Posted by: Ann Corcoran | February 20, 2012

Understanding the appeal of Ron Paul

This is from a piece in the Washington Times a month ago today (I just saw it thanks to Lynn) and I think it lays out very well why Paul has such an enthusiastic following.   And, frankly for me, the piece comes just as we are likely to insert ourselves in Syria—into the Shia vs. Sunni Islam wars that have gone on for centuries. (McCain wants to arm the “rebels.”)  We did such a great job (I’m being sarcastic of course) helping to “liberate” Egypt and Libya and thus helping the Muslim Brotherhood come to power in the name of “democracy” we are now seriously contemplating going for number three—Syria—or four or five, but who is counting.

And, then consider what author, Amanda Read, has to say about Paul on the domestic side:

At this point I have to ask – why are Republicans naturally so hesitant about endorsing Paul for the presidency? However much we may detest the party establishment, there is a comfort and stability in the familiarity of it. Who wants to trek through wilderness to the promised land when the fantasy of going back to reform Egypt seems so much easier?

Arguably, Romney and Gingrich would be better presidents than Obama, and Santorum might be even better. Each of them would slow down the speedy decline Obama has the country on. But they all function within the play-it-safe Republican paradigm of recent days. In other words, they tend to treat our unconstitutionally big government as tolerable and permissible as long as moral, traditional conservatives are in charge of it.

Paul, on the other hand, condemns the status quo as ineffective and improper for America no matter who happens to be running it. His record and message are consistent no matter what audience or congress he happens to be speaking to. Paul understands and articulates the constitutional precepts of limited federal government better than any other candidate, and knows what sort of bold action it will take to get the United States out of debt.

Read it all.

Of course, I can’t predict how this campaign will end (we could be surprised), but know that in Maryland while everyone in the establishment is primarily talking to each other in their little ‘smart people’ circles about Romney,  Ron Paul supporters are quietly going to the voters one by one.



  1. I admire the zeal of Paul supporters. However, I don’t see the case as quite so “black-white” as do many of these. If you are not for Paul, then you must be crazy, committed to corrupt, status-quo politics. Paul, as a congressman, has been part of the status quo in some respects — serving in congress, he gets a salary (I presume) and doesn’t reject the nice perks that come along with that; as well as the ear marks for the folks back home. I just guessing that he goes along in many respects. That aside, I love his strong convictions of lower spending in a significant way. But I think it’s one thing to offer a proposal, and another to get it done.

    If we wanted to believe words, then Obama’s will do nicely, when he said he was going to cut in half Bush’s deficit spending. What happened to that promise? – gone with the wind, and about as valuable as a lettuce-backed currency that some are urging to replace the dollar.

    We need a LOT of what Paul wants in the economy, but getting it to happen is the issue, not raging on and making a case. Paul as president would have a congress he needs to work through – -and how able will he be to get their cooperation. Is it going to be “my way or the highway” (Again, if we want that, then we might as well stick with Obama)

    The real problem with Paul is that he is an isolationist – blaming all violence against the US on ourselves. That’s an appealing argument, but reality looks a little more complicated. I wonder if Poland or China was to blame for being attacked by German and Japan, respectively. I’m not ready for unilateral disarmament, although I think Paul and Obama come pretty close on that plan as well.

    So, the news media is not going to help us think this out very well, because there are no objective journalists left. Everyone is an advocate now. We have to think these things out for ourselves. If we are not the grownups, then who is? Our country was not founded for slaves to grovel before a dictator. Paul might be a better dictator than Obama, but we have a system of checks and balances, and the president has limited powers. We better find someone who can actually sort out the right role of president — besides that, we need a patriot congress and senate.

    • Lee, You mention about not rejecting those nice perks. If you take a look, Dr. Paul does not participate in the congressional pension program citing that it is “immoral”. He also returns money left over from office budget funds every year to the treasury to pay down the national debt. Last year alone it was over $140,000. Just as a sign of his conviction he never accepted medicare payments as a physician and would provide the service for free if needed. He has never voted for an unbalanced budget therefore if we had more Ron Pauls spending would have never evolved to what it has become today.

      I believe Dr. Paul is not naive to evil. But, we must admit that evil will always exist and that if we do not address the manner in which we get ourselves involved in these conflicts we will be brought to our knees for financial reasons. He does not blame our ills on the American people, but sometimes there are unintended consequences and Govt. policy plays a role and that should be brought to light. You could say “well the Govt represents the people of this country” and I would say hardly. If that was the case we wouldn’t be on a tea party blog.

      To suggest that Dr. Paul would even be considered a dictator is odd. The system of checks and balances is imbedded in our constitution, unfortunately that is being eroded ever day. It seems that our president does not have limited powers anymore (NDAA). Out of the four remaining candidates there is no stronger champion of the constitution then Ron Paul and he not only has the rhetoric but the record to back it up.

      • Josh,
        Well, I stand corrected (to some extent) He only takes his rather huge salary; although he does give back excess of his office perks for champaign, and free hair-cuts, and the congressional gym, if he doesn’t use it. Even Obama can be seen pounding nails in a community development project on Martin Luther King day (when he’s not on one of his 16 vacations around the world; or golfing … but I digress)

        In any case, there is more vetting about Ron — as Paul suggested earlier, he seems to be an open-borders type of guy. I didn’t know that. If his isolationism wasn’t so crazy and dangerous, I might take a look at some of the non-economic issues he embraces, to see if there is some nuttiness there. That said, I do sincerely admire his solid record on reducing spending — and getting a balanced budget. Ron is a good role-model on that issue. It is a little extreme, but I like his pluck on this issue. If he were president and demanded (like a dictator …see Obama) that congress will do what he wants, or he will militarize the police to sequester the congress by force, then you can get the idea of how a rigid-thinking person may not be best for us at any time.

        If Paul’s budget were accepted, we would need to have a whole army to surround the government buildings in Washington, DC, because the “occupy” crowd would grow to millions demanding bread. Remember the killing of MLK — urban youth burning down the cities to let off steam. Welfare is a fix that requires gradual withdrawal — not cold turkey. It will be hard returning to sanity. It will take a cool hand to work with congress on this.

    • No, being an isolationist is not Paul’s real problem. His real problem is that he is a Libertarian, which is NOT the same thing as a Constitutional Conservative. Libertarians put the individual ahead of any responsibility to country or fellow citizens. Libertarians are, in reality, a type of liberal.

      For example, Ron Paul supports the free flow of workers into the US, and does not want businesses to be required to use E-Verify or punished for hiring illegal aliens. That is why he gets a “D-” grade from NumbersUSA, the lowest of all the GOP candidates.

  2. It’s pretty simple. If you want constitutional government and freedom, vote Ron Paul. If you want crony capitalism, big government, and TSA-type protections – vote for anybody else. Goldman Sachs is the biggest supporter of both Romney and Obama. I don’t know if y’all saw Jon Stewart’s Daily Show bit on the Iowa straw poll (about 6 months ago – not the recent caucus) … but it made it crystal clear that all the mainstream media works for the same crony capitalism interests … and they would do anything in their power to keep Ron Paul out of the news and out of the race. Amazingly, Ron Paul has been rapidly increasing in popularity despite that.

    • hi,Henry,
      I think it’s all very appealing to turn over the whole thinking process to someone else, and just let Ron Paul take care of it all. That is NOT a formula for freedom, but of dictatorship. Again, to say that Ron is pure, and everyone else is corrupt is an appeal to immature persons who have given up the moral responsibility of thinking for themselves.

      That said, I will agree that Romney’s large bankroll is suspect on the surface — where big money seems to pile on, there is a warning signal. I haven’t examined the bankroll of Ron. But I would guess there are some greedy, self-interested people who are on board (or in the tank) for Ron. If he gets to be president, it’s for sure there will be those who come to him to bargain for some gain from financial support in the campaign. You may trust him to remain above that “dirty” part of politics, but it’s not a trust that I share about anyone — even a person so noble and moral as Ron Paul.

      When I hear Ron’s message about the cause of 9/11 and Iran (let’s all play nice), I cringe. The problem in voting for anyone, is that you take the whole person, not just the parts you like — so it’s a balance. Would you rather vote a competent liar, or a moral idiot? I’ve know people who were highly moral, decent people, but whose philosophy of government was downright evil. We don’t get to vote for “perfection”

      Look at Hitler. He was a vegetarian. Does that mean that anyone who agrees with Hitler on this point, agrees also with the whole business of the ‘master race?” If you vote for Paul because you love his economic plan, you still have to take him with his isolationist philosophy as well. Many voters, including myself, have a hard time buying into the “whole package.” We don’t get to build up a candidate by drawing the good things from each one. We have a question of “balance.” And, it’s obvious that people come out differently for many reasons.

      • Hi Lee – not sure where the idea of ‘turning it all over’ to Ron Paul comes from … we’re electing a president. He’s not perfect, but he’s the only one that I could vote FOR (as opposed to voting for one so that the other doesn’t get in). Because Ron Paul doesn’t take corporate money and because he has been consistent in word and deed based on principles for the last 30 years he is significantly different from the rest of the candidates … in a very positive way. Like you, I can’t say I trust any politician … but I do trust Ron Paul much more than the others, because of his track record. It sounds like you agree with Ron Paul on domestic issues, but not foreign policy – mentioning the word ‘isolationist.’ That is a big misconception. Ron Paul is a non-interventionist – in other words he thinks we should not try to manipulate foreign governments, nor should we start wars. He thinks we should have friendly trade relations with all. If we need to go to war, then congress should declare it (as required by the constitution), we should get in, take care of business and get out … and not be in the business of ‘nation building.’

      • Henry,
        When people start making absolutes, like “He is the ONLY person I could ever vote for”, I get the idea of idol worship of a dictatorship. My way or the highway. No shades of gray at all. Like the iconic figure of the great one, the big “O” — you know who I mean. It’s the unthinking response of a true believer.

        With all due respect, Choosing a presidential candidate, it’s fine to have preferences, but we always vote for imperfect choices. When you start saying “this one is perfect” the “only one”, I begin to see images of the adoring fans of the German people heiling their furher.

        We all have our favorites, and that’s logical. No one will be perfect, unless your thinking has just become unhinged from your own moral compass. But when the choice comes down to a GOP candidate who is NOT your favorite, but widely approved of by others in the party, and the big “O”, are you seriously telling me you are going to write-in RP anyway? Give it a rest, please.

      • Lee, you’re reading a meaning there that was neither written nor intended. I did say Ron Paul’s not perfect, and that no one is. He is the only one of the major candidates I will vote for … not because of some great love, or because he’s perfect, but because I think the major problems of this country stem from – big government; crony capitalism; and foreign aggression. When I say Ron Paul is the only one … he is the only one of the major candidates on the right side of any/all of these issues. I cannot vote for someone who will continue to increase the size of government, get in bed with giant banks and corporations, or start more unnecessary wars. George Soros doesn’t see any difference between Obama and Romney. Goldman Sachs doesn’t see any difference between Obama and Romney. I don’t see any real difference either.
        While I too am greatly concerned about illegal immigration, I don’t think that burdening and criminalizing businesses is the answer either.

      • Henry,
        The “only one” is an absolute. So, if Paul is not the GOP nominee, what are you going to do? Write in his name in the general? Or, maybe petition to start a third party?

        I think it’s a huge, unwarranted step to take to assert that there is “no difference” between a Santorum or Gingrich — and the “O” figure. There is a huge difference, and if you can’t see it, then there must be some way to explain it — to “understand” how your brain works to reach conclusions about what to do.

        In politics, you fight for the best choices possible, not “the emperor or death” I admire the Japanese loyalty to their emperor. Loyalty is a fine quality. But we are dealing with relatives in making practical choices. Again, it’s naive to function with people in terms of absolutes. We choose action that is “best” among alternatives, not because they are “perfect” If you don’t want the big “O” again, then I think you ought to give some consideration to what other people are thinking on an alternative, outside of your narrow cluster of the RP fan club.

  3. Reading the Washington Times article makes me, once again, wonder why Michele Bachmann got so little support from self-described Tea Partiers.

    She was the only candidate who offered both social conservatism AND fiscal conservatism.

    My guess is that while her ideology was good, her temperament and leadership skills proved lacking. But seriously, if people could overlook the glaring flaws of Cain and Gingrich, why were they so hard on Bachmann?

    • Hi, Paul,
      I’m with you on that! I was all set to be a designated delegate on her behalf in Tampa. Michele was as pure a voice for freedom and commonsense, limited government as you can get. I thought she was superb in her temperment, and I worked hard for her while she was in. I think you have to go to the bible for some wisdom on the response of the “masses” She is “too good for this world” I’m afraid. As Gandhi would say, the truth is still the truth even if it’s not popular. I was very proud of her, and she did have the strongest enthusiasm among the tea party groups as anyone else. I hope that the eventual nominee is smart enough to pick her for veep.

      One reason women don’t like her is because she was bold and straight in her talking, calm and reasonable, while still being lady-like. The irrational women in modern culture have a very low self-image, and a women figure that doesn’t model that type is a threat to them in some way. The type of silly criticism I heard was from Ann Coulter, “no member of congress has ever risen from that post to become president.” (Boy, you talk about dumb thinking! — check off another “journalist” that I can tune out in the future)

      If I were a prophet, I would say there is a great place for Michele in service to our country. Who can say what that will be?

  4. Dare I say welcome aboard, Ann?

  5. I am confused….. So you call him an isolationist, then in the next sentence you call him an open border guy. I am going to assume that it is due to a lack of understanding of his positions rather than the definition of the two terms.

    Not sure where this dictator thing comes from when talking about Dr. Paul. I have heard no other candidate talk about individual liberty and personal responsibility more then him. He has said on many occasions that a truly strong president is one who can resist the temptation to abuse the power that has been given to him. I believe his message is one empowering the people and not the state. Dr. Paul’s economic plan addresses the domestic transition out of govt dependency and understands that it will have to be gradual, but the process needs to be started and why not start overseas while we begin to develop options here at home. You are scared about violence in the streets when people don’t get their checks, well think about the chaos when every one still gets their handouts and paychecks but it buys very little. A destroyed currency hurts many more than just the dependents.

    I do not worship nor idolize Ron Paul but his message strongly resonates with me. We continue to go back and forth from Dem to Rep power and the country continues to head down the same path. You can think any Gop would be better than Obama but history is not on your side. Both parties continue to increase the size of govt and the amount of debt. I am 30 and have come to realize that we cannot expect change by simply voting for different parties we have to base it upon philosophy. My vote for Ron Paul is not an endorsement of the man but an endorsement of his philosophy on the role of the federal government. I will vote for him in the primary, and if he doesn’t win I will most likely write him in, or vote third party maybe Gary Johnson. The lesser of two evils is still evil and my son deserves better.

    • Josh,
      It is not what we don’t know that destroys us, but what we know that is not so.
      I don’t want US to be in the position of Poland or China before WWII. If US does as you say, weaken our military presence around the world, then you have one advantage that no one will be around to tell you you were wrong.

      The RP approach has an advid following — the appeasers and isolationists of the past all climb on board this ship of state. It’s popular to avoid the hard realities of human nature. It’s also true that RP makes some good points on the need to reduce excessive spending. But it’s wrong to just assume that “everyone else” has no backbone or determination to do this as well. Or that everyone is just as big a liar as BHO in this matter. Gingrich, for example, led successful effort to reduce government spending as speaker. I see no reason to assume that he or Santorum would abandon this direction if they became president.

      Just because BHO is a proven liar and spendthrift, doesn’t mean that everyone is (RP excepted, of course)

  6. Josh and Henry, Thanks for the great responses to Lee.

    I have some extreme left wing liberal facebook friends that I debate with all the time and your arguments are framed in the same manner. My left wing facebook friends get very nasty and personal with their insults. Your insults are veiled, but still a little insulting. Are you one of those extreme right wingers who wants to force your morals on everyone else? THAT is the problem with Michelle Bachman. I respect her greatly but talk about rigid…as you referred to Ron Paul. You accuse us Paul supporters of worshiping him then you say that you think Bachman is too good for this world? Sounds like a little bit of worship to me.

    Look, I don’t want to insult you. I’m sorry if I have. I’m just making some observations. I used to think Ron Paul was a nut too. Then I opened my mind and opened Ron Paul’s book “Liberty Defined” and talked to a lot of people. For now, I’m not only going to write Ron Paul in if I have to but I’m trying to find time to work on his campaign and I’ve given him money as well. I will not hold my nose and vote for the lesser of two evils ever again. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Don’t be so afraid of Obama, he has fallen from favor by many of those who voted for him the last time.

    My most difficult problem with Ron Paul is on illegal immigration. This issue has been a focus for me for years. I have evolved however. Paul is right, it is wrong to put the burdens on business and damn it! there are jobs Americans won’t do. We are spoiled, however that does not mean I believe in open borders. We must protect our sovereignty and Ron Paul agrees with that. Thank you Ronald Reagan for that amnesty back in 1986 (and he knew exactly what he was doing). Our immigration system is such a mess and there are no quick and easy answers but I believe it has been done intentionally by both parties for political gain.

    As for Newt Gingrich, talk about evil. He has been on board with THE NEW WORLD ORDER all along. Google “Newt Gingrich and The New World Order” and watch the you tube video by the president of The John Birch Society.

    Sorry for going on so long. I’ll just end with this…Ron Paul’s philosophy puts emphasis on THE INDIVIDUAL but NOT at the expense of others or the country. Read “The Individual and the Collective” by Lew Rockwell. I believe the individual should be the emphasis simply because our relationship with GOD is individual and that is where everything begins.

    • Lynn,
      A lot to consider here. Frantic, irrational,comments which is a common response to calm, objective logic. “Forcing morals” is a highly charged term that you apply to Michele Bachmann, like this some destructive, unnecessary evil. In a sense, every political forces “morals” on others, because not everyone agrees. Some morals NEED to be forced on society for the good of all. That’s what the whole concept of criminal law, police, and courts are about. Of course, “forcing morals” can be unreasonable as well, when it is unnecessary.

      Since “forcing morals’ is contrary to your mind-set, I’m guessing that you favor anarchy, the illusion that freedom means everyone does anything they want. If, in your individual opinion, killing people who hurt or offend you is “self-defense”, then that’s your individual right. (In that case, welcome to Iraq and “honor” killings. You should know that in that backward country, they have just passed a law that killing a woman is the same as killing a human being … Seems that laws like this would be “forcing morals” on you, and would therefore violate your individual rights. I demure, however.

      Maybe that’s the model of “freedom” you embrace. For me, however, freedom is following laws of nature, the inner guidance that brings your actions into perfect harmony with others. Anarchy in not a sound model for this freedom. It is, this sense, like socialism (the state will disappear — utopia of BHO) because it has the same ultimate result of dictatorship. Again, the frantic, irrational arguments for “freedom” is always the beginning of socialism and dictatorship. Always with the best of intentions to free people from “something” However, it has no grounding in knowledge of human nature or the clear lessons of history.

      You can open you mind to all sorts of ideas. In the past, people opened their mind to “Mein Kampf” and became mezzmerized by Hitler. BHO, the Harvard law professor, opened his mind to Sol Alinsky, rules for radicals, and he hasn’t opened his mind since he has now discovered the truth.

      As to Bachmann, yes I do admire her enormously, and I stand by my assessment of her extraordinary gifts and talents. She is a committed patriot, and I would stand by her as often as possible in her inclinations for public service. She is incredibly clear thinking, rational, and well-grounded in common sense. But, when she dropped out of the race, I didn’t swear to vote for her anyway, because that was not a practical option. As a rational, thoughtful person, I assessed the remaining field, and picked the next best alternative. I’m fine with Newt. I can adapt. In 2008, when my favorites backed out of the race, I was a strong supporter of McCain against BHO. (Even stronger when Palin was named VEEP) What were you doing at that critical time? Chasing raindows on behalf of RP? Did you decide that BHO and McCain were coming out of the same mold? (Just asking)

  7. Ann, I think you have found a way to ignite some good dialog amongst your followers. I appreciate the back and forth as It allows a free flow of thoughts and ideas that will eventually strengthen the voice of the irate minority in this country. Though we might disagree on the path that we should take, I think we all agree that we need a change in direction. Thank you for this and keep up the good work. Always remember, whenever site traffic is down just mention Ron Paul

    • Josh, now that made me laugh! Yes, indeed, I’ll remember that—slow days—mention Ron Paul! But, you guys don’t have to wait for me to say something—you need a Maryland Ron Paul blog (unless there is one I don’t know about)….

  8. Lee,

    I see you’ve dropped your veil.

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