Ron Paul on Meet the Press
0 comment Tuesday, November 11, 2014 |
I didn't see the Tim Russert interview of Ron Paul on Sunday. Truth be told, I don't enjoy such programs; I don't care for the open bias of most of the interviewers and anchor people. When these shows are on, I am usually doing something else and cannot sit down for the length of the show. And I have little patience for watching the whole thing but for those who are interested, here is the YouTube link.
I prefer to read the transcript, although a transcript omits the nuances of the spoken word, body language, and all those other things which give us information about the conversation. But sometimes the written word is more reliable and it is easier to go back and re-read where needed.
Below I've excerpted the parts of the transcript that I found most salient to me. Obviously immigration and sovereignty issues are of paramount importance from my point of view, so these exchanges are of interest:
MR. RUSSERT: Let me ask you about immigration because that's a big issue here, and there has been a profound change. Back when you ran for president, 1988, libertarian, you said, "As in our country's first 150 years, there shouldn't be any immigration policy at all. We should welcome everyone who wants to come here and work." You've changed your view.
REP. PAUL: And, and during that campaign, I remember I got into trouble with Libertarians because I said there may well be a time when immigration is like an invasion and we have to treat it differently. And I think, in one sense, with the welfare state out of control--see, my approach to immigration is somewhat different than the others. Mine is you deal with it economically. We're in worse shape now because we subsidize immigration. We give food stamps, Social Security, free medical care, free education and amnesty. So you subsidize it, and you have a mess. Our hospitals are being closed. Conditions have changed. And I think that we should have--and, and 9/11 has occurred. Why shouldn't we be looking at people coming in? So there's--this, this means that we should look at immigration differently. It's an economic issue more than anything. If our economy was in good health, I--believe me, I don't think there'd be an immigration problem. We'd be looking for workers and we would be very generous.''
Personally, I would like to see Dr. Paul take a harder line on immigration, and I would like him to say he favors limiting or decreasing legal immigration. But I think his approach of ending benefits to immigrants (he doesn't specify legal or illegal immigrants here) is a practical one, and if implemented, would discourage immigration and encourage many illegals to go home of their own volition. Does any other candidate propose anything like this?
It's good that Dr. Paul points out that he is not an 'orthodox' libertarian on this issue; if he were an open-borders libertarian I would not dream of voting for him. But he is a practical man, and his views are more conservative than libertarian.
The next question by Russert has to do with the 'birthright citizenship' or 'anchor baby' issue. Russert obtusely challenges Dr. Paul's constructionist bonafides because he wants to amend the Constitution on this issue:
MR. RUSSERT: You say you're a strict constructionist of the Constitution, and yet you want to amend the Constitution to say that children born here should not automatically be U.S. citizens.
REP. PAUL: Well, amending the Constitution is constitutional. What's a--what's the contradiction there?
MR. RUSSERT: So in the Constitution as written, you want to amend?
REP. PAUL: Well, that's constitutional, to do it. Besides, it was the 14th Amendment. It wasn't in the original Constitution. And there's a, there's a confusion on interpretation. In the early years, it was never interpreted that way, and it's still confusing because people--individuals are supposed to have birthright citizenship if they're under the jurisdiction of the government. And somebody who illegally comes in this country as a drug dealer, is he under the jurisdiction and their children deserve citizenship? I think it's awfully, awfully confusing, and, and I, I--matter of fact, I have a bill to change that as well as a Constitutional amendment to clarify it. ''
This is an important issue, and Dr. Paul has been consistent in his statements over the years on it, unlike Romney, Huckabee, or Thompson.
And then in this exchange, Dr. Paul shows that he is not just another politically correct panderer. He also makes valid points about the loss of individual liberty which resulted from the Civil Rights Act, and in that sense he is absolutely in sync with the more traditional American view on these issues. It takes courage to say these things, and in a time when political correctness is a real threat to the survival of our culture and our nation, Dr. Paul's willingness to speak the truth is rare, and should be commended. Which of the other 'conservative' candidates would say what he says? Not a one.
MR. RUSSERT: Let me ask you about race, because I, I read a speech you gave in 2004, the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. And you said this: "Contrary to the claims of" "supporters of the Civil Rights Act of" '64, "the act did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of" '64 "increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty." That act gave equal rights to African-Americans to vote, to live, to go to lunch counters, and you seem to be criticizing it.
REP. PAUL: Well, we should do, we should do this at a federal level, at a federal lunch counter it'd be OK or for the military. Just think of how the government, you know, caused all the segregation in the military until after World War II. But when it comes, Tim, you're, you're, you're not compelled in your house to invade strangers that you don't like. So it's a property rights issue. And this idea that all private property is under the domain of the federal government I think is wrong. So this--I think even Barry Goldwater opposed that bill on the same property rights position, and that--and now this thing is totally out of control. If you happen to like to smoke a cigar, you know, the federal government's going to come down and say you're not allowed to do this.
MR. RUSSERT: But you would vote against...
REP. PAUL: So it's...
MR. RUSSERT: You would vote against the Civil Rights Act if, if it was today?
REP. PAUL: If it were written the same way, where the federal government's taken over property--has nothing to do with race relations. It just happens, Tim, that I get more support from black people today than any other Republican candidate, according to some statistics. And I have a great appeal to people who care about personal liberties and to those individuals who would like to get us out of wars. So it has nothing to do with racism, it has to do with the Constitution and private property rights.''
The fact that Dr. Paul bases his views on the Constitution and private property rights is consistent with his principles. His opposition to the social engineering inherent in the Civil Rights Act is principled, and it's consistent, as he says, with the old-style Goldwater Republicanism. Only in our modern politically correct age would his views be considered beyond the pale.
And the next question was about the Civil War. I happen to agree that there was a better way to solve the slavery issue than by invading the South, sacrificing so many American lives, and leaving permanent scars on the nation. These days most people consider that war a sacred cause, and Lincoln a near-saint. From a conservative point of view, the war and the subsequent hypertrophy of the federal government have led to a deviation from the original intention of the Founders for this Republic.
MR. RUSSERT: I was intrigued by your comments about Abe Lincoln. "According to Paul, Abe Lincoln should never have gone to war; there were better ways of getting rid of slavery."
REP. PAUL: Absolutely. Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war. No, he shouldn't have gone, gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic. I mean, it was the--that iron, iron fist..
MR. RUSSERT: We'd still have slavery.
REP. PAUL: Oh, come on, Tim. Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world. And the way I'm advising that it should have been done is do like the British empire did. You, you buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans and where it lingered for 100 years? I mean, the hatred and all that existed. So every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war. I mean, that doesn't sound too radical to me. That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach.''
Dr. Paul is obviously his own man; even his many and vehement detractors recognize this, but they try to make that into a negative; he is 'out of step' or a 'kook' or an 'ideologue' or whatever, and above all, he 'can't win.'
I think the people who say he can't win are just wishful-thinking or whistling in the dark. As much as many people are clamoring for a change, and lamenting the corruption of our political system, along comes a man who represents real change, and a return to Constitutional principles, and some shy away. I think we are seeing who is really serious about wanting change and getting the country back on track. Most people are inclined to prefer the 'devil they know', business as usual, even if they know deep down that more of the same may be fatal.
I sense that some are absolutely closed-minded towards Dr. Paul, and nothing can change their minds.
However for those who are open-minded and truly concerned to pick the right candidate, I urge you to take another look at Ron Paul. And don't accept second-hand information on what Dr. Paul stands for, or his record in Congress. It's so easy, in this age of the Internet, to search out these things for yourselves. There are a lot of incorrect statements being made about Dr. Paul.
I'll make it easy: here is the link to the Ron Paul archives, which I've posted before. I encourage the open-minded to read his archives, wherein you will see his positions on various issues, in his own words.
Watch the Meet the Press interview at the YouTube link or read the transcript if you prefer.
I will probably have more to say about the misconceptions about Dr. Paul in a later entry, but for now, it's almost Christmas and I plan to take a couple of days away from all this and turn my attention away from politics and the crises in our country to lighter and more comforting matters, like friends, family, faith, home.
It's the time of year to reestablish our ties to the really important and lasting things; that's what anchors us. And that's ultimately what all this is about: preserving those things.

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