RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT?
I'm not sure how I feel about "Republican" Ron Paul and his bid for the presidential nomination. I've watched quite a few of his rants on C-SPAN, and while I highly agree with the anti-war left who embrace his staunch position against America-as-global-policemen, I can't help but wonder if his motives are a bit more sinister than your average Democrat for pulling out of Iraq. I think he's a Libertarian in sheep's clothing, basically. And while he was never officially affiliated with the party, he won their nomination for President in 1988.
But if this is what the future of the Republican party looks like, a swing to the taxophobic social Darwinist perspective which covets the Constitution over the Old Testament, then I can't complain too much. Fortuately for the GOP, he falls into all five characterists of a "real conservative", according to the "Conservative Exodus Project" (CEP), which was born from a more recent CPAC meeting:
1) He must oppose the "third-world invasion of the United States and reject amnesty and any path to citizenship for illegals."
2) He must "oppose free trade, the support of which has become an ideological suicide pact."
3) He must be a "moral candidate, critical of secularism, who embodies the virtues of the Christian Western tradition."
4) He must oppose the "illegal neocon war in Iraq."
5) He must "wish to see big government reduced in size-in all three branches-and for many offices and functions to be returned to the states, where they Constitutionally belong."
Well actually, perhaps he's not such a Libertarian if he adheres to #2... and #3, well, I'm not sure his stance on that one--I do know he is strongly pro-life and pro-gun if that's any indication of his "Christian Western" traditional values.
For the record, he refused three of his children a federally-subsidized student loan, and insists of denying himself a congressional pension. That's all well and good for a wealthy medical practioner-cum-politician, but for the masses (myself included), federal aid and governmental intervention in social programs granting all Americans liberty and equality are quite constitutionally sound. Why the conservative, nay the Libertarian, logic doesn't follow this basic tenet is beyond me. And that's why I am afraid of "Republicans" like Paul.
Masha Gessen is the author of *The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia*, which will be published in October. In the July issue of Har...
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