JACK KERWICK, PH.D.
April 17, 2012
In all likelihood, Ron Paul will not get his party’s presidential nomination. It is all but certain that the prize will go to that candidate — Massachusetts liberal Mitt Romney — for whom the GOP leadership and its surrogates in the so-called “conservative” media have been rooting the entire time.
Yet it is doubtful that it is primarily the presidency on which Congressman Paul has had his sights. Unlike his rivals, from the outset Paul has been interested first and foremost in gaining an ever broader hearing for his ideas. While his supporters are doubtless disappointed that their man will not be President, they would be well served to consider that from Paul’s campaign, liberty lovers have reaped — and continue to reap — much fruit.
There is no shortage of politicians who do not pay lip service to the United States Constitution. In fact, there are very few Americans, whether politicians or otherwise, who do not allude to the Constitution when it serves their purposes to do so. But it is not at all difficult to recognize this rhetorical grandstanding for what it is.
In the case of Ron Paul, things are otherwise. He is a rare find among contemporary national figures in that, whether one agrees with his reading of the Constitution or not, it is obvious to all that Paul has actually read this hallowed document. Moreover, it is just as obvious that he actually believes in it.
And this is what makes all of the difference.
The Constitution, with its innumerable “checks and balances” was intended to safeguard our liberty. The Constitution codifies into law the decentralization of power and authority to which Americans had grown accustomed before America achieved its independence.
Of all of the presidential contestants, no one was more eligible to remind the American voter that the key to the liberty that we enjoy is the Constitution. And no one was better positioned to call to their attention the state of neglect to which this hallowed document has been relegated by both major political parties.
This is one enormous benefit that we have gained from Paul’s campaign.
Yet there are others.
The Texas Congressman is the incarnation of the Republican Party plank of “limited government,” “individual liberty,” “fiscal restraint,” “national security,” and all of the rest of the GOP boilerplate. There is no one among his colleagues in this race who comes remotely as close as Paul to embodying these ideas. In glaring contrast to his fellow Republicans, Paul talks the talk and walks the walk, and he does so even when he is not running for an election.
In short, Paul’s very presence effortlessly exposes the inconsistencies and outright hypocrisies of his own party.
It isn’t just his fellow politicians, though, upon whom he sheds light.
This article was posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:16 am