Friday, October 12, 2007

Mercer on Paul

Happy Ron Paul t-shirt Friday! What? You don't celebrate Ron Paul t-shirt Fridays? My sincere condolences.

On point

Wishful thinking aside, when it comes to Iraq, Huckabee and the rest of the Republican candidates for president, bar Ron Paul, are at odds with the American people. According to every conceivable poll – Gallup, Rasmussen, ABC News/Washington Post – most Americans now oppose the war in Iraq, deem it a mistake and "support the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq within the next year."

Reason one Ron Paul is more electable than the rest of the republican candidates. I didn't say that he would win the nomination, only that if he runs against the dreaded Hillary, he has a shot at swaying some moderates and even liberals in order to win. Mercer understands:

[Ron Paul's] stance on Iraq makes him appealing to voters from the left, the (real) right and the center. He can thus also lower the Republican Party's considerable attrition rates. Like or dislike him, Ron Paul is the only Republican presidential contender whose position on Iraq comports with that of the American people – and hence with electability.

Now, we shouldn't support a candidate strictly because they are electable. I've voted for losers of elections before; if I vote again, I'll probably vote for some more people who don't have a shot at winning. But it's interesting that while Giuliani is busy claiming that he beat Hillary, and that he's the only candidate who can do so, polls show otherwise. I'd support Paul anyway, because of his principles, but surely it makes no sense to support a candidate who is not only less electable than Paul, but also holds values antithetical to those few remaining conservatives.

This may surprise conservatives, but bar Tom Tancredo, Paul is also the only candidate who'll seriously reduce undesirable immigration. Here, as on Iraq, Americans are united. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, "enforcement approaches with no increase in legal immigration" were the most popular policy options among a majority of voters. "Seventy percent of voters said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who wanted to double legal immigration."

Here we have reason number two. Americans don't like taxes, and they don't like Big Government--unless of course they are the beneficiaries thereof--but these aren't the important issues in the upcoming election cycle. Iraq and immigration are. It speaks strongly and unfavorably for our system of government that the only candidate who understands what the majority of Americans do is an oft-ignored stranger in his own party.

But it also underscores the huge support for the Paul campaign. His candidacy is truly unique in that people of all idealogical molds are coming to his side. Yes, we libertarians are grateful for the emergence of someone who takes our ideas as seriously as we do, but there aren't that many libertarians. Something else is going on here. And it's not going away just yet.

1 comment:

troutsky said...

Saw Paul speak (finally) on the Newshour and am now even less impressed.It is great that certain new ideas are being introduced to the wider public but when done by someone so inarticulate with so many contradictory positions... (choice is a states right issue? I thought abortion was murder?)(are gun rights a state issue?)Was he talking flat tax? This primary race is shining a needed spotlight on the intellectual incoherancy of the Republicans and conservatism in general.