The media has been trying to titillate us all year about Ron Paul’s poll numbers. It’s just that, titillation. You see a different picture of his strength in almost all states he’s running in when you look beneath the fold on those polls, to find his real bedrock support.
I won’t go through my own perceptions of the fraud Ron Paul is, as I’ve already stated most of it elsewhere.
But it’s now time for Iowans to decide if they really want to “own” Ron Paul. If they legitimize those high, titillating poll numbers, or even give him the win, he may be a cross they will have to bear for many years. For the now much ballyhooed Iowa Caucus in the future may well rank just below a job fair at an Occupy campsite for significance.
You see, Ron Paul is a space captain.
Not just on foreign policy, mind you, but on the whole ball of wax. He is a space captain even about those things we agree with him about….for he does not hold those beliefs for the same reasons ordinary citizens and conservatives hold them. In fact, I’d wager the last term Ron Paul ever wants to be used in the same sentence as his name is “ordinary citizen.”
While many conservatives still attempt to analyze Paul’s position on foreign policy on policy or factual grounds, they miss the mark. It’s his premises that give him away. Paul’s premise that the United States is an imperialist nation tells me all I have to know about his view of the Constitution and the Federal Reserve as well as a nuclear Iran or the correct policy on Israel. Of course he’s right about the budget. But what other Republican candidate isn’t?
I’m a proponent of the Dr Gregory House rule that the “correct diagnosis must be based on a unified theory.” One simply cannot be the beacon of constancy about the Constitution on fiscal and domestic issues and be totally off the reservation about foreign policy. There has to be a unifying thread.
His foreign policy positions are not mere aberrations, but rather are linked, and the only way they can be consistent with one another is to understand Ron Paul’s premises about the Constitution. His view of the Constitution is not much different than Karl Marx’s view of the worker and labor. Both men “loved” the objects of their (self) identification for the very same reason…because they both reflected the inerrancy of their own genius.
The Constitution is Ron Paul’s greatest vanity, so he is as indifferent to the benefits it bestows on ordinary people, or the hope it lights for other peoples of the world as Stalin was to the six million “statistics” he’d created in the Ukraine in 1932-33. It’s being able to tell the rest of us “how it is” that is important to Ron Paul. He could care less how the Homer Simpsons of the world see their own private pursuits of life, liberty and happiness.
Knowing this, look again at Ron Paul’s support in Iowa, where anyone…anyone…can claim to be a Paul supporter.
In 2008 Paul garnered about 2% of Republican voters, at least where he could get on the ballot. In 1988, as the Libertarian Party candidate for President, he got only .05 % of the general vote.
While core Paul support has increased since 2008, it is because many Americans have come over to most of his positions on fiscal policy because of the transparency of the Obama-Democrat-Leftist agenda (who Paul never seems to personally attack at any level). They see him as having held those positions the longest. And in the Congress, this would be so. It is an honorarium.
But most of his positions are held by the conservative candidates as well, and had been for years. The conservatives at least (I count three) aren’t recent converts. Americans are left to choose which of the candidates would be more able to get those policies passed into law and implemented.
Of the 22% support claimed for Paul in Iowa today, over half are not Republicans. We’re not even sure how many are voters. (Most polling is done only on land lines, did you know?) The Democrats picked Ron Paul as a spoiler candidate after 2008, so we know a lot of Paul support in Iowa (where one must be a registered Republican to caucus) is from sleeper Democrats who have no intention of voting for him in the general, either as the GOP candidate or third party.
Most of Paul’s vocal support, aside from his space captains, again, in that 2%-4% range, are from disgruntled Republicans who have been unhappy with the GOP in general.
So, by the numbers, Ron Paul could lose as many as half of his current numbers on Tuesday.
But Iowans themselves have a penchant for tweaking the pollsters and the system just for the hell of it. So I return to my original question, do Iowans really want to “own” Ron Paul?
These are serious times and call for serious men and women, not Occupy-wards-of-the-state and space captains getting together to make these important decisions.
And these decisions need to be based (as with all the other candidates), first, on leadership qualities and second, on the policy areas the president has the most control in implementing..
Ron Paul has been in Congress off and on for 35 years. His positions have remained constant, from taxation, spending to Israel and Iran to the Cold War. In all that time, he never gathered around himself a group of younger congressmen who followed his lead. He was an army, or general, of one. He never seemed to inspire any of his colleagues in Congress. I think only Dennis Kucinich, also a space captain, can make that claim after so long a continuous sojourn in Congress.
This fact does not inspire confidence in his leadership, for after 30 years he is still a blank slate whether he can “lead” a hostile Congress…the moderate, Leadership-wing of the GOP will be as hostile to Paul as the Democrats, while the new Tea Party youngsters will be leery, in part because of his zany foreign policy. As I just wrote, new conservative legislators will have a difficult time squaring Paul’s fiscal policies with the suicide pact he’s making with the devil in foreign matters during dangerous, dangerous times.
Most of what Ron Paul says needs to be done, in fact, cannot be done by the president alone, (legally) leaving open the question as to whether Mr Paul can actually get those things done at all, let alone better than Bachmann, Perry or Santorum. His only real claim to fame about his stringent constitutional positions is that, as a voting member of Congress, he’s held them the longest.
The foreign policy area is the only place the president of the United States can more or less dictate his own policy. And that is the scary part.
So, does Iowa really want to own this outcome?