The campaign by Ron Paul for the Republican nomination for President has been a revelation. He represents what has been variously described as Jeffersonian Conservatism (small governance in the interests of individual liberties), Libertarianism (he once stood for the Libertarian Party in 1988) and a Constitutionalist (believing that the US has deviated too far from that document).
STANDING UP FOR PRINCIPLES
His policies are based on principles rather than pragmatic choice or populism and this consistency has earned him the sobriquet of “Dr No”. His belief in a noninterventionist foreign policy has stood out amongst a US Congress that generally (practically all Republicans and most Democrats) supported the Iraq War. He supports withdrawal from the UN and NATO in order to maintain national sovereignty. He supports free trade, rejecting membership of trade manipulators such as NAFTA and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). He supports tighter border and immigration controls.
His domestic policies follow a ‘small governance’ approach, refusing to support moves to increase central government spending or taxes. He opposes the Federal Reserve and believes that the free market should determine money supply. He likewise views central government as the enemy rather than the saviour of civil liberties and has consistently opposed government legislation restricting individual rights. Unfortunately because of these policies his Presidential campaign fell foul of the Washington Establishment and de facto the Media. By and large they refused to grant him a fair hearing and where possible tried to smear his campaign with predictable charges of racism, conspiracy theory and fanaticism. The latter accusation however touches upon the reverence with which his supporters, mainly young, show him.
His supporters are particularly strong on the Internet (100,000 on RP Meet-ups alone) and was further evidenced by the various Moneybombs they organised and raised for the campaign. Two notable ones raised $4.3 million (Remember, Remember the 5th November) and over $6 million (Boston Tea Party – 16th December).
Despite the enthusiasm and work of his activists they were unable to persuade the majority of registered Republicans to back Ron Paul (averaging around 5-6%). His supporters would largely blame this on the Media’s lack of coverage. They will, however, continue to campaign until the Republican Convention in November where the candidate will be chosen. This presently looks likely to be John Mcain who largely represents the antitheses of Dr Paul i.e. will stay in Iraq for “as long as it takes”, will give Banks a free reign and will ‘flip-flop’ on policy depending upon which side of the bed he wakes up in.
In the long run supporters of Ron Paul in the Republican Party are likely to mirror the Dean supporters in the Democratic Party who, after a failed bid for Howard Dean in 2004, worked internally to renergise and re-direct that party to support his principles.
OFFERED A HOME
There is an awful lot to admire in Ron Paul:-
He has bravely resisted backing a false patriotic pride in invading Iraq,
He has stood out against restrictions on individual freedom,
He has fought against the expansion of the Federal establishment and
He wants to give ‘power back to the people’.
Ron Paul has offered a home for non-socialist and patriotic Americans who oppose the US ‘s role as ‘Policeman of the World’ and would prefer not to be ‘policed’ so heavily at home too!
The Ron Paul website is entitled Ron Paul 2008 – Hope for America Perhaps it should say Hope for the the world! Our own country would certainly be better off if Ron Paul was in the White House! We shall be watching how the good Doctor gets on wit interest.