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Friday, July 22, 2011

Why Are Some Social Conservatives in Iowa Endorsing Ron Paul? » Caffeinated Thoughts

Why Are Some Social Conservatives in Iowa Endorsing Ron Paul? » Caffeinated Thoughts

We are not a theocracy. In America, most rational people will support someone who shows a moral backbone and principles, and someone who supports everyone's right to believe and worship (or not believe and worship) freely and openly. If there's one thing almost EVERYONE agrees with Ron Paul on (whether they know it or not!), it is the right NOT to have someone else's religious beliefs imposed on them. This applies equally to Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Atheists and every other belief and religion imaginable. Dr. Paul rightly realizes that throughout history, the worst sort of government abuses have come through efforts by a majority (or even minority) to use the levers of power to impose their personal beliefs on the population as a whole.

The writer of the above linked article is incorrect in almost all his bullet points. Ron Paul does not personally advocate your laundry list of actions and behaviors. You wrongly assume that if he opposes sanctions against 'victimless' crimes and private, personal behavior, then he 'must' be an advocate for them! To the contrary, Ron Paul only advocates the legalization of FREEDOM and the right to personal choice, so long as it does not violate the rights of another. That is a largely ignored, but critical distinction. As a doctor, he has seen the scourge of drug usage, and he personally opposes drug usage, and advocates it be treated as a MEDICAL problem- not a CRIMINAL one. But he has also seen the destructiveness of criminalization and prohibition of drugs. The Prohibition of Alcohol, while 'good-intentioned', actually INCREASED usage of alcohol, and all it's deleterious effects. It INCREASED under-aged usage, INCREASED criminal activities such as murder,extortion, bribery of public officials, and also advanced formerly small-time criminals into being multimillionaire crime kingpins. Sound familiar? After a 40-year 'War on Drugs', all we have to show for it is increased incarceration rates of otherwise law-abiding citizens, increased crime related to THE PROHIBITION of drugs (the Black Market in them, not the substances themselves), and a law-enforcement/prison economy that thrives on the crime and it's profitability. Not to mention increased drug usage (both legal and illegal), and most dangerously the creation of a failed narco-state on our southern border that rivals the widespread violence and instability of Columbia in the latter 20th century. These negative effects result not from the usage of the substances themselves, but from the criminal behavior stemming from The PROHIBITION of the substances! The argument for legalization can be applied to Prostitution. Properly regulated Prostitution has not resulted in the breakdown of society in Nevada, Canada and many other places where it is legal, safe and regulated. Problems almost exclusively occur where this behavior is prohibited, and regulation of 'the world's oldest profession' is left in the hands of criminals- instead of legal authorities.

As for Abortion, Dr. Paul is personally staunchly opposed to it. However, he feels the Federal Government has no Constitutional right to regulate it, and that it is a matter for each individual state to decide. Even the majority of advocates for Abortion rights must logically agree that it is not an act without negative consequences, and should NEVER be considered as a primary means of birth control. Similarly, on the question of homosexuality Ron Paul feels that the government has no right to regulate personal behavior, ESPECIALLY when  singling out a 'Class' or group of people, and either denying them rights or giving them 'special' rights above and beyond those of others. Dr. Paul has stated that the Military should prosecute ANYONE who violates the UCMJ, whatever their sexual orientation. Otherwise, if there is no problem they create through their behavior, they should be left alone. On Marriage, Dr. Paul has said that ALL marriage should be taken out of the hands of the government, instead being placed in the hands of an individual's Personal Church. Any cohabitational disputes should be settled through existing contract and (if applicable) criminal law. In fact, this is already done in the cases of 'common-law' marriage.

In conclusion, you ask "...why are some social conservatives in Iowa endorsing Ron Paul?". Well, many people who don't think with a bumper-sticker mentality and approach important issues from a critical thinking perspective realize that what Ron Paul says and what is REPORTED he has said in the media are often two disparate things! Many people, not just 'Conservative Christians' realize that once we start imposing one view of morality on our fellow citizens, we open the door to imposing morality that may be at odds or destructive to our OWN beliefs. America was founded as a 'Marketplace of Ideas'. If we believe that our personal views are right, we should be strong enough to lead by example and convince our fellow citizens without the use of the force of government regulation and laws. Besides, the primary tenets of libertarian thought condensed quite nicely in Luke 6:31 "Do unto others as you would have them do to you". Maybe many Conservative Christians are coming to realize that Ron Paul's deeply held Christian and Libertarian beliefs are not only compatible, but complementary and totally in sync!

Thaddeus S. Kaczor, Jr.

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