June 16th, 2007 - Open Knowledge
Jun. 16th, 2007
Dan Lyke wrote:
This, particularly, is why I don’t care what else, for instance, Ron Paul may be pushing politically: if he believes in forced childbirth he does not believe in liberty or freedom. At least not for women.
More specifically, Ron Paul does not believe that women should have the liberty to kill what he believes to be their unborn children. I don’t think it’s true that he does not believe in “liberty or freedom…for women” in general.
For example, I’m sure Paul would support the liberty of women to use recreational drugs, buy guns, read pornography on the internet, gamble online, and start a business free of stifling regulation. A Paul government is also much less likely to wiretap without a court order, imprison people without representation, or torture prisoners. Finally, women and men everywhere will have greater freedom to spend their money as they wish, since they won’t be forced to finance the hundreds of billions of dollars that the Iraq war requires.
Pragmatically, a Paul government would likely have to contend with a Democratic congress. Pro-choice activists are well-organized, well-financed, and hyper-vigilant. It’s highly unlikely he would be able to overturn Roe v. Wade via an amendment.
At best, he would be able to appoint pro-life judges. Assuming the worst case, Roe v. Wade would be overturned, and abortion would again become a state issue. Even then, in most states it would remain legal.
Although Paul would probably make no progress against abortion, a Paul government combined with a Democratic Congress, could make a lot of progress in ending both the War in Iraq, the War on Terror, and the War on Drugs.
Moreover, except for Giuliani, none of the current leading candidates are much better on abortion than Paul:
Romney: same opinion as Paul; overturn Roe v. Wade, let states decide.
McCain: same opinion as Paul (supports rape, incest, life of the mother exceptions); overturn Roe v. Wade, let states decide.
Guiliani: makes wishy-washy statements to appease pro-life crowd, but pro-choice at heart.
The question then becomes: is Giuliani’s stance on abortion important enough to tolerate his many other deficiencies? He supports the use of torture, warrantless wiretaps, expansion of the War in Iraq, continuation of the Drug War, gun restrictions, and restrictions on freedom of speech.
Here’s Giuliani on Freedom vs. Authority:
“We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 or 50 years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don’t see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do. You have free speech so I can be heard.” Giuliani in a March 1994 speech on crime at a forum in New York City sponsored by the New York Post as quoted by the New York Times
Giuliani has expressed that he believes the President has the authority to arrest U.S. citizens with no judicial review, but that “he would want to use this authority infrequently”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think Giuliani’s first order of business is going to be to strengthen abortion rights.
Finally, you can support Paul in the Republican primaries, and still vote for the Democratic candidate in the actual election. If anyone other than Paul is nominated, the debates thereafter will be all about the Iraq war. If Paul is elected, ending the Iraq war will be a given, and the Paul will be able to hold the Democrats to the fire on the civil liberties issues they are weak on.
I think we have little to lose, and a lot to gain, with Ron Paul as the Republican nominee.
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