Barack Obama vs. Ron Paul

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by fivepoint, May 13, 2008.

  1. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #1
    Both presidential candidates have cult-like followings on the internet, but views which couldn't be further from the other. I would consider Obama to be the most 'Populist' candidate running, and Paul is by far the most 'Libertarian' candidate running (opposite sides of the political spectrum). And yet... I think that there are some pretty similar people supporting each candiate because they represent something many people are looking for... CHANGE.

    I just figured this would be a good place for both sides to duke it out. Keep the argument to philosophy and positions, please. We all know one candidate is far more likely to become president, but I want to know what you think about the ISSUES.
     
  2. stevento macrumors 6502

    stevento

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    #2
    i dont know what ron paul is thinking when he says "let's legalize everything from pot to LSD"
     
  3. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #3
    I believe it is because the Federal Government was never given the authority to do so. Ron Paul is a strict constitutionalist and most of his views have a strong foundation based on this. Here is what Ron had to say on the subject.

    ---
    Q: In your 1988 campaign you said, "All drugs should be decriminalized. Drugs should be distributed by any adult to other adults. There should be no controls on production, supply or purchase for adults." Is that still your position?
    A: Yeah. It's sort of like alcohol. Alcohol's a deadly drug, kills more people than anything else. And today the absurdity on this war on drugs has just been horrible. Now the federal government takes over and overrules states where state laws permit medicinal marijuana 1 for people dying of cancer. The federal government goes in and arrests these people, put them in prison with mandatory sentences. This war on drugs is totally out of control. If you want to regulate cigarettes and alcohol and drugs, it should be at the state level. That's where I stand on it. The federal government has no prerogatives on this.

    Q: But you would decriminalize it?
    A: I would, at the federal level. I don't have control over the states. And that's why the Constitution's there.
    ---

    So, based on that response, I would say that he certainly doesn't think that drugs are a good thing when used for 'bad' purposes, but he doesn't think the U.S. federal government has the right to be a 'nanny state'. It simply doesn't have the jurisdiction. I could be wrong though. It's not a "drugs aren't bad" thing, it's a "constitutional thing."
     
  4. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

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    #4
    'Populism' is a broad term, and labeling Senator Obama with it seems a little unfair, to my eyes.
     
  5. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #5
    As is 'Libertarianism'. I am not "labeling" Senator Obama any more than I am labeling Dr. Paul. They are simply general terms to use as a guide when comparing their positions vs. their peers' positions.

    • Supporting government subsidized healthcare, tax increases, and generally increasing the overall size of the government with the goal of 'helping the little guy' are generally considered 'populist' positions.
    • Supporting the elimination of a wide range of governement organizations and programs, reduction in overall taxation, and a 'hands off' approach to global conflicts are generally considered to be 'libertarian'.

    Neither should be considered deragatory in any way, just a way of grouping different views to better understand the type of ideas one person supports.


    [​IMG]
     
  6. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Paul is a hands-down winner as to economic policies for the good of the nation. Obama doesn't seem to believe that raising the capital gains tax will reduce federal income, for example. People have indeed tried to explain history to him, but he doesn't even listen to his own financial advisor, Volcker!

    Paul commonly speaks of Liberty as a capitalized word, with belief in individual sovereignty. I've yet to hear such from Obama--but he does speak as though he thinks that government can and should be Big Nanny--and that's change?

    What's ironic to me is the aspect of Paul's platform which parallels that of JFK: "Reduce taxes and get government off the back of business."

    'Rat
     
  7. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #7
    Don't make me laff.
     
  8. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #8
    You can't honestly still be trying to say that tax cuts pay for themselves are you, because that's still not true:

    Bush's Treasury admits that tax cuts aren't free
    And judging by history, that would be true.

    No he doesn't.

    Paul's platform is to become isolationist, eliminate taxes, eliminate social programs (even the ones that work), and leave everything up to the states. That's not like JFKs. Nowhere close. Though I suppose if you guys want to get rid of the "nanny state" you can start with things like gay marriage, which is none of anyone's business. Wondering how many of you anti-nanny staters would go for that.
     
  9. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #9
    This is a common complaint I hear about Obama. He is portrayed as ultra leftist, wanting to raise taxes, increase government programs/spending, and the overall 'strength' of government. A stark contrast to Paul's positions which are founded in minamalist government and low tax ideals.

    Can you offer some sort of proof of this other than "No he doesn't."?

    I am honestly curious... I want to hear a response to this accusation from a Obama supporter. How do you perceive his positions on this matter?
     
  10. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

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    #10
    While I consider Ron Paul a bit of a wacko, I have to give him credit for being the only republican candidate with a sensible foreign policy. He understands that the US has to stop acting like a global school bully, or things will only get progressively worse. Ron Paul just gets it, like Donald Trump gets it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdxFn8FfauU).
     
  11. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #11
    he's not a 'wacko' but his ideas are completely impractical. the absolute worse thing about his foreign policy is that its isolationist. this is a global world whether we like it or not, and we have to participate. granted i agree that we dont need to go to the extent that we currently do in policing the world, but we don't want to close in ourselves either. extreme on either end is bad
     
  12. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

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    #12
    Key word there. From what we "learned" in 2004, John Kerry is the most bleeding heart, tax and spend senator.

    Now, automagically, it's Obama.
     
  13. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

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    #13
    Yeah, no, I was talking about the world-policing aspect. Ron Paul always maintained that (paraphrased) "they don't hate us because we're free and prosperous, they hate us because we're over there", and that's a very rare insight coming from an American politician.
     
  14. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #14
    You need to prove that he does first. Or you could just go to his website: http://obama.senate.gov/
     
  15. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

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    #15
    Heh, yeah that's a hoot. On a global scale he's in the 10% on the far right. Liberals are the right wing in most of the developed world. Only from Ann Coulter's vantage point is Obama an ultra leftist.
     
  16. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

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    #16
    If Ron Paul were the Republican nominee, I would have a very difficult time choosing. I'm fairly libertarian when it comes to the economy (I think that all or almost all industry regulation should be for worker and consumer safety) and I think that the federal government has usurped too much of the states' power. On the other hand, I think that universal health care is important, since I think that everybody who works a full-time job should be able to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, and health care for their families, even if that full-time job is flipping burgers at McDonalds. Universal health care would be one step closer to that ideal. In general, I like both men's foreign policy ideas, though I'm not familiar with how Mr. Paul would suggest dealing with the Iraq fiasco.
     
  17. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #17
    Well, as said, I wasn't the one making the original comments that he was, so it would have been nice to have some sort of proof behind that. But since you asked nicely, I can actually. Though I wouldn't call myself an Obama supporter so much as I'd call myself anti-McCain. At least now. Didn't used to be, actually supported him in '00. Anyway:

    Obama Moves To The Center
    The ‘most liberal senator’ myth continues to linger
    Our Most Liberal Senator? Not Obama!
    Anatomy of a Right Wing Smear: Obama could be the most liberal Senator

    And if one really looks at his voting record, he's actually somewhere around #40 on the liberal senators list.

    If we need to go over McCain's actual positions where he voted about 90 something % of the time with Bush and the GOP, despite still having a "maverick" persona, I can do that too.
     
  18. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #18
    Point of contention here..."Populist" and "Libertarian" are not on the opposite sides of the political spectrum by any means. They are not any sides of any spectrum together. Populism is a means of framing a political message, whereas Libertarianism, Liberalism, Conservatism, etc., are the labels for the various messages. You can have a "Populist" in any one of those categories, depending on how he/she packages the message...Paul probably has at least as much of a Populist streak as Obama, though many of his economic ideas would be disastrous for large swaths of the country.

    As far as labels go, I don't see what's "unfair" about this one. Populism, in its broadest sense, seems like a pretty good thing to me. It's what you're selling with your populism that can be good or bad.
     
  19. wonga1127 macrumors 6502

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    #19
    He's not an isolationist, he has said many times he adheres to a non-interventionist foreign policy where we trade and compromise and try and work out our problems with other countries instead going to war.
     
  20. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #20
    Yeah, his foreign policy seems relatively reasonable; it's his domestic policy that scares the crap out of me...Or would, were he relevant.
     
  21. Cleverboy macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #21
    The reason I wouldn't agree with characterizations of Obama as the "Nanny Government" candidate, is that Obama strongly believes that the government should be answerable to its people (whether it means passing a government transparency act or weeding federal lobbyists and PACs out of the political process), and while he sees many tasks as being best handled by the government (this can be a rational conclusion and not ideologically driven), he believes that the government should be MOST accountable to individual citizens.

    He believes strongly in "bottom-up" politics. He was a community organizer... its in his roots, and he was a senior lecturer on constitutional law, so I'm sure he and Paul could have very erudite discussions about constitutionality.

    I'm highly skeptical about someone who claims to believe in limiting government interference... and yet looks to insinuate government into the reproductive decisions of families by defining LIFE to begin at CONCEPTION as law. I'd envision a far more consistent position to be one that defines life at a certain period of development, and rolling back government support for anything to do with abortion, leaving it entirely to the individuals (and states) to decide. Real life is much more complicated than believing that LAWS can somehow override human nature.

    I'm also not sure I by the explanations that have come out for the anti-semetic, racist, and homophobic literature credited to his name. Explanations were fairly late in coming. If anyone had caught Obama or Clinton with such things to say over such a time, and they simply "shrugged" and said, "I don't know who wrote that, even though it has my name on it", they'd really get no end of grief.

    ~ CB
     
  22. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #22
    Right, let me revise what I said before, about the thing that scared me about Ron Paul being his domestic policy. Correction: The things that scare me about Ron Paul are his domestic policy and, more seriously, the fact that he is kind of a racist/xenophobe.
     
  23. Watabou macrumors 68040

    Watabou

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    #23
  24. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #24
    Yes, it's relatively ludicrous. Kerry was painfully moderate, and Obama is relatively moderate, as well. This is my big problem with the Democratic Party running to the middle: Republicans will always very successfully pin Democrats as "far left;" therefore, Democrats shouldn't propose mediocre moderate policy simply in order to avoid a label with which they will be stuck anyway. This isn't saying they shouldn't find smart compromises, but it is saying that there's no need to abort good policy proposals because we're scared of the label.
     
  25. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #25
    If you look in the paragraphs above the compass, it says this:

    "Similarly, Hillary Clinton is popularly perceived as a leftist in the United States while in any other western democracy her record is that of a mainstream conservative."

    Same goes for Obama, since they are close to one another on the compass. Kucinich is really the only "leftist" that was running for President, yet even the most conservative Democrats are pegged as "socialists" by the right-wing. This is why you might sometimes hear people complain about there being no real major left-wing party in the United States.
     

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