connotations of bigotry it does here). Books related to the attainment of personal wealth are like their Chicken Soup for the Soul.
China is painfully slow when it comes to political reforms, but economic (and some social) reforms (in the correct direction) have been dramatic. Elections are being incorporated at some local levels - it is nice to see localism manifestations such as NIMBYism developing.
Political repression and truly Orwellian government activities are of course still common. All progress comes at the grudging allowance of leaders who only accept Western notions like capitalism for its remarkable fruit. Ideologically, China’s leaders (like many of our own) hold freedom to have no value in of itself. They accept some manifestations of freedom on an “empirical” basis. You are right to be apprehensive.