So last night Ron Paul gave a rousing speech in New Hampshire after he lost the primary there. He went on and on about FREEDOM of course, his supporters apparently unconcerned that Paul’s concept of freedom does not include a woman’s right to choose, many forms of birth control or laws that protect freedom, like the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Paul’s idea of FREEDOM is strictly a kind of faux free market libertarianism. Rousing the libertarian base, he claims that all problems will be solved by the free market. For instance, if you get really sick, and your health care doesn’t cover a procedure, the free market allows you to find a charity, enter indentured servitude, or die.
But Paul did something unusual last night. In fact, as Republican candidates go he did something almost unheard of. The candidate obliquely mentioned Atheists and their right not to practice religion. Here’s the link to that part of his speech.
Paul may play the role of a libertarian ideologue, but he’s no fool. He knows that the youth support he enjoys because of his anti-war and anti-war on drugs policies sports the fastest growing non-religious population in the country. His speeches about FREEDOM resonate with that crowd, and indeed he can be a compelling speaker, but is Paul being honest with the crowds about his true beliefs?
In fact, there is plenty of evidence that Ron Paul may be a closeted Christian Fundamentalist of the worst kind. As Alternet reported:
A common misconception about the Ron Paul agenda is that he is a libertarian who just wants to let all humans live as they please. But Ron Paul is no libertarian; if not a Christian Reconstructionist himself, he is truly the best enabler a Reconstructionist could hope to have.
Ron Paul seeks to shrink the federal government to minimal size not because it intrudes in the lives of individuals, but because it stands in the way of allowing the states and localities to enact laws as they see fit — even laws that govern people’s behavior in their bedrooms.
I encourage you to read the article in its entirety, including the bit where Paul spoke to the openly segregationist John Birch Society, and revealed that he is entirely able to speak their language. Paul enjoys the support of such racist groups as Stormfront, as reported by Katha Pollitt at NPR:
No wonder they love him over at Stormfront, a white-supremacist website with neo-Nazi tendencies. In a multiple-choice poll of possible effects of a Paul presidency, the most popular answer by far was “Paul will implement reforms that increase liberty which will indirectly benefit White Nationalists.”
Atheists love it when they get mentioned in the larger political sphere. But we should be careful who we support and why. Religious opponents of atheism love to pull out the lie that Stalin, Mao and Hitler were motivated to murder and genocide by their lack of supernatural belief. Do we really want to reinforce that stereotype by supporting a man with racist, homophobic and misogynistic views, just because he uses the right buzzwords and tosses us the occasional shout out?