terça-feira, outubro 23, 2012

Ron Paul: Man of the Left

Ron Paul: Man of the Left — How the libertarian Republican scrambles progressive priorities por Brian Doherty:
During Paul’s latest bid for the Republican Party presidential nomination, his policies were to the left of the Democratic Party and President Barack Obama in many areas. Obama has expanded almost every aspect of the war on drugs, including federal raids on state-legal medical marijuana operations. Paul thinks it’s inherently illegitimate to arrest people for actions that harm only themselves. The Obama administration has deported a record number of illegal immigrants. Paul mocks border walls as essentially un-American. Obama presided over enormous bailouts of the nation’s largest financial institutions, and his economic planning team has been largely run by Wall Street insiders. Ron Paul is opposed to what both he and the Occupiers call “crony capitalism.” Even the president’s signature legislative accomplishment, Obama­Care (which Paul opposed), forces millions of people to buy health insurance from the very corporations progressives claim to despise.

Civil liberties and peace are the issues that first made some leftist hearts beat faster when contemplating this curious Old Right congressman. Obama has started new wars unauthorized by Congress and greatly expanded a civilian-killing drone program. Paul opposes drones, calls for an immediate end to all our overseas wars, and wants the U.S. military to withdraw from the world. By taking these positions, Paul has done more than even leftist icon Noam Chomsky to normalize discussion of U.S. foreign policy as the behavior of a criminal empire rather than that of the world’s great defender of liberty.

Obama has strengthened the PATRIOT Act and prosecuted whistleblowers; Paul opposes both actions and has defended accused WikiLeaker (and progressive cause célèbre) Bradley Manning. Obama has expanded the commander in chief’s powers to unilaterally imprison and even kill American citizens, aggrandizing the executive branch beyond even what the hated George W. Bush managed. Paul inspires thousands of students to boo any mention of Obama’s alarming yet largely unknown National Defense Authorization Act, which gives legal cover to the president’s power of indefinite detention.

On a wide range of issues involving individual liberty and protecting people from oppressive concentrations of power, Paul has been more progressive than Obama.

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