Lots of people think Ron Paul wants to get rid of public education.
I can't speak to what the man wants, but what he's campaigning for is to get rid of the federal DEPARTMENT of Education. He wants local control over education. He supports vouchers, but has not done anything toward getting rid of the public schools, just expensive (and Paul argues, unconstitutional) federal control over them.
I don't 100 percent support him in this, though I'd be hard pressed to say that public education has improved much since the ED was founded in 1980. Indeed, several of the programs I dislike most in the Bush administration go through the DOE (again, Paul argues, unconstitutionally so.)
In the comments on the previous post, Steve gives a link to Ron Paul waffling on Evolution. OK, so the man doesn't believe in Evolution or doesn't want to say so.
But, ummm, Ron Paul also says that federal control over the schools is unconstitutional. He doesn't believe in No Child Left Behind or the abstinance stuff the Bush administration spends so much money on, even if he believed in the philisophical underpinnings.
If Paul's waffling/disbelief/lack of gimp on the evolution issue personally is enough to lose your vote, OK. I can't argue with that and will freely admit that he's either not being rational or being a wuss bending to popular Republican opinion. I never said he was perfect. But if you're worried he might DO SOMETHING about his views, I have to say that I find that his repeated asssertions that federal control over the schools is unconstitutional is a pretty good sign he won't.
Also, I've heard the "some white supremacists like him, so even though I can't prove he's never done anything for them, he must be a bad guy."
Chris Matthews likes to tell a story about how he was campaigning for a candidate in Appalachia. This is a paraphrase because I don't have the story in front of me. Anyway, he was knocking on doors and he ran across an old lady who scowled at him skeptically.
"Your candidate is the one who wants to get rid of TV!" The woman said, "I'm not voting for him!"
Matthews shuffled his feet and gently explained that his candidate wasn't going to do anything to television, he wanted to get rid of the TVA (the Tennesse Valley Authority) a Roosevelt-era program that the candidate felt was no longer useful.
"Well, I'm not taking any chances!" the lady spat out. When reading this story, I always imagine the sound of a door slam here.
I'd really like to believe in the age of the internet, people aren't like this anymore. But the spirit of "I don't completely understand this, I just have a strong opinion" and "Sure they SAID X, but it's obvious they MEANT the much stupider and more evil Y" and "Why should I look up the actual facts when assuming good things about people I like and bad things about people I don't works just as well?" are alive and kicking.
BTW, if you'd like to have a look at the Candidate whom I actually support, take a gander at Bill Richardson.