The more I learn about Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) the more I like him. However, the more I hear from him, the more I also realize that he is not the right man for the job.
Paul has good ideas. However, it seems as if he is running on one issue: American foreign policy. During the debates, it seems that Paul, unfortunately, is on stage to discuss the war in Iraq. His rather stubborn position, and not to mention his negative demeanor, more often than not overshadow the rest of his platform.
Paul is the self-proclaimed “champion of the Constitution,” a title he used to introduce himself at a presidential debate earlier this summer. He has made a career out of opposing any form of legislation that runs contradictory to the Constitution.
During his 20-year tenure in the US House of Representatives, Paul has been the taxpayer’s best friend.
In 2003, the National Taxpayers Union gave Paul’s record on taxes an 89 percent, indicating that he opposed almost all legislation promoting raised taxes.
More indicative of his taxpayer friendly stance than titles and voting record ratings is the fact that he wants to phase out the Internal Revenue Service. After all, who wants to be audited?
Aside from championing the cause of the Constitution and the taxpayer, Paul has consistently voted pro-life.
As an obstetrician, Paul made a career out of delivering babies. At the Values Voters debate in September, Paul said that he felt “legally responsible for the unborn.” Paul has fulfilled this “responsibility” throughout his time in Congress, voting against the use of federal funds for abortions and voting to ban partial-birth abortions.
Although he has a strong, respectable domestic platform, his foreign policy stances unfortunately put off a lot of conservative voters who are naturally attracted to candidates like Paul.
Paul, despite what many have said, is not an isolationist.
In Wednesday’s GOP debate, Paul expressed his desire to “trade with people, talk with people, travel” around the world.
Paul is a non-interventionist. He favors free trade, avoiding foreign entanglements and he does not see the use or the constitutionality of sending “troops overseas using force” to tell people how to live.
Many proponents of non-interventionism, like Paul, argue that it is not America’s moral obligation to police the world and eradicate aggression. This may be the case, but today’s soil of world politics does not permit one to easily hide their head.
America no longer has the luxury or security of being geographically isolated from the world. The oceans no longer provide the safety as they once did. If your memory needs refreshing, look no further than the gaping hole in the New York City skyline.
The truth of the matter is, the fight was brought to us, and will be continually brought to us if we do not do anything about it.
Paul has a lot of ideas that have the potential to do a lot of good for America. However, America is in a situation in which strong leadership and bold, not lukewarm, foreign policy are needed.
A vote for Ron Paul is not a wasted vote. However, a vote for Ron Paul is not a vote for America, at least not right now.
Joseph Haynie is a senior political science major. His column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.