No one really knows what he'd really stand for as President. He took a soft view of immigration as governor and is now promoting a hard line on the issue. He wants to cut taxes as President (don't they all?), but his GOP rivals want to make him out to be a tax-and-spend liberal while governor. And then there's religion...
As tempting as it is to talk about Huckabee at the moment, the most frightening candidate on the campaign trail today is not Mike Huckabee. Its GOP candidate Ron Paul. His political positions are both extreme and dichotomous:
- He would overturn Roe v. Wade, paving the way for states to outlaw abortion.
- He would abolish the U.S. Department of Education (along with a large number of other federal agencies).
- He would work to legalize marijuana.
- He would pull U.S. troops out of Iraq (the only GOP candidate to make that claim).
- He would do away with Medicare and Medicaid.
- He would have America withdraw from both the United Nations and NATO.
Who is Ron Paul? Think of Barry Goldwater having a child with Frank Zappa: that's Ron Paul.
The 10-term Texas Congressman and obstetrician has been on the November ballot for President once before. He beat Zappa for the Libertarian Party's nomination in 1988.
The guiding principal of Ron Paul's political philosophy is simple. If the U.S. Constitution doesn't expressly grant the federal government the right or responsibility to dabble in something, then it should get out.
That philosophy has earned him the nickname "Dr. No" because he casts a no vote on almost so many issues, like appropriations bills for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. He voted "no" on the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007. He voted "no" on implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. You get the idea...
Paul has been criticized (perhaps ridiculed would be a better word) for his position on the economy and on monetary policy. In his view, the government shouldn't be involved in either. Ron Paul would close the Federal Reserve. Most other countries (and all of our main competitors in the world market) would have central banks that could manipulate their currencies and set monetary policies; America would not.
Ron Paul's position on taxation is not unique to him. But he would close the IRS, eliminate income taxes for individuals and corporations, and create a federal sales tax that (to start) would be about 23%. A recent NPR story on Huckabee examines some of the flaws of that "fair tax" plan. Their conclusion was that the poor in America would be a little better off under the plan (provided the "pre-bate" provision of the plan actually worked), but that the rich would be much better off and the big losers would be America's middle class.
So picture an America where much of the work of the federal government simply stopped. Welfare, education, health laws, etc. would differ greatly from one state to the next and the federal government would have almost no power. No one could whine about FEMA doing a bad job after the next hurricane because FEMA wouldn't come at all. And while it might be legal to smoke marijuana to relieve the pain associated with your chemotherapy, Medicare wouldn't pay for it (or anything else) because Medicare wouldn't exist.
Not yet convinced that Ron Paul is the most frightening candidate? Go back 35 years and consider what the 1970's might have been like if Paul's suggestions now on NATO had been followed then. My bet is that we'd all be speaking Russian today, or at least trying to learn it so that we could get a job in our own country...