In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. – Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address, January 20th, 1981
In the selection of a President, there are a multitude of factors that people consider. When categorized by issues there are usually three major groupings: the Economy, Foreign Affairs, and Social Issues. This is, of course, a broad generalization, but I shall endeavor to be brief in my analysis. Governing all of these issues is your philosophy, which I would boil down to either Liberty, or Statism. So, for me, each issue is looked at with the question in mind: “does this candidate promote Liberty with his stated policy?”.
Government “help” to business is just as disastrous
as government persecution… the only way a government can be of service
to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off. – Ayn Rand
Economy: Hands down, Ron Paul is the most Liberty-oriented candidate in this race, and probably since Reagan in 1980. He has consistently espoused limiting the Federal government to it’s Constitutionally outlined role, with repeal of multiple Cabinet level agencies. If he had his way, there would be no IRS, EPA, Department of Education, Department of Energy, HUD, Fannie, Freddie – it’s a very long list of agencies he would eliminate. Eliminating these agencies is part of the devolution of power back to the States (and the People) as outlined in the 10th Amendment. It is also a big step towards balancing the budget. While he has placed many earmarks in bills he has opposed over the years – and this is usually the only criticism of his “fiscal conservatism” – he sees earmarks as a Constitutional responsibility of a Congressman (Congress should direct Federal spending, not the Executive branch, see Senator James Inhofe for a great defense of this position). Coupled with his shrinking of the Federal government is a roll-back of the Federal Reserve – about which he actually “wrote the book”, End the Fed. This would greatly reduce the power of the FIRE sector (Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) which comes at the expense of the average American. Note who the bailouts go to, and who they don’t go to. Finally, every position I can find, every statement and interview, supports the Free Market, and principles promoted by intellectuals from Adam Smith to Ayn Rand. I find much to admire in his record in this department.
The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise:
The United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor. – Ronald Reagan, March 23rd, 1983
Foreign Affairs: In my estimation this category can be further broken down to Defense, Diplomacy, and Foreign Aid. Ron Paul favors a strong national defense. This includes border security, but he does not equate Defense to foreign military operations. He believes we should close our bases “over there” and build up our bases “back here”. To borrow from Pat Buchanan’s book title, he believes we are a “Republic, not an Empire”. This flies in the face of GOP foreign policy of the last 20 or so years, but is historically accurate Republicanism (see Taft, for example). He has frequently cited Diplomacy as the means to resolve foreign disputes, noting the success of the Kennedy Administration in dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis as an example he witnessed while in uniform. Which brings me to the real reason he is opposed by so many: Foreign Aid. Specifically, he would end Foreign Aid, including to Israel. This is a problem for one stated and one unstated reason. The stated reason is an evangelical religious support for Israel on Biblical grounds. I am not immune to this argument, but am smart enough to see that we give about $3 Billion a year to Israel, and nearly $20 Billion to her enemies, so we’d be better off stopping all $23 Billion of it. For more on this topic, see my post “Ron Paul, Friend of Israel“. The other group that needs to get cut off is the United Nations, which is almost a declared enemy of the United States. The unstated reason for Foreign Aid is the massive amounts of money made by groups all over the world who depend on it. President Eisenhower called these people the “Military Industrial Complex” in his Farewell Address. To quote Ron Paul: “To me, foreign aid is taking money from poor people in this country and giving it to rich people in poor countries.” It is madness to borrow money from communists (China), and attempt to bribe entire countries into liking us, while we attempt to defend the world. We also can no longer afford it.
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun
has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything
else. – CS Lewis
Social Issues: Abortion, homosexual rights, and drug legalization appear to be the big three in this category right now. Regarding abortion, Ron Paul is pro-Life, having delivered 4000 or so babies as an OB-GYN. He has publicly stated his support for contraceptives, and that he has prescribed them in the past. He has also made the case that a just-born child is not much different than an 8th month of pregnancy “fetus”, and that morality of the population needs to change to reduce the number of abortions. His legislation on this issue would over-turn Roe V. Wade and return this to a state-regulated issue, not a federal issue (which is in line with his overall philosophy). Regarding homosexual rights, he has said “efforts to redefine marriage as something other than a union between one man and one woman.” is something he opposes. It appears to me he is uncomfortable with this issue, and said this (from Wikipedia): “Asked his opinion on same-sex marriage
in October 2011, Paul replied, “Biblically and historically, the
government was very uninvolved in marriage. I like that. I don’t know
why we should register our marriage to the federal government. I think
it’s a sacrament.” In the same interview, when asked whether he would
vote for or against a state constitutional amendment like California’s Proposition 8, he said, “Well, I believe marriage is between one man and one woman.” He is consistent with both his political philosophy and religious beliefs on this subject. With drug legalization, he has pointed out it is nobody’s business what you put in your body. Joining him in this are William F. Buckley and Pat Robertson formerly http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/pat-robertson-marijuana-should-be-treated-like-alcohol-says-war-on-drugs-has-failed/2012/03/08/gIQARikHzR_story.html – so I’d say he has good company. The fact is that the Drug War has been used to institute a police state, while trampling on the Constitution. It has also been an abject failure, which we should have learned from alcohol prohibition. I suppose we’re stubborn.
These are the issues which seem to occupy most political discussions I have these days. Notable among the missing topics is the massive and unbearable debt, the horrific erosion of Civil Liberties, the accompanying Police State, and the explosion of corruption coupled with the destruction of the Rule of Law. I consider these issues to be of equal importance to the ones outlined above, and find that Dr. Paul seems to be the only one who addresses them all. I encourage you all to explore them, and discover their relevance to your daily lives. All of this is entwined, all is connected. There is a battle going on, between Liberty and the State, and Liberty’s Champion, in my mind, is Dr. Ron Paul. That the country is finally discussing whether or not we should have a Federal Reserve, the importance of Civil Liberties, and whether or not we should be in Iraq and Afghanistan is a testament to the success he has already achieved. May God give him the strength to carry on, and open the minds of men to his message.