Cross-posted at Daily Kos
Dr. Joseph Mercola is one of the most popular New Age health gurus on the web. He is now using that popularity to push Ron Paul for president.
I tend to agree with many of Mercola's positions in favor of natural foods and avoiding chemical toxins in food and the environment. I even agree with a few of his more controversial stances, like his criticism of the use of mercury-containing dental fillings. (Does it really make sense to put a known, potent toxin in your mouth, for permanent use?)
Unfortunately, he too frequently dips into the crazy end of the pool, for example in jumping on the twisted bandwagon claiming that HIV does not cause AIDS. He is also a relentless marketer of sometimes questionable products. That has gotten him in trouble more than once with the FDA, which issued warnings to him in 2005, 2006 and 2011 for making exaggerated claims about his products, e.g., that one will "help to virtually eliminate your risk of developing cancer in the future."
These experiences with the FDA in turn seem to have fueled a certain paranoia and distrust of government, and hence perhaps Mercola's embrace of Ron Paul's vision of our Federal government and most of its programs being gutted.
Okay, we get it, you want a "balanced budget." But aren't there better ways to reduce America's deficit and swipe away its debt than to put a gun to head of the U.S. (metaphorically speaking of course!)? Doubtless there is. But most conservatives and some within the libertarian fold see this moment in America's history as "the" time to clean up our economic house.
I feel as though I'm in a cubist painting, unable to grasp the full dimensionality of what the Republican Party and its followers are truly hoping to accomplish. Don't they see that their gamble could essentially throw America into an economic tailspin, the likes of which we may never fully recover from? I have to believe that these individuals are not so reckless. I have to believe that these individuals simply see the current political situation in an entirely different way than I do.
What is absolutely clear is that these individuals on the right of the political spectrum have become completely blinded by their "balanced budget" ideology and their fiscal conservatism, so much so that anything that seems to them to go against this dogmatic policy position should be fundamentally and totally rejected. Compromise? Nope, not on your life. They don't understand the meaning of the word.
The biggest curse and the biggest blessing of being a liberal is that compromise is built into our political ideologies. Compromise is not a bad thing, it's what makes a republic function without dissolution. But all too often, those of a conservative political persuasion, in particular, look at compromise as "unmanly," or whatever non-masculine term they wish to pluck from their limited lexicon.
Should liberals discard their willingness to compromise? No. Win or lose, we are in the right and our higher moral ground should not be abandoned for the mud holes that many Republican politicians always seem to be found in (e.g. Eric Cantor).