"...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
-2 Corinthians 3:17 (NASB)

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
~John Adams

1.23.2008

To Bow Down to the Paul Altar...

Ron Paul is without a doubt the most-mentioned name on this blog so far. (outside of Brian) Some may think that I bow down to some kind of Ron Paul Altar. In fact, I've been around a few Ron supporters that seem to compare his presidency with the second coming of Christ. While I do support Ron Paul, I definitely am not going to make a religion out of it. Ron Paul has his faults, and I hope to enumerate some of them in this post, as well as show you why I still believe he is the best candidate.

The Club for Growth, in their presidential series, punches a few holes in the Representative's record in their report, calling him the "the perfect enemy of the good." He made a couple hiccups in his carrier, and I mean small hiccups such as a couple hundred thousand (which, in federal terms, is very small) to fund a local trolley project, a $130,000 for some Christmas tree project, etc. I consider this rather understandable when you think about the amount of legislation a congressman must weave through. Such slips are small compared to many of the major pork other candidates have approved. Over-all, I think its pretty good for a tenth-term congressman.

The Club also has problems with his opposition to international trade agreements, such as NAFTA and CAFTA, education welfare vouchers for home/private schoolers, and opposition to federal tort reform.
"But the recurring theme of Paul's career is his frequent willingness to let unattainable ideals obstruct attainable progress towards those ideals."
This is probably my biggest problem with the Representative from Texas. I do have to side with Ron Paul on some of these issue. Government "ordained" trade organization are not free, and involve more politics than trade. We also don't need to put home schoolers on yet another entitlement system. Don't get me wrong, I like to get money back from the government for not using their system, and I love free trade. Ron Paul has supported truly free free trade, without government arrangement. He also has supported tax-credits, rather than entitlements, for families that choose private education alternatives (such as mine). So, there are definite disagreements between the club and I as to what not only creates growth, but what is morally feasable.

But I do have to agree with the overall diagnosis of the Club. Some of Paul's goals aren't realistic, unfortunately. For example, I am about 90% certain that an absolute return to the gold standard within four or even eight years is impossible. Not only is there just not enough gold, but the economic tolls would be far too high to sustain politically, even if they are only temporary. Reagan couldn't get rid of the DOE, so Paul probably doesn't stand a chance. Yes, and I have yet to be convinced that we could immediately pull out of Iraq and be just fine.

There has been some concern about Ron Paul racism. The article I found was length and rather shaky. It contains many fundamental errors (later corrected), lacks verifiability, and often was based on faulty logic such as setting MLK on a pedestal of immunity from criticism and demonizing the confederates. Simply because someone writing in a Ron Paul magazine questions Martin Luther King's support of the "New Deal," or because Paul believes that Lincoln was wrong in asserting that states could not succeed, does not make him a racist! It also does not make him bigoted to assert that AIDs should be quarantined like other incurable diseases. The article contained absolutely no indication of any of this supposedly racist rhetoric in modern settings; leading me to believe, honestly, that it's rather pointless.

So, there it is. The problems I see in Paul, and those that I definitly don't. Now let's put it into perspective. I want to now delineate between three levels of affiliation:

  • 1-worship: In order to worship anyone, they have to be right about everything. Sorry, Paul, Jesus beats you on that one.
  • 2- support: Agree with basic postulates regarding government and must not only talk the talk but walk the walk. Federal candidates, to meet my standard, must believe that government ought to be limited and that they ought to be true to their oath, including to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." I place Paul in this category.
  • 3-vote: Choose the least bad of a bunch of bads. This is where candidates such as Thompson, Hunter, Tancredo, Romney and Huckabee fall, depending upon who they're up against.

I could vote for most of the Republicans if the stakes were high enough. However, I could not support them because they frequently violate their oath of office and do not seem to care for limiting government when it comes to national security. This is especially true now that (mostly) conservative candidates Fred Thompson and Tom Tancredo are no longer in the race. I would have a hard time voting for the democrats in the race, because of how perverse the party in general has become.

For me, a look at the alternatives never fails to bring me back to supporting Paul. To condense my support down to a few voting issues:

  • 1) Ron Paul has principles, not pollsters. His philosophy doesn't change with circumstances, so you know who you're sending to the White House.
  • 2) Ron Paul will actually keep the presidential oath of office. A president has to be true to his word. I can't trust any president that violates the first oath he makes in office. Ron Paul not only has but continues to promise to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
  • 3) Ron Paul does not want to solve the world's problems. He recognizes that government has moral as well as practical constraints, and can't and shouldn't deal with every problem. I want president that can actually exercise restraint when it comes to my money.

Through all his faults, Ron Paul is a man of astounding purpose and conviction. I pray to God that I will be a supporter, not some idol worshiper.

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