Why exactly is there so much buzz around Congressman Ron Paul lately? I’ve been reading his Texas Straight Talk columns in his weekly email letters since January-ish. He is an interesting guy with some interesting positions, but I tend to have an up and down opinion about him as our president. I’ll strongly agree with him on one position and then not on another. For instance I agree with his position on gun control.
Gun control historically serves as a gateway to tyranny. Tyrants from Hitler to Mao to Stalin have sought to disarm their own citizens, for the simple reason that unarmed people are easier to control. Our Founders, having just expelled the British army, knew that the right to bear arms serves as the guardian of every other right. This is the principle so often ignored by both sides in the gun control debate. Only armed citizens can resist tyrannical government.
But then I can’t agree with him on threats to our nation. I can sympathize and understand his position, just not agree.
The greatest threat facing America today is not terrorism, or foreign economic competition, or illegal immigration. The greatest threat facing America today is the disastrous fiscal policies of our own government, marked by shameless deficit spending and Federal Reserve currency devaluation. It is this one-two punch– Congress spending more than it can tax or borrow, and the Fed printing money to make up the difference– that threatens to impoverish us by further destroying the value of our dollars.
I see that terrorism as an immediate life threatening problem and poor fiscal policies as a long term threat to our security. I say put the tourniquet around your bleeding arm first, worry about how to pay for it later. That seems a better course of action than bleeding to death trying to balance your check book.
But then the Texas Straight talker comes back a week or so later with another position that I think is right on.
In fact it is the federal government more than anything else that divides us along race, class, religion, and gender lines. Government, through its taxes, restrictive regulations, corporate subsidies, racial set-asides, and welfare programs, plays far too large a role in determining who succeeds and who fails in our society. This government “benevolence” crowds out genuine goodwill between men by institutionalizing group thinking, thus making each group suspicious that others are receiving more of the government loot. This leads to resentment and hostility between us.
And then he comes up with an opinion that seemingly backs the Democrats position against our President yet at the same time supports the republican party line backing the President.
This week, Congress finalized the controversial $124 billion Iraq emergency supplemental spending bill, with the House and Senate both voting in favor of final passage. The majority of my Republican colleagues and I voted against this measure, and the president has vowed to veto the legislation….
What is the best way forward in Iraq? Where do we go from here? First, Congress should admit its mistake in unconstitutionally transferring war power to the president and in citing United Nations resolutions as justification for war against Iraq. We should never go to war because another nation has violated a United Nations resolution. Then we should repeal the authority given to the president in 2002 and disavow presidential discretion in starting wars. Then we should start bringing our troops home in the safest manner possible.
Now I am really confused, but also begin to understand why he is the buzz. He is opinionated, interesting and prolific in publishing his position. He gives me a lot to think about.