I Get Emails: Would We Want A Congress Full Of Ron Pauls?

A question I received via email,

Hey John, becoming a big fan of yours. Sorry I missed Q&A Friday, but there was something that struck me I wanted to ask.

Disclaimer first: I’m not a Ron Paul supporter. I’m a Thompson man all the way.

HOWEVER, sometimes I feel that a lot of the right wing blogosphere has been harder on RP than he deserves (though I am sure no small part of this is due to the actions of his supporters).

I was wondering what are your thoughts on the GOOD things about RP? Is there any good about his candidacy?

1) Is he at least doing his part to move the center of gravity in the republican race to the right?

2) Would we be better off if RP stayed a congressman rather than be president?

I don’t get to keep up with all of this near as much as you do, so I was just wondering. What I’ve seen of him, I think we’d all be better off if Congress was made up of hundreds of Ron Pauls. True or false? (wouldn’t that be a great dream? Ron Pauls filling Congress, Fred Thompson as President and Duncan Hunter as VP J)

Thank you for your time.” — Challenger Grim

Answers: There’s an old saying that goes, “All it takes to spoil a gallon of ice cream is one rat turd,” and this is, in essence, the problem with Ron Paul.

He’s a limited government, deficit busting, Constitution loving candidate, which is fantastic and exactly what we need to see in Congress.

However, he’s also….

* An isolationist (I know he claims to merely be a non-interventionalist, but isolationism is a much better description of his agenda).

* He has adopted the anti-American rhetoric of the Left. You know, America is an empire and we deserved to be attacked by the terrorists, etc., etc.

* His policy on Iraq, which essentially boils down to, “We must leave immediately and d*mn the consequences,” is moronic and rooted in fantasy. Even if you are a isolationist who didn’t want to go into Iraq in the first place, the reality is that we are there now and even if you plan to leave ASAP, you need to do it in a responsible way that doesn’t cause the entire region to immediately collapse into chaos. That’s why even the top Democratic contenders won’t promise to immediately pull up stakes and leave if they win.

* He encourages conspiracy theorists and racists (Even though he doesn’t buy into the 9/11 conspiracy theories, he is friendly with people who do. Similarly, he has lots of KKK members and Nazis who love him because of the racist writings that have appeared in his newsletter and again, while he hasn’t explicitly reached out to them, he seems to be very comfortable taking their money and support).

* Some of his ideas are dangerously bizarre, like getting rid of the CIA.

I could go on with this, but long story short, I don’t want hundreds of guys like Ron Paul in Congress — In fact, I don’t even want Ron Paul in Congress at this point.

Which brings me to your other question,

1) Is he at least doing his part to move the center of gravity in the republican race to the right?

You would think that Ron Paul, because of the rabid enthusiasm of his supporters, would have made a difference, but ironically Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter, who both have less support, have had bigger impacts.

All of the candidates, other than Giuliani and McCain, have now for the most part adopted Tom Tancredo’s position on illegal immigration. Furthermore, if you listen closely, you’ll notice that a lot of Duncan’s trade rhetoric has been picked up in some form or fashion by several of the other candidates.

However, Ron Paul hasn’t made a dent. Why? Two reasons,

#1) From what I have seen, his support is mostly made up of “Big L” Libertarians, conspiracy theorists, white power fanatics, and anti-war liberals as opposed to mainstream conservatives (although he has some of them on board, too, obviously). The truth is that most of the other candidates don’t want to try to reach to those groups because they’d have to pay too big of a price with the more mainstream electorate for it. (Incidentally, this is why Ron Paul is pretty close to maxing out his support).

#2) Because Ron Paul has adopted so many fringe positions and appeals to so many fringe groups, the other candidates don’t feel compelled to take him — and the issues that he promotes — seriously.

So unfortunately for “Big L” Libertarians, Ron Paul is not a great spokesman for their issues. Yes, he cuts through the noise in a way that other Libertarian candidates haven’t been able to match, but he does it in such a way that is extremely off-putting to many conservatives.

Also see,

Why So Many Conservatives Don’t Like Ron Paul

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