Sean Hannity is a dolt who is nice to people (such as recently to Ron Paul) that he doesn't like only when it is to the advantage of himself or the shitpot network that he works for. Tim Russert didn't do too bad of a job interviewing Ron Paul on Meet the Press recently, but Bill Moyers is a cut above the rest. Moyers interviewed Ron Paul about his Presidential candidacy on PBS last night. He asked him tough questions, but he let him speak.
It's clear that Paul and Moyers disagree on at least some issues, but never once would you have known it from the consummate journalist or the consummate statesman. Neither once did Paul emit the hatred that his detractors constantly claim that he and his supporters exude. Paul, not limited to sound bites, gave a compelling reason, with policy examples, as to why he should be taken as a very serious contender for the highest office in the land. Unlike Fox News, Bill Moyers did not attempt to silence the presidential candidate.
Bill Moyers has let it be known that he does not support the war in Iraq, a position that Ron Paul also holds. He also abhors the domination of the American media landscape by, as he said in the Paul interview, "five major companies". But these, I think, are NOT the reasons that Bill Moyers was more courteous to Ron Paul than Fox News, who still will not invite Ron Paul to be a part of their New Hampshire "war hawk" debate, and ABC, who finally relented and invited Paul to appear on theirs.
Bill Moyers, although he and I likely disagree on more issues than not, is a champion of freedom.
I know Bill Moyers does not agree with Ron Paul on every issue, but he at least had the courtesy to let Congressman Paul express himself without trying to throw brickbats as some media types have.
Here are some of the issues that Mr. Moyers and Congressman Paul discussed:
- Media - US media is largely controlled by a small few, but the internet is allowing presidential candidates like Paul and Dennis Kucinich to get their messages out anyway.
- Republican Party -Moyers asked how he can belong to the "war party", the "big debt party" and the "Party of God". Ron Paul responded that the Republican platform--more clearly in years past--does not advocate any of these things. Rather, its leaders do, and most of the rest feel pressured (beholden?) to be loyal to the leader rather than to the principle.
- Government Spending and Programs - If we don't do something with our financial house, the entire country will be bankrupt. We should take care of those who need it, but if spend our money at home and introduce sound, free market principles and encourage people to take care of themselves, we can ensure a solvent government and a prosperous country.
- On the nickname "Dr. No" - Ron Paul believes that several current programs and behaviors should be phased out, and has tranisition programs for everything that he wants to get rid of: Federal Reserve, IRS, Social Security, troops in Iraq and the Middle East, etc.
- The Constitution - Ron Paul is not overly rigid about the Constitution, i.e. that he thinks it's perfect by any means. It's just that there is an appointed means to change it if we want it changed, and we haven't been good at that in recent decades. "Authorized Use[s] of Military Force" are not the same as Declarations of War, which is Congress' responsibility, rather than kowtowing to the President.
- Liberal/Conservative Love/Hate-fest - Liberals love Ron Paul because of his opposition to the Iraq war, but don't appreciate his views on social programs. Conservatives largely share his views on social programs but have tried to make him a pariah because of his stance on the war. But Congressman Paul believes that economic, political, and personal freedom are part of the same thing--'freedom freedom'.
- Religion - When asked specifically by Moyers, Ron Paul admitted that Mike Huckabee's wearing of his Christianity on his sleeve bothers him to a small degree, and he thinks that religion should not be flaunted. Paul has seldom attended Washington prayer breakfasts, because he feels they are flaunting of religion and media opportunites for those who go. Ron Paul is a believer, but doesn't flaunt it and doesn't think religion should seek to achieve its own publicity. He finds it very unsettling and ironic that that Mitt Romney might lose because of his religious beliefs, when we shouldn't even be asking those questions.
If I can convince just a handful of you Ron-Paul naysayers that you have been wrong in your assumptions about Congressman Paul, it will have been worth it as well.
This article appears in a slightly different format at OneUtah.org.