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Saturday, November 12, 2011
Response to a Progressive's Objection (at OpEd News)
Thanks for your response. I am certain you read the part where I said explicitly that Ron Paul is not a progressive and the part where I said that if Paul's economic policies were fully implemented our economic woes would only deepen.
I think that you and I are pretty much on the same page when it comes to economic policies.
I am not sure that I would be in line with you on foreign policy. For me military non interventionism is usually a good policy and it does not have to be supplemented with isolationism. Much foreign aid has unfortunately ended up enriching dictators rather than the people it is meant to help. I think a draw down in our military presence combined with a healthy skepticism toward foreign aid would be good for us and others right now. I see Ron Paul most likely trying to find ways to positively engage other countries through support of open trade and positive involvement through NGOs. (Not a fully adequate foreign policy but certainly better than the bombastic solutions we seem addicted to now.)
He has proposed half a trillion spending annually on defense, which still puts us way ahead of all of our enemies. I think you are right that he would like to put much of the savings from reductions in military and foreign spending into tax cuts. The question is: can he get 60 Senators to agree with him?
I think that he will have to make a deal to form a coalition government with progressives if he is to stand the slightest chance of getting elected. In such a case he gets only tax cuts which are progressively structured and reductions in spending with the condition that half of it goes to debt reduction and and half to block grants for states to spend on their much pressing needs.
I plan to vote for him in the GOP primary. I have checked my Democratic primary list and down ballot there are no viable races between progressive Democrats and blue dog Democrats in any race for any office. I plan to give money to some progressive Democratic candidates like Elizabeth Warren, and in the general election I will most likely vote Democratic for every office.
If by chance Ron Paul wins the nomination, I will consider voting for him against the President, but he will have to show clear evidence that he intends to govern in coalition with progressives. If the President reconsiders and decides to cut military spending by as much or more than Ron Paul, I will definitely support Obama again.
Do you see what I am doing in the primary as in any way harmful to progressive Democrats? Do you not think that it would be better for the president not to have to contend with the outrageous accusations that he has gutted our defense when he faces his opponents in the general election debates? Don't you think it will be much better for our country to debate how much to cut fake defense and false security spending and how to use the savings from such reductions instead of hearing how we have to cut entitlements and leave the Pentagon alone or worse yet feed it more budgetary steroids?
Would you rather see Paul v. Obama or Romney v. Obama in the general election? I think there are several reasons for progressives to vote for Ron Paul, at least in the GOP primary, don't you? Wouldn't it be fitting for the GOP convention to be divided with no candidate having a majority of delegates until Romney and the other neo-con gang up to overtake the winner of a plurality of delegates and voters, Ron Paul?
Actually, I am finding it very hard to find a good reason vote in the my Democratic primary when the outcome is all but predetermined all the way down the ballot. I think I can do progressives much more good by causing problems in the GOP primary and if enough progressives join in the fun we could make a huge change in the general election debate and in how we deal with debt and unemployment over the next 5 years.
I am very interested to hear more from you and thank you for your thoughtful response thus far.
Posted by Cornelius at 3:54 PM