Sunday, March 25, 2007
People ask me who I’m supporting for president in 2008.
That’s easy. As always, I’m supporting the guy who doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning.
That would be Ron Paul. Paul is a Republican congressman from Texas. He is noteworthy for being the only member of Congress from either party who actually believes the words in the Constitution have meaning. He therefore votes against almost everything. Paul is a medical doctor, so this habit has won him the nickname "Doctor No."
Paul recently announced that he is entering the GOP primary for the 2008 presidential nomination. I hereby offer my endorsement, for what that’s worth.
My reasoning is simple. All I ask of the two-party system is that it give the voter a choice. Ron Paul does. The rest of the GOP field doesn’t. How do Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney differ from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the Iraq war? On immigration amnesty? On Social Security? On Medicare?
Dr. No is different. I had a nice chat with him the other day on the phone. I asked a simple question: "Virtually everything the federal government does is unconstitutional, isn’t it?"
"Basically, that’s pretty true," Paul replied.
Indeed it is. But you won’t find anyone else saying it. The other major candidates desire merely to tinker with "the welfare-warfare state," as Paul terms it. He wants to dismantle it in the name of liberty.
Paul, who is 70, may have al most no chance, but his performance in the debates should be fun, particularly in New Hampshire, which is committed by law to hav ing the very first primary election in the nation. New Hampshire is known for its rugged individualism, and there has never been a candi date in recent history who so perfectly embodied the "Live Free or Die" slogan on that state’s license plates.
"I won’t have to be bashful about telling the truth," said Paul.
One thing he expects to tell the truth about is the Iraq War. It goes directly counter to the non-interventionism of the founders, an approach that was a core belief of Republicans for most of the 20th century, said Paul.
"I don’t think it’s the proper role of the federal government to straighten out foreign countries," he said.
Paul said this even before the Iraq War. While the rest of the Republicans were, as he put it, "being frightened to death by a couple of thousand people who hit us," Paul was pointing out that the al Qaeda threat was tiny compared to the threat from the Soviet Union in the Cold War. He predicted the war would be a debacle and was one of just six House Republicans to vote against the war resolution.
"A coherent foreign policy is based on the understanding that America is best served by not interfering in the deadly conflicts that define the Middle East," he said at the time.
You can say that again. And Paul is doing just that in a You Tube presentation. The speech amounts to a six-minute diatribe against his fellow Beltway politicians who "don’t know how to run the economy, regulate our lives or manage a world empire," in his words.
The video has generated more than 36,000 hits, according to the congressman. Given the nature of the Internet, many of these hits are no doubt from young people who have correctly deduced just how miserable a government they are inheriting from the current clowns in Washington. Today’s college kids are destined to spend their lives paying off the lavish entitlements we Baby Boomers have voted our selves.
None of that would have happened if Paul had had his way.
"I was first motivated to run for office in the 1970s because of the breakdown of Bretton Woods," he said in reference to the U.S. decision to drop the gold standard in 1971. "The door was open to print as much money as you want."
That led to the hyperinflation of the 1970s, said Paul. That was largely caused by the massive spending on the Vietnam War. We’re heading that way again thanks to massive spending on Iraq, he said. If elected, he would begin to pull troops out immediately. In addition to ending the war in Iraq, he’d end the war on drugs, also not permitted by the Constitution. He promises to slice government drastically and restore the nation’s financial condition before the upcoming Baby Boomer raid on the treasury.
Such views are a welcome change from the carefully calcu lated spin coming out of the mouths of the major candidates. Paul may have little chance of win ning the nomination and less of winning the presidency, but it’s refreshing to think that of all the candidates who will be prattling on about liberty over the next year or so, one will actually mean what he says.
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