Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What Ron Paul just does not get

OK, I talked about Ron Paul's vile newsletters, and I talked about his crazy conspiracy theories, but there's still more about Ron Paul - and his supporters - that makes me wonder what world they live in.

Ron Paul thinks that the appropriate remedy for sexual harassment in the workplace is just to quit your job:
As highlighted by CNN on Friday, in his 1987 book, Freedom Under Siege: The U.S. Constitution After 200-Plus Years, republished in 2007, Ron Paul made some eyebrow-raising statements about sexual harassment and women’s rights in the workplace:
Employee rights are said to be valid when employers pressure employees into sexual activity. Why don’t they quit once the so-called harassment starts? Obviously the morals of the harasser cannot be defended, but how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem? Seeking protection under civil rights legislation is hardly acceptable.

... Paul’s also made comments about problems he had with the 1964 Civil Rights Act (which he voted against commemorating in 2004).

Other passages in the book include jabs about LGBT people and AIDS. Like the notorious newsletters which include unsavory passages about the AIDS epidemic, Paul writes that the Founding Fathers probably wouldn’t favor AIDS research and that insurance companies should have the right to refuse care to patients with HIV/AIDS:
Victims of the disease AIDS argue…for crash research programs (to be paid for by people who don’t have AIDS), demanding a cure…The individual suffering from AIDS certainly is a victim — frequently a victim of his own lifestyle — but this same individual victimizes innocent citizens by forcing them to pay for his care. Crash research programs are hardly something, I believe, the Founding Fathers intended when they talked about equal rights.

And of course, Paul also takes issue with minority rights, wondering, if there’s a black and hispanic caucus in Congress, why not a white one too?
White people who organize and expect the same attention as other groups are quickly and viciously condemned as dangerous bigots. Hispanic, black, and Jewish caucuses can exist in the U.S. Congress, but not a white caucus, demonstrating the absurdity of this approach for achieving rights for everyone.

In Ron Paul's world, a woman should have to be forced to choose between sexual harassment and unemployment. How is that right?

When I made that comment elsewhere, one of his rabid male (of course) supporters went ballistic, accusing me of saying that only women are sexually harassed. Heh, heh. Just think about that.

No, it's not just women who are sexually harassed, or raped, either. But if you're a man, when have you ever needed to worry about sexual harassment or rape, either one? For the vast majority of us, for the vast majority of the time, those things simply aren't a concern. But women do have to worry about them. These things aren't theoretical for women.

And although women are advancing through the workforce, the majority of bosses are still male. The majority are still white, too. The Ron Paul solution of quitting your job when facing racial persecution just ensures that black people don't get jobs.

Why is it that there's a black caucus and a Hispanic caucus in Congress, but no white caucus? It's because Congress itself has traditionally been a white caucus! White people are the majority in America, and white people have historically had the wealth and the power. It was racial minorities who faced persecution in America, not the majority.

And despite all the crazy talk about "reverse discrimination" (which many white men claim whenever a minority or a woman is hired for a job), it's still minorities who tend to face discrimination today. Well, most bosses are still white men. And the fact that so many white men assume that a black person, a Latino, or a woman couldn't have been hired because they were the best person for the job just demonstrates the prejudice they still face.

I've had libertarians tell me - and they were serious, not joking - that we didn't need laws like the 1964 Civil Rights Act, because any business which refused to serve blacks would just go bankrupt, since blacks would patronize their competitors, instead.

What world do those people live in? Are they just that ignorant of history? Do they not realize that the entire South was segregated, and that those white-only businesses succeeded just fine? Indeed, if any of those businesses had voluntarily desegregated, they would have been the ones to go bankrupt.

Well, actually, they would have probably been burned to the ground before that had a chance to happen.

I don't know what world Ron Paul and his supporters live in, but it's certainly not this one. Of course, they're overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, and overwhelmingly Christian. They're not worried about racial segregation and discrimination, because they benefit when white men are automatically on top.

They're not worried about sexual harassment, because they wouldn't be the ones harassed (only in their dreams). They're not worried about religious discrimination, because they're in the overwhelming majority. And this is why they're not upset by Ron Paul's racist, homophobic newsletters, either.

But I have to wonder how they can be so dumb. They live in a fantasy world that is so far from our real world that you really have to wonder how they even survive in this one.

Well, one way that they survive, I guess, is that they support each other. Ron Paul's fans are about as rabid as they get.

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