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Ron Paul Campaign Answers Slashdot Reader Questions

Roblimo posted more than 6 years ago | from the first-they-ignore-you dept.

Politics 1011

On January 15th we asked you for tech-oriented questions we could send to the various presidential candidates, and you responded like mad. The candidates were the exact opposite: not a single one answered emails we sent to their "media inquiry" links or email addresses. Slashdot has more readers than all but a handful of major daily papers, so that's kind of strange. Maybe they figure our votes aren't worth much or that hardly any of us vote. In any case, the Ron Paul campaign finally responded, due to some string-pulling by a Slashdot reader who knows some of Ron Paul's Texas campaign people. Perhaps other Slashdot readers -- like you (hint hint) -- can pull a few strings with some of the other campaigns and get them to communicate with us. Use this email address, please. But first, you'll probably want to read the Ron Paul campaign's answers to your questions (below).

1) Global high tech

In the last year, India and China have both announced and made progress towards implementing their own space programs. How should America respond to such growing technological boldness in such countries? Is it a threat or an opportunity?

Ron Paul campaign:
America should stop subsidizing the defenses of the rest of the world and worry more about its own national security interests, including its interests in a viable space program. As president, I will also work to remove barriers to private space flight.

2) Why Can't I Get a Straight Answer?

I've noticed that a number of candidates (I'm not naming names) and a number of administration officials will not answer a question in a clear and concise fashion. The subject could be anything from "Do you think waterboarding is torture?" to "What will be your stance toward the war in Iraq if you are elected?"

So my question to you is, "Do you think that I want someone in that office (Whichever one it is) who is deliberately attempting to deceive me?"

Even if you don't answer this question, I hope you think about it the next time someone asks you a question.

Ron Paul campaign:
The American people should expect clear and direct answers to their questions. Not only have I always strived to clearly state my position on issues, but my voting record backs up my commitment to the free-market, limited government philosophy I espouse on the campaign trail.

3) Marijuana

I'm a college graduate with a decent job in a technical field. I pay my taxes, my debts are minimal. I get along well with others, and am close to my family. I like to think that I am a good citizen and contribute to society. Yet because I smoke marijuana instead of drinking beer when I come home from work, my government has declared war on me.

My question is this: Do you believe I belong in jail? If so, why? If not, what are you going to do to protect me from being arrested?

Ron Paul campaign:
I oppose federal laws outlawing marijuana and I oppose federal interference with state medical marijuana laws.

4) What do you think about technology?

Can you clarify your policy around fair use of digital media and content? More specifically, can you explain how you will balance the rights of the average citizen to use digital content in "fair use" ways (backups, time-shifting, parody, etc.) with the need for corporations to protect IP investments? With the previous two administrations we have seen an erosion of fair-use rights via the DMCA and copyright extension bills. As President, will your policies tend to favor these trends or reverse them?

Ron Paul campaign:
I favor enforcement of intellectual property rights; however, some of the steps taken to protect these rights impose unreasonable burdens on the consumers and even raise civil liberties concerns. As president, I will seek a balance between the interest of copyright holders and consumers of digital media.

5) What do you think about patents?

People complain about taxes being the main hindrance of innovation, but when someone creates a new product, be it an iPhone or a Blackberry, they aren't looking out for the tax man. The main hindrance to American technological innovation is a patent system that rewards people for sitting on ideas and punishes those who create new products.

It has become an accepted fact that when you create something new, you will likely have to pay companies that had nothing whatsoever to do with your invention, just because they filed a patent while never intending to actually produce or sell anything.

As President, would you fix our broken patent system?

Ron Paul campaign:
Patents have a role to play in encouraging innovation. While I do not have a plan for patent reform yet, I would want to work with Congress to make sure that the US patent system encourages and rewards innovation. Making sure the patent system is fair to small business and entrepreneurs, rewards the actual inventors of a product, and does not tilt the playing field to large corporations will be a priority in my administration's approach to patent law.

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1011 comments

How do you propose to take care of the blacks? (-1, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307702)

There's too many to round up and ship to africa, maybe we could make some sort of cheap biofuel from them?

What do you think about it, you racist bag of dogshit?

Re:How do you propose to take care of the blacks? (0, Troll)

nukepuppy (246164) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307756)

everyone is equal.. black chinese white hispanic

thats how you take care of everyone.

You knew the answer you just hate that you dont get special attention because of being black which you shouldnt.. period.

an email link (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22307708)

an email link? on the front page of /. ?

I'm sure there will be no abuse or spam with that one.

Re:an email link (2, Interesting)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307808)

Good point. Why didn't the poster use something like the Hivelogic Enkoder? At least only real people would then send messages to the account.

coflicting answers (4, Insightful)

nevurthls (1167963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307718)

To me the answer to question 2 very much conflicts with the answer to question 1.

Re:coflicting answers (2, Informative)

nevurthls (1167963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307790)

or question 4, or question 5 for that matter.

Re:coflicting answers (2, Insightful)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307920)

And question 3, really.

Then again, these are not Mr Paul's words or views ("The Ron Paul Campaign" ?) --They have been sterilised, vetted, re-vetted and possibly not even drafted by Paul.

Re:coflicting answers (-1, Troll)

flitty (981864) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308004)

I finally understand the R(EVOL)UTION!!! Here, Paul, have my credit card info 5266 1243.... take it all, TAKE IT ALL!

Re:coflicting answers (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22307956)

How so?

#1 is horrible shorthand for:

Playing cop and peacemaker and bully across different parts of the world is expensive and contrary to our national interests.
If you reverse course on those policies, you allow of lower taxes by cutting the actual need for the money. That in turn allows
the country to focus on 'true national interests' which includes private research of all sorts.

Re:coflicting answers (5, Insightful)

GradiusCVK (1017360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307992)

I don't really see how that's the case, both answers seemed pretty compatible... perhaps if you had given a reason or two we could discuss this further. Your lack of details notwithstanding, let me try to explain why they are not in conflict: 1: He basically stated that by discontinuing our subsidization of other countries through military aid, they will quickly find they have a lot less money to blow on costly, competitive space plans. Beyond that, it's not our business to try to interfere with other countries' efforts to build a space infrastructure. We ought to try to improve our own, of course. 2: He said he believes we all deserve straightforward, concise answers to our questions. I see no conflict... I assume you intended to say that his answer to question 1 was somehow not a straight answer, but I contend that if you try using that brain of yours for something other than snarky comments you will quickly find he gave a very concise, logical answer to question 1 while explicitly avoiding buzzwords and fluff.

Re:coflicting answers (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308190)

The problem with the answer to #1 is that there was no answer to: "Is it a threat or an opportunity?".
A direct answer would seem to have to be one of: threat, opportunity, none of the above, all of the above.

Re:coflicting answers (3, Interesting)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308100)

To me the answer to question 2 very much conflicts with the answer to question 1.
Please explain?

Re:coflicting answers (5, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308126)

The whole thing is bullshit. There's no way anyone spent more than 15 minutes on these stupid answers. Also, typical politician speak, in which they take 5 sentences to say "I agree".

Nothing but sound bites (2, Informative)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308200)

The whole thing is bullshit.
It's politics. What exactly did you expect? As for the answers; they're nothing but sound bites. It would be better if Taco had just linked to the Issues [ronpaul2008.com] page on Ron Paul's website.

Re:coflicting answers (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308134)

What I gather he's saying is the American government shouldn't worry about whether X country has a space program and instead just focus on our own space goals, including reducing private space red tape. I agree it cryptic.

Re:coflicting answers (1)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308156)

To me the answer to question 2 very much conflicts with the answer to question 1.

The answer to #1 may appear confusing if you don't quite "get" how Libertarians (whether running as Republican or not) think.

To translate it into plain English, he thinks we should have nothing to do with a government-sponsored space-race. We should instead have a regulatory climate friendly to the numerous private ventures trying to do the same damned thing without using our tax dollars in the process.


Questions 4 and 5, however, somewhat surprise me. A proper libertarian would have ranted about "corporate protectionism" and flatly stated he would do away with all but the bare minimum of IP-related laws. Then again, part of RP's appeal comes from his sanity rather than his strict adherence to unrealistic Libertarian ideals, so he (as with the vast majority of people) might just not have considered those issues to nearly the same extent we Slashdotters do on an almost daily basis.

lolwut (5, Insightful)

snarfies (115214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307720)

So, like, I'm confused. Who is actually answering these questions here? The title and story intro say the questions are answered by the "Ron Paul campaign." So does that mean this is, in fact, Ron Paul himself answering, or his people, or a combination, or...?

Re:lolwut (5, Informative)

Roblimo (357) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307954)

The answers were prepared by Ron Paul's legislative director, who is the person in most Congressional offices (don't forget - Ron Paul is a sitting Congressman, not just a presidential candidate) who is empowered to speak on behalf of the representative. It's also possible, although we have not been told this, that Rep. Paul himself came up with the answers.

Many years ago, on a certain presidential campaign (which one is not important; he didn't win), if you got a "personal" answer to your letter addressed to the candidate, chances are that I wrote it and "signed" his name with a machine that scrawled "his" signature with a felt-tip pen.

You really can't expect a presidential candidate to personally answer all requests or even all media requests. That task alone takes at least 100 hours per day, which means you need to have a number of people doing it.

Reality = when you vote for almost any office higher than local school board member, you're voting for a team instead of for an individual.

I have learned, over the years, to carefully watch the actions of that team, and its organization or lack thereof, as a useful indicator of how competent that candidate will be in office if he or she is elected.

I may have stories to tell about our attempts to contact various campaigns as the general election gets closer. :)

- Robin

Re:lolwut (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307978)

So, like, I'm confused. Who is actually answering these questions here? The title and story intro say the questions are answered by the "Ron Paul campaign." So does that mean this is, in fact, Ron Paul himself answering, or his people, or a combination, or...?
It's the media juggernaut collectively referred to as "Ron Paul". I'm sure at some level Ron Paul read and responded to these questions, but then his answers were filtered through layers of PR people into palatable pre-digested "safe" answers that give a general feeling of Ron Paul's opinion without actually answering anything definitively that way if he should happen to do something different after election they have enough freedom to spin the answer to the inevitable questions. Unfortunately that's politics for you, you're never going to get a simple straight answer short of cornering one of the candidates someplace by himself and hoping he'll actually answer your questions.

Re:lolwut (4, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308000)

So does that mean this is, in fact, Ron Paul himself answering, or his people, or a combination, or...?

Well, just like Ron Paul's newsletters [cnn.com], these will be his own writing when he agrees with it, then someone else's writing when it gets attention, and finally ghostwritten with no prior knowledge of his when the sh*t hits the fan...

But of course, we are all supposed to believe that he is not just another politician, and he is somehow fantastic and different.

Re:lolwut (1)

numbsafari (139135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308154)

Well said...

I missed the story asking him questions. I actually think the list of questions answered was pretty lame given that the summary says there was a large response.

I would love to hear Ron talk about what sorts of compromises he would be willing to make in order to get legislation done. Too many "libertarians" act like the presidency is a kingship (yes yes... even though their supposed political "morals" would indicate otherwise). That's why I can't vote for libertarians any more.

Contradiction (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22307724)

His answer to question #3 contradicts his resolution in answer to question #2.

Re:Contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22307996)

His answer to question #3 contradicts his resolution in answer to question #2.

I don't know, "federal government should shut up and quit harassing states that pass laws allowing marijuana" was pretty straightforward.

Re:Contradiction (1)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308186)

How about Question #4?

As president, I will seek a balance between the interest of copyright holders and consumers of digital media.

Oh Really? Basically he's saying "I won't tell you how I'll seek a balance, but this answer is sufficiently vague enough so that I can do pretty much anything I want to do about it - which includes completely ignoring the issue!"

Exactly what I wanted to hear! (3, Insightful)

parcel (145162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307730)

Which is a less than huge surprise, considering how leading most of those questions were!

Seems like the libertarian version of a typical politician - light on details, light on commitment, and exactly what the audience was looking for.

Softball questions. (5, Interesting)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308210)

Not just leading, but real "softball" questions. I'm surprised they didn't ask if he likes puppies. I'm pleased to learn he believes in providing direct answers to direct questions and I'd like some answers to questions such as:

Do you believe the current levels of illegal immigration are harmful to America in terms of economy and culture? If so, how do you propose to reduce/end illegal immigration?
Do you believe in open borders -- unrestricted immigration?
In Republican debate #2, you implied that America was not attacked on 9/11. What words, the, would you use to describe the events of that day -- the murder of thousands of people by organized foreign nationals subsidized by States, the destruction of hundreds of millions of dollars in property and the follow-on damage to our economy?
Should those on welfare be disallowed from voting?
What restrictions to firearm ownership do you support?
Do you believe the Federal government has exceeded the authority granted to it by the Constitution? If so, how do you propose to return America's Federal government to the limited powers proscribed therein?
How will you reduce America's dependence on foreign oil?
Is healthcare a right?
Please give you opinion regarding Kelo v. City of New London (Supreme court deciison which gives municipalities broad powers to seize private property for the purpose of increasing tax revenues).
etc.

Frankly, I'd like answers to those questions from ALL politicians. It would be a step forward, instead of the current internecine squabbling : the "he said/she said/you made the girl cry" pandering Soap Opera.

Ron Paul can't win! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22307734)

I'm supporting Hillary Clinton for President of the United States! Hillary Clinton is more sane than Ron Paul and is supported by Republican pundit Ann Coulter (hot).

Hillary Clinton will in the war in Iraq and eliminate corporate taxes (she's a supply sider, Jude Wanniski!)

In the words of Lloyd Bentsen...
Ron Paul, you're no Thomas Jefferson.

Hillary for the win!

pundit envy^h^h^h^h lust (0, Offtopic)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307854)

The fact that you want to have sex with Ann Coulter is the main reason you're going to vote for Hillary Clinton is revealing of some deep psychological problem. You should get help.

Trolling for suckers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308012)

The fact that you want to have sex with Ann Coulter is the main reason you're going to vote for Hillary Clinton is revealing of some deep psychological problem. You should get help.
You've been trolled.

Re:pundit envy^h^h^h^h lust (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308046)

You really shouldn't put the guy down just because he has some weird sexual proclivities. Guys with a fetish for pre-op transsexuals are people too, you know.

Queue "Ron Paul is a nut" posts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22307736)

They're so dreary, they claim he's a "nut" but then don't really name any specifics. "Oooh, Ron Paul is a nut! He'll, umm, get rid of federal reserve 3 days after he's sworn in!!!". Nonsense.

Re:Queue "Ron Paul is a nut" posts. (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307994)

How about the "Ron Paul stands just about as much chance of being elected as you do" posts? It doesn't really matter if the person reading is 15, an atheist, Chinese, or a member of Al Qaeda; the statement is still accurate.

The best thing about Ron Paul this year is how he can be the ultimate form of humiliation. Pundits and pollsters were all over Rudy "9/11" Giuliani before the primaries started. Some of them were practically writing his victory speeches before the first vote had been cast. Then people started voting and he got less votes than even Ron Paul.

As far as the "nut" complaint, just Google "Gold Standard". He's also protectionist as hell. He also stands behind a lot of things that Slashdotters find acceptable that are political suicide in America today (legalize drugs, gay marrage is ok, privatize Social Security). It's one thing to be against "wasteful government spending", but when it ends up involving people dying on the street (social programs), it's a lot harder to stomach. From a purely economic point of view it is probably better to let the mentally ill and unemployable just die on the street instead of subsidizing them for the rest of their life, but that's not what most people consider acceptable for the first world.

Re:Queue "Ron Paul is a nut" posts. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308174)

He's also protectionist as hell.

That's a rather blatant lie. Paul has consistently supported free trade (even with Cuba). This is why he's opposed to organizations like the GTO and treaties like NAFTA, which extensively regulate international trade.

-jcr

Ron Paul Newsletter (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22307744)

I wonder if RP ever figured out who was writing in the "Ron Paul Newsletter". Seems he still can't figure out who was writing the racist hate speech contained within his own newsletter.

Who really cares what he has to say? (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307764)

He doesn't stand the slightest chance of making it to the election. Anyone supporting his is totally wasting their effort and cash.

Re:Who really cares what he has to say? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22307840)

Much like Linux on the desktop, right?

Re:Who really cares what he has to say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308010)

No, more like Vista in the datacenter.

Re:Who really cares what he has to say? (1)

Kintar1900 (901219) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308084)

Cue the "that's what's wrong with our two-party system" flamewar in three, two...

Re:Who really cares what he has to say? (5, Insightful)

log0n (18224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308196)

So we should vote based on who's viable rather than who's right? Anymore, this seems to exemplify exactly what's wrong with this country.

I wonder.... (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307794)

If he actually answered the questions himself, or someone who has their ideals aligned with Ron Paul on his staff that is technically savvy.

The answers, although answered, were rather short, and someone ambiguous in my opinion. But atleast he (or someone in his office) responded.

Barriers to private space flight...like gravity? (1)

jimgarritano (949986) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307804)

"Barriers to private space flight" unfortunately includes gravity. Sorry, but there is no good answer to dealing with competitive space programs without using the word "program."

Libertarians don't force gravity on others (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308032)

If two things wish to have gravity with each other, such as say the Earth and the Moon, that is fine. However, if you choose not to enter into a gravity contract with the Earth, you will be free of gravity under the Ron Paul administration.

Now, do you see why gravity is no longer a barrier to space flight?

Wow (3, Funny)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307816)

I'm overwhelmed by RP's insight and commitment to these issues, and can't wait to put him into a leadership position.

Meh... (4, Insightful)

Oxy the moron (770724) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307832)

Not trolling at all here, but I was rather underwhelmed by the responses.

Basically, the responses given by the Ron Paul campaign carried the tone I expected (more focus on personal liberties and free market) but were truly lacking in depth. For once, it would be nice to get a more detailed response from a politician, and not just the typical buzzword jockeying.

Of all the candidates, this was the one I least expected generalizations and "typical response" muck. Oh well... at least they responded... I guess...

Re:Meh... (2, Insightful)

GradiusCVK (1017360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307902)

I don't see why... "typical" politicians avoid making commitments altogether. Ron Paul stated his stance on the issues as concisely as possible (explicitly AVOIDING the use of buzzwords and filler), and took a position on each one of them. I now know precisely what his commitment is to each of these topics, even if he didn't outline a complete, step-by-step plan on how to implement each one of them. I think these answers were completely sufficient.

Re:Meh... (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308202)

I don't see why... "typical" politicians avoid making commitments altogether. Ron Paul stated his stance on the issues as concisely as possible (explicitly AVOIDING the use of buzzwords and filler), and took a position on each one of them. I now know precisely what his commitment is to each of these topics, even if he didn't outline a complete, step-by-step plan on how to implement each one of them. I think these answers were completely sufficient.
I would have liked a little more detail on at least the patent and copyright questions. As it is all he said could be summarized as "patents and copyright are important for encouraging innovation, but we need to be careful not to discourage small businesses and block fair use", which really isn't saying anything at all. It's effectively the official summary of why we have a USPTO in the first place. Based on that comment he could easily turn around and approve the next copyright extension bill but insist that instead of extending it another 80 years, only do 40 because that would be better for encouraging new work. It's effectively a non-answer. Now, if he had said something like "We should reduce copyright terms back to around the original limits, somewhere in the ballpark of 20 or 30 years" that would have been a real answer.

Re:Meh... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308212)

You sir are a complete nimrod. Please remove yourself from this website.

Even though I don't vote... (5, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307844)

...I still support Ron Paul and am very vocal in proposing him as a choice to my many family, friends and customers who do vote.

Nonetheless, these answers were a bit short and vague, but I do agree with how he answered them. Ron Paul's greatest asset is that he does listen. I have an interesting story dating back many years to a gold conference I attended in San Mateo. Ron Paul was a keynote speaker there, and after his speech, everyone left the convention room to gather for drinks and snacks. Outside the room, I started speaking with some younger folk who gathered outside the convention room (the average age of people in the room was probably 70, and I was the only person under 40 who wasn't a nurse of an old person in a wheelchair). Even almost a decade ago, Paul had young fans who would gather to talk to him outside of the official convention. As I spoke to these teenagers and young adults, many from the convention gathered to hear me out. After about 45 minutes of fielding questions, the crowd finally dispersed, and then I noticed that Dr. Paul was in the crowd listening. A congressman who took time out from his then-hectic schedule to actually hear me speak about gold and freedom. We spoke for a few minutes, and since then I've regularly talked to him at other conventions he's attended. It's ridiculous to me to think that a popular congressman would take even a few minutes out of his life to listen to anyone but lobbyists, but Paul has done it again and again with people around him. Even during the current campaign I've seen Paul spend hours after a speech to shake hands, answer questions bluntly, and sign pocket Constitutions.

Paul's most magic words I've heard him speak is to say that as President he doesn't have the power that people would want HIM to have. He admits that the President's powers are very limited, and his sole purpose to be President is to use the bully pulpit to raise awareness on Constitutional issues. He would be wonderful with the veto pen, and he would call our big business and lobbying groups for their actions, as he has done (on C-SPAN) over his many years in Congress.

On the war issue that many neoconservatives hate him for, Paul has said repeatedly that he is against undeclared wars. He's also said that Presidents are to follow Congress on declaring war or refusing it. This means that Paul _would_ go to war if Congress declared it, even in Iraq. He's putting politicians in their responsible positions by demanding that they follow the Constitution.

Paul wants the Federal Department of Education gone, because they make a mess of education. He also admits he can't do it alone. He wants the IRS gone, because of its unconstitutionalist, but he can't do it alone. A vote for Paul is NOT a vote for getting rid of anything, or stopping a war, or ending rampant government growth -- it's a vote to put a freedom lover in the most powerful bully pulpit, to remind the politicians and the masses that freedom and responsibility are the individual's right to protect and follow through on.

Even though I don't vote, I support voters who make clear choices based on the Constitution that we believe in to protect the freedoms that I believe are God-granted, or inherent at birth for all people in all countries. Paul's message is powerful in that he's not looking to lead people, but to follow them, and protect their freedoms so they can make responsible, or irresponsible choices, and learn lessons from those choices. He's not looking to stop abortion, but to stop Federal involvement in an issue that is debatable as a "murder" cause. The definition of murder is a State issue, and Paul wants to force the issue there. I appreciate his candor and honesty even though I disagree with many positions of his.

I'm glad he answered these questions simply, because it allows you to see that Paul believes the President is near powerless, except for the veto pen and the bully pulpit.

short interview (1)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307850)

I'm glad that he has responded to slashdot, but I would have liked to see him answer a few more questions.

I've been a fan of Ron Paul for a very long time. I voted for him 12 years ago in my high schools "mock election". He continues to support limited government in all aspects of our life, pretty much a polar opposite of Hillary and Obama.

The main question I have for Ron regards education. We have slipped horribly by giving control of the school system to the government. Sure, our government isn't that bad. I can think of much worse governments out there. But, does it really matter? Why does the government decide what to teach our kids? Why do they decide whether to teach evolution or creation? Why do they decide where the children go for field trips? Why can't those decisions be given back to parents? Ron, what plan do you have to eliminate the government's role in education?

What exactly do you mean? (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307982)

The main question I have for Ron regards education. We have slipped horribly by giving control of the school system to the government. Sure, our government isn't that bad. I can think of much worse governments out there. But, does it really matter? Why does the government decide what to teach our kids? Why do they decide whether to teach evolution or creation? Why do they decide where the children go for field trips? Why can't those decisions be given back to parents? Ron, what plan do you have to eliminate the government's role in education?

I'd like to know what you mean by eliminating the government's role in education. Are you only talking about abolishing the Federal Department of Education? Or do you also want to see compulsory attendance laws and child labor laws repealed, and public schooling abolished?

I hate to be overly cynical, but (1)

Lucas123 (935744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307852)

the fact is that politicians don't respond to you unless it's in their interest (i.e. votes or notoriety) not the public's interest. That kind of constituent scorning only increases after they're elected. I'm very familiar with politicians in that I was a reporter for mainstream media for seven years before my current job with IT, and I learned the hard way that politicians rarely give anyone the time of day. They're mainly interested in garnering committee appointments for power's sake.

Re:I hate to be overly cynical, but (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308006)

While this site might have as much readership as a major newspaper, if you look at the comments, you'll assume that the readership is largely made up of people that aren't old enough to vote.

Really? (5, Insightful)

wanerious (712877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307864)

So I suppose it's my fault for not checking this thread and modding these questions down, but come on. "Why can't I get a straight answer?" and an inflammatory question on marijuana? This is why the elected hold the masses in contempt. Then two questions about patents and IP, where one begs the question of a broken patent system (not that I disagree, but it's a lousy way to ask a question). Are these the best presidential questions dealing with science and technology we can come up with? I'd like to hear something about energy policy, science education, NSF funding, international collaborations for basic research, and so on.

Just blowing off steam. Sheesh.

Re:Really? (0, Flamebait)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308082)

Yeah, the questions could have been better. What's the point of a MaryJane question to someone with known Libertarian leanings?

I would have liked a nuclear power question. Even Obama came out in favor of nuke power, or at least revisiting the current state of the art. Unfortunately, he'll tax me at a 99% rate to pay for it.

Tell em what they wanna hear! (1)

Carson Napier (1045596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307876)

This is classic political bullshit. They're just answering in a way that makes you think he's all about YOU! (rolls eyes)

IF the others would respond, it would just be more of the same.

Ron Paul... the spoiler vote for the republicans in 2008.
Crap!

ron paul: the troll candidate (0, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307898)

the story of the ron paul candidacy is the story of the legions of contrail conspiracists, racists, libertarians, alternative utopian fruitcakes, and other wildcard assorted crackpots on teh intarwebs banding together and choosing their representative. never before in american politics has such a force like the internet allowed such disparate trollish lunatic fringe voices to band together and coordinate their efforts

long live the internet. allowing crackpot internet types to choose the troll candidate for presidency since 2007

Re:ron paul: the troll candidate (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308208)

Thank goodness there is no chance for Ron Paul to win. I mean, if he did win we might stop killing innocent people or borrowing ourself into a debt so deep we'll have to reneg on it and slip into 3d world status. Thank goodness we have the two major parties, MSM, and voters like you to ensure we ever get a candidate with a sense of reality, humanity, or responsibility.

Re:ron paul: the troll candidate (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308242)

Well, unfortunately for me there isn't a different choice for state's rights and limited government. These are the issues that I vote on, and quite frankly, the rest of the candidates are pathetic on them.

I guess voting on the issues that I care about makes me a crackpot by association.

Hopefully at some point the internet will allow enough people to band together to actually avoid electing a typical worthless puppet at some point in my life.

And? (1)

Foolicious (895952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307916)

None of the answers say anything. And the questions are stupid; are these issues really the most important things to slashdot readers? I'd just love to have one debate/interview here that didn't involve, whatever your position, a pot question. Anyhow, Paul's answers are no different than any other politicians. This was, is and will be a waste of time. Now brace yourselves for a flurry of bumper sticker vandals hijacking the thread.

Re:And? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308052)

I'd just love to have one debate/interview here that didn't involve, whatever your position, a pot question


When you consider it is essentially the biggest revolution in history (i.e. people knowingly breaking the law in a loosely combined effort), I feel it SHOULD be in every debate/interview that deals with politics.

Not to mention the standard arguments why it should be legalized (taxes, safety, less people in prison for growing/smoking a PLANT, medical use, traffic accidents compared to alcohol, etc.)

It's just like Bill Hicks said when he was talking about how god made pot. "Let's see...everything looks good. Wait...oh my god...I left fuckin' pot everywhere!"

Opportunity to make voice heard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22307940)

These were good questions and it is a shame that most of the candidates (or at least their staff) did not make an effort to respond to them. An easy way to express outrage is to vote for Ron Paul in the primaries. Write him in if you have to. It probably won't affect the outcome, but a surge in votes for Ron Paul will give future candidates an incentive to be more responsive to requests from alternative sources of media.

maybe slashdot should contact the candidates again (3, Interesting)

King Gabey (593144) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307948)

Except this time, make it clear how many subscribers are actively reading slashdot. Instead of some crackpot geek site they'll see it as a forum for a significant amount of voters. Or maybe they just don't think geeks vote :)

Unfortunately ... (3, Insightful)

CycleFreak (99646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307960)

It is highly unlikely then Ron Paul will win the Republican nomination. This is unfortunate because he is an extremely smart man who is consistent in his policies. His voting history carries this out. Not only that, be he is the only candidate that seems to have a solid understanding of sound economic fiscal policy.

Even more unfortunate, we will soon be left with elections that are exactly as they have been in the past: A choice between the lesser of two evils.

Tell me, of the 4 front-runners (Clinton, Obama, Romney, McCain), who deserves your vote? The answer is: None of the above.

[ exhale a sigh of desperation ]

Unfortunately ... (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308064)

Tell me, of the 4 front-runners (Clinton, Obama, Romney, McCain), who deserves your vote? The answer is: None of the above.
I said something like this yesterday in another discussion, but I doubt you'll convince many people. Unfortunately, most people want a leader. Most people want to delegate the responsibility of thinking onto another person, so that when the shit hits the fan they can say, "Don't blame me, I was just following orders."

Re:Unfortunately ... (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308166)

Even more unfortunate, we will soon be left with elections that are exactly as they have been in the past: A choice between the lesser of two evils.
Wait, wait, I missed something. When did they removed the 'Write-in' line?

Sheesh (1, Informative)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307962)

Five questions, and you waste one on, "Have you stopped beating your wife", I mean, "Why do you lie to us", I mean, "why can't I get a straight answer"?

What do you expect the candidate to say? All the questions were pretty sucky, IMO.

It being Ron Paul, I wish one of the questions was, "How can you, as a doctor, be a evolution denier? And will you, once President, have a scientist explain what a theory is [youtube.com]?

We wouldn't allow a person who believes in a flat earth to become President. We wouldn't allow a holocaust denier to become President. Why would we allow an evolution denier to become President?

Re:Sheesh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22308108)

Because we already did?

Re:Sheesh (1)

edsousa (1201831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308178)

We wouldn't allow a person who believes in a flat earth to become President. We wouldn't allow a holocaust denier to become President. Why would we allow an evolution denier to become President?
Do you know what a theory is? Flat earth is not a theory, holocaust is not a theory. Those can't be denied. Evolution IS a theory. Anyone is free to deny a theory until (and if) proven and not be judged for it.

Dissapointment (1)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307972)

Not to say that I had high hopes anyways, and maybe I haven't been here long enough (c. 2005), but this the most dissapointing interview I've seen. There is so little content to each answer. This has just reinforced to me that the whole of Ron Paul's plan has evolved to little more than shouting "THE CONSTITUTION" and "LESS GOVERNMENT" every chance he gets. He was actually the only one that I figured would respond, as his base is most active on the web. I had hope for him. But now, I really feel a no response would have been better.

Making sure the patent system is fair to small business and entrepreneurs, rewards the actual inventors of a product, and does not tilt the playing field to large corporations will be a priority in my administration's approach to patent law.
 
So what? How does that translate into policy?! He espouses "straight answers" and then gives a completely ambgiuous one in the same interview.

More of the Same (2, Insightful)

humphrm (18130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307980)

More non-answers from a guy who claims to be running on a "not more of the same" platform.

For instance:

Quote:
2) Why Can't I Get a Straight Answer?

Ron Paul campaign:
The American people should expect clear and direct answers to their questions.

3) Marijuana : My question is this: Do you believe I belong in jail? If so, why? If not, what are you going to do to protect me from being arrested?

Ron Paul campaign:
I oppose federal laws outlawing marijuana and I oppose federal interference with state medical marijuana laws. /Quote

Does anyone else think that Answer #2 conflicts with Answer #3? Did he just not answer the guy's direct question? (i.e. "what are you going to do to protect me from being arrested?")

Another non-answer: "As president, I will seek a balance between the interest of copyright holders and consumers of digital media. "

I must say, after all the hoopla about this guy being a "real candidate", I'm not impressed. He sounds like more of the same to me.

Re:More of the Same (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307990)

I must say, after all the hoopla about this guy being a "real candidate", I'm not impressed. He sounds like more of the same to me.


With the subtle difference that he's barking mad.

I don't likeRon Paul, but question (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308070)

3 seemed like a pretty straight forward answer. He oppose Federal Marijuana laws and federal interference with state laws regards Medical Marijuana.

Hell, it's the only thing he has said that I like, and I don't smoke pot.

Re:I don't likeRon Paul, but question (2, Interesting)

humphrm (18130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308118)

The question was not "Do you oppose Federal Marijuana laws..." it was "What are you going to do to protect me from being arrested". It's an indirect answer at best. And just one paragraph above, he said we deserve direct answers.

Clearly (-1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22307984)

he had someone skim the ideal answers and either avoid the questions or answer in a conflicting way.

Sorry, but Ron Paul is against womens rights, and is just another vector to get more religion into the government.

Of course it doesn't matter because Romney going to get it because most of the republican left are just hard core republicans that only vote based on their party line.

Re:Clearly (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308142)

I'm not sure what in particular concerns you regarding women's rights here - probably abortion. If you won't vote for anybody solely based on that one issue, well then not much can bee done. As far as church/state goes - I can't imagine that a libertarian would be big on integrating religion with the national government (establishment clause and all that).

However, the thing I really object to in your post is the suggest that these are all Ron Paul is about. I'm sorry - regardless of your your position on libertarianism or a few particular issues, you have to admit that Ron Paul's platform is fundamentally different from just about everybody else in the running. He would push for major change in comparison to what has been done in the past.

You can certainly debate whether this change would be good or bad, but you can't dismiss him as a typical politician who disagrees with you in two areas...

Maybe they figure our votes aren't worth much (3, Insightful)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308058)

Maybe they figure our votes aren't worth much or that hardly any of us vote.
I know this story is slanted such that we are supposed to feel that only Ron Paul cares enough about us to actually respond, but the truth of the matter is that despite slashdot's large readership, a significant fraction of the readership is not eligible to vote in U.S. elections, whereas large U.S. newspapers can boast a much larger percentage of eligible U.S. voters. Also, politicians still pay more attention to print publications than to internet publications. Print media still holds more respect. One of my coworkers once told me he had e-mailed his resume to 100 companies and not gotten a single response. I told him that I would bet money that he had sent his resume by regular mail to the company that he would have gotten multiple responses. Of course, that would have cost him over $40 in stamps, plus more effort to address everything. This is the same reason you are more likely to get a response from a politician if you send them a letter than an e-mail. You have to put more effort into a letter, so they are going to pay more attention to it.

Garbage for questions (4, Insightful)

wiggles (30088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308060)

You serve politicians up questions like that, where their answers will either alienate the Slashdot population or the general electorate, and you expect answers? Come on. Those were cherry picked by Ron Paul fanboys. The pot smoking question especially.

Clarification of Ron Paul answers (2, Informative)

mackermacker (250587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308068)

President Bush wanted to chime in as well, and ./ also has Bush's response: http://www.soundboard.com/sb/Monkey_Sounds_audio.aspx [soundboard.com] .

I hope everything is clearer now. It's funny how Ron Paul haters love to point out he will never win. Well, his views won't die, and Nader had no chance either, but how many votes did he win in FL, 100k? And how many votes were in dispute with Bush, less than 1000?

I get the feeling big media, fox news, and hardcore dems or repubs love to live in denial that he isn't a threat.

I did the "string-pulling"... (1)

Will the Chill (78436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308078)

... and I can tell you that the only reason these answers are so short is because the campaign was incredibly crunched for time due to all the Super Tuesday business.

I have been involved in politics before, and I can honestly say our friends in the campaign really went above and beyond the call of duty to get us these answers only a few hours after I made the initial telephone calls.

We should be thankful there are /any/ US presidential candidates who stand for actual liberty and peace issues, much less that they will take notice of our corner of the Net.

-Will the Chill

*sig not available at this time due to long Super Tuesday voting lines*

Nevertheless... (1, Troll)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308104)

Ron Paul is still the biggest spammer on the Internet today, and should be imprisoned for same.

I seem his name much more frequently than viägra, online degrees, and fake rolex. I am tired of it. I doubt I am alone.

Did I miss something? (1)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308138)

2) Why Can't I Get a Straight Answer?

I've noticed that a number of candidates (I'm not naming names) and a number of administration officials will not answer a question in a clear and concise fashion. The subject could be anything from "Do you think waterboarding is torture?" to "What will be your stance toward the war in Iraq if you are elected?"

So my question to you is, "Do you think that I want someone in that office (Whichever one it is) who is deliberately attempting to deceive me?"

Even if you don't answer this question, I hope you think about it the next time someone asks you a question.

Ron Paul campaign:

The American people should expect clear and direct answers to their questions. Not only have I always strived to clearly state my position on issues, but my voting record backs up my commitment to the free-market, limited government philosophy I espouse on the campaign trail.

So he, or his campaign, agrees that the American people should expect clear and direct answers, and then prevaricates and fails to answer the question.

I'm not an American voter so while his advocacy of clear and direct answers doesn't apply to me I'm not quite sure of how dedicated he is to that philiosophy from the answer given.

KIhan Paul answers your questions (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308140)

1) Global high tech

In the last year, India and China have both announced and made progress towards implementing their own space programs. How should America respond to such growing technological boldness in such countries? Is it a threat or an opportunity?

Khan Paul campaign:
Do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? ...It is very cold in space.

2) Why Can't I Get a Straight Answer?

I've noticed that a number of candidates (I'm not naming names) and a number of administration officials will not answer a question in a clear and concise fashion. The subject could be anything from "Do you think waterboarding is torture?" to "What will be your stance toward the war in Iraq if you are elected?"

So my question to you is, "Do you think that I want someone in that office (Whichever one it is) who is deliberately attempting to deceive me?"

Even if you don't answer this question, I hope you think about it the next time someone asks you a question.

Khan Paul campaign: Oh, I've given you no word to keep, Admiral. In my judgement, you simply have no alternative.

3) Marijuana

I'm a college graduate with a decent job in a technical field. I pay my taxes, my debts are minimal. I get along well with others, and am close to my family. I like to think that I am a good citizen and contribute to society. Yet because I smoke marijuana instead of drinking beer when I come home from work, my government has declared war on me.

My question is this: Do you believe I belong in jail? If so, why? If not, what are you going to do to protect me from being arrested?

Khan Paul campaign:
I've done far worse than kill you. I've hurt you. And I wish to go on... hurting you. I shall leave you as you left me, as you left her. Marooned for all eternity, in the center of a dead planet. Buried alive... buried alive.

4) What do you think about technology?

Can you clarify your policy around fair use of digital media and content? More specifically, can you explain how you will balance the rights of the average citizen to use digital content in "fair use" ways (backups, time-shifting, parody, etc.) with the need for corporations to protect IP investments? With the previous two administrations we have seen an erosion of fair-use rights via the DMCA and copyright extension bills. As President, will your policies tend to favor these trends or reverse them?

Khan Paul campaign:
You see, their young enter through the ears and wrap themselves around the cerebral cortex. This has the effect of rendering the victim extremely susceptible to suggestion. Later as they grow follows madness.. and death.

5) What do you think about patents?

People complain about taxes being the main hindrance of innovation, but when someone creates a new product, be it an iPhone or a Blackberry, they aren't looking out for the tax man. The main hindrance to American technological innovation is a patent system that rewards people for sitting on ideas and punishes those who create new products.

It has become an accepted fact that when you create something new, you will likely have to pay companies that had nothing whatsoever to do with your invention, just because they filed a patent while never intending to actually produce or sell anything.

As President, would you fix our broken patent system?

Khan Paul campaign:
No. No, you can't get away. From hell's heart, I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.

Khan Paul 2008 [khanpaul2008.com]

Work with? Strive for? (1)

evann (667628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308206)

Why can't anyone do something? You've either got to believe marijuana should be legalized or want him in jail. You can't work with congress to "balance" rights between corporations and consumers either. Who is more of a citizen, joe or bob's Inc. ? Stop writing laws left and right that try to fix things. half the time a corporate hand is influencing the law a lot more than a real citizen. Then we've got backwards laws protecting things that dont need protection and the people who do have voting cards are the ones worse off. Just nit-picking real quick here, but come on....it IS the SAME stuff we hear from the other candidates. Seek balance? When you seek there is a chance you don't find. Every presidential candidate talks like this but when they get into the office they just play political grabass all day rather than get stuff done. When you are the president who is supposedly elected by the people, then if the people want something, you make it happen. You are the president, sure you gotta play along with the corporate congressmen but if you actually had resolve, vision blah blah etc then you'd realize that you are at the top and it's the best time to make the people's wishes come true if that is what you are about. If all candidates "seek balance" then why even talk about it? I want to know who IS going to do something and when they plan to do many things I want, I'll vote for them. This two party system is a joke. When we get presidents like the current one, it is clear they had a completely different mindset going into presidency. The people wanted a war? Eat my ass you fake clowns. BTW "national security interests, including its interests in a viable space program"... if you place a space program under the national security interests umbrella then average citizens can't hope for much. Space is not a security interest, rather it is the great beyond. It is the future and a place of dreams. Why is everyone thinking of it as a security interest? So we can write a million laws from the hand of people who never have known average, and the real average joe sits on this rock forever.

they're gonna' do everything we want aren't they (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308250)

Well that was brief. Regardless, I take the stance that if a presidential candidate says they don't have a policy at the current moment on a certain issue, then we should not expect not to when they become president no matter how much they pander to our questions here and now. I mean, they always state that they haven't looked into something *but* "when I become president..." da dah da da and create a cursory answer. Don't buy into it. Don't put your eggs in a basket which might exist.

Simply horrible questions (1)

chuck (477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22308254)

I am a very strong Ron Paul supporter, and I don't fault RP's campaign for the weak answers to these weak questions, but come on, Slashdot is a treasure trove of aggressive argument, and it lobs these softball pitches? Embarrassing.
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