The presidential fields of both parties have narrowed, and the arguments about how we should move forward are now familiar. The American Conservative believes that only one candidate has put forth a diagnosis of America's current ills and has a vision to turn the country off its misguided course. That is Congressman Ron Paul, whom we endorse for the Republican nomination.
On the key issue of foreign policy, the differences between the other Republican contenders can be measured in microdots. All remain enthusiastic supporters of the invasion of Iraq and of maintaining a presence there for years to come. All speak as if it is America's right and duty to station its armed forces over much of the world. All have embraced neoconservative paranoia about the "threat" posed by Iran, setting the table for another war. All, that is, except Dr. Paul.
He is the one candidate who sees how the realities of world power have shifted since the 1990s, the one who recognizes that the time of unilateral American hegemony is over--and can't be maintained even if it was in our interest to do so. He alone understands that the ever expanding federal government is a far greater threat to American liberty than some tinpot dictator in the Caucasus. By speaking about the benefits of smaller government and limited executive power, he has introduced a generation of young Americans to a more traditional and true style of conservativism--to the movement and the country's benefit.
Ron Paul is a libertarian, and his stances are very much derived from that minor party tradition. To many, his ruminations about sound money seem academic--if oddly prescient. He was sounding the alarm about dollar devaluation long before the current panic and broke with libertarian orthodoxy to oppose injurious free-trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA. Conservatives also find common cause with his 30-year pro-life voting record and committment to ending birthright citizenship.
Paul came by his congressional nickname--"Dr. No"--honestly. Anyone combing through his lengthy record will find many lone stands and idealistic statements that ignore the maxim that politics is the art of the possible. We are under no illusion that he has much chance of winning the GOP nomination this election cycle.
Nevertheless we urge a vote for him. This campaign sends a signal to both parties that a significant number of Americans value their country's great Constitution, that many conservatives reject wiretaps, waterboarding, and senseless wars. There is far more realism in Paul's analysis than can be found in those Republicans who believe that Washington's policy of borrowing billions from China to pay for the occupation of a growing number of countries is desirable, much less sustainable.
Ron Paul has been a breath of fresh air in an otherwise desultory Republican campaign. Long may he run.
While I wish I had originally penned this piece, it is straight out of the February 11, 2008 issue of The American Conservative. I merely typed it up for you. To subscribe, go to www.amconmag.com or call 1-800-579-6148. -KJ