I have previously said that I will comment on the presidential elections in the US. With this article I will say that, yes, I think that the best candidate (who has a chance, I actually prefer paleocons to libertarians) for America is Ron Paul. I am far from being a libertarian and far from agreeing with everything with him, but I will say here why Americans should vote for him. I would also comment on his chances to win, and give three links in the end of the article.
1. On Ron Paul’s ideas
First, I agree with him disagreeing with both Obama and the neoconservatives. He is not for Big Government and for Obamacare, neither is he for the US being an international police and a moral busybody. While we should not support children younger than the age of sexual consent to have sex, neither should the State tell people who they must sleep with (their wives/husbands, obviously, is the right answer, but that should be a national virtue, not a civil duty).
Second, he is inspired by Hilaire Belloc and has a good view of a traditional society. Surely, as Clark Carlton said it in a podcasts, libertarians are utopians of the right. But he is still of the (modern) right. I truly would love local communities to be sufficient as entities, but they aren’t. Belloc believed in a more interventionist government than Paul, but yet they both believe in a decentralised government. I am not a big fan of Jefferson and the Founding Fathers (I find John Adams and Benjamin Franklin sympathetic, at least on the HBO series). But the Constitution is really not made for the strong neoconservative moralistic and militarist government, neither for Obama’s strong progressive government. In fact, the Constitution of the United States (plural) has a more or less balanced view on that. So he is right to call himself a constitutionalist (and a “conservative” in relation to the radical-influenced Constitution).
(Talking of moralistic, neocons fail to see that it is not because people corrupted themselves, but because the 1960s sexual revolutionaries had the floor and then had the power to model standards how they pleased, with massive support of Big Business.)
American paleoconservatives see it – he is the best choice for America, and he is good enough to be voted for, rather than to leave a blank vote. The early American conservatives, influenced by Burke, found a way to fight for a (more or less) conservative cause in the context of a State under the Constitution. So can Ron Paul, but not the Big Government Republicans, and neither the Big Government Obama.
2. Ron Paul’s chances
As a traditionalist conservative, I ought to know how difficult it is to be heard when you are not in the mainstream. Believing that Liberal Capitalism VS Nanny Capitalism or Big Business VS Big Government are not the only choices, throw you out of the mainstream, and sometimes people confuse you with fascists. It is understandable, when you consider “right”-wing classical liberals to be (not only historically) left-wing radicals. Traditionalists, in Europe, end up being put among revolutionaries as fascists. René Rémond wrote a good book, Les Droites en France, where he rightly put Legitimists as the most right among the right-wing groups. If being a revolutionary means being far-right, then we aren’t far-right and they aren’t really right. If being far-right means being uncompromisingly conservative, then we are. The Vichy regime in France had many good qualities, even if it collaborated with the Nazis. And it is the former, not the latter that makes is right-wing.
The same in the US – some paleocons are also among white supremacists, but then we can see that these white supremacists fought universal-idealists, as some Northern abolitionists were.
Ron Paul can really be seen at least as a previous-generation progressive, like some Founding Fathers, many of who would be amazed, I dare say, by how low has the American government fallen. Paul has to correct the questions of people while he answers, refute false dichotomies, and abstain from taking sides in some “right” VS left disputes. And he will do it truly in the traditionalist way – by looking at history. It is only a shame he won’t “look at” history before the Enlightenment.
So, he has to brake through the wall of medias, who support either progressives or neocons and create the illusion that he can have no succes, so that he really ends up with no success; then break through some GOP opponents, who are neocons; and finally through the public opinion, separated mainly in two camps (though many many Americans had enough of both Obama and the neocons). I actually advise Americans to support Ron Paul, I have hard time seeing someone who has a chance to win and in the same time worth voting for.
3. Links on Ron Paul (and on the topics we discussed)
- The Constitution of the United States
- Russel Kirk, Edmund Burke and the Constutution
- Clark Carlton, An Open Letter to Orthodox Christians, on Behalf of Ron Paul
- John Médaille, Ron Paul and Hillaire Belloc
- John Médaille, Why I am not a libertarian