Sunday, November 20, 2011

Watch out, Ron Paul is Leading in the Polls

November 2011

Keep one thing firmly in mind as the election season rolls along: Now that Ron Paul is rising so high in the polls that they can no longer completely ignore him (he's number 2 in some polls), expect the media to switch from pretending he doesn't exist to paying all too much attention, of all the wrong kind, to him. 

They will dredge up lies and misquotes and glitches from his past. Since they can't just come out and say "We don't like this guy's ideas because we're liberals and he's not," they'll fall back on ol' reliable: personal attacks. Be very careful not to fall for these attacks, or eventual rumors about this act or that belief. They will try to paint him as a complete nut case, or a fascist, or a racist, or - given his age - around the bend.

None of these will be true. I've been following Paul for nearly 20 years, ever since he first got into the House. He's exactly as he pretends to be, has radical ideas (like a foreign policy of "mind our own business"), and even in areas where one might disagree with him -- he's against abortion, which is a problem for some people, and he, yes, actually doesn't completely believe in evolution (sadly) -- but in those areas he says it really shouldln't matter because - and this is KEY - he doesn't think the federal government should have control over those areas. And in a right-thinking world, the US President's beliefs in these and many other areas would not matter any more than his opinion of who should be winning American Idol -- it should be none of the Federal Govt's business. And that is the best answer of all.

And remember another thing: Sooner or later you'll find positions he takes that you simply don't agree with. After all, the only person who could run for president with whom you'd agree completely and totally would be yourself - but you're not running.

Keep reminding yourself to focus on which candidate you agree with the most - not completely, because there won't be such a candidate. And which candidate has positions you agree with that are the *most important* positions. So: His foreign policy positions, for example, I think are absolutely vitally important to the future health of our country. And finally, keep in mind which topics he can, as president, actually have an impact on -- some things, like foreign policy and certain kinds of regulations, he can rule by fiat  as president - heck, all his predecessors have. In other topics, Congress has to support him, which they won't. So if you agree with him on something you think it important, and he can as President actually act on, then that's an important position. If there's something you disagree with him about, but it's less important -- or it's something he couldn't do anything about anyway -- then it's less important.

I remember when George McGovern was running against Nixon, and I disagreed with George about his domestic policies (he was a leftist Democrat--interestingly, he's changed as he's gotten older) but I agreed with his get-out-of-Vietnam policy. Belatedly I realized that his domestic policy ideas didn't matter because he'd never get the Congress of that day to go along. But the war he could end by fiat (since it was being run by fiat). So the thing I agreed with, he could do; the think I didn't like. he couldn't do anyway.

I've voted with that in mind ever since...

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