Glenn Greenwald hits one out of the park when describing the relative shortcomings of the two more “liberal” candidates in this year’s presidential running, he gives what he calls an honest, candid, and rational way for a democrat to defend voting for Obama.
Yes, I’m willing to continue to have Muslim children slaughtered by covert drones and cluster bombs, and America’s minorities imprisoned by the hundreds of thousands for no good reason, and the CIA able to run rampant with no checks or transparency, and privacy eroded further by the unchecked Surveillance State, and American citizens targeted by the President for assassination with no due process, and whistleblowers threatened with life imprisonment for “espionage,” and the Fed able to dole out trillions to bankers in secret, and a substantially higher risk of war with Iran (fought by the U.S. or by Israel with U.S. support) in exchange for less severe cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs, the preservation of the Education and Energy Departments, more stringent environmental regulations, broader health care coverage, defense of reproductive rights for women, stronger enforcement of civil rights for America’s minorities, a President with no associations with racist views in a newsletter, and a more progressive Supreme Court.
He was comparing Obama’s policies to Ron Paul’s. Greenwald does a good job of pointing out why people might want to vote for either one, but it is important to look at what “liberals” should value more highly. Not enough liberals admit to Obama’s shortcomings, and they are numerous from a liberal’s point of view. In the same vein, liberals seem to have a knee jerk reaction to Ron Paul without giving enough credence to his strong points. The article is illuminating in that it exposes the desire to instantly discredit “the competition” for any negative parts of their plank. Of course doing that requires you to overlook the very real problems of your own candidate. No politician is free from taint, free from problems. What needs to be done is to prioritize what is important to you and then decide if a president can wield much power over those things.
I’ve written at length about how disappointed I am with Obama’s foreign policy, war mongering, executive power grabs, solidifying of Bush doctrine, bailouts, and erosion of civil liberties. Ron Paul is directly opposed to all of those things, and has been for 40 years. Yes, some of Paul’s theories make my skin crawl, I don’t like his stance on immigration, and I’m not sure I agree with his abortion policy objectives, but I’ll take the trade off. I’d like to think that all of the people that hated Bush Jr. would also like Paul more than Obama simply because Obama is a lot closer to Bush in all the worst ways.
I’ve met plenty of people that don’t like Obama, but have shrugged their shoulders and said, “What choice do I have? Perry? Gingrich?” It may still come to that, but there is a chance that we might have a very real alternative this next time around. Say what you want about Paul, but he is very different than Obama, and I think his positives outweigh the negatives. Suffice it to say that he really differs from the rank and file of the republicans too, so he still may not get the nomination. If he does win the nomination, I will have no choice but to vote for him because I hate war. War on other countries and war on our own citizens (both through military actions and the war on drugs). If he doesn’t get the nomination, who will agitate against war? Certainly not any of the other republicans, and Obama can’t exactly repudiate all of his foreign policy. Read the article and watch the video clips, Ron Paul is the only one saying what needs to be said.