Thursday, May 03, 2007
The Republican Debate
The Republican debates on MSNBC was definitely already rigged in favor of the main contenders (particularly McCaine, Guliani and Romney). Certain canidates were given more questions and longer times than others, and there was little to no room for actual one on one debate between the canidates, I.E. there were little follow-ups. Essentially, the media has already chosen the canidates for us, and that seems to be how our system works unfortunately.
As I expected, Ron Paul outshined his contenders in the debate. Every one of them accept for Ron Paul maintained support for the war in Iraq and advocated economic and military hostility towards Iran, while some of them took the meaningless and watered-down position in favor of "better management" (code language for continueing the war, just with a switch in personell) in Iraq. In short, most of them put forth their crackpot ideas as to how to micro-manage the war. There was a point when McCaine and Romney were war-mongering viciously.
The same old propaganda about "islamists" and "terrorists" was repeated by most canidates. Ron Paul stood as the one canidate who clearly held firm to a non-interentionist foreign policy, and this was the central theme of his. He made the important point that increased foreign intervention actually decreases defense. And he compared himself to a more respectable conservative such as Taft rather then the cliche of Ronald Reagen.
On taxes, a number of canidates, particularly Sam Brownback, supported the fairtax or some variation of it. Others concentrated on eliminating the alternative minimum tax, while others simply boasted about their records as governors. Ron Paul took a much firmer position: eliminate the income tax and even more importantly, eliminate the inflation tax and return to sound money. The importance of this was probably lost on most viewers, and this was the only mention of monetary policy in the entire debate.
On immigration, most contenders supported a national I.D. card. Ron Paul never got to put forth his full position on immigration. Sam Brownback surprisingly opposed the national I.D. card idea. Ron Paul came out strongly against it and emphasized the importance of protecting the personal privacy and secrecy of the citezens rather than the government. Paul emphasized avoiding the police state at home. He also mentioned the danger of regulating the internet, because of the important of free association.
There was some talk about stem cell research. Some on stage wanted the government to ban it, others wanted the government to subsidize it, particularly John McCaine and Guliani. Ron Paul was the only one that took a well-explained position on stem cell research: that we should neither prohibit or subsidize it. As is typical of Republican politics these days, some time was spent pontificating on faith. Fortunately, Paul didn't really involve himself in it. Most canidates pontificated on the ideal of a "strong man" executive, and of course the typical worshopping of Ronald Reagen.
The three most mainstream contenders leave us with a dire picture of possibilities. John McCaine is a pandering "centrist" who ultimately supports the military industrial complex. Rudy Guliani is like a social liberal (in every bad implication of the term; he was the one canidate who supports government funding for abortion) with a neoconservative "law and order" streak. Mitt Romney is a war-monger who oppurtunistically changed his positions on countless issues within the past few years. The rest of the people running are interventionists on foreign policy and not particularly economically libertarian. The only worthy person on stage was Ron Paul.
For the most part, this debate didn't cover too many issues of substance outside of the war on terrorism. Too much time was spent on abortion to allow for discussion of other pressing issues. The only good thing to come of this is that America got to see a tiny peek of Ron Paul, the anti-war canidate. The central question in the current climate really should be over foreign policy, and Paul was the only sane canidate on foreign policy (and everything else). While all other canidates proposed more government in one way or another, Ron Paul resisted government consistantly.