I paid some attention to the efforts by Lyndon Larouche to run for President. I also did my research on Ross Perot, and didn’t care much for the thought of him being in the White House, but certainly appreciated the difference he made in 1992. In a sense I see the Ron Paul candidacy as being more akin to a third party run because his stand on issues is as different from those of the established parties as were the other two gentlemen.
Having concluded, basically, that I see Rep. Paul as having no chance to represent the Republican Party in 2008, I would still love to see it happen. Quite simply, in a field of very weak candidates I see him as being probably the easiest one to beat for the eventual Democratic winner. And this in spite of all of his recent success, like that reported by Politico.com a couple of days ago:
Ron Paul may not win his party’s primary, but he is on track to capture another big title: top Republican fundraiser for the final quarter of the money-obsessed 2008 presidential primary.
In the first two months of the quarter that began Oct. 1, Paul already has raised more than $9.75 million, putting him easily within range to best the amount rival Mitt Romney received from donors during the entire third quarter.
The Texas congressman has set a goal of raising $12 million before the fourth quarter’s Dec. 31 deadline, a sum New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani couldn’t achieve in the third quarter when fundraising events still dominated his schedule.
My personal parting of the ways with Paul is over something that I think would prove to be too great a burden in the general election for him to overcome, his political philosophy. His plank of issues is full of things that I think he would ultimately stumble over if given greater scrutiny, but let me take just one example to illustrate my point:
- “Individuals, businesses, localities, and states must be free to negotiate environmental standards.”
It should come as no surprise that libertarians love a guy who once ran for President on the Libertarian Party ticket. However, to try to argue for no role for government in so many areas is just to confine our society to having no solution to a large number of problems. Take my word for it that smog in my home city of Salt Lake City gets to atrocious levels when we are experiencing weather inversions. As an individual I seriously dislike this condition, but know of no way to negotiate myself out of experiencing it, short of moving. But how would smog be improved if everyone in L.A. who doesn’t like the air quality there all moved to the same place?
So, myself and the ninety some per cent of the other residents here who would like cleaner air still can’t really negotiate ourselves to a successful result. We could, however, join our voices and call for government to work for us on reaching a solution, but Paul would rule that out as the one approach that we’re not allowed to take. Or at least it seems to me that that is what he is saying. And then when we get to even bigger issues like pollution of the oceans or global warming, his apparent approach would be just to grin and bear it, because no effective answer would be permitted. Or at least none as effective as acting collectively.
I don’t know how Candidate Paul would explain his approach in a national debate, but I believe that the result of the effort would be that there are just not a majority of Americans in favor of giving things his way a try.