Most Dear Gentle Readers know I’m a Yellow Dog Democrat searching for the best candidate to support. In that quest, I’ll share my findings along the way with apologies to my heroes Stephen Colbert and David Letterman in Better Know Your Lesser Known Presidential Candidates. But keep that fact in mind. It does color what you read.
I’m a bit like Goldilocks in that none of them (the rag-tag bunch who still have their hats in the ring) seems “just right.” Big Daddy Gore is wisely sitting on the sidelines, and the more he sits, the better he is starting to look. How strange it would be if we had a couple of non-candidates from Tennessee eventually duking it out for president?
The Republicans are running scared and haven’t gotten their nastiness together yet, because old Fred Thompson is about the best they can do at the moment and he’s not even officially in the race. Do we seriously think Rudy has a chance with the evangelicals?
Which brings me to the topic I started out thinking about. Ron Paul. In case you don’t know who he is, I’ll share what I know after watching a YouTube video of him, looking at his Web site and consulting a few other sources. And by the way, please go watch some of these videos to find out a little bit more about the candidates. You’ll get a better picture than you do from sound bites on cable news networks or the evening news if you are one of the few still watching it.
Ron Paul is a Republican easily mistaken for a Libertarian. He has, in fact, run for president on the Libertarian Party ticket. In my quest for more information, I discovered that Paul, a U. S. congressman from Texas who served in the 70s and 80s, got out of politics after a failed bid for senator and returned to delivering babies (he’s a specialist in obstetrics/gynecology) for awhile, and then reentered politics in 1997.
According to his Web site, Paul:
He has never voted to raise taxes.
He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
He has never taken a government-paid junket.
He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.
He voted against the Patriot Act.
He voted against regulating the Internet.
He voted against the Iraq war.
In a speech before the U. S. House this spring, Paul said:
Certainly, the neoconservative belief that we have a moral obligation to spread American values worldwide through force justifies the conditions of war in order to rally support at home for the heavy hand of government. It is through this policy, it should surprise no one, that our liberties are undermined. The economy becomes overextended, and our involvement worldwide becomes prohibited. Out of fear of being labeled unpatriotic, most of the citizens become compliant and accept the argument that some loss of liberty is required to fight the war in order to remain safe.
This is a bad trade-off, in my estimation, especially when done in the name of patriotism. Loyalty to the state and to autocratic leaders is substituted for true patriotism; that is, a willingness to challenge the state and defend the country, the people and the culture. The more difficult the times, the stronger the admonition comes that the leaders be not criticized.
Tune in next week for another Better Know Your Lesser Known Presidential Candidate.