Talk Back: The Ron Paul Problem
Let’s jump into the visceral disagreement regarding Ron Paul. I love a lot of what Ron Paul says: he stands up for civil liberty, he’s right on reigning in our foreign aid, and he’s the opposite of a flip-flopper. However, the areas where I disagree with Ron Paul combined with the baggage he still hasn’t reasoned his way out of (at least as far as I’m concerned) and his history of making the best the enemy of the good are why I said on-air that I would not like Ron Paul to finish in the top 3 in Iowa. So, here are the 3 reasons I can’t vote for Ron Paul (despite being a small “l” libertarian myself).
1. Courting the wrong crowds
I’m not going to claim that Ron Paul is racist, I doubt that he is. But in the battle with Obama the argument that he is racist will be an easy one for the media to make. Ron Paul continues to make the media’s job easier by responding ineffectually to the accusations. When asked by the New York Times to disavow support from white supremacists, he danced instead of just outright disavowing their support. Also, Ron Paul flirts regularly with the 9/11 Truth movement and although I’m sure there are people who will disagree with me, I find this particular conspiracy one of the most disgusting to make it into the public dialogue. A vote for Ron Paul colors the entire conservative spectrum with this extremist, conspiracist, and idiotic nonsense.
Ron Paul consistently makes the argument against wars and military actions that do not have the approval of congress. He tries to defend this point by arguing that his position is constitutional. Although congress has the right to declare war, it is incongruent with history to see this as the only way. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson involved themselves in undeclared conflicts. There have been at least 140 such conflicts over the course of our history including our early confrontation in Tripoli. Furthermore, requiring congressional approval drastically reduces response time and in an age with anti-ballistic missiles, drones and cyber conflicts I can imagine too many threats that will need an immediate response. If Ron Paul were president Osama Bin Laden would still be alive, because by the time our resolution was passed he would be long gone.
3. The letters
I’m going to take Ron Paul at his word that he did not write the letters that he profited on back in the 80’s and 90’s (The Christian Science Moniter has copies of the letters for all to read). He has claimed publically that the racially inflammatory language used in some of these letters was “terrible.” My problem is that he let these letters slide through at all. He claims he was busy working at the time which I will accept, but as President of the U.S. he will be held responsible for even more than his own business. If we can’t hold Ron Paul responsible for the articles written in his name, we should at least hold him responsible for badly managing his employee (the ghostwriter) and for not having the sense of responsibility to read his own letter. The president of the United States is in many ways a manager, and this letter debacle shows extreme mismanagement.
So that’s my opinion on Ron Paul. I’m sure I’ve stirred up enough hornet’s nests already, so I’ll stop here. Let’s hear what you have to say.