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Why Ron Paul should be the Republican nominee, even though his abortion views suck. - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Jun. 16th, 2007

04:33 pm - Why Ron Paul should be the Republican nominee, even though his abortion views suck.

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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.

Original: craschworks - comments

Comments:

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From:halleyscomet
Date:June 17th, 2007 02:36 am (UTC)
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Personally, I'd ranter have Ron Paul than any of the other Republicans.

Hell, if his Abortion stance were different, I'd probably prefer him to any of the current Democratic candidates as well.

He probably has the best shot at getting the infamous "Reagan Democrats" to vote for him. Realistically, the Republicans have two options.

1. Keep pimping the "War is Good", Abortion and Gay Marriage issues to keep the Conservative Right on their side.

2. Go after the Moderates and the Conservatives who aren't in the 30% who approve of the job Bush is doing.

Realistically, Ron Paul is the only current candidate that would give them a shot at strategy 2. If they go with anyone else, then this next election will be all about mobilizing the Extreme Right to vote, and Terrorism related fear mongering.
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From:fishsupreme
Date:June 17th, 2007 02:59 am (UTC)
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Actually, I think Ron Paul being pro-life might actually be good for him if he got to the general election. It ensures that he would still get the religious right vote (since they will not vote for a pro-choice Democrat under any circumstances) despite being opposed to them in pretty much every way possible.

And while I do not agree with Ron Paul's personal position on abortion, I do agree with his statement that it is not a Federal issue according to the Constitution and thus must be left up to the states anyway. I'd just prefer that the states decide to make it legal.
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From:crasch
Date:June 17th, 2007 04:15 am (UTC)
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I agree. I disagree with both his stances on abortion and immigration, but I think that they will help him win both the Republican nomination and the general election. And, like you, I'm personally pro-choice, but believe it should be left up to the states, not the feds. As for immigration, I think he would be amenable to increasing immigration freedom provided that he could be persuaded that it wouldn't lead to increased government welfare.
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From:halleyscomet
Date:June 17th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
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That's a good point. His Abortion stance means he has a shot on at least one of the hot button issues for Conservatives, but because he wants to make it a state rights issue, Pro-Choice advocates won't necessarily see him as "failing" that litmus test.

All around, he's the best the Republicans have offered this round.
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From:tamago23
Date:June 17th, 2007 02:05 pm (UTC)
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(Here via gentlemaitresse.)

because he wants to make it a state rights issue, Pro-Choice advocates won't necessarily see him as "failing" that litmus test.

As someone who was a pro-choice advocate for a number of years (still deeply pro-choice but am now spending my energy on other causes), I'd disagree with that statement. Politically active pro-choice advocates generally aren't going to see Paul's stance as a positive or acceptable one, because states don't have that good of a track record in terms of preserving women's rights. And any state where abortion is made illegal is a state where women will be placed at unnecessary and unacceptable risk, especially when combined with laws that prevent, for example, people from taking minors across state lines for the purposes of obtaining an abortion. Roe vs Wade provides a basic level of protection for all women in the U.S., and leaving it up to the individual states would not be an acceptable alternative, due to the risk of different states choosing to restrict abortion.
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From:crasch
Date:June 17th, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
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I agree, I don't think Paul would be acceptable to pro-choice activists. However, except for Giuliani, he's no worse. Whether Giuliani's better overall depends on how much you weight the risk Giuliani represents to civil liberties in general.
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From:galith
Date:June 17th, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
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I agree, although I think he might be able to draw a fair amount of support from people who are pro-choice but not passionate enough about it to be considered `advocates`.

For example, myself.
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From:tamago23
Date:June 18th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
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Agreed, which is why I specified "pro-choice advocates" as versus just "pro-choice people". :)
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From:crasch
Date:June 17th, 2007 04:30 am (UTC)
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I agree.
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From:new_iconoclast
Date:June 18th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC)
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Actually, Paul is a pretty consistent candidate - he's into personal responsibility, like when you have sex and conceive, stand up and deal with it. Calling a "pro-life" stance a belief in "forced childbirth" is propaganda meant to incite an emotional reaction, it's not an actual statement about the man's beliefs. I don't recall him ever saying he'd go for a blanket ban on abortions.

Personally, I would hate to see abortion become illegal because it might prevent necessary abortions for medical reasons. But I'd sure like to see it not be used as retroactive contraception by irresponsible people (of all socio-economic backgrounds). There are lots of things I believe that I wouldn't force on others by enacting them into law, and I suspect Paul holds a similar view.
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