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Ron Paul Scores a Close Second in Iowa Straw Vote

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Ron Paul is still defining libertarianism. Over the years he has been a predominant spokesman for libertarian ideology, and as an individual has molded and shaped libertarianism to a sharp and personal point. He ran as the Libertarian candidate for the presidency in 1988. He initiated the libertarian advocacy group Campaign for Liberty, and has penned numerous published articles and books. Currently he places as much emphasis on the favor of the Tea Party movement, and the opinion of the social conservative voters.

The 76-year-old physician, who has delivered thousands of babies into the world over the years, spoke particularly about the case for life, and his opposition to abortion at the Iowa Straw Poll event on Saturday, in which he placed second, a short distance behind the very popular Michele Bachmann. She scored only 152 more votes than Paul, in a contest in which a total of 16,892 votes were cast.

Ron Paul was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended and was graduated from Gettysburg College and the Duke University School of Medicine. Then Dr. Paul served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force. At the end of his enlistment, he began a medical practice in Brazoria county, Texas, where he specialized in obstetrics and gynecology. Paul and his wife Carol reside in Lake Jackson, Texas, and have five children and 17 grandchildren. Dr. Ron Paul favors less restriction on health care providers.

Many in Iowa ran a campaign based on opposition to Democratic President Obama, insisting that Obama is a one-term president, and blaming the failing economy and other matters on him. Some in Iowa seduced voters by professing strong family backgrounds, or strong regional backgrounds; Bachmann cited her sixth generation in Iowa, and demonstrated a knowledge of people in Iowan high places. In Iowa and other recent venues, Ron Paul chose to address several important concerns, including economic problems in America and foreign issues.

Regarding foreign issues, Paul takes a far different stand on global matters than some other candidates. He reflects libertarian principles in referring to ongoing and recently ended wars as having been “undeclared and unwinnable.” He seems to take issue with the Republican Party and with the George W. Bush position that we were justified in the war in Iraq. He often mentions that no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. He takes the unusual position that anti-American terrorism is simply a reaction to our actions. He alludes to Rudy Giuliani’s belief that the September 11th terrorists hated our wealth and freedom enough to provoke the attack. Ron Paul goes on to quip that, “Of course, our government bombing their countries, propping up their dictators and supplying their enemies with money and weapons had nothing to do with it.”

A fundamental precept of libertarianism is that we must end all foreign intervention, including economic aid and diplomatic meddling. We should avoid entanglements, foreign quarrels, and “imperialist adventures.” Ron Paul is in direct contraposition to leading Republican contender Michele Bachmann, who believes that the incarceration and enhanced interrogation of those accused of terrorism in facilities such as Guantanamo Bay are productive and necessary, and believes these tools should continue to be implemented when dealing with terrorists. Paul believes these things are the products of hysteria and mob rule, and are intolerable. He also opposes assassination on the same grounds. He advocates reason and disdains emotional responses to important problems.

A basic libertarian principle is that nuclear weapons are a threat to everyone’s wellbeing, and should be disallowed. Paul specifically addresses the Iranian nuclear threat, saying that Iran has as much right to nuclear weapons as anyone. He mentions several nations in that region and elsewhere, including China and the United States, which possess nuclear weapons. In his assessment, we should ignore what is viewed by many politicians as a threat. Paul says there is no evidence of Iran being in pursuit of nuclear weapons. With no air force and a limited economy, they have no capacity for war. His view is consistent with the libertarian outlook in that he opposes sanctions, and favors no involvement. He says we should “bring the troops home.” Paul makes the claim that in a span of a few short years we turned Iraq into the world’s leading breeding ground for terrorists. He says that, in general, we should “mind our own business.”

Bringing the troops home is one of Ron Paul’s predominant ideas, both for foreign policy reasons, and to shore up our failing economy. He would bring home all troops and end all interaction in every corner of the world: Japan, Germany, etc. Critics may be aware that Paul shows his age when he says all these interventions produce agitation and worry. Similarly, we are aware that Paul is annoyed by searches and such inconveniences at airports. This seems to be an afterthought to the politician.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Congressman Ron Paul established a firm background in banking and the economy. He served on the House Banking Committee and advocated sound monetary policy while being a harsh critic of the Federal Reserve’s inflationary measures. Paul consistently voted to lower or abolish federal taxes, spending, and regulation, and used his House seat to actively promote the return of government to its proper constitutional levels. He is dedicated to the Constitution, and has never wavered from that stand. As a firm constitutionalist, Ron Paul reminds us that currency still must be based on gold and silver.

Ron Paul, while still seeking liberty, and more importantly, life, has backed away from many libertarian basics. Libertarians would permit all manner of pornography, drugs, gambling, and unlimited statements in print, including the internet, and would disallow many searches and seizures. Libertarians would allow professional jurists, and not support forced jury duty. Insider trading would be allowed. Drivers couldn’t be stopped in search of alcohol or drugs without probable cause. Those tried for crimes and found innocent would be entitled to compensation. This entitlement would in many ways tie the hands of prosecutors, and restrict prosecution of criminals. But these are libertarian standards, and Ron Paul speaks his own mind.

Paul is one of the few Republican candidates to actively address issues, and to express ideologies and beliefs. He, like many in the Tea Party movement, would make severe changes to American government. Changes may be warranted, but the nature of the changes is soon to be in the hands of the American voters.

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • Mike

    Solid analysis. You just explained why the media doesn’t want him to gain even more traction. This traction is at the grass root level there is more of us than there are of them. Thanks for the article keep up the good work.

  • Calvin

    I am registering Republican just to vote for Ron Paul as soon as I turn 18.

    – Ron Paul was endorsed for president by Ronald Reagan in 1988. Reagan made special note to Paul’s commitment to a strong national defense.

    – Ron Paul was the only candidate at the previous debate to have served in the military. He volunteered for Vietnam while Mitt Romney obtained a draft deferment. Interestingly, Romney was a vehement supporter of the Vietnam debacle. Look it up!

    – Ron Paul refuses to receive the benefits available to him as a Congressman, including healthcare and pensions.

    – Ron Paul was spot-on about the economy, and predicted the housing bubble way back in 2003. Check it out for yourself.

  • nader paul kucinich gravel mckinney baldwin ventura sheehan

    America where are you now?
    Don’t you care about your sons and daughters?
    Don’t you know we need you now
    We can’t fight alone against the monster

    Monster Suicide America.

  • “Ron Paul was endorsed for president by Ronald Reagan in 1988.”

    Speaking of checking things out yourself, it seems odd Reagan would endorse a Libertarian candidate for President, which would explain why I can’t find anything to support the statement



  • Adama Smitha

    @El Bitco

    Reagan endorse Ron Paul back to Congress not for president.

  • Cody

    El Bicho, you’re foaming at the mouth again. It was for congress not the presidency, your anti-Paul/anti-freedom agenda is showing again.

  • Karen H

    That about sums it up, but there is a gut feeling that this is the moment, that Americans will forever regret or celebrate: should he be disregarded (as the main stream media says, he’s just a pest to aggravate the Republicons) OR is he the Thomas Jefferson, or prophet of our time, to be like Moses, and bring the people out of slavery?

  • DocDave

    When fascism goes to sleep it looks under the bed for Ron Paul.

    He has never taken a government junket. 

    He does not participate in the lucrative Congressional Pension Program.

     He returns a portion of his annual Congressional Office Budget every year. 

    He has never voted to raise taxes. 

    He has never voted for an unbalanced budget. 

    He voted no to the bankster bailout.

    He voted no to raising the debt ceiling and warned us against the “Super Congress” part of the legislation that resembles both an “ Enabling Act” and a “Politburo.”

    He has never voted to restrict gun ownership. 

    He has never voted to raise Congressional Pay. 

    He never voted to increase Executive Branch Power. 

    He will Reinstate The Constitution and Save The Republic 

    He will END the unconstitutional FED. 

    He will phase out the unconstitutional IRS beginning immediately 

    He will secure the borders 

    He will limit Big Government in your private affairs 

    He will stop Illegal immigration and no amnesty 

    He voted against regulating the Internet

    He is the only candidate for President in 2012 who actually served his country.

    He was a flight surgeon during Vietnam.

    Ron Paul’s popularity is so high among U.S. service members that the Texas Congressman’s presidential campaign has received more money from U.S. soldiers than any other candidate in the 2012 presidential race.

    He voted against the Iraq War and warned us against going forward with an undeclared war. “Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberty and wealth are in Jeopardy”  July 10th, 2003

    He voted against the un-patriotic so called Patriot Act. 

    He supports a non-interventionist foreign policy yet a strong military 

    He will end the inflation tax He is a true Constitutional Conservative 

    He would have soundly beat Obama in 2008 because Independents trust him and like him.

    We could have had a V8 instead of McCain’t in 08 

    Ron Paul for President 2012 

    Because no one else can be trusted to say what he means and do what he says like Ron Paul does.

    Ron Paul is the man of the hour. They used to laugh him for being way ahead of the others in his thinking and his warnings. Now, they are not laughing because what he predicted is coming to pass. Now, he is being called a prophet for having warned us and still calmly suffered through the barbs. “First they, ignore you, then they fight you, then you win.” Gandhi

  • Aduma/Cody,

    You guys come off like dumb drunks just looking for a fight. Your poorly informed pal Calvin claimed “Ron Paul was endorsed for president by Ronald Reagan in 1988,” which is why I used quotation marks and which you both agree was wrong. Your anti-reading comprehension is showing again.

  • John Lake

    Sounds a little like a “personal attack”, El!

  • Calvin was wrong. El Bitcho was right to point this out. Adama Smitha and Cody both clarified.

    This should be the end of the pissing contest.

  • John Lake, I was wondering if you could clarify the first paragraph of page 3, which states, “Paul has backed away from many libertarian basics,” and then lists things that Libertarians would lift bans on. The wording seems to suggest Ron Paul would disagree with Libertarians about lifting bans on everything on the list–he in fact, does NOT disagree with them on every point. I’m posting a short clip from the South Carolina debate in which Paul describes his view on the proper criteria for prohibiting acts: if those acts don’t hurt anyone, they should be legal. There are a couple of humorous moments in it.

    Thanks, John Lake, for writing an article that is, over-all, fair and accurate.

  • Sounds like you are too sensitive to be writing on the Internet, John

  • John Lake

    I’ve been called many things. But ‘sensitive’ is a new one.

  • Well I thought that was the end of the pissing contest…

    I make a poor moderator, apparently. I denounce myself.

  • John Lake

    I looked at the May 5, 2011, clip and found it interesting. He was absolutely defending the libertarian stand. I do think that now for the coming election, he is refining his positions and is somewhat courting the social conservative vote.
    One simple example is that he now says that marriage is a one man, one woman affair.
    There are a number of well-versed libertarians at this great Blogcritics site, (including yourself, as I recall) and I will defer to them to answer any concerns about the liberal agenda.

  • Look, I am generally pro-Ron Paul, but he’s not going to be the GOP nominee.

    It’s going to be Rick Perry or Mitt Romney. Or maybe Michele Bachmann, if the Tea Party really wants another four years of Obama as much as they wanted another 6 years of Harry Reid.

  • John Lake

    In fact, what he actually says is that marriage has to do with a single man, and a single woman. He says its a “Church problem, not mine” and further, he would opt to let the individual state decide.

  • 20:

    That’s Rick Perry’s position, too, basically.

    I think it’s a smart position, politically. What used to be a 60-40 issue is now a 50-50 issue. So, defer to federalism. New Yorkers want same-sex marriage? Cool. Idahoans don’t? Also cool.

    Ultimately the DOMA will probably be overturned, but until then this is a reasonable and safe position for a GOP candidate to take. (It’s basically Obama’s position as well, although I believe he wants to end the DOMA.)

  • *thread hijack in progress*

    Incidentally, did anyone else watch the GOP debate the other night? I think I’m pretty objective, at least when it comes to Republicans savaging other Republicans.

    Pawlenty did himself no favors, and so it’s no surprise that he came in third in the Ames Straw Poll and then dropped out today.

    Romney was unharmed, and neither was his hair.

    I think Newt actually won the debate, which is surprising since I thought he was still on a Greek cruise.

  • Oh, anyone who wants to be on the Republican ticket will need to court the social conservative vote. He very much DOES relate to conservative Christian people as “one of them” (unless being “one of them” means advocating water-boarding or preemptive strikes.) If you’re promoting the idea of “leaving it to the states,” and your audience is social conservatives, your approach is going to be different from the one you’d use to talk to an auditorium of former Obama-supporters.

    What Ron Paul can do that Rick Perry and Mitt Romney won’t be able to do is to demonstrate that they can hold to traditional Christian viewpoints and at the SAME TIME give social moderates and liberals the freedom to live life the way they want to, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone, which is what religious folk want for themselves.

    So no, Ron Paul hasn’t changed his position since the South Carolina debate in May in order to court the social conservative vote. South Carolina IS the social conservative vote– that’s what accounts for the humorous moments in the clip I posted in #14.

  • zingzing

    “the freedom to live life the way they want to, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone, which is what religious folk want for themselves.”

    you mean the golden rule. or the wiccan rede: do what you will, as long as it harms no other. i call ye a witch.

  • zingzing

    i’m cool with witches.

  • When you get traction at the grassroots level, you get skid-marks. It is the friction that does it.

    DOMA and Libertarianism lack traction.


  • 23:

    About your video clip. I watched that debate, and I recall that moment. It is amusing stuff indeed.

    I just wish Congressman Paul didn’t come across as sort of a goofy, rambling old guy who means well but isn’t particularly credible. Because that’s basically how he comes across in that clip.

    His point is interesting and has some validity. But he rambles and cuts off his own words. He’s really not that good of a debater. Which is unfortunate.

  • Nay,I be no witch, but I do like the do no harm idea.

    I wish Ron Paul were a smoother talker, too. On the other hand, if people could associate smoothness with….slickness…which isn’t always a good thing in a politician…they might appreciate his straight-shootin’ ways.

    Well, what’s important–and this is what Ron Paul has said all along–is that ideas that need to be discussed are being discussed.

    And with that, I am off for the night. Have a good week, guys.

  • 28: Good night.

  • jt

    Bachmann’s a torture supporting former IRS attorney. Ron Paul r3volution!

  • zingzing

    irene: “Nay,I be no witch, but I do like the do no harm idea.”

    witches deny being witches. BURN HER. in the name of gawd.

    in all seriousness, you assigned a basic human desire to “religious people.” it’s religious people, throughout history, including today, who have reneged on that promise. how else can you explain the platforms of bachmann and santorum?

    there was a recent new yorker article on bachmann wherein her, shall we say, philosophical influences were spelled out. she went to a law school that hoped to get the law back to christian principles, including death sentences for adulterers and homosexuals. that’s not “do what thou wilt.” that’s (state-sponsored) murder. (the article goes further, and is incredibly scary. i’d almost say too scary. it seems like something out of a dystopian fiction.)

    then santorum… oh, that filthy fuck. he gets to imagining men fucking dogs as soon as you bring up the fact that yes, there are homosexuals in our society. oh, dear god! he’s got bitches on the brain. i only hope he doesn’t get randy around his dog thinking about it. what a loon.

    i sincerely hope that neither of those two are festooned across our media for the world to see. it would make us the hicks of the world. pawlenty’s out, which is a shame on the sanity (relative) index, but maybe a fiscal conservative, rather than a fucking social nutjob, can carry the republican ticket.

    until this point, i’d been hoping for the biggest political comedy possible, but the world is looking at us right now for financial reasons. ron paul looks sane. ron paul!

    please, republican party, give us a graceful loser, amen.

  • It’s early days, and one shouldn’t read too much into an informal popularity contest conducted by a handful of grumpy Iowans, but it does seem at this point as if the Republicans are determined to nominate someone utterly unelectable.

    Perhaps they’re curious to see if Obama will keep blaming Bush for things for the full eight years.


  • zingzing

    the lulz will drown out any international disrespect. i hope.

  • R Stone

    I didn’t know about R Paul until a few months ago. I was actually shocked that there was actually some that thinks like I do and feels the same way about almost everything. I would barely watch the news for forty years as every action and every president seemed so same. This is the first time I feel encouraged and have hope. I do not believe he is running for his own career, but for the principle of true liberty, sound economics for financial growth, and sanity in foreign policy.

  • R Stone

    One thing I had to realize is… that a lot of great talkers and debaters are usually only that. They have no real substance when it comes to being president. They only follow the same road, same policy, and things just get worse. So who needs a great talker. How about a great DOER. Someone consistent, and does what he says, instead of someone who says anything just to get in.

  • Al Gore Praised Romney and Perry

    Ron Paul is the only Doctor running for President, the only Veteran of our military running, the only man who has been married to the same woman for 50+ years and raised 5 kids. Ron is the only candidate who cannot be labeled as “politics as usual”.

  • 35:

    Rick Perry was a pilot in the Air Force. He’s been married to the same woman for 29 years and has two children.

    Michele Bachmann is a law school graduate. She has been married to the same man for 33 years. She has five children and has helped raise 23 foster children.

    Mitt Romney has a JD and an MBA, both from Harvard. He has been married to the same woman for 42 years and has five sons.

  • I hardly think Bachmann can be labelled “politics as usual” either. Her antics can barely even be called politics.

  • RJ: Don’t forget Newt. He’s been married to the same woman for at least 20 minutes.

  • Baronius

    Yeah, but Newt’s been married to women for 48 years.

  • Well, everyone needs a hobby.

  • 38:

    Yeah, and then there’s Rudy Giuliani, who has been married three times and has two children, both of whom hate him.

  • Does Rudy still hold onto his endearing belief that the American people will one day hand him the keys to the White House once the full story of how he singlehandedly defeated al-Qaeda on 9/11 comes out?

  • I believe Rudy is still considering a presidential run in 2012. He can’t win the Republican nomination because of his liberal social views, although a recent poll showed him beating Obama in a general election match-up.