Saturday, December 22, 2007

On Ron Paul

I am absolutely delighted by the number of people who responded to the Bill Moyers inteview. I thought it might make some sense to select out some of the specific points (or arguments) so that we can generate threads on them.

One person wrote, for example, "As a supporter of Ron Paul, I wonder how his leadership style might facilitate any of the great insights you brought up. "

I find Ron Paul a very interesting figure. As you will not be surprised to learn, I'm not a libertarian, so I don't support his general take on politics. That being said, I've written elsewhere that of all of the Republican candidates, he's the one I respect most in terms of sheer integrity. What you see is what you get; he is not in the least shaping his campaign according to the wishes of focus groups and the like. We used to call this "leadership." I was amazed to hear him say, in one of the debates that he has changed his position on the death penalty and is now opposed to it at the national level. The only rational explanation for this is that he has indeed changed his position, because he surely could not have believed that he would pick up votes in the Republican primary by saying this!

I also have relatively little touble accepting Rep. Paul's view that we have given far, far too much power to the President to initiate wars. Congress, including the Democrats then in charge of the Senate, behaved disgracefully in writing Pres. Bush a blank check because Tom Daschle thought it would be easier to run the 2002 Senate campaign on the basis of domestic issues than debating Iraq. And, as one of you pointed out, small-state Senator Robert Byrd was one of the few senators to press the issue.

By no means do I oppose everything in the current Constitution. But, obviously, I think there is enough that is problematic about it that I want to emphasize what needs correction.

Also, to answer another question, my current candidate of choice is Sen. Obama, largely because I have most trust in his judgment, and I believe that his election would help transform the current dreadful image of the US around the world. But I will happily vote for any Democrat who gets the nomination.


Blogger Austin Explorer said...

As a fan of Obama, I would encourage you to check out this website: It's pretty awesome!

December 23, 2007 3:02 AM  
Blogger mulp said...

Obama is showing his community activist experience where consensus is required to mobilize people to their cause, not the activist's cause.

Leadership isn't so much being in front of the crowd as it is opening the way for the crowd seeking to go their own way together.

All to often, the current system of voting rewards spliting the crowd in two or three or more groups, and then making your group just enough larger than the others. In such a situation, Obama is at a disadvantage; he wouldn't have done better than Gore in 2000, nor Kerry in 2004, in my opinion because, while many would have approved of him, many would have been drawn to Bush on a few specifics (that he didn't adhere to), and a vote for Bush is a vote against all others.

December 24, 2007 8:48 AM  

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