Wayne Root on Ron Paul: "His views on smaller government, reduced
Spending and more individual freedom are music to my ears."
Ron Paul is the biggest surprise of the 2008 Presidential race. He's also perhaps the biggest mystery and enigma in modern political history. Paul is a mystery to both mainstream voters/mainstream media who haven't heard of him and to his own supporters.
Mystery #1: Paul is a complete mystery to both the national media and mainstream voters. They can't understand why an almost unknown Texas Congressman and small-town baby doctor is generating so much intense support in the Presidential race. Doctor Paul is generating the most Internet 'heat' of any candidate, Republican or Democrat. He's inspiring people, young and old, across the country to get involved in the political process. Ron Paul is, at least on the Internet, the most hip and happening candidate on the planet.
Now mystery #2: Ron Paul's own loyal Libertarian supporters can't understand why he's polling at only 1-3% in national polls. They wonder how it's possible that a wonderful, genuine man with so many intense, committed supporters and such a powerful message could poll so poorly. On Libertarian blogs and web sites, conspiracy theories abound: "It's a conspiracy", "The right people aren't being polled", "The GOP has rigged the polls", "There's an undercurrent of support that doesn't show up in traditional polls"…
To Ron Paul's loyal fans and supporters it just doesn't seem possible that he's polling in the low single digits alongside anonymous long-shots such as Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee and Jim Gilmore (who just dropped out of the race). After all, none of those candidates has anything close to Ron Paul's level of support, volunteers, Internet buzz or fundraising success. Something appears amiss.
Well, I'm going to tell you, because it's easily explained. Let's start with the mainstream voters and the mainstream media who just can't figure Ron Paul out. "Why is he so popular?" they wonder. The answer is simple: FREEDOM. Freedom is a concept so powerful it convinced me, a lifelong Republican, to leave the GOP. And even more telling, to become a Life Member of the Libertarian Party. But as I've said on so many talk shows, I didn't leave the GOP. The Republican Party left me.
I admit it took me a few years to understand the seriousness of the attacks on our liberties and freedom. It took time to recognize the violation of our civil liberties; the obsession with morality and the invasion into the homes, bedrooms and computers of average Americans. I finally realized the damage rendered to our Constitution; how the GOP has abandoned of the principles of small government conservatism. And finally, the betrayal of everything my heroes Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan stood for.
Millions of American voters are now waking up to damage done by George W. Bush. Ironically many of the most vocal, are former Republican Libertarians and conservatives, angry at the biggest expansion of government in modern history. No doubt Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan are rolling over in their graves.
The problems my hero Goldwater spoke of in the late 1950's when he wrote "The Conscience of a Conservative" still apply today:
* The federal government run amok and turned into Big Brother
* A runaway train called the Welfare State eating up more and more of our budget
* A majority of Americans beholden to government for jobs and entitlements
* Massive budget deficits brought on by wasteful government spending
* Tax cuts put into place without regard for spending cuts to offset
* The federal government violating the constitution by getting involved in states' rights issues – like education, abortion, assisted suicide, medical marijuana, gay marriage, stem cell research and online gaming.
These are only some reasons why so many Libertarians and Conservatives are disillusioned. And, why so many Republicans are abandoning the party in droves.
Note: Libertarian Party Membership is up 18%!
Enter a patriot named Ron Paul. Listening to Ron Paul for me, and for millions of freedom-loving, limited government, anti-tax Americans, is a dream come true.
I smile from ear to ear when Ron Paul talks.
His views are music to my ears.
That could be why Ron Paul has become the rock star of Presidential politics.
It's tough for me to find an issue where Ron Paul and I disagree. We're both fiscal conservatives. We're both for limited constitutional government. We both would cut the size and scope of the federal government. We both support States' Rights and would solve most issues on the state and local level.
We're both for dramatically reducing the tax burden on Americans. We both would dramatically cut government spending, even eliminating entire federal departments!
We would do these things, even if it meant voting NO to every single spending increase, tax increase or program not authorized by the Constitution. We both want to cut bureaucracy, mainly by reducing the number of federal employees and the size of future federal pensions. We both stand strongly against government-controlled universal healthcare as a looming economic disaster for America.
We want to end the Nanny State and overturn blatant violations of our civil liberties. We are against most warrantless wiretaps and most of The Patriot Act. We both distrust and dislike the United Nations. We both want to drastically cut foreign aid and corporate welfare. We both strongly support the second amendment. We both want the federal government out of education – where they have failed miserably. We both support more parental freedom, more school choice, and want to encourage more education competition. My wife and I home-school our three young children – with another baby Root on the way.
But that's not all. We agree in many more ways.
We both support a secure border as the first solution to immigration reform. We both support the property rights of the individual. We both support a more tolerant stance on social issues such as gay rights and medical marijuana. We both support Internet freedom. When in doubt we side with the American people over the government- just as our Founding Fathers did.
I admit it – I love Ron Paul.
He's honest, genuine, fair – he says "no" equally to every spending bill, and a tightwad with taxpayers' money. Ron Paul is everything a politician should be, but they never are.
I admire his courage in standing up to big spending liberals, corporate interests, lobbyists and the liberal media. I love the way he's stood up to his own party.
Ron Paul is a hero.
Some think he's the last of a dying breed- the rugged individualist conservative Libertarian. But I beg to disagree. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Ron Paul is the inspiration for a whole new generation of Libertarians just like him.
I'm proud to be a young, 21st century devotee of Barry Goldwater and Ron Paul.
God Bless the ideals of liberty, democracy, capitalism and individual rights.
The answer to the media's confusion about the popularity of Ron Paul is quite clear.
He's a throwback to our Founding Fathers. He doesn't need music videos on YouTube to sell his case. Candidates like Barack Obama need sexy music videos to distract you from their lack of ideas, lack of substance, integrity, solutions or common sense.
Ron Paul is what America once was…
and what I hope and pray it will become once again.
Ron Paul is the real thing.
But what about mystery #2: Ron Paul's own passionate Libertarian supporters who wonder how it's possible that their hero is polling only 1% to 3% nationally?
That answer is also simple. Look at it from outside the insulated world of Ron Paul Inc. You see Ron Paul has one big flaw. He's just too nice for his own good. Some would even call him naâ€¹ve. He sees the world with rose-colored glasses. That prevents him from seeing the evil and disaster aimed squarely at our country.
In the political world, a candidate is only as strong as his weakest link. Ron Paul's weak link is national security and the war on terrorists. Unfortunately for him, that's the issue at the top of almost every American voter's list. In the end, almost every parent in this country will put aside every other issue. They want a President who will keep their children safe at night. A President willing to fight and win the war on terror at all costs. They want a President who's strong enough to stand up to the most evil enemies of freedom since Adolph Hitler.
Ron Paul looks, and is, weak on this issue. I know he means well. But he's naâ€¹ve about our enemy's intentions. And worse yet, weak in how he'd respond to them.
Doctor Paul sounds almost apologetic to our enemies. He sounds much like the blame America first crowd. It may not be his position that America is to blame for 9/11. Maybe his comments about 9/11 were misunderstood by the media and Rudy Guliani.
But Presidential politics is not a game of badminton. It's full contact tackle football- with no helmet or pads. Ron Paul seems weak on this issue and has handed his opposition some ammunition to attack him with. Even though Ron Paul is a "Perfect 10" on virtually every other issue, as long as he appears weak on the national security and the war on terror, he'll never rise above single digits.
Ron Paul does have some great points about foreign affairs. It is not our duty to nation build. It is not our duty to install democracy around the world. It is not our duty to risk our troops' lives and waste billions of taxpayer dollars to prop up foreign governments.
It is not our duty to give trillions of dollars in foreign aid to governments that vote against our interests at the United Nations. It is not our duty to support a United Nations that is a pathetic, corrupt joke and installs leaders of terrorist nations to head commissions on human rights. And yes the Iraq war is a disaster- and we must make plans to remove our troops as soon as possible. I agree with Ron Paul on all of those points.
But the war on terror is real. The enemy we face is the most brutal and barbaric since Adolph Hitler. Nothing we do…or Ron Paul does…or any President does…will end this struggle. No interference in their affairs is necessary to attract the hatred and murderous venom of Islamic extremists. If it's true that Islamic extremists are attacking our country because we "interfered" in Middle East affairs, then:
Why do Islamic terrorists and suicide bombers attack and murder thousands of their own people in Iraq?
Why have they killed 300+ people in Pakistan in just the past 2 weeks?
Why do they kill Arab women for not wearing veils?
Why did they murder a champion Iraqi tennis player for the sin of wearing shorts?
Why did they murder any entire Iraqi soccer team for being in the wrong place?
Why do they terrorize Arab parents for sending young girls to school?
Why do they murder their daughters and sisters for refusing arranged marriages?
The truth is that Islamic extremists don't need much of an excuse to kill. They believe the Koran demands they murder anyone who doesn't believe in their extreme religious views.
If America had never interfered in the affairs of any Arab country the Islamic extremists would still be trying to destroy us.
They hate us because we're not Islamic.
They hate us because we're a Democracy.
They hate us because we allow dissent.
They hate us because we treat our women like human beings and equals.
They hate us because we let young girls go to school.
They hate us because we believe in progress.
They hate us because we celebrate music, art, dance, literature, and sexuality.
They hate us because we believe in equality of races.
They hate us desperately because we actually allow Jews to survive and thrive in our society.
They hate us because we don't murder gays in the street for the 'crime' of being gay.
There is no room for questions or dissent in Islamic extremism. There is only belief in one religion and one set of rules. Any minor departure from this is enough to incite death, torture and destruction.
Islamic extremists hate us and will continue to try to kill Americans and our children until we defeat them. To Islamic extremists we aren't humans or Jews or Christians or Americans. To them, we're all infidels. The penalty for disagreement is death. The penalty for not converting to Islam is death. The penalty for writing books (ask moderate Muslim Salman Rushdie) or even cartoons that question Islam or Mohammed is death. Not a lot of choice there. Whether we "interfere" or not in their affairs is meaningless.
Did Hitler leave alone any country that played nice with him? Bullies always see those who don't fight back as weak. Islamic extremists hate anyone that doesn't believe as they do. They want to cut our heads off, mutilate our bodies, and then set our corpses on fire in the streets. They hate us whether we interfere or not. They hate us for interfering, and they hate and laugh at us for appearing weak because we didn't interfere. On this topic Ron Paul is just plain wrong. They hate us and will continue to try to kill Americans and our children until we defeat them. They leave us no choice.
These are not easy times. These are not easy questions. But one thing is easy to see- Americans side with me on the issue of the war on terror. Americans understand if Islamic extremists destroy Israel and murder millions of innocents:
They'll come for America next.
Americans want to see strength and confidence in their President – Not apologies.
We're a nation of courageous, tough-talking winners that have always stood up to bullies. Now is not the time to back off from defeating the most dangerous group of fanatics in history. These fanatics want desperately to destroy America, cripple the American economy, and bomb us back to the stone ages.
The war on terror is real and will hit close to home again. There will be another 9/11.
There will almost certainly be attempts at a nuclear attack on American soil. I'm certain we'll see car bombs in shopping centers and other public places. There will be more attempts to bomb planes and trains. It's coming. Our enemies are plotting and planning high-profile attacks at this very moment. If you don't believe me, ask the Brits.
This war on terror has only just begun. Have we made mistakes in the past, as Ron Paul says? Yes. Should we analyze them and learn from them? Absolutely.
But it is the future that matters most; how we prepare to fight back, how we prevent future attacks, how we retaliate in self-defense and how we win this war.
Ron Paul is polling at 1% to 3% for only one reason: he is not seen as the leader best
able to defend America by 97% to 99% of the American public. That's a fact. That's why Ron Paul is polling in the single digits.
Ron Paul is my hero on most every fiscal and freedom issue that matters. But he looks naive and weak on the one issue that matters to most Americans- national security and the war on terror. Americans have no interest in apologizing to suicide bombers and mass murderers. Americans crave a leader that is fiscally conservative, socially tolerant and a strong proponent of the war on terror.
This is the unvarnished truth. Whether they like it or not, Libertarians need to hear it.
The key to winning national elections is simple – expand beyond your core supporters.
Libertarians must understand this concept if we are to ever to win major national elections. Our fiscal message is a popular one. A majority of Americans want smaller government, reduced spending, drastic cuts in entitlements, lower taxes and more individual freedom. But they'll never convert to the Libertarian brand as long as it involves being naâ€¹ve and weak on the war on terror. We need to remain tough, strong, vigilant and unapologetic about defending our ideals, freedoms, country and friends.
Just so I'm not misquoted or misunderstood, let me repeat what I said earlier.
It is not our duty to nation build.
It is not our duty to install democracy around the world.
It is not our duty to risk our troops' lives and waste billions of taxpayer dollars to prop up foreign governments.
It is, however, our duty to fight and defeat terrorism and brutal bullies who want to take away our FREEDOM, wherever they may be. Sometimes we must be willing to fight and die for our freedom.
Ron Paul is the closest thing we have to our Founding Fathers. He's dead-on with over 90% of the issues. But he's weak on the war on terror. And if he's not weak, he certainly appears weak. Whether he changes his view, or finds a new way to explain it, he has to make drastic changes on that one issue or face a humbling defeat.
That's so sad to me, because the media will undoubtedly paint that defeat as a blow against Libertarian thinking. They will portray it as a defeat for those who support smaller government and lower taxes. They will say it was a defeat for those who support an end to the Nanny State. They will call it a defeat for Libertarians everywhere.
If changes are not made, Ron Paul will squander tremendous momentum and the freedom movement will lose a golden opportunity.
Ron Paul is a great man. I hope he reads this commentary. I'm speaking from the heart. I'm here if he wants to talk. God Bless America and the Libertarian movement.
Wayne Allyn Root is a candidate for the Libertarian Presidential nomination.