Monday, February 04, 2008

I'm Fascinated by Ron Paul

Carrying on with the theme of presidential contenders I am fascinated with, let's look at Ron Paul.

Paul represents a tradition in American politics that has been under the radar for a number of generations. Possibly since the New Deal, but definitely since WW2. Paul's vision of a limited government -- both domestically and internationally -- has been virtually unseen in the American political landscape 60 years.

There was a time when Paul's views were the mainstream view of the right. The conservatives who typically were Republican -- although not exclusively so -- were deeply against foreign entanglements of any sort. The debacle of America's entry into WW1 deeply shaped this movement. There was a time in American politics when waging war internationally was seen as a liberal thing. The right argued that this was another example -- as the New Deal was -- of liberals pursuing an idealistic goal that was destructive in the end.

Ron Paul is from this older tradition.

Paul will not get the nomination. But the reemergence of old right thinking in him and the degree of its resonance with a sizable block of voters is fascinating to me.

AGAIN -- This is neither an endorsement nor a recommendation. Just observations.

3 comments:

Alice C. Linsley said...

I was suprised by the "Ron Paul for President" signs I saw recently at the UK campus and on some bumpers. They love him in Alaska and in North Dakota, states with many more Libertarians. President Ronald Reagan said of Paul: "Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for this country!"

Given how government has intruded on every area of the citizen's life, this line of thinking represents a corrective.

Matthew J. Perkins said...

Hey Peter,
I was briefly fascinated with Ron Paul too. I read his website and watched a pretty good interview of him on the Glenn Beck show. I was leaning toward supporting Huckabee but a lady at my church has basically convinced me that McCain is the best candidate. He'll probably get my vote, not that that will matter in Washington, unfortunately.

P.S. I'll be in Kentucky on March 23rd and plan on worshipping at St. Pat's.

Alice C. Linsley said...

March 23, huh? I'll try to be there, Matthew. It would be great to see you again.