COLUMN: Ron Paul, a man to consider
Ron Paul's platform is radical. Americans don't like extremes, which is why the Texan OBGYN and modern prophet will never be President. But he's worth more than a glance.
He's all about state's rights. They're kind of a big deal. It's the reason behind the Civil War (not slavery), and it calls into question the role of government.
The $3.7 trillion question is this: How much control over the lives of individual citizens should the centralized federal government have?
I had a really phenomenal teacher in high school who told us the best way to teach about the relationship between the state and federal governments was pot, booze, and gay marriage.
A great example: Medicinal marijuana is legal in Michigan. But it's not really legal, because the feds say it isn't. If US Attorney General Eric Holder hadn't announced the Obama administration's decision to let the states alone, there would be even more problems with dispensaries than there already are.
Another good example is the drinking age. It's 21 all around the country. States are allowed to set their own drinking ages, but they really don't. South Dakota tried doing it in the '80s and the feds threatened to pull interstate highway funding. The state screamed "You can't do that!" but the Supreme Court said "Yes we can" in 1987's South Dakota v. Dole.
Why not let the states decide these things for themselves? If a married man wants to go to a brothel, it's not the government's job to stop him. It's his wife's.
If the people in the states bordering Mexico decide they've had it with the money being spent patrolling the borders for drug smugglers and imprisoning petty offenders, if they decide they've had enough of the kidnappings and murders and that they want to run the drug dealers out of business using classic laissez faire economics, whose place is it to tell them no?
Ron Paul doesn't want everybody doing heroin. But he thinks that if you really, really want to do heroin, then you should be able to go right ahead.
But Ron Paul also wants to eliminate the IRS and the income tax, and maybe that's not such a good idea, because that would mean colossal spending cuts. It's true, massive spending cuts are going to have to happen, along with raised taxes, to get the deficit under control and prevent financial collapse, but some programs need to be kept around because they do more good than harm.
And cuts as deep as Paul calls for would mean an end to a lot of things.
So maybe it's a good thing that Ron Paul will never be President.
I think he knows that he'll never occupy the Oval Office, but if he yells loud enough and causes people to really question the government and challenge it to be fiscally responsible, then he's a real prophet, as far as I'm concerned.