Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ron Paul wins the CPAC staw poll. What??

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.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories


  1. "I am not an isolationist or a pacifist."

    Neither is Ron Paul.

  2. The Paulistas seem to be monopolizing your survey. He certainly does have enthusiastic followers.

  3. If you follow the history of the Federal Reserve, you'd note failure after failure on their part for not averting the crashes they were created to prevent.

    As for foreign policy, I think most people are getting fed up with a lack of results promised to us. President Bush has, by and large, failed to win the hearts of the people in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Obama is toying the lives of our soldiers. It is high time we found a different way to deal with Islamic head choppers (like banning Islamic immigrants for one thing) instead of what we are doing now.

    While I have my own disagreements with Ron Paul, like his earmarks and largely barking moonbat logic on war, he tends to make very reasonable points about the taboo topics in conservative circles. It's nice to see conservatives finally shifting their focus away from foreign policy and moving toward domestic policy.

  4. Making the world *safe for democracy* was an idea that came from a progressive Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, who also approved of the federal income tax as well as the Federal Reserve.

    The United States government has absolutely NO Constitutional authority to be the policeman of the world and the Founders of this country expressly warned against seeking out dragons to slay.

    We can be part of this world without trying to run it. That's not being isolationist, it's called being sane. We can have open honest trade and friend ship with other nations and HEAVILY armed neutrality with those who won't.

    As it stands now our foreign policy has accomplished:

    Arming and radicalizing groups like Al Qaeda, putting Saddam Hussein in power and giving him chemical weapons to use against Iran whose government we helped overthrow back in 1953 and then denied we did it for decades, funding military dictatorships in multiple countries (pakistan and chile come to mind), provided nuclear weaponary to a country that has not even signed the Non Proliferation Treaty (Israel), and the list continues on for miles.

    Our current foreign policy makes absolutely no sense, motivates terrorism against our people, is highly self-destructive to our moral fiber as a society, to our reputation abroad as well as to our economy.

    Regardless of what you think about Ron Paul and his foreign policy stance America is going to be forced to adhere to his advice because we are bankrupt. We are borrowing the money from communists to pay for these illegal wars.

    And yes, they are illegal because they were never declared. It doesn't matter what Congress said with the War Powers Act.....just because Congress says something is so does NOT make it Constitutional nor legal. Ex. Social Security? Medicare? Dept of Education? Funding groups like Acorn? None of this stuff is Constitutional and neither are our occupations of foreign lands.

  5. As for the 9/11 *truther* stuff, I'm not a wingbat conspiracy theorist but when multiple members of the 9/11 Commission openly state that the government is involved in covering things up and that they weren't allowed to see all the evidence with one of the members, a triple amputee war veteran senator no less (Max Cleland), resigning from the Commission stating it was a farce and the government was covering something up, I don't really need to hear anything else.

    American citizens and the world abroad DESERVE a new, impartial investigation as to what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. I have had multiple family members sent to illegal wars, had my government expand its ability to spy on my phone calls, email and internet activity as well as enact policies of kidnapping people off the street and torturing them with no trial, no lawyer, no judges, to be held indefinitely.

    These sorts of powers should be forbidden for any group of people in society, most especially the State, because historically these powers have lead to despotism, culling of political dissent and helped to enable atrocities committed by the Nazi's, Communists and others.

    Also, the Federal Reserve, if it hasn't become blatantly obvious, is nothing more than a legalized counterfeiting operation that brings on humongous swings in the business cycle via the process of manipulating interest rates.

    It is a form of central economic planning and that stuff has been historically shown to not work out very well long term. I think that just having an audit of the Fed will show how much fraudulent activity they have been involved in (possibly helping Goldman Sachs' front running operations of our stock markets, bailing out foreign countries central banks and economies, etc.)

    The market place should set the interest rate as the market place knows more than a small handful of individuals who use their power to create credit out of thin air to fund the welfare/warfare state and the corporatism that has devastated our economy.

    Many are opposed to his stance in the War on Drugs as well. Ok, let's examine what the War on Drugs has given us:

    *Funding for terrorists groups.

    *Funding for organized crime.

    *Corruption of our judges, lawyers and law enforcement personnel.

    *Flooded our prisons with many non-violent drug offenders which has led to murderers, rapists and pedophiles being released back on to the street for *good behavior* due to over crowding.

    *Brought on more violent crime due to the prices of the drugs being artificially high from the black market, which instigates robbery, murder, theft etc to afford them.
    This artificially high price loops back to points 1,2,3.

    *There are now more people doing drugs than when we first started the Drug War, and that is in keeping with the population growth too.

    We witnessed what happened with Prohibition throughout the 20's/30's and were smart enough to recognize Prohibition didn't work and created folks like Al Capone.

    Don't get me wrong, drug addiction IS a serious problem, but it is NOT a criminal problem. It is a health issue, period. Why are we not incarcerating alcoholics? Because that is immoral and the absolute worst way possible to deal with the serious problem of alcohol addiction.

    Did the nation turn into a bunch of alcoholics since the repeal of Prohibition? No. The same thing will occur with the repeal of our current Prohibition. The compassionate response is not to incarcerate more people than any other country on the entire planet (yet another symptom of the Drug War), but to decriminalize the drugs and use the money generated by their sales for drug rehabilitation programs, educational materials etc.

    After having actually read some of Ron Paul's books and dug a bit deeper into his positions instead of listening to some idiot talking head propagandist on television it became readily apparent to me that Ron Paul has the answers for what ails this country.

  6. In spite of your knee-jerk moderation today, we will accept you into our movement. Once it costs nothing to be a Patriot, the sheeple will follow.

  7. Good article. Sorry you got attacked by so many Paul bots who suppose to be anti-elite but think, in their own mind, they are the Ron Paul elite.
    I am also surprised Ron won the straw poll and I am not sure what that means other than his ideas are catching on more and more.
    I would like challenge you on something you said. You practically accused Ron of being an Isolationist or a Pacifist. You could not more wrong. Ron is all about the rule of law. And would more aggressively enforce just laws. He believes in engaging the world in trade and making friends and leading by example.
    He voted to go after Osama and would definitely pursue him more aggressively than the last two Presidents.
    Do not confuse not occupying the world with Isolationism or Pacifism..

  8. Once again the complaints against the good doctor are completely unfounded. If you're going to attempt a smear campaign against someone you should at least be able to accurately describe their views before attempting to dismantle them. The problem you have here is that Dr. Paul has been educating his supporters on economics, history, and philosophy. We often know more about the subjects that the bloggers/reporters/pundits are talking about and we don't fall for their half-truths and misrepresentations. Go brush up on these subjects and, while you're at it, read the Constitution. Then you can try to talk to us.

  9. I too was flabbergasted that Ron Paul won the straw vote. He obviously does have intense support. However, for me to find an argument convincing I need to be able to evaluate the source. That is, I'd like to know the name (or names?) of Paul's supporters on this blog (and in the larger community). Who knows? Maybe you will convince me that he is a viable candidate, but first I want to know who you are. I know who Rod, the Disgruntled Republican is, where he stands, and why.

  10. Ron Paul would be a fantastic president. Period.

  11. I think Ron Paul is correct on a HOST of issues. However,I think he is TOTALLY WRONG on Islamic terrorism. He fails to understand it,and so will fail to combat it,which would plunge our country into even DEEPER danger.
    If we were to pull our military and other American presence completely from EVERY "Arab" (MOSLEM)country,it would INFLAME these people."Look,the American cowards,sons of Satan, are RETREATING,let's go on the ATTACK!" and we'd have even MORE innocent people getting slaughtered,RIGHT HERE.
    Superior firepower and the will to use it is the only thing that has EVER stopped IslamoFascist expansionism in the past THIRTEEN CENTURIES. Pacifism,isolationism,appeasement,all have historically played right into their hands. Ron Paul's approach CANNOT succeed.

  12. I would support Ron Paul for President, but he would not be my first choice. I share your feelings about him not disavowing the 9/11 truthers, but I believe he would be a good President. Many of his followers drive me nuts though. They are fanatical and can not take any honest criticism of Paul or his positions. This is evidenced by some of the comments you've received.

    No politician is perfect and you have to be able to take a little criticism or disagreement without viewing it as a personal insult... Many of Ron Paul's fans need to realize this.

  13. Sadly the very thing that allows me to accord Ron Paul a respect that I cannot in good conscience give to very many if any other Republicans is his refusal to simply parrot pre digested talking points hand down on high from Rush Limbaugh and the RNC. He has always struck as a thoughtful individual, one whom while I may often not agree with is conclusions, has reached them by his own reasoning and experience.

    Sadly it is this very fact that will I imagine all but assure that he will not receive the Republican nomination for President.

  14. I would most certainly support Ron Paul. Hell I would even go as far as registering as a Republican to vote for him in the primaries.

  15. People who voted for him are sort of like people who voted for Perot... a safe way to cast a protest vote with little danger of him actually winning.

  16. I'm a progressive and I would not vote for Ron Paul but of all the Republicans who would probably run for president I like him the best. The area I agree with him is on foreign policy and national security. He's right about blowback and these wars we are in. He knows what he's talking about on quite a few issues, but I think he's wrong on nearly all domestic policy issues. He doesn't even think we need Medicare. That's extremist, IMO. I would never support him for those reasons (and we can't get rid of the Fed, who is he kidding). but I know his appeal -- he is honest and people feel they can trust him. He speaks plainly to people and isn't slick. I like a lot of his ideas in general and I like his honesty, but I do not share his philosophy of what this country is for. Government is for and of the people, it should not be "small". How do you get a small government, when government IS the people?

    Anyway, he has appeal, but his main problem is he is 74 years old and that would make him too old to win the presidency. He doesn't look terribly healthy either. I predict Mitt Romney will end up being your candidate, and he might even win if Obama doesn't step things up and do something.

  17. By the way, two years ago Ron Paul had a convention or rally in my state, in St. Paul, and thousands of people attended. I know he has huge support, especially in the midwest. His followers are hugely loyal. the problem is, there aren't enough of them to actually get him elected president, but there are enough of them to split the Republican party in 2012. I know people who wrote his name on the ballot in 2008. He has a Nader-like appeal for conservatives, so I would not be surprised if his popularity grows even more in the next year, due to tea party people backing. Unless of course Palin runs, and she could further split things. Looks like an Obama 2nd term.

  18. I agree with Harrison. Paul is another Perot, albeit not as rich. Sure, he is a small town guy with some really good points, but I do not believe he speaks for the masses.
    The Party has already tried running a candidate who disagreed with Republicans most of the time and sided with the Dems -- McCain.
    Considering who was there to "vote," I don't think it is any reflection of what will happen.

  19. I think Paul is great in the legislature, but would make a horrible president. I like many of his ideas but not enough that I'd want him to be the GOP nominee.

    I believe that the poll at CPAC was stacked with a LOT of his supporters (only around 1/4 of all the attendees attended so 1/3 of those 1/4 voted for him). So I really think the results are overblown.

    The sad thing is...I don't really know who SHOULD be the nominee. No one screams "Presidential Material" to me. I wish we had someone of the Reagan vein.

  20. Dude!

    First of all I wrote about Ron first, and I haven't got this many comments!

    Second, who the flip is Anonymous!


  21. I think he's wrong on nearly all domestic policy issues. He doesn't even think we need Medicare. That's extremist, IMO. I would never support him for those reasons.

  22. I would not be surprised if his popularity grows even more in the next year, due to tea party people backing. Unless of course Palin runs, and she could further split things.

  23. I'm a Paul supporter. I voted for him in the primaries and donated to his campaign. Most of the issues that I agree with him on are economic; issues that I have some disagreement with tend to be foreign policy related.

    Let's face it, when you vote for a candidate, you are essentially voting for a package of policy some of which, usually a minimum, that are not aligned with your interest. There's enough of Paul that I agree with that garnered my support.

    Now having said all that, I doubt that Paul will win the 2012 Republican nomination since Paul is a lot more fiscally conservative and libertarian than most Americans.

  24. As mush as I like making fun of the FreeRepublic crazies, they're right that Ron Paul won because there were so many young people and students voting. His ideology is relatively pure, which appeals to young people who associate purity of ideals with honesty. In a time when the Left has portrayed the Right as "The Party of No" in the pockets of Insurance companies and the Right has portrayed the Left as Socialists working for labor unions, the idea of a purist appeals to many. Still, I don't think his ideas would be strong enough to sustain real criticism if he became a serious contender (in the primaries or in a general election).

  25. It took me awhile, but I did post a reaction like you suggested. See

  26. Ron Paul's foreign policy would scare the hell out of me. He would make Obama look like a Hawk in comparison.

  27. Unfortunately, your perceptions of Ron Paul are greatly erroneous. Paul is neither an isolationist nor is he a pacifist. I suggest you look at his book, "A Foreign Policy of Freedom."

    The Federal Reserve is not a National Bank, not in any way or form. I suggest you delve a little deeper into the history of the Federal Reserve Act and the Bank itself. The Constitution gives no authority to the Federal Reserve in any way.

    The "9-11 Truthers" have made a great deal of sense. They have brought up some excellent questions, and in response all people can point to is the insipid and lame Popular Mechanics article or the 911 Commission Report.

    As much as I like your blog and appreciate your insight on political matters, it seems that you need to dig a little deeper for some truth about certain matters. Don't believe everything the media (even conservative media) is feeding you.

    I believe Ron Paul and people like him are the answer for our nation's ills. "Reform" or "trimming back" the tactics of the power mongers will not work. We need a clean sweep. I believe young conservatives realize this more than their older compatriots, which is probably why Ron Paul has risen to the forefront so prominently.

  28. I like Ron Paul, and would vote for him to be our US President in 2012.
    I want to comment on the 9/11 truthers thing. I think most people's objections to "9/11 truth" isn't facts, but implications. They simply don't want to believe that our government could have been complicit in that day's events. But they need to push those objections aside and just look at the facts. I'd suggest watching "Loose Change: Final Cut", or "An American Coup". Folks, the hole in the Pentagon just wasn't large enough to have been made by a 757. And the debris didn't show a 757 having been there. In NYC, I marvel at video of the collapse of WTC7 - an obvious controlled demolition. Just ask yourself when could they have set that up, and then apply that to WTC1 & 2. The list goes on, but these things stand out in my mind.
    I admire Ron Paul for not backing away from 9/11 truth.