Seven Highlights from Ron Paul’s reddit AMA

The former presidential candidate drops in to visit with his fans.

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Mark Makela / Reuters

Former U.S. Republican presidential candidate, Congressman Ron Paul, departs after holding a rally outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 22, 2012.

Former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-The Internet) dropped by Reddit yesterday to visit with some ardent fans and plug his new subscription-based video series. While many of the questions in the “Ask Me Anything” session were predictably pillow-soft, Paul made several interesting remarks:

On why, as a medical doctor, he opposes mandatory vaccinations, which have proven scientific benefits:

I reject coercion. I reject the power of the government to coerce us to do anything…what it comes down to is: who’s responsible for making these decisions – the government or the parents? I come down on the side of the parents.

On Bradley Manning:

He should have been punished because he confessed to breaking the law and he did practice Civil Disobedience. So he deserves some punishment, but he has already received (in my estimation) excessive amounts of punishment…I think he should be released now, that he has done us a great service by letting the people know the truth, he’s a whistleblower in my estimation.

On his favorite members of the 113th Congress: 

I know a senator from Kentucky that I’m related to that would have to be one of my favorites, but there are so many in the House now – there might be 6 or 8 or 10. The one individual who is one of my closest friends in Congress is Walter Jones from North Carolina because he has become very anti-war. Jimmy Duncan from Tennessee is a close friend, and Dustin [sic] Amash, and Thomas Massie are some others.

On the origin and fate of the Tea Party: 

The Tea Party was actually started during the Ron Paul presidential campaign in 2007 when there was a spontaneous moneybomb that was done on the anniversary of the original tea party…What happened after that was that a lot of people came onboard – including Republicans – who watered down some of the beliefs, and certainly changed the opinion of some on foreign policy so that the original Tea Party movement was taken over by the Republican Party.

On his plan to speak next month at a conference the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as “perhaps the single largest gathering of hard-core anti-Semites in North America”: 

I received the invitation from my speaker’s bureau about this group that was strongly anti-war and they wanted me to speak to a Conservative Catholic Group about non-interventionist foreign policy and I said “wow, that sounds right up my alley.” … The article that came out yesterday is disturbing, and I have not read it yet, but the question is raised – exactly who is making the allegations. I have not yet sorted it out, and it makes me uneasy, but frequently the opposition uses tactics which are pure demagoguery and falsehoods.

On his favorite historical figures:

Most of the pictures I had in my Congressional office were pictures of economists, which included [Ludwig] Von Mises…I had a picture of one president who was my favorite (Grover Cleveland).

On his favorite color and favorite movie: 

Green…”The Sound of Music.”

Click here to read the full AMA on reddit.

157 comments
FakeDeer
FakeDeer

@TIME @TIMEPolitics He rejects evolution, global warming, and supported DOMA. Ron Paul is long gone. He probably wasn't ever really here.

can.da.spam
can.da.spam

 @mrchambersblog I think you've written in the style of a star-gazing adolescent; unfocused, nebulous bewilderment, culminating in nearsighted focus on meaningless trivia.

When a public individual identifies himself as a "strict Constitutionalist," there's really no room for misinterpretation, especially when he's been true to the very letter of that document and the Bill of Rights while in the scrutiny of political life.  Those two documents are not etched in stone and they're not perfect, but they're near enough, and far better than the current state of affairs.

If the US voter asks -- and answers -- serious and useful questions about the 2016 election, I suggest it will be the first time in their history.

I think the questions can be simplified to this:  would the US and the world have been better off with Ron Paul as President on any or all of the three occasions he ran?  If the answer in the mind of the individual voter is yes, then it's a matter of judging whether Rand Paul is a "near enough" successor to his father.  They're very different men in their publicly stated opinions and their public actions, but if Rand stands for peace, freedom and good governance, he will be standing head and shoulders above the crooks in power today.

The most important thing for the 2016 will be democratic election.  The US must remove lobbyist money from politics, it must reform campaign finance laws, it must put an end to the "rigged game" of the electoral college, and implement a popular vote: mandatory voting, and one person, one vote.

mrchambersblog
mrchambersblog

Here's one that Time missed: http://nyyrc.com/blog/2013/08/ron-rand-and-the-mises-institute/

As an aside, before wrapping up, it is worth remembering National Review’s book review of (libertarian) Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.  Written by Whittaker Chambers, a former GRU agent/spy who is remembered for the trial of Alger Hiss, as well as his chilling autobiography Witness, it remains notorious for “reading out” Ayn Rand from the modern conservative movement.  The review was called “Big Sis is Watching You,” and charged Rand with having as much heart as her Communist enemies, and above all of offering an atheistic political program that was ultimately at odds with the human spirit.  Late in his career, after several more dust-ups with right-leaning intellectuals, Buckley remarked, “You know, I’ve spent my entire life time separating the Right from the kooks.”  Rand and Rothbard were ostensibly among them.

In Rothbard’s obituary, Buckley also wrote, “[Rothbard could] conclude that Khrushchev was morally preferable to Eisenhower.”  From this, we observe a straight line between Rothbard’s distaste for Reagan’s anti-Soviet policies and Ron Paul’s pro-Russian tilt.  You have to wonder what WFB had in mind when he wrote that line.  With some many questionable connections, personalities, writings, and otherwise inexplicable positions, what is it that the Pauls and the Mises Institute actually stand for?  Anti-Communism, or totally deregulated markets to the point where drugs are legal, or close to it?

Someone should start asking the right questions before 2016.

united_we_stand
united_we_stand

Humans have traditionally lived under authoritarian structures so it isn't surprising most people fear liberty and reject the principles this country was founded on. Even though nearly all abuses come through these authoritarian systems they still make people feel safer to live under them. 

roknsteve
roknsteve

Hi, I'm Ron Paul and I believe in "Free For All."  We don't need stop lights or street signs.  And you can build your won car in your garage.

fitty_three
fitty_three

On reason and common sense, Libertarians seem to have "oh-ferred" but I will give them credit:

They are True Believers.

TimJohnson
TimJohnson

"I reject coercion."  What stupid reasoning to downplay the importance of public health and safety.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@can.da.spam

There is a problem with this "strict Constitutionalist" pap, two in fact:

1. It is not possible to really know the exact intent of the Founding Fathers, but one thing is sure - they did not endorse the "Market as God" stance of the Libertarian movement - because, back then, the concept of a "Market" as it is perceived to day never existed back then. Of course, neither did regulation, but the Industrial Revolution and all thing commercial were still in their infancy. The envelope of abuse together with the need for narrowing it had not been explored until later.

2. Articles 1 and 10 describe and limit the authority that congress has in passing laws.

TyPollard
TyPollard

@united_we_stand 

The founders actually disagreed about the principles this country was founded on and we, to this day, debate what the founders intended.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@roknsteve  

Hi Ron Paul.  I'm one of your true believerses. I gave to the divil yesterday.

united_we_stand
united_we_stand

@roknsteve You know our bloated federal government is useless when the only argument against bringing back a limited central government is roads, stop signs, and schools. These are all things better handles by a local government. At a local level people actually have representation and communities can determine the best solution for them. Americans are the least represented of all modern governments because the power is in the hands of senators, the supreme court and the president, none of which will ever listen to what you have to say. This was not how the system was designed to work. The federal government was supposed to be accountable to the people. Why do people bleat in unison all claiming that if the feds are accountable, or their power is limited, then roads and street signs disappear. Is this their centralized education speaking?

fitty_three
fitty_three

A word of caution:

If you don't believe, they throw a snit.

united_we_stand
united_we_stand

@TimJohnson Viruses can alter dna any way the government desires. Is the changes to human dna causing widespread autism just a random mutation? Does government have no desire to facilitate 'change'?

Stand_With_Rand
Stand_With_Rand

@TimJohnson What a stupid way to make his comment black and white.  If you're not okay with forcing people to do something then you're automatically against public safety and health?  lol


If medicine were completely run by the private sector with no insurance mega giants dictating prices, then a pill would cost $5 and not $800.  If you think the CURRENT system is working then you can't possibly be taken seriously.....all DOCTOR Paul wants is freedom for everyone, the way we HAD it and it worked marvelously.  


America up to about 1935 was the envy of the world.....the highest growth.....the most expansion.....lowest unemployment....I can go on and on.  

RP predicted every economic debacle we've had, and warned what would happen if Glass-Steagle was repealed, never ONCE towing party lines and ALWAYS standing up for things that are NOW....TWO DECADES LATER.....VERY POPULAR.....and he stood alone most of the time because people like YOU (and me at the time before I woke up)  would call the man a "kook".



NickV
NickV

@TimJohnson He rejects the nation that the government can dictate every aspect of our lives down to what type of medication we take. I get that wanting mandatory vaccines comes from a good place, but the fact remains that I value my right to choose over your fear.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TimJohnson 

To anticipate the poster who just deleted their comment:

If we are in a pandemic situation and someone decides to refuse to immunize, then they place many more at risk.

united_we_stand
united_we_stand

@TyPollard I believe the founders were very clear on their intentions to prevent tyranny and authoritarianism. Read Jefferson. His views were directly in line with Ron Paul. I challenge you to find something they differ on. Other then slavery I cant think of one. And Jefferson would oppose slavery today. He did in theory then but based on his experiences he had a hard time believing blacks could exist independently in a free society (and unfortunately most democrats still hold this view of blacks).

roknsteve
roknsteve

@united_we_stand @roknsteve How are you going to build your Utopia when you don't even understand symbolism?  If I would have said Social Security your head would have exploded.

Stand_With_Rand
Stand_With_Rand

@fitty_three It's like talking to a herd of bricks.  If you can't argue or refute the facts, then the burden of proof is on YOU.


I have YET to hear a valid argument against libertarianism.  It's soooo simple and basic, and the responses are always the exact same.......not from the depths of critical thinking skills, but years and years of being programmed by public schools and the media.

TimJohnson
TimJohnson

@Stand_With_Rand @TimJohnson And I can't believe you think things were better in 1935 than they are today.  Are you serious?  Did you ever read up on 1929?  Try it, there's some big dates in there.

And BTW, when you predict calamity EVERY TIME you're in front of a microphone, of course you'll be right when bad things happen.  He didn't actually predict crap, he said the same things he always did and people just remember when his words finally lined up with reality.

TimJohnson
TimJohnson

@Stand_With_Rand @TimJohnson His comment is black and white because his entire world view is black and white.  He wants to get rid of anything resembling regulation and government.  Somehow, that one-step-solution will solve every problem we face!  What a freaking miracle! 

Too bad it was unregulated, or under-regulated insurance companies, hospitals and big-pharma that got us those $800 pills in the first place.  The government did nothing to control costs in the healthcare industry and prices rose well above inflation for the last 30 years.  You already had your way with healthcare: THE GOVERNMENT WAS HANDS OFF, but you don't even know, nor care.  Stick with your one-sentence talking point and keep shouting.

TimJohnson
TimJohnson

@NickV @TimJohnson Did you know that not everyone response to immunizations?  Some kids, even when given the vaccine, won't develop an immunity.  If that's my kid, and your non-immunized kid gets mine sick because you decided not to as a "freedom," then your negligence has harmed me.  This isn't a personal choice; it's one made for the benefit of society, because like it or not, your actions impact others.  You cannot escape the fact that you are part of a society that needs your participation to succeed.  The Libertarian refusal to accept personal responsibility is the most dangerous disease of all.

wandmdave
wandmdave

@NickV @TimJohnson - I get what you and Ron Paul are saying but at some point overwhelming public good has to trump near frivolous individual choice in my mind.  Therefore I can never completely agree with that 100% black and white view of freedom of choice.

NickV
NickV

@fitty_three @TimJohnsonTrue but a pandemic is a different situation entirely, such as the president suspending habeas corpus during times of war. Does that mean that on a regular basis I would like my constitutional right's suspended? Extreme situations may require extreme measures, that however does not mean that we should throw the constitution away.

TyPollard
TyPollard

@united_we_stand @TyPollard

"I believe the founders were very clear on their intentions to prevent tyranny and authoritarianism.


The problem you face is defining tyranny an authoritarianism and the details of how to achieve liberty. People disagree with you and Paul as to the scope. They did at the time and they do today.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@KellyConlanDickson  

How do you know this? And how do explain that 97% of them, of their own free will, prefer juggllng dung to voting for the likes of your peers?

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@Stand_With_Rand @fitty_three Here is all the proof I need: 

Ron and Rand Paul have both said that the Civil & Voting Rights Acts were unnecessary, and that the "free market" would have somehow helped society eliminate bigotry.

The fact remains that *100 years* after the US Civil War, significant portions of the USA had "separate but equal" schools, "colored" drinking fountains, and *laws* regarding inter-racial marriage, bus-seating, and workplace-integration.

The "free market" (i.e. libertarianism) failed.

It was *government action* (spurred by the NAACP, Legal Defense Fund, and SPLC) that affected positive change for American minorities.

At some point in time, any American may be the victim of discrimination, flood, pandemic, or whatever. If you want our Government to be powerless to help us, then, by all means, vote Libertarian. However, if you want the Government of, by and for the people to help you, then vote for a Political Party that is interested in governing (and not just obstructing government).   

TimJohnson
TimJohnson

@Stand_With_Rand @fitty_three What's your argument for Libertarianism?  I find the problem with your side to be that you have one answer for every problem: less government.  Where is the proof that will work in any situation?

TimJohnson
TimJohnson

@NickV @fitty_three Whopping cough is coming back in children because of parents who choose not to immunize their kids.  We had some diseases nearly extinct, and now we're rolling back that progress because some people think it frees us.  How is that positive?

thewisdomtree
thewisdomtree

@DonQuixotic @fitty_three   Nick is right when he says the whole world was not vaccinated. More importantly though if anything having every person vaccinated would likely accelerate the evolution of "super bugs" just like the over use of anti biotics and antibacterial soap, which accelerate the evolution of  super bacteria etc. By not vaccinating everyone we are probably slowing the evolution of certain ailments.  The main point is not whether its good or bad for us anyway, most people would get the vaccine without being forced to, the point is do we need to be forced. Furthermore if you get the vaccine and I get sick why is that a problem for you.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@NickV  

You're right!  I should just throw away all 300 years of science and live in a Libertarian Utopia led by The True Ron Paul.

NickV
NickV

@fitty_three @NickV I'm the one splitting hairs andgoing into semantics ?!?  I'm not the one bringing up super diseases. As 50 cent said you shouldn't throw stones if you live in a glass house. Stop being liberally biased and view the world through a neutral lens.

Enjoy your day 

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@NickV @DonQuixotic @fitty_three

Do you live under a rock? It happened dude.  

Next thing you're going to try and tell me the Polio vaccine is a myth.  Smallpox no longer exists on the face of the earth.  There is not one case of it anywhere in the world.  I'm not making this up; Google it.  They don't NEED to vaccinate every single person on the planet, merely those at risk of getting it or those that have it.  In that sense they destroy the disease.

You are arguing semantics at this point and I'm beginning to wonder what it is that you actually oppose.

NickV
NickV

@DonQuixotic @NickV @fitty_three Lol bud what your claiming is impossible, MOST of the world may have been vaccinated but every single person is not feasible. 

fitty_three
fitty_three

@NickV @fitty_three 

I think you're throwing arsebolts now.  First, you're dropping into "semantics" mode in which you're trying to split hairs, and on top of that, you are applying assumptions to me and others that aren't warranted. 

I don't really care what you think, but you need to be informed just what the consequences are.  

You can bring a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@NickV @fitty_three 

Dude, it HAS occurred.  WHO vaccinated the entire world from Smallpox in 1977.  It is no longer on the face of the planet, save frozen in key labs under lock and key.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@NickV @DonQuixotic 

Speaking of "I reject coercion", $10 says Paul got the Smallpox vaccine willingly in 1977 and got it for his kids too.

NickV
NickV

@fitty_three @NickV you're drawing a conclusion based on a situation which has never occurred I.E the whole world being vaccinated. Your being a Mysophobe will never convince that I must give up my principles. Now realize I AM NOT AGAINST VACCINES, but to force everyone to succumb to your obsessive need is delusional.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@NickV  

You're drawing a conclusion that isn't warranted.  First of all, we don't have to be dead, we just have to be sick, which is actually happening.

Widespread death will happen if we have a pandemic that isn't controllable and is resistant to countermeasures.  I've just gotten through mentioning the H9N7 evolution in China.

NickV
NickV

@DonQuixotic @NickVWell there has never been a time when the whole world has been vaccinated so you do not even know if these policies would work.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@NickV @DonQuixotic @fitty_three 

And I'm telling you: people are dying when they opt out.  Superbugs have formed throughout history and killed millions of millions of people at a time too.

NickV
NickV

@DonQuixotic @NickV @fitty_three I'm just saying that given the fact that vaccines are semi optional in the U.S.A let alone the world, how are we not dead given the logic you are providing.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@NickV  

Our history is more like 200,000 years. I don't have "fierce objections" either. 

Also, a "piece of bacteria" is actually a very interesting statement:

Do you know what a plasmid is?

It's a piece of DNA that are sometimes dumped by bacteria, or picked up, depending on need to evolve a response to changing environments.

And again, you don't even know the Constitution, because in that thar piece of paper, Congress is given the right to define what your rights are, and are not.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@NickV @fitty_three

The fact remains that by your logic we should be dead by now given the aprox 9 500 years of human history without vaccines.

Billions of people did die in the time because of the crippling diseases that vaccines could have cured.  I'm not sure what argument you're trying to make with this...

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@NickV @fitty_three 

Even if a few don't get them it allows new strains to form.  Imagine if people had opted out of the Smallpox or Polio vaccine years ago for fears that it would give their children Autism.

NickV
NickV

@fitty_three @NickV Listen you may not realize it but you are overreacting, the sooner you realize you (humans) are not in control of every piece of bacteria on the planet the sooner you will learn to relax. The fact remains that by your logic we should be dead by now given the aprox 9 500 years of human history without vaccines. Despite your fierce objections fifty three I will value my principles over what I can only describe as your irrational fears.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@NickV  

You didn't hear about the H9N7 evolution in China, where the bird flu evolved a human to human vector?

This isn't paranoia, it's biological fact.  Why do you think we are having problems with "superbugs" and other things having to do with overuse of antibiotics.  It's the same thing:

Rapid evolutionary response to measures taken to counter their spread.

NickV
NickV

@fitty_three @NickV Actually you are wrong I understand perfectly, what I understand is that your paranoia is out of control. In the current system people are allowed to object to vaccination yet the majority of people decide to get it. By your logic we should all be dead or sick. Please tell me why this isn't so? 


fitty_three
fitty_three

@NickV

I don't think you understand. Single celled and subcellular organisms don't care about what you think.  They spread fast, evolve responses to countermeasures in a flash, and they will kill you if you happen to be on the wrong end of a rapid evolutionary response.  

They will also kill anyone who is exposed to you while you exercise your supposed "constitutional rights" which, but the constitiution itself, are proscribed by the clauses which defines just who (congress) can and cannot pass laws deciding what you can and can't do.

And, they ain't Libertarians...

NickV
NickV

@fitty_three @NickV Just because vaccines wouldn't be mandatory does not mean that the vast majority of the population would not get them.

manlyman
manlyman

Very loud and very, very useless. Pretty much describes you whole existance eh -53?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Stand_With_Rand  

That was very loud and very, very useless.  

The problem with you is that you can't stand criticism, are a closet anarchist, love money too much, and worship the wrong god(s).

TimJohnson
TimJohnson

@Stand_With_Rand @fitty_three @DonQuixotic Believing in immunization is not the same as believing what the government says.  Doctors recommend immunization, like the WHO and Doctors without Borders.  Health advocates recommend to the government that immunization is a benefit to public health.  Your belief system is flawed because you argue that anything the government does is inherently bad simply because they government does it, nevermind who actually came up with the idea or why it was put into effect in the first place.

Stand_With_Rand
Stand_With_Rand

@fitty_three @DonQuixotic You are sooo quick to see the future and possible detrimental effects of ignoring a situation until it's too late........but you STILL worship the government?  You STILL believe everything they tell you?


That's the part intellectual constitutionalists don't get about the extreme left and right.....you people, even with history slapping you in the face, let scandal after scandal go by and then put your full faith in the government anyway?

One day, if I ever hear just ONE valid argument against libertarianism, I will go register democrat.  I'm not worried about that happening though, I've been asking for years.


Most of the answers are :

"That was sooo long ago."

"What do you want, to go back to wild west days?"

"RACIST!"

"Oh so you would let everyone would just DIE then! OMG! You hate people!"


The list goes on.....

fitty_three
fitty_three

@DonQuixotic  

True dat!  Look at the fears of vectoring with the Bird Flu virus in China. The virus evolved incredibly rapidly and now can be passed from human to human, but not easily.

And, rapid evolutionary responses ensures that it will improve on it.  When it does...

fitty_three
fitty_three

@NickV 

I don't see it that way at all. First of all, black kids aren't tiny single celled or subcellular life forms capable of rapid evolution in response to artificial selection brought on by measures required to counter their spread.

NickV
NickV

@fitty_three @NickV So why do we not just throw the black kids we suspect of committing crimes in jail without trial? Your logic is flawed, if we see a pandemic coming then by all means do what must be done. However to suspend choice without need is the first step on a path which leads to a very dark place.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Oh, and I don't think you have a constitutional right there.

The constitution also spells out who has the right to govern, remember?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@NickV  

Yes.  Because when a pandemic is in full swing, it's already too late.

You see, the key is to stop a pandemic before it gets started.