by Elizabeth Schulte
January 11, 2008
ELIZABETH SCHULTE challenges those on the left who speak out for Republican Ron Paul on the basis of his opposition to the war.
MAYBE YOU’VE seen them at antiwar protests–supporters of the “Love Revolution” of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. In Chicago, Paul backers hired a plane with a banner to fly over the demonstration in October.
The libertarian Texas congressman has won over a group of antiwar writers and others on the left who say he is the only candidate in either party’s presidential primaries worth supporting.
Paul gained these left endorsements because he has taken a stand against the occupation of Iraq and the U.S. “war on terror” that few Democrats dare to. He voted against last year’s war funding bill, supports repeal of the USA PATRIOT Act and opposes an attack on Iran.
But that’s not all Ron Paul stands for–far from it.
He also, for example, regularly claims that the “American way of life” is under assault, and fighting back means “strengthening the borders”–i.e., cracking down on Mexican immigrants. Paul is opposed to abortion rights–apparently, his libertarian defense of individual freedom doesn’t apply to women.
He says he’s proud to stand in the tradition of Ronald Reagan–who Paul was almost alone among Republican officeholders in supporting when Reagan first ran for president in 1976. In between the Reagan quotes on his Web site, Paul makes it clear that he believes in “small government”–by which, he means eliminating the federal government’s already shredded social safety net, not to mention the Department of Education.