Ron Paul, former congressman and crackpot presidential candidate, usually has nothing of worth to say. Whether it’s conspiracy theories, policy, or denying allegations of racism, Ron Paul has a habit of useless blathering. This time, though, he might have at least a couple of things right.
In an interview with RT, he stated,
What do they do with our young people? They send them all around the world, getting involved in wars and telling other people they have to have democratic elections, and then they have the elections and we won’t accept the people they elect. But here at home, we don’t have true democracy. We have [a] monopoly of ideas that are controlled by leaders of two parties, and though they call it two parties, it’s really one philosophy.
Here’s the full video:
Warning, some of it is pretty painful to watch. Take 3:09 for example, where the interviewer asks, “Now, Dr. Paul, marijuana legalization is on the ballot in three more states this election cycle with Alaska, Oregon and D.C. looking at recreational marijuana, so what do you see in terms of the new black market created by over-regulation and taxation?”
Currently, 100 percent of sales of recreational marijuana take place on the black market in those states. Provided dispensaries are opened and marijuana is sold from them, there would obviously be a cost of doing business, including taxes and regulations, that goes into what the customer pays. If that was so expensive that every single customer and seller opted to illegally traffic on the black market, the net change, then, would be zero. If lowering black market sales is the goal, the only possible impact legalization could have on it is positive. Complete failure would result in no change. The question, taken seriously and replied to at length by Ron Paul, is completely asinine.
And it’s not as though his comments on the third party dilemma are all that insightful, either. Blaming a faceless “two-party system” or saying “both parties are the same” (the same people frequently say both, strangely) is very easy. Suggesting pragmatic and smart solutions is not. Not that there isn’t merit to the idea of having a higher number of political parties competing for national office, of course.
Personally, I believe an “approval” voting system would eliminate many of the perceived problems with our current system of democracy, summed up as the “lesser of two evils still being evil” argument. If you’re unfamiliar with approval voting, the Wikipedia page on it is very informative and allows for easy further research. Compulsory voting is also an interesting idea, although the problem of political apathy would only be exacerbated. In any case, these issues require careful thought, which isn’t exactly Ron Paul’s thing.
Plus, Democrats and Republicans really aren’t the same. No matter how much it is argued they aren’t different on economic or foreign policy, those aren’t the only issues — and on marriage equality, 1st and 14th amendment rights, and a dozen other issues, the fight is desperate and the battle lines clear. Those fights matter, too, and abandoning your brothers and sisters due to a social trend of apathy is reprehensible.
Featured image screencaptured from video, h/t RT