Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tomthemick@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Paul Appeal

There’s a curious blindness evident when political pundits talk about Ron Paul. Though he’s been a major candidate for the Republican presidential nomination since the early days of the race, he’s been virtually ignored. When they do mention him, they preface their remarks by saying something like: “Although he’ll never be the nominee . . .”

Here’s a guy who has polled high since the beginning of the nominating process. Romney has been on top in most opinion polls since the beginning. Other candidates took turns as the “anti-Romney” candidate: Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich, now Santorum. Romney has consistently polled in the low to mid twenties and is seen as the likely nominee by most. Paul has been just as consistent as a major candidate, but pundits treat him like he’s not there. Bachmann won the Ames, Iowa straw poll last August with 28.55%, but Paul was so close with 27.65% that less than 1% of the vote separated them. Who got all the publicity however? Bachmann. Paul was virtually ignored.

So why does he get so much consistent support from Republican voters this year? Three reasons:

First, he proposed $1 trillion in specific cuts to government back in October. No other candidate did that. Gone would be the Departments of Education, Energy, Commerce, Interior, as well as Housing and Urban Development in a Ron Paul Administration. That appeals strongly to people who know America will cease to be America if we don’t drastically cut the federal government. The out-of-control deficit is killing us all. Voters know it, but the other candidates lack the political courage to say it explicitly the way Ron Paul does.
Second, he believes people should solve problems for themselves rather than look to government. During his appearance on Fox News Sunday this week, for example, Chris Wallace quoted from Ron Paul’s 1987 book “Freedom Under Siege” in which he wrote: “The individual suffering from AIDS certainly is a victim – frequently a victim of his own lifestyle – but this same individual victimizes innocent citizens by forcing them to pay for his care.” Wallace then asked if he still felt that way.

Paul answered: “I don’t know how you can change science. Sexually transmitted diseases are caused by sexual activity. That’s been known for some 400 or 500 years, how these diseases are spread. If a fault comes with people because of their personal behavior, and in a free society people do dumb things, but it isn’t to be placed as a burden on other people, innocent people. Why should they have to pay for the consequences? That’s a sort of a nationalistic or socialistic attitude.”

Wallace then baited Paul saying: “Do you think someone with AIDS should not be entitled to health insurance as opposed to someone who has a heterosexually transmitted disease?” Paul responded patiently - explaining how the insurance market would handle it and offered the example that one doesn’t seek insurance after getting pregnant, but before.
Third, he has consistently spoken against fighting prolonged wars in the Middle East. Paul supported the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 but not the protracted conflict there. He opposed the Iraq War and the US effort in Libya. Many conservatives would agree that fighting a conventional war against unconventional enemies is foolish, but Paul wouldn’t act against Radical Islam at all unless Congress declared war. Therein is the Achilles’s Heel of Ron Paul’s foreign policy. There’s no nation-state against which to declare war, so how would he propose that we deal with Radical Islam - which is not a nation-state, but a movement across the Muslim world on five continents?
Last August, a man asked him that at a campaign stop in Winterset, Iowa. According to the Des Moines Register, Paul said: "I don’t see Islam as our enemy. I see that motivation is occupation and those who hate us and would like to kill us, they are motivated by our invasion of their land [and] the support of their dictators that they hate."

In the same exchange, Paul reiterated his belief that the September 11th attacks were motivated by American actions. While conservatives agree with Paul about strict adherence to Congress’s exclusive constitutional authority to declare war, they’re appalled (no pun intended) that Paul would blame America for September 11th. It’s a deal-breaker for conservatives including this writer, but it’s a plus with Paul’s legions of young supporters raised to believe America is imperialist. That Ron Paul’s Libertarian beliefs would include repealing marijuana laws is also a plus with them - and they comprise the bulk of his powerful, enthusiastic, boots-on-the-ground, campaign organization.
Results of the Iowa caucus just came in as I’m filing this. Paul came in a close third behind Romney and Santorum. Sarah Palin advises the GOP to be careful not to marginalize Paul and his supporters. Good advice. The GOP establishment has been foolish to ignore the appeal Ron Paul’s consistent, strict-constructionist view that federal government be cut back drastically. Ron Paul is not a fringe candidate. His consistently-large voter support makes him viable no matter what the pundits claim.

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16 Comments:

Blogger republicanmother said...

Thanks for a post that cuts through the propaganda.

I support Ron Paul for his Constitutionalist views. It's amazing to me how much so-called conservatives despise him for wanting to have Declarations of War before endangering American lives.

1/4/12, 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.wearechange.org/?p=11296

CNN fixing the game. Or, trying to.

1/4/12, 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry--above clip from CNN showing mainstream media bias and that they are afraid.

A us war vet being questioned about foreign policy of Ron Paul. I guess Wolf Blitzer didnt like his answer?

1/4/12, 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can not vote for Ron Paul for this reason. He would turn his back on Israel. The Jews and Israel are still God's people. God told Abraham in Genesis 12:3 the following: "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." I can not vote for Paul!

1/4/12, 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would my government lie to me?

1/4/12, 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Ron Paul 2012 said...

Anonymous--Sorry to break it to you But Paul's stance on this is purely constitutional. Some of us are sick and tired of doing Israel's bidding. Not to mention the billions a year we give them. Oh, and that military of theirs we built.
And, we are all gods people. No one is "special". Unbelievable.
Of course AIPAC has congress in their pocket. Which is why the AIPAC candidates (all of them barring Paul) are ready to sacrifice more American lives in Iran!
It doesn't take a genius to connect the dots.
Israel? The only country in the middle east with numerous nukes? And American made ships and planes? Sorry, but time they were on their own.

1/4/12, 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Ron Paul 2012 said...

Hey anonymous---It's ok to turn your back on Americans? But, god forbid ,we turn our back on the chosen ones?...Wow..

1/4/12, 4:48 PM  
Anonymous JOHN R said...

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT, THE PAID FOR
MEDIA WILL NOT ACCEPT RON PAUL
BECAUSE HE DARES TELL THE TRUTH
AND WILL NOT KISS ISRAEL'S ASS

1/4/12, 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

Ron Paul is definitely a force to be reckoned with, and he will lose the Republicans this presidential race. He will not be the nominee, but he has a large enough support base to give him a substantial vote as an independent/libertarian candidate. Predictions:

Perry and Bachmann will drop out, and their largely evangelical base will shift to Santorum. The Romney campaign will destroy Santorum with ads and money, but will also off-put those evangelical voters. Meanwhile, Ron Paul will become the libertarian candidate. In the general elections, Romney will have lost the support of the evangelical voters (and lets face it, he didn't have it in the beginning because he's a Mormon), who will move to Paul. This largely split conservative ballot will allow Obama to win by a landslide.

Sorry conservatives, you played this election season very, very poorly.

1/4/12, 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

John R, I agree with you, but the use of all-caps does not strengthen your point. It makes you look like a crazy.

1/4/12, 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Thank you, Tom, for yet another good blog post.

I appreciate both your balanced analysis of the candidate and your unflinching willingness to post truth, wherever it leads.

The so-called "mainstream media" would do well to follow your example.

1/4/12, 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Winston Smith said...

It seems Paul didn't blame america for 9/11 as much as admitting some responsibility. Which is undeniable...Big difference. And it's also quite refreshing to see someone with enough gumption to question the fallout from that day (patriot act). And to blanketly state that the majority of young Ron Paul supporters are behind him because they want marijuana legalized is irresponsible and simply crazy. In addition, it's not about marijuana. It's about freedom and liberty. If joe shmoe can consume alcohol and inhale nicotine while under the influence of corporately manufactured synthetic heroin (oxycodone, pikoden, etc) who cares about a plant? It's time to eschew the corporate disinformation campaign and simply get over it. The hypocrisy is staggering...Can't we all just acknowledge its about money anyway? Personal opinions really don't matter.

Want more of the same? Vote for Romney or Obama.
We simply do not have the money to keep policing the world. And if we don't turnout focus inward real quick, well, it ain't gonna be pretty.
Ron Paul represents the only real change.

1/4/12, 11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering. Why is it my disagreement means I hate America but your disagreement with me does not. Speaking of hypocrisy.

1/5/12, 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Indeed, as this illustration highlights, Iran is completely surrounded by US military bases. The characterization of Iran as an immediate and deadly threat to the security interests of the United States is nothing less than fearmongering propaganda that has been used by numerous GOP candidates to pose as tough leaders. It is their foreign policy of pre-emptive war that represents the greatest ‘danger’ to US security interests."

Lt. Colonel tony Schaefer from a recent fox news clip.

Worth watching:

http://www.infowars.com/lt-col-tony-shaffer-ron-pauls-iran-policy-most-accurate/

1/5/12, 12:09 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGDisyWkIBM

Worth watching!
He has my vote!

1/7/12, 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Winston Smith said...

I hope your all watching this continued lamestream media debacle called political coverage. What a clown show!
They have blatantly lied about paul not wanting to meet the people and continue to ignore him! I cannot believe this is America! what has happened to this place? this is a living hell------a corporate fascist Orwellian night,are come true. And we trust these die bold "machines" to count votes? and we wonder how and why we are so screwed.....I cannot believe we have let it get to this....what a shame.

Which leads me to the idea that this rift ' they' have created between the so called left and right truly is a phony distraction. Notice it's always the emotional issues like abortion or gay marriage that mentioned and debated at these debates. I mean, do we not have real pressing issues like the economy to be debating rather than emotionally charged polarizing rhetoric only meant to distract? The real issues we should be hearing at these debates are hardly mentioned. The press should be ashamed.
We all should be.

1/10/12, 7:37 PM  

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