I don't think I've ever seen anything in American politics quite like the "Ron Paul Revolution," the fervent support for the grandfatherly old-school constitutionalist who is pulling liberty-minded voters and money into the Republican primary at astonishing rates. Check out the scene at Paul's New York City headquarters last night when the candidate broke another fundraising goal, raising $6 million in one day to break $12 million for the quarter.
I can't decide whether that rave-like scene is thrilling or terrifying. But Paul supporters should probably rethink holding their palms in the air as they chant "jawohl!", er, "Ron Paul!" and a skinheaded videographer documents the scene.
Paul, a 72-year-old ob/gyn whose 10 terms in Congress earned him the nickname "Dr. No" for his votes on spending bills, sounds a little crazy in the debates, but most of that crazy comes from how foreign his ideas have become in our country. Sixty years ago, his call to knock off government social and tax programs, avoid military adventures, and abolish the Federal Reserve was solidly in the Republican mainstream.
I can't say I'd vote for Paul -- I'm a Democrat who still believes in the necessity of many federal programs he'd destroy -- but I think he brings something important to our politics: a scalpel.
The federal government expanded at a rapacious rate under borrow-and-spend Republicans, and I don't see a Democrat who's strongly motivated to reverse that trend. In the last four debates I didn't hear one Democratic candidate talk about failed and expensive domestic programs that ought to be dropped. Democrats need to learn that the growth of the federal government's role in our lives isn't just about civil liberties. The more we spend on new do-goodery, the less that's available for the important do-goodery like Social Security, disease control, emergency assistance and renewable energy.
Credit: The photo was taken by Madwurm and is available under a Creative Commons license.
Yeah, we seem to have a choice between "tax and spend" and "borrow and spend".
I'm fiscally conservative, but I'd be happy to compromise halfway on many things if I saw evidence that people understood "opportunity cost". To switch around an old saying, just because we can spend a dollar, doesn't mean we must spend that dollar on the first program that leaps to mind... why not think about how to best spend that dollar?
Another nice bit of do-goodery: Infrastructure.
Ack! Ron Paul is a raving nutcase, sounds a little crazy because he IS a lot crazy (politically). Yeah, he wants to turn back the clock 60 years, including the Civil Rights Act. The tendency for people to project their discontent onto him is really disturbing.
Paul's stance on the Iraq war has been correct from the beginning.
I have a sense of what Seth means, and don't exactly disagree with him. But looking at the candidates (except Kucinich, Gravel and possibly Edwards) I don't see anyone I'd trust more. Not that I'd put great "trust" in Paul either.
My point is not my own, but it reflects my thinking perfectly. In _my_ judgment, we're at a time when then things we must oppose require much more of our effort--because they have been allowed to grow to gigantic proportions.
Ron Paul is not for many things that I am for. This raises challenges for me when considering him as a candidate.
Ron Paul opposes the things I oppose, does so with fortitude and humility, and has not wavered on his opposition over many years. This outweighs the former consideration--by a large margin.
I have supported Ron Paul since I came to this decision several months ago, and am now one of several million who have brought to his candidacy my time, my money, and my hope for a better America.