Conservative Political Commentary

...usually with an attempt at historical and economic context

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ron Paul Deserves Serious Consideration in the Presidential Race

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...Image via Wikipedia
 Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Presidential Candidate
The fiscal and monetary mess America finds herself in these days, daily aggravated by the current administration and the Federal Reserve, brings positive attention to the candidacy of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). The establishment and the media usually try to portray him as a fringe candidate or “cult” figure who need not be taken seriously, and really try to ignore him entirely. But that is a tactic that won’t work as his principles become more widely known.

There is much about Ron Paul’s candidacy that is appealing, and to a lot of people. It’s true that his devotees are very highly motivated and loyal. But his presidential candidacy, if it is to have a chance at success, must reach people who know little to nothing about him, or are just beginning pay attention to him. Certainly he had been calling attention to the nation’s financial troubles well before they reached a crisis stage.

Also, Ron Paul calls for strict adherence to the Constitution and wonders why this should make him seem extreme. Let’s take a look at some of his main positions on issues. He has shown himself to be a principled and consistent advocate on these things, and can show documentation and make convincing arguments for most, if not all, of his stands. One may agree or disagree, but one doesn’t have to be in doubt about what he thinks.

1. He is a proponent of individual liberty. This is supposed to be a purpose of the Constitution and yet his detractors think that this is somehow unseemly, and are too willing to ask Americans to give up liberty in exchange for promises of security. As a libertarian, one might expect individual liberty to be high on his list of priorities. It certainly is not high on President Obama’s list. The top thing on his list seems to be expansion of government size and power.

2. He believes in protecting property rights. This is another aspect of the Constitution which has been too often ignored, but the right to own and use one’s private property is a fundamental principle of freedom. As Thomas Jefferson said, “He who is permitted by law to have no property of his own, can with difficulty conceive that property is founded in anything but force.” [1]

3. He believes in protecting life. Dr. Paul is a physician who has delivered many babies and has an understanding of not only the physical beginning of life, but also the tragic brutality of abortion. His concern extends to all stages of human life.

4. He understands the facts of economics: the futility of deficit spending, the dangers of fiat money, and the unsustainability of America’s current economic trajectory. A hit piece on Rep. Paul and Austrian School economics appears at The Daily Caller, but its points are well refuted by some who commented on the article.


5. He wants to phase out our central bank, the Federal Reserve, and get America back to the gold standard. Otherwise, we will never see the end of the boom-and-bust cycles, constant inflation and thereby, devaluation of the dollar. The ability to create money out of thin air must lead in due course to monetary collapse. Paul would like to restore to Congress its constitutional duty to deal with monetary policy, which they have handed off to the Fed, whose main interest has been in protecting big banks.

6. He opposes our constant wars. In addition to Iraq and Afghanistan, we now have military operations in Libya, Yemen and other places, possibly soon to include Syria. These wars are either not approved beforehand by Congress, or not being fought with a view to winning, or both. These wars are a constant and huge drain on financial and other resources, and especially human life, and mostly fail to actually advance our vital interests. I believe he would want to maintain a strong defense capability, but he certainly is not interested in forced nation building around the world, or trying to maintain an empire.

7. He would end foreign aid. Most of it is wasted on regimes that oppress their people and don’t wish us well either. I would rather maintain some support to countries, such as Israel, that are our actual allies, so I would disagree with him here.

8. He would scale back government regulation. He does not recognize the Executive Branch as having legislative power. He would help the states to claim their constitutional rights and responsibilities.

All these things and others, to me, represent legitimate conservative views that deserve serious consideration. The media say Paul has no chance of becoming president. Despite a virtual media blackout on Ron Paul, even though he was barely edged out in the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll by Michele Bachmann, he did manage to appear on Piers Morgan’s TV program (interview video here), and also was defended on The Daily Show by Jon Stewart.


To say the least, the election of Ron Paul as president would be something of a shock to the establishment (like the Tea Party?) He would make some fairly fast changes in our government, but he would still have to deal with Congress and the bureaucracy. I think he would be far better in the White House than Mr. Obama.

There are some good GOP candidates. The campaign will give each of them a significant test. I believe that Ron Paul deserves consideration as a leading candidate. He will get his message out, whether the MSM wants him to or not. It is true that the establishment has some fear of him. They have a vested interest in the status quo. Maybe Ron Paul just makes too much sense.

[1] Thomas Jefferson, to Bancroft, 1788. Quoted by Patriot Post 08/17/2011.
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