Other Public Commentary
THE RON PAUL MYSTIQUE
By Sandra J. Miller
What's so different about Ron Paul?
Dust from the November 2006 election had barely settled when presidential candidates began assembling for the 2008 campaign. With the exception of Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), most were known quantities. Lots of "folklore" has been circulated about Congressman Paul, but how much is actually fact vs. "factoid?"
Dr. Paul's distinction among Republican candidates is that he's the only one who opposes the War in Iraq. As an American who long ago realized that the US military is used as a corporate security force to protect globalist assets and interests overseas, and the "wars" and "police actions" are mounted whenever global capital interests are threatened, I felt Dr. Paul deserved further investigation as a viable candidate. Whether or not he actually emerges as the winning GOP candidate isn't as important as his forcing RNC recognition of opposition to the Iraq War among conservative voters.
"Doing my homework" as an informed voter didn't mean I began with Ron Paul as a blank slate; an old family friend had told me of his Libertarian background, his unorthodox "Constitution-only" stands and her respect for him. Like most Southern Californians, she thoroughly disapproves of his "open borders" position and his past support for illegal alien amnesty, but she supports him because she knows of his love for America.
Selecting the Immigration/Border Security issue as my yardstick for evaluating whether Congressman Paul's positions were well-founded and realistic doesn't make me a "one-issue" voter. I chose the issue that I'm most savvy on; many years as an activist on an issue that politicians don't want to discuss has given me valuable experience in recognizing evasion and "phony baloney."
As of early 2007, Dr. Paul hadn't published his "official" position on Immigration/Border Security. His House of Representatives website (www.house.gov/paul) doesn't have an "issues" page, nor did I find anything on his Liberty Caucus site. The www.ronpaul.com site that his supporters claim gives a thorough explanation of all pertinent information and links was under construction, as was his "Exploratory Committee" website.
So my only feasible starting point was the Libertarian Party website, where I found that I agree with many Libertarian views. I do join many Americans in the two I oppose strongly: "open borders" and "open access to drugs." Congressman Paul's campaign website agrees with these LP positions. Since reports that Dr. Paul supports legalizing prostitution lack substantiation, I discarded them as gossip.
Mrs. Penny Langford Freeman came to town.
A great "educational" opportunity arrived in February 2007 via a program with speakers opposing the North American Union, including Ms. Penny Langford Freeman, assistant to Congressman Ron Paul. I recognized a great opportunity to learn more about a Presidential candidate that held the promise of the new blood Americans are calling for the in the 2008 election.
I was particularly interested in learning how Congressman Paul reconciles his opposition to NAU and NAFTA with his Libertarian Party's "open immigration" platform. When evaluating politicians' promises and "positions," I've adopted The Judge Judy Test: "If it doesn't make sense, it's probably not true." Not only is it easily understood by virtually everyone, but it's also been foolproof.
Considering the current interest of Americans on the immigration issue, it wasn't easy to locate his position. Despite Mrs. Freeman's insistence that www.ronpaul.com and the "Exploratory Committee" websites answered all questions on Dr. Paul's position, they were still under construction.
Just before the speech, I revisited the Libertarian Party website where its "Issues" page listed what the LP regarded at the time as "Hot Issues:" High Gas Prices, Corruption on Capitol Hill, the Iraq War. Neither the NAU/SPP nor Immigration/Border Security qualified as "hot issues!"
Without the Dr. Paul's "Immigration Report Card" of his votes assembled by NumbersUSA, I'd have been sunk.
Mrs. Freeman spoke on Congressman Paul's early recognition of the virus affecting America (erosion of US sovereignty). Hearing Mrs. Freeman tell us that Paul "always tells the truth, even when he knows it isn't what people want to hear" certainly sounded promising for hearing a candid and forthright statement on where Ron Paul really stands. When she called for audience questions, I lost no time in getting to the mike.
Ron Paul's voting record
I'd collected Ron
Paul's voting record on the very strategies urged that night to reverse
the influence of "one-world government:" hiring Americans, no amnesty
for illegal aliens and border security based on Paul's Immigration Voting
Record & Report
Card on the NumbersUSA website:
What a surprise to hear Mrs. Freeman focus her reply not on the five items I'd presented, but instead on Congressman Paul's introduction of a bill banning "birthright citizenship" (actually one of several in the Congressional hopper). Was this another example of the politicians' shell game?
I reminded her that my questions weren't about birthright citizenship, but instead about using the military on the border, opposing the border fence amendment to HR 4437, his support for several Section 245i amnesties for illegal aliens and increased guest-worker visas for jobs Americans want. She apparently realized that I wouldn't be blown off so easily and spoke to the questions presented.
She said a border fence wasn't needed; sensors at the border would be enough. On the matter of the military on the border, she said it wasn't necessary--the Border Patrol should be fully empowered to do the job. She claimed that the job was done more effectively without the military when states patrolled their own borders, adding an anecdote about Texas Rangers' success in stopping diseased cattle from crossing the border.
My genealogical research tells me this is baloney. My great-grandfather served on the southern border at Fort Ringgold, TX while in the US Army (Fifth Infantry, Company E) from 1885-1889. Post Returns and Annual reports filed by military commanders to their superiors telling their duties and activities make clear that the Army and Cavalry patrolled the southern border at the time during Arizona and New Mexico territorial days. These reports were published as leather-bound books, distributed to senators, congressmen and others who eventually donated their copies to public and private collections (the set I used is maintained at the University of Nevada Reno library). "Post Returns" are a land military base equivalent of a ship's log, and are maintained by the National Archives.
She complimented the Minutemen on how effective their work has been, suggesting that she believes their mission is permanent. (Perhaps she hasn't heard Chris Simcox tell that the Minutemen eagerly await the day when the federal government will assume their constitutional duty and let the Minutemen go home.)
When Mrs. Freeman insisted that Ron Paul has NEVER voted for illegal alien amnesties, I further questioned, "He's never voted to support amnesties under 8 USC Section 245i?" with the bill numbers above. After a slight hesitation, she repeated the denial.
While the "Section 245i Amnesty" wasn't the same "path to citizenship" or "earned legalization" touted in "comprehensive immigration reform," it qualified as amnesty by "allowing an illegal alien to remain in the US legally"--the distinction is that 245i was for a temporary amnesty period rather than permanent. 245i was a loophole in the 1996 IRCA that barred illegal aliens from receiving visas for 10 years. By paying a "fee," illegal aliens who applied for legal status could remain in the US while their application was reviewed and evade the usual investigation done in their home countries. (This has a familiar ring!) The 245i program has since ended, but Ron Paul voted for its continuance in 1997, 2001 and 2002, and voted AGAINST ending it later.
Because all illegal alien amnesty bills during the past 5 years have originated in the Senate rather than the House, Congressman Paul hasn't been put in a position of casting a publicly-recorded vote on illegal alien amnesty since 2002.
It was obvious that Mrs. Freeman was not only unprepared but also unwilling to speak to Paul's voting record on immigration issues, which shocked me. Others in the audience apparently recognized Mrs. Freeman's evasions when they approached me afterward and inquired the source of my research.
To encounter from the Ron Paul camp the same evasions characteristic of typical hack politicians was disappointing, but I knew other opportunities would be forthcoming as the presidential campaign continued.
Directly from the Paul Campaign
And that's exactly what happened. As months passed, the Ron Paul Campaign website (www.ronpaul2008.com) was updated with his "6-Point Plan" on Immigration Reform / Border Security, and several Paul supporters assured me it would answer all my questions.
They were wrong. The 6 Points raised more questions than it answered; I was underwhelmed.
So on July 8 2007, I e-mailed an inquiry to the Ron Paul campaign via its website, outlining specifics that I recognized were missing from the "6-Point Plan." Activists on the immigration issue have learned that what a politician DOESN'T say is just as important as what is acknowledged and it was clearly true of Ron Paul.
The inquiry can be found HERE. Public posting not only shared awareness of how ambiguous was the "6-point Plan, but the current interest level in Ron Paul generated lots of speculation and postings even without the campaign's reply. It effectively "opened the public debate."
My July 8 inquiry remains unreplied to this day. Not what I would have expected from a candidate claimed to tell the whole truth, even when it's not what people want to hear. On the other hand, it wasn't such a surprise after the February speech experience.
10 days later on July 18, I re-sent the inquiry and this time followed up with a phone call to the campaign. I did learn that the campaign staffers monitor phone calls much more conscientiously than e-mails when I received a call the following day from the campaign's "point-person on immigration," Don Rasmussen. He wanted me to go to RonPaul2008.com, where he would "walk me through" each point that would answer all my questions.
"Not so fast, Mr. Rasmussen," I said. "I've read your 6-point plan and it's the result of the ambiguities it contains that I sent my inquiry. Since I've spent the time to organize the "action items," why don't you give me your e-mail address, I'll send you a copy of the inquiry and you can respond to that." That Mr. Rasmussen gave me his e-mail address @ronpaul2008.com told me he was a legitimate campaign spokesman.
I was initially impressed that, true to his word, Mr. Rasmussen did reply within 24 hours. I would have been even more impressed had his reply actually addressed the items I presented rather than just offer a generic "one size fits all" evasion of hiding behind some nebulous definition of "we always follow the Constitution." Past emphasis on Congressman Paul's integrity led me to expect more than the standard evasion that I've heard from staffers of (for example) Senators John McCain or Jon Kyl.
In the next installment, read Congressman Paul's positions on immigration, directly from the campaign's "point person on immigration," Mr. Don Rasmussen.
COMING: Part 2:
"Ping-Pong Interview" with Ron Paul's point person on immigration Part
3: "Ron Paul--What you see is what you get, but what do you see?"
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Sandra J. Miller is a veteran activist against illegal migration who joined the exodus from California and now resides in Arizona. 27 years' experience designing and maintaining computer applications was excellent training for pressing politicians for their positions on an issue they preferred to avoid recognizing. She grew up in Southern California, the best classroom for learning about illegal migration, and is a lifelong resident of border states: California, Texas and Arizona.
She participated in Arizona's 2003 ballot initiative for Prop 200, and organized "Congressional Visiting Teams" to face Phoenix-area congressional staffers with citizens opposed to illegal migration. Her IT experience in "reading between the lines" has served well in determining Ron Paul's position on immigration & border security for the 2008 Presidential campaign.
Dr. Paul's distinction among Republican candidates is that he's the only one who opposes the War in Iraq.