I was very surprised- no, I was shocked; I was shocked that Ron Paul won the CPAC staw poll. It took me completely by surprise. I guess that tells you what kind of political pundit I am.
No other candidate even came close in the CPAC poll. He was the only candidate to score in the double digits. I don't know if the CPAC poll is significant or not. CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) is, however, a respectable mainstream conservative gathering. It is the nation’s largest gathering of conservatives annually and it is a project of the American Conservative Union Foundation. This year was the biggest gathering ever for CPAC with over 9000 people in attendance.
We have witnessed an amazing growth of grassroots conservative activism this year with the summer town hall meetings and tea parties. Here in Nashville, we have seen a growth in the Republican Party and various libertarian and conservative groups have also been springing up. I assumed that most of the growth in activism was still a reflection of a mainstream conservative movement, however. I consider Ron Paul far removed from the mainstream.
The area where I most disagree with Ron Paul is in the area of national defense. I strongly disagreed with the decision of the Bush administration to invade Iraq. I thought that was an unnecessary war and that we were misled to get us in it. Despite my anti-war stance toward that particular conflict however, I still believe we have vital interest in the world and must be engaged in the world. We must have a strong national defense. I am not an isolationist or a pacifist.
I am also not ready to abolish the Federal Reserve. I think maybe the Fed needs reformed and a maybe a little less independence. It should be studied and reevaluated but I think we need a National Bank or something like it. I am probably most bothered by Ron Paul's flirtation with and refusal to disavow the 9-11 truthers.
I would like to know what you think about Ron Paul. What do you think about the his showing in the CPAC poll? Do you think there is any chance he could win the 2012 Republican nomination? Do you think he is electable should he get the 2012 Republican nomination?
I have placed two polls in the sidebar. Please cast your vote in these polls. Also, please feel free to leave me a comment. If you are a blogger and have blogged on the topic feel free to leave a link. If you would like to share your views on the Ron Paul phenomena in more detail, drop me an email. If you would like to submit an essay for publication, I will consider publishing it.