Ron Paul: The Only Flawed Candidate?

Ron Paul can’t win. That’s the going theory, right? He can’t win because he’s soft on national security. He can’t win because he’s soft on drugs. End of story.

The question that remains is how it is instant that Ron Paul’s issue flaws are fatal but every other candidate’s issue flaws are explained away? We are all well familiar with the flaws of Romney, Perry, Gingrich, Santorum, etc. What should be fatal flaws for conservative voters are set aside because ‘on most issues’ the candidate is correct. They are not “un-electable” even if they supported big government medical takeovers, massive failed bail-outs, rewarding illegal immigrants with perks, siding with ultra-liberals in the Global Warming scam or voted time and again for massive increases in spending and deficits. Yet, somehow Ron Paul is “un-electable”.

Just what is it about Ron Paul that makes him an exception to the rule? Why can’t he be judged by the same standard, i.e. being correct ‘on most issues’? One could argue that his position against preemptive war is a fatal flaw because Republicans prize national security above all else. But, at least half the time Paul and the rest of the field have agreed on not taking action in various military actions over the past few decades. So is he soft of national security or is he just not a team player when his party is for a military action similar to those they opposed when a Democratic President was launching it?

My goal is not to tear down any of the Republican candidates but to question why Ron Paul is the only one who all the conservative pundits have written off even though he has a stronger record on fiscal conservatism, protection of life, illegal immigration, limited government and pretty much every other conservative issue than any other candidate. Disagree with him on national security or the drug war as vehemently as you want, but go after the big government, big spending, soft on illegal immigration and such issues vehemently on the other candidates. Let the voters decide if, at this point in time, someone strong on pre-emptive war but pathetic on fiscal conservatism or supportive of big government programs or soft on illegal immigration is better than someone weaker on defense but strong on fiscal conservatism, strongly against big government and tough on illegal immigration. Isn’t that our choice to make?

I am an undecided voter. I see flaws with all of the candidates and I need to weigh them all to decide which flaws must be overlooked for the greater good. But, I get to make that decision and no candidate is “un-electable” simply because of one or two issues out of dozens. Ron Paul is as legitimate a candidate as any of the others and should be treated as such. The belittling of his candidacy and of him is a disgrace to the party and a disservice to the Republican voters who need to be trusted to weigh the good and bad of each candidate and make their own decision.

19 Responses

  1. I think the answer simply is that other candidates’ flaws have to do with gaffes, mistakes, or positions they have now disavowed. Paul’s have to do with his current positions on the issues and things that he has promised to do if elected. Gingrich and Romney aren’t going to force an individual mandate. Perry isn’t going to make every girl in America get a vaccine for HPV. Bachmann isn’t going to send 50,000 troops to Iran because she got confused and thought she was sending them to Iraq. Ron Paul is fatally consistent and unfortunately reliable. Otherwise he might have a shot at getting elected in a country where the majority supports Israel and a strong defense against terrorism.

  2. Well, Perry hasn’t renounced his support for giving perks to illegal aliens. But, I see your point and that is part of why I remain undecided. The problem is that candidates saying they wouldn’t do again the things they have already done before is a matter of whether or not I trust them to mean it. While Paul has some troubling positions, at least I trust him to be consistent. Do I really trust those who supported big government in the last to keep a campaign promise to not continue that support if elected to the Presidency? The answer is no. So, I don’t focus on what they say they’ll do as much as weigh what they have done and try to find the best fit for our current needs based on past history. I haven’t finished deciding that and I’d prefer if conservative commentators didn’t attempt to limit my choices.

  3. Paul is not all that consistent. He may say one thing but he does another. Meanwhile, he is extremely weak on the on the one thing that is the federal government’s primary responsibility…..our security. Ron Paul certainly raises some legitimate points. Unfortunately after over 22 years in Congress , I have seen no indication of his ability to deliver on those points and I do not believe he would have any greater capacity to deliver if we ignored his dangerous foreign policy beliefs and elected him President simply because he claim to value the Constition more than anyone else who has ever walked the face of the earth.

    Paul is certainly not the only flawed candidate, but he is also not the only one who can reduc e the size of government. In fact of all of them, I believe Newt Gingrich is the only who actuallu has reduced the size of the federal government. While Ron Paul speaks of such things, others have done such things.

    • What you consider security, is actually aggression being performed by our foreign policy. Answers are in history, including Muslims and the middle east. Faith cannot be a driving force for foreign policy.

      The U.S. is the British Empire continued. We just took over their spot, that’s all.

      American sovereignty comes first, not world government and oligarchy control.

      ***

      Gingrich is an Internationalist, a globalist. Belief in Gingrich is a lack of study or for the socializing of the world.

  4. The answer to the question is that Ron Paul’s supposed “flaws” are flaws from the point of view of the establishment. When it’s the average voter who thinks someone has a flaw, but the establishment thinks it’s fine, the voters are told to suck it up for the good of the party.

    I think it’s the establishment who needs to take one for the team this time! The other candidates they gave us are completely unelectable, the establishment needs to be realistic and vote for the candidate who has the best chance of bringing us real change and defeating Obama.

    • Ron Paul has the best chance of bringing us real change and defeating Obama? That’s a joke right? The only candidate Ron Paul can possibly beat on the national is Ralph Nader or Lyndon LaRouche. Al Sharpton could defeat Ron Paul. And as for change, when he finally makes any change in government, get back to me.

      • ron paul is polling to beat obama with indies(huge margin) and polling to win the iowa caucus. not sure what your talking about but romney and newt are status quo, you might as well vote obama/status quo 2012! Ron paul 2012 will win the gop nomination or you get obama status quo in the gop with romney,newt and perry. Ron paul can beat obama and the polls show clearly ron paul wins the indy vote. which is exactly what you need to win in a general! Ron Paul vs Status Quo

  5. Kempite, seriously? Newt GIngrich is a big government progressive and only “reduced the size of government” because of the pressure put on him by the rest of the party.

    If you think this Newt (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IYv9yd3_3HA) has anything to do with small government you are completely delusional.

    • What I know is that when Newt put together a ten point agenda for the nation, he achieved 9 out of 10 of his objectives. What I know is the he did reduce the size of government and Ron Paul did not.

  6. Kempite: Ron Paul has consistently voted to reduce the size of government, both when Newt was Speaker of the House and in every other term he has been Congressman. It is laughable that you could say Ron Paul hasn’t reduced the size of government. Of course, he didn’t do it single handed (neither did Newt). If people like Ron Paul wouldn’t have been in Congress in ’94, Newt as Speaker of the House would have failed. In my opinion you are failing to see that Ron Paul has consistently voted for limited government ever since he has been elected. It’s not his fault other districts didn’t select Conservative congressmen.

    With respect to your comments about Ron Paul not being able to beat Obama – clearly you haven’t kept up to date with recent polls. The voters of Iowa have Ron Paul tied with Obama in a head to head matchup. Each of the other Republican candidates are losing to Obama in the hypothetical matchup. With Ron Paul being able to attract Conservatives, Republicans, independents, and even some democrats it looks like Ron Paul is the ONLY choice to realistically beat Obama. Your man Gingrich is down a whopping 10% to Obama and that is after Newt’s recent surge.

    “Ron Paul leads Obama 42 to 35 percent among independent voters and attracts 15 percent of Iowa’s Democrats. Paul also leads Obama by 14 percentage points among voters under 45 years of age.”
    http://www.therightperspective.org/2011/12/06/ron-paul-polls-strongest-against-obama/

    http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Sections/NEWS/A_Politics/_Today_Stories_Teases/111204_NBCMarist_Iowa_6a.pdf

    This isn’t just one poll instance either. Ron Paul consistently performs the best (along with Romney) in matchups against Obama.

    • Clearly with all due respect, you obviously do not understand the complexities behind polls, the underlying meanings behind the numbers and that Ron Paul has a low ceiling of support that typically maxes out in the early nomination contests. I stick to my claim that to suggest that polling proves Ron Paul can beat President Obama in an actual general election is ludicrous. I mean first off, if Ron Paul did even somehow become the G.O.P. nominee, more than half of the G.O.P. would bolt and a Republican oriented third party candidacy would be born.

      Furthermore, I know that while Ron Paul has a consistent voting record, he has coinsistently exhibited hypocritical actions following those votes. And after over two decades in office, even though he supports term limits, I fail to see any legislative accomplishments that show me Ron Paul can lead our nation effectively. That’s not to mention his inability to campaign in a very effective way.

      While I do appreciate many points that Congressman Paul makes, I do not belive he is the puritan that his loyal followers think he is. For Ron Paul, voting no on everything has been easy. It is easy to look good when you are not a leader and don’t have to make the tough decisions and are not responsible for getting things done. In that area, Ron Paul has been sitting at the kiddie table. Maybe he is a great negotiator. Maybe he is quite influential. If he is though, I don’t know and neither does anyone else, because we have never seen him use such talents. But all that aside, I find Ron Paul’s foreign policies to be extremely dangerous and in what is consititionally the primary job of our government, national security, I find Ron Paul to be incompetent. If given the chance, the only thing I want the federal government to do is defend us from threats at home and abroad. And by that standard alone, Congressman Paul totally fails in my eyes.

  7. “If people like Ron Paul wouldn’t have been in Congress in ’94, Newt as Speaker of the House would have failed.”

    Hah, Newt -did- fail as Speaker of the House. He resigned in disgrace, after failing to reduce the size of government and failing the American people. It’s laughable that he’s even being considered as a candidate.

    Ron Paul on the other hand has been a consistent moral voice, fighting for the people of this country against the globalist elite for years. Ron Paul is the Thomas Jefferson of our times. He is the most conservative member of congress, and has been for some time.

  8. Not trying to get in a pissing match with you. I’m probably not as much of an “expert” on the details of polls as you are since you are a writer here and follow everything very closely, but will say this. I agree that Ron Paul doesn’t poll Nationally as well as he does in the early states (IA & NH).There are two reasonable explanations for that in my opinion. First, that is where Ron Paul has spent his money, time, and effort. So it appears once voters get to know Ron Paul and his policies and issues it increases his poll numbers. Second, he doesn’t do as well nationally because generally speaking the media doesn’t talk about him as much and typically if they do it doesn’t go into detail the intricacies of his positions. If/when he does well in Iowa and New Hampshire, the media will likely be forced to at least talk about him more and he’ll be able to pick up some additional support nationwide.

    You can say that if Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination that half of the Republican Party will bolt. I truly don’t think that will be the case. The sentiment is so strong for Anti-Obama that they would be stupid to run someone else as third party against Ron Paul. That would surely cause Obama to remain as President and if there is one thing we can both certainly agree on this would be something we don’t want!

    I whole heartedly disagree with you regarding Ron Paul having “consistently” shown hypocrisy after his votes. I read your previous post regarding earmarks from a while back. He has explained this many times. If you choose to not understand or agree with his explanation that is fine, but I think it is a rational explanation (see my reply to your post on Paul’s earmarks regarding Gingrich and his hypocrisy on this same subject). As far as him being against term limits and himself being re-elected time after time again – I agree with you that it does seem hypocritical. I don’t know his explanation for that other than he introduced the bill and it didn’t get passed. He probably feels that as long as he can do what he feels as good promoting the principles of liberty, freedom, limited government, and adherence to the constitution he will stay in office (not seeking another term now though of course).

    I definitely disagree with you in regards to him not being a “puritan”. It is this very aspect of Ron Paul actually that gives him trouble to gain a wide level of support from some people’s perspective.

    I could go on and on about Ron Paul’s foreign policy and why I find it to be the most effective, but this post is already getting long and I honestly don’t think I have any realistic chance of convincing you so its not worth my time. I will say that I used to hold a view similar to yours though, but after reading too many books to count and taking a detailed look at our past foreign intervention I side with Ron Paul.

    For me personally, it is a lot about character, consistency, and morals in addition to policy. Although I disagree with some of Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann’s policies, I do find them to be completely consistent in their views and honestly believe they mean every word they say. The only other person I can personally say that about is Ron Paul. I believe the other candidates essentially have character flaws with their flipping of positions and inconsistencies. With Santorum and Bachmann (even though their foreign policies are very much different than Paul’s) at least I know where they stand and I believe they will continue to hold those same positions should they be elected as President. I know you support Gingrich, but I truly don’t feel he is as conservative as you or the media lately makes him out to be.

    I don’t expect my long babbling to change any of your positions, but I hope you realize there are some rational (at least I consider myself to be!) Ron Paul supporters out there! If you ever want to get into a foreign policy debate I’d be happy to reply, but its awful late here in Tennessee now!

  9. Israel first. US second. Never forget.

  10. Republicans that are for an establishment candidate will weaken the Republican party and split the vote.

    That would allow Obama to get re-elected.

    Don’t split the vote. Vote for the proven conservative – Ron Paul. Keep the party together.

  11. Ron Paul is going to make a choice if he will or won’t run as a third party candidate. If Republicans don’t vote for him and he runs as a third party candidate, it won’t be the Republicans who are splitting the party.

  12. He has said time and time again that he’s not going to run third party. He has given multiple explanations for the reasons he would chose not to, including simply the reason that he doesn’t want to. The same can’t be said for Donald Trump, who is actually moderating the debate right before the Iowa caucuses. Talk about who could REALLY split the party. Donald Trump would be your man. For Republicans to allow (and candidates attend) a debate where the moderator still has running as third party as an option is asinine.

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