Nuances don't work with the sound-bite media, Thoughts on the long road back
Fortunately, we have the internet.
For example, Ron Paul is pro-life, but there is nothing at the federal level that should permit or ban abortion, so he want the law to be status quo ante Roe. Actually SQA Griswold v. CT.
Probably worse is his ideas about immigration and (truly) free trade. The FT in NAFTA stands for free trade, but it really is managed reciprocal subsidies, tariffs, barriers, as well as currency manipulation.
Here I may disagree with him in detail though not principle. When two countries are exchanging using Gold, no problem. But let's say NAFTA was truly free trade. Then Mexico devalues its currency 40%. That is equivalent to a 40% subsidy on exports, and a 40% tax on imports, which if it were enacted that way would be considered a violation and unfair. Same with "free trade" with China unless he is willing to have the federal government accept stolen merchandise if thieves can outbid other businesses on contracts. China steals land from farmers, then gives extra easy credit to the businessmen who build factories, who are allowed to dump toxic sludge into the river and air without recourse. And so the item you get at Walmart costs $10 instead of $20 which it would if the farmer was fairly compensated, the businessman had to go to a free credit market, and had to control or pay for pollution.
One area where I don't know quite where he stands are things like copyrights and patents (which are in the constitution). Judges - and not congress - extended patents to software and business methods, and copyright is rapidly losing "fair use" with things like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This creates things like the East India Tea company that had a patent (a grant of monopoly) for trade with India, so tea had to be bought from them - even if you could make faster ships, agree to better deals, and generally run things better, they had a legal document saying only they had the right to trade. Lexmark has gone to court saying only they can provide ink-cartridges from their printer because copying the protection chip violates the DMCA. From his record I think he is against such things, but I haven't heard it detailed.
One problem is that all bills in congress are an admixture of things, so he can't vote for some things but not others. It has to be up or down on the current bill - e.g. H1B Visas - but only for tech workers, not doctors, trial lawyers, or other people we might have a shortage of. Legal immigration shouldn't be having the border patrol issue visas like tickets to illegals crossing their path, and I don't think he would want that but instead of voting on specific admixture bills, he would have to propose concrete solutions which are fair and balance the needs of all.
The way Harry Browne put it is that Government breaks your legs and then shows how wonderful it is by giving you a crutch. The problem in moving to constitutional government is that it is far easier to just pull the crutch away while leaving the legs broken. Then putting them in a contest with doped runners and saying but they lost fairly when they can't compete.
In the example above, he might be able to make trade with China more open, but not be able to help US industries crippled with OSHA, the EPA, and FRBs, and even if these agencies became sane and proper, it is still an honest business trying to compete with someone fencing stolen merchandise. I doubt Dr. Paul would consider such trade either free or fair, but if he is to be president, he has to balance things for the whole country and lead them out of big government bondage carefully.
And I haven't even thought about our military archipelago. Perhaps that can be closed overnight, but I doubt that would be prudent in all cases. Some are enemies only because we are there, and some are friends only because we are there. There are wise people who can probably return us to splendid isolationism, but I would avoid those who suggest quick fixes.
Some addictions are so serious that Cold Turkey isn't the best option, and although I think Dr. Paul has the principles to lead, my fear is that I don't know if he can draw the line and balance things properly. He would approve or veto such as to remove the crutches, but will he take a larger view of his principles so as to set and heal the legs first - I think the American people would not return to crutches if they can walk and then run, but will dump him and insist on socialism if they are made to painfully crawl for the duration.
Freedom is hard enough for someone who was born to it and lived it. It is harder for someone used to being a pampered slave. Read Exodus - Moses popularity rating wasn't that high, and there was a constant complaint about how it was better in slavery in Egypt and how they should just go back.
So before we go off and imagine what a Ron Paul administration would be like - that by March 2009 Washington DC is shut down, we have to realize it will be more like Exodus - Plagues, then a long march with constant threats to go back, and a promised land that lies on the far side of a long desert - where there will be food and water to survive but not enjoy.
A vote for Ron Paul is not a return to an easy freedom, but a vote to start the long march back to the shining city on the hill. And make no mistake that the march will be long and hard as we are far away and the road away has been steep and downhill. For me, freedom is worth it. But I don't know about most Americans.