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...the evasive foreign policy of non-interventionism as atriculated by Ron Paul, a philosophical view which when practiced by the candidate leads him to conclude that "Iran has done nothing to the United States" and that September 11th was executed by "19 thugs", an estimate, which including the 17 hijackers and the two aborted hijackers (Moussaoui and Reid) would not even include Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

In 2001 Ron Paul voted to authorize the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban and the al Qaeda network.

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*** Mod's note: Moved from the Romney thread - sN ***

As for Ron Paul, I love his fiscal policy but his foreign and social policies flat out suck.
Why do you think this about Ron Paul? I love his foreign policy, especially in the context of where we are in history. It's something we've needed for so long, his thinking is like a breathe of fresh air. Don't police the world, let people have the freedom to make their own decisions, don't force your lifestyle or perspective on others -- sounds pretty good to me. What about his social policies? Other than -- don't have the government tell you what to do, solve your problems at the local level i.e. give more power to the states and keep government power decentralized. How does that suck?

I don't want to start a Ron Paul debate --- just questions to maybe make you think of Dr. Paul in a different light. Check out the MTV/Myspace debates on youtube. Dr. Paul addresses his positions there pretty well.

If any other Republican candidate gets the nomination besides Ron Paul, I'm voting Obama. Or moving to another country.

Edited by softwareNerd
Used BBCode for quote block

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What about his social policies? Other than -- don't have the government tell you what to do, solve your problems at the local level i.e. give more power to the states and keep government power decentralized. How does that suck?

By social issues, I'm disturbed that he doesn't seem to beleive that the religious right is a dangerous threat to us at all. He supports overturning Roe vs. Wade which is not goood at all, and he is against immigration.

His foreign policy is completly wrong. To allow terroists to get away with what they did to us on 9/11, is pacifism, and the thing with natural rights that most libertarians don't seem to understand or refuse to know is that your rights are worthless if you don't protect them. This means using retaliatory force against people when it is nessecary. If we except the docrine of pacifism, then we are allowing people to constantly violate eachothers rights wich thus renders the entire establishment of a government to be null and void, and there is nothing good about excepting that kind of a filthy doctrine on a national level. If a burgler robed from your house and you called the cops to hunt him down, should the government stop finding him because 'were making more enemies by pissing off the robers family members'? If no, then why should we do so with our foreign policy?

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The US perspective of inalienable rights is a perspective, but by having it does not mean you need to or should force it on others. You are forcing it when you install military troops in other countries and "promote democracy".

Ron Paul does not promote pacifism. His foreign policy is non-interventionism, which just means not intervening in the affairs of others. Insofar as they are concerned with us is insofar as we should be concerned with them. Dr. Paul voted to go after the terrorists, by Bush used that authority to invade Iraq as a country and take out Saddam. Dr. Paul wanted to go after the people who attacked us and voted in that manner, but that justification was used as a cover for other agendas. If we cannot agree on this understanding of our immediate history then all further conversation on this topic is worthless.

Also, when it comes to how you treat your citizens and how you treat other countries is completely different. If you are born in this country or come to the country legally you are accepting the lifestyle you are born into, or travel to enjoy. If you are born in this country and do not agree with these values, America lets you leave. If you are not born here and do not agree with the values here, you do not have to come. These are both choices our government allows people.

If you are in this country and break the laws of this country, the government has a right to go after you. If you are in another country and break another country's laws, that country has the right to penalize you or not, but we do not have the right to go into another people's country and penalize them for violating our, or their, values. We impede on those people's sovereignty when we assume we have the right to police other people's countries.

I agree in that I don't want Ron Paul to overturn Roe vs. Wade because I believe in a woman's right to choose what to do with her own body. I don't know why, but he doesn't see how a woman alone holds reproduction within her solitary choice and owes no obligation to humanity to keep giving birth. I disagree with him on that one issue but I see our endeavors abroad and our monetary policy as far more damaging to our country as a whole than a woman's right to choose whether or not to have children. Women won't have that choice at all if this country dissolves.

I don't think Dr. Paul is against immigration, rather he recognizes our hesitation in allowing immigrants lower paying jobs as a symptom of our failing economy in general. He sees that republicans have made immigrants the scapegoat for a larger problem that they started and have enhanced.

Go to ronpaul2008.com and actually read what he promotes. He has a lot of his own papers he has written. Don't take what you get from the media, or even just the sound bites. Dr. Paul has a lot of thought behind his ideas and a lot of experience in government affairs. I don't see the thought behind McCain or Romney, only opportunistic choices or blind adherence to party platforms. But do steer me towards their open thought for in light of the fact that one of them may be my country's future president I would hope to find some truth within their writings.

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... We impede on those people's sovereignty when we assume we have the right to police other people's countries.
This begs the question as to whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. You use the term "sovereignity" as if it were definitely a good thing, but you do not explain why.

I agree that the U.S. should not play world policeman unless its own citizens and their interests are threatened, so I agree with you on that part of actual end result. However, I question the reasoning by which you arrive at that conclusion. I do not hold sovereignity to be a primary.

For starters, when we speak of U.S. intervention, we aren't speaking of the U.S. going into Western Europe, Australia or even into India. Therefore, the context here is not sovereignty of governments that have been elected by their populations and that respect rights to a fair extent. Rather, we're speaking of governments that are typically run by dictators. So, let's focus on this type of example first, and then -- if you wish -- extend it to others.

Take Iraq. Here we had a dictator who killed countless people who he saw as a threat to his rule, who gassed whole villages, who killed his own son-in-law for trying to flee the country, who's son raped women with impunity. How are we respecting the sovereignty of those assassinated rivals, gassed Kurds, the murdered son-in-law and the raped women, by letting evil people prey on them. Sure, we can shrug it off and say "not our problem"; but what has sovereignty to do with it? If sovereignty has any claim to goodness, then it must mean the notion that one must let other people be unmolested. To have any claim to the moral high ground, it must mean that we respect the rights of others to choose how to live their lives.

Instead, what you seem to be saying is that sovereignty is the idea that we should allow foreign murderers to murder foreign victims, allow foreign governments to torture their athletes for not winning medals, allow foreign princelings to rape foreign women. Is this what you mean by sovereignty? Sure we can decide we do not want to be involved, we cannot save the world, it is not in our self-interest to right every wrong; but, let's not use a term like "sovereignity" which gives the illusion that those foreign victims are happy victims, enjoying what's being done to them.

Here's one little example from Iran -- two sister are to be stoned to death for adultery. Do we defend their sovereignity when we do nothing about it? No, we do not -- it is not in our self-interest to do anything about it; but, let's not appeal to some vague notion of sovereignity. There is only one sovergeign that trukly matters in morals terms, and that is the sovereign individual. Individual sovereignity -- aka individual rights -- is primary.

Edited by softwareNerd

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The US perspective of inalienable rights is a perspective, but by having it does not mean you need to or should force it on others. You are forcing it when you install military troops in other countries and "promote democracy".

There are a lot of comments of this nature by Ron Paul posters on this forum. Nevertheless, nobody who takes Objectivism seriously believes that the U.S. should be promoting Democracy. There is no dichotomy between the awful foreign policy of the Bush Administration and the awful, awful foreign policy of non-interventionism proposed by Ron Paul.

[Ron Paul's] foreign policy is non-interventionism, which just means not intervening in the affairs of others.

From his rhetoric, it also means not viewing the Islamic Republic as Iran as a threat as it aggressively pursues an uranium enrichment program that is under military supervision, not identifying Islamic terrorism as a threat in itself, not giving moral or political support to nations such as Israel, viewing Abraham Lincoln as a tyrant who involved the United States in an "unnecessary" war and viewing all foreign conflicts as essentially driven by economics and not philosophy.

Because Ron Paul is against a foreign policy of rational self-interest on principle, he will be a much worse Commander in Chief than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. With them, at least there is hope that they can be politically pressured into taking defensive action, if it truly becomes necessary, because they are Pragmatists. Ron Paul will oppose properly defending the country on principle.

Edited by DarkWaters

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From his rhetoric, it also means not viewing the Islamic Republic as Iran as a threat as it aggressively pursues an uranium enrichment program that is under military supervision, ...
Another recent example came in Pakistan. Some Libertarians were critical of U.S. attempts to influence the outcome of Pakistan's elections. However, the question ought not to have been what not do do; the question is: what ought we to do?

We have a country that has nukes. We have a government that is only sort-of in control of the country, but are still firmly in control of their nukes. In some areas -- the equivalent of a whole state -- the government mostly pretends to rule, by establishing outposts and hunkering down in barracks, while the de facto government are people who are allied with Bin Laden. The better forces still have the upper hand in control of the country as a whole, but anarchy has a way of getting out of control. We do not know where the Pakistani army keeps their nukes. We have been assured that different parts are at different locations, so that if one location is compromised, all is not lost. On the other hand, if the government falls, we have no reliable way of going in and getting the nukes out before the bad guys do. There are people in the current government that would cooperate with us in that type of situation. Unfortunately, there also are government folk who would cooperate with people who want to get those nukes and use them against us.

The odds are that Pakistan will not fall in the near future. There was a time when the Shah of Iran had started to lose control of his country, but still hung on for some years. Should we stand back and do nothing to influence the future of Pakistan? Why?

In principle, is someone wants to harm us, we are completely within our rights to act against them.

Of course, in practice, we might act in the name of this principle, in ways that end up being detrimental to the principle. That is bad. However, we should first agree on the question of principle. Only next should we examine whether we are truly acting toward it.

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Nevertheless, nobody who takes Objectivism seriously believes that the U.S. should be promoting Democracy.

I just noticed poor phrasing here. I wish to revise this sentence to: "Nevertheless, nobody who takes Objectivism seriously believes that the U.S. has a duty to promote Democracy overseas. For more information on this, please see The "Forward Strategy" for Failure."

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Ok. It seems as if some of you think the US should be promoting moral values actively -- and by that I mean in the sense that Jehovah's witnesses go around door to door giving away pamphlets and giving speeches. As far as the government is concerned, I whole-heartedly disagree with that idea, but if you want to act in that manner as an individual, then I don't have the right to stop you, just to walk away.

You respect another nation's sovereignty because you understand that you must give respect to receive it. The US was formed by people running from persecution, and you site other people's persecution as a reason to intervene in their national affairs. I just disagree with you. Those people have the freedom to run from their situation, as hard as it might be to do so. I have sympathy for them, and would send monetary contributions if there was a private charity formed in an effort to help those people in those countries, I just can't properly advocate that my government make an action. If you use government you are using the money of all the people within your nation. You cannot assume that everyone in the country holds the same idea as you about taking action in other people's countries. You might view it as a moral position, but I do not think the government should be trying to push moral values either, even if those values its pushes may be my own. That is not the proper function of government.

It's almost as if you are saying you don't want people to use government in a way you disagree with, but it's okay if government is used in a way you agree with. Well duh, everyone feels this way. The only way to properly control government is not to use it except for its sole purpose -- defense and the court system. We have a constitution as a final arbiter and we should adhere to it. Government is to be neutral on enforcing moral judgments -- you have the freedom to view things the way you do, you don't have to agree with the person next to you. All you have to do is refrain from impeding on the rights of others, and if you don't, the government has the right to stop you. But only in THIS country does the government have that right, because we all agreed a long time ago that it was a good idea and we wrote a document which delineates governmental intrusion. Problem is we don't stick to it because of vague abstract concepts that are malleable to changing situations -- "war on terror" "war on drugs". Clearly our government is deceiving us, and yet you still think it is okay to allow them power into other nations? I might agree with you in a different time, if maybe I felt I could trust our government, but our government is run by corrupt politicians with ulterior motives and secret agendas. If I can, I am going to restrict their power as much as possible.

Perhaps I am viewing the situation more context based on where we are in this country right now, and you others may be viewing it in more of an ideal fashion. Please don't take that the wrong way -- we need both perceptions to make a unifying concept that actually works. I just don't think we have the money to continue on in the way we have been, and I don't think diminishing our presence will suddenly invoke a bunch of terrorist attacks. I don't believe the propaganda -- I don't think we are in such grave danger. I don't think Iran or North Korea or any other country will suddenly bomb us tomorrow. I don't think the terror alert color is blood red. I think we all need to just calm down, come home, and chill out for a while. Try to let people be the way they think is right (even if we disagree) because constantly pushing your views on others is destructive to communication and trade. Let people have the freedom to grow and change within their own environment. We have a lot of problems in this country right now and when we pretend like what we have here is so phenomenal other countries see us as a hypocrite, and in some cases I agree with them. I love freedom, and rational thought, and trade, and capitalism, and ooh wouldn't it be so great if everyone else in the world could see how great this all is --- but they don't right now. Given some time maybe they will see it (as all change starts with philosophy), but until they do, I'm fine not having anything to do with them until then. When you say my government should intervene you're using my money for your own ends, and I resent it.

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Ok. It seems as if some of you think the US should be promoting moral values actively ...
FaSheezy, You don't include any quotes to indicate who these "some of you" might be. Since I was one who responded to your earlier post about "sovereignty", I'll clarify this: I do not believe the U.S. should be using its military to promote such values around the world. However, sovereignty is definitely not my reason. I'd agree, instead, with the second reason you offer: I cannot force my neighbor and his soldier son to contribute money and life to a battle I wish to fight, unless it is legitimately for the defense of the U.S.

So, that brings us the the question of whether the defense of the U.S. requires certain actions abroad. I'll grant that the invasion of Iraq was not justified in retrospect. (Whether there were some mistaken assumptions at the time is a different issue. With all the facts we now know, it's pretty safe to say that the U.S. should not have invaded Iraq in order merely to replace Sadaam with some type of better alternative.)

For the sake of argument, let's say that the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, and it's involvement in Pakistan are wrong. The point then is, if what the U.S. is doing the wrong things, what would you have it do? It's easy to list what someone is doing wrong; not so easy to offer positive suggestions of what to do right. So, let me try to understand where you're coming from:

Do you think Islamist terrorists planned and executed 9/11?

If not, end of discussion.

If yes (they did 9/11), ... do you think they would not try something bigger if they got the opportunity?

If not, why not, what makes 9/11 some type of final event for them?

If yes (they'll try again), don't you think that getting a nuclear weapon would be of interest to them?

If not, why not. A simple nuke could be easier to use, and would also be dramatic.

If yes (they'd like to have one)... do you think the U.S. should do nothing at all about it, until they actually use it?

If not, then what should the U.S. actually do?

Do you think nuclear weapons in Pakistan are safe and almost certainly not going to fall into the hands of Islamist terrorists? Do you think that if the mullahs in Iran could make a nuclear weapon, they would ensure that it is not used against the U.S.?

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Ok. It seems as if some of you think the US should be promoting moral values actively

It is only nessecary to interveine when they have initiated force upon us first, wich Osama Bin Laden did, which is why I support the war in afghanistan. At the time, I also supported the war in Iraq because I thought Bush was right in saying that they were holding wepons of mass destruction and was threatning to use them. I did not know that Osama and Hussain actually hated each other. Obviously now, my opinions on the Iraq war have changed dramatically but that still doesn't give Osama an excuse to get away.

Edited by Miles White

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It seems as if some of you think the US should be promoting moral values actively -- and by that I mean in the sense that Jehovah's witnesses go around door to door giving away pamphlets and giving speeches.

I disagree. I am not sure that anyone on here is thinking this. Perhaps it will help if you provide a quote.

You respect another nation's sovereignty because you understand that you must give respect to receive it.

I disagree with this too. No nation deserves respect simply because they are sovereign. Governments that haul thousands of its people into death camps are not deserving of respect. Dictators that kill or jail political opponents who truly stand for better ideals are not deserving of respect. Leaders who embrace a militant religious ideology and want to aggressively pursue weapons of mass destruction are not deserving of respect. More concretely, Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, Mao's China, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Kim Jong Il's North Korea, Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, Muammar al-Gaddafi's Libya or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iranian regime are not deserving of our respect.

Those people have the freedom to run from their situation, as hard as it might be to do so.

No, nobody is "free" to run from their situation if they are thrown in jail, sentenced to death or living in fear knowing that they will be shot by a dictator's military police if they dare show any disobedience. You may not be under any obligation to help them escape their plight, but it is perverse to say that people are free to do so.

When you say my government should intervene you're using my money for your own ends, and I resent it.

The problem with Ron Paul supporters is that typically they package both just and unjust actions of a government into the Libertarian concept of "interventionism." From what I can tell, anything that is not permitted by the Christian concept of Just War Theory is considered "interventionism" by Ron Paul. Thus, according to Ron Paul, using the U.S. military to "bring Democracy" to countries that are oppressed by a brutal dictator in the special case when the dictator poses no threat to U.S. citizens is an act of interventionism. In this case, I would agree that the U.S. should not embark on these ridiculous Neoconservative campaigns that cost trillions of dollars and thousands of U.S. lives. Even though overthrowing a dictator is a just act, when the government voluntarily does this, it forces all of its citizens to pay for the action. However, this is immoral when the dictator poses no direct threat to the members of the nation under the acting government, since they are forced to pay for the action anyway.

However, according to Ron Paul, preemptively striking an irrational and dangerous enemy nation that is aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons is also an act of "interventionism." However, if such an act is truly done in the defense of its citizens, then it is a legitimate function of government.

Ron Paul's concept of "interventionism" is invalid because it groups fundamentally different foreign policies by non-essentials. It also happens to be a very dangerous concept, as it will lead to moral paralysis that will cause individuals to not properly defend their life.

If you are interested in reading more about the significant flaws of Just War Theory, which is often trumpeted by Ron Paul, I recommend the fantastic article by Yaron Brook and Alex Epstein.

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From my readings of Ron Paul, he has said this is an unjust war for a number of reasons. First, because it there was no constitutional backing for the war, i.e. a vote by representatives elected by the people of this country. Second, because Saddam Hussein posed no threat to this country. If you still believe Hussein was in possession of any legitimately serious weapons of mass destruction, do know that he himself came out and said he was bluffing on this point to keep Iran at bay. And this has been independently confirmed. And third, because even after the president declared that no weapons of mass destruction were found (the original reason we went in), the president who was bestowed powers for waging limited war in times of dire necessity has no necessity to use the armed forces in such a manner despite the threat being nil. Calling Iraq a 'dangerous enemy nation' is clearly contrary to the facts both before and through today. If there were any 'enemy nations' at all, they would be Iran and Saudi Arabia, the latter of which we continually support in light of the fact that the despots that run that country are equally worse, if not more so, than the former Iraqi dictator.

American Foreign Policy isn't one-sided. It must be tweaked when necessary and reformed when it fails. The current foreign policy serves only to perpetuate the legitimacy of an expanding government and military. But to what limit, we have no answer. Foreign factions have build up in response to our foreign policy, and as a result, leaves us more vulnerable than before. Ayn Rand quit smoking when the evidence was given to her that it was harmful to her health. Why not apply the same for foreign policy? The evidence we have today speaks for itself.

And finally, Ron Paul isn't Ayn Rand, as much as it appears some of you hold him to such standard. Yet, he is the first person in many years to bring to the table the discussion (and perhaps real possibility) of limited government, individual freedoms, and economic responsibility. Few others in recent memory have been as impactive as he has from this standpoint. Most of us here don't just fall upon Ayn's work without some prior cause. And I'm betting that for many of us, it started with an understanding of the nature and relationship between freedom, limited government, and/or individualism. I think his campaign hits all those points.

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The contention that the war against Iraq wasn't just because Iraq posed no threat to the US is absurd. Saddam attacked US oil interests in Kuwait, tried to have a US president assassinated, and continually fired at US military guarding the "no-fly" zone. He allowed Abdul ar-Rahman Yasin, who made the bombs for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing to hide in Iraq and operate out of an Iraqi government office. I should also note that the fact that Saddam was a brutal dictator who employed chemical weapons in the past and hindered UN inspectors at every step was reason enough to consider him an enormous threat to US security.

Edited by LaszloWalrus

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Also, the notion that Saddam might have been bluffing about WMDs adds weight to the U.S.'s justification about going to war. Intelligence is not an exact science. To the extent Iraq tricked the U.S. into believing it had WMDs, to that extent it's Iraq's problem that it was attacked, not the U.S.'s.

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Also, the notion that Saddam might have been bluffing about WMDs adds weight to the U.S.'s justification about going to war.

Just as Ambassador Wilson's revelation that Iraq had tried to purchase Uranium from Niger as late as 1999 adds weight to the notion that Saddam was seeking WMD in violation of the UN sanctions. I'm interested in whether those who use the "he had not WMD" argument thought Saddam would do with his freedom once the sanctions were lifted.

Saddam had used Oil for Food mechanisms to bribe high-ranking UN members, including politicians from Britain, Russia, France and China (four of the five permanent members of UNSC).

Also, I never heard any proof that Saddam and Osama "hated each other" except the weak argument that Saddam was a secular leader with Christians in high posts. If you read Osama's 1998 fatwa against the US, you see three prominent mentions of Iraq, one "listed" mention of Saudi, and not a word about his poor Palestinian brothers. How do you explain that?

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I'm curious as to what you all here on this forum think about what this guy on youtube has to say

about his criticisms of Ayn Rand and Ron Paul

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovELs252uVg

I've never seen such a compilation of crap before in my entire life. Wow, I always thought libertarians were the least of all threats, but after reading those comments... now I understand how much more of a threat to freedom they are over the majority party system. How could they critisize some one who their own philosophy would be nothing without? It's hypocrisy, it's stupidity, it's ignorance, it's arrogance, there isn't enough words in the dictionary to describe the complete and utter atrosities of their mentality. They claim to be suppoters of capitalism by being anti-free trade and by spitting upon Rand. If this is the type of mentality that Ron Paul claims insperation from, than in the name of the best within us I hope Ron Paul fails miserably as he deserves and never runs for an elected office ever again.

Edited by Miles White

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I'm curious as to what you all here on this forum think about what this guy on youtube has to say

about his criticisms of Ayn Rand and Ron Paul

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovELs252uVg

Globalization is a good thing, and it doesn't change the nature of capitalism in the least. In the simplest terms all it represents is putting more people under the division of labor, which will lead to a higher global productivity and a higher global living standard.

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I've never seen such a compilation of crap before in my entire life. Wow, I always thought libertarians were the least of all threats, but after reading those comments... now I understand how much more of a threat to freedom they are over the majority party system. How could they critisize some one who their own philosophy would be nothing without? It's hypocrisy, it's stupidity, it's ignorance, it's arrogance, there isn't enough words in the dictionary to describe the complete and utter atrosities of their mentality. They claim to be suppoters of capitalism by being anti-free trade and by spitting upon Rand. If this is the type of mentality that Ron Paul claims insperation from, than in the name of the best within us I hope Ron Paul fails miserably as he deserves and never runs for an elected office ever again.

Did you read the comments on the video? I find Internet comments to be the best for illustrating mentalities or what people belief. A lot I read from liberatarians (or whatever they call themselves) and Ron Paul's supporters are more about fighting this invisible monster they call "corporacty" or "corporate oligarchy" or whatever.

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