A backward glance at Ron Paul

Here at A Wild Duck, politics is one of our Raison d’être. It appears on every page in the masthead, above the menu bar.

But regular ducks know that we never push a candidate. They also know that our social opinions lean sufficiently to the left (privacy, personal freedom, pro-choice) such that we would probably have little to say about the Republican Party presidential nominee in the US race for president.

But Ron Paul is no regular Republican. In fact, it’s not clear that he is a Republican at all. Other than a penchant for fiscal restraint, he doesn’t talk-the-talk or walk-the-walk.

My father died late last year. He was in his mid 90s. In his last months, we talked about the coming 2012 US presidential election. As it became gradually more difficulty to get out of bed, we watched a lot of political interviews and wonks.

Dad voted for Obama in 2008, but more recently, he was a Ron Paul supporter. He didn’t feel that Paul had a chance, and so he was also very interested in the Republican debates. Could one of the other Republican candidates counter his concern that Obama, an articulate man of integrity and principles, was leaning too much toward a socialist view of economics?

Dad felt strongly that despite Ron Paul’s appearance at the debates, the networks were shutting him out of the spotlight: Less discussion of his ideas and fewer interviews & features than warranted for a US Representative serving on and off for 35 years.*

Ron Paul was offered a speaking slot at the RNC, but he refused the two conditions of his invitation: That he give Mitt Romney his full-fledged (unqualified) endorsement and that his script be vetted by the Romney campaign. He refused, of course. Ron Paul can’t be bought, bribed, cajoled, or won over. What he stands for is clear, unwavering and is stated with surprising simplicity.

What does Ron Paul stand for?  Check out this RNC tribute video.

Ron Paul: Consistent on the deficit and a need for limited government

Ron Paul is a strict constitutionalist. He has always stood for smaller government, lower taxes, less redistribution of wealth, dismantling the Federal Reserve Bank and respect for individual privacy. He believes that the US is too quick to borrow, tax, spend and raise the debt ceiling.

He doesn’t associate with the “conservative-right” blending of religion and intolerance that is baked into the RNC platform, but there is controversy about his failure to denounce support from white supremacists, xenophobes and other racists groups. (Links omitted intentionally–Readers can Google these issues). This is apparent in a Newsletter that he published early in his political career, but that he now claims was written without his supervision.

Then, there is Israel…Paul wants to cut off aid to the American ally completely. But then, he is an isolationist in general. He doesn’t want US taxpayers to support any extra-territorial missions. Finally, his staff members state that he is very uncomfortable in the presence of homosexuals, but feels strongly that they should be able to live with the same privileges and freedoms that all Americans take for granted.

If Ron Paul were still in the running for a party nomination, the possibility of latent racism or anti-Semitism would merit serious digging. On his economic positions, he shines. He embodies the Holy Grail that–for me–has always been so elusive: Paul is an economic conservative and a social liberal.

The video tribute includes one of my favorite Ron Paul quotes: “Living beyond our means forces us to live beneath our means.” It also includes a statement by his son, US Senator Rand Paul. He explains that Washington lobbyists don’t stop by Ron Paul’s House office, because they know that he can’t be bought. If true, it makes a powerful point about lobbyists. I would hope that at least a few of them believe in the legitimacy of their arguments and the nobility of purpose. Why don’t they visit their own representative simply to present a persuasive argument based on its merits and their own sense of duty, logic or emotions?

I don’t know if Ron Paul could ever be US president. Even if his message resonates 4 years from now, his age would certainly be a negative factor in the 2016 election. But I wish that he were the current Republican candidate running against Obama. Paul -vs- Obama. Both candidates are articulate, with clear principles, and yet a profound difference in beliefs. That would be a very interesting contest!

Here at A Wild Duck, we still don’t endorse candidates. That’s why we held back this OpEd until the Republican National Convention. But we certainly like Ron Paul. Here is a man who stands for something on which most Americans agree, and yet few of their representatives have the backbone to explain with its full ramifications. At a time when China and Arab countries are owed so much from future generations, isn’t it time to sound the alarm bell? Isn’t it time to suck in the gut, hunker down and take personal responsibility for our debts and productivity?

* Ron Paul has been a member of the US House of Representatives during 4 decades: 1976-77, 1979-85, 1997-present.

Ellery Davies is chief editor of A Wild Duck. He hasn’t discussed a Republican candidate or politician since the Reagan era—perhaps to avoid personal attacks on character or platform.      -g.a.

3 thoughts on “A backward glance at Ron Paul

  1. Regarding Ron Paul:

    1) Fundamentally, I am on board with many of his ideas (theoretically, if not practically)
    2) He lacks the political skills necessary to achieve results – so if talk is a good game, then he’s got game
    3) Age-ism – yes it’s true, I admit to being a discriminator. I am against someone over age 70 being in a leadership position such as POTUS

  2. You can tell a lot about a person by their circle of friends and advisers, and by the company they keep.

    A US president needs to epitomize the United States during their terms of office, and represent the American people well to the international community. Presidents need to lead both the people and government of the United States, using the bully pulpit they are provided, helping to unify disparate political parties toward compromises which will move our nation along a path of prosperity, equal opportunity, liberty, and justice for all. In my own opinion, Ron Paul does not fit the job.

    At this point in time, I don’t see a clear candidate who does. So, in November, I will be voting a compromise of some type – and I haven’t yet made up my mind. I’m looking forward to meaningful debates.

  3. Ron Paul has a decades-long record of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel views. For years, he published newsletters such as the “Ron Paul Survival Report” and the “Ron Paul Investment Newsletter” that were filled with hateful rhetoric which he views as consistent with Libertarianism (such as he and his son’s endorsement of a system permitting a local McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, hotel or movie theater to openly forbid admittance to Blacks, Asians and identifiable Jews. There was no federal law against this until the Civil Rights Act of 1964).

    (The federal govenment was needed here because in 1964 many states, counties, cities and town had laws that specifically allowed or even required discrimination. Many more jurisdictions openly tolerated this practice)

    I’m not just talking about Ron Paul being a Wild Duck (i.e. failing to be politically correct). I’m talking about him spewing really heinous Antisemitic stuff. The newsletter was his business after he retired from Congress for many years before getting back in. Paul now says that he didn’t pay attention to the writings even though this was his newsletter. Jewish leaders and organizations have been nearly unanimous in their condemnation of Ron Paul, both those who supported Democrats and Republicans.

    An aside: Mitt Romney’s largest donor, in fact the largest single donor to any candidate in American history — and it’s only August, is Sheldon Adelson.

    Feb 2012
    ” … While Adelson has been supportive of the now back-of-the-pack Gingrich campaign, the billionaire said he likes and knows Santorum and Romney, and “the likelihood is that I’m going to be supportive of whoever the candidate is.
    However, Adelson did say “If Ron Paul is chosen I certainly wouldn’t do that.”

    Take your pick of citations (includes Paul denials and “explanations” of his past):

    Anti-Semitism -OR- Anti-Israel.

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