Living in Toronto now, I’m fortunate to be able to watch Canadian politics happen. Sometimes it breaks the heart; a Harper majority is a daily horror show, Rob Ford is mayor of Toronto and the hapless Dalton McGuinty continues as premier. All the same, though, when I look at the U.S. political scene in the runup to the 2012 election, it doesn’t seem like the Right has anything for Barack “Is there anything else I can do for you motherfuckers?” Obama.
I’ve already mentioned Gingrich, Trump, Palin, et al, but I haven’t yet mentioned Ron Paul, who has a surprising amount of support among folks in the Canadian cannabis community because of his support for legalization. Bear in mind, of course, Paul doesn’t only say weed should be legal; heroin too, although he adds he doesn’t believe the addiction rates would go up if heroin was made legal. I believe that is true of weed, sure. But I have other problems with a Ron Paul candidacy. Here are a few:
The destruction of federal Washington: Eliminate the Dept. of Education? FEMA? Health/Human Services? No sane person would ever advocate such things. For my Canadian friends, just imagine what would happen if Harper did the same here; the uproar would be historic. End the Federal Reserve? Let’s just watch world markets react to that.
Liberal gun laws: RP believes every American has the right to own whatever type of weapon they desire. What—a rocket launcher? Bazookas? Bullshit, people. Some Canadians, who have never faced the kind of arms race we see down South, would be appalled to walk into a bar in Florida to discover how many drunken patrons are also packing.
Abortion: RP’s a pro-lifer. Does anyone think Roe v. Wade would survive past his inauguration?
Among other things, he wants to end the VA system. Think about all the military members come home from Iraq/Afghanistan—to what health-care system? I’m not the VA’s biggest fan, but when you consider the level of need, for many people it’s the VA or nothing. Or, let’s look at net neutrality, an issue he’s successfully managed to straddle so far. Or: How does anyone vote against legislation designed to track predators?
There are many issues on which I agree with Paul, sure. It’s the host of other topics on which he demonstrates how far removed he is from the real-world concerns of ordinary Americans; those are the decisive points. On that basis, my suggestion for any Canadians or Americans who still support him would be to imagine what would happen if, let’s say, DoE or FEMA died by fiat. Destruction would be the result. Imagine America without FEMA; now that we have a working organization there again in the days after “Helluva good job” Brownie, I’m betting the people in New Orleans who are waiting for the Mississippi to crest would not turn up their noses at help.
I could go on, but you get the idea. I’m not saying Ron Paul’s a bad man. Far from it. I’m just saying that he’s wrong more often than right, and the American electorate cannot afford to take the risk of pulling the lever for RP. So, a note to my Canadian friends who still support him: sure, you’re with him on some issues, but please consider the overall effect a Ron Paul presidency would have around the world, to say nothing of what would happen inside America’s borders. I think he’s basically right on legalization, right on a few other points as well; but in holistic terms, his candidacy is untenable.