In the interest of full disclosure, I am not voting for Ron Paul; mainly because he couldn’t win anyway (nor could anyone with the name ‘Barack Hussein Obama’ win a national election; that’s why I hope he gets the Democrat nomination). The best non candidate is Newt Gingrich, but that’s another story.
But is Ron Paul the kook a lot of people, including Republicans, say he is? Maybe we should take a look at what he says and his positions before labeling Ron Paul an extremist or kook.
In a one-on-one interview recently, here is what Ron Paul said - as I quote and sometimes paraphrase:
Paul is in favor of “beefing up the border patrol.”
Regarding investigation into 9/11; Paul said:
“Bureaucracies are always inept. And I think that nobody wants to be investigated because it makes one look bad. Obviously if you have something as tragic as 9/11, somebody slipped up somewhere, and I think that's the main problem with these investigations. Even though I've given some token support to the idea that we ought to really look into it and find the real truth, frankly another government investigation is not likely to reveal a whole lot of difference because government is sort of protective of itself, sometimes even party to party they do that.”
When asked about the role Israel plays in the Middle East, Paul said:
“I think they provide a balance of power there. I think unfortunately we get in their way, because they depend on us for money. They also depend on us for permission. We hinder Israel by not allowing them to do what is necessary for their own defense. If they thought they needed to take out somebody they have to get our permission. On the other side of that, I think they would play an even better role if we would allow them to negotiate with Syria and other countries, and there's been some strong hints that they would like to do that. In many ways I think that they have a balance of power there. Nobody's going to touch them. They don't really need us. They have 200-300 nuclear weapons and nobody's going to attack Israel. Israel would be even more secure if they didn't depend on us so much. because they wouldn't have to get our permission. There's no way – Iraq and Iran they don't even have – neither one has nuclear weapons. Iraq didn't and Iran doesn't, but even if they did, Israel's going to take care of it. So I think they play an important role in the balance of power there but I think it would even be more powerful if they weren't so dependant on us.”
In response to this question posed by the interviewer:
“You often cite George Washington's warning to the U.S. to, quote, avoid foreign entanglements, end quote, but under that rule the U.S. probably would not have fought and defeated Hitler's Germany, which never attacked the U.S. In your view is there ever a legitimate reason for the U.S. to invade a foreign nation to free an enslaved people or to save a nation from being invaded and assimilated by another?”
“Your question is inaccurate in the sense that Germany declared war against us. We didn't declare against them. We didn't go to war just on our own. They made the declaration, and we declared war against them the following day. The president actually has clear authority to pre-emptively act in defense of this country if a nation has attacked us or if there is an imminent attack. He doesn't even have to ask the Congress to do that. But just to say for humanitarian reasons or for some other reasons for us to pre-emptively attack somebody, Iraq or Iran, no, I think it's completely wrong. It's unconstitutional, it's immoral, it's unwise. And when you don't declare the war, you don't win the war, so Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and probably the war that's coming in Iran, I think these are way beyond the scope of what the Founding Fathers intended and I think that's why we haven't been winning wars much since World War II.”
Regarding illegal immigration and the North American Union under secret development by the Bush administration, Paul said:
“… we should stop the inflow[of illegal immigrants], but I emphasize in a strong manner the idea of removing the benefits, no amnesty and changing the law so it's very clear there's no birthright citizenship and making sure there are no federal mandates on the states for free services, no free medicine, no free education, no bilingualism where we have to pay more money to teach kids in Spanish to illegal aliens to having food stamps and getting on our Social Security. You've got to get rid of the incentives and I think the whole process would change. Right now, there's a much greater move on for the New World Order which incorporates the North American Union. I don't think our current leaders in either the Republican Party or the Democrat Party care about borders any more, and I would be emphatic. Although the law was not changed in 2005, our president agreed with Mexico and Canada that they would work in that direction, that they would have a North American Union and I would make it very clear that that's not my intent, and yet I would still want to be friends with our neighbors and trade with our neighbors and be peaceful and not get involved in their internal affairs. I certainly would change this whole attitude about the obliteration of our borders and working toward a North American Union.”
Paul was asked:
“Would you support an amendment to the Constitution limiting marriage to one man and one woman?”
“I tend to like the principle of the Constitution that our problems are dealt with by the states. I don't want more power, I want to remove power from Washington. I don't want it going from Washington and then to the United Nations, so …on the marriage amendment I want the states to deal with that. I think it's a good system. I think federalism is the best way to do it. Those problems on marriage should be defined by the states.”Asked to share his perspective about Roe vs. Wade, Paul answered:“The Constitution now does not explicitly interfere with the states obligation to punish people who commit murder, and killing an innocent fetus is to me an act of violence and it should be permitted that states prohibit this. I want to repeal Roe v. Wade. It should have never been heard, and the federal government's obligation is to make sure that nobody is ever forced to fund abortions, yet we're doing that all the time. We fund hospitals that do abortions, we fund international programs that do abortions. We have to move away from that. The protection of life in most cases today, even in spite of our big problems, most acts of violence are still taken care of by the federal courts, and I don't want to distinguish the killing of a fetus one minute before birth from the killing of a fetus one minute after birth, because if we don't invite the federal government in when the teenager kills her baby as soon as the baby is born, they are arrested and they are charged for the crime by the state, and I think that's the way the abortion issue should be handled.”
Paul was asked about the North American Union and he replied:
“It's incremental. It sneaks up on us. When we joined the WTO I objected and they said it's no big deal, they won't force us to do anything. They try to reassure you. Yet to be an upstanding member of the WTO we have already changed our tax laws. We have gone to war under U.N. resolutions. As a matter of fact, this excuse of giving the president the authority to go to war and Congress ducking their responsibility, it was to give the president the authority to enforce U.N. resolutions, so it's subtle but it's there, and it's not legal in the sense that they say a treaty is the law of the land so we join the U.N. and you have to do these things. But you cannot amend the Constitution with a treaty. I think it's already happening. I think it's going to get a lot worse. This Security and Prosperity Partnership is something most members of Congress are totally unaware of and when you tell them anything about it, they say that's all conspiratorial and it's not true and they don't care. The American people are facing some serious problems because of the fact members of Congress aren't alert to what's happening.”
In answering the final question Ron Paul responded with his view of the Constitution and the rule of law:
“ … all of us , liberals, conservatives, libertarians and Democrats, everybody should agree that without the rule of law there is nothing. We can have our disagreements, but we should not ever reject the idea of the rule of law. Our problem we have today is that courts take it upon themselves to legislate, we have allowed our executive branch to legislate through the administrative courts and through the writing of regulations. We have allowed the president to go to war, the Congress to reject their responsibilities, and then when they do write laws they don't obey the Constitution. But I think what the American people want are members of our government to obey the rule of law. If they want to have No Child Left Behind, the federal government running our public schools, at least change the Constitution. There was a time when this country, they thought they were going to make the country a better place to live and they said nobody should drink alcohol. Well they went out and amended the Constitution. They had a lot of respect for the law. Today there is no respect for the law, the Constitution. That is what I'm going to do, is direct my attention to solving any and every problem. Of course my thesis is that the mess we have with its financial, monetary or foreign policy has all occurred because we have ignored the Constitution. If we decide we want to solve some of these problems, I venture to bet we can find most of the answers in the Constitution."
Very likely, most Republicans, or at least most conservatives, would agree with the positions described by Ron Paul in this interview; yet he is maligned as someone a bit less than a heretic.
This is not to say Ron Paul does not have some views disagreeable to many of us, he does. For example, Paul is an isolationist and severely criticizes our participation in the Iraq war, but so do other well meaning Republicans and conservatives. Paul is particularly adamant about bringing back our troops in Iraq; he wants to put them on the border to stop illegal immigration.
Do you know of any other candidate for the Republican presidential nomination that speaks out as clearly as Ron Paul on the issues you agree with him about? Why should we be surprised that Ron Paul has collected as much money as he has in the primary process?
By the way, Ron Paul became a flight surgeon in the Air Force. As a doctor, Ron Paul delivered over 4,000 babies. In Congress, Ron Paul never voted to raise taxes, never voted for an unbalanced budget, never voted to restrict gun rights or raise congressional pay.