Time to Stand

Bookmark and Share    One of the greatest problems plaguing the political scene is cowardice. More particularly it is ideological cowardice. It is an admitted fact that candidates run to the fringe during primaries and then run to the center for the general election. That is considered good politics. Unfortunately, it makes for bad government.

The level of disgust with our elected government is astonishing. If it were just political partisanship, we could expect that approval ratings would be somewhere around 50%. Yet that is not the case. Approval ratings have dropped into the single digits numerous times for Congress and into the 30s for Presidents. Clearly the people are disappointed even in their own party’s elected officials.

The reason is simple. Politicians are cowards. They are for something one second and against it the next. Recently we’ve seen an uptick in the “I’m for it, but not for how it is being done” or “These are special circumstances that require measures I wouldn’t normally support.” They are two different ways of saying, “I don’t want to look like a flip-flopper but I want to be on the side of political expediency.” It is as if almost our entire elected government has become filled with Arlen Specter clones.

It is difficult to find a candidate that you can really believe will do what he or she claims. It is difficult to find a candidate that consistently speaks from an ideological foundation that is firm. The one thing all our “greatest” Presidents had in common was their willingness to stick to their principles and govern as they promised. Granted there were some Presidents who were equally consistent and failed, but at least the people knew what they were getting and they could decide whether or not to support those men. Today we treat ‘political conversion’ or ‘position adjustment’ as some sort of normal behavior.

Let’s look at this from another perspective. Is it normal to convert from Catholicism to Islam and then again to Lutheran? Such a thing would be considered absurd. But how are ‘political conversions’ any different? Sure, decades ago someone might go from Democrat to Republican because the parties themselves were transformed – BUT the reason for the change in party affiliation was based on a desire to be in the party that represented that person’s UNCHANGED positions on issues. Such changes are more like a member of the Episcopal Church becoming a Lutheran because that person did not support changes in the Episcopal Church doctrine (such as ordaining gay clergy). The person’s beliefs never changed, but the group to which he belonged changed in a way that was incompatible with those beliefs. That is not what is happening in politics today.

What we have today are people who are claiming to have changed their beliefs or to have found exceptions to their beliefs. That’s like a man saying he’s straight, but another guy at the gym was unusually attractive and in that extraordinary circumstance it made sense to have gay sex. Be it abortion or government bailouts or foreign affairs, it seems that ‘anything goes’ is the new normal. Whatever the political winds of that day happen to be, so too are that candidate’s “convictions”. It is disgraceful.

What will a candidate do if elected? Who knows? Maybe their record will shed some light on that and maybe it won’t. Maybe their previous positions will shed some light on that and maybe they won’t. It all depends on which parts of those they agree with today and which ones they see as ‘mistakes I’ve learned from’. Of course, today’s convictions may be tomorrow’s ‘mistakes I learned from’.

These ideological void candidates are not the only problem. We, the people, are equally to blame. We are cowards ourselves when we fear our beliefs might bring us criticism. We allow critics of our beliefs to bully us into silence about them rather than be labeled ‘extremists’. We end up supporting a candidate based not on what they truly believe and whether that matches our beliefs, but rather on who we dislike least of those ‘who can win’. We sell ourselves out first and then are upset when the person we supported does the same thing. We feel betrayed that the candidate that didn’t really share our views governs in a way that is contrary to our views instead of in the way promised during a campaign.

I have been one of those cowards this year. I have strong ideological beliefs. Yet, I refused to support the candidate that most reflects those views because I didn’t think he could win. I bought into the lie that we should support the one who can win over the one who is right. I took the side of those who refused to support Goldwater in ’64 and Reagan in ’76. I tried, in vain, to find another candidate who could serve as a ‘good enough’ choice and that ‘could win’ according to the pundits. I was an ideological coward.

Today that changes. Today I set aside my indecision between candidates I don’t really agree with who pundits say can win and throw my support behind the candidate with whom I am in the most ideological agreement. Maybe he can’t win the nomination. If he doesn’t, then I’ll support who does as any of them are better than Obama. But, this is my vote. This is my party. This is my ideology.

My endorsement for the 2012 Republican Nomination goes to Congressman Ron Paul.
Congressman Ron Paul

I fully recognize Ron Paul’s limitations. He has never been a chief executive. He’s not supported by the leadership of his party. He’s not a great speaker. His foreign policy scares the establishment. All those things were said about Barry Goldwater in 1964 but history proved that he would have been far better than what we got. His campaign sparked a movement that eventually brought us Ronald Reagan and the Republican Revolution of 1994.

We live in a different world than in the days of Reagan. An evil empire is not our chief concern and primary security risk. Today we face isolated terrorist cells around the world and the threat of economic destruction through control of energy, currency manipulation and cyber attack. Our national debt is greater than our GDP and our economy is built upon pushing money around more than actually creating anything of real value. Our entitlement system has grown so precariously huge that it threatens to bankrupt us within the foreseeable future.

There is only one candidate who sees that these issues are the greatest threats facing us. There is only one candidate who will use the power of the Presidency to force real cuts in spending and not just in the rate of spending growth. There is only one candidate who will rethink the old Cold War era military thinking and re-position us for responding to the threats of the 21st century. There is only one candidate who has been ideologically consistent for decades and who has correctly predicted the problems we are faced with today. There is only one candidate who won’t be corrupted by polls or pundits or lobbyists. There is only one candidate who believes more in governing within the confines of the Constitution than in finding excuses to circumvent it. There is only one candidate who put his life on the line for his country. There is only one candidate for me.

That candidate is Ron Paul and he has my endorsement and support.

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5 Responses

  1. I am in total agreement with you about ideological cowardice. I think it is something which Republicans are usually most guilty of and it is why Bush went astray and why Republicans lost their majorities prior to 2010. But I disagree with the misconception that Ron Paul is politically courageous and ideologically pure.

    It is easy to stick to your guns when you’re a backbencher without any leadership responsibilities and that is exactly what Ron Paul has been. He has had the luxury of speaking about theory and ideas without ever being held accountable for delivering on them and turning his words in to the actual application of government. While many Ron Paul supporters believe that he is genuine and not playing politics, I think it’s just the opposite. I see a pure politician who uses his lack of accountability to his advantage. That’s fine. That’s politics, but to believe that Ron Paul’s rhetoric is anything less than politics as usual and mistake it for political courage and ideological purity is in my opinion a miscalculation.

    If Ron Paul was really sincere, he would still be a Libertarian, seeking the Libertarian Party presidential endorsement, as he did in 1988. If Ron Paul was really sincere about his beliefs, he would not have hand out when it comes pork, would not be taking money from lobbyists, would not have run for more than two consecutive terms to the House, and would still be a registered Libertarian. However, Ron Paul has taken part in all that he opposes and abandoned the Libertarian Party for the Republican Party, that to me is not a profile in courage, it is politics and he plays it as much as the next politician.

    And through it all, I have yet to find any evidence of his achieving anything he has promoted for over two decades now.

    I know he has achieved far more than me and in the end, I can only hope that my political service makes a fraction of the difference that Ron Paul’s service has . He has helped elevate many of the important issues to their rightful place in the national dialogue, but so has Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Andrew Napolitiano, and other talking heads like Glenn Beck but I can’t seriously consider Glenn Beck for President of the United States. So I do give Ron Paul credit but I can’t seriously consider him for President, especially since he has not yet presented the details of some supposed revolutionary post-Cold War, 21st century military realignment. What I have heard from Ron Paul though are some major signs of military ignorance and dangerous judgment. I do not believe that a President should give a nation like Iran a green light for establishing a nuclear arsenal. Ron Paul does not even understand the strategic need for an American military base in Europe or the Pacific. This does not make me confident in any Ron Paul orchestrated “modernization” of the military.

    As for ideological courage, true ideological courage goes far beyond repeating the same platitudes and that is actually all I have seen Ron Paul do. For me ideological courage also involves making the decisions and taking the chances that are required to actually turn ideological thinking into actual policies. Sometimes that even requires compromise…….a word that I am not comfortable with, but as an adult, I have come to realize that at times it is required. That is why I am willing to support a conservative whose record may be less than perfect, over a politician who has no record of conservative accomplishments.

    I really hope you don’t mind my rebutal, but like you, I feel strongly about these things and couldn’t bite my tongue. However, I am actually glad you posted this. It allows White House 2012 to offer an opinion of Ron Paul that differs from my own and shows that conservatives can have differences of opinion and that White House 2012 is open to those differences, regardless of how I respond to them.

    • It is true that Ron Paul’s legislative accomplishments have been practically non-existent. But, have you looked at the bills he has sponsored? Most of the key issues for conservatives have been addressed in them and yet most did not even get a co-sponsor.

      Take for instance his bill to remove abortion from the jurisdiction of the federal courts. It has been offered numerous times and died in committee. Why? If it had been passed when the Republicans controlled both Congress and the White House, it would have effectively voided Roe v. Wade and returned abortion decisions to the States. Isn’t that a conservative issue? Haven’t many Republicans campaigned on that? Yet, no one co-sponsored it and it died in a Republican dominated committee.

      To me that speaks more to the hypocrisy and media whoring of politicians who would rather perpetuate issues for votes than fix them. Time and again, Ron Paul has offered bills that would actually solve the problems Republicans campaign upon, but those bills are not supported. Why? The answer is simple: politics. Bills don’t pass on their merits. Bills pass based on whether or not the sponsor voted for bills others offered in a voting quid pro quo. As we all know, they are often not even read before being passed.

      Ron Paul didn’t play the political game of supporting bad bills to get support for his bills. So, his bills were left to die even though they well addressed conservative issues. Ron Paul has offered more solutions as bills than Newt “Mr. Solution” Gingrich is offering now. As President, Paul would have the power of veto and could not just be ignored because he didn’t want to play political back scratching games. The Congress would have to deal with him and his proposals.

      As for foreign policy, the attacks against him are based in ignorance. Our NATO and other treaty conditions would continue to provide us with access to bases around the world. Claiming we would have no strategic or tactical positions in the world is disingenuous. Further, the hype of protecting Israel from Iran flies in the face of what Israel has clearly stayed it wants: for the U.S. to quit threatening Iran and let them handle it. They know how to infiltrate and take down the nuclear program without starting a war. Lastly, Paul is more than willing to commit troops to war so long as Congress authorizes that action with a declaration of war. Some consider that antiquated or too much of a hamstring on the President. I do not. Our military conflicts have become political fodder at the expense of our military personnel. By making the Congress declare a war, they cannot claim they didn’t know what they were getting into nor can they justify cutting funding necessary to properly wage it.

      Finally, I’d like to state clearly that a person of integrity who accomplished little, but good is better suited to be President than a person of weak convictions who accomplished much, but that was partly detrimental. The President needs to be a firm leader with a vision. His underlings and the Congress can grind the sausage of legislative compromise.

  2. That sounds like a very strong response but I find it week on the merits. As for the lack of co-sponsors to Ron Pauls’ Sanctity of Life bill, it might be because when you move beyond the creative politics behind the bills title, Ron Paul’s attractive sounding bill, is a federal law that merely gives states the authority to allow abortions. In other words, it is an example of Ron Paul playing politics, in this case, with life. In his attempt to appeal to social conservatives, Paul essentially crafted a bill which actually just makes it legal to kill the unborn if a state agrees. His bill says the federal government has no right to tell states what they can do regarding abortion which merely returns us to the pre-Roe v. Wade era.

    This goes back to something which I brought up earlier, Ron Paul is not the non-political puritan that many of his defenders believe he is. His Sanctity of Life bill is a perfect example of his participation in deceptive politics and in this case it is a perfect example of not only supporting, but sponsoring bad legislation to gain favor with social conservatives who do not fully understand the effects of his bill.

    And while I will agree that too often the merits of various bills take a backseat to politics, I find it hard to believe that Ron Paul is the only human being in Congress who is immune from that very unfortunate product of human nature.

    I also dispute the contention that Newt Gingrich is offering less solutions to our problems than Ron Paul. If anything I see it as quite the opposite. The details of all his proposals support a conclusion quite contrary to the one you argue.

    But once again it is in the area of foreign policy and national security that I have the greatest trouble with in regards to Ron Paul and your rebuttal.

    You believe that the criticism of Ron Paul in the area of national defense is based on ignorance and you argue that due to organizations such as NATO, “and other treaty conditions” the United States would continue to have access to bases around the world.

    Unless I have repeatedly read and heard Ron Paul incorrectly, he is opposed to all foreign entanglements and in addition to the United Nations, he wants the United States out of NATO. So I find it quite hard to accept the argument that NATO and other treaty conditions would continue to provide us with access to bases around the world under the stewardship of Ron Paul, not when Ron Paul has explicitly called for ending such treaties and memberships.

    Now if you want to argue that Ron Paul believes in exceptions to his firm stance on eliminating all foreign entanglements, than the good Doctor fails the ideological and political purity test and standards that you criticize every other politician for and hold them accountable to.

    This goes back to a previous argument I made regarding the lack of accountability and lack of standards that Ron Paul is held to.

    As for modernization of our military and insuring that it meets the challenges of a new word order, let’s get to it. I’m all for it. The sooner the better. However, given Ron Pau’s reckless comments about allowances for nuclear weapons in the hands of those who are truly irresponsible, I fear he is not the man who is up to the job of modernizing our 21st century defense posture very effectively.

    Four days ago I heard Ron Paul tell an audience in New Hampshire that America needs to “treat other nations the way that they would want them to treat us”. On the surface, that espouses a level of logic and decency that is impossible to argue with. But that is only on the surface. Below the surface is the heart of the matter which is, does Dr. Pau honestly expect me to believe that if we treat Iran politely, they will suddenly turn around and say, “by golly, those damn Americans are a helluva nice bunch of folks. The heck with our plans to destroy them and to wipe their friends, the Jews, off the face of the earth.

    I am often swayed by your arguments. You always provide me with an angle that I missed. And seeing as how I saw this endorsement coming, I was forced to reanalyze my thinking about Ron Paul. This was especially the case since I knew that your endorsement of Paul would undermine one of my arguments about Ron Paul supporters, most of whom I find to be obnoxious, irrational, and unrealistic. You are none of these things, and so I seriously took a step back and analyzed where I was coming from and where Ron Paul is coming from. I may be many things, but close minded is not one of the things I try not to be. So I forced myself to carefully reexamine things. I was surprised to find that I see no reason to draw any concusio0n about Ron Paul other than the negative one which I arrived at long ago.

    For me, this just confirms that Republicans are far more divided than liberals and that the conservative movement is in worse shape than many may think. I can only hope that we soon find that once in a generation figure who has the ability to lead and unite the multiple factions within the conservative movement.

    • As one who argues that compromise is essential, I find it surprising that you think overturning Roe v. Wade and letting States that want to outlaw abortion now isn’t progress because it doesn’t federalize the matter and ban it everywhere all at once. I would think an achievable step towards at least ending some abortions would be better than getting nothing done on the matter. I guess your argument that accomplishing nothing only holds true when you level it against others and not when it applies to those you support. There are many GOP controlled States and we could accomplish far more if we could let those States take the lead and do it rather than leave them hogtied while we attempt to push through wholesale change at the federal level. Even when we accomplish some federal level change, we see it reversed by subsequent administrations and Congresses or by the courts. I feel that letting the States decide these types of issues brings more lasting change and if liberal States want to destroy themselves, then so be it.

      The President is not a dictator, or at least shouldn’t be one. Thus, our existing laws and treaty obligations bind whoever becomes the President. Paul could no more unilaterally eliminate the Federal Reserve than he could unilaterally withdraw from all our international agreements. While he may champion such drastic changes, you and I know that they will not happen. Paul’s ideas would be muted by numerous constraints and even he knows that and has addressed those limitations. The rhetoric of national security doom if he is elected is nonsense and anyone who is seriously evaluating matters knows it.

      You ignored my statements and his on Iran and continue to think “we know what’s best for Israel better than it does”. Israel has been clear that our saber rattling against Iran is not helpful and that they can handle the threat themselves. The recent elimination of a nuclear scientist is not claimed by anyone, but we can guess who accomplished that and it wasn’t the U.S.

      Finally, I want to point out that several unstable nations have gained nuclear weapons despite our global military and threats against them. Those tactics failed. Dangerous governments are now nuclear. Yet you continue to assert that only a policy that has so far failed is the only good one. I expect more intellectual honesty from you than that. What we have been doing has not successfully stopped nuclear proliferation. (Unless you think Pakistan and North Korean are success stories,)

      I don’t think the party is wildly divided. I think the rhetoric against Paul is over-the-top and disingenuous. The machinery of government does not change quickly. No one person can unilaterally change our laws or treaty obligations. Making some progress on conservative issues at the State level is better than making no net progress on them at the federal level. Go ahead and continue the rhetoric against Paul. We’ve heard it before against Reagan. It was wrong then and it is wrong now. It is just the last gasp of a corrupted party establishment that refuses to acknowledge that it has gone off the rails and become as big government and big spending as its opposition.

  3. Well it would seem that the Party is not quite that divided. Apparently Republicans are getting behind Romnney or at least showing signs that they will be able to. Ron Paul supporters may be a different story though.

    But, regarding compromise, I find it odd that on the issue of life you are actually willing to claim that the federal government has no say. As I mentioned, I am not easily open to compromise but I do understand the need for it. However, like Ron Paul I believe that some things are non-negotiable. In my view, life is one of those things and ironically, in Paul’s eyes, life is negotiable. But as I said, Ron Paul is more political than logical and full of more rhetoric than principle. So I am not quite sure what your point is because you seem to be arguing the case against Paul now. Which is it? Am I the one whose willingness to compromise on some issues but not life, the bad guy, or is Ron Paul, who is not willing to compromise on anything except for life, the good guy?

    I also found it interesting that you tried to draw a parralell between Reagan and Paul. I would remind you that Ron Paul is no Ronald Reagan. In fact, Ron Paul stated back in 1988 that Ronald Reagan was one of the reasons why he left the Republican Party. At least that was the rhetoric he was touting back then, before he jumped ship a second time and then returned to the G.O.P. That said, I don’t believe my interpretations of Ron Paul’s stated proposals and his lack of a record of accomplishment are rhetoric. I sincerely believe that his foreign policy beliefs are stupid, not ignorant, just flat out stupid. I sincerely believe that Ron Paul’s dismissal of the threats from those who have decalred themselves to be sworn enemies are reckless. I also do not believe that Israel actually appreciates Ron Paul’s permissivness of their sworn enemy when it comes to nuclear weapons. Furthermore, I find it typical Paul-like thinking that blames America first by calling our warnings “saber rattling” and dismissing the actions of the nations which force us to react with so-called saber rattling. I am not falling for the Paul Doctrine which is to ignore the fact that our enemies are inititating actions which we need to respond to.

    As for the nuclear capacity of Pakistan and North Korea, what I can defend is the need to avoid the proliferation of nuclear weapons among rogue regimes. What I can not do is claim, that because two unstable nations have nuclear capabilities, we should just give up and let them all have nuclear weapons. We may not be able to change history, but we can try to make sure that hiostories mistakes are not repeated.

    But let me get this straight, you are telling me that I should not worry about our national defense because Ron Paul can not achieve his goals.

    Is that the new Paul slogan…….. “Don’t worry, he can’t get anything done”.

    I’m sorry, but I am not sold on the argument that Ron Paul can not achieve any of his stupid goals but he can deliver on his more rational goals. You either support what he stands for or you don’t. I don’t. Not when it comes to his views of the primary responsibility of the President of the United States.

    I would also like to address your defining national security concerns regarding Ron Paul as rhetorical doom.

    The inference is that people are exaggerating our national security and exploiting it by trying to scare people. What I find funny is that Ron Paul is not held accountable for his fear mongering. His fatalistic language regarding the risks to liberty are somehow legitimate when it comes to Congress and the Federal Reserve, but emphasizing the risks to our liberty when it comes to foreign threats is not legitimate. This goes back to the lack of accountabilty Paul fans have when it comes to their theoretician-in-chief.

    The funniest thing of all here though is that this is all a big political game and Ron Paul is playing it to the hilt. Ron Paul has himself acknowledged that he doessn ‘t seriously see himself as a President. Yet his worshippers are taking him more serious than he takes himself. Had Paul not overplayed his hand and taken his own rhetoric so far for so long, I might have once been able to take him seriously myself. But as it turns out, his circus-like sideshow is something which I am now merely tired of.

    Add to that the long paper trail of indefensible statements in periodicals that he wrote, edited, and or just profited from and what you have is candidate whom I just can’t get behind. For me Ron Paul is not credible. He is all rhetoric.

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