Ron Paul Could Be Your Man, If …

If you are the sort of person who misses sodomy laws, state laws against birth control and abortion even in cases of rape and incest, then Ron Paul might be the guy for you. Paul placed third in a CNN/ORC International Poll last week with 13 percent, behind Mitt Romney at 21 percent and Rick Perry at 32 percent.

And over the weekend, Paul placed first in the California GOP Straw poll. He also got some headline love from news outlets like CNN, which trumpeted “GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul wins California straw poll,” even though CNN failed to note that the Straw Poll win represents a grand total of about 400 votes.

After his big California win, Paul gave an interview in which he expressed his opposition to California’s new mandate that public school students must be vaccinated against Whooping Cough. Paul expressed his opposition to any and all government mandates, including the kind of meddling mandates that led to the eradication of the scourge of polio and the curse of small pox.

Paul claims that such mandates are not a case of the government protecting the public, but merely a case of the government “protecting you from yourself.” Perhaps Paul, a doctor, simply forgot that Whooping Cough is highly contagious and very dangerous, and that most of the fatalities in last year’s California Whooping Cough epidemic were babies.

In the recent CNN/Tea Party debate, Paul also seemed to stand up for your freedom to die from lack of health insurance. Though Paul didn’t really directly answer Wolf Blitzer’s question “Should society just let [a hypothetical uninsured man in a coma] die?,” some in the audience sure did with lusty shouts of “Yeah!” Translation: “Go, Death! Thin the herd!”

Perhaps Paul, a doctor, is unaware of the study that was published in 2009, in the American Journal of Public Health. The epidemiological study by Harvard researchers compared deaths in carefully matched populations of people with and without health insurance. They calculated that there were approximately 44,789 deaths among Americans aged 18 to 64 years in 2005 associated with lack of health insurance. So, the truth is that we already let people die from lack of health insurance. But, apparently, some feel that we just don’t let enough people die.

And perhaps Paul simply forgot about the case of his former campaign chairman, Kent W. Snyder. By many accounts, Snyder was a fine and able young man who played a key role in Paul’s highly successful fundraising efforts. He helped to raise millions. But Snyder was unable to obtain health insurance on his own, due to a pre-existing condition. When he died at age 49 from pneumonia after spending two months in an intensive care unit, he left behind a hospital bill of some $400,000. I just wish Blitzer had had the presence of mind to ask both Paul and his vociferous supporters at the debate about what should have been done for Snyder. Since he couldn’t pay and didn’t have insurance, should he have been denied service at the hospital? Leaving a bill like that behind means the rest of us pick it up through high health insurance premiums.

It would also be good if folks like Blitzer would ask Paul about one of his other efforts to protect your freedom. Paul’s “We the People” Bill would essentially create a special class of state laws. For example, Paul’s HR 539 would prohibit the U.S. Supreme Court from ruling on any state or local laws that concern the establishment of religion; the right of privacy, including issues of sexual practices, orientation, or reproduction; or the right to marry without regard to sex or sexual orientation.

Basically, in his effort to “protect your freedom,” Paul’s law would make it possible for states to take your freedoms away. Texas could reinstate its sodomy laws, and Connecticut could bring back its laws against birth control. States could tell you whom you could marry and could require you and your child to pray as they see fit. States could also use their awesome power to compel even minors to go full term with pregnancies, even if they were due to acts of violent rape or incest.

Yes, Paul says he thinks the government should not intrude on your private life and your freedom to make decision for yourself. He believes you can handle the kinds of freedoms he proposes — like obeying the states no matter what they say.