In his bid to be the next president of the United States, Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul recently raised $6 million in Internet contributions during a single day. His poll numbers show him trailing far behind well-known GOP candidates like Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, but there are signs that the renegade Republican’s monster grass roots effort is working—in a survey of all Google searches made between Dec. 7 and 11 by Vote-USA.org, Paul’s name came up 141,872 times, nearly twice that of Democratic Senator Barack Obama, his nearest competitor, who was the subject of 76,777 searches.
Clearly, people want to know more on this most unusual presidential candidate. Lately a number of my friends have asked me what I knew of him. Then on Saturday, Dec. 22, Paul supporters held a small rally at Baldwin Beach in Paia, waving signs and leafleting cars parked nearby. One of the brochures tucked beneath windshield wipers showed a unique approach for a Republican hopeful, even if he is a bit of a renegade.
“Ron has never voted for the Iraq War,” the Ron Paul for President! card said, outlining how Paul opposes the Patriot Act, a military draft, the war on drugs and corporate welfare. Printed with a photograph of supporters brandishing signs saying “Ron Paul Revolution” with the “evol” (“love” spelled backwards) heavily emphasized, this particular bit of campaign material unabashedly appealed to anti-war, anti-corporation liberals.
Of course, Paul is anything but a leftist. One of the most conservative members of Congress, his ideology falls squarely on the right wing of the Republican Party, Iraq War opposition notwithstanding:
CRACKING DOWN ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
SUPPORTS: “We must do whatever it takes to control entry into our country before we undertake complicated immigration reform proposals… No amnesty… No welfare for illegal aliens… End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong.” (www.ronpaul2008.com)
OPPOSES: “I’m surprised that I don’t have more co-sponsors for my Sanctity of Life Act. It removes the jurisdiction from the federal courts and allows the states to pass protection to the unborn. Instead of waiting years for a Constitutional Amendment, this would happen immediately, by majority vote in the Congress and a president’s signature. It’s a much easier way to accomplish this, by following what our constitution directs us. Instead of new laws, let’s just use what we have and pass this type of legislation.” (GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007)
OPPOSES: “Gun control makes people demonstrably less safe—as any honest examination of criminal statistics reveals. It is no coincidence that violent crime flourishes in the nation’s capital, where the individual’s right to self-defense has been most severely curtailed.” (Ron Paul’s column “Texas Straight Talk,” Mar. 12, 2007)
OIL DRILLING IN THE ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
SUPPORTS: “I’ve introduced The Affordable Gas Price Act (HR 2415) to deal with some of these issues. My bill… would open up ANWR for oil exploration and repeal the federal moratorium on offshore drilling.” (“Texas Straight Talk,” Nov. 25, 2007)
OPPOSES: “Raising living standards for all Americans is an admirable goal, however, to believe that Congress can raise the standard of living for working Americans by simply forcing employers to pay their employees a higher wage is equivalent to claiming that Congress can repeal gravity by passing a law saying humans shall have the ability to fly… [R]ather than pretend that Congress can repeal the economic principles, I urge my colleagues to reject this legislation and instead embrace a program of tax cuts and regulatory reform to strengthen the greatest producer of jobs and prosperity in human history: the free market.” (Congressional floor speech on HR 3846, which would have raised the federal minimum wage, Mar. 9, 2000)
KYOTO TREATY ON GLOBAL WARMING
OPPOSES: “I strongly oppose the Kyoto treaty. Providing for a clean environment is an excellent goal, but the Kyoto treaty doesn’t do that… It’s bad science, it’s bad policy, and it’s bad for America. I am more than willing to work cooperatively with other nations to come up with policies that will safeguard the environment, but I oppose all nonbinding resolutions that place an unnecessary burden on the United States.” (Online interview with “The Muckraker Report” at www.teamliberty.org, June 28, 2007) MTW