Can Ron Paul wake up stagnant progressives?

…Just some two-bit political analysis on my part.

I’ve been fascinated the past couple of weeks by the vehemence of some of the political pundit discussions regarding Ron Paul’s candidacy.

(Note: Keep in mind that when I talk about progressives/liberals/conservatives in this post, I’m referring to the partisan political writers, not the voters.)

Once it looked like Ron Paul had a chance of taking Iowa, things exploded. Progressives really started having fits. It even got vicious, with some nasty slander directed at Glenn Greenwald and others who were merely trying to point out the indisputable truth that Ron Paul was better than Barack Obama on certain issues that supposedly were important to progressives.

When other Republican candidates were in the lead, progressive sites ridiculed them and discussed their objectionable views, but when Ron Paul took the lead, they went ballistic. They appeared to be really afraid of him.

Probably they had seen the poll that showed Paul doing best of all the GOP candidates in a head-to-head matchup against President Obama.

Additionally, some seemed actually scared of Paul’s small-government views. David Atkins, writing at Digby’s Hullabaloo actually went so far as to say:

Liberalism is and has always been about intervention. It is the opposite of libertarianism, and always has been.

Of course, that’s not only historically inaccurate, it’s a bizarrely frank admission and sounds more like what a critic of liberalism would say.

But ultimately, what was scaring progressive pundits was that progressive voters were finding Ron Paul attractive, despite all his flaws. And they were realizing that they were in danger of losing their own base.

This is a base that they’ve held in check largely by using fear of anti-gay or anti-abortion laws for too many years, as a myriad of other issues of interest to progressive voters (race, drug war, imperialism, government secrecy, etc.) have been ignored or actively undermined by their leadership.

I was particularly interested by how many of the progressive pundits in this set of exchanges actually brought up the drug war. It was usually something along the lines of “You may be attracted to Ron Paul because of his position on the drug war, but keep in mind that the other things he’ll do are so horrible that it’ll destroy civilization as we know it!” Or the rather strange “Ron Paul as President would only do something about federal drug prisoners, not state drug prisoners” (which is, of course, still far better than what Obama is doing).

It’s like every one of these pundits had come to the realization that the drug war has become an issue with real traction — one that they ignore at their own peril. No longer the days of “we have too many important issues to worry about to use up our political capital on fringe things like pot legalization.”

The success of Ron Paul of opening up a national discussion about the drug war may actually end up getting Democrats to start embracing drug policy reform. Wouldn’t that be something?

As if to add even more irony to this situation, on national TV last night, a political leader talked passionately about the destructive and pervasive racism of the drug war. It wasn’t our young African-American progressive President. No, it was Ron Paul, the GOP’s supposed racist old white guy.

Progressives have some problems, and one of the big ones apparently is the drug war. How things have changed.


For those interested in some of the recent controversy in progressive writing circles regarding the support of issues for which Ron Paul is better (which is different than support of Ron Paul in general), I highly recommend reading the following two Greenwald pieces:

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59 Responses to Can Ron Paul wake up stagnant progressives?

  1. darkcycle says:

    What can one say? Your post is accurate in every particular. I’d only add that (tee-hee!) no matter how this shakes out it will be to our advantage, and the debate will be front and center- dispite the fact that both establishment Democrats and establishment Repubs really, really wish it would go away. I’m just a grinnin’ like an idiot most of the time these days!

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  3. Jack says:

    My thoughts exactly. I read a supposed progressive over at HUFFPO the other day go on and on using all the likely logical fallacies to bash Paul and try to convince them he is akin to the devil. The fear in his words told the whole story. Progressives may finally come off the two-party reservation if the controlled left wing of the MSM isn’t careful. Luckily for humanity, these tools pretending to be progressive aren’t smart enough to convince the most brainwashed true progressive of anything. Too many people I meet calling themselves progressive these days seem to just like the label and think it’s trendy at the coffee-shops they hang out at. They probably never vote anyway:-)

  4. Duda says:

    I stopped dumping my money into the Ron Paul campaign through straight donations. Now I purchase massive amounts of his signs, bumper stickers, magnets etc.. which goes right to his campaign anyway, and I’m posting signs all over the place, trying to get people to pay attention to the man.

    When I talked to an old lady on a plane about who she liked she didn’t know anything about Paul because the media doesn’t cover him. Once hearing what he stands for, she was immediately convinced that he was the candidate to vote for. You have to go looking for him on the internet to see what he stands for. So don’t bother with the non-stop internet praise, people of modern age already support Paul. We need to reach out to those who don’t use the internet much and show them that he is the most popular candidate. Put signs on every piece of grass where appropriate, banners on every fence, stickers on every bumper (only to people you know please) and wear your baseball caps and pins all the time so everyone in the United States of America knows that Ron Paul is the next president of the United States of America.

  5. Francis says:

    Something recently occurred to me about Paul vs. Obama. Obama 2008 had the perfect aesthetic for a “change” candidate (including obviously the “hope” and “change” slogans): African-American with an exotic name and a young, hip image. But as far as substance is concerned, he’s proven himself to be all-establishment. Paul is pretty much the opposite. His image is extremely traditional. He’s an old, Christian white dude that is, or at least comes across as, personally very conservative. But in terms of substance, he would represent a HUGE change from the status quo.

    I think that Paul’s “aesthetic” explains a lot of the cognitive dissonance he causes among some self-described progressives. It’s not just the fact that he’s got an ‘R’ behind his name that provokes a tribalistic response (although obviously that’s part of it). It’s also a visceral reaction that he’s “not one of us.” Even though Paul advocates “progressive” positions on many hugely-important issues, he’s often arrived at those positions via different (i.e. “non-progressive”) reasoning.

  6. James says:

    I will vote for the candidate that will end this drug war! It’s the most costly and destructive social policy this country ever got behind!

  7. BuelahMan says:

    Has anyone here actually looked at Paul’s Plan To restore America? I don’t mean what the man says making stump speeches or tickling the ears of those of us who hate the war on drugs (or war in general).

    Does it matter to anyone that he plans to cut 35% from medicaid, 40% from SCHIP and 63% from Foodstamps and cut a WHOPPING 15% from the military?

    Has anyone looked at his plan to see that speculators, corporations and banksters (the richest of the rich) get all sorts of tax relief while the 99% get SQUAT (not a single line item tax relief for me and the rest of the 149,999,999 other poor or poverty stricken people?

    Has anyone spent even 5 minutes evaluating this plan?

    Jesus Christ, there is not one iota difference between a Bushie, an ObamaBot, or a PaulTard. Sheople will fall for any lie or deceit, when their favorite wedge issue is finally addressed.

    Well, dammit, show me in his plan where he cuts ANYTHING from the War on Drugs (it spells out all sorts of other things).

    I cover it here:

    • allan says:

      oh come on… don’t be shy. Tell us how you really feel.

    • BuelahMan says:

      4 thumbs down. Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me. For God’s sake, am I the only sane person in this country? Am I the only one (a dumb ole redneck) that pays attention beyond the same old tired left vs right, lesser of two evils and actually reads and analyzes what these people say?

      God have mercy on us all. We deserve everything us stupid assed Sheople get.

      • allan says:

        eh… when one flops down on a well worn couch and declares hiz or herzelf the smartest critter in the room and all others are lesser beans… prolly doesn’t beget an open arms greeting. But then that’s just me…

      • Dave says:

        Whether or not you’re the only one willing to look into one’s fiscal policies is certainly not factual.

        Whether or not you ignore the nation’s largest risk to national security and programs of domestic relief is in fact deficit spending and compounding debt is for certain.

        • BuelahMan says:

          Maybe, Dave, you can point out where anyone else has done the math. Google it and show me where I can find it.

          Do you deny my claims? The math?

          Then point out where I am incorrrect. Your straw man means nothing.

      • Peter says:

        You ask rhetorically if you are the “only sane person in this country,” although i suspect you mean on this thread.
        This is a perfect example of what Glenn Greenwald was referring to in the article linked above:

        “…labeling people “crazy” as a means of dismissing their views — basically depicting political disagreement as a mental illness — is one of the oldest and stalest means of discrediting people who dissent; it’s basically the prime weapon used to enforce mainstream orthodoxy and punish dissidents.”

        • BuelahMan says:

          Show me another source for the detail I give. I haven’t heard it. Even the MSM that supposedly hates Paul won’t touch the details that are plainly there.

          Yes, apparently I am the only one of a very few that seems to be getting this. Prove me wrong with links.

      • Duncan20903 says:

        Anytime I see an altered picture of Mr. Obama anymore I know I’m in the presence of a fundamentalist nutcake. It’s almost like a cult of personality except they hate the man and he can do no right rather than vice versa. I particularly enjoy when they berate potheads for voting for him and rubbing our noses in the Federal crackdown on the medicinal cannabis vendors/Mr. Obama’s tossing us under the bus. Forget that most of them should be cheering that move to be consistent in their political philosophy. He can’t even please these people by gratuitously arresting potheads. I suppose we might be looking at a cult of anti-personality?

        • damaged justice says:

          The only time I have ever seen a poster of Obama with a Hitler mustache, it was being held by a black man.

    • davidst says:

      BuelahMan, Ron Paul is not a flawless candidate, but he’s the only one (with a shot at winning) who is not owned by corporate and bank interests. I’m familiar with Paul’s platform so I will try to explain it to you. By reducing federal welfare programs, Paul will leave more money in the hands of individuals and states, and the states can decide what to do with it. If they need welfare, then they can continue engaging in it at the local and state level. With less resources, they will have to use what they have more efficiently. No one will starve in America.

      I’m surprised you wrote that Paul only plans a 15% military cut. That’s far less than I expected, especially since Paul won’t be fighting any wars to prop up the military industrial complex as Obama and Bush have.

      Paul’s biggest weakness is lack of an energy policy. I’m guessing Paul would have us simply use up whatever oil the economy produces for us and not make any centralized (government led) preparation for the slow and steady decline of usable oil expected to begin in the next 4 to 8 years (which will of course drive prices steadily upward constricting the economy). Then again, other candidates aren’t doing much about that either (with Republicans denying the problem’s existence and Democrats focusing more on the environmental aspect of emissions instead of the arguably more central economic aspect (when oil starts declining; coal usage is going way up if we don’t have any good alternatives ready)).

    • Pete says:

      BeulahMan — sorry I’m so long at getting to respond – I was out this evening. You’re really kind of proving the point of this piece and of Greenwald’s pieces. Even if we merely say that SOME of what Ron Paul has to offer is better than Obama, the progressive gatekeepers run around yelling that the sky is falling and it will be disaster — apparently merely to consider some of those ideas.

      Well, if you don’t want us to consider them with Paul, then offer them somewhere else.

      As far as the doom and gloom prognoses, those are absolute nonsense. First, Paul probably doesn’t have a chance of winning. Both the GOP and Democrats are scared to death of him. Second, all the talk of him getting in power and suddenly eliminating medicare and closing down all the government programs is just fear-mongering. He’ll have a Congress fighting him every step of the way to make sure they continue to get all their campaign funds and votes.

      However, if he was President, then there would at least be some adversarial discussion in areas that are completely swept under the rug. The GOP and Obama love the drug war, so there’s no argument, and there’s no discussion about change. The GOP and Obama both love war in the Middle East, so there’s no argument and there’s no discussion about change. The GOP and Obama both love Presidential power and secrecy and indefinite detention, so there’s no argument and there’s no discussion about change.

      Ron Paul at least brings important discussion about change in those supposedly progressive issues.

      And Ron Paul has, without even becoming President, done more for drug policy reform than Obama or Bush.

      • BuelahMan says:


        I cannot argue a point made. Of course he does those things and yes, I agree that he will likely never get the nomination.

        I find it insane that we, as a citizenry, find it acceptable to continue this lesser of two evils sElection for us. It happens over and over and over… every election cycle, yet I am still supposed to believe that someone from either Party will help or change things?

        Others here have discounted my claims about Paul’s economic plan. Yet none of them have the wherewithal to show me how I must have missed the math. Of course, I did not. And I should give credit to anyone that may have actually looked at the numbers (at least, they have more balls than most I share this info with).

        There are still plenty of PaulTards that will find his platform sufficient and even apologize for his obvious distortions between his rhetoric and his actual written plan.

        It is this simple fact that causes me to question each and every maroon that knee-jerk reacts to my concerns. BTW: I held Bushies and ObamaBots to the same fire, so this is nothing new for me (or this country, for that matter).

        You had one commenter try to make a funny about the starving people selling cannabis to the monsters in charge. You had one that disagreed with me, but then seemed confounded that the military cuts are so small.

        Well, no shit. That’s precisely what I’m getting at. After my analysis, he is a Trojan Horse for Paulsterity. Libertarians can try to discount the idea, but it is true, nonetheless.

        I know that this blog is basically focused o the drug war (I have been a long time reader and have linked to you many, many times). I appreciate what you do very much.

        But, in this specific realm, you have commenters so ready to kill off the drug war, they are willing to accept the harshest austerity measures that they don’t even know are in their Savior’s plan.

        Excuse me for trying to point this out to a bunch of single minded and single purpose voters. May their mothers and siblings and friends who rely on those measures being cut (while we are in the worst shape our country has ever known) survive their cheerleading of their own social support network’s dismantling and the richest of the rich enjoy even MORE. (I will keep them all in my thoughts and prayers.)

        For that is exactly what the Plan To Restore America does. It will literally kill people. Poor people.

        I ask you to do the math. Please.

    • Windy says:

      BuelahMan, I have read his plan and I link it all over the web so people can see for themselves what it says.

      Are YOU aware that he plans to end the income tax and the IRS? What harm do you think that would do to the 99%? I think it would get our job creators back creating jobs and innovative new products would start appearing soon after.

      He has no desire or intent to just shut those programs down day one, his plan to reduce Social Security and Medicare is a gradual plan — maintaining those who are dependent on it and those who will soon become dependent on it with no opportunity to offset the loss of it, and giving those who are far enough away from becoming dependent upon it a choice to finance their own retirement, instead.

      His planned reduction of the cost of our military is a drop in the bucket of that massive budget item; and, with our troops here at home instead of overseas, the costs of maintaining a military would be reduced by that much or more. And are you aware he gets more donations from active and former military than all the other candidates combined (including Obama)? I would think that those who are serving overseas understand more about why his plan is best than any civilian who’s never been in the military.

      Actually, I do have one little nitpick with his plan: as a Constitutionalist, he SHOULD be wanting to end the Army and Air Force because the Constitution only allows for the Navy (and I suppose the Marines who depend on the Navy and vice versa) and tho the Constitution does allow an army to be raised, it clearly states said army only may be funded for two years and then must be disbanded (our Founders knew a standing army was dangerous to liberty and said so more than once).

      Your rhetoric that his economic plan “will literally kill people” is so far off the mark it makes me think you are a paid disinformation agent. There seem to be a lot of those all over the web, the powers that be are shaking in their boots at fear of a Ron Paul win.

      Speaking of which, Pete, I agree with most of your comment here (and your blog post above) but I do take issue with your belief he will not win. He takes donations only from individuals, no corporations, no special interest groups. Take a look at this campaign war chest, that came from individual people, most of whom can only afford to donate $35 on average. Now imagine how many people it took giving him that amount to make the total as large as it is, now. And figure every one of those people will vote for him in the primaries and caucuses, and in the general election when he wins the nomination. Than add in all the Independents and libertarians and Blue Republicans who will vote for him but may not have donated to him. He has a GREAT chance of winning the nomination, and if he wins the nomination he’ll win the election. Especially now that he’s taken 2nd in NH, his chances are even better.

      • Windy says:

        I left out that no matter who wins, austerity measures will be imposed sooner or later, because our economy is on the road to destruction without his plan. And if he doesn’t become the president, the destruction of the economy will be far worse in the end, because no one else will change the current borrow and overspend policies our last 4 presidents/congresses have followed. His plan can save us from far worse austerity measures than are outlined in his plan.

  8. allan says:

    interesting in watching nat’l media coverage on Paul… they never mention the comparison in how Ron Paul stacks up against Obama compared to the other Repub numbnutz.

    I certainly hope he keeps some political folks awake at night… at least that.

    • Francis says:

      Yeah, we keep being told that Romney is the “electable” one. (That perception–plus great hair–is about the only thing he has going for him.) And we’re also constantly told that Paul is completely unelectable. Are you suggesting that the conventional wisdom might be wrong?

      BTW, does anyone have any thoughts on how this whole thing is going to shake out? I’ve heard it suggested that there are basically three slots right now: Romney, Paul, and Not-Romney-Not-Paul. The Not-Romney-Not-Paul slot is obviously the one that the other candidates are vying for. Who does that end up being? When does it become a two-man race? And does Paul actually have a shot? (And damn it, people, don’t toy with my emotions. I want wide-eyed realism not pie-in-the-sky happy talk. I haven’t had the audacity to allow myself much hope yet.)

      • davidst says:

        Paul probably has no shot because if he wins, they will make sure he wins in a three man race. That will allow them to suspend the democratic nomination (since no one will have a 50% majority) and simply choose the nominee. In that case, the GOP establishment will choose Romney or possibly the third man you mentioned, which is apparently Rick Santorum (*gag*) based on whichever one is polling better.

        When Paul is denied the Republican nomination (or simply fails to win it at all), he will likely run as an independent. That will ultimately cause Obama to win with less than 50% (as Clinton did). Maybe we can get incredibly lucky and the Internet generation manages to convince older people to stop listening to the lies told on TV and in the newspapers. Then Paul could steal it from both of them.

        Even if he became president, it would be an uphill battle to reform the country with a corporate owned congress on capitol hill. As president he could do some things, but mostly he would be reduced to a permanent veto pen. We’d probably see some incredible feats of bipartisanship as Republicans and Democrats combine forces to overcome Paul’s veto revealing themselves more clearly for the corporate shills they are. Then maybe, just maybe we can start the hard work of replacing congress with people who aren’t crooks.

        More likely Paul won’t win and the oligarchy will continue consolidating power (for which the drug war is a vital tool).

        • darkcycle says:

          Close, but if Paul loses and goes third candidate, Obama will lose, not win, because Paul will peel off more traditional Dem’s than R’s. The R’s as a general rule are much more focused and likely to vote as a block.

        • davidst says:

          If he can take that many progressive votes, he might just win outright! I just have a hard time believing that with his strong Republican association on TV (which will be played up greatly by liberal leaning news outlets) that he will pull more D’s than R’s. It will be a battle between official corporate propaganda delivered by traditional media outlets and truth delivered by (some) blogs and word of mouth on social networks and within individual families. It will be one hell of a fight if Paul keeps up his rise and ends up running as an independent.

        • Duncan20903 says:

          davidst, that’s a great working example of hysterical rhetoric. Totally baseless and horrifying. You should write for the Know Nothings. You have the talent.

          All Mr. Paul has to do is to throw his hat in the ring as an Independent if he should be the candidate. The party leaders may as well just shoot themselves in the head and get it over with if they allow what you suggest to happen.

          Dr P has got the big mo’. Will he skid out in NH? I might have to drive up there. It was a blast back in ’92. It’s a flipping alternate universe in the week leading up to the vote. That was the year that guy from Arkansas who no-one had ever heard of and who had no chance of getting the nomination ended up POTUS.

        • Windy says:

          You forget the Independents, who make up 30% or more of the population. Dems and GOP only have about 23% each and the libertarians and other parties make up the rest. The Independents seem to like Ron Paul and so do libertarians, and Gary Johnson who is going for the LP nomination is urging Libertarians to support Ron Paul for the GOP nomination and only if Paul doesn’t get it to support him for the LP.

  9. Malcolm L. says:

    Government is not the solution, it is the very problem.
    Our mind is made up that my family will vote for Ron Paul. Let it be known that we are not white and we dislike Republican party.

    • claygooding says:

      I don’t care if your purple with red ears,,if your poor enough,,our government has a jail cell for you. And if your rich enough,there is a lawyer standing by to make sure you don’t go.

      It will take a lot more than one president to make all Americans equal.

      But I believe Ron Paul will begin the process,,now if the Republican’ts/Republicunts,would just put Gary Johnson as the VP.

      • Duncan20903 says:

        clay, many people think that there aren’t any black people that like Dr. Paul. He’s old, white and from Texas. They haven’t any black folks in Texas you know.

        Traditionally the VP is not selected until after the nomination, no? But there’s no rule requiring that (right?) and I’ve got to say it really sounds like a brilliant idea to me.

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  11. claygooding says:

    First,this came out 1,8,2012:

    Marijuana Use Most Rampant in Australia, Study Finds

    “”SYDNEY — A study published Friday in a British medical journal may have finally uncovered the secret behind Australia’s laid-back lifestyle, and it turns out to be more than just sun and surf: The denizens Down Under, it turns out, consume more marijuana than any other people on the planet.””

    Now,as Paul would say “the rest of the story”:

    Spray to help alleviate marijuana withdrawal

    “”EMILY BOURKE: Smokers have nicotine replacement options to deal with withdrawal symptoms while they’re trying to kick the habit.

    For those dependent on marijuana, there’s no equivalent. But a team from the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre at the University of New South Wales will trial a spray to help with easing marijuana withdrawal symptoms.””

    Marijuana addiction,,rated as the same severity as a caffeine addiction,has prohibitionists producing a hemp oil tincture to help people quit using marijuana.It would be better if they produced something that would cure prohibitionists from trying to control other peoples lives.

  12. dom youngross says:

    Paul is the most liberal/progressive candidate in 2012. Hands down.

    Paul is also the most conservative candidate in 2012. Hands down.

    He’s a winnowing fork, separating real liberals or progressives or conservatives from phony ones. The phonies have personal, identity, or ego issues that enable them to dissonantly swallow the big lie of perpetual-warfare/perpetual-debt at the federal level while professing concern for people that need help and a hand.

    The sooner we break out of the federal perpetual-warfare/perpetual-debt cycle, the sooner and better we can successfully help lift more of the waylaid, destitute, and working poor up and on to a better life — at the more-local state level.

    Ron Paul, 2012.

    • BuelahMan says:

      Do you expect to “break out of the federal perpetual-warfare” by only cutting 15% from the budget. This still keeps the budget at 2005 levels.

      Go to Paul’s plan and look at the last graphic, bottom of the page.

      A 15% cut does NOT end wars or the empire.

      • davidtvz says:

        My guess is that it’s such a small number because if it was any lower Paul would have even less chance of being taken seriously. Judging by his rhetoric, I’m sure Paul would like to cut it by much more.

      • darkcycle says:

        Ummm, BeulahMan..for somebody who goes on and on about his “math”, your calculations are a little smelly. You can cut “only” fifteen percent of the ON PAPER budget of the pentagon, if you END THE EXPIDITIONARY WARS OF EMPIRE, all of which appear NOWHERE in the fudgit. If you do THAT, the savings are more on the order of the levels in the rest of his cuts.
        I don’t believe in austerity any more than the next poor podunk 99%er. But that is what WILL be delivered unto you, regardless of whether it’s R.P., Obushma, or some as yet unnamed republican. If Obama actually wanted to save Social Security and Medicare he wouldn’t be the one who broached the topic of cuts.
        I honestly believe it is more important to get away from the two party system that has brought us to this point where the only choice we have is who holds the knife that cuts our throats.

        • darkcycle says:

          Let me add this, I forgot to preface this comment by saying if we get the opportunity to vote for R.P at all, it will likely be as a third party candidate.

  13. Matt says:

    Yes, by all means, progressives should embrace a candidate who believes the south should have won the Civil War, who has repeatedly pushed for federal legislation defining life as beginning at conception, and who would end all federal civil rights laws and protections for workers. All because he’d legalize drugs. No, sorry, we aren’t that myopic. What an incredibly shallow article.

    • Joe says:

      Actually he never said the south should’ve win the war he said the the us should’ve followed the British model for ending slavery

      And Ron Paul is against federal legislation … So why would he ban abortion at the state level ? I didn’t expect u to have any morals
      But why is it illegal to kill a 4 week old baby but legal to kill a -4 week old baby ? A baby that could dive outside the womb

      • Duncan20903 says:

        Back in the day the Catholic Church wouldn’t baptize a baby until it was 21 days old. That was when they officially recognized the baby as being alive.

    • claygooding says:

      Where have you been Matt? They just took your right to a trial away from you,so what does that do to your protections of workers and civil rights.. You don’t have any now,so how can he take them?

    • davidst says:

      Matt, you’re confusing Ron Paul for the progressive caricature of him. Paul believes in states rights. The purpose of the Sanctity of Life act is to allow individual states to make their own laws concerning abortion within their borders. He’s not interested in a nationwide ban. Similarly, he would only remove the federal prohibition of drugs. Drugs would remain illegal wherever states did not also repeal drug laws. Anyway, my support for Paul goes way beyond drug laws. I’ve mostly stopped reading this blog because we have far greater problems of which malformed drug laws are only a symptom.

      • darkcycle says:

        There is only so much anybody can do, davidst. Best to pick a piece you’re passionate about and do that. More power to ya if you’ve got solutions to these “big” problems. Myself? The biggest concerns to me are the most immediate threats to myself and my family. And as a cannabis consumer and a medical grower, the threat of a SWAT raid looms large. So ending the drug war is my main goal currently. I will add, that is followed in the concern parade by Global Warming, and the loss of our constitutional freedoms comes in third. Since concerns number one and three dovetail nicely, and since I can more easily influence U.S. policy than worldwide human activity, I spend a lot of time here.
        But you go right ahead and tackle “big” issues. To me the ones I enumerated above are the “big” issues. So go trivialize sombody else’s work, huh? Check back in from time to time and tell us how you’re doing at saving the world. Adios.

        • davidst says:

          I don’t mean to trivialize the drug reform movement. I’ve been visiting this blog for over 5 years and I still glance at it. It’s just that I know how most of the stories end already. I don’t think we will accomplish any serious change until we take our government back from the mega banks and corporations that own it. Ron Paul, despite his faults, would be a great start.

      • allan says:

        I’m w/ darkcycle on this… I pick my battles and I’ve had my share. Name me another issue in the country that has armed, tactical police units invading our homes? Another issue that has a too long list of innocent civilians shot and killed by law enforcement, often in their own homes? Another issue that has made us the most incarcerated population on the planet?

        Thought not…

        The drug war is arguably one of THE most important issue this country faces. Dismiss us if you want, as obviously we’re small ‘taters…

        I’ll add my adios as well… oh, and don’t let the door and all that.

        • BuelahMan says:


          Does it matter that the battle now includes a plan that will starve the most needy and NOT do the things that the man tells us he will do?

          Are you familiar with the term, “hypocrisy”?

          I will argue that starving and then eliminating the health care for the starving children is “arguably” the MOST important issue.

        • allan says:

          ok… what’s your recommendation on which candidate to support?

          And please… don’t dangle hungry kids as bait, tens of thousands of children die daily from starvation and malnutrition word wide. Daily…

          And I’m curious why you continue to badger and act the ass. Smoke a bowl and come back when your mood is altered.

      • primus says:

        The ‘drug war’ is not about drugs, it’s about freedom. As a resident of a ‘free’ nation, you assume certain ‘freedoms’ are ‘inalienable’. The current policies of both of our governments is anti-freedom. The ‘drug war’ is a method of removing our freedoms from us. Why would anyone say that anything is more important than our freedom, as you do?

    • Pete says:

      Gee, Matt, thanks for again proving Glenn Greenwald’s thesis and verifying the point of this article by being unable to discern the difference between having a discussion on important issues and being hopelessly partisan to the point of destruction.

  14. Joe says:

    Wow , a very intelligent article …. Interesting

  15. Joe says:

    Paul’s biggest weakness is lack of an energy policy. I’m guessing Paul would have us simply use up whatever oil the economy produces for us and not make any centralized (government led) preparation for the slow and steady decline of usable oil expected to begin in the next 4 to 8 years (which will of course drive prices steadily upward constricting the economy).

  16. tintguy says:

    First they laugh at you, then they fight you…

  17. primus says:

    RP won’t win the Republican nomination.

    First, the party establishment is terrified of a person of principle, because they can’t be manipulated as easily as a Mitt or a Newt. The party craves a puppet on strings that can be controlled. The people crave a candidate who is his ‘own man’. Perry was forced out because the puppetmaster’s strings were showing after the debate where he couldn’t remember his lines.

    Second because, as Stalin said, it doesn’t matter who is voting, it matters who is counting that vote. The establishment would not allow RP to win even if the votes supported it. If he is nominated, he has the best chance of any Repubs to beat Obama. If he runs as an independent he won’t garner enough votes to make a difference, because the sheeple are in thrall to the paries, and won’t vote independent. The parties are the problem. Too many people declare their affiliation then stop thinking for themselves and cede that authority to the party. The party likes things this way. If you vote for one of the party animals you are part of the problem.

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