I adore the pure and beautiful American concept of small government.
I long for a nation where a state is free to regulate and deregulate according to the will of it’s citizens. To be, in my case, an Ohioan first and an American second. Much the same way that our founding fathers identified themselves as Virginians.
So, if you were in the business of making assumptions you would assume that small government minded, states rights advocating, conservative independents like myself would be stamping envelopes and knocking on doors garnering support for Congressman Ron Paul. Right?
I love Ron Paul’s politics. We see eye to eye on so many of our principles. How wonderful it would be to not choose progressive-lite in this election and cast a vote for a conservative. With Ron Paul, we also get his plan to limit the size of government and restore America.
Ron Paul’s stance on right to life is perfectly aligned with my own. His thoughts on right to work and his plan to balance the federal budget place him exactly in line with the principles of most conservatives, while still slightly to the left of most libertarians. What a wonderful choice for your primary and caucus vote–except that he is still… Ron Paul.
So why can’t the most conservative candidate in the whole field win the conservative stamp of approval and the nomination of the GOP?
1. He answers criticism by telling you what his opponent did or did not do:
Mother voice: Ron did you take that cookie from Mitt Romney?
Ron: Yes, but Rick Santorum claims he is for a balanced budget, but has never done anything about it.
That is if he bothers to answer it at all. Take the accusation concerning articles published in the Ron Paul Political Report that contained numerous racist and anti Israel comments. When these comments surfaced for the second time in 2008 (the first in 2006) Paul responded, “I never read that stuff. I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written, and it’s been going on 20 years that people have pestered me about this.”
2. He will not compromise.
Ron Paul has by far the most consistent voting record of any candidate in this primary race. He has time and again proven that when he holds a position he will not be moved. A great attribute for a congressman or a state representative, but sometimes in leadership I feel the man at the top has to give a little and consider ideas that originate outside of his own head. Failing that a leader must at least build consensus and not simply state “this is the way it is going to be.” The past three years have shown us what that looks like. I am not interested in four more years of ramrod politics, even if I would often agree with the man in possession of the ramrod.
3. He is kind of a creepy Grandpa type… sort of like, “pull my finger, and we’ll balance the budget.”
The longer he remains in the race the more likely it is that the nomination will go to one of the less viable candidates. In 2008, Ron Paul’s unwillingness to walk away from a primary race that he knew he could not win gave us John McCain – a presidential candidate that doomed us to the fate of four years of full flavor progressive.
When you put all of these attributes together Ron Paul is the conservative Ralph Nader. A humorous and dangerous distraction. A caricature that embodies all of the most extreme stances of a party and as a result is completely unelectable.
Will he have what it takes to realize the futility of his continued campaign, or will conservatives again be forced to pull the lever for the “lesser of two evils”?