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John Wayne's Holster: Ron Paul: More Conservative Than Rudy or McCain
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Friday, May 18, 2007

Ron Paul: More Conservative Than Rudy or McCain

Texas Conressman and GOP Presidential hopeful Ron Paul has taken a lot of flack – and is grabbing a lot of headlines - for comments he made during the recent GOP Presidential debate. As I am sure anyone following politics is aware, Paul, who is against the war in Iraq, stated that the 9/11 attacks were partly the results of grave missteps in US foreign policy. Former New York mayor Rudy Guiliani took excpetion to Paul’s comments, jumped on his white horse, and demanded that Paul withdraw his statement. Of course, Paul did not.

Although I felt Paul may have been overstating his views, I can not deny that they do hold some merit. I wanted to know more about Paul, so I did a little research into his record and his position on the major issues. I must admit that I am pretty impressed with him.

Paul is a strict Constitutionalist. According to his official website, “Paul tirelessly works for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies.” As such, he strongly supports states rights, is opposed to both Presiential autonomy and judicial activism. This philosophy underlies his positions on almost all the major issues.

So specifically, where does Paul stand on the issues? Below is a brief summary. Those interested in reading more details about Paul’s political positions can look here, here, or here.

War in Iraq
Paul is not an isolationist, but he believes that the US should be more cautious when entangling itself in the affairs of other nations. As evidenced by his exchange with Guiliani during the recent debate, he believes that short-sighted foreign policy decisions have consequences or “blowback”. As for the war in Iraq specifically, he is against it. The record shows that he was one of the few Republicans that voted against use of military force in Iraq in the first place. Although Paul favors withdraw of the troops, he is against setting a timeline to do so.

Paul wants to secure the borders now! He has put forward a six point plan that includes:physically securing the border (a fence), enforcing visa laws by deporting those who overstay their visa, no amnesty, no welfare for illegals, ending birthright citizenship, passing immigration reform.

Paul is an obstetrician and is opposed to abortion rights. However, Paul does not believe their should be any federal legislation regulating abortion. As a Constitutionist, he believes it is a state – not a federal – issue.

Second Amendment
Paul is a strong supporter of the right to bear arms. He believes is is necessary to place a check on government tyranny, not to allow self-defense.

Same Sex Marriage
Like abortion, Paul believe that marriage is a state issue, and therefore voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment. Instead, Paul has expressed support for the Defense of Marriage Act which essential says that each state should independently define marriage and the federal govt could not force one state to accept the marriage definition of another.

Taxes & Spending
Paul favors tax cuts. Call it supply-side economics, trickle-down economics, voodoo economics or whatever. Paul believes in some version of that economic system. Tax cuts allow more spending, saving, and investing which helps the economy. They help create jobs. However, the govt. has to behave more responsibly when cutting taxes. Currently, the US is almost $10 trillion in debt, yet spending is on the increase. So in addition to tax cuts, Paul wants more fiscal responsibility.

In my view, Paul is one of the most conservative candidates among the GOP hopefuls. He is certainly more conservative that the two front-runners, Guiliani and McCain. But due to his stance on the war in Iraq, many of the talking heads in the media sho are drinking the GOP kool-aide (e.g. Hannity, Malkin, etc) do not like him. In fact, during a recent interview on The Big Story With John Gibson, Michelle Malkin went as far as to state that "Ron Paul really has no business being on stage as a legitimate representative of Republicans"

I strongly disagree!

Although Paul does not currently seem to have a realistic chance at winning the nomination, he will certainly draw the attention of the strong conservatives who make-up the party’s base. This could spell trouble for Guiliani or McCain – trouble they don’t want. In fact, it already seems that the GOP are already revving up the smear machine to discredit Paul by painting him as an anti-Semite and a racist.

Despite this, Paul is making some ground. In the recent GOP debate, Paul made a pretty good showing. A FOX News poll conducted after the debate showed that 25% of the views thought Paul won, compared to 19% for Guiliani and 4% for McCain. In addition, the AP reported that “Paul finished second among GOP candidates in money raised in New Hampshire and Montana in the first quarter of 2007. He also raised the most money of the second-tier candidates in 14 other states, including Florida and Texas.

So while Paul’s supporters shouldn’t get their hopes up yet, there is a good chance he might hang around for awhile. And anything can happen in politics - so I wouldn’t count him out just yet.


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