I’m one of those undecided South Carolina GOP primary voters being targeted by all these (very) aggressive campaigns. I’m not particularly enamored with any of these five remaining candidates. All have strengths (though in one case you have to look awfully hard), and all have significant weaknesses. So I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’ll be voting for someone I don’t totally agree with. I’m also fairly convinced that Mitt Romney will win here on Saturday and will wind up the GOP nominee.
So let’s talk about the curious case of Ron Paul. Now, to be clear, I don’t think he really has a chance to win this nomination and I bet that, in his heart of hearts, he doesn’t think so either. His campaign is about promoting his ideas/ideology, and that is generally a very good thing. He’s honestly quite brilliant on economic issues and admirable in sticking to his guns on the Constitution, limited government, fiscal conservatism, and liberty. He seems to be alone in his commitment to making real substantive changes in the area of federal spending by cutting a trillion bucks from the budget, eliminating entire departments of the bureaucracy, and that sort of thing. He’s also the only candidate I am completely confident is not beholden to or in the pocket of big corporate interests (like Big Pharma, for example) as well.
Now, there is that whole foreign policy issue. In an ideal sense, Paul’s foreign policy ideals make sense. I don’t know why America is the policeman of the world, why our troops get scattered all over the place, etc. But, alas, we don’t live in a vacuum. We are where we are and some of his positions (on Iran, for example), seem a bit reckless, to be honest. But, here again, I remind you that Ron Paul isn’t going to win… and a little more circumspection in our foreign policy would be a positive development.
Will I vote for Ron Paul? I don’t know yet. I thought about it in 2008 and didn’t pull the trigger. But I’m encouraged that people are taking him and, more importantly, his ideas more seriously. The GOP should take seriously his ability to ignite and create a significant movement of impassioned, if occasionally annoyingly exuberant voters, many of whom were previously unengaged politically. Those followers should not be ignored. The GOP needs their energy and enthusiasm. (I personally have high hopes that his movement will come to some fruition in Rand Paul, but that’s another post for another time.)
I do want to bring attention to a very thorough article that thoughtfully builds a case for Ron Paul based on biblical and constitutional concerns, written by Vodddie Baucham.