Okay, with the debate and his recent interview on The Daily Show I'm tentatively impressed with Ron Paul. He's the only Republican it seems like willing to criticize the Bush Administration without being lukewarm when he does it. I think it's unfair of critics to suggest he's blaming the United States for 9/11 or sidestepping the accountability of the actual terrorists. His point is that military action in the Middle East is part of
a chain of events that leads to
retaliatory actions justified or not
. Extremist ideologies can be spread, and dropping bombs on it creates both martyrs and more terrorists
. Playing games with the Constitution hurts our credibility and positive influence in the international community. It seems to me that he's the first Republican willing to call it like it is apart from the black and white picture of good verses evil that the Bush administration has so successfully sold to the masses.
I've actually heard people argue that Ron Paul isn't a "real" conservative. This is a prime example of how diluted America's perception of liberalism and conservatism have become. We're talking about a man who supports free trade and limited government. For those without Political Science background:
American Conservatism = Classical Liberalism
American Liberalism = Socialism
Socially, American Conservatism holds the stigma of being anti-gay rights, anti-abortion, anti-progressive change in general. Ron Paul is more of a libertarian, and though he is pro-life he believes this (and many other issues) should be state decided
. So, not only is Ron Paul and actual conservative (in an American sense), he's also a true Republican
. Sorry Bush-lovers, conservatism has nothing to do with huge government, uncontrolled spending, aggressive foreign policy and supporting nation policy for social/moral judgments. These are irrelevancies that have been tacked onto the American label over the years and are more appropriately defined as neo-conservatism.
Now that we at least have our labels corrected, any of you Sean Hannity lovers should know that the current label is an invention of those criticizing Paul for his policies. I haven't thrown my hat in for Ron Paul yet, but I'm definitely impressed with the way he's carrying himself right now and the policy that he's espousing.