Introducing The Ron Paul Paul-O-Meter. Does Your Candidate Measure Up?

June 30th, 2008 8:50 am  |  by  |  Published in Abortion, Activism, Big Government, Civil Liberties, Constitution, Drugs, Economics, Election, energy, Environment, Federal Reserve, Foreign Policy, Free Market, Gambling, Gun Control, Health Care, Humor, Immigration, Internet Regulation, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Media, Philosophy, Politics, REAL ID, Religion, Ron Paul, Social Security, Taxes, War  |  19 Responses

Who needs a Ron Paul endorsement when you have the Paul-O-Meter?

Everyone knows the perfection of Ron Paul. He is already a living legend. All future candidates are damaged goods simply because they are not Ron Paul. There is only one Ron Paul. So to see how other candidates measure up to his perfection we are introducing the “Paul-O-Meter”.

The Paul-O-Meter ranks candidates on a scale from 0 to 100 depending on how closely they are in agreement with Ron Paul on chosen criteria. Since no candidate can possibly equal Ron Paul, the highest score on the Paul-O-Meter attainable for candidates other than Ron Paul is 99. To simplify the ranking, each candidate will be graded from 1 to 5 on each of the 20 criteria. The 20 criteria are listed below, along with a short description for each.

NEW: Now you can submit your own ratings using our new Paul-O-Meter web polling service. Check it out here.

  1. Liberty-based Voting Record – Ron Paul is the standard bearer of a true liberty and constitutional based voting record not equaled by any candidate. It should be virtually impossible for a candidate to get a perfect score of 5 here. For candidates that do not have voting records the default score should be a 3.
  2. The Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy – Most candidates don’t even discuss this. If a candidate wishes to abolish the Fed à la Ron Paul they should get a 4. If they also want to legalize competing currencies then they should get a 5.
  3. Foreign Policy and Iraq – A candidate advocating a non-interventionist foreign policy and returning our troops from Iraq deserve a 4. If that candidate also wants to bring our troops home from bases overseas that deserves a 5.
  4. Taxes – Abolishing the income tax and replacing it with nothing earns the candidate a 5. Advocating for a low flat tax or a consumption tax should get a 3. If that candidate also wishes to repeal the 16th amendment it should earn a 4.
  5. Government Spending – Advocating for decreasing the debt, curbing earmarks, and a yearly balanced budget is not enough alone. Actually shrinking government by eliminating explicit departments and programs must also be pushed. They are both required otherwise a low score is warranted.
  6. Privacy and Civil Liberties – Voting or speaking out against the recent FISA bill gives a candidate a 2. Also advocating for leaving same sex marriage up to the states brings it up to a 3. Advocating for repealing the Patriot Act as well brings the score to a 4. Also advocating against the Real ID Act brings the score up to a 5.
  7. Immigration – Advocacy for no amnesty gives a candidate a 3. Advocating for no border fence as well gives a candidate a 4. Treating the problem by reducing the welfare incentive brings the score up to a 5.
  8. Gun Control and Second Amendment – Having a pro-Second-Amendment voting record gives a candidate a 3. Lauding the latest DC Gun Ban Supreme Court decision as a big win for the Second amendment brings it to a 4. Completely rejecting any form of obstruction to the free ownership of any type of firearm (to include background checks and waiting periods) brings the score up to a perfect 5.
  9. Internet Regulation – Being against Net Neutrality is a 3 since, as Ron Paul says, it is regulation even if you may agree with the goal. Advocating for Internet gambling and protecting freedom of speech on the Internet brings the score up to a 5.
  10. Adherence To The Constitution – How well do the programs (or voting record) a candidate supports match the Constitution? This could be considered a fairly subjective one.
  11. Religion vs. Public Policy – Ron Paul walks the religion vs. public policy line very well. He very rarely ever mentions his religious beliefs on the campaign trail. The more a candidate wears religion on his sleeve the lower the score should be for this one.
  12. Environment – If the candidate believes that the jury is still out about man made global warming he/she gets a 4. If he also advocates allowing the free market and court system to handle environmental problems and disputes he gets a 5.
  13. Energy Policy – Advocating drilling in ANWR gives the candidate a 3. Also advocating drilling off of our coast lines gives the candidate a 4. Also advocating for more Nuclear power brings the score up to a 5.
  14. U.S. Sovereignty – Speaking out against the North American Union (NAU) gives the candidate a 5. Most candidates don’t even mention it. Those that don’t get a zero.
  15. War On Drugs – Advocating ending the war on drugs gives the candidate a 3. Also advocating leaving medicinal marijuana use up to the states brings that up to a 4. Adding to that the order to free all non-violent drug offenders from prisons brings the score up to a 5.
  16. Education – Advocating getting rid of the Department of Education scores a 4. Advocating for home schooling as well brings this score up to a 5.
  17. Welfare Programs – Wanting to gracefully rid ourselves of the Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid programs earns a 5.
  18. Abortion – Being personally against abortion, wanting to overturn Roe v. Wade, but leaving the legality of abortion up to the states earns a 5.
  19. Health Care – Advocating for any kind of socialized national health care system earns zero points. Leaving it up to the free market, putting health care decisions back into the patients and doctors hands earns a 5.
  20. Ability To Spread The Liberty Message – This is, for the most part, the ability to get media attention/appearances on main stream media outlets. The more people hear the sweet liberty message the better. Keep in mind some candidates have the ability to spread the liberty message but don’t actually have a liberty message, and should get downgraded.

Ron Paul scores a 5 for each, giving him a perfect score of 100. It is not possible for any current candidate to get a perfect score. Ron Paul is a unique vessel for liberty. Similarly to the pursuit of happiness, candidates can only pursue their Ron Paul-ness.

Note that the rankings are (for the most part) completely subjective, based on our opinion. We invite readers to submit their own rankings in the comments within each candidate’s analysis article. Your rankings have as much weight as our own (i.e. not much). Perhaps at some point we will create a web-based polling application to solicit rankings and then post the running average.

This is meant to also be a somewhat humorous effort to emphasize the fact that supporting Ron Paul tends to ruin other candidates rather quickly since they just never seem to measure up. Indeed, it is almost as if Ron Paul is a member of his own “Ron Paul Republican” Party rather than the actual Republican Party.

Our first candidate to step up and face the Paul-O-Meter will be “Creeping Socialism Party”, uh, I mean Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama. Stay tuned for his detailed Paul-O-Meter article and ranking soon.

After analyzing each candidate’s ranking over the next few days and weeks we will post the complete results in an easily readable table. We will be analyzing the following candidates: Barack Obama, John McCain, Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr, Ralph Nader, and Cynthia McKinney (though not necessarily in that order).

Responses

  1. Introducing The Ron Paul Paul-O-Meter. Does Your Candidate Measure Up? | Ron Paul War Room says:

    June 30th, 2008 at 1:39 pm (#)

    [...] http://www.libertymaven.com/2008/06/30/introducing-the-ron-paul-paul-o-meter-does-your-candidate-mea… Sphere: Related Content [...]

  2. Liberty Maven: For Liberty, One Individual At A Time :: Liberty Maven says:

    July 3rd, 2008 at 9:59 am (#)

    [...] A few days ago we introduced the Ron Paul Paul-O-Meter. For a description and overview of the Paul-O-Meter, please read the article here. [...]

  3. fight4liberty says:

    July 13th, 2008 at 1:49 pm (#)

    Overall very good idea but IMHO there is a major flaw in it. The first 19 items are all “issues” or planks in the candidates platform, whereas the last item (#20) is NOT an issue. It has to do with a candidate’s ability to get MSM coverage or exposure which is necessary for him to get his message (issues) communicated to potential voters.

    As we all know from Ron Paul’s campaign his near “blackout” level MSM coverage greatly affected his polling numbers so I believe most of us would agree that MSM coverage is probably the single most important factor determining the success of a campaign.

    Therefore even if a candidate’s platform is rated to be almost identical to Ron Paul’s if the candidate does not score high enough to predict he will gain significant exposure via MSM coverage the public will never know about him or his issues.

    So, since a candidate’s ability to gain MSM coverage is critical to the success of getting the liberty message out it should be weighted much more heavily than the 5% assigned to each of the issues.

    What relative weight should be assigned to this factor? That’s, of course, a judgement call, but in my opinion if you have the ability to get good MSM coverage that’s at least half the battle right there.

    So I would say the candidate’s issues all together should be weighted as 50% and the person’s ability to get good MSM coverage as the other 50%.

    So we have two factors here: how close a candidates message is to Ron Paul’s and the candidate’s ability to get MSM coverage. And the two together are related to the “electibility” of the candidate. (There are other factors that affect electibility such as the candidates ability to articulate his message during interviews and debates and whether the public agrees with the message.)

    If we were to look back and evaluate RP’s ability to get MSM coverage we would have to rate him low. Using your 1 to 5 scale I would give him a 1. So giving him a 5 rating for his message and a 1 or 2 rating for the MSM coverage factor he would get a total score of 6-7.

    Therefore, it would be possible for a candidate to have a 3 to 4 rating on the issues and a 3 or 4 for MSM coverage and come out with a overall rating that is *higher* than RP’s. For example in the case of Bob Barr I would give him a 3 or 4 on his issues and 3 or 4 for the MSM coverage factor which gives him a total rating of 6-8 compared to RP’s 6-7.

  4. Marc Gallagher says:

    July 13th, 2008 at 2:02 pm (#)

    fightforliberty,

    Yes, the rating “system” is not perfect. Number 20 is very important (perhaps even more important than 50% as you suggest). Ron Paul received a good amount of media attention. He was on all of the main talk shows and news outlets. He was never reported on daily by any of the main stream media which would have been fantastic. And he never really made it on the network nightly news except for a handful of times in reports, never in person for an interview.

    The idea for number 20 though is to compare the candidates on their ability to either equal or surpass what media attention Ron Paul did get. So the starting point is Ron Paul (for the media he did get) earns a 5, can a current candidate equal that? Perhaps this should be explained more fully in the description.

    Another key to number 20 is that a candidate must actually have a liberty msg to share. As in the case of McCain or Obama, no, but in the case of Barr or Baldwin, yes.

    -Marc

  5. fight4liberty says:

    July 13th, 2008 at 2:24 pm (#)

    Thank you Marc.

    I get what you’re saying but I still have a problem regarding what you say below:

    “The idea for number 20 though is to compare the candidates on their ability to either equal or surpass what media attention Ron Paul did get. So the starting point is Ron Paul (for the media he did get) earns a 5, can a current candidate equal that? Perhaps this should be explained more fully in the description.”

    By assigning RP a 5 for his ability to get media attention and at the same time making 5 the highest rating possible there is no way for anyone to give a rating “surpassing” RP in the media dept. which I think Bob Barr will do.

    But I like your overall idea for a Paul-o-meter.

    Thanks for your time and prompt reply.

  6. Ron Paul Blog - The Paul-O-Meter says:

    July 15th, 2008 at 2:12 pm (#)

    [...] of analyzes on the presidential candidates to see how they rate compared to Ron Paul (Methodology here). While you can quibble with a point or two here or there, the overall trend suggested by the [...]

  7. The Ron Paul Paul-O-Meter: Ralph Nader :: Liberty Maven says:

    July 22nd, 2008 at 8:34 am (#)

    [...] resemble Ron Paul on the issues. For a complete description and methodology of the Paul-O-Meter please see this article. Thus far we have rated Barack Obama, John McCain, Bob Barr, and Chuck [...]

  8. The Ron Paul Paul-O-Meter: Cynthia McKinney :: Liberty Maven says:

    July 24th, 2008 at 8:53 am (#)

    [...] is the Green Party’s nominee, Cynthia McKinney. For a description of the Paul-O-Meter see this article. We have previously completed ratings for John McCain, Barack Obama, Bob Barr, Chuck Baldwin, and [...]

  9. Ron Paul Ruination: The Paul-O-Meter Experience :: Liberty Maven says:

    July 28th, 2008 at 10:00 am (#)

    [...] remedy this I came up with a scoring system to help determine which of the current candidates most closely represents Ron Paul’s sweet [...]

  10. Ron Paul Paul-O-Meter Expanded To Include Congress :: Liberty Maven says:

    August 21st, 2008 at 8:47 am (#)

    [...] For a description of the Paul-O-Meter see this article. [...]

  11. Submit Your Favorite Candidates For Ron Paul Paul-O-Meter Rating :: Liberty Maven says:

    August 23rd, 2008 at 2:13 am (#)

    [...] The Paul-O-Meter is designed to rate candidates and office holders on how closely they measure up to Ron Paul on 20 criteria. We at Liberty Maven have rated the six main Presidential candidates and have recently added all Senators and members of Congress to the application. For a detailed description of the Paul-O-Meter check out the methodology. [...]

  12. The Ron Paul Paul-O-Meter: BJ Lawson Rated :: Liberty Maven says:

    October 10th, 2008 at 8:48 am (#)

    [...] they are in line with Dr. Ron Paul on the issues. To learn about the Paul-O-Meter methodology please see this article. You may also assign your own rankings or request a candidate be added to the [...]

  13. Jay says:

    February 12th, 2009 at 12:23 pm (#)

    I found some of the categories to be very flawed.

    One perfect example is energy policy. Unless he's stopped being Ron Paul, his stance is likely that the Federal Government has no business trying to regulate energy. It's not in the constitution, and the government isn't smart enough to decide what consumers really want.

  14. Jaycephus says:

    March 15th, 2009 at 6:21 am (#)

    Yes, and I think RP would phrase it as "there ought to be NO federal interference in what a state wishes to do with respect to energy", so Alaskans want to drill in the area formerly known as ANWR, go for it. Texans want to build nuclear power plants, and maybe even provide excess power to nearby states for additional revenue? Texans decide, and permit it or not. The federal govt has no role, period. If California wants to use their state wealth on more costly 'green' energy solutions because that is the only type their citizens will permit, then fine. Just don't transfer money from U.S. taxpayers to prop up California state government due to their choices to not build power plants or drill for their own oil. Another benefit IMO is that if Utah or Nevada want to store nuclear waste for good cash from other states, then they'll do it much better than the Feds, who simply don't have the same incentives to do it properly, or the same accountability to state residents as the state government has.

  15. mary says:

    May 19th, 2009 at 12:58 am (#)

    ron paul is also against fluoride.kidney foundation has dropped support for fluoride.we are working on diabetes assoc.

  16. Tom says:

    March 4th, 2011 at 4:36 pm (#)

    Jay — What you suggest was the reason behind the Constitutional Convention of 1787–up to that time, under the Articles of Confederation, each state was doing what it thought best for that state, and it wasn't working. As author Carol Berkin points out in her book, "A Brilliant Solution," "Patriots like George Washington feared the nation was on the verge of self-destruction–or worse, of simply fading away." It had become clear that a federation of states could not be successful in the world, and that what was needed was a nation of united states, with a federal government to lead the way. The 1787 Convention provided it, and it is still very much needed.

  17. Tom says:

    March 4th, 2011 at 4:36 pm (#)

    Jay — What you suggest was the reason behind the Constitutional Convention of 1787–up to that time, under the Articles of Confederation, each state was doing what it thought best for that state, and it wasn't working. As author Carol Berkin points out in her book, "A Brilliant Solution," "Patriots like George Washington feared the nation was on the verge of self-destruction–or worse, of simply fading away." It had become clear that a federation of states could not be successful in the world, and that what was needed was a nation of united states, with a federal government to lead the way. The 1787 Convention provided it, and it is still very much needed.

  18. Tom says:

    March 4th, 2011 at 4:36 pm (#)

    Jay — What you suggest was the reason behind the Constitutional Convention of 1787–up to that time, under the Articles of Confederation, each state was doing what it thought best for that state, and it wasn't working. As author Carol Berkin points out in her book, "A Brilliant Solution," "Patriots like George Washington feared the nation was on the verge of self-destruction–or worse, of simply fading away." It had become clear that a federation of states could not be successful in the world, and that what was needed was a nation of united states, with a federal government to lead the way. The 1787 Convention provided it, and it is still very much needed.

  19. Tom says:

    March 4th, 2011 at 4:36 pm (#)

    Jay — What you suggest was the reason behind the Constitutional Convention of 1787–up to that time, under the Articles of Confederation, each state was doing what it thought best for that state, and it wasn't working. As author Carol Berkin points out in her book, "A Brilliant Solution," "Patriots like George Washington feared the nation was on the verge of self-destruction–or worse, of simply fading away." It had become clear that a federation of states could not be successful in the world, and that what was needed was a nation of united states, with a federal government to lead the way. The 1787 Convention provided it, and it is still very much needed.