The Neolibertarian case for Ron Paul

Ron Paul

Having laid out my differences with Ron Paul on foreign policy already, I think it should be said that he would be good in many ways if elected president. In a matchup of Obama vs. Paul, some conservatives would be hesitant to shift from someone they agree 75% on foreign policy to an adamant 0%, but I still think the radical domestic correction would be worth it. Ignoring some of the baggage, on a purely issues-based level, these are the reasons conservatives and libertarians should still support Ron Paul if it comes down to it:

Federal Reserve. While people rightly criticize Ron Paul for making principled but utterly futile stands in Congress, the one issue he has made headway on in the last 2-3 years is the Federal Reserve. Auditing the Federal Reserve quickly became a mainstream Republican position in the House of Representatives after his 2007-8 primary campaign. He’s the only candidate for president that I’d really trust to make a serious effort at reining in the Federal Reserve’s broad, secretive power.

Domestic Spending. Ron Paul wants to cut $1 trillion from the federal budget in his first year. Of course, that includes some significant military cuts, but it is rightfully ambitious nonetheless. Even though it would not completely come to fruition, if you aim for the stars you’ll still land among the trees.

Civil Liberties. While I don’t claim to be a “civil libertarian,” I feel like there needs to be correction in favor of privacy for American citizens. The recent NDAA, which allows indefinite detention for American citizens captured within the U.S., is overkill, and Ron Paul will resist further trading of privacy for the War on Terror–something I feel is not worth the cost in spite of supporting the greater goal.

You Know What You’re Getting. Agree or disagree with Ron Paul, he’s been consistent throughout his career. You know what you’re getting with him, and there will be no “Nixon to China” moment with Paul as president. To some degree, this could actually make him less effective at getting his agenda through, however: Paul is rightly criticized of allowing the “perfect be the enemy of the good,” and his political opposition will have an easy time outmaneuvering him.

Our Foreign Policy Can’t Continue Without Domestic Correction. Finally, and perhaps paradoxically, I could support Ron Paul in order to keep America as a global superpower. For, even though Obama is still willing to exert American power to continue the War on Terror, his domestic policy is leading the federal government to a serious crisis. If domestic spending continues on its tragectory, the increasingly-gaping deficits will make it impossible to maintain the cost of the U.S. military as it is crowded out by bloated entitlement transfers and debt payments. With Ron Paul as president… yeah, perhaps Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon. That is a very bad prospect… however, the domestic correction must happen or the future will face much worse for longer-term.

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