Ron Paul - A Surprising Republican

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. KenH

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    I don't know who Caleb Johnson is but what a wonderful review of Ron Paul's speech in New Hampshire. Just before this review he reviews Hillary Clinton's appearance in New Hampshire - and he wasn't impressed by her.




    Ron Paul 2008 – A Surprising Republican

    by Caleb Johnson


    I was already somewhat familiar with Texas Congressman Ron Paul before I went to hear him speak at a private reception in Pembroke. I was aware that he had voted against the Patriot Act. Twice. (In both 2001 and 2005.) I was also aware that he had been a leading critic of the war in Iraq. I don't normally give Republicans much of a hearing, but based on what I had heard, Ron Paul deserved a chance. I was in for a pleasant surprise.


    Paul began his speech in a refreshing way, by expressing his own reluctance to run for President. Paul is still in an exploratory phase, not having yet officially declared his candidacy. He spoke frankly about that reluctance to enter the race, explaining that he's not entirely sure he wants the job, but feels that his message is very important. He said that in the coming weeks he would determine whether he thought he could carry that message effectively. I found that attitude refreshing, especially in an age dominated by pompous politicians who feel that they are uniquely qualified to rule over us. Paul doesn't feel uniquely qualified. And he doesn't seem to want to rule over us. His focus is on his message, which is essentially that America needs a new direction. He noted that some people had accused him of not being a “strong leader,” but he rebutted that accusation: “Sometimes being a strong leader means resisting the temptation to use power.” During his time spent in Congress, Paul has consistently resisted the temptation to use power. He is consistently ranked among the highest members of Congress by civil libertarian groups for his commitment to American liberties.​


    Throughout his speech, he highlighted problems that he believes are indicative of systemic dysfunction within the American political system. He spoke out against Presidential signing statements, which are statements that a President issues when he signs a bill and that modify the legislation. Bush has signed more signing statements than any other President, but Paul was gracious enough not to mention that. Paul also targeted executive orders and regulatory policies which carry the force of law. These are dangerous because they give the executive branch the ability to make laws, concentrating too much power in the Presidency. Paul wants a significant change in direction.

    He also focused on economic issues. He spoke out against the dangerous transfer of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy, noting that this frequently precedes a significant economic downturn. He identified the source of the problem as being a government which consistently spends more than it takes in.​

    Throughout his substantive analysis, Paul was warm and friendly. He was interrupted often by applause, which he handled gracefully. At one point, he told the group, “I love leaving Washington and coming out to speak with the people. I never get applause when I speak in Congress.” The crowd chuckled. If he's making Congress uneasy, that's probably a good sign.​

    Throughout his speech, Paul was never vindictive. He didn't point a finger of blame at the President or at fellow Congressmen. He resisted any temptation to blame the Democrats for all that ails the nation. Instead, he consistently highlighted the fact that these problems have been going on for a long time. They are systemic failures, not the failures of a single person or a single administrator. In a political climate that rewards divisiveness, this too was refreshing.​

    He really started to roll when speaking about the War in Iraq. He spoke frankly about his efforts to prevent the War. In committee, he introduced a bill to officially declare War on Iraq. He told his fellow congressman, “We all know that there's no reason to declare war on Iraq, but if you guys want to go to war with Iraq, at least do it right and declare war!” Paul told them that he wouldn't be voting for his own resolution. In fact, no one voted for the resolution, but Paul noted, “They were so mad at me for making them go on the record.” Commenting that some of his Republican colleagues wanted to go to war because Iraq was in technical violation of a UN resolution by firing on American planes that were flying over Iraqi airspace, Paul shook his head and seemed genuinely perplexed. “You're telling me that we're going to bomb a country because somebody shot at a plane and didn't even hit anything?!” This sort of common sense is rare in Congress, and even rarer among Presidential aspirants. On the issue of war in Iraq, Paul's stance was unequivocal: “The troops shouldn't be over there in the first place, and there's no reason they can't come home now.”​

    Paul concluded his speech by talking about liberty, which he believes is in danger. He spoke about his effort in Congress to protect freedom of speech on the Internet. On this issue, he has walked the walk: In its Technology voter guide, CNET gave him the highest ranking score of any member in the House or Senate for his effort to secure Internet freedom. In his speech, he alerted the group to an attempt in the Senate to censor political speech on the Internet in the days preceding an election. Although this measure was defeated, Paul predicted it will resurface. He reminded those in attendance to beware any time the government declares “war” on something, noting that the war on drugs, poverty, and terrorism have significantly eroded civil liberties.​

    Paul is not currently the front runner in the Republican field. He isn't even an officially declared candidate. But his speech, like his candidacy, is refreshing. Paul seems to be genuinely authentic. He doesn't have the feel of a politician. His arguments are substantive, and his demeanor warm. ​

    For my part, I hope Paul decides to run. In a weak field, Paul is a true champion. America is at a critical crossroads. Our liberties have been trampled. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are in shambles. Our reputation has been tarnished internationally by decades of provocative foreign policy. Paul is the only candidate thus far who seems interested in reversing that trend. And for that, if he runs, he has my vote.​




     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    This is extremely concerning because it shows an extreme lack of judgment about long term issues and consequences. It seems that Paul only focuses on the here and now.

    Perhaps we should have never gone to Iraq. Paul is probably right on that. But we did. We are there. And we can't unring that bell. Now we have to do what is right to attempt to secure the long term future rather than the immediate political issues.

    I think this statement by Paul is indicative of someone without wisdom and judgment who is unqualified to be the commander in chief.

    When you can't think past today, you are not qualified to lead.
     
  3. KenH

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    Our military personnel accomplished our goals - Saddam Hussein was removed from power and a representative government was established.

    It is not up to our military personnel to stop the civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites. That is a task for the Iraqis.

    Anyone who advocates keeping our military personnel in Iraq is showing a lack of wisdom and very, very poor judgment about who is responsible for the long-term viability of the current Iraqi government.
     
  4. Bro. Curtis

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    I still believe we should set up a permanent base there. We have them everywhere else.
     
  5. Pastor Larry

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    That wasn't exactly the goal. The goal included a viable functioning government able to defend its land. That goal has not been accomplished.

    They are involved, being trained to take over.

    This is simply false on its face. Immediate withdrawal would plunge Iraq into disaster which would allow the extremists to take over and terrorism and insurgency to run the country. The long term viability of hte Iraqi government is the responsibility of the Iraqis to be sure. But we, in this situation, must help them, just as we did with Germany and Japan.

    Immediate withdrawal is not an option. We have to be concerned with more than how to appeal to politics and get your name in the news. We have to be concerned with more than the immediate.

    Of course, a supporter of Ron Paul will never understand this.
     
  6. Rufus_1611

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    As you wish...

     
  7. KenH

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    The American people voted to remove our troops from Iraq in this last election. If we have troops in any sizable number still in Iraq come election day in 2008, then the Congress will have failed the American people.
     
  8. KenH

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    Yeah, I know. We should bring them home, too.
     
  9. Jack Matthews

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    A "representative government" that could not stay in power on its own without the security screen provided for it by the US military is not a representative government, in my opinion.

    The officially stated goal of the war in Iraq was not just to remove Saddam and establish a representative government. It was to remove threats of terrorism to American interests in both the Middle East and around the world. Since those terrorist threats to American interests did not exist in Iraq before the war, extricating ourselves is going to be difficult. I'm all for immediate withdrawal, except that if we do, the instability that will dissolve into a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites will make Iraq into a terrorist base, just as it did in Afghanistan and Somalia. Instead of stopping the spread of terrorism, Bush will have opened the door to yet another country to which it will spread.

    I hope that whoever the Democrats nominate for the White House in '08 is already working on some kind of comprehensive plan to clean up this gargantuan mess, because that's the individual who is going to be saddled with the responsibility of taking care of it, and the American people aren't going to trust a Republican to get it done.

    As far as Ron Paul goes, I have trouble discerning whether he's a brilliant, true libertarian, or a nut case. He can wear both faces. It's a moot point, though. He won't even draw double digit percentage points in his own party.
     
    #9 Jack Matthews, Mar 2, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2007
  10. StefanM

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    I'd like to hear more from Ron Paul, but I know it won't matter.

    I fear we are going to be stuck between Hillary and Hillary-lite (Rudy).
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    No they didn't. You read too much into the election. Furthermore, the American people 1)were not entrusted with the deployment of troops anywhere (as much as a constitutionalists as you claim to be you should know that) and 2) cannot be expected to have an informed opinion on the matters at hand. They have neither the knowledge nor the experience to make determinations in this area.

    The election of 2006 was certainly about disatisfaction, but not entirely about the war. And that is irrelevant anyway since they are not the ones in charge.
     
  12. KenH

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    Typical elitist garbage. Elitists just want the American people to shut up and send their sons, daughters, husbands, and wives to die in the latest foreign policy disaster that they have created.

    A good question to ask is how long will the Chinese continue to loan the federal government the money needed to continue U.S. involvement in Iraq's civil war?
     
  13. KenH

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    Yeah, let's just go ahead and install a military dictatorship and be done with it.
     
  14. KenH

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    1) Well, if Ron Paul is a nut case, then so were Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, et al. If they were alive today I wouldn't be surprised at all if they were called nut cases.

    2) I, too, share your doubts that the American people care about their liberties anymore.
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    Do you really think that foreign policy decisions and military decisions should be made by people with little knowledge and little training?

    Come on, Ken. You know better. We go to doctor's for a reason. When it comes to health, they have the training and background to know causes and solutions. They are experts. When it comes to foreign policy and military, we should expect no less.

    You really think that the average American knows anything substnative about Iraq? They get their few minutes of news coverage from the sound bite driven news media. They have seen no intelligence reports. They have no idea what "military readiness" involves. Many of them probably can't find Iraq on a map and have no idea of the difference between a Sunni and a Shia.

    Why should they be making decisions? We have a republican form of government for that very reason. Our founders were smart enough to agree with me on this principle.

    That would be a good question. We could ask the same question about welfare, paying government salaries, building projects and the like. It's not just the war in Iraq.
     
    #15 Pastor Larry, Mar 2, 2007
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  16. saturneptune

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    Yes, we have a democratic republican form of government, is the exact term. That government is not just the President and the rest of the executive branch. That includes the Congress, and yes, the Congress switched hands in November due to ineptness of the executive and legislative branch before it.

    You keep harping on how dumb the American people are, and how the executive branch has the latest handy dandy up to date intelligence report. Those reports really did a lot of good in 2002, didnt they? They were either faulty intelligence, or we have been lied to. I suspect both. Maybe in your part of Michigan the average American has a hard time understanding the issues, not here.

    You put people who have proven over and over again they have no leadership ability or common sense on a pedestal. You know, if you keep repeating the same mistakes, you get the same results. That means if something does not work, do something different.

    Regardless of what you think, this whole government structure is the servent of the American people, who are footing the bill and sending the troops to die. The troops and the people have a right, to demand competent leadership. Maybe you see things different. Maybe you think the executive branch should be honored without question.
     
    #16 saturneptune, Mar 2, 2007
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  17. Pastor Larry

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    Yes, to a large degree.

    I haven't harped on that at all. In fact, I have never said they are dumb. Go back and read, and be more careful with my words. I said they are not knowledgeable on foreign policy and military issues. How in the world can you dispute that? You really think the general American public is qualified to make military decisions? You think they are qualified to make foreign policy decisions?

    There is a huge difference between being dumb and being uninformed. I have no idea of the ins and outs of cancer. I would go to a medical professional for that. My doctor has no great handle on car repair. So I would go to a mechanic for that (after I messed it up trying to do it myself). The fact is that in neither case is intelligence and mental capability the issue. Neither I, nor my doctor, nor my mechanic are dumb. It is simply that they are not equipped to comment on certain other fields.

    The same is true with foreign policy and military. Not being qualified to manage these areas does not make one dumb. Remember, the American public that is now against the war was at one time overwhelmingly for the war. The public is notoriously fickle. Remember that when you read polls. We cannot govern that way.

    Apparently the problem is there since you don't even understand what I said. You apparently thought I was saying the American people were dumb, when I never said that. That is not the issue. The intelligence was apparently faulty. Whether or not there was intentional deceit is not entirely clear.

    Who and where have I done that? I think this adminstration has shown some great ineptitude. I don't lay it all at the feet of the president. Managing something the size of the federal government requires multiple layers of responsibility. Bush has not done a good job overall. But it is not all his fault.

    And the Democrats are standing in the way of that, voting to not support the troops by sending reinforcements, threatening to pull funds. Ron Paul is, unfortunately, right there with them. He is just another politician.

    Yes, they are the servant in some respects. They are also the government.

    Yes, and they voted for Bush and he was elected. Twice. That's the way the system works.

    Honored? Yes. I think the government should be honored at all levels. That doesn't put them beyond question however.

    Right now, we have a government that is failing massively at all levels. We are spending way too much money, and neither the Dems nor the Repubs will cut it. We are at war, and we have people publicly trying to create another Vietnam. We have people asking to bring our troops home as failures, and asking them to leave the lives of 3000 dead soldiers in failure rather than winning and helping the Iraqis establish a solid government and train soldiers.

    So perhaps we do see things differently.

    There is no doubt that Bush has not been the kind of leader he promised to be.
    There is no doubt that there has been mismanagement in many areas. (There is also no doubt that Bush is not responsible for all of that.)
    There is no doubt that Iraq has been badly managed on many levels.
    There is no doubt that the Republicans have no viable solutions.
    There is no doubt that the Democrats have no viable solutions.
    And there is no doubt that Ron Paul is not, at this point, serious candidate for the presidency. If that changes, I will gladly consider him. I am greatly disturbed, at this point, by his shortsightedness. But some time in the spotlight running for a major office will perhaps help that.

    If we see things differently, then we do.
     
    #17 Pastor Larry, Mar 2, 2007
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  18. saturneptune

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    You have several positive points. The one I agee with the most is that democrats are not the answer.
     
  19. KenH

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    A politician sways with the flow of public opinion. By making the statement above proves that you are not familiar with Ron Paul. Just because an elected official advocates a position consistently that you disagree with doesn't make him "just another politician".
     
    #19 KenH, Mar 2, 2007
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  20. KenH

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    I will agree with you on this because he has not declared that he is running for the office of president.

    If he does declare he will be head and shoulders above any of the other declared candidates.
     

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