A Constitution that limits government powers, and a politician who believes in it:
[Ron] Paul [Republican, Texas] isn't a reflexive contrarian--he doesn't oppose just to oppose. Rather, he has a core set of principles that guide him. They happen to be the same principles envisioned by the framers of the U.S. Constitution: limited government, federalism, free trade and commerce -- with a premium on peace.He's standing for President.
When most members of Congress see a bill for the first time, they immediately judge the bill on its merits, or if you're more cynical, they determine what the political interests that support them will think of it, or how it might benefit their constituents.
For Paul, the vast majority of bills don't get that far. He first asks, "Does the Constitution authorize Congress to pass this law?" Most of the time, the answer to that question is "no." And so Paul votes accordingly.
Paul's presence in the race is important because he'll put issues on the table that would otherwise be completely ignored. His presence in the primary debates alone will make them far more substantive and interesting than they've been in a generation. One example is the continuing disaster that is the drug war, which Paul rightly believes to be both immoral and unconstitutional. Paul also opposed the war in Iraq from its inception. Those two issues alone will differentiate him from every other candidate on the stage.Nor do I, but it's good to see a libertarian in the ring.
But Paul can then swing to the right of every other candidate on federal spending, regulation, the Nanny State, and the growth of government. On these issues, he can reliably and credibly serve as the party's conscience, and browbeat the sitting senators and congressmen running for president for their votes issues like the prescription drug benefit, the surge in federal spending, and the party's complicity in the corrupt earmarking process.
I don't agree with Paul on everything.