The Instigator
tremendoustie
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
MtthwUsaf
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

Ron Paul is the best republican candidate

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 920 times Debate No: 855
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (7)

 

tremendoustie

Pro

I support Ron Paul primarily because I think the original description of what government should be in this country, as outlined in the constitution, is very much different, very much better, and very much smaller than what we have today. Today, I believe government far exceeds the bounds set for it both economically and socially, and instead of at least respecting the rule of law enough to amend the constitution, as was done for prohibition, current politicians simply chose to ignore it.

I think that economically, it is immoral for the government to force us to work nearly half our time to pay for its overreaching policies, and socially, I think the government only has the right to prohibit actions when they directly harm another person, e.g. violence, theft, fraud. Abuses such as warrantless searches, suspension of habeus-corpus, and other governmental and executive abridgments of free speech and other rights need to end immediately.

Regarding foreign policy, I actually had very different opinions only 6 months ago, before sitting down and really thinking about the issue open mindedly. I think that we need to consider for what reasons we have a right to invade another country, and carefully consider the impact of our policies. The idea of pre-emptive war, as Eisenhower pointed out, was invented by Hitler, and I wholeheartedly reject it. We need to have a moral definition for just war, that we would be as willing to have applied to us as we would be to apply it to others. It is not right for us to become the aggressors, to invade countries that have not attacked us.

I'm tired of electing republicans only to see the size of government increase, instead of diminish, and Paul is the only candidate I've seen that actually wants us to reconsider what the role of government should be in the first place, and has the courage not to promise more government policies that according to conservative principles, shouldn't exist at all. He's also the only one I've heard that wants to return a respect for the constitution, and to point out that we should either abide by it, or amend it, but not ignore it. He's the only one, I believe, who means real change.
MtthwUsaf

Con

Although I originally thought that I agreed with your statement, after watching Meet the Press yesterday I have changed my mind. I have always disagreed with Ron Paul on many things but have also thought that he at least we a real conservative and I respected him for that. However, there are two main reasons that I no longer feel that he is the best republican candidate.

First, I dont think that he is actually as principled as he always seemed. As pointed out on Meet the Press yesterday, Ron Paul will put earmarks for his district into spending bills, even though he thinks that the federal government should not be giving that kind of money away. He tried to say that this was like a tax credit that he was just accepting. He doesn't want the government spending the money on social programs so at least this way the money goes back to the taxpayers. But then why did he vote against the bill. It may be unfair to put him in the catch 22 but I feel that it makes sense. Especially since he is billing himself as a true conservative and a man of ideals. He should either be for those types of spending bills or against them.

The second problems that I see from him is the fact that he is such a "fringe" candidate. I am not saying that he is fringe from the point of view of polls, but just from ideas. He has never met another congress person that agrees with him or even almost agrees with him so he has never formed alliances or had to barter over bills. As president there is no way that he is actually going to be able to get rid of the IRS but that is one of his main focus points. I just dont see him being able to come down off his horse and really get things done. Few bills are passed just by one side, you need to get support from both sides, or at least you should. As a result I think that Ron Paul will turn out to be a very ineffectual president and allow others to run the table on him.

So though I hear your desire to have a smaller government and respect the constitution, I dont think you will get that from Ron Paul. If anything, respecting the constitution will turn into just one of those "fringe' things that are crazy president Paul believes in.
Debate Round No. 1
tremendoustie

Pro

Regarding your first point:

It's not government's job to be involved in the redistribution of wealth, and congressman Paul has always voted against any spending bill that does. If such a bill is to be passed, however, it would be even more unfair for any one district to be singled out for no money. If a given amount of money is already set to be spent, the second fairest solution is for every district to get a share. Dr. Paul, however, has always worked tirelessly to eliminate such spending entirely, by speaking and voting against any bills not authorized by the constitution. While the fact that all districts get some money makes these bills slightly better, the overall bill is still an abuse of power.

The fact is, no other candidate has anything close to the record that Paul does in taking principled stands to shrink the size of government and defend personal liberties. When congress proposed gold medals (costing about $30,000 apiece) for Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Mother Theresa, and others, Paul volunteered to donate $100 of his own money to pay for each medal, and proposed that all other members of congress do the same. Of course, the rest of congress, ever ready to spend everyone's money but their own, instead paid for them with taxpayer money. This is just one example in a long list of principled stands that Paul has made. As senator John McCain told Kent Snyder (Paul's Aide), "You are working for the most honest man in Congress".
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Regarding your second point:

At the very least, even if the congress never agrees with him on anything, Ron Paul will veto any unconstitutional legislation that crosses his desk. This will require congress to have a 2/3 majority to expand government -- which even by itself would be a huge step in the right direction. Also, he could immediately rescind unconstitutional executive orders, and if the congress does not pass a declaration of war, save hundreds of billions of dollars a year in overseas expenditures. If Paul were voted into office, it is likely that legislators of like mind would soon be elected, and current legislatures, swayed as they are by the winds of public opinion, would begin to lean towards a return to constitutional government.

In reality, both sides of the aisle support liberty for particular cases, so a liberty minded leader would likely have a better chance of bringing people together than another party hack. Indeed, most members of congress do agree with Paul from time to time, just not consistantly. An effective leader is one who does what is right, and acts according to principles, not one who sacrifices them in the name of "getting things done". Most of the time, bills produced in this manner would be better not produced at all.

"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!" --Barry Goldwater
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What is your proposal for returning to the constitution then? Are we to be swayed by the fear of others' negative opinions? Never! It is those who carelessly discard the keystone of our representative government, those who would sacrifice our civil and economic liberties for reelection who are extreme, and fringe! Shall we take babysteps to liberty, begging "mainstream" candidates to occasionally toss a bone our way as they compromise the basic principles of our republic? I am proud to call myself an American precisely because our ancestors refused to make this compromise, and I would be ashamed of myself, and they would be ashamed of us if we prove too jellyspined to fight for our liberties now.

"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men." --Sam Adams

"Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people." --John Adams

"To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"America... well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extraction, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force... She might become dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit." - John Quincy Adams; Address, 4 July 1821

"The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war." --James Madison

You say that you disagree with Ron Paul on many things. What are these, let's discuss them! We both know that while he is not perfect, there is no one within lightyears of Paul when it comes to a commitment to constitutional principles. So let's not pretend that's why you don't support him -- let's get to the point, shall we?
MtthwUsaf

Con

I think that I will conceed on the first point because, though I still believe that if you want to take a moral stand you have to take that stand completely, that puts Congressman Paul in an impossible situation where he would not actually be able to participate in government or something and the just doesn't make sense. He answered the question on Meet the Press basically the way that you did and I will go ahead and give him that one.

However, I feel the last part of his answer to the question ties into my second point where he simply said, "I vote against everything." This highlights how he has never actually had to get together with others to get stuff done. That is really the point that we need to be asking ourselves, who can get stuff done in government, who can successfully change the way things are. If you look back into history at who the last really principled president was, I would say Carter, and look what happened to him. His presidency was horrible. I dont see how you can say that if he was elected, like minded leaders would also be elected because that just isn't the case. The left would respond with hard nose liberals who could get stuff done and over ride the president. Just think what would happen if another terrorist attack happened. Look what happened to the democrats when the republicans pointed at them as the reason for the attack. If you have a government that does nothing, all that does is make people angry.

You stated that an effective leader does what is right and acts according to principles. Although I believe that to be true, I think it is only half of an effective leader. The best leaders also realize that there may be more than one right and that you have to find a middle ground between other people principles and your own. This was a constant struggle during the founding of our nation. Everything from the representation of states in the legislature to the creation of a national bank. I think to simply state that we have to get back to the founding principles of this nation is very simplistic. The founding principles of this nation depended on who you talked to. One of the greatest travesties in our nations history, the extermination of Native Americans, started, in part, because George Washington was not able to get the state governments to go along with his plans for a strong federal answer to the problem.

The answer isn't to vote for the most principled candidate who "doesn't vote for anything." The answer is to find someone who is willing to look at both sides fo the issue and then expect more of them. You can make broad sweeping changes with the help of everyone, and I think that is proven when we look at the history of our country.

As for what I disagree with Ron Paul on, well, that is for another debate. The most basic difference that I hold with him is that I am ok with an evolving constitution. I may be against some of the ways that it is changed today but I am ok with it changing. If you want to start another debate on that or any other issues of his I will be more than happy to jump in. Even if it is something that I do agree with, I'll play devils advocate just for the fun of it. But that is for a later time.
An effective leader is one who does what is right, and acts according to principles, not one who sacrifices them in the name of "getting things done".
Debate Round No. 2
tremendoustie

Pro

On the constitution:

I would have liked to discuss, given the resolution, the main reasons you disagree with Dr. Paul. It is often the case that one's most deeply held opinions on an issue or political figure are really the root of all of one's other views on the issue. A constitutionalist, for example, would be unlikely to object as you have to a principled stand for the constitution. I do thank you for stating:

//"The most basic difference that I hold with him is that I am ok with an evolving constitution. I may be against some of the ways that it is changed today but I am ok with it changing".

I agree, the constitution should be capable of change! The method to make such changes is amendment. For example, in order to enact a prohibition on alcohol, our representatives recognized that a constitutional amendment would be required. When prohibition was overturned, they passed another constitutional amendment striking the first down. By contrast, today's politicians believe they can pass all manner of unconstitutional laws without actually changing the constitution (e.g. warrantless wiretapping, expansive federal social programs). This is my principal objection. The constitution need not be a static document, but if we lack the respect to amend the constitution properly instead of ignoring it or reinterpreting it at will, the constitution becomes completely meaningless.

Suppose we often played a board game, governed by clearly written rules. Over time, if we both agreed, we might make improvements to the rules, and insert these changes into the document. Changes are reasonable -- but would it be possible to play a game where the "rules" simply meant whatever I wanted them to mean -- one where I could modify them at will? This would be the same as a game with no rules.

For good reason, our country is not a pure democracy, but a constitutional republic. In a democracy if the majority wish to enslave the minority, they can. In a constitutional republic, the rights of the minority are protected as more important than the desires of the majority. This protection is precisely the constitution, and if we continue to ignore it we will continue to devolve from a constitutional republic to a democracy, and with no respect for individual rights, further devolve to authoritarianism and the loss of representative government altogether.
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On principles in government:

Noticing the continual encroachment of government on our liberties, many have wondered if our country is more free only because it is younger -- because government has had less time to extend its reach into every corner of our lives. Why then is there a fear of government inaction? Given their approval ratings, I think many would agree that both the president and congress have done far more harm than good in recent years. Action is not good for action's sake, and much of our worst legislation has come through "compromise".

It is true that even principled people can do damage. That is why the question of which principles one holds is as important is whether one holds principles at all. The correct response upon encountering faulty principles is to question the choice of principles, not the very idea of principles itself. Carter was ineffective because his principles of activist government were faulty. It may also be the case that his manner of governance was at fault, that he should have been willing to take small steps towards his goals.

Current politicians, however, and the rest of the Republican presidential field, would not take our country in a direction towards more liberty. It is not that I believe their steps would not be large enough, it is that I believe their steps would be in the wrong direction entirely. Under this "Republican" president our debt has expanded to over 9 trillion dollars, the federal budget has gone into huge deficits, and we've added additional entitlements like prescription drug coverage that have further exacerbated the social security/medicare/medicaid crisis with now over 60 trillion dollars of obligations for which we have no means to pay. Furthermore, we've spend trillions of dollars on an interventionist foreign policy that has done us more harm than good. We do not need troops in 70 percent of all countries worldwide, especially when we are going broke. No Republican other than Paul has indicated that they would reverse these trends, or that they have any basic respect for our personal and economic liberty. Democrats have given every indication that they would only further accelerate our financial woes and further violate our economic liberty.

Paul accepts imperfect bills if they would reduce the overall tax burden, and has shown that he is willing to accept even small steps towards liberty. No other politician has given any reason to believe that they will take any steps towards liberty at all, thus Paul is the best, and only option liberty loving Americans have. I repeat, if all he accomplished was to veto unconstitutional encroachments upon our liberties and expansions of federal powers, he would have done a great service to our country. The fact is that he could immediatly fix many of our foreign policy problems, revoke unconstitutional executive orders, and with the power of the veto and by working with congress, cut wasteful spending.
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Our early leaders did not agree on everything, but they would be absolutely appalled at the state the country is currently in. Even those among them who favored slightly more central control and economic intervention could not have concieved of the monster our federal government has become -- one that violates the basic principles on which this country was founded. As Walter Williams said, "If the Framers of the Constitution were somehow to come back, Ron Paul is one of possibly only three people in Congress that they'd even talk to."

Consider the quotes included in my second response, and these:

For by small degrees has liberty in all nations been wrested from the hands of the people. -- Fischer Ames

With respect to the two words "general welfare," I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. -- James Madison

I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition. -- Thomas Jefferson

Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all... The Nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest ... Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances, with any portion of the foreign world. - George Washington, Farewell Address, 17 Sept. 1796.

Where liberty dwells, there is my country. --Benjamin Franklin

Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations - entangling alliances with none. - Thomas Jefferson

We must chose the only candidate who will work to restore the liberties our country was founded to protect, return us to a moral, fiscally responsible foreign policy, and renew our honor for the constitution. This candidate is Dr. Paul.

I agree with your last line by the way, although it looks rather familiar ...
MtthwUsaf

Con

First of all I want to apologize for the confusion on the debate topic. I guess I just focused more on the word CANDIDATE instead of REPUBLICAN to frame the debate. That radically changes the discussion I think, my way being raw politics oriented, yours being issues oriented. But seeing as that we are here I say we finished what we started.

Secondly, you are right about that last line, I copied it from your argument to remind myself of it and then forgot to delete it. Sorry.

As for the constitution, I think the problem is that so much of the constitution (the rules of the board game) are open to interpretation. George Washington originally thought that Article 2 Section 2 stating that the executive needed "advice and consent of the Senate" on treaties with other nations, meant that he should actually go over himself and talk with the Senate. After the first time he tried that he changed his mind. Alot of the things that we think at "the right way" to interpret the constitution are just happenstance. We dont need constitutional amendments to change the way that we interpret those parts of the Constitution. Moving on.

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In terms of principled leaders, I think that you missed my main point. I was not talking about right and wrong, what I was saying is that many times there can be two rights. If the goal is to create the best nation possible, there are liberal and conservative ways to view that. I think that you can find examples that say both ways could be great. Some people in this country think high taxes and socialism are awesome. There is no real concrete way that you can say they are wrong. You may disagree with them, but that does not make them wrong.

I apply this to Paul in the sense that I dont think he views things that way. As you said, if he finds a law unconstitutional, he will veto it carte blanche. First of all, he is not a lawyer, nor a judge, and thus is not really supposed to have the final say on what is constitutional. Secondly, this does not do what I originally argued a good leader does, take into account both sides of an issue. By doing this he will only serve to alienate a large portion of the population and limit his effectiveness as president.

I just saw the movie Charlie Wilson's War, and though I have not yet seen the history channel version, I have been told that the movie was quite accurate. The movie is a perfect example that the congressional members who are willing to deal and work with people are the ones that get stuff done. That can be applied to the executive as well. Ron Paul may be able to accept imperfect bills but if and only if they fall into his view of how the government should operate. I dont think that will allow him to get very much done.

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The other idea that is now floating around in the debate is whether or not people will get angry if government does nothing. I think you are making an unsaid assumption here that if Ron Paul wins it will mean there has been an overhaul of the national government. This will not be the case. No matter how low approval ratings go, the re-election rate in the house is something like 80 percent. Though people are mad at congress, non of them think that it is their representative that is the problem. So we will still have the same type of congress that we have now.

My main point with all this was not government inaction but more executive inaction and impotence. How hard would it have been for congress to override a veto of the Patriot Act after 9/11. And if you think times have changed, look at the bill declaring part of Irans army a terrorist organization or any number of nation security bills that continue to get passed. This is the heart of the reason why Ron Paul is not the best Republican Candidate. As president he would be railroaded by congress and his ideas would be relegated to obscurity on the national scene.

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I really dont feel like sparing with quotations since it isn't really a measure of minds but I will say this about those that you are often quoting. The founding fathers were very diverse in their ideas and they fought about those ideas with the very core of their being. Though many now view this as being principled, lets not forget what they often did in those fights. They argued in private, slandered one another in public and even dueled from time to time. In order to sway public opinion they would sometimes just make up scandals about one another. I say this only to remind you that they were not perfect and even they had to often sacrifice the "moral high ground" in order to get things done. No matter what they would think of Ron Paul, I dont think that he is the candidate to lead us towards anything, let alone our founding democratic principles.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Cricket 9 years ago
Cricket
HE DOESN'T BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION! We should not have to even worry about the topic when it comes to politics....it's horrible that these people running our lives don't understand very simple science. He also lacks a space program, but everyone save clinton lacks that.
God Bless America....soon?
Posted by revleader5 9 years ago
revleader5
Ron Paul is #1. You'll destroy whoever you debate.
Posted by Karoz 9 years ago
Karoz
Doesn't Ron Paul have to actually be Republican in order to be the best Republican Candidate? I'm pretty sure he's more Libertarian than Republican.
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