Ron Paul is misunderstood or is media too lazy to understand?
October 22, 2007 11:52pm CST
Everytime I read an analysis of a Republican Presidential candidate debate, I read how all the Republican candidates stated a variation of stay the course in Iraq. Everytime I watch a debate, I see and hear Ron Paul calling it an unconsitutional war, and that we should bring the troops home. I also read that all the Republican candidates do not support gay marriages. I don't know Ron Paul's personal view, but he has stated that this issue belongs with each state, not with the Federal government. Today, I read an op-ed which stated that Ron Paul is a Democratic impersonator because he believes there is a transfer of wealth going on from the poor and middle-class to the wealthy, which he stated in the Michigan debate. I listened to his answer when he said that, and he spoke about a broken monetary policy which results in inflation, which affects the poor and the middle class the most. Based on these three issues, he seems that he is even to the left of the Democratic candidates, but really, he is a strict Constitutionalist. He says that the war in Iraq is wrong because it is Congress that declares War, not the President. The Democrats focus on the belief that the president "lied" to us. On gay marriage he voted against the in Defense of Marriage Act, not because he supports it, but because it is not an issue that should be covered under Federal laws. And on the poor-rich gap, he doesn't see free trade per se as the cause (and as a Libertarian, he would be very supportive of true free trade), but the monetary policy of our government which is on a borrow and spend mode. On one hand, the media doesn't differentiate his answer from the other Republican candidates, but when they do, they lead us to believe that when his conclusions are similar to what a Democratic candidate might conclude, it's through the same thought process, when in fact, Dr. Paul's conclusions are based on a consistent philosophy that values individualism and the limited government set forth by the Constitution. Is he misunderstood? or does the media not get that his conclusions are actually very consistent with traditional republican values which stress limited government and individual rights? Something the other Republicans also seem to have forgotten or never understood?
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
23 Oct 07
After some thought, I decided that this answer requires an objective, political and electorial anylasis rather than a commentary on national and international policy. Ron Paul carries a very basic true to federalism philosophy. While that resonates well with a great many americans, the deeper republican voting base cannot reconcile the isolationist views that come with that philosophy with today's international climate. In addition, It is almost accepted inevitability that Hillary Clinton is going to win the nomination for the Democratic party. Many of the conservative voters feel his views on iraq are a bit too similar to the democratic messege on Iraq, and though he wants out now and Hillary wants out in a few years, the voting base feels that, A. Mrs. Clinton changes views like we change socks so that one can never be sure of what her views are, and B. that either way you look at it, the Dems carry a defeatist messege that the conservative base simply does not respect. People are identifying Ron Paul with the same philosophy. People seem to be looking for a candidate that can beat hillary clinton. The thought of Hillary Clinton winning the general election is more frightening to people than the thpought of Ron Paul NOT eventualy becomming president.It is as if the general election were already off and running. This is not the fault of government but of media and the general voting public as that is what drives the polls and media both. The hotter poll winners get the media attention. The media attention gets the candidates exposure and votes. As an additional kicker, Ron Paul is often associated still with the libertarian party as his views are still fairly leaning with that party. I think some people are still having a hard time identifying him as a Republican candidate. Conservative he is, Republican is still a lable people are struggling with and in the bloodsport of the political arena, lables matter. He is often too associated with conspiricy theorists and extreme groups like the free staters and causes such as federal tax denial and abolishment. As well as more far end ideals such as a comming new world order, Mr. Paul is considered the champion against all of this. The main stream voting base does not identify with these views, it is largly considered fringe. I would say that Ron Paul would do well to run as an independant in the general election, he would get far more votes than he would in the primaries. This could well have the effect of stealing th anit-war vote from Hillary Clinton and stealing the strong federalist vote from who ever wins the Republican primary. If that candidate is Guliani, some feel he is not conservative enough for the republican party and his vote may also go to Ron Paul. This could all have one of 2 effects, A. It could steal votes from the republicans in the general and cause Hillary clinton to become president, backfiring in the face of anti-Clinton voters. B. Ron paul steals enough votes from both sides to win slightly more than one third the popular vote and possibly enough to win the general election and the presidency. The final wild card that occures to me is Barak Obama wins the democratic nomination and regurdless of who wins the republican nomination, Barak does not get enough votes in the general election leaving it an open race between the republican candidate, and Ron paul, fairly having the effect of rendering the democratic party impotent and irrelivent in the political landscape, this alone would be considered a victory in those who desperately want drastic change in our electorial system, the near elimination of one of the "Big Two" parties and the possible election of a third party or indepoendant to the white house. So thats my arm chair quarter backing :)