Talk:Ron Paul/Archive 4

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Archive 3 | Archive 4 | Archive 5

Is Ron Paul a minarchist or an anarchist?

It is largely accepted that Ron Paul is a libertarian. But libertarians fall into two fundamental categories. So is Ron Paul a minarchist or an anarchist libertarian? Some anarchists feel that minarchists are not truly libertarian because they assume that any government requires some initiation of force (and thus is not true libertarianism), but many minarchist libertarians disagree, feeling that it is possible to establish a government based on consent and voluntary funding. A homeowners' association is arguably an example of a type of consensual/voluntary government. At any rate, what evidence is there for Ron Paul being either an anarchist or a minarchist? If he is a libertarian, he has to be one or the other, for there is no such thing as a libertarian who is neither anarchist nor minarchist. --Serge 23:23, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Do we need to get this specific? He's also labeled as a "conservative" rather than "paleoconservative" or "neoconservative".--Daveswagon 23:37, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, since he's working within the confines of the political system, I would say it would be a good guess that he is a minarchist. In interviews he hearkens back to the Constitution, a document which establishes a compulsory government. And homeowners associations are not consensual or voluntary. Dues can and are extracted from members who choose to live in a community with a homeowners association. Liens can be placed on properties which refuse. See the wikipedia article for more information. --D 23:52, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
When someone chooses to buy a home that falls under the auspices of a homeowners association, he is consenting by contract to abide by the CC&Rs. If he fails to do what he has agreed to do, like not pay his dues, then of course a lien may be placed on his property. But failing to meet one's end of a deal is fraudulent and a type of initiation of force, so the lien is not initiation of force. This is why homeowners associations are consensual and voluntary. No one is forced to buy a home within one. But if you do, you are also agreeing to the terms and conditions of buying a home there, including paying your dues on time. --Serge 00:19, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
You aren't forced to stay in the United States. By your definition our government is voluntary and consensual. But by being here you enter willingly into a contract with the government of the United States of America, agreeing to obey the laws of the land. (Suggested reading: "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine) And it could very well be in the future all homes will fall under a homeowners association, killing the consensual and voluntary part of the organization. The organization only remains voluntary and consensual up until the point that it's not that only option left, which makes it an unsustainable definition (it has boundary conditions which would void the definition). --D 00:36, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Please confine comments to discussion of improvements to the article. This talk page is huge enough. ←BenB4 01:03, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

According to the wikipedia article, minarchy "is the view that the size, role and influence of government in a free society should be minimal — only large enough to protect the liberty and property of each individual." Presumably one would still be a libertarian if they favored a few government policies or programs that require a government larger than that in a minarchy, as long as they don't go "too far". While Paul does indeed wish to massively reduce the size of government, I think his stand on immigration may be enough to disqualify him from being a minarchist.Granola Bars 02:50, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

There's no question that he's not an anarchist, but does every libertarian fall into one of the two above categories? There are many types of libertarians, and I don't think it's so cut and dried.--

I completely agree.Granola Bars 00:16, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Or to put it another way, those who reserve the term "libertarian" only for people who have a rigorous intellectual system of libertarianism, would probably do better to see Paul as a "conservative with libertarian instincts" than a libertarian. That's probably the more accurate description anyway. I think the main difference between him and other conservatives with libertarian instincts (Reagan, Gingrich) is that he puts what he thinks is right (for whatever reason, intellectual or not) ahead of what's good for the Republican Party.
(Yes, I voted for Russell Means. If I recall correctly, anyway; it was a long time ago.) --Trovatore 03:41, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Fixed Gay Marriage Again

I've fixed the part about Ron Paul's position on gay marriage to be more factually accurate. Apparently, BenB4 (or someone) keeps trying to vandalize this part to be misleading. At least now it's factually accurate. If BenB4 continues to vandalize this article, I think we should ban him from making edits. Wikipedia's job is to inform, not misinform. 04:55, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Actually it was probably me. This is a summary section for a whole article. It's supposed to be short. If you make changes keep it the same length and number of paragraphs. I just changed everything back. If you need to change things go ahead, just try and keep it short. There is a whole article intended to explain the nuances of his political positions. Turtlescrubber 05:07, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh OK, sorry. I trimmed it down a sentence. Hopefully, that does the job. If not, let me know. 05:13, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Without mentioning the vote against same-sex adoption along with the "understandably fear" and "profoundly hostile to liberty" quotes, I do not believe any description of his stance can be accurate. ←BenB4 06:03, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Sure, it can. He's talking about federal usurpation of state's powers, not about gay marriage. 17:45, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
The usurpation on states' powers to restrict personal liberties. And why do Americans "understandably fear" nationwide legalization of gay marriage? ←BenB4 22:13, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Because Ron Paul is a libertarian and as such, is against big government. So when said "fear" he wasn't talking about fear of gay marriage, he was talking about fear of big government, specifically a big federal government overruling what each state wants. 23:05, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I think you are reading too much into those comments. My recollection (don't have a cite) is that most US voters do oppose gay marriage (although I am not one of them), so it is quite understandable that Americans fear it. It's quite clear that Paul is concerned about federal intrusion into state regulation (which fully explains the vote), and it seems like you are doing original research to theorize on ulterior motives that Paul may have about the issue. Best regards. Jogurney 22:24, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
"Fear" is substantially different than "oppose." ←BenB4 22:39, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
What does what Americans "understandably fear" (whether true or not) have to do with a summary of Paul political stances?--Daveswagon 00:14, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I guess only people in the "secular, pro-gay left" understand this problem. ←BenB4 05:56, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
However, if Congress passed a law banning all gay marriage, the "secular, pro-gay left" might then come to "understandably fear" federal intrusion, right? ;) He is talking about federalism and the federal government overruling what states have set out for themselves as laws.--Gloriamarie 10:26, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

(back left) How is legislation designed to limit the Full Faith and Credit Clause for one issue only -- same-sex marriage -- not a deliberate attack on the Constitution and the individual rights of gays and lesbians to marry? ←BenB4 05:39, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

The legislation dealt with a Supreme Court ruling of the Full Faith and Credit clause that included any types of marriage (I believe it had to do expressly with polygamy at the time it was enacted. As I said, he wants states rather than judges to decide and if states decide to allow or ban gay marriage by referendum or passed laws, that's the way he believes it should be. That's his position and his reasoning behind it and his reasoning behind almost any law. IF you disagree with it, that's fine but this isn't a place for a debate on it.--Gloriamarie 08:18, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Replacing disputed sections

There is no policy or guideline stating that disputed sections should be censored from an article while a dispute is ongoing. I will allow a day or so for people to find such a policy or precedent if it exists, but if there indeed is no such thing I will be replacing the disputed sections. The censorship of them amounts to more de facto bias than inserting anyone's compromise proposal. ←BenB4 06:08, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, removing the newsletter section was the ONLY way to get YOU to actually DISCUSS changes. Sorry about the caps for emphasis but I think it was quite productive in pulling your proverbial teeth. Anyway, when you do put it back in use the most recent compromise version. If Marie makes her changes before then, than we can talk about that. Before you put it back in we should also nail down where it should go. Also, it wasn't censored and there was no bias, you still can't help but use loaded and inflammatory words huh? The only reason things were "censored" is that you had no inclination to compromise. Glad to see you have come around a bit. As for the other section, shouldn't you guys discuss that? As far as I know, you are the only editor that likes that section. Turtlescrubber 06:15, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm the one that suggested this, and perhaps it's not compliant with all Wikipedia policies. As I said before, I had seen other editors do this where there was edit-warring over disputed content (as we experienced with this section). I think it has served us well, and there is no need to make claims of "de facto censorship". You are free to replace the section in the article if you are so bothered by it's temporary absence. Best regards. Jogurney 14:08, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I am in support of putting in the section currently under the "Newsletter article controversy (proposed compromise section w/small changes)" it seems to be a good compromise which can be edited over time and has no major complaints/agreeable counter suggestions that I am aware of, I feel it is important to get something up soon and to get the neutrality flag off the top of the page. Enelson 20:37, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Section neutrality

I think we have made good progress. I think the removal of all political positions from the intro satisfies my concerns about the way they are presented, so I moved the {{NPOV}} tag down to a {{POV-section}}. I still think we should have a couple of paragraphs in the intro where as many of his major positions as possible are mentioned, and all of those should be supported by one or two positions per sentence in the intro. I realize this position is not supported by everyone, but again I ask, is there any argument against it apart from WP:OTHERSTUFF? There are plenty of arguments for including such a summary on this very talk page where people report that is what they have come looking for.

Also, someone needs to get the Barbara Jordan apology quote in the newsletter section as we agreed, I don't have time to find it right now.  DoneBenB4 16:20, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Oh, so this is where you mention the lead. I am absolutely against, "a couple of paragraphs in the intro where as many of his major positions as possible are mentioned". There is no reason to do this at all. Turtlescrubber 14:25, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
There have been a couple of paragraphs in the intro on his political positions for the past four months at least. ←BenB4 22:19, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
What does that have to do with anything? Turtlescrubber 22:49, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Political position summary in the lead

Let's make a list of all the arguments for and against putting a summary of political positions in the lead. Please add to this list: ←BenB4 21:56, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Paul's positions are very different than his or any other political party
  • Most people searching for him on Wikipedia will be looking for his positions more than for his history
    • examples are in comments here on this talk page
  • Most people so far know very little about Paul's positions
  • Paul himself considers his positions to be some of his defining characteristics
  • WP:LEAD recommends three paragraphs for an article this size
  • Paul is a candidate for U.S. President
  • Not all articles on presidential candidates have political positions in the lead, and those that do usually have less than a handful
  • It is hard to summarize some of his positions because they are nuanced
  • We don't yet agree about how to present his positions on subjects like same-sex marriage and adoption rights and gun ownership rights
  • Some of his positions are controversial
    • WP:LEAD says major controversies should be summarized, and I think his positions are much more important than the newsletter article ←BenB4 22:01, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I disagree with your summary. Other Republicans (and other politicians) share some or many of Paul's political positions. Speculation about the motives of "most people searching for him on Wikipedia" is not an appropriate "for" argument. Do you have any evidence that "most people" "know very little" about his political positions (other than the overwhelming majority of voters who are completely unaware of his candidacy)?
There are many questions on this talk page about his positions, and very few if any about the other topics in the article (there are corrections, supplements, and commentary, but not questions.) The fact that the overwhelming majority of voters are completely unaware of his candidacy implies that most people know very little about his positions. ←BenB4 23:24, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Questions on the talk page aren't necessarily the best way to gauge readers of the article; it's unscientific at best. If people don't have questions or concerns, they're not going to ask them on the talk page. There's a simple reason for this anyway- political positions are usually not just cut-and-dried, whereas other aspects of a biography are. If the article says he's married for 50 years, people aren't going to ask questions about whether he is married or not. If the article says he went to Duke Medical School, no one's going to come and ask if that's a mistake and did he go to Harvard instead. --Gloriamarie 16:57, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Another "against" argument you may want to consider:
  • It is difficult to determine which of Paul's political positions are notable enough to include in the summary.
    • There is insufficient space to summarize all of his political positions.
Best regards. Jogurney 22:15, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The notability guidelines apply to whether articles should be included or not. When the subjects are notable, the articles about them are supposed to be comprehensive, and when they run out of room according to the guidelines, then we are supposed to make WP:SUMMARYs as we have with political positions. I am not suggesting including every single position, just those that editors feel are important or defining. ←BenB4 23:24, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Jogurney has excellent points, and I agree with them.--Gloriamarie 10:21, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps I shouldn't have used the word "notable" since I wasn't refering to a Wikipedia guideline. Regardless, based on your last sentence, I think you understand my point. Jogurney 20:02, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
  • It's worth noting that most other Wikipedia pages on presidential candidates don't seem to have positions in the intro. John McCain's lead has no mention of them at all; Hillary Clinton's lead lists major things she was involved with in the past, but doesn't specifically note any positions. John Edwards, too, has a sort of 'employment history', but no real positions; Rudy Giuliani's lead lists what he did as mayor of New York, but doesn't go into positions. Mitt Romney's lead barely even mentions that he's a candidate at all. The only exception is Barack Obama, who gets one sentence near the end, and who seems to be the only candidate out of the ones I looked at whose lead mentions Iraq at all. Significantly, not a single candidate lists vague descriptors such as 'liberal', 'conservative', 'libertarian', and so on. While we don't use other articles as precedent, most of those have gotten a lot more work than this one, and I think it's fair to say that their solutions can be good guidelines here... I think we should avoid using vague political-philosophy terms like libertarian in the intro, since they encompass a large number of different schools of thought and can mean different things to different people ('libertarian' in particular is extremely problematic, since it has different meanings in different parts of the world--depending on where you go, 'libertarian' and 'liberal' can swap meanings, while in places they can mean the same thing or be diametric opposites.) There's not enough space in the lead to explain that. For other political positions... it is certainly problematic for us to decide, ourselves, that some views are more important than others and put only those in the lead. (Possibly the reason Barack Obama has that sentence listed is because, as a relative newcomer, the major views he's expressed are still few enough to be skimmed fairly in a single sentence.) It could also be difficult to cover a politician's views in enough depth to give them justice. It would probably be best if we could encapsulate the subject's complete political philosophy in one paragraph, yes, but I'm not sure it's possible to do that in any way that is even accurate, nevermind NPOV. Given the choice between a potentally inaccurate or biased description of their politics in the lead, or none at all, I think we'd be better off going for none at all... we can still cover these views in the depth they deserve elsewhere. --Aquillion 01:48, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
I think that since there is a section in the article about Ron Paul's political positions, then according to WP:LEAD, we need to include a summary of that section. This may be only one or two sentences as the rest of the lead should devote space to summarize the other sections in the article. If other sections are deemed not sufficient for the lead (not important), then we should consider the structure of the article and the weight we're giving to a section. In the end, we should have two – three paragraphs that properly summarize the article as a whole, which should include at least one sentence from each major section. I think we need to include his political positions and the question should be how many sentences we need to properly summarize that section in a neutral and meaningful way. Morphh (talk) 13:43, 02 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I second that. One of the reasons that he is notable (and seems to be gaining notability) is his political positions and their place in the political US landscape now. Simply to make the article an interesting read (which is very much part of the fun of reading an encyclopedia) his political positions should be in the summary. If the other candidates have much less space in the lead, then perhaps it could be made shorter. Janbrogger 13:47, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Whatever the final consensus, the summaries of Paul's positions inserted into the lead up to now have been rather POV. Examples include passages such as:
  • Ron Paul has a strong constitutionalist and libertarian voting record.
As Aquillion notes above, this use of the term libertarian may be problematic for an international audience. Additionally, whose judgement is it that he holds a "strong" voting record in these respects?
  • As congressman, he has never voted to raise taxes or to approve an unbalanced budget and has also called for the abolition of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the federal income tax.
Inappropropriately laudatory in tone. Gosh, who among the electorate doesn't like the idea of abolishing taxes? But doesn't Paul also want to abolish or significantly privatize Social Security? Why doesn't that warrant mentioning? Possibly because it's not an electable position.
  • Because of his dislike of the way goverment spends money it does not have
Inappropriate POV tone for the article.
  • he has been a strong critic of the method of debt-based credit creation called fractional reserve banking advocating instead for a method of resembliling debt-free money creation to be achieved perhaps via monetary reform.
I'm not sure what this means, but I think it's a little specific for the lead.
--Proper tea is theft 18:38, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
If Paul is in favor of abolishing the Social Security system, I think that would be important enough to include in a summary of his political positions. However, I suspect his position is more complex that simple abolition of the system. That is the danger of summarizing his political positions. Jogurney 20:05, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Paul does not want to abolish Social Security; he in fact says he is the only member of Congress who has never voted to borrow from it to fund other things. I agree that privatizing Social Security may not be electable, since George W. Bush wasn't elected those two times ; Ron Paul does not want to do that, he just wants to allow young people to opt out if they so choose. It doesn't warrant mentioning because it is not his view. Paul abolishing the IRS is different than many politicians because he actually wants to do this, would decrease spending to do it, and has sponsored many bills that would do just that.--Gloriamarie 10:21, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
In fact he doesn't want to abolish social security, only to make it optional. However, as the system depends on each new generation of contributors to pay out to the older people it supports, if more than a tenth of wage earners opted out the system would quickly go into deficit. ←BenB4 01:40, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Point taken, though the practical difference is negligible in my view. Anyway, I hope it was clear that I wasn't really suggesting that the intro state that Paul wants to "abolish" Social Security. My concern is that the tone and style of the position summaries that have appeared in the intro, and especially the one that I have removed, violate WP:NPOV.--Proper tea is theft 15:12, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
There's actually quite a difference between those two views to many people. How do the political positions that have appeared so far specifically violate NPOV? The ones that have appeared the most-- libertarian or constitutionalist ideas, not voting against the Constitution, Iraq War, abolition of income tax-- are the ones that he emphasizes as the most important of his political positions and talks about the most. IF political positions were going to appear in John Edwards' intro, it would make sense to mention "Two Americas" rather than other issues, because that's what Edwards chooses to focus on. If it's not judged by that standard, who would decide what is notable and what's not? Free trade might be the most important to me, and Social Security might be the most important issue to someone else.--Gloriamarie 10:21, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

My original idea was to list the important things he supports in one sentence, followed by the things he opposes in another, followed by one or two sentences each for the remaining important but more complicated issues. This was not popular, but the criticism mostly centered around the wording I had chose and almost always had merit. The revised version has been the third paragraph of Political positions of Ron Paul for three or so weeks now, and has been readily adapted and improved by other editors. I think it would make a great second or third paragraph here. And for the other second or third paragraph here, again, I think we should at least mention his specific votes against the Iraq War, the USA PATRIOT Act, and the Military Commissions Act, which have been very close to defining issues of our time here in the U.S. ←BenB4 01:48, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Has that paragraph really been on the other article for three weeks? I edited it about a week ago and perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't recall seeing that paragraph. "War on Drugs" should be "federal War on Drugs". I don't see how "funding for same sex adoption" is important enough for the lead to a biographical article.--Gloriamarie 10:09, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Additional point on the international audience aspect: this is a common occurrence in Wikipedia, I've dealt with it before, and you usually just must go with the language of the country that the article most involves. A British article on transportation would say "lorry" rather than "truck" and "saloon car" rather than "sedan", with a wikilink to an article that explains the meaning for those who don't understand. The British equivalent for American "libertarian" is actually "liberal", but there aren't too many Wikipedia articles on American Democrats that avoid the use of the word liberal on account of these international audiences. It becomes too difficult, and it amounts to a cherry-picking of which words will be used and which will not.--Gloriamarie 14:45, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

position summary

JLMadrigal has inserted the following position sumamry:

Ron Paul has a strong constitutionalist and libertarian voting record. He is an advocate of states' rights, free trade, fewer taxes, smaller government, strong national sovereignty, and non-interventionism.[2]Paul supports reduced government spending and reduced taxes. As congressman, he has never voted to raise taxes or to approve an unbalanced budget and has also called for the abolition of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the federal income tax.[3] Paul has been named "The Taxpayer's Best Friend" by the National Taxpayers Union every year he has been in Congress.[4]

This is an improvement over one that I removed before, but it still suffers from many of the same deficiencies I described above. While this may be "factual" as JLMadrigal argues in his edit summary, so are many advertisements, and the tone of this is nearly indistinguishable from that an ad or a website bio.

A couple of specific examples:

  • Ron Paul has a strong constitutionalist and libertarian voting record.

Says who? This seems like original research to me. I think a better approach here might be to note that he has a history with the Libertarian party or a relationship with libertarians.

  • Paul has been named "The Taxpayer's Best Friend" by the National Taxpayers Union every year he has been in Congress.

Respectfully--so what? Why does this get a spot in the lead?

  • As congressman, he has never voted to raise taxes or to approve an unbalanced budget

Overall, I'm not opposed to a position summary, but would it be possible to write one that sounds less like a press release? --Proper tea is theft 22:50, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, nobody has ever accused me of being pro-Paul, but I think those statements are accurate, not particularly biased, supported by sources in the article, and important enough to go in the lead. ←BenB4 23:32, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I object more to the tone than to any perceived lack of factuality, but fair enough. Maybe it's just me.--Proper tea is theft 00:34, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
In many ways he is a remarkable politician, and plain statements about him often end up sounding like boasts. The word "strong" for example, but "strong constitutionalist" has a specific meaning and gets more than 1,000 ghits. ←BenB4 00:40, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
So can we remove the blasted POV flags already? JLMadrigal 11:05, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I'd prefer to hear from some other editors. --Proper tea is theft 13:22, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I think we should remove the tags as this is a content/style dispute and is in no way a pov issue. Anyway, I just removed a second paragraph of political positions from the intro, there is No reason for there to be two paragraphs. I also think the Proper Teas has some valid points. I think it would be easier to remove the political postions summary from the lead entirely as it really isn't necessary. Instead, we could summarize his life and career. Crazy huh? But as PT has mentioned, the version that is currently in the lead is a bit fluffy and really should be worked over before it's finalized. Turtlescrubber 14:29, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
There are reasons to include both paragraphs: In addition to those that I have listed, others have expressed concern that including the small number in now is cherrypicking. I wholeheartedly agree -- look at what's in there now, hagiography about his proudest accomplishments and very little on what ordinary people care about -- so am replacing the other paragraph. ←BenB4 22:15, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
So the answer to reducing concerns about pov is to add more contentious material. There is no agreement to have any positions and now you add a second paragraph. Why don't we actually summarize the article?Turtlescrubber 22:51, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Go for it. Put up what you think summarizes the article, and we'll compare your preferred comprehensive summary and my attempt at covering the political positions. ←BenB4 23:38, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Don't have the time and don't really care that much. That's why I said "we". I was just pointing out the proper way to write an intro and maintain npov. Your "preferred version" is very suitable for the Political Positions of Ron Paul article. Why don't you add it over there. Turtlescrubber 04:05, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
It has been there for three weeks now, and I've been updating it as objections were raised here; others have been editing it, too, and I've merged their changes back here. I moved it down to the positions section where I hope you don't object to it. The problem now is that there is nothing controversial in the lead, and WP:LEAD says we are to touch on major controversies, and that the lead for an article this size should be three paragraphs. How do you propose that we balance that? ←BenB4 05:33, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
What major controversies has Paul had?--Gloriamarie 10:05, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
There's the newsletter thing, but I've always thought that his positions have been more controversial which is why I've been putting them in the lead. ←BenB4 17:26, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
The newsletter can't be classified as a "major controversy"... and all politicians' political positions are controversial.--Gloriamarie 21:11, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

I would prefer to remove the "Taxpayer's Best Friend" part. One special interest group's opinion of Paul isn't particularly notable for the lead, especially when we already say he has never voted to raise taxes (which gets the point across pretty well, I think).--Daveswagon 23:09, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Done. ←BenB4 05:33, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

"*Ron Paul has a strong constitutionalist and libertarian voting record. Says who? This seems like original research to me. I think a better approach here might be to note that he has a history with the Libertarian party or a relationship with libertarians." The wording sounds a bit POV and I preferred it the previous way, but there are many, many sources for that assertion.--Gloriamarie 10:04, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

I think the words "constitutionalist" and "libertarian" have pretty clear definitions. Cannot we also not say he is non-interventionist, pro-life, or pro-gun either because such claims are "original research"? For one thing, the way to prove Paul is not a constitutionalist is to cite evidence where he advocated or voted to violate the constitution. Does someone have such evidence?--Daveswagon 01:36, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
OnTheIssues identifies him as a "Moderate Liberarian"[1]--Daveswagon 04:04, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
It's pretty easy to find sources saying that Paul is a libertarian. Here's one: [2] Operation Spooner 04:51, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
The New York Times also says this.--Gloriamarie 14:47, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Um, what do finding sources for libertarian have to do with anything? Isn't the dispute over the phrase, "strong constitutionalist and libertarian voting record." Apples and oranges. Turtlescrubber 21:01, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I believe the NYT and probably many other sources are available to corroborate that, but the wording now is better anyway so the point is irrelevant.--Gloriamarie 16:52, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

minarchism (using a google search to reference claims)

So Ron Paul is also the president of Christmas, apparently.

Seriously, this is not a proper source for the claim that Paul is referred to as a minarchist. All that finds is web pages where "ron paul" and "minarachist" are mentioned together. It utterly fails WP:V, so I'll be removing it, again.--Proper tea is theft 00:04, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Please kindly review WP:Reverting, in particular: WP:REVERT#Do_not. This is from that page:
  • Do not revert changes simply because someone makes an edit you consider problematic, biased, or inaccurate. Improve the edit, rather than reverting it.
If you have an issue with the citation, then improve the citation. Don't revert the whole edit. Thanks. --Serge 00:17, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
From WP:V: The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged should be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation. I felt that the lead was getting a little crowded with things people call Ron Paul, and I didn't really feel like chasing down sources for your assertions. Thanks. --Proper tea is theft 00:22, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Also from WP:V: Any edit lacking a source may be removed, but editors may object if you remove material without giving them a chance to provide references. If you want to request a source for an unsourced statement, consider moving it to the talk page. Alternatively, you may tag the sentence by adding the {{fact}} template, or tag the article by adding {{Not verified}} or {{Unreferenced}}. Leave an invisible HTML comment, a note on the talk page, or an edit summary explaining what you have done. There are several alternatives to simply reverting, even if you're feeling lazy. Thanks. --Serge 00:27, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

I haven't seen any mainstream reliable source (or any source for that matter) call him a minarchist, so I'm not sure why it would merit inclusion in the article. The article is for reporting what reliable sources say about him.--Gloriamarie 16:41, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Especially in the intro! If it has been mentioned, it it surely not on the level as he has been described as a libertarian, conservative, etc.--Gloriamarie 16:50, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
If so, then tag it with {{fact}}, don't just revert it. See above for why. Thanks. --Serge 18:33, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me that having a source or tagging it for "fact" was only part of the issue. It appears that the main reason it was removed was for undue weight. I think it was proper to remove it and discuss on the talk page the merits of inclusion (once verifiable sources were presented). Morphh (talk) 18:48, 07 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I have three issues: 1. Factual accuracy. Please cite a source backing it up on this talk page. 2. Whether this belongs in the article at all. 3. Being in the intro, if it does belong in the article. Even if one or two sources say this, it's not on the level of the number of times he has been called libertarian, conservative, or constitutionalist, which is the sentence it's been inserted into, and to juxtapose it with those implies that he is just as commonly described as a minarchist, which is not the case. As an example I can remember of how something similar was treated, even one of the most famous paleoconservatives, for instance, Pat Buchanan, is not referred to that way in his article (see his talk page) because it was deemed to not add anything to the article and he doesn't refer to himself as such, even though he is commonly referred to that way in the press. Something like this should to be discussed on the talk page and agreed upon.--Gloriamarie 19:03, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Come on, folks. Undo weight? You've got to be kidding. The example cited at undo weight is representing the minority view that the earth is flat on the page about the earth. There is no question that Ron Paul is a minarchist. He is certainly not an anarchist, and he is a libertarian who believes in small government. Therefore, he is a minarchist, by definition. You cannot find a single citation of anyone anywhere questioning whether Paul is a minarchist (now compare that count of zero to the countless number of sources you can find questioning the claim that the earth is flat). Now, the fact that the term is not quite in the mainstream yet is another matter, and that's why official sources using that particular term are hard to find. But it is, for better or for worse, within the Wikipedia lexicon, and, so arguably is appropriate to reference within a Wikipedia article about an obvious minarchist. --Serge 19:25, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

No, we'd need a reliable source per WP:RS -- all I can find is a bunch of bloggers; can't you find a reporter using the term? ←BenB4 19:42, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Why? WP:RS clearly states:
Wikipedia:Verifiability says that any material that is challenged or likely to be challenged needs a source, as do quotations
Is anyone challenging the depiction of Ron Paul as a minarchist? Seriously? Ron Paul is arguably a quintessential minarchist! What is the basis of your challenge? And, again, since the term is not yet fully accepted in the mainstream, it's difficult to find a reporter using it. But it is in the Wikipedia lexicon. --Serge 20:00, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't know whether it's true or not, but I know that no one in the mainstream press has referred to him that way. He is also in favor of a minimal government at the federal level; he has not said that state governemnts should be gotten rid of as far as I know (besides the usual unnecessary bureaucracy, of course), and it seems that a minarchist would not be in favor of any type of state government. I don't know that much about it, though. It would need a reliable source.--Gloriamarie 22:41, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Again, of course no one in the main stream press has used a term that it not yet in the main stream. It is not true that a minarchist would not be in favor of any type of state government. Where did you get that idea? Perhaps the most succinct definition of a minarchist is "a libertarian who is not an anarchist". Because so many libertarians are anarchists, I think it's important to clarify that Ron Paul is a minarchist libertarian (not an anarchist libertarian). By saying he is simply a libertarian, we're not being clear on that point. --Serge 22:53, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
He's running for president as a Republican. I think that he's not an anarchist is pretty much understood. --Trovatore 22:55, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
An anarchist can run for president. Trying to eliminate as much government as possible through any means available is consistent with philosophical anarchism. Paul may well be a philosophical anarchist. He does have a picture of anarchist Murray Rothbard on the wall in his office. If he is though, he probably wouldn't admit it due to political repercussions. Operation Spooner 23:08, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, in that case ... --Serge 23:23, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
An anarchist can run for president -- but is unlikely to run as a Republican. --Trovatore 23:32, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Very true. And many people have a photo of, for instance, Jim Morrison on their wall... that doesn't mean they're a rock star themselves. It's pretty clear he's NOT an anarchist. If no one in the mainstream press ever uses this term minarchist, why should Wikipedia? While many people may think that libertarians are anarchists (I've actually heard a former governor say that at a speech once), a link to the article on libertarianism should set them straight on that point. I don't see the point of using an obscure word to clarify something that not everyone may even be thinking.-- 00:19, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

"votes against almost all federal funding"

Does he really vote against almost all federal funding? The source cited in support of that doesn't say it. It says he votes against almost everything he sees as federal "overreaching" or that interferes with the free market. Other sources only say he votes against expanded spending, increased taxes, and unbalanced budgets. Is there anything that says he actually votes against almost all spending? ←BenB4 08:14, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

According to his voting record here, he seemingly votes "no" the majority of the time on everything. There was a defense appropriation (for construction) and some border fence/security things he voted "yes" on but not a lot of other federal spending that I could find.--Daveswagon 02:14, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
The gist is that he thinks almost all federal spending is "overreaching" what the federal gov. should do-- which is basically, defend the country and provide for military veterans and everything else should fall to the states.- 00:12, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
We can't include gist, we need a reliable source that says it. ←BenB4 03:58, 12 August 2007 (UTC)


Can you people not decide on which picture of RP's will grace the top of the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The other ones got deleted because they were uploaded with uncertain copyright status. I tried to save the one before last which I thought looked better but someone apparently speedied it as uncertain status, possibly replaceable fair use. ←BenB4 10:15, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the last one before this one is much better but seems to keep getting deleted. However, it seems to be an official Congressional portrait and at the very least, released by his campaign, so I'm not sure why it keeps getting deleted.-- 00:09, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Because whoever uploaded it last time gave a source which (1) was copyrighted by the campaign, and (2) did not actually include the picture they uploaded. I tried to save it with {{promo}} but some admin obviously didn't think that was good enough (because it's replaceable, almost certainly.) Does anyone have the real URL to the better previous pic? ←BenB4 04:35, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Neturality Neutrality

I know this might be a sore subject, but I nominated this article on behalf of the neutrality standard. I feel like this article was written by a Ron Paul supporter. That in itself isn't a problem, but I some aspects of the author's bias show in the writing. I wanted to nominate it for a neutrality check because, as we approach the elections, it's important that we use Wikipedia for unbiased information, not political stumping. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

We do still need a third paragraph in the intro for an article this size, according to WP:LEAD. Since the 2nd paragraph of the lead at present is nothing but the accomplishments of which his supporters are most proud, I think we should summarize his controversial positions such as the Sanctity of Life Act, his comments about gay marriage, the fact he wants to pull out of NATO and the UN, the federal agencies he wants to dismantle, and the newsletter remarks incident, in the lead, too. What do other people think? ←BenB4 22:49, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

I would say no to more political positions. There is a whole article on political positions and a summary section in this article. There is no reason to have a two paragraph summary of the three paragraph summary of a different article. Turtlescrubber 23:54, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
A third paragraph could consist of what college/universities he attended, his medical and maybe military career, etc., to summarize what the article consists of. I agree, no more political positions.-- 00:07, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, if that's the consensus I'm going to insist on a lengthier exposition of his contoversial positions in the summary section. ←BenB4 02:55, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Are you going to take your ball and go home too? They are summary sections. Balance the positive and negatives and keep the section short. You might want to propose changes on the talk page so only the bare minimum of reverts happen. Turtlescrubber 02:59, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
How do you propose to satisfy the instruction in WP:LEAD that controversies should be summarized in the lead? ←BenB4 04:03, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
The newsletter controversy? Turtlescrubber 05:41, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
I've always been of the opinion that his positions are more controversial than the newsletter dust-up, because I believe him when he says an employee wrote it without him reviewing it first. A lot of his positions are in the 0-5% support range. If we can't agree, and I'm willing to drop it if you're sure we shouldn't have any more positions in the lead, then I guess we should add the college, his medical, and military career stuff instead as suggested above. But if we do that, I think we should mention at least the Sanctity of Life Act in the intro with all his proud accomplishments. ←BenB4 06:21, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Again? The "neturality" issue has already been decided. Shame on you Ben and Turtle for not removing the illicit tag yourselves. JLMadrigal 14:09, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
If you have been reading this page you know that I still have neutrality concerns. Let me ask you: How would you satisfy the WP:LEAD instruction to describe the major controversies in the lead? ←BenB4 16:52, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
"...and briefly describing its notable controversies, if there are any." (No notable controversies) "...The lead should not "tease" the reader by hinting at but not explaining important facts that will appear later in the article..." (Since the disputed summaries are nuanced, as you have said, they would do just that.) JLMadrigal 00:28, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
You are saying there are no notable controversies? The newsletter thing has appeared in major reliable sources. Saying "Paul was criticized when a newsletter article was published under his name with derogatory comments about African-Americans and other politicians" isn't a tease. Withdrawing from NATO is controversial because it has essentially 0% support in the US. Articles have appeared in major reliable sources about treating embryos as people. The list goes on. ←BenB4 00:48, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
The Ron Paul media blackout. Now THAT'S notable, and well documented. Would you object if it were mentioned in the intro? JLMadrigal 13:01, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

H.R. 4379 [109th]: We the People Act

The We the People Act needs to be discussed. It would have:

  1. Prohibited federal courts from hearing:
    1. "any claim based upon the right of privacy, including any such claim related to any issue of sexual practices, orientation, or reproduction;" and
    2. "any claim based upon equal protection of the laws to the extent such claim is based upon the right to marry without regard to sex or sexual orientation."
  2. Allowed state courts to disobey standing federal precedent on the above issues; and
  3. Prohibited federal courts from making any ruling which expends funds or "imposes taxes."[3]

This shows clearly that Paul cares more for states' rights than individual rights: If this bill had become law, states would again be able to outlaw homosexuality, abortion, and any sex act. The bill explicitly references gay marriage (1.2) in a way that would do nothing to protect it; only to allow states to outlaw it. It would also severely limit the ability of the federal judiciary in a way that would have prevented:

  • enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment, to the extent that such enforcement would have required any money, or that freeing slaves constituted taxation of slave owners;
  • suffrage, because all those extra ballots for women would have cost money;
  • desegregation, to the extent that it required expenditure;
  • legalization of abortion;
  • discrimination laws protecting gays and lesbians;
  • requiring government buildings to comply with accessibility laws;
  • the abolition of sodomy laws;
  • any order for the government to comply with a law that required any money;
  • requiring translation services in for battered women seeking restraining orders in family court; and
  • a whole lot more.

I find this very disturbing. I fully realize that we must have a reliable source which states these problems, and I'm looking for one. ←BenB4 09:23, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Gasp. Paul actually believes in the Constitution and doesn't like the federal government.
You're looking at it the wrong way Ben. What he supports also means that a state can legalize homosexuality, abortion, or any sex act. He leaves it up to the states. If the people of Alabama vote for no gay marriage, then they shouldn't have the federal government force it down their throats. If Californians vote FOR gay marriage, then the federal government can't stop them. This is what Ron Paul supports. His quote about forcing other states to recognize gay marriages is again just this issue. He thinks it is wrong to regulate marriage on a federal level, period. Every state has its own marriage laws, and Ron Paul just wants to extend the notion to gay marriage.--Cheszmastre 18:43, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
States can legalize those things as it is. The only thing this act does is allows the States to outlaw them without any possibility of being overruled by the federal judiciary enforcing the Constitution. The Act is diametrically opposed to libertarian ideals and shows the true social conservative nature of Paul. If you believe in the Constitution, then you believe in federal government. ←BenB4 20:43, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
No, as Cheszmastre already pointed it out to you, it also allows the States to legalize without being overruled by the federal government. 23:23, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

But those who believe in the Constitution don't believe in a powerful federal government. And libertarians are pro-decentralization. The federal government extending it's reach beyond that of which they believe to be Constitutional is a major grievance libertarians have, regardless of whether they agree that the policies suggested would be beneficial if applied by the states. Granola Bars 21:21, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Who says libertarians are pro-decentralization? Libertarians are pro-liberty. The Equal Protection Clause is pro-liberty. This bill is authoritarian, pure and simple. ←BenB4 21:32, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Libertarians are indeed pro-liberty, and pro-decentralization is seen as being part of this. Really, I'm rather surprised this even needs to be explained. Granola Bars 21:41, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Granola Bars: me and several others keep trying to explain it to BenB4, but he never listens. BenB4 constantly tries to twist this article to fit his political agenda. Why we keep letting him have input on this article is beyond me. 23:28, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Liberty and decentralization are entirely orthogonal. You can have a large free state and a lot of little totalitarian states. ←BenB4 22:31, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Oh, it's probably possible, or at least its conceivable anyways, to have a large, heavily centralized state that is "free." Is it likely? No. Granola Bars 22:44, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

That's your opinion, unsupported I gather. And off the topic of the bill. I presume that you have no evidence that it was designed to do anything other than allow the states to restrict personal liberty, do you? ←BenB4 23:41, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

There are many, many libertarians that believe what I said. It's rather odd to be lectured on what they do or do not believe when the evidence is so glaringly different. Granola Bars 00:32, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

So you say. Is there any evidence contrary to the fact that the only freedom this bill provides is the freedom for states to restrict specific individual liberties? ←BenB4 00:37, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

The Congressional Research Service provided this summary of the bill [4]. It appears to be an effort to limit the powers of the federal courts to interfere with legislative branch duties (such as levying taxes) and to ajudicate on certain matters: (1) state rules involving the establishment/free exercise clauses; (2) right to privacy; and (3) right to marry based on the equal protection clause. All of these appear consistent with a libertarian outlook except (2) and (3). I suspect that Paul believes that those "rights" are not conferred by the Constitution and that is his basis for limiting federal courts' standing over claims based on them. I think we should be careful in editorializing about what this proposal may or may not have prevented (especially claims such as the abolition of slavery). I also wonder how significant the bill is, since it never left committee. Paul did introduce it, and it is reflective of his political views, but perhaps it makes the most sense to mention it in the political positions article. Best regards. Jogurney 16:42, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

The summary is just a recap of the bill's text. The only effect removing federal court jurisdiction would have is to allow the states to outlaw the activities. It would not do anything to advance personal liberty. And it says plainly that the courts can't make any orders that spend any money or charge any taxes. I haven't been able to find any reliable sources which discuss the bill, so I'm unable to say much about it. ←BenB4 16:56, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Wouldn't removing federal court jurisdiction also allow states to legalize the activities?
Sadly, no. The jurisdiction is removed only for claims based on the right of privacy and the Equal Protection Clause. If there is a federal law prohibiting an activity, the government can still bring a case based on that law. It only facilitates prohibition. ←BenB4 23:43, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I just looked up the actual text of the law, and the first very power is "(A) any claim involving the laws, regulations, or policies of any State or unit of local government relating to the free exercise or establishment of religion". It looks like it's about state's rights again. It's interesting that you somehow ommitted this from your original post. 01:28, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
That's not a power, that's another category of cases that would be removed from federal court jurisdiction. I didn't mention it because as far as I can tell, it's only designed to prevent Establishment Clause restrictions on nativity scenes, displays of the Ten Commandments, etc. I think that's pretty minor, in the scheme of things. It does go directly against Paul's statement that he's opposed to official religion. I have it on good authority that Jews think nativity scenes in town halls are not the way they want to have their taxes spent. And in any case, it only concerns, "any State or unit of local government," not individual rights and liberty. ←BenB4 06:28, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Wrong again, BenB4. I doubt most people would agree with you that freedom of religion is "pretty minor". Yes, it's about states rights. Isn't that what I just said? Jeez.... 14:15, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Look, both sides here are getting way too much into the merits. There are lots of places to argue the merits of the bill, but here we're just supposed to report the facts. Ben, you've been putting too much of your own analysis into the article (for example the claim that the bill to state that life begins at conception would have resulted in treating abortion as murder, sourced only to an advocacy website -- the claims that abolishing the IRS would result in regressive taxation are also excessive personal analysis). I think the Paul supporters have been doing the same thing though I don't have examples off the top of my head. --Trovatore 08:43, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I have two mass-media sources saying that defining fetuses as people makes abortion murder, and sources for the fact that national sales taxes are regressive, too. Others have indicated they believe their should be some mention of the We The People Act, but in the absence of discussion in reliable sources, I'm not sure what we can say supported by the bill's text. ←BenB4 08:49, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
That's still too much original synthesis. What you need are notable figures criticizing specifically Paul's actions in these regards, not sources saying as a general matter that sales taxes are regressive or that a definition would result in treating abortion as murder. --Trovatore 09:02, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Is there a policy or guideline that agrees? If "Paul supports X" then we are allowed to quote from sources that explain the implications of X. ←BenB4 10:31, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
In non-controversial articles on some technical subject, people might let you get away with that if it's helpful for the reader. In an article like this one I'm afraid someone's going to insist on applying WP:OR#Synthesis of published material serving to advance a position. Might be me, even though I'm disturbed in much the same way you are about the "We the People" act. I don't see any conclusive evidence that Paul intended to criminalize abortion (he may simply have intended to codify what he believed was fact), and it's also not clear that he intends anyone's tax burden to rise. --Trovatore 19:35, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

I recommend that any reference to Paul's support for a national sales tax use a wikilink to the relevant article on national sales tax (or general sales taxes if there is no article on national sales tax). The reader can follow the wikilink and learn about sales tax there and decide whether it is a fact that they are income-regressive. Adding commentary here is unnecessary and potentially erroneous (particularly because we don't know what type of national sales tax system Paul would support). Jogurney 16:43, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

I find the "We the People Act" quite disturbing, and am left with 4 possible conclusions. 1) He is a libertarian in name only; 2) He was pandering to his conservative base, knowing the bill would not pass; 3) He is more of a constitutionalist than a libertarian; 4) He believes that state-control of this issues will best preserve individual liberty in the long-run (which I do not find likely). I find the second alternative to be much more likely than the others. This is a guy with a picture of Rothbard on his wall, and who mentioned Lysander Spooner on national TV. He's introduced bills in the past that he knows can't get past congress and that he didn't actually want to pass (such as the bill to abolish the Fed, when he's stated he only wants to allow competition with them). I don't think its fair to say we know why he introduced the "We the People" act, so I don't see any reason to put it in the article. Maybe a summary about some people calling him too socially conservative to be a libertarian? 04:09, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

At present, the article only summarizes the bill. Assuming you're right, and he was pandering to conservatives, knowing the bill wouldn't pass, then removing it from the article would make that less effective and possibly cause him to lose ground with conservatives reading here, whereas if we left it in he might gain from conservatives reading here. What I'm getting at is that we should still describe the bill, if for no other reason than it is interesting in the way that the encyclopedia is supposed to be comprehensive: We the People Act was until a few days ago, only edited by people who had not edited Ron Paul, so presumably there was that independent reason to describe the bill back in January 2006 before Paul even announced. ←BenB4 08:09, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

GA Type out what GA means, you lazy fool

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    a (fair representation): b (all significant views):
  5. It is stable.
  6. It contains images, where possible, to illustrate the topic.
    a (tagged and captioned): b lack of images (does not in itself exclude GA): c (non-free images have fair use rationales):
  7. Overall:
    a Pass/Fail: MrPrada 19:14, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Internet popularity paragraph in intro

I think this paragraph should be deleted. It is not a significant part of who Ron Paul the person is, and it appear to violate the "Notability is not temporary" part of Wikipedia:Notability.--Daveswagon 02:57, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree, though I might support some brief mention of it in the intro. An entire paragraph is completely unbalanced, however.--Proper tea is theft 06:07, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Negatory. Even BenB4 agrees that Paul's Internet popularity is notable enough to be included in the intro, as documented in his comment on my User_talk. JLMadrigal 12:19, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Hillary Clinton, the leading democratic candidate, has one sentence in her intro mentioning her national poll standings. Why should Paul get several sentences devoted solely to unscientific indicators on the Internet?--Daveswagon 20:28, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Because it's an unusual and defining phenomenon that's been included in many if not most of the mainstream press articles covering his campaign? Given that Paul is little-known apart from his campaigning for president, the interesting aspects of the campaign are enough to fill their section on par with the length of other sections, so why shouldn't they be summarized? ←BenB4 20:53, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
We have a separate article devoted to Paul's campaign. Such a paragraph would be more appropriate there.--Daveswagon 21:03, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
While a key characteristic of Ron Paul's presidential campaign is his use of the Internet, there is little evidence to suggest that Paul's popularity on YouTube and Technorati will be enduring qualities that warrant an entire paragraph in the intro. See for instance, the article on Howard Dean, which contains no mention of Dean's Internet popularity in the lead, despite the fact that Dean was a presidential candidate who ably used the Internet to generate a great deal of support and attention.
Also (and this probably should go in its own section), the "controversy" recently inserted into the lead feels a little tacked on. I was not aware that talk page consensus had shifted toward including these "uncharacteristic" newsletter remarks in the intro.--Proper tea is theft 21:49, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
But there is evidence galore that in spite of the notable blackout, his Internet popularity is on the rise. Other than POVs, there is no evidence that this will not be an "enduring quality." JLMadrigal 11:58, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not contesting the notability of his Internet presence. I am asking whether an entire paragraph that contains information about his YouTube channel and the unscientific results of online polls should constitute nearly one-third of the intro. Perhaps another way to look at this: In five years, will it be noteworthy that Ron Paul was popular on YouTube or that he "won" a debate according to an online poll? I doubt it. The overall way in which he used the Internet, on the other hand, probably will.--Proper tea is theft 18:17, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

(back left) Given that a mention is all that occurs of his campaign in the other parts of the lead, how would you summarize it in the intro? ←BenB4 01:27, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Abortion again

In the summary, can't we just say that he's opposed to abortion, without getting into nuances that he thinks it's not a federal issue, except he voted against partial-birth abortions in Congress and wants to define embryos as people at the federal level? All of that is explained in the Political positions section below, and we don't spend near as much intro text on any other position. ←BenB4 12:38, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that understanding his position requires expanding on the megaissue of states' rights. If the federal government is limited to certain issues, the other ones are irrelevant. The Iraq issue has the same dilemma. Advocates of the war can use "ends justifies means" arguments to make the war palatable. Dictators exist. But the Constitution does not grant "democracy building" functions to the federal government. Likewise, the Constitution places states above the federal government on any nonenumerated powers. Simply saying "Paul opposes abortion," would make the majority of readers think that he takes the standard Republican approach of federally prohibiting to all states. Nuanced. JLMadrigal 13:49, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
How exactly does defining embryos as people at the federal level show any respect for states' rights? How is voting for the partial-birth abortion ban consistent with avoiding nonenumerated powers? He has stated that abortion is "an act of aggression" against a fetus, which he believes to be alive, human, and possessing legal rights. How can you possibly say that is inconsistent with simply being opposed to abortion? ←BenB4 14:43, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Whether he favors or opposes abortion is irrelevant, since he respects federal lack of constitutional jurisdiction over abortion. Out of respect for the Constitution, he has explicitly stated that the federal government has no jurisdiction to enforce abortion restrictions or protections. In the wake of Roe v. Wade, he has attempted to patch a gaping hole by which the federal government would have guaranteed the murder of late term babies (not embryos, BTW). That's consistent. Again, the ends do not justify the means. The Constitution does not allow the federal government to enforce or prohibit abortion in the same way that it does not allow nationbuilding. Surely a Libertarian would not override the Constitution, would he? Those who do are no better than Fascists. "Paul opposes abortion" is far too simplistic for the intro, and turns readers with a centralized view of abortion (like yourself, apparently) away without reading the article. Editors of this article should have at least a rudimentary understanding of Constitutionalism as applied to the "enumerated rights" issue. JLMadrigal 12:09, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

The article as it currently stands is inaccurate. It states that he thinks Roe v. Wade "should be overturned." Paul has made his position very clear that he does not support litigation to overturn Roe v. Wade. This ref that I added was removed for some reason: Savidan 05:19, 20 August 2007 (UTC) [1]

Your own source contains, "Those who cherish unborn life have become frustrated by our inability to overturn or significantly curtail Roe v. Wade.... Legislatively, we should focus our efforts on building support to overturn Roe v. Wade." However, his Sanctity of Life Act of 2005, and his We the People Act, would both have removed jurisdiction over abortion prohibitions from the federal courts, effectively overturning Roe'. ←BenB4 12:32, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I think it's fair to say Paul thinks Roe v. Wade is bad law. It's also apparent that Paul is in favor of allowing states to restrict the availability of abortion. Is the phrase "Paul opposes abortion" a fair summary of these views? Perhaps, but more a more nuanced comment would be better. Best regards. Jogurney 13:38, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Political positions leftovers

I trimmed the following from the Political positions section as it was merged in from another section but still doesn't really belong. Perhaps can be worked in elsewhere.

Records from the Federal Election Commission show that Paul accepts money from political action committees (PACs), although much less than most of his counterparts in Congress. Dr. Paul consistently received PAC money during the 1998(5.7%), 2000 (4.5%), 2002 (1.8%), 2004 (5.8%), and 2006 (2.1%) congressional electoral cycles.[2]

In a special report, the group Clean Up Washington listed Paul as taking the seventh-least amount of money from PACs of all members of the House, as well as one of the members of Congress accepting the least amount of money from lobbyists and as ranking fourth in taking the most percentage of contributions from small donors. Their data studied contributions from the 2000 election cycle to midway through 2006.[3] Of the 2008 Republican presidential candidates, he has accepted the least percentage of PAC money.[4][5]

Paul can be "maddeningly uncooperative" to his Republican colleagues because he will not give in to pressure to vote for bills that he views as spending taxpayers' money in a wasteful manner or for bills that he feels violate the Constitution.[6] Once when former House Speaker Newt Gingrich exhorted every Republican to vote the party line, he invoked a "Ron Paul exemption," saying Paul could vote as he pleased.[7] Fellow fiscal conservative Jeff Flake said in 2006, "When I'm the only no vote, I can usually rest assured he's on a plane somewhere." Paul recounts that once, a bill passed 432-3. He thought the bill was based on a bad principle, and he had convinced the two members of the House sitting next to him to join him in casting a "No" vote while they waited.[8]

Under Early life and education, in the last sentence, put in adhered/adhere TO, word is missing —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:58, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Signing this section or it will never be archived. ←BenB4 07:52, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Hi, I'm a noob lurker who will now take the opportunity to horn in "boldly" and seriatim, in attempt to wrap up the NPOV tag. Believe the Political Positions lead can make reference to Paul's Constitutional litmus test, which will then make the second half of Ben's deletion apposite later in the section, as it guides most all his positions anyway. The first half as to campaign money I'll look for a home for. Maybe Ben can archive the agreeable portions of this talk page? John J. Bulten 14:05, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Ah! I am being asked to wait 4 days. OK, will mutter here instead and, if no complaints, will edit on the 4th day if no older folks help out.
Proposed Resolution
  1. Change title of "2008bio" footnote (currently 8) from "Brief Overview of Congressman Paul's Record" to "About Ron Paul" and change access date to 2007-09-21.
  2. Political positions, 1st graf: continue "... behavior issues.<ref .... /ref> Paul's positions are developed from his long-standing promise that he "never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution"<ref name="2008bio"/>, which has yielded many contrarian votes and his "Dr. No" reputation."
  3. Political positions, end: add new paragraph, "Paul can be "maddeningly uncooperative" .... while they waited.<ref .... /ref>" as above.
  4. Affiliations, 3rd graf: continue "... the funds he raised. Records from the Federal Election Commission .... of PAC money.<ref ... /ref>" as above.
I don't see how the PAC info can be inappropriate for Affiliations, or the transition sentence inappropriate for the Political Positions lead. John J. Bulten 14:49, 21 September 2007 (UTC)


I fixed the opening slightly regarding federal involvement of marriage but I still don't think it's right. Why are we mentioning marriage twice? Are we mentioning any other issue twice in that paragraph? 03:31, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

We are trying to accurately represent his position. I think saying he "is opposed to gay marriage" is sufficient, but supporters tell me that the nuances are oh-so-important. The way you "fixed" is was to make it say the same thing twice -- being opposed to a federal definition of marriage is the same thing as wanting no federal jurisdiction over marriage: if you can't define it, you can't govern it, and vice versa. BenB4 05:26, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
It was already saying the same thing twice. Are there any cites of him being opposed to gay marriage? 12:35, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
"- so clearly, your position on for instance gay marriage, you'd be supportive of that? I am supportive of all voluntary associations and people can call it whatever they want." Ron Paul in interview with Google:
Yes, any time he has been asked, he has said that there should be no federal intervention. This does not belong in the lead, anyway.--Gloriamarie 06:51, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

I think its very obvious that Paul is simply against any re-definition of the term "marriage". Marriage as a relationship he is not against, since he has stated in many places he does not like to outlaw consensual relationships when asked about gay marriage(watch is interview at Google). That is quite different from being opposed to the act of gay marriage itself, and fits with both his being a libertarian and a Christian. 02:57, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

At Google he said, "you can call it whatever you want." ←BenB4 03:40, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Right, free people are free to call it whatever they want. But a redefinition by government fiat would not be "free". As an agnostic it does sound very silly to me, but I realize many Christians take that sort of thing quite seriously. Redefining the institution of marriage to include gays may offend a great many of them. In any case, there is no quote or action by Paul showing that he is against the act of gay marriage, but there are quotes of him saying he wouldn't want to criminalize it.
  • Signing this section or it will never be archived. ←BenB4 07:53, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
IMHO I understand the important nuances of this position. He made a remark at the Ft. Lauderdale Values Voter Debate which really crystallized it, which was briefly lit on by the Sun-Sentinel and which I have slightly expanded below as an eyewitness. I am only going to give URLs until I am more comfortable with footnoting style.
Current text says simply "would forbid federal courts ... from hearing cases on ... same-sex marriage" and "Paul opposes ... federal regulation of marriage".
Proposed Resolution
  1. Political positions, 4th graf: Delete "federal regulation of marriage".
  2. Political positions, 3rd graf: Continue "... regulating state matters."[http ... /ref> Paul also opposes federal regulation of "voluntary associations" <> like marriages or civil unions, believing marriage is not a state function and should not require a government license. <,0,2893863.story> Medically, he recognizes homosexuality is "too complex to give a [simple] answer", <> but he has affirmed that, if Christians restrict the Constitutional or civil liberties of others, it can have blowback against the rights of Christians. <,0,2893863.story> <>"
  3. Same: There are also minor edits necessary on the abortion part of that graf and its footnote. John J. Bulten 16:20, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
(He says marriage isn't a state function in the context of "gay marriage", so that equals opposition to regulation of civil unions.) John J. Bulten 16:21, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Ron Paul Media Blackout

(back left) Is the blackout discussed in a reliable source? All I see is blogs. And, what blackout? Google News has more than 100 articles over the past two days and that's with duplicates like newswire stories removed. ←BenB4 13:30, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

That's "Google News." A straight Google search for the exact phrase "Ron Paul media blackout" alone gave me 1,570 hits as of today. JLMadrigal 15:25, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
A boolean Google search for pages containing "Ron Paul" AND "blackout" yields 74,300 hits! A search for the phrase "Ron Paul" yields 8,600,000 hits!! Common sense should dictate that the simple fact that he has been the the top Internet search term as measured by Technorati and Hitwise, while the big TV networks and news outlets are completely silent shows a major information imbalance. Hello? JLMadrigal 13:02, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
So there is a lot of talk about the blackout on blogs, but lets take a look at the actual number of news stories:
Candidate Polling
Google News
by date
Ron Paul 2% 2,831 1,416
Rudy Giuliani 33% 10,723 325
John McCain 16% 11,311 706
Hillary Clinton 48% 12,905 269
Barack Obama 26% 21,216 816
That's not a blackout, that's a love affair. ←BenB4 15:48, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

you are playing with statistics, the 2% was drawn from an average of polls of which most did not include Paul. you know this, then why do you keep on playing with statistics? furthermore, he got a 9% in the Iowa poll and he won the Alabama poll among others, why don't you draw your numbers from there? a last point, in this country voting is not an obligation, therefore only those who care about it go to vote, the fact that Ron Paul's supporters care so much about him is a positive point than all the other candidates would love to have. we come here to defend him because we actually believe in what he believes, we are not getting paid to do this (unlike you Ben). the media black out is a fact, if you can't see than in each debate Rudy Mcromney get 15 min each and Paul get 3-5 min you are blind. true, the other small timers are getting ignored also, but Paul is getting ignored with special emphasis because we've all heard how the republican party wanted to exclude him from the debates after his confrontation with ruddy. or are you going to ignore all this? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:21, August 21, 2007 (UTC)

Please have another look here. When Paul isn't a choice, they leave his square blank. The most he's ever polled is 3%, when he was a choice. I guess I haven't heard what you've heard, but if I'm getting paid, would you please tell whoever's paying me to hurry up and send the check? ←BenB4 10:07, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

i saw that link many times, you are referring me to the same link where you got the two percent, circular arguments? you clearly did not read what was not convenient to your view. and about the pay, son, if you are no being paid to do this, you are a big time loser, bashing Ron Paul on a daily basis for what? at least we are here because we believe in something and we wana make sure people like you won't turn the internet into what tv media already is. truly, if you are not getting paid to do this, you need to go get a life. but please, whatever you do, stop bashing Ron Paul for no reason. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:41, August 21, 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I meant here. And please ease up on the insults. I'm well aware that I have no life, but I do have a purpose here. When I saw all the hagiography popping up on YouTube and the like, I realized that this article would have bias problems. I was right, but some of them were easier to spot than others. Frankly, I'm terrified of the likes of Paul, politicians promising the libertarian agenda, but what they really want is to impose authoritarian fundamentalist Christianity on the schools, bedrooms, clinics, and court houses, sell us out to the rich with regressive taxes and commodity currency, and sever our diplomatic ties. Nothing could be further from true libertarianism. ←BenB4 07:59, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
The key here is that is your opinion; please do not continue to let that affect your edits to the article.--Gloriamarie 10:27, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. The so-called blackout is not notable. News is a business and it airs/prints only what people are interested in watching/reading.--Daveswagon 00:06, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Lack of "news stories." That's the whole point. Duh!!! Here's my second paragraph. Clearly notable and well documented information:
While Paul has dominated the Internet,[9] being the top Internet search term as measured by Hitwise,[10] Alexa Internet,[11] and Technorati,[12] and has won three out of four of the 2008 GOP debates according to the online polls by the debates' sponsors, he has received relatively little name recognition from the mainstream media.[13][14] In YouTube, he has surged ahead of all other presidential candidates.[15] His YouTube channel was one of the top 40 most subscribed of all time, with over 25,000 subscribers.[16]
JLMadrigal 11:10, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't object to that paragraph (although "dominated," "surged," and "of all time" might be wp:peacock terms) but it can't be in the wp:lead because it doesn't summarize something that's already in the article, so I moved it to the campaign section. ←BenB4 12:43, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
A major oversight. Thanks. I added the missing section. JLMadrigal 14:23, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Here I must agree that Ben is being a little pushy in demanding that a media blackout be documented by the media performing the blackout, or in insisting that coverage should be equal to Gallup share and, say, Clinton should get 24 times as many articles as Paul, or in demonstrably mischaracterizing his view as authoritarian fundamentalist, regressive taxes, sell-out to the rich, or severing diplomatic ties (please source Ben). But after Fox ridiculed Paul's winning the 9/5 debate on their own terms,2933,295969,00.html and permitted other candidates to stay on-mike to snicker at him and dramatically shorted his time as predicted by anonymous 8/21, one can hardly object to the intro's phrasing. BTW Paul got 5% in the LA Times NH poll of 9/11 (this could appear in intro as "among phone polls of voters leaning Republican, Paul has never exceeded 4% (Gallup) or 5% (Bloomberg)" with the cites). Let's agree on postponing hagiography of people who haven't died yet.

Proposed Resolution: It appears Ben's concerns are already addressed (thanks Madrigal!). But:
  1. Internet popularity, 2nd graf: footnote "inflating search counts" by the FOX news link above where Hannity accuses just that. Perhaps change "these rankings" to "such rankings" and "search counts" to "counts". John J. Bulten 17:24, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Abolition of the income tax

I think the main article should cover the fact that the national sales tax which Paul advocates would be terribly regressive, e.g., making retirees pay a 23% tax on all their purchases. The rich, who buy fewer goods proportionally to their income and wealth, would pay a lower tax rate than the poor.[6] What do other people think? ←BenB4 04:26, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

I think you should stop trying to twist the article to conform to your obvious political bias, that's what I think. BTW, it is NOT a "fact" that a national sales tax would be "terribly regressive". That is an opinion. 14:20, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think you know what "regressive" means. Regressive tax —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:18, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Where does it say that Paul advocates a large national sales tax? Paul wants to reduce federal government spending by quite a bit, so abolition of the IRS doesn't necessarily mean a replacement tax. Granola Bars 05:06, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

He wants either a national sales tax or a flat tax, which would also be an income tax so if he wants to repeal the 16th amendment, that leaves the national sales tax.[7]BenB4 06:17, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Is it a fact that Paul supports an income-regressive tax? I don't think there is any evidence of that. National consumption taxes may or may not be income-regressive (they are income-independent) depending on how they are structured. Let's not jump to conclusions here. Jogurney 17:56, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
He says he opposes income tax, but he talks about a "flat tax or a national sales tax." But a flat tax is just a regressive income tax. And sales tax is regressive. So, yeah. 20:05, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Given the radical reduction in the size of the federal government that would accompany any change in the tax system, the point is moot. It's important to keep things in context. --Serge 20:12, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
The article clearly says that he would reduce spending and taxes. That doesn't make a sales tax any less regressive. 21:04, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
State and local sales taxes are often structured to reduce income-regressivity. Food, medicine and clothing are typically taxed at reduced rates (or are completely exempt). It is quite possible that a national sales tax system would utilize a similar structure or even provide additional means to fight income-regressivity (e.g., rebates or exemptions for low-income individuals). You can jump to whatever conclusions you like, but it doesn't belong in an encyclopedia. Best regards. Jogurney 21:58, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Senior citizens would most likely pay little or no sales tax via identification. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:46, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Where is the source that says he advocates this kind of tax? I have only heard him say that he is willing to look at the Fair Tax, but he does not support it completely (and is not a co-sponsor of the Fair Tax Act) because he is afraid there would be both a sales tax and later income taxes imposed, and because the Fair Tax says nothing about reducing spending or reducing taxes and in fact makes a point that its presumed rate of sales tax would be the same as current intake on income taxes.--Gloriamarie 03:41, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

As far as I can tell and have heard, Dr. Paul advocates no replacement tax once a Federal Income Tax is abolished. He is against a fair tax, and as for a sales tax, in his 1982 book "A case for gold" he talks about eliminating sales tax once a gold standard is enacted. First time post, hope i did ok. Daddyjoe74 03:56, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Welcome to Wikipedia! I think it's fair to say that his idea of a "fair tax" is not the Fair Tax but is "very little tax" and "no income tax." I'm not sure where the above editors BenB4 got the idea that he supports the national sales tax. --Gloriamarie 10:20, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
My personal view: income tax is evil and "fair tax" is doubly evil. Bias aside: Paul thinks the fair tax is at least Constitutional, while the current application of the income tax isn't. But his real position appears on the "Political positions of Ron Paul" page (which he repeated after the Values Voter Debate to a crowd of over 100). Per wiki: "I agree on getting rid of the IRS, but I want to replace it with nothing, not another tax." Since this already appears on that UNdisputed page, and since it is does not appear to need to be balanced by Ben's quote where he admits (politically) only that "The IRS could be replaced with a flat tax or national sales tax", perhaps Ben may politely put that quote on that expanded page, but it appears unnecessary here. Paul would vote for the "FAIR tax", but his actual position is the "NO tax". Any discussion of the fair tax being regressive should properly appear on the FairTax page.
Proposed Resolution: move this discussion to the "Political positions of Ron Paul" and "FairTax" pages. John J. Bulten 18:10, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Second paragraph

"...which he would replace with a national sales tax," is inaccurate - at least according to the cited source. The Caucus states that it would consider a sales tax among other tax reduction alternatives. The cited document reads as follows:

"There should be a national debate discussing various alternative means of taxation including but not limited to a single flat income tax, repealing the income tax and replacing it with a national sales tax, and reducing spending to the point where the income tax can be repealed without the need to replace it with a national sales tax or any other form of taxation." JLMadrigal 01:49, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Moved by John J. Bulten 18:57, 21 September 2007 (UTC)


So, apparently the New York Times says he's a Baptist,[8] and NPR says he's an Episcopalian.[9] What do we say? The NYT puts it this way:

"His family was pious and Lutheran; two of his brothers became ministers. Paul’s five children were baptized in the Episcopal church, but he now attends a Baptist one."

I'm inclined to say Baptist, given that. ←BenB4 03:37, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I'd also go by what the NYT says.--Daveswagon 03:48, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe y'all should ask him. The NYT article with a disparaging title would need a subscription to be read. It can't be used. JLMadrigal 12:35, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
We are supposed to use secondary sources when available. Do you personally know where he worships? Why do you think the NYT article title is disparaging? The NYT is a reliable source, and you can get the article for free by registering (no subscription required) but if you don't want to, then use 13:10, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
OK. I can't find any Wikipedia policy of omitting sources that require registration. Just a pesky inconvenience for our readers. NYTimes Online is OK. Maybe their more recent articles about Paul are less disparaging. BTW BugMeNot requires registration too. JLMadrigal 11:47, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Not only can you use articles that require registration, but you can use articles as references that aren't even online.--Gloriamarie 03:34, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

I found clarifying information to add on Ron Paul's religious belief and affiliation, but I don't see a good way to include it in the article as structured. Any suggestions? The easiest way might be simply to include a reference to this link, from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. RP grew up Lutheran, married an Episcopalian & attended that denomination. All his children were baptised in same. He and his wife "became less comfortable with the Episcopal Church as time went on." They now "occasionally" attend a baptist church. "Paul feels the "greatest affinity right now" with the Baptist denomination and identifies himself as a Baptist, though he is not a formal member of a local church. In the past, Paul has identified himself simply as "Protestant" but is now saying "as a matter of clarification" that he is a Baptist." The site even gives this personal statement by RP In His Own Words:

"I have never been one who is comfortable talking about my faith in the political arena. In fact, the pandering that typically occurs in the election season I find to be distasteful. But for those who have asked, I freely confess that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior, and that I seek His guidance in all that I do." (The Covenant News, July 2007) ←wpmno 22:31, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't really see why it matters so much. It would settle it all just to say Protestant. However, I'd recommend going with the NY Times on this.--Gloriamarie 03:34, 4 September 2007 (UTC)


Pew: Baptist; NYX: "attends Baptist"; NPR: has now deleted "Episcopal". NYX is now free online BTW. No sources give evidence that he now prefers "Protestant" or "non-denominational" in classifications of this kind. It's not an unknown, it's agreed by the sources. The Covenant News link is .

Proposed Resolution: add footnote to Pew from wpmno to the word "Baptist". John J. Bulten 18:27, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Ron Paul the liberal

I don't feel strongly one or the other about the mention of this in the intro, but as it is worded now:

Ron Paul has been referred to as a conservative,[3] a constitutionalist,[4] and a libertarian,[5] and a classical liberal [6] (as distinct from modern American liberalism).

it fails to conform to the cited source, which is a rating of his voting record that falls into the "liberal" range according the National Journal. That is not quite the same as calling him a "classical liberal" or (as it read earlier) "a liberal." --Proper tea is theft 20:35, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Nevermind, User:Operation Spooner was on this, it seems. --Proper tea is theft 20:37, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
"...and a classical liberal[17] (as distinct from modern American liberalism)." is a perfect compromise regarding the "liberal" label, and succinct enough for the intro. Many sources for this catagorization are available if necessary. JLMadrigal 12:42, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
That source says he has classical liberal views, not that he's a classical liberal. If you want it in, say it like that. I think calling him a liberal just confuses things. 14:29, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I would say that he is a classical liberal, but I don't think it clarifies anything these days because too many people think that classical liberal means FDR, not Jefferson. Life, Liberty, Property 04:37, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm disappointed to be unable to find a nonblog that says "Paul is a classical liberal". He has c.l. views, c.l. message, c.l. portraits on his walls, but sources avoid calling him a c.l. outright. If Madrigal has better sources than FMNN, then we could go to a tighter text like "Ron Paul has been termed as classical conservative (paleocon), constitutionalist, libertarian, and classical liberal (Jeffersonian)."

Proposed Resolution: Up to Madrigal, because I wouldn't adjust the current text without a better source. —Preceding unsigned comment added by John J. Bulten (talkcontribs) 19:42, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Second paragraph

Yes, people refer to Ron Paul as a liberal, and the cited source, the National Journal Vote Rankings, gives him a composite liberal voting score of 61. I could add other sources if required, but the label "liberal" is an accurate use of this reliable source. JLMadrigal 01:49, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

That source doesn't say he's a liberal. 20:26, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Moved by John J. Bulten 18:57, 21 September 2007 (UTC)


After reading those positions and claims in the intro, it's not hard to imagine why he hasn't got further in the polls even after "winning" debates. He's the conservative Dennis Kucinich! Rompe 08:08, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps, but unless you can find a source that says it, we can't put it in. ←BenB4 17:06, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps he's not, since he has around 100 times the support Kucinich has. And yeah I don't see where to put it in either. Megastealer 06:28, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
For values of 100 approaching unity.[10][11]BenB4 06:47, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I happen to agree with this assessment, but without a link to a credible source making the connection, it would have no place in the article. Even then, I'd be wary since it's often better to let positions speak for themselves. Narco 17:55, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Actually, there is a comparison you might be able to cite - but not with Kucinich. Jon Stewart (or was it Colbert?) has made some passing references comparing Paul's level of support to Mike Gravell, and Giuliani appeared on Hannity & Colmes after tonight's debate and made a joke about having a Paul-Gravell debate, how it would be very entertaining with "lots of booing". I also believe I heard Bill O'Reilly compare them once. FWIW. --Schrei 05:54, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Rather nice article

As a Ron Paul supporter myself, I gotta say, this is a very well done article, certainly deserving of its GA status. (Especially with a few minor....adjustments i've made :D ) I've got a few comments though, there's some things I can't fix easily, (Especially because i'm not amazingly familiar with the article and how it has been constructed/referenced) and because the article is so expansive, I figured it wouldn't hurt to bring them out in the open. First of all, I notice there's at least one YouTube video as a reference. I don't know exactly how the YouTube or video website as a source thing works, but last I checked, things like that are never to be used as a reference except in the most amazing of circumstances, and I don't know if this is one or not, (It looks like a very well done video) but if there's no justification for it, the three instances I saw it cited need to be covered by something else. Also, ref 54 seems to be a blog, but the magazine this website apparently prints isn't, is this particular link to an actual blog post, (Which would make it a very poor reference indeed) or to an excerpt of an actual article from the magazine? The distinction is important, if its just a blog post, it should be replaced by something better. And that was about all I noticed on my look-through. Homestarmy 01:13, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

If I recall, for the YouTube interview we had a few alternative news article sources (one was an NPR piece) which said pretty much the same thing but weren't as direct. Since the YouTube ref is a recording of an interview, it counts as a primary source (as opposed to just someone vlogging which wouldn't be acceptable.) Ref. 54 is a blog, but the policy in WP:RS says, "Some newspapers host interactive columns that they call blogs, and these may be acceptable as sources so long as the writers are professionals and the blog is subject to the newspaper's full editorial control; that is, when it isn't really a blog." Since the author of the post is an associate editor of Reason, I think that applies. ←BenB4 02:03, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
If you're using You Tube as a source and have another one like NPR that backs it up, I suggest you add the other one as a second footnote - so if the You Tube video disappears, you have an additional source right there. Multiple sourcing be good anyway. Tvoz |talk 02:43, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Featured Article Candidacy

How about it? Does somebody want to give it a touch up and then submit it for FAC? Miserlou 00:52, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Maybe, but fix this first: Early in the article it says he has 18 grandchildren, later on it says "accompanied by one of his 17 grandchildren." --Golbez 01:12, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Easy to explain: The article that mentions that was written in 2001, when he did indeed have only 17 grandchildren. The 18th didn't come along until this year, it seems. It could be changed to just "grandchildren" or "one of his 17 older grandchildren."--Gloriamarie 03:24, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

---Fixed. FAC it, somebody? Miserlou 19:34, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Err, that might be a bit of a problem, as I understand it, people at FAC tend to get real skeptical when it comes to articles that have the potential to rapidly shift in content in the near future. I'm not saying you can't try it, but I don't think it will be a shoe-in either. Homestarmy 21:56, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. It's not that there's anything wrong with the article (far from it), but stability is one of the criteria used when judging FACs. Barack Obama is a featured article because it became one waaay back in 2004. And I can guarantee it wouldn't be on the main page until about 2010 if featured to avoid the appearance of bias or an attempt to influence the election. Narco 06:21, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Featured article

This article is looking pretty decent. Maybe it can be a featured article? Operation Spooner 20:22, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

It can't hurt to try. The worst that can happen is you get suggestions for improving it. 02:01, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Moved by John J. Bulten 18:57, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Capital punishment and various religious topics

Does anyone have a date for this interview? Presumably it was this year(?) ←BenB4 17:07, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

It was after May 15 of this year, because the host talks about how misinformed he thinks Giuliani was in the South Carolina debate when he interrupted.--Gloriamarie 23:12, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Look at the filename for the mp3, looks like it was broadcasted the 25th of August 2007. --Bruce 12:28, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

2004 election

The article says Paul spoke at the libertarian convention, did he endorse the Libertarin candidate? Did he ever endorse George W. Bush?

Hoponpop69 18:51, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I cannot find any source saying he did either of these things. George W. Bush campaigned against Ron Paul in the 1996 Congressional election Republican primary; from all indications, they were never buddy-buddy although they are from the same state. Paul also ran against Bush's father for president in 1988, if that has any bearing.--Gloriamarie 04:59, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Let's get this article featured on the main page =)

Get to work folks, =)--0pos0sop 00:59, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I mentioned above that featuring this on the main page would be inappropriate until the election cycle has finished. It may be possible to promote the article once disagreements are resolved, but probably for the same reason you want it on the main page (more attention for his campaign), I think that would be the wrong thing to do since WP is supposed to be neutral. Narco 01:22, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree that it probably shouldn't be featured on the main page, but there's still no reason it can't be taken to featured article quality. A few sections need rewriting, but it's come a long way in a relatively short period of time (the past six months or so). Good work, editors.--Gloriamarie 02:16, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Chances are with the amount of time it takes to improve an article, go through WP:FAC, and get on the list for the main page FA, the election would be over. Good luck though, its always tough to improve an article on a person in the public spotlight. Mr.Z-man 02:19, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Capital punishment

Paul recently said capital punishment is okay for some crimes, without saying anything about the "federal level."[12] However, several sites refer to Paul as anti-capital punishment but without a source, including Is there such a source? ←BenB4 16:42, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Actually, he specifically metnioned in that interview that he doesn't think the federal government has it together enough to be administering the ultimate penalty, and states should be able to decide for themselves. In other words, pretty much his decision on everything.--Gloriamarie 17:38, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

To update: yes, there are many such sources throughout the years. The Associated Press said in an article released August 3, 2007: "He opposes the death penalty." (see page 2) Also, it should be added that in the above radio interview, he left it up to states decide but did not say what their decision should be, just that he thinks murder is deserving of the "ultimate penalty"-- yet, there are many people who believe that murderers should be executed but don't support it in practice because the government just can't get it done right. So, it's not really clear whether he supports it at the state level or not; the only thing for sure from that interview is that he thinks states should decide just as on most issues.--Gloriamarie 04:18, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Link to hard currency in second paragraph

This link doesn't make perfect sense, since the main definition of "hard currency" in its article includes the U.S. dollar as an example. Clearly, Paul means something like a metallic standard (right?), so I wonder if a different link would be less ambiguous. "Hard currency" does say it can also mean a metallic standard, but that is not the main subject of the article. I don't know enough about Paul's politics to correct it, but perhaps somebody else could, if he has made a more specific statement regarding it. Rigadoun (talk) 15:47, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

When I changed it to say "hard currency" instead of a "gold standard," it read: "hard currency such as silver or gold"; another user updated it to point to the gold and silver standard articles. BenB4 removed that with the explanation that the hard currency article already contained the definition. If that's not the case, it should be put back.--Gloriamarie 17:08, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Fixed. We share the blame for not reading hard currency while linking to it. ←BenB4 19:11, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

"Dr. President"

I know this is speculating into the future and such, but if Ron Paul was actually elected president, would he be called "Dr. President" instead of "Mr. President"? TheUncleBob 19:35, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

I seriously doubt it. I never heard of any such honorific being applied to Woodrow Wilson, for example. Mr. President is a fixed phrase (except that if Hilary wins she'll presumably be Madam President). --Trovatore 19:42, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

A note on this: I was watching a video of him questioning Ben Bernanke last night and noticed that the Speaker of the House (or whoever was conducting proceedings) called him "Mr. Paul" and called Bernanke "Mr. Bernanke." Maybe it was a fluke, but it may be that at those levels everyone is either Mr., Ms., or maybe Mrs., whether they're a medical doctor (like Paul) or have a doctorate (like Bernanke).--Gloriamarie 20:51, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Political positions

I still do not think that a paragraph devoted to one piece of legislation is warranted. Mentioning it with a link to its article is fine of course, but a whole paragraph in a section that's supposed to serve as a summary just doesn't seem appropriate.--Gloriamarie 05:59, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

You were upset that abortion was mentioned four times. The work "libertarian" appears 15 times in the article, mostly in ways that imply Paul ascribes to the libertarian philosophy. The We the People Act is essential to balance that, showing his relative values of states' rights and individual liberties. Plus, it is the only piece of legislation he's introduced that we have an article on, and we've had it since January 2006. ←BenB4 09:31, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, considering that two days ago I came across two articles from as far back as 1988 that said that Ron Paul was the "standard bearer" for the Libertarian Party, and basically any press done on him at all mentions that he is libertarian, the word "libertarian" should actually be mentioned a few times more. The same does not hold true for abortion; he is not considered the "standard bearer" of the anti-abortion movement (and actually ranks a 65% with at least one pro-choice ratings group) because he votes against some things that someone who is "pro-life" usually would not vote for. What does "relative values of states' rights and individual liberties" even mean? The Act in question would allow states to decide for themselves on these issues. If you are trying to make the argument that he should not be considered libertarian, you will find few supporters, either among the media or among "little 'l' libertarians" in general. (Also, to keep things factual, abortion was mentioned more than four times in the article; it was mentioned four times in that section alone, including two full paragraphs-- plus a few sentences on it in the opening paragraphs and a mention in the "1988 Presidential Campaign" section.) Can you say for sure that this is the only piece of legislation he's introduced that has its own article, or actually in this case, a near-stub?--Gloriamarie 16:59, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
As you say, the bill "would allow states to decide for themselves" on questions such as prohibiting abortion or sex acts, abolishing current federal precedent which holds that individuals' own rights on those matters are superior to the will of the state. I could not have made the point any clearer. ←BenB4 18:08, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Are you repeating that silly thing on how decreasing the power of the federal government is not necessarily libertarian again? Granola Bars 14:29, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

I just came across the discussion above on the talk page about the We the People Act, and there was never any consensus to put it into the article. Here's a recap: User Jogurney said that he wonders how significant the bill was, since it never got out of committee, and suggests it appear in Political positions of Ron Paul instead. User BenB4 responds: "I haven't been able to find any reliable sources which discuss the bill, so I'm unable to say much about it." User Trovatore mediates and says that BenB4 has been putting too much of his own analysis into the article and cites two examples, and so have Paul supporters, but Trovatore can't think of any examples right then. BenB4 replies, "... in the absence of discussion in reliable sources, I'm not sure what we can say supported by the bill's text." There is also a lot of back and forth about what the bill means. BenB4, you said in the original discussion that you could find no reliable sources about the bill, and there was no consensus to put it into the article. I don't see any reason it should be included, especially to the extent of a full paragraph describing it.--Gloriamarie 17:19, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

That's why there's only a description of the bill, and not any discussion of its obvious implications. The text inserted doesn't say that the bill would allow states to uses taxes from Jewish people to put a nativity display in City Hall, but that's exactly what it would allow, because the only precedent against that is federal. It doesn't say that the bill would allow the states to ban abortion or sex acts or same-sex marriage, but that is exactly what it would do. It is all too obvious why you are opposed to the single, factual sentence describing the bill. You are a proud Paul supporter, and I respect that, but by letting your support for Paul influence your editing judgment as you have, you are violating Wikipedia's Conflict of Interest policy. ←BenB4 18:08, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
If I were editing with an agenda, I would want the article to focus completely on abortion to appeal to Republicans since he is running in the Republican primary. Other editors, on this very page, have asked why you edit without citing reliable sources and why your edits are not neutral. I consider the allegation that I let anything "influence my editing judgment" to be untrue and not backed up by the evidence of my edits.--Gloriamarie 00:31, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
If it focused more on abortion, it might put off the libertarians. We all have to call them as we see them. ←BenB4 02:01, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I am still not convinced that the We The People Act is sufficiently notable for discussion in the lead section. The amount of coverage outside of wikipedia and a few political blogs is extremely limited. Do we even have a non-political blog news source that discusses it? Jogurney 04:00, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't think the Act is covered in the lead right now, although it was previously; the full paragraph on it in the Political Positions section has been removed. I don't think it's important enough, either, and I can't find any sources on it. It never got out of committee. I'll keep looking, though.--Gloriamarie 04:07, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
The legislation is in Legislation which is where it belongs - not the lede, not political positions. We have to assume/hope that people can and will read the whole article. Tvoz |talk 04:05, 14 September 2007 (UTC)


The opening has been changed to read: "conservative, constitutionalist, and neolibertarian" rather than just libertarian. He may be neolibertarian, but it is certainly not as well-supported by reliable sources as "libertarian" is. The reference, the Nancy Snow book, was also not changed, so it's unclear whether it's supported by that reference or not. If there are sources calling him that, it could be mentioned in the Political positions section or in Political positions of Ron Paul.--Gloriamarie 07:35, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

That Paul supposedly is neolibertarian is blatantly false. According to the WP entry, "Neolibertarianism is a post-9/11 ideological offshoot of libertarianism that incorporates neoconservative ideas on foreign policy, including the use of pre-emptive military force." Paul stands in sharp contrast to the neoconservatives and the neolibertarians. Terjen 19:37, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I had quickly read the opening to the article, but yes, from what you say, he definitely does not fit into that categorization.--Gloriamarie 21:02, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Actions in Congress

The new "Actions in Congress" contains a single paragraph describing a 1999 lawsuit about the Kosovo war which was dismissed before being heard. Wouldn't it be better to put this in the positions article alongside his opposition to unauthorized war instead? ←BenB4 15:39, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't think so, because it's not really a political position per se (although based on one) but more of an action, and it's more relevant to his congressional career section than political views. There are probably other things that could be added to the section, as well, if given a little time.--Gloriamarie 16:11, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Inflation adjustment or remove?

The statement that Ron Paul worked for $3 an hour is misleading. In today's terms. that would be something like $18 an hour, and my guess is that with overtime and such, if it really was an hourly wage, he was making the equivalent of $40K a year. Given the cost of medical school then and today, I doubt that the two years of intensive experience based training was as much as a hardship as one might believe. At least that is my interpretation. Don't get me wrong, of the people in the Republican party, Paul is in top several on my respect list. Mulp 19:07, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Sadly, there is almost no adjustment of money figures for inflation anywhere on Wikipedia, so it's kind of the default standard to not give any. There would be no problem if you wanted to add "($18 per hour in 2007 dollars)" after the figure. ←BenB4 20:25, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

I am the one who originally inserted that, I believe, and it was not meant to imply that he was working for a pittance; instead, it was meant to expound on his medical career, which at that time was a separate section from the military career and only about one paragraph long. It was meant as detail, not a sob story.--Gloriamarie 21:13, 14 September 2007 (UTC)


Would we be interested in using the more recent (and better executed) official photos [e.g.: [13][14] ] from the presidential campaign? (As I write this, the one in the article is last year's congressional photo.) I could find out if we can get a free or freeish license for them. Let me know. —RVJ 15:28, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

If they are released by the presidential campaign, they are for publicity purposes and can be redistributed freely. The current photo is from the 109th Congress, so there should even be a new official photo from the 110th Congress (maybe that one is even it, I suspect that it is). I think that is a better photo, more updated, and it has been added a few times, but perhaps the uploader doesn't say that it's a publicity photo, so maybe it gets deleted. Is it actually located anywhere on his presidential campaign site?--Gloriamarie 02:55, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

The copyright holder (the campaign presumably, but we need to be sure) needs to either release them into the public domain, release them with a Creative Commons license (must allow commercial and derivative use), or the GFDL. We have to have a specific statement from a campaign authority to that effect, or someone will delete the image. Also the license grant can't say anything like "for Wikipedia only" -- it has to be general. ←BenB4 16:27, 19 September 2007 (UTC)


Ron Paul does not advocate a gold standard. He's said in interviews that a gold standard has problems. He's said that he wants to do is legalize gold and silver as legal tender and remove the sales tax on it so that it can compete against fiat money. These Wikipedia articles seem to mistate his position. Operation Spooner 16:22, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Source? ←BenB4 17:33, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
I have heard most of this in one interview as well; not the part where a gold standard has "problems," but just that a gold standard would be a hard transition for those used to fiat money. I think it's not that he doesn't want to go to a silver standard or hard money standard, but that his first (and likeliest to succeed) step would be to treat gold as any other currency, removing sales taxes on its purchase or sale. It's now treated like a stock when he would like it to be a legal tender currency. Again, this is better explained in the longer Political positions of Ron Paul article than the limited space we have in this summary article.--Gloriamarie 18:55, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Problematic sentence in intro.

"Despite having won four out of five of the 2008 GOP debates according to the results of online polls by the debates' sponsors, he has received relatively little name recognition from the mainstream media."

There are two things wrong with that. The first is the extent to which it elevates online polling; I don't think that an online poll for any other major public figure (absent other data supporting it) would be considered reliable or meaningful enough to include in their article at all, much less in the intro. But the second, much more serious problem with this construct is the way in which it juxtaposes the results of a handful of online polls with media coverage "despite having won..." This implies that the two things should be connected, and that winning these online polls ought to have earned Ron Paul more recognition in the media than it did. That is an extremely serious statement, implying a very strong POV, and cannot simply be dropped into the article text directly; it would be acceptable to describe that as the opinion one person or a group of people, but simply saying it as fact is not encyclopedic. --Aquillion 18:28, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree with your points, and it's pretty easy to reword this in an NPOV manner. Many people have commented on the "media blackout," including Paul Levinson, a communications professor from Fordham University, who even gave a talk to the New York City Ron Paul Meetup group concerning what he thinks is a media bias.--Gloriamarie 18:58, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
These are probably valid points. I always liked that sentence though because it is subject to multiple interpretations; depending on one's POV, it describes either the "blackout" or evidence that Paul's online support doesn't translate into "real world" support.--Proper tea is theft 19:21, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

recent edits to lead

Ron Paul is one of the leading candidates in the Republican Presidential Campain having won 6 straw polls and finishing 2nd in 3 polls out 18 conducted so far Straw Poll Results.

Anon keeps adding the above. I have numerous concerns about this text, but I suppose the biggest reason that it should be removed (or heavily edited) is that the statement that Paul is a leading candidate is WP:OR ("...any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material that appears to advance a position — or, in the words of Wikipedia's co-founder Jimmy Wales, would amount to a 'novel narrative or historical interpretation.'") --Proper tea is theft 18:31, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Agreed this is not lead material. It is alluded to in "2008 presidential campaign". Seems the proper presentation would be to take a list compiled from usaelectionpolls, ronpaul2008, etc., and make an impartial list of all results and head-to-heads. I am confident that Paul would win an impartial listing. I have told the RP campaign that their results are missing at least four medium-sized polls.
Proposed Resolution: Let me or someone else write such an article. John J. Bulten 19:56, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
There are 62 real-world polls here. Phew! Now to link them in and clean up the ones that are mentioned in-line somewhat haphazardly. John J. Bulten 04:39, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

"Winning" debates

Unscientific call-in/online post-debate polls are designed to make advertising and text-message money, not to be representative of the facts. I'm not a fan of Sean Hannity, but he and Alan Colmes made a good point last night about the "Paulites" trying to rig "debate winner" polls. In the post-debate coverage, the professional pollster guy (I forgot his name) showed that a mixed room of likely voters clearly favored Mike Huckabee in the exchange Paul and Huckabee had, and Giuliani was seen as the biggest "disappointment" of the night... yet the "U-vote" poll showed Paul by far in first followed by Giuliani. Anyone who's browsed YouTube videos has seen the repeated spam "VOTE FOR RON PAUL AT XYZ LET'S HELP RAISE AWARENESS" - so why are these polls included? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Alan Colmes was not being serious, he was pushing Sean's buttons and opening an opportunity for him to make a fool of himself. You can't vote more than once from the same telephone number in those polls. If you try, they reply that you have already voted and ignore your vote. I still have the SMS reply from where I tested this after Sean's comment if it is needed for proof. 01:33, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Description of the poll results are included because they are accurately sourced, even if the polls are obviously unscientific measurements of how the electorate intends to vote. The best thing to do would be to include sourced descriptions of claims that some of Paul's supporters might vote early and often in these polls. For instance, according to CNN's "Political Ticker Team," regarding a GOP debate back in June and a CNN poll that followed it:
These informal polls are unscientific because supporters can often vote more than once, and are not randomly selected, and while they may be useful indicator of a candidate’s ability to organize online, they are not generally an accurate measure of support across the electorate.
...the strain on resources that night prompted us to take down the “Who won the GOP debate” question (though that didn’t stop Paul supporters from commenting; they started adding comments to the “Who won the Democratic debate?” post)....
Or see ABC News, which said this back in May:
So are the polls missing a Paul boomlet? ... Not likely. What's more likely, based on Web traffic over the past week, is that Paul supporters have mastered the art of "viral marketing," using Internet savvy and blog postings to create at least the perception of momentum for his long-shot presidential bid.
--Proper tea is theft 21:46, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Also, it should be noted that a "mixed room of likely voters" is also not scientific; no one knows if they will actually vote, and by self-selecting themselves for a focus group, any poll done of their opinions is not scientific by definition, the same as a text message poll.--Gloriamarie 22:16, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, actually the "scientific" polls are not very scientific either. People lie on those, may not have enough information to make a decision, or may not answer. They poll people for those things through telemarketing. You can't trust those polls results either because the pollsters can use biased questions (which is called push polling), because the people answering are probably not a true representative sample (people who value privacy are less likely to take polls because they're probably on the Do Not Call List), and they are often "weighted" so as to achieve the desired result (in Europe, the so-called far-right candidates polled far lower than expected a few years ago because the pollsters didn't think they had as much support as they really did, so they weighted the polls in favor of the other candidates, a big reason why Le Pen making it to the 2nd round in France's 2002 presidential election was such a surprise). No form of polling is reliable enough to be called "scientific." For all we know, the crowd sizes could be correct and Ron Paul could be the frontrunner and Fred Thompson the fringe candidate. Life, Liberty, Property 02:44, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

The Jean-Marie Le Pen situation wasn't the fault of pollsters; Le Pen voters actually had a tendency to say they would vote for someone else (out of embarrassment, it is presumed) and then actually vote for Le Pen. This year, the opposite happened-- polls upped Le Pen's numbers because they thought his support was underestimated due to that phenomenon and then he polled lower. But yes, the telephone polls aren't scientific, either.--Gloriamarie 07:50, 9 September 2007 (UTC)


Why do people think that

  1. saying someone uses cocaine
  2. saying someone has illegitimate kids
  3. saying someone is a fraud
  4. saying blacks are 95% criminal

isn't disparaging? I suppose next we'll be hearing from this crowd that burning a cross on someone's lawn is just a friendly welcoming gesture. 14:38, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't know why the adjective "disparaging" is being removed. It appears to be a valid description of the comments. Jogurney 03:48, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Agree. Tvoz |talk 03:54, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree the comments are disparaging, but I also see the other side. It is arguably a violation of npov to state that they were disparaging, but no reasonable person could read those comments and think otherwise (however, "reasonable person" is a Supreme Court-like standard, not a standard for content on Wikipedia). I also believe Ron Paul's story of how the comments ended up in his newsletter (well, it is obvious that the comments are out of touch with the rest of his record, though some reference to the comments needs to be included because his opponents have brought this up constantly throughout this campaign). Life, Liberty, Property 04:42, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Please protect or semi-protect this page, as I find the similarity to the name RuPaul quite humorous and intend to continue vandalising it. Thanks in advance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:31, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

I'd rather just block you so as to still allow other unregistered users the ability to edit the page. El_C 07:45, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

What do I have to do (or how long do I have to wait) to edit a page when it is semi-protected. I would like to do some copy-editing. RyuPaulie 00:39, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

If you edit from your account while the IP is blocked, that will be block evasion, and your account will be blocked as well. Just wait it out. Georgewilliamherbert 03:01, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
I added the semiprotection template that's on George W. Bush because the RuPaul vandal doesn't seem to want to go away. Hopefully it won't have to be permanent. But to address the original question, I think it's four days an account has to exist before you can edit semiprotected articles? Rompe 04:21, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Cocaine, fraud, and 95% criminal are allegations of crimes and therefore impartially described as "disparaging". However since Gloriamarie's page recognizes the original source language is "derogatory" instead, that might be preferable. John J. Bulten 15:02, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Newsletter discussion

This is an obvious attempt to add some irrelevant piece of information to try to tarnish Paul. The article is from 1992, and as admitted later in the paragraph, Paul didn't even write it, apologized for it, and never has he said or written anything remotely similar to this. The paragraph is really useless, and a lame use of wikipedia to try to make some political statement.

I vote for removing it. Should I go ahead and do it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

No, I say keep it. If this is the best that the anti-Ron Paul people can come up with, then it actually makes Ron Paul look better. He didn't have anything to do with it and was still man enough to accept responsibility. It makes him look better. Now if you want real scandals, just look at Hilary or Guilinni! 18:06, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
If you check the Talk archives, you will see extensive discussion of this point. The conclusion was that the newsletter represents a notable controversy, and the short summary currently included in the article does not place undue weight on it. If you disagree, I'm open to further discussion on the matter. Best regards. Jogurney 18:13, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I don't think it's a notable controversy. But I (and probably others) went along with it because it makes Ron Paul look even better. 02:02, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
This section is highly wordy and would benefit from straight Reader's Digest condensation. 4.5 sentences from a racist on race is a bit too many. John J. Bulten 15:12, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Paul did not refute the allegation that he would eliminate it if given the opportunity

In the political positions section, it says "During the September 5, 2007 Republican debate, the CIA was included in a similar list cited by moderator Chris Wallace. Paul did not refute the allegation that he would eliminate it if given the opportunity." The word "allegation" gives a negative connotation to eliminating the CIA and violates NPO. This sentence should be revised or removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:04, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

For this reason and many others, I have placed an Unbalanced tag on that section. Any attempts to improve the section have been reverted by one editor. Here is a list of the problems with that section:

  • Emphasis on relatively unimportant positions, said in a way that is not indicative of the subject's true position on the issue. As an example, school prayer is presented third in the section and given in a misleading way. I have changed its description before to "unofficial and voluntary school prayer" or to "forms of free speech such as voluntary school prayer", and these have been reverted. The article "school prayer" links to says in the first paragraph that it refers to official government-sponsored school prayer, which is why I had inserted the "unofficial." It would be more accurate and summarizing of the main article to say that he supports free speech, even when others may disagree with what is being said. Why is jury nullification mentioned when his position on the income tax is mentioned only briefly? Why is the "don't ask, don't tell" policy mentioned, but his position that almost the only federal spending he never votes against is for veterans (healthcare and benefits and the like) is not mentioned at all? Which is actually more important? I'm not saying DADT shouldn't be included, but it has been presented in a misleading way (attempting to say that he supports the current policy) and is presented over other, more important veterans' and military issues.
  • The comical emphasis on abortion is weird and brings down the quality of the article. Abortion is mentioned in the opening paragraphs of the article, along with four separate instances in four different paragraphs in this "summary," far and above anything else, including two full paragraphs on two specific pieces of legislation. This section is supposed to summarize. Full paragraphs on any individual piece of legislation are not appropriate (except for perhaps the Iraq War resolution or something of that scope.)
  • Vague statements such as "defederalizing health care." What does that mean? When has he said it? He has instead called for a return to free market health care, but said at the same time that Medicare would still exist and be paid for by all the money saved from not getting involved in unnecessary wars. This phrase seems to imply the opposite.
  • As the editor above noted, the Colbert Report information paragraph is presented in a completely NPOV manner. Simply saying, "Paul would eliminate most of the federal government" would suffice. Saying the debate thing about the CIA without giving Paul's answer (we spend a lot on the FBI now, and it is very inefficient) is not NPOV. This is presented in other areas in the section (such as wanting to withdraw from NATO) and the reason he gives for his position on these international organizations (national sovereignty) has been removed for reasons given of "it's common for politicians to believe in national sovereignty." In a section of political positions, positions should be things he's stated or voted on, not things he has "not denied" opposing. That seems silly. There used to be an entire, well-written paragraph on his oft-cited opposition to the income tax, but it also has been removed when I put it back in. That is what he has made his primary goal in office to be, lower taxes and reduce the size of the federal government, but from this section you would think he's an abortion activist or something.--Gloriamarie 18:38, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
I concur. The new focus of this section is perplexing at best. Jogurney 22:17, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

How, exactly, is the factual accuracy of the Political positions section disputed?--Gloriamarie 11:17, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Firstly, the statement, "He supports revising enforcement of the military 'don't ask, don't tell' policy to expel members with heterosexual as well as homosexual behavior issues," is incorrect. The only context in which he has discussed changing the enforcement of the policy, and not the policy itself which he calls "decent," he was complaining that expulsion was too harsh a penalty. Moreover, the UCMJ already has penalties for sexual behavior since the 1800s, so saying he wants to add them is redundant. Secondly, the statement that he supports "forms of free speech such as voluntary school prayer" is unsupported because we have no source for him supporting another "form" of free speech. Thirdly, we agree that we don't understand what "defederalizing health care" means and it is not supported by any source. Fourthly, "he says such issues should be handled at the state level," referring to abortion, conflicts with the federal legislation he has introduced. ←BenB4 11:30, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't see any facts that are incorrect. If he says expulsion (the current penalty) is too harsh, he's wanting to change enforcement. He also said it should focus on behavior, which it does not, and it should apply to both orientations equally, which it does not. At the very least, it is evident that he wants to change enforcement. He's mentioned this multiple times-- in a debate, at Google headquarters, and there is at least one other time. Whether it's redundant or not, that's what he says, so that's what his position is. Whether you agree with it or not is not the case at hand. There are many cases of him supporting forms of free speech even if he does not agree with what is being said-- examples would be the Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act and a proposed flag-burning amendment]. Whether it conflicts with his legislation is your personal opinion; others may not see it that way, and the legislation in question allowed states to decide rather than federal courts.--Gloriamarie 13:31, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Do you have a source saying he wants to change the expulsion policy? The only source mentioning it says he thinks it is too harsh, not that he wants to expand it. ←BenB4 18:12, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
I said nothing about expanding it. He in fact said that expulsion solely on the basis of orientation was not something he would support. Unless changing it to behavior-based would cover more people, he didn't say anything about expansion.--Gloriamarie 03:02, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

There is much more explicit info on ending the IRS now available at which can be developed into a single sentence one of the 3 times the subject is mentioned. John J. Bulten 15:53, 27 September 2007 (UTC)


Not entering into the merits here. Whatever happens, please, in any case let's use the word refute correctly. Refute does not mean deny; it means prove false. I suspect that the point being made is not that Paul failed to disprove the claim, but only that he did not deny it. --Trovatore 19:18, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Fix Link

The Roe v. Wade link in the Legislation section needs to be fixed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:46, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Cherry picking?

Proper-Tea-Is-Theft accuses me of cherry picking in re the lead's closing line of "never above 4%". I wrote: "He also places in the top tier in Republican straw polls, but, among phone polls of voters leaning Republican, has never exceeded 4% nationally (Gallup) or 5% statewide (Bloomberg)." Is-Theft, however, deleted my link to 62 straw poll results (every one I could find), and trimmed the rest to "Paul has never polled higher than 4% among Gallup samples of voters leaning Republican." I'd like to point out before my next revision that:

  1. the accusatory nature of "has never exceeded" already implies that that maximum will never be raised; a more impartial phrasing would be "polls only up to", but I let the accusatory character stand and worked around it (for one lousy percentage point, BTW);
  2. further, the "has never exceeded" has been an accusation well-touted by most all media most all year against Paul, but oddly the number keeps changing (I remember when it was 1%, 2%, and 3%) and maybe it's time to drop the facade altogether;
  3. when one deletes a link to a thoroughly impartial presentation of every 2008 straw poll available, even those where Paul scored 0%-1%, of the same kind as Is-Theft advocated including while simultaneously deleting their link-- well, one is not taking a very strong stance against cherry picking; and
  4. when one acts as if Gallup polls are the only type of phone polls and Bloomberg phone polls are deletable, or as if national phone polls are more worthy of presentation than primary-state phone polls, it appears to me that one is "ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict" one's apparent position. John J. Bulten 05:23, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I like your latest version. I was objecting to including one state poll that exceeded national polls in a way that implied that it was a high mark that could be meanigfully compared with national standings. It wasn't giving Paul his due for scoring "one lousy percentage point" that bothered me so much as the apples and oranges aspect of earlier attempts to insert those state polling data into that sentence.--Proper tea is theft 16:32, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

I actually agree that "has never exceeded" could be written better; the poll in question, for instance, had a 3% statistical margin of error, which means that statistically he has not exceeded 7% in such polls, not 4%, if you're going to say it in such a way that he has not exceeded a certain number.--Gloriamarie 05:53, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ Ron Paul. 2003, June 4. "Pro-Life action must originate from principle."
  2. ^ "PAC Contributions to Paul, Ron (R-TX)". Retrieved 2007-06-04. 
  3. ^ "Under the Influence: Highlights from Public Citizen's Special Interest Index" (PDF). Public Citizen. 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-04.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  4. ^ "2008 Presidential Election: Ron Paul Campaign Money". Retrieved 2007-06-04. 
  5. ^ "2008 Presidential Election: Banking on Becoming President". Retrieved 2007-06-04. 
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference texasmonthly2001 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  7. ^ Cite error: The named reference spectator1999 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Republican Liberty Caucus. Retrieved 2007-06-24. 
  9. ^ Ron Paul's Web of support: He's an 'online natural'
  10. ^ Hitwise political data center - key candidates
  11. ^ related info for
  12. ^ U.S.News and World Report: Ron Paul's Online Rise accessed on May 10, 2007
  13. ^ "Defeat the Media Clones"
  15. ^ "YouTube stats"
  16. ^ YouTube accessed on August 13th, 2007
  17. ^