A late dispatch since we’re on Day 3, but Mr.Green and I stopped by yesterday before church. It looked like almost 20 tents, good spirits and peaceful. We were standing by General Burnside reading the posters. Again, the only presidential candidate with a presence here is Ron Paul, though one of his posters had a red, drippy ‘x’ painted on it, which I think indicates non-support.
A man in a union t-shirt came up and asked John, ‘As a Black man, do you have an opinion on Ron Paul?’ This was pretty direct, but he was asking an honest question– why do Black people generally not support Ron Paul?
John said that he thought Paul’s political philosophy in practice tended to social Darwinism, and he was unhappy with Paul’s desire to undo the Voting Rights Act. John’s family originally came from Selma, Alabama, and the Civil Rights Struggle, and the role of the Federal Government in protecting demonstrator’s persons and rights are part of his family’s living history. And John reads a lot.
I said that I cannot understand how a physician can politically support letting people die for lack of insurance. Paul supports a radical deregulation and privatization of health care, I wrote about here. I also had heard Ron Paul in a radio interview say that he thinks abortion is murder, but outlawing it should be left to the states. This is doubletalk to me. ‘You can’t shoot someone in RI and have it not be a crime in MA’, I said, but our questioner disagreed, pointing out that in places like Texas you can shoot lots of people legally. Still, if Ron Paul had said he considered abortion to be murder, but that he respected the right of the woman concerned to make that moral decision since it involves her own body I would say he is consistent in his Libertarian principles.
We had a disagreement about Libertarianism– I mentioned that Ron Paul is a Republican. Our questioner said that he’s only nominally a Republican, actually he’s a Libertarian. He is, however, running for president as a Republican and participated in the Republican debates.
I like Paul’s stand against the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and I am happy when he takes a stand I agree with, but I don’t think he has the answers.
I don’t want to throw a discordant note into our Kumbaya. Occupy Providence is the most politically diverse group I have ever demonstrated with, and that’s saying a lot. I don’t think any politician owns this energy, though many would like to. No politician has the power to undo decades of concentrating the wealth, even those who want to.
But reform that requires the wealthy and the corporations to pay their fair share, and directing that money to a new WPA would start us on the right track. Most of the country thinks we’re on the wrong track, and some are taking it to the streets.