Last night’s interview was entertaining. Stewart suggested that Ron Paul flip-flop for political gain. Of course, he was merely poking fun at the impressive consistency of Texas Congressman. Later Stewart had a more substantial debate on the political philosophy of free markets. Stewart argued that we can have an alternative between a free market society and socialism. Paul responded that every socialist program began with a seed and suddenly it grew out of proportion. He observed that it is better to suffer from the mistakes of one person than of the mistake of the Federal Government.
Overall, the interview went well. Paul did not convince Stewart, but Stewart’s gracious and irenic spirit allowed the conversation to flow.
When Republican voters became excited upon Rick Perry’s entrance into the presidential election, Ron Paul dismissed the Texas governor’s initial popularity as the “flavor of the moment.”
Judging by the reaction to his debate performance last night, the enthusiasm of many conservatives for Perry was significantly diminished and for good reason—they are discovering that Perry is not very conservative. He never has been. Ask Al Gore.
But neither was Donald Trump, who was briefly the flavor of the moment for conservatives.
Then there was Herman Cain after the first debate in Greenville, South Carolina.
Then there was Michele Bachmann who energized the GOP’s grassroots base for a time after Iowa.
And then there was Rick Perry.
Ron Paul will never be just a “flavor of the moment” precisely because his conservatism is consistent in every moment. Being a true constitutional conservative requires steady fidelity to our nation’s founding charter, something that typically lacks flashy gimmickry or that doesn’t play into the cult of celebrity of so much public fancy.
This is not to take away from other candidates, like Cain or Bachmann for instance, who certainly promote certain conservative principles—but it is to say that no one else running for the Republican nomination has represented bona fide constitutional conservatism to the degree that Ron Paul has, vote for vote. In fact, no other candidate even comes close.
Ron Paul does not need to become the flavor of the moment because the Constitution should be conservatives’ favorite flavor every moment.
And 2012 would be the perfect moment for the GOP to finally insist on a candidate with an actual limited government record, not simply more unlimited rhetoric.
With the media–both conservative and liberal–losing their patience for Perry, naturally Romney will go up in numbers. Perry’s immediate fall in New Hampshire is an indication that he is not what they expected him to be. But if the Tea Party man is not living up to debate expectations and can’t handle the hard oppositions from the establishment candidate (Romney) or the other Tea-Party candidates (Bachmann and Paul) then what is the electorate’s next move? Will they continue to support Perry’s difficult past or will they consider an alternative? Some may say this is the right time for Palin to come in or Christie. I hope both stay in their respective domain and work within their platforms. The field is full and all ideas are fairly represented. This is the time I think Paul can genuinely offer an alternative to what is going on. His consistency, as Jon Stewart, is fond of affirming, is precisely what is the Achilles heel of many of the candidates. No one can say that Dr. Paul voted this way ten years ago and now has changed his mind. Everyone knows that Paul is who he says he is. I believe this is Paul’s best hope at this stage. He continues to enjoy a restful third place in most local and national polls, but this is not enough to get the country’s attention. If in his third place he receives less questions than all other candidates (save Gary Johnson) it means that the MSM is still not seeing his support as authentic and worthy. One can say that his ideas are not understood by the mainstream media, but the mainstream in many ways make the candidate. A move to second place or a closening of the gap in the numbers and the eventual downfall of Rick Perry will offer Paul a greater voice in the months ahead.
“The idea that more government involvement in health care is the solution, especially at a time when the nation is dealing with record deficits and debt, is preposterous,” he writes. “And the promised effectiveness of forced mandate health care is easily disproven by looking at how such a system has worked in Massachusetts.”
No longer is Paul the outsider that everyone else simply ignores, both on the campaign trail and in face-offs like Thursday’s Fox News GOP debate (he’s mixed it up with Rick Perry more than once). Paul is polling a clear third in most recent surveys– ahead of Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and her fellow second-tier candidates – and while many still doubt he can win, there is something to be gained from knocking him down a peg or two, because his supporters have to migrate somewhere.
Paul’s third place with 10-15% of Republican votes puts him in a great position to pursue the head of the pack. If Perry suddenly drops in the poll, Tea Party Republicans who have been at war with Mitt Romney, will most certainly direct their attention to the Congressman from Texas. Tonight will be an important night for Ron Paul.
Mary Stegmeir reports on Paul’s attack on Obama with the following words:
While Ron Paul spoke with voters across the state Tuesday, his campaign released an open letter the GOP presidential candidate addressed to the current Commander in Chief.
In the note, Paul asserts that the tax increases proposed as part of President Obama’s jobs and deficit reduction plan would result in cuts to veterans’ benefits.
Here’s the letter:
“Dear President Obama,
“As a Doctor, an Air Force Veteran, and Congressman, who serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee and has always fought for the best interest of our troops, I was deeply concerned to learn that our military retirees are now facing benefit cuts under your proposed $1.5 trillion dollar tax hike.
“Our military men and women have fought bravely. In exchange, our country made a promise to them, and we must honor it.
“There are trillions of dollars in unwise and unconstitutional spending we must cut. There are few other leaders in Washington willing to cut spending as deeply as I am and truly balance our budget. But, we must make sure we take care of our Veterans who fought to take care of us.
“We have put our troops in harm’s way, and we must honor our promises. And, our troops have paid a heavy price these past ten years. Over 5,000 have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, 40,000 have seen crushing injuries, and hundreds of thousands more suffer from brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder
“Failing to meet the promises we have made to our troops would be unjust and immoral. The cuts you announced yesterday, combined with the rumored cuts in benefits reported in publications like Army Times, have our soldiers and Veterans deeply concerned.
“Mr. President, instead of cutting our Veterans benefits, I call on you to support our troops. Support them by bringing them home to our shores, to protect our borders and defend our country. Ensure that they are rested and equipped to repel any real credible attack. Re-unite them with their families. And, make sure they no longer play policeman in dangerous foreign civil wars.
“Cutting the benefits of our Veterans benefits while we subsidize the security of other wealthy nations like Germany and Japan and play World Policeman makes no sense. The money we would save extracting our fighting men and women and our equipment from overseas conflicts and regions will more than offset the savings you seek by upending the manner in which veterans receive care.
“Bringing our troops home would ensure that we keep the promise to our Veterans, strengthen our national defense and secure our borders.
“Do not mistake me for a pacifist or a person solely focused on the economics of the unsustainable global security and state-building that has helped our country arrive at the shores of financial ruin. On the contrary, I consider my military service as an Air Force flight surgeon during the Cold War to be among my highest personal and professional achievements.
“Authentic, Constitutionally-sound national security – a strong national defense – begins with guarding our borders and not the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
“Mr. President, I call upon your to support our troops, honor our Veterans, and ensure our wounded get the care they deserve. To do so, we must end these protracted, trillion-dollar wars and bring them home.”
Among my least favorite clichés is that one about “speaking truth to power.” It’s easy to speak truth to powerful people. There aren’t many of them and they don’t care what you say. What really takes nerve is to speak truth to knuckleheads. There are tens of millions of them. And they get to vote.
That is the charm of Ron Paul. I think I can say, without fear of contradiction, that no politician in recent history has irritated so many knuckleheads in so few words.
I am a Trinitarian Christian. I believe in God’s rule over all things. Yet, many people ask me why I would support a libertarian candidate. Just recently someone posed the following question:” Do you like Rothbard? His writing seems thoroughly secular.” I had previously stated how Jonah Goldberg from National Review found Rothbard to be consistent in his views of personal liberty, which consequently led to Goldberg’s positive assessment of Ron Paul’s policy on similar issues. In light of my support of Rothbard on this matter, the questioner then assumed that Rothbard and I have the same agenda. We do not. However, we have similar principles. Here is my answer:
I don’t know if you have read Paul’s analysis of von Mises…his analysis is overall positive, but in the end he critiques their secular pessimism. I would have the same reaction to Rothbard and Ayn Rand. My neo-conservative friends would agree with Christopher Hitchens’ fanatic defense of the U.S. wars in the Middle East, but again, they would strongly disagree with his overall religious system or lack thereof. Rothbard pursued a free society for the sake of secularism…I pursue a free society for the sake of Lordship.