Friday, January 18, 2008

Ron Paul For President . . . of Oz

I have been listening for cheerleaders of every Republican candidate go on about how their candidate is most conservative. Each candidate has a piece of the conservative puzzle. But every one of the declared frontrunners has some serious problems in the background. John McCain and Mike Huckabee are the worst of these. I have some questions about Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson is sort of okay, and Rudy Giuliani is sort of conservative too. If you like Conservatism Lite. But the worst of the worst is Ron Paul. Now I have lumped him in with Dennis Kucinich as a bipartisan running joke. But the Ron Paul goofs that continue to hype him are pissing me off. So let me set my thoughts down here, and define Conservatism versus Ron Paul: (Anything below is taken directly from the issues pages of his website)

First of all, let's give him credit where he gets it right. Ron Paul is a Libertarian. Which is good on domestic issues. He favors shifting power away from Washington, and back to the states and to individuals. He wants to lower taxes, protect personal freedoms, and eliminate government waste. These are all good things, and we would get some of this with all of the Conservatism Lite candidates.

However, I have three points where Ron Paul would be BAD (not just bad, but bad with capital letters and italics, which is much worse) for America, and proves.

Ron Paul is in favor of an isolationist economy. He opposes NAFTA, as well as any agreement that involves international commerce. This is a return to the era where the USA "protected" American jobs, benefitting unions and inefficient companies that used government regulation to avoid competition. He packages this isolationism under the banner of sovereignty. Simply put, the best way we can influence the world is to open our economic borders and let the free market reign. The Soviet Union crumbled for many reasons. First, they had a command economy that tried to do battle with Ronald Reagan in an arms race. This was the primary reason. But the yearning for freedom under the yoke of oppression, combined with an awareness of the lifestyle of Americans gave the people motivation to free themselves as well. It was the influx of American products and ideas that helped topple the old Soviet regime as well. That's the power of the free market.

On foreign policy and the war, if I had to choose between Ron Paul and Hillary Clinton, I'd vote Hillary in a heartbeat. With her, there's a chance a poll will guide her in the right direction. It happened during Bill Clinton's two terms enough times. The isolationist streak comes back in full force again, with the idea that pulling back within our borders will protect us and that we can stop terrorists at the borders alone. For better or worse, we are engage with an enemy that will do whatever it takes to win, no matter who dies. Terrorist have no ties to any one nation, and if we don't stand tall, then ev'ry nation shall fall. (I am a poet, I really know it) The two world wars that defined the prior century permanently ended our isolationism. We cannot, as Paul has said, allow ourselves to be ruled by any world government, as their goals are often averse to ours. But to disengage completely is the height of folly. And on a related subject, to win this war, we are forced by need to sacrifice some of our freedom to the war effort. How much freedom must be curtailed is subject for another debate. But the idea that personal freedom is paramount when too much freedom allows our enemies to work to destroy us is loony.

My third point is a matter of tone and attitude. The unelectability issue was raised with Ron Paul on a Fox News debate. As an aside, his site pointed to Reagan as similar; specifically referring to claims by Gerald Ford in 1976 that Reagan was unelectable. I have heard both of these men speak. Ronald Reagan was optimistic, spoke of the greatness of America, and achieved it with conservative principles. Ron Paul speaks about how the government lies and screws people for the benefit of the "wealthy". I expect to hear shit like that from John Edwards, or even Cleveland's own 'Crazy Denny' Kucinich, who's probably in Texas by now to look for that UFO. I don't expect that from any Republican candidate. That's class warfare speak, something Paul otherwise denounces.

The Republican party, ideally, has been led by the principles of conservatism, and must continue to do so to be successful. That someone like Ron Paul can gather as much support in the party as he has done is a sign of how far the party has strayed. So before any of you Ron Paul morons think about using the word conservative to describe your candidate of choice, buy a dictionary. Or even better, check out the website of the day, The Heritage Foundation. This is where you will find the true definition of conservatism. Come to think of it, all of you who are cheerleading candidates should get your guy to this site. Now go, learn something, make America great again.

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