I've always had trouble understanding the appeal of Ron Paul. My best guess is that people see clips from the Republican debates and see that he is the only candidate talking sense about the Iraq war (even while being derided by the others) and wrongly conclude that the rest of his opinions must be reasonable as well.
Alas, this is not the case.
Paul is a big enemy of abortion. Now, that's an strange view for the candidate of anti-paternalism to be taking.
Lest we think that Ron Paul's libertarian beliefs mean he isn't a conservative culture warrior, we may turn to the man's own words. In the article "the War on Religion", parts read as if they were plagiarized from Bill O'Reilly. Paul conceives of America as a Christian nation:
"The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance. "
That's right, Ron Paul doesn't believe in separation of church and state.
Ron Paul was the only member of the House who voted against renewing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Here's him on the house floor.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties.The statement boils down to this: Wal-Mart ought to be able to refuse to hire blacks.
Ron Paul's wishes to with every federal and international instition are scarey enough, and those are just the beliefs he admits to on the campaign trail. What he doesn't say is probably even scarier. The best evidence of Ron Paul's wing-nutty beliefs is the Ron Paul Newsletter, a publication published under his name for decades and containing the worst sort of racist, homophobic and pro-militia filth. The New Republic has the story.