My Response to “20 Reasons I won’t Vote for Ron Paul.” ~ Kevin Hotaling

Via elephant journal
on Dec 19, 2011
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Ron Paul

Editor’s introduction: I invited Kevin, a longtime political friend in Boulder, to write this rebuttal after he left a few great comments regarding my original post. I see little credit from him for this invitation, or elephant’s tolerance, nay enthusiasm for respectful debate, but I’ll let that pass (smiley face emoticon). I took great pains to make clear how much I personally respect and admire Dr. Paul—and for that very reason have taken a close look at him. Many of his views are idealistic, or pure, and attractively so. But many of them, such as getting rid of federal protections for the right to a safe, legal abortion, or safety nets, are unkind on a gross level. In any case, he’s the only Republican candidate elephant would endorse, this time round—Huntsman we like, too, for very different reasons—but Paul is a breath of fresh air in those debates, many of which I’ve watched in their entirety. It’s good theater. ~ Waylon Lewis, ed.


Considering that the last few months have been a dream come true for “Liberty activists,” you can probably imagine our dismay when we come across articles entitled “20 Reasons I won’t Vote for Ron Paul.

The following is my quick attempt to counter what I might call “20 Misconceptions About Ron Paul.” These are complex issues that each deserve a much more thorough treatment, so please excuse if my responses are a bit cursory or insufficiently referenced.

1. He’s anti-gay marriage (supports the Defense of Marriage Act)

Response: Ron Paul argues that marriage should not be regulated by governments. True to this – and to his philosophy that voluntary consenting adults should be able to do what they like – he voted against the 2006 Marriage Protection Act (a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage).

2. He’s a young earth creationist

Response: I don’t really understand how people justify this religious view, but it is their right. Ron Paul has proven throughout his 30 year political career that he believes religion is a personal matter that should not be flaunted to the public, much less legislated.

3. He’s a climate change denier

Response: More accurately, Ron Paul has said that climate change is used as a tool to promote big government and to protect corporate interests. The EPA and the proposed cap-and-trade plans both give special protections to polluters. In a free market, private property owners would often have more recourse against pollution because the EPA would not be able to grant liability limits (as in the case of BP) or pollution rights (as in the case of many major air polluters).

4. He believes that America, founded on principles of freedom of worship by many less-than-Christian framers, is a Christian country.

Response: See response 2.

5. Worse, he believes that separation of church and state is a myth

Response: See response 2.

6. He is against net neutrality (you know, liberty online)

Response: Net neutrality is quite the opposite of “liberty online.” It is Federal regulation – of a non-existent problem, I might add – that dangerously opens the door to censorship (something the Feds have proven interest in, can anyone say SOPA?).

7. He believes the civil rights act had a negative impact on the country

Response: Sometimes allowing free speech and private property rights has uncomfortable consequences, but these inconveniences do not diminish the importance of such rights to the maintenance of a free society. Title IV of the Civil Rights Act clearly violates private property rights and is thus imperfect, though Ron Paul has never sought to repeal it.

8. His stance on safety-nets (none, please)

Response: Though Ron Paul would like to move toward more personal responsibility, he has consistently said that he would fight to keep safety nets for those who have become dependent upon them. His proposed trillion dollars in cuts for the Federal government do not touch Student Loans, Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. See an article here on how Ron Paul plans to restore America.

9. His stance on student aid (do away with it)

Response: See response 8.

10. His stance on health care (including Medicare, Medicaid)

Response: See response 8.

11. His stance on abortion (goodbye, Roe v. Wade)

Response: Due to his religious beliefs, Ron Paul does not support abortion. However, he also does not support its unconstitutional regulation at the Federal level. Being that the States are actively moving on personhood legislation (and fortunately losing), Roe v. Wade is largely irrelevant.

12. He would shutter the EPA (goodbye environmental health regulations, hello toxic daily life for our children)

Response: Private property rights, local governments and charities are far better protectors of the environment that the bought and sold EPA. See response 3.

13. His stance on Social Security (a hindrance to freedom)

Response: See response 8.

14. His stance on taxes on the super-rich (no, thank you)

Response: Ron Paul believes that individuals and local governments are better stewards of our hard earned money than are the corrupt and inefficient Federal bureaucracies. Therefore, he wants to reduce overall spending and taxes across the board.

15. His stance on financial regulations (none, please)

Response: Again, Ron Paul would like to move in that direction, but is not proposing the abolition of the SEC. He would take action to eliminate the cronyism and bailout cultures that have consumed almost all of D.C. (present administration included).

16. His lack of support for renewable energy

Response: As many Elephant readers know all-to-well, total Federal energy subsidies grossly favor fossil fuels over renewables. If Ron Paul were able to abolish the wasteful Department of Energy (one of 5 departments he’d like to see devolved back to the state level), the energy market would be far more dynamic, more prosperous and more favorable to renewables.

17. He would close the Department of Education

Response: The Department of Education is the epitome of a failed bureaucracy. Since its inception, education spending has skyrocketed while performance has actually decreased. History has quite clearly proven that state and local governments do a better job of administering education when unfettered by Federal bureaucrats.

18. He wouldn’t be able to bring the troops home: “Closing bases and withdrawing troops is an expensive process, and the DoD isn’t going to get very far if Congress forbids them from spending any money on it. It’s the exact same problem that prevented Obama from closing Guantanamo Bay.”

Response: This is the one unilateral authority that the executive branch does have. Obama didn’t close Guantanamo Bay because he doesn’t want to close Guantanamo Bay (see the recent revelation that it was the Obama administration that asked for the power to indefinitely detain American citizens:

19. He signed the Pro-Life Presidential pledge, which includes a vow to only nominate pro-life judges to the Court. Generally, serious presidential candidates should refuse to sign all pledges, since they remove the rights of citizens in a democracy to see their wishes represented, and make their reps beholden to outside interests.

Response: See response 11.

20. Given his ground game, he’d be tough for President Obama to beat. Not too tough, but tough. I’d rather Obama get to bat around damaged-goods Newt or boring 1%er Mitt.

Response: No argument here.

Kevin Hotaling is a District Captain with the Boulder County GOP, a Precinct Leader for the Ron Paul 2012 Campaign, and Assistant Organizer of the Boulder Campaign for Liberty. These are volunteer positions and the views expressed above are the solely representative of the author’s opinion.


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14 Responses to “My Response to “20 Reasons I won’t Vote for Ron Paul.” ~ Kevin Hotaling”

  1. Harry says:

    Sure Ron Paul may have some views we might not support but atleast hes not trying to detain americans indefinitley without charge… Paul is the last chance for the republic to turn back the freedom clock back to times when you could proudly say: "this is a free country pal!"

  2. I agree, Cynthia. I don't think civil rights issues should be left to popular vote or personal choice.

  3. R Petersmith says:

    There's too much bad on his agenda. Although I hate a lot of what Obama has done and may do the things that Ron Paul backs are many that are repellent to my views.

  4. Chris W says:

    Voting for anti-government politicians is like appointing someone to captain your ship who doesn't believe in ships.

  5. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Several people find fault with Paul’s stance on the Civil Rights Act. Fair enough, but is it that important?

    Jim Crow was birthed from, and is inextricably tied to, slavery and war. All three are govt. programs. A fourth govt. program (Civil Rights Act) might have been necessary to clean up the consequences of earlier governmental interference. Ron Paul might be mistaken in not recognizing that need.

    But Jim Crow is dead. Devotion to solutions from the past that are irrelevant to our current problems are not really germane. The three biggies now are war, bailouts, and the American Gulag (incarceration of millions for victimless crimes). All three contribute mightily to the ticking time bomb threatening the American experiment: government spending out of control. Nothing else will really matter, once that explodes.

  6. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Hi Kate. I can’t dispute too much with your take on 11/19. For No. 1, though, you agree with Paul but consider it a cop-out? Anyway, here’s how I’d answer your 2/4/5.

    “it’s foolish to pretend it doesn’t influence how a person will govern”

    From my media-derived impressions of Ron Paul, I suspect he has some fundamentalist beliefs which definitely do NOT line up with my own. That would be of concern except that he has proven over and over that he votes peace, freedom, and the Constitution, not his religious beliefs. The only exception might be abortion, which is complicated. It's not just religious.

    “[he’ll vote] religious or philosophical beliefs rather than the needs and desires of his constituents”

    Two/thirds right, I would say. He won’t vote his religious beliefs. He will vote his philosophical beliefs (non-authoritarianism). And he won’t vote for the needs and desires of his constituents when those needs and desires require authoritarian intervention. IE, when they require guns and jails for enforcement, as virtually all govt. programs do.

  7. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Nice line, Chris, and a nice metaphor! It brings a smile.

    Still, it doesn’t work for libertarians. One libertarian explained Hamilton’s belief in the need for an activist centralized government like this:

    “Just as God must lead his children, as kings must lead their subjects, as fathers must lead their families, even a republic must have a strong center or fall into chaos and anarchy. The sheep needed a shepherd.”

    I guess he could have added, the ship must have a captain. Libertarians, however, do not feel that the People are children or subjects or sheep. Or passengers on a ship.

  8. elephantjournal says:

    Anna Thomas i am researching the new party, the justice party….check it out!!
    13 hours ago · Like · 1
    Steve Silberman He's a charming and droll old racist and homophobe who wants to get rid of Medicare, Social Security, and the Department of Education. I'd still rather be trapped in an elevator with him than Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum – stay back, big boy – but heaven help us all if he was elected.
    13 hours ago · Like · 5
    Ross Grayson Thoughtful…? Seriously…?
    13 hours ago · Like
    JD Koziarski I was going to type some stuff, but then Steve said everything I wanted to say, pretty much.
    13 hours ago · Like · 2
    Smart Kandy Here -# 21
    13 hours ago · Like
    Cynthia Beard ‎"Title IV of the Civil Rights Act clearly violates private property rights and is thus imperfect, though Ron Paul has never sought to repeal it."

    But segregated lunch counters, water fountains, restrooms, buses, and hotels are closer to perfection? This is the issue that most disturbs me about Ron Paul's brand of politics–the notion that segregation is preferable to government regulation. (Although there are other Libertarian issues that are nearly as disturbing.) As a white person, it takes a little extra leap for me to imagine what it was like for Duke Ellington when he was traveling to play at concerts and dances throughout the US and had to sleep on his band's bus at night because he wasn't allowed into motels. But I can still imagine what it was like, and that's reason enough for me to support the Civil Rights Act.
    13 hours ago · Unlike · 5
    Debra Rishy Adams I agree with you Steve. It amazes me how easily people will vote against their best interests. I saw a comment the other day by a young man who is just finishing up his social work degree; Well, he says he'll slash the social net, but I'm going to vote for him and see what happens…WTF?!?
    13 hours ago · Like · 2 ‎Ross Grayson Thoughtful in that it was respectful and stayed with the facts of what Paul believes…personally, I still disagree.. ~ Kate
    12 hours ago · Unlike · 3

  9. elephantjournal says: And another response:
    Ron Paul and Ten Reasons
    This short article is a response to a recent posting on elephant journal you can view here:
    12 hours ago · Unlike · 1 ·
    Seth Sovak I guess I became a Democrat because my family and peers were. I never thought much about politics in my teens. But I'm really thinking hard about registering as a Republican, just so I can vote for Ron Paul in the primaries.
    12 hours ago · Like · 1
    Ross Grayson Respectful, yes. But there is no real analysis, no depth, no insight, making a very thin point and then repeatedly referring back to it…

    In any case, here's the real Ron Paul, IMHO…
    12 hours ago · Unlike · 2 Comments here will be lost to the sands of social media, remember—please copy over your comment to the blog itself, so that the author can respond/readers can share your two cents. ~ Ed.
    11 hours ago · Like · 2
    Nicole Wagner Thank you elephant journal and author for posting this!! Very objectively done and like you said respectful 🙂 so true – his ideas also of no government are radical and insane. Of course we need to ratify our government but to get rid of it completely is insanity

  10. elephantjournal says:

    Paul Leard To judge a candidate, look at how they live:

    1) Ron Paul spent 5 yrs in the military. (Romney avoided the draft by going to France.)

    2) Dr. Paul refuses his military pension because the military helped him become a doctor.

    3) Dr. Paul returned money every year from his congressional office budget rather than spending it all. In some years this was more than $50,000.

    4) Dr. Paul spent 40 years delivering babies and didn't take government insurance. If a patient couldn't afford it, he did it for free or worked with charities. (Romney made millions by dismantling companies and pushing paper.)

    5) Dr. Paul lived in the same ranch house for 40+ years. (Romney has several mansions.)

    6) Dr. Paul never voted to increase congrssional pay.

    7) Lobbyists didn't bother with Dr. Paul because his honesty and integrity was well known.
    3 hours ago · Unlike · 1
    Paul Leard Calmly,… Ron Paul is the only honest down to earth regular type folk in the race. All others are nothing more than a front for some special interest groups. When will the people wake up and see what is really happening to this country with these so called people who want to help America. No They want to help themselves and they're the special interest groups, that care not for YOU and I. They have shown over and over what they care about, mean while our guillible country that our fore fathers worked hard and died for has become the joke of the world and to me. WAKE UP AMERICA, THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO DO RIGHT, BEFORE THE NEXT 20 YEARS! Ron Paul is the only choice to save AMERICA. You will kiss it goodbye with any of the richie, puppet, credit nazi types. Their nature says it all. Obama's change was for the worse, same for Newt, Mitt, Perry, Bachman. Just puppets!
    3 hours ago · Like
    Anthony Kennedy I do not understand how anyone can support Ron Paul.His legacy of soft racism is repugnat,it allows the vener of social acceptability.Any plan to dismantle the social security net,let alone the EPA,departments of agriculture and education borders upon insanity at a time when an estimated 1 of 3 Americans lives at or below the poverty line.Do we surrender the enviroment to business intrests, the safety of our food,and the education of our children because the weathiest Americans do not want to return to a fair tax rate?Please read Zinn's a peoples history again to understand where the tax rate on the top 1% was not to long ago.The answer will suprise you.Also reference why the government had to get involved with regulating so much.State croneism was crushing most people.Cut the military budget in half,stop involving our nation in so many foriegn affairs in the name of profit behind the lie of democracy.These are goals I agree with.But to dissmantle the institutions designed to enact compassion amongst those who need it the most?Why in the name of human decency,should we do that?

  11. elephantjournal says:

    Paul Leard Institutions that enact compassion thru the word of law, has no wisdom, and compassion become someone else job, that a citizen does not have to do, and by word of laws, will not do without policy and insurances. When all of this is motivated by money (in which it is mostly), there is no decent compassion for others, but 'passion that can suppost others, as long as I'm properly supported' type of awarness. Do we not have the decency of supporting this from the home on up, instead of the fed on down?
    2 hours ago · Like
    Anthony Kennedy It'll be law whether it's state or federal and to lump everyone into the same category as without wisdom is unfair to a lot of hardworking, dedicated individuals.Without a job a citizen cannot contribute and without laws we are left with anarchy.We live in a capitalist society,$ is the motivating factor,greed and corruption is the problem.Don't forget that the congress and senate represent states and if those people can't rob the nation they most likely will start robbing their states instead.That's why I suggested the peoples history it outlines this as it occured throughout our nations past since inception.We live in a relative world and cannot place abselute values upon it,therin lies the demagouges arguement.Removing the influence of corperate structure's upon our democracy would serve the national intrest much better longterm.With a global economy how can one suggest localizing EPA and agriculture?Amongst those who require food,medicine,and heat,how can anyone advocate taking that away?

  12. calebgrayson says:

    on Ron Paul's religious beliefs — a great Q & A from Christianity Today

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