Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Agree with Paul but Don't Elect Him

I haved dubbed this blog The Rational Conservative for a reason. I am personally, fiercely conservative, libertarian, Constitutional, and religious. I lean as far to the right (where it is correctly defined) as anyone I know. I believe passionately in the enumerated powers granted the Federal Government in the Constitution and NO MORE; that ALL other powers are reserved to the several states. I believe in a neutral, non-interventionist foreign policy where we build alliances based on free trade, not political favor; and only when absolutely necessary do we move to protect our sovereign national interest with the implements of war.

I adhere fervently to the idea that our rights to life, liberty and property descend to us from God, not from governments of men. I believe that our form of government and our cultural heritage are divinely directed and therefore exceptional in all the earth. Therefore I favor immigration to extend the blessings of liberty, but advocate a controlled, legal, and rationally limited immigration policy to assure assimilation and avoid the dissolution of our unique national character.

I am a free market capitalist convinced that with minimal government intervention, markets will self-regulate to protect consumers against abuse, avarice, and financial extreme through the virtues of innovation and competition; and that it is only when governments seek to artificially manipulate and micro-manage these markets for political advantage that the distortions occur that foster excess, decimate fortunes, introduce prejudice, and ruin lives. I am pro-life, pro-gun, pro-environment, and pro-religion but anti-abortion, anti-violence, anti-environmentalist, and anti-theocratic.

Among all the political parties and politicians, I identify most strongly with Libertarians and Ron Paul, though we probably part company on some social issues. Yet as a rational, pragmatic conservative, I think it's irrational to align with Paul's Presidential bid at this time. Here's why:
  1. Although Ron Paul is right about 97.8% of the time, he is personally a divider--not a uniter.
  2. Despite their historical fundamentalism, Paul's views, in today's America, are perhaps more radical than in the days of the revolution. That's a sad commentary, but a reality with which we must rationally deal.
  3. Because of 1 and 2 above, Paul simply can't win--and probably shouldn't as his presidency might do more harm than good in the attempt to move toward a more rational free-market, libertarian America. He, like Obama, would likely be a one-term president.
Let me explain. In some respects, Obama has been a blessing for conservatism because he has exposed the radicalism and anti-American agenda behind the modern Democratic party. He has revealed to America the flaws and failures of a top-down, redistributive, bureaucratic state. He's done it by forcefully pursuing a radically anti-capitalist, anti-states rights, anti-business, federal interventionist domestic agenda while maintaining the international policies so unpopular under Bush. As a result, 52% of Americans now feel he should be removed from office vs. only 43% who think he should remain. Vastly more disagree with his handling of specific issues like the economy, healthcare, and other tenets of his radical agenda. And DESPITE a complicit national news media, academic community AND strong support from crony capitalists on Wall Street and in Hollywood, Obama is the poster child for the failure of a leftist policy agenda in America.

It's conceivable that Ron Paul would have a similar effect on conservative governance and therefore ultimately disserve the nation. It would be a case of too much, too fast. The immediate dissolution of the welfare state, sudden withdrawal of American forces and influence in the international scene, the too rapid return of authority to the states without an appropriate period of weening from the Federal government, and/or the elimination of the Federal Reserve could create as much, if not more short term uncertainty, pain and chaos as the nation has suffered under Obama.

Since Americans are reactionary, the result could be open rebellion against Paul and his Libertarian views, ultimately setting back rather than advancing the conservative cause. Instead, what appears to be called for right now, is a managed, principled roll-back of unaccountable federal statisim, and a measured return to market principles that will reinforce the direction and its positive effects allowing for a more rapid and aggressive return to first principles once their supremacy has been demonstrated to the populace.

Among the current crop of GOP candidates, Romney, who is less ideological, but has an impressive record of corrective management based on sound financial and executive policy, is probably the best choice. Gingrich articulates similar sound principles but shows a leadership deficit, and the remainder of the field appear potentially competent to the task but unable to amass sufficient popular support--so far at least.


  1. This made me think. I won't lie. I'd be downs with Romney, I reckon.

  2. Since writing this, my view has not changed. But it's interesting that Santorum has mounted a credible challenge to Romney. I believe this is due, primarily, to the conservative media accepting as axiomatic, that Mitt is a "moderate" or even a RINO Republican and is the GOP establishment's choice because he won't mount an aggressive assault on statist policies in Washington. I believe...I hope they're wrong because I have become more convinced that Romney is the right man for the times and that he will govern as a strong pro-business, states rights, anti-regulatory, unifying conservative; that he will show respect for all people including those with whom his opinions differ; And that he will put God and country ahead of his personal ego or ambition.