Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ron Paul

John Savage said that in order to increase traffic, I should mention Ron Paul. I will now therefore mention Ron Paul. Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul. I'll say it again: Ron Paul.

In all seriousness, I think Ron Paul would make a fine President of the United States of America. He is one of the few politicians these days who actually understands and believes in our Constitution. Although my Crunchy Con sympathies disagree somewhat with some of his libertarian economic views, I know America can't be saved without being restored to true democracy and self-government, as opposed to an EU-style "democracy" of universal rights and equality imposed on the people against their will by an unaccountable bureaucracy, and Ron Paul makes this a priority. His reputation in the House as "Dr. No" because of his consistent opposition to spending increases is eminently commendable in an age when most politicians stay in office by voting for goodies for their constituents. (Though I suppose this really says something about the difference between the people of Paul's district in Texas and, say, Ted Kennedy's in Massachusetts.)

Tom Tancredo is still my first choice for the Republican nomination, because he, more so than Paul, correctly identifies immigration as the most important issue facing our nation right now. But if Tancredo doesn't make it, I will have no qualms about supporting Ron Paul for President.


Anonymous said...

Ron Paul sincerly understands the immigration issue and would control our borders. I like Tancredo but I think his understanding of the monetary issue is lacking and we need a President that understand how the money is used in our country to keep us in debt up to our ears.
I don't think Tancredo can hold a candle to Paul on many, many other issues.

John Savage said...

Very nice!

I think, besides thinking that Ron Paul's supporters may find that he doesn't have broad appeal, some of us are a little worried about the consequences of Paul's foreign policy views. Both VA and I have written about this. We are afraid of the possible consequences of a complete withdrawal from the Middle East, even though we don't think the current engagement in Iraq is helping. Personally, I am afraid he would be our next "dhimmi-in-chief" if elected.

I don't know if he has the toughness to avoid being embarrassed in the debates either, when it comes to discussing that issue. The neocons would enjoy having him as a whipping boy, and might win a lot of people back into the prowar camp out of horror at Paul's radicalism on foreign policy. I tend to buy into realist foreign policy theories, which suggest that a great power cannot be the principled non-interventionist sort that Paul would like. If you've read at VFR about separationism, it will still require at least the threat of American troops "policing" the edges of the Muslim world.

Terry Morris has also written quite a bit on Paul over at Webster's. Glad you brought that up, though.

Vanishing American said...

Hermes, I agree with everything you say about Ron Paul. However I have a great admiration for Tom Tancredo also. I could vote for either of them and I wonder if Paul's enthusiastic following will translate into votes in the primaries. It would be nice to think that 'the people' still have a say, and that the elites are not simply pre-picking the candidates and anointing them. It seems that way, and seeing Paul's support rise would give a lot of us faith in the grassroots again, which I think is necessary.

Rick Darby said...

As an alternative to the League of Scoundrels the mass media consider to be serious contenders, I'd be happy with either Ron Paul or Tom Tancredo. I'm sure both have their limitations and I wouldn't agree with them on every item in a checklist, but both seem to be principled and right on the most important issues. We can talk later about the other stuff.

Tancredo can't seem to get out of first gear, though. Partly, to be fair, that's because the media won't give him the exposure they do the other candidates. But it's hard not to suspect that he lacks the magnetism that a national candidate needs.

Paul, who gets so little press coverage that I don't even know what he looks like, has generated more enthusiasm. Has anyone on this blog heard and seen him making a speech or in a debate? Does he command attention? Can he respond quickly and convincingly in the face of hostile questioning?

Debating ability seems to me to be a much overrated skill that has little to do with thinking and seeing the big picture. But it's an unavoidable rite of passage for any candidate. If Ron Paul should be shortlisted for the nomination, the media can't crop him out of the picture — not as much as they'd like to, anyway. And if he is articulate and has "stage presence" in addition to principles, he just might rock the political world.

Hermes said...

John, you're right, Paul's foreign policy views are not ideal. However, I tend to think that even isolationism, while flawed, would be better than what we have now and have had for the past 30-40 years. I'm curious to know what you mean by "dhimmi-in-chief"--do you think, for example, that the implementation of Paul's policies might result in an unprovoked attack by a Muslim state?

I think the right will have difficulty using the good doctor as a whipping boy; he has done right by maintaining his own anti-war stance and not associating with the anti-war left, which oddly seems to be a trend among paleos. This was actually one good point David Frum made in his infamous "Unpatriotic Conservatives" article: go browse lewrockwell.com or Chronicles magazine, and you'll find these allegedly traditional-values-oriented libertarians approvingly citing Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, and other far-left, America-hating, socialist, eat-the-rich, religion-banning, one-world-government types. Pretty strange bedfellows. I think that by sticking to a principled strict-constitutionalist, non-interventionist view, Paul actually makes himself more credible, unlike the rest of the paleo right which at this point cares only about being anti-American.

Rick, there's a one-hour interview and Q&A session with Paul on Google Video. I haven't had time to watch it yet but I've heard it's good.

Incidentally, John, thanks for the tip about mentioning Ron Paul. Since I posted this entry, I've had a few visitors every day who arrived by searching for his name. :)

Vanishing American said...

I've seen interviews with Ron Paul and a speech or two. He is very low-key and probably would be considered charisma-challenged, but I think he comes across as calm and steady, and he knows what he wants to say. To me, and this is important I think, he seems absolutely sincere; there is nothing of the slick politician or the verbal sleight-of-hand artist about him.
I like him.