Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Good analysis of the appeal of Ron Paul

At a time when our country is drowning in debt, the other GOP candidates seem unwilling to venture much beyond the idea of cutting “fraud, waste, and abuse.” Paul, on the other hand, has a specific plan to cut $1 trillion from the federal budget next year, including abolishing five cabinet agencies. That may or may not be practical, but it speaks to those seeking a smaller, less costly, less intrusive government, in a way that other candidates, with their 59-point plans for carefully trimming this agency or that, do not.

Even on foreign policy, an area where Paul diverges most from the GOP mainstream, voters seem sympathetic to Paul, particularly when it comes to the idea that not every world hot spot represents an existential threat to America. There is good reason to wonder what victory in Afghanistan would really look like. They ask if war with Iran is the only solution. And, when we are committing more troops and treasure to countries as unrelated to national security as Uganda, they ask whether there is any limit to U.S. commitments. They may not answer these questions by proposing the same degree of non-involvement as Representative Paul, but neither are they excited by other candidates’ bellicosity.