Ron Paul GOP's Only Hope for 2008Submitted by Michael Nystrom on Fri, 06/08/2007 - 21:30
The GOP will be doomed in 2008 if it doesn't return to its conservative roots â€” and fast. Ron Paul, GOP presidential candidate and free-market champion, has been attacked by the scarily-becoming-mainstream war-mongering, big-spending Republicans as being a "kook" and, in an attempt to scare what's left of the base, unconservative. As Ron Paul pointed out in the South Carolina debate, however, non-interventionism is conservative: Americans elected the Republicans to stop the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and were against getting involved in Europe during World War II until we were attacked at Pearl Harbor. Is it "conservative" to waste billions of dollars in taxpayers' money and, more importantly, American lives on a war that really doesn't have much to do with September 11?
Unlike many of his colleagues who so often try to desperately align themselves with Reagan for political purposes, Ron Paul doesn't usually feel the need to invoke the Gipper's name at every opportunity to make his points; he is more than comfortable with his well-reasoned positions and rightly feels that they stand on their own. During the Fox News debate on May 15, however, he spoke of the Middle East and its peculiarities that Reagan understood existed. In simplified form, middle easterners have been killing each other for millenia â€” are Americans really going to change that? Is it our duty to do so? Is it "conservative" to fight for a republican form of government for people who may or may not appreciate it, let alone keep it while we leave our borders wide-open? Think of the Andrew Speaker debacle: it would only take one terrorist to sneak through one of our underfortified borders with smallpox to vastly outdo 9/11. If we spent less money â€” and American blood â€” on the sand of the middle easterners who have been killing each other for centuries and decided to spend more resources on fighting our own borders, the Andrew Speaker Problem may never have happened. Ron Paul's non-interventionist stance is not only conservative, it is something that 70% of the American people support.
Ron Paul is a real conservative. He is a champion of the taxpayer, having never voted to raise taxes â€” ever â€” during his entire congressional career. He is a strong supporter of second amendment rights. He is pro-life, having sponsored the Sanctity of Life Act while in Congress. The Libertarian platform has officially made their plank pro-choice in recent years after some debate within the party. This is why I never voted Libertarian after Harry Browne and why the Libertarian Party is no longer an option for me. Ron Paul is unabashedly pro-life and argues that it is unsettling to say the least that "if you abort a 'fetus' one second before [birth] it's legal, and one second after it's born, it's murder."
Though many in the mainstream GOP and neoconservative camp of the Republican Party may try, Ron Paul's conservatism is not something that can be easily challenged. His conservative values go way back: Ron Paul was one of only four congressman to support Ronald Reagan for president in 1976 (the others opting for Gerald Ford) and was one of Reagan's earliest supporters. Reagan himself has said:
If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberalsâ€“if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.
Now, I canâ€™t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to insure that we donâ€™t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are traveling the same path.
Ron Paul is right on immigration, second amendment rights, abortion, taxes, and foreign policy, arguably the big five issues if the day. Ron Paul is part of the conservative wing of the Republican Party, something that will become extinct if the GOP doesn't take heed.