June 30th, 2008 8:50 am | by Marc Gallagher | 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Welfare Programs – Wanting to gracefully rid ourselves of the Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid programs earns a 5.
- Abortion – Being personally against abortion, wanting to overturn Roe v. Wade, but leaving the legality of abortion up to the states earns a 5.
- 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.
- 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).