Please stop assuming I will back Ron Paul because I’m progressive, support ending the drug war, and wish to abolish our current imperialist system of meddling in world affairs.
There’s numerous reasons to not support Paul. I’m going straight to a sampling of the legislative record.
H.R.875 - Marriage Protection Act of 2011, co-sponsored by Paul and 12 other representatives, introduced March 2, 2011.
This bill sought to amend Title 28, Chapter 99 of the US Code to read:
“No court created by Act of Congress shall have any jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court shall have no appellate jurisdiction, to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, section 1738C.”
Here’s Section 1738C:
“No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.”
That’s the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA], which is currently facing several constitutional challenges in federal court. Basically, Mr. Constitutionalist Ron Paul sponsored a bill to ban federal courts (including the Supreme Court) from having any kind of jurisdiction over constitutional review of DOMA. Eighth grade civics says differently. Remember that whole checks and balances thing?
H.R.358 - Protect Life Act, co-sponsored by Paul and 144 other representatives, introduced 1/20/2011. Passed the US House October 13, 2011.
This bill sought to ban private health insurance companies from participating in federal exchanges if the company offered coverage to women for abortion or abortion-related services as part of an insurance policy, and also states if people receive federal healthcare subsidies to purchase private insurance plans, they cannot use the subsidy to purchase private comprehensive health insurance plans that cover abortion. If a woman wanted her insurance to cover abortion, she would have to purchase a separate policy to cover abortion - basically, an abortion rider.
This bill would limit private enterprise from providing something consumers want. Seems contradictory to what a free-market denizen would advocate. But that’s not the worst part. This is:
And finally, it overrides protections for pregnant women under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. EMTALA was enacted in 1986 to ensure public access to emergency services regardless of ability to pay, including women in active labor. Under EMTALA, hospitals must stabilize a pregnant patient who, for example, is facing an emergency obstetric condition or life-threatening pregnancy and either treat her—including an emergency abortion—or if the hospital or staff objects, to transfer her to another facility that will treat her.
H.R. 358 overturns decades of precedent guaranteeing people access to lifesaving emergency care, including abortion care and says its ok that a pregnant woman fighting for her life be left to die.
Paul is an OB/GYN and knows emergencies can arise during pregnancy requiring termination, making his co-sponsorship of this bill especially shameful. Read Mikki Kendall’s Salon article, “Abortion Saved My Life”, for an example of what happens when doctors refuse to treat women.
H.R.1095 - Freedom to Bank Act, sponsored by Paul with no co-sponsors, introduced March 15, 2011
The bill’s stated purpose:
“Sunset Federal laws and regulations which treat the American people like children by denying them the opportunity to make their own decision regarding control of their bank accounts and what type of information they wish to receive from their banks.”
So what’s that mean? Well, Paul thinks “no creditor, depository institution, or credit union shall be required to provide periodic statements of account to any customer.” Your bank would no longer be required to provide account statements or other information about investments or accounts unless you specifically know to ask for it.
Do I even need to go into how bad this idea truly is?
H.R.2040 - National Right-to-Work Act, co-sponsored by Paul and 71 other representatives, introduced May 26, 2011
Right to work is one of those warm and fuzzy newspeak names for something quite terrible. Here’s information on right to work states:
- The average worker in a right to work state makes about $5,333 a year less than workers in other states ($35,500 compared with $30,167).
- Weekly wages are $72 greater in free-bargaining states than in right to work states ($621 versus $549).
- 21 percent more people lack health insurance in right to work states compared to free-bargaining states.
- Maximum weekly worker compensation benefits are $30 higher in free states ($609 versus $579 in right to work states.
- According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of workplace deaths is 51 percent higher in states with right to work, where unions can’t speak up on behalf of workers.
Oh, and my own state of Wyoming is a right to work state. Currently, Wyoming has the highest wage gap of any state, and is one of the deadliest places to work in the nation. Ron Paul thinks it would be super cool if we enacted a policy that contributed to these conditions nationwide. Because freedom.
H.R.1830 - To authorize the interstate traffic of unpasteurized milk and milk products that are packaged for direct human consumption, sponsored by Ron Paul and three co-sponsored, introduced May 11, 2011
Wasn’t the milk pasteurization question settled awhile ago? Anyhow, Paul believes “a Federal department, agency, or court may not take any action (such as administrative, civil, criminal, or other actions) that would prohibit, interfere with, regulate, or otherwise restrict the interstate traffic of milk, or a milk product, that is unpasteurized and packaged for direct human consumption.” In other words, selling unpasteurized milk is a-OK because Salmonella, Listeria, Q-fever, and E.coli are just the risks you take in a free society.
H.R.1164 - National Language Act of 2011, co-sponsored by Paul and 22 other representatives, introduced March 17, 2011
This bill would declare the official language of the US to be English. It would require all government business be transacted in English, and further state that “no person has a right, entitlement, or claim to have the Government of the United States or any of its officials or representatives act, communicate, perform or provide services, or provide materials in any language other than English.” Income tax forms would no longer be available in Spanish or any other language, nor information on government programs or benefits. This would even include information on joining the military and could potentially include the right to an interpreter when arrested or conducting business in the courts, i.e. divorce.
Further, this would affect voting rights by repealing Section 1973AA–1A of the Voting Rights Act of 1965:
The Congress finds that, through the use of various practices and procedures, citizens of language minorities have been effectively excluded from participation in the electoral process. Among other factors, the denial of the right to vote of such minority group citizens is ordinarily directly related to the unequal educational opportunities afforded them resulting in high illiteracy and low voting participation.
The Congress declares that, in order to enforce the guarantees of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the United States Constitution, it is necessary to eliminate such discrimination by prohibiting these practices, and by prescribing other remedial devices.
A covered State or political subdivision for the purposes of this subsection if the Director of the Census determines:
- That more than 5 percent of the citizens of voting age of such State or political subdivision are members of a single language minority and are limited-English proficient
- More than 10,000 of the citizens of voting age of such political subdivision are members of a single language minority and are limited-English proficient
- Or in the case of a political subdivision that contains all or any part of an Indian reservation, more than 5 percent of the American Indian or Alaska Native citizens of voting age within the Indian reservation are members of a single language minority and are limited-English proficient
- And the illiteracy rate of the citizens in the language minority as a group is higher than the national illiteracy rate.
This bill will prevent people from voting. Period. And don’t give me any whining about voters who are not proficient in English don’t know anything about the candidates, issues, etc… First off, do you think native English speakers are well-informed? Second, even his supporters recognize the need for campaign materials in a language other than English. Check out Vota Ron Paul and this thread on the Ron Paul Forums. A few quotes:
- From California: Los Angeles County has (before redistricting) 18 Congressional Districts. Spanish is heavily spoken (and advertised). It would be helpful to us here in the third world, if the campaign would create a slim jim in Spanish. It would be great if the campaign could provide an official translation. Without Spanish materials, we are limited in who we can recruit.
- From Wyoming: I am also interested in spanish campaign materials…there is a large population here…let no stone go unturned…
- From Pennsylvania: This would be about as well recieved in the GOP primary as putting out official campaign materials to promote an end to the war on drugs. It’s probably something best handled at the grassroots level.
So there you have it, Ron Paul fans. Ron Paul is more concerned about my right to drink unpasteurized milk than whether I would potentially die after being denied life-saving care based on a doctor’s religious conviction. He’s more concerned that my bank not be forced to provide me a bank statement than if the Defense of Marriage Act violates the constitution he claims to live and breathe. This is just from 2011 - and what I could turn up in 60 minutes. Don’t prod me to make a weekend of it.
P.S.: Check out the Family Protection Act from 1980, sponsored by Ron Paul with no co-sponsors. I did. And I was disgusted. The act provides no federal penalty or implementation of guidelines “for determining whether a private school has forfeited its tax-exempt status by the adoption of racially discriminatory policies.”