Ron Paul for President—if You Really Want Change.
Congressman Ron Paul’s contribution to American political life is more significant than those made by all the other presidential candidates—of both parties—combined. Romney, McCain, Clinton, Obama, et al, are dancing around the Iraq disaster that has cost 3,700 American lives, left maimed tens of thousands more, and provoked greater than ever hatred of America by the Islamic world. These candidates are ignoring the colossal failure of the government to stop the violent crime and depressed wages that are the bitter fruits of unfettered immigration. As they debate whose scheme is going to provide more pills for old people (the single wealthiest age cohort in the nation), Congressman Ron Paul stands radically apart from all of them.
I say “radically,” for Paul’s contribution has been to call to the fore of mainstream political discourse a proper understanding of America’s political roots. Since Abraham Lincoln expanded the authority of the central government at the expense of state sovereignty, Americans have come to expect that the federal government will provide all manner of things it was never designed to provide. For liberals, this means the abortions of poor minorities, healthy eating advice, and comfortable octogenarian years. Conservatives want the federal government to establish national academic standards, stop sodomites from “marrying,” and raise up a massive standing army to bring peace and liberty to regions of the world that have never known them. None of these, as Paul makes plain, is the duty of the federal government
How does he know? He’s made a political career of studying the writings of the founders and the Constitution their debates produced. Indeed, if there is a politician alive who could travel back to the late eighteenth century and intelligently join those debates, it is Ron Paul. He understands that the Founders designed a government inspired by subsidiarity, the political expression of which is federalism. Authority remains, whenever possible, at the most local level. The principle is codified in the Tenth Amendment, to which Republican politicians such as Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich paid much lip service but never took seriously.
Conservatives are forever dreaming of the next Ronald Reagan. Is Paul their man? Not on your life. Ronald Reagan presided over the largest tax increase since the Second World War, a tax increase that fueled the expansion and payroll of the central government. Reagan orchestrated a 165 billion dollar bailout of Social Security. Reagan gave the high court Sandra Day O’Connor. And Reagan blackmailed the states into raising the drinking age.
Conservatives ought to be looking for the next Washington, Jefferson, or Madison. These men had their differences, but they agreed that the success of the American Republic required a small federal government with limited powers. If you’d like to know what those powers are, read Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. It won’t take you long. Ron Paul’s consistent voting record shows that he understands and takes seriously the federal government’s limited role. Now, for the first time in the lifetimes of anyone reading this, the truth about what kind of government the Founders gave us—a government we discarded in favor of handouts—has been given a voice in a presidential election.
Is a vote for Paul, as some conservatives who doubtless share his desire to return sovereignty to the states contend, “throwing away your vote?” No. Throwing away your vote means voting for business as usual: more illegal and immoral foreign wars, more corporate bailouts, more social programs that destroy families, more murder of the yet-to-be born, and more tax hikes to fund it all.
Like a silversmith of the same name 237 years ago, Paul is sounding an alarm. Our forebears listened and liberty was their reward.
Christopher Check is the Executive Vice President of the Rockford Institute, publisher of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, www.ChroniclesMagazine.org.