On Paul.

An anonymous reader asks, “What are your thoughts on Ron Pauls rise in fame and in the polls. Is he the real deal? Or just another Ross Perot?”

Ron Paul has had an unusual effect on the political scene. Some pundit (I forget which one) pointed out that no other major party candidate in recent memory has gotten as many people reading as Ron Paul has. And I don’t mean the typical fluff that your typical presidential candidate puts out, I mean works of political philosophy and economics. (Unfortunately for him, some folks are also reading his old newsletters, which feature some questionable material.)

I’m not sure what, exactly, you mean by “the real deal.” Is Ron Paul sincere? Far more so than any other major party candidate of the last two presidential election cycles, with the possible exception of Elizabeth Kucinich’s husband. His consistency on the issues puts other politicians to shame, if such creatures were capable of such a condition. Does he have a shot at winning? Yes, but it’s remote. Is he going to win the Republican nomination? Nope.

Is he just another Ross Perot? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that both are Texans who aren’t going to be President, they both focus heavily on the national debt, and they share initials. But the dissimilarities are legion. Paul is far more ideological than Perot. Paul has consistent, principled stances on a broad array of issues while nobody can remember what Perot talked about aside from the debt. Also, I think (I can’t prove it) that Perot ran due to spite towards George H. W. Bush more than anything else, while Paul is running based on genuine conviction. Furthermore, Paul’s not going to run as a third party candidate.

I remember when Perot was running and everyone was complaining about a debt of around $4 trillion. Good times.

10 comments

  1. If/when Paul fails to achieve the Republican nomination I think it’d be interesting albeit unlikely if he ran for the Libertarian nomination (he has until May 4th!). The additions of big names like Paul and to a lesser extent Gary Johnson could bring about some more significant exposure to the party this election.

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  2. I’ve heard it said that Paul’s support is not mainly from Republicans, but from independents and even young liberals. If this is true, wouldn’t he be an excellent choice to place against Obama? Sure, maybe the Republican Party doesn’t want him, but they sure as heck don’t want Obama. Therefore, in a final election, Paul would receive the Republican vote, as well as some independent and liberal votes. Anyone have any thoughts or correction about facts?

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  3. I think it’s highly unlikely that Paul will win the nomination, and therefore it is highly unlikely that he’ll win the general election. Republican support would be tepid due to his stance on Iranian nukes and his past statements about 9/11.
    Democrats are not going to abandon Obama for someone who opposes social spending, is anti-abortion, and has criticized the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Who knows what the independents will do– after all, they’re independent, and they have varying reasons for being independent.

    But if Paul wins the GOP nomination, and unemployment creeps back up over 9%, and gas gets up over $4/gal., and people get even more disappointed with President Obama, and Paul successfully and non-obnoxiously reminds everyone that he was right all along about the recession and the debt, who knows what would happen?

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  4. I agree. I’m actually surprised to seem him do as well as he has this year. I am hoping that, if nothing else, the field of candidates will encourage movement towards more economically conservative individuals throughout different levels of government.

    And, to be honest, if it hadn’t been for a required research paper, I’m not sure I would have made it through the IP book. While I love and agree with the concepts, the writing itself is not thrilling.

    @the warrant
    While I agree that Paul running as a 3rd party would be interesting, I surely hope he wouldn’t do so.

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