Who is the Real Reactionary?: Is Ron Paul More Progressive Than Obama?

Ron Paul is far from perfect, but I’ll say this much for the Texas congressman: He has never authorized a drone strike in Pakistan. He has never authorized the killing of dozens of women and children in Yemen. He hasn’t protected torturers from prosecution and he hasn’t overseen the torturous treatment of a 23-year-old young man for the “crime” of revealing the government’s criminal behavior.

Can the same be said for Barack Obama?

Yet, ask a good movement liberal or progressive about the two and you’ll quickly be informed that yeah, Ron Paul’s good on the war stuff — yawn — but otherwise he’s a no-good right-wing reactionary of the worst order, a guy who’d kick your Aunt Beth off Medicare and force her to turn tricks for blood-pressure meds. By contrast, Obama, war crimes and all, provokes no such visceral distaste. He’s more cosmopolitan, after all; less Texas-y. He’s a Democrat. And gosh, even if he’s made a few mistakes, he means well.

Sure he’s a murderer, in other words, but at least he’s not a Republican!

Put another, even less charitable way: Democratic partisans – liberals – are willing to trade the lives of a couple thousand poor Pakistani tribesman in exchange for a few liberal catnip-filled speeches and NPR tote bags for the underprivileged. The number of party-line progressives who would vote for Ron Paul over Barack Obama wouldn’t be enough to fill Conference Room B at the local Sheraton, with even harshest left-leaning critics of the president, like Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, saying they’d prefer the mass-murdering sociopath to that kooky Constitution fetishist.


The war is important. But am I gonna sacrifice the livlihoods of 20 million poor americans and countless other minority groups (Blacks, immigrants, queers) just to end them? Fuck no, I am not giving in to the bullshit claim that because Barack Obama continued the wars he is George Bush III. 

You know, Barack Obama was anti-war in the Senate and campaigned on a peace platform. Yeah he lied we all get that but what makes you think Ron Paul is telling the truth? You trash liberals and leftists for believing Barack Obama during the campaign but you do not even acknowledge the possibility that Ron Paul is lying as well!!! The ideological blinded Ron Paul supporters need to learn a thing or two about the political process and the fact that Ron Paul is just as prone to lying as Barack Obama was in his campaign. 

Also, this is glossing over the fact that as president, neither Paul nor Obama can just act unilaterally in military matters as we might like to think they can. Do you have any idea just how embedded the military is into our political system? The armed forces are still the most trusted part of American society and that means that generals and admirals (of which there are many who live in Washington) have their run of the place in terms of guiding and shaping foreign and military policy. Obama can run on a platform of ending the wars, but you better be sure there are LOTS of people in DC who want that war to continue and they can make life hell for a brand-new president. Not to mention the CIA, FBI, NSA and the rest of the national security apparatus; they have a lot of power and influence and they want to use it. Not to mention that Congress may let the executive run the wars, but they won’t let the executive cut down on military sizes or funding for contractors without raising royal hell. I’m not saying this to excuse Obama’s choices on Afghanistan and the drone attacks, I’m saying this to help explain it; people spend so much time focusing on the individuals that they never stop and think about the structures of power that constrain individual choices. So even if, heavens to betsy, Ron Paul was elected president, would he end the various conflicts? Would he stop the drone attacks? Would he pull all of our troops out of Germany and Korea? And all of that in his first year of office or his first term? If you believe that, then you probably also still think he’s a libertarian.

(via huberthumphreydeathrally-deacti)