Danny R Butcher, High Plains Pundit
Despite Paul's very bad foreign policy ideas, his call for less government, freer markets, and a return to personal responsibility and personal freedom should resonate with everyone. If Congressman Paul can rollback the imperial presidency and help the nation rethink its foreign policy and modify it, than I'm all for him using his leverage to do so.
I am a life long independent, and a conservative individual. Over the course of my life, the federal government has grown under both Democrat and Republican administrations--never has it gotten smaller.
The message from Congressman Paul is that we are well on our way down the road to serfdom and further concentration of power in Washington and in the hands of a unitary President will only hasten the journey.
It's time to reverse course.
Paul is sometimes difficult to figure out on his domestic policy ideas, because most people's civics education didn't properly explain that our governance involves three sovereigns:
1. The self, through the ninth amendment and the declaration of independence.
2. The states, through the tenth amendment.
3. The federal government, through article 1, section 8 of the constitution.
People have also been poorly taught that power was intentionally divided between the branches of government and the states for two reasons. The first being to make passing laws at the federal level difficult, which should be difficult since they inevitable cost us a degree of liberty, and therefore should be difficult to pass. And second, that our federated form of government helps us accommodate differences of opinion on how social issue should be managed by delegating that level of responsibility to the states.
Most of Congressman Paul's domestic ideas are hardly radical, they're just unfamiliar to many because they were never educated well enough to understand why this is the best possible solution to governance for those who want freedom.
Paul is diligently attempting to insert these concerns into the conversation in hopes that we might actually have a vigorous debate. The reason Austrian economics, monetary policy and genuine fiscal conservatism are being discussed with any degree of seriousness is because Paul (and others like him) have trumpeted these ideas tirelessly in spite of never ending criticism from those who benefit mightily from the status quo.
Why is the "Establishment" - both media and political - so afraid of one skinny little obstetrician?
It has become clear to me that Paul has the following he does because he is speaking to a large constituency in the Republican party that has grown tired of the hypocritical establishment rhetoric. For example, "The GOP has long been the party of limited government". Most would agree with me that Republicans have long spoken of limited government while growing that same government.
Judging by the number of Republicans and independents supporting him, I feel the Republicans have more to lose by not listening to Paul. We already have a party in America that is for big government, the Democrat Party.
Like it or not, Paul has a strong following of supporters. And if indeed his positions are on the "loony fringe", this means that many voters are so disgusted by both parties, they would rather try the "loony fringe" than stick with the status quo.
Obama won the last election because of his (albeit empty) promises of change, and people are still demanding change. While it would be an enormous departure from the Democratic party's platform to affect such changes, it is much more attainable for the Republicans. However, if the Republican party refuses to change, it can't rightly blame members for abandoning the party in pursuit of such change.
Although Paul is trying to affect change in the Republican Party, certainly he is not trying to hold it hostage, nor hand the election to Obama. He is only trying to find a party willing to represent the concerns of his steadily growing constituency of dissidents.
Furthermore, if neither party succumbs, it is quite possible that a stronger Libertarian party emerges, much like the Liberal Democrat Party emerged in the 2010 UK, resulting in a hung parliament. In such a case, the Libertarians would be able to hold the entire congress hostage, and finally be heard.
Thus, it might be wise for Republicans to stop dismissing Paul as a crazy-old-man, and give him a little more respect.
(Ed's note: With years of print media work under his belt, Danny R Butcher now blogs from an independent conservative perspective at High Plains Pundit. Danny also hosts the High Plains Pundit Radio Talk Show heard on blogtalkradio.com Monday-Friday at 10 PM CST).