Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Who the hell does Ron Paul think he is?

Our name is Ron, and one of us is running for President.
Actually, a more appropriate question might be: “Who the hell is Ron Paul?”

When I first mentioned Paul’s name to Jay, he thought I was talking about a porn star.

In case you were thinking the same thing, allow me to clarify:

Ron Paul is not a porn star. He is a Republican Congressman from the Longhorn State. And he’s running for president.

Ron Jeremy is a porn star. He has long been in a horny state. He’s not running for president.

I like Ron Paul. I don’t know if he’d make a good president. He certainly doesn’t stand much of a chance of getting elected. But he’s got the courage of his convictions and a long history of going against the political tide in defense of his beliefs.

At a time when we've already got a go-at-it-alone Commander-in-Chief, this might hardly seem like an attractive quality; but the difference here is that Paul bases his decisions on whether or not they are Constitutional.

The Republican machine doesn’t want to see this guy on stage during their debates. Like the John McCain of old, Ron Paul is something of a loose canon and can’t be counted on to tow the party line. But true conservatives should be paying more attention to this guy. He’s a poster boy for the Reaganesque ideals of limited government and sensible foreign policy.

Of course, Paul’s recent comments about US foreign policy haven’t done much to endear him to the Republican base, although it has generated some buzz and support – particularly over the Internet (much like Howard Dean in 2004). At last month’s Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, Paul suggested that US foreign policy invited the September 11 attacks, which of course didn’t sit well with Rudy Giuliani and the rest of the gang.

Here's a debate clip:

I didn’t watch the entire debate on TV, but I did see that statement live, and I’ve since watched it again online. I don’t think Ron Paul was saying that the US got what was coming to it on 9/11. We did not deserve that. No one does. Of course, I wish he had just come out and said as much. Not doing so hurt him.

Paul’s point, as I interpret it (and you need to read past this paragraph to see the logic through), was that the US sometimes makes mistakes in its foreign policies. Those mistakes do cause people in other countries to see us in a negative light. And their grievances can be legitimate.

Just as individuals need to self-reflect from time-to-time to ensure their behavior is consistent with their code of ethics and standards, nations should do the same.

Now, that’s not to say that if you oppose US foreign policy you can ever be justified in hijacking our planes or murdering our people. When you take a legitimate grievance and use it to advance perverse and evil ideologies, in my book, you lose your right to be “understood.”

But many people never take their discontent to that level. And they’re often unheard and ignored. It’s only when the hijackers, shoe bombers and beheaders enter the picture that we seem to notice that there are other people around the world who aren’t so happy with us. And at that time, we can choose to:

a) get angry and kick some ass


b) stop those who want to harm us while also making sure that we’re living up to our noble ideals

I think this is what Paul was trying to say, though I can only speak for myself here. I can understand why Giuliani and the other Republicans were so quick to anger – I used to get the same way myself when this topic came up. But six years and two wars later, I’m more willing to listen to the argument.

And that’s what I like about Paul. He’s willing to bring it up.

Here's a clip from Bill Maher:


Anonymous said...




Jay said...

Anonymous left a bunch of links to follow. Me thinks that Ron Paul's people look for new mentions of him or use of the clip from Maher. Cool. - jay