The Politician Who Cannot Tell a Lie
by Daniel Hannan
Recently by Ron Paul: The Fed's Interesting Week
Ron Paul is an unusual phenomenon: a politician who always answers questions fully and honestly. This tendency often gets him into trouble: although people say they want straight-talking representatives, they often react with horror when they get one.
Dr Paul's ruthless application of his convictions — minimal government, localism, personal freedom and adherence to the letter of the US Constitution — alienates many of the conservatives who might have been expected to back him.
For example, although he doesn't agree with abortion — as a GP, he says, he delivered thousands of babies, and never came across a case where a termination was necessary for the mother's physical or psychological well-being — he insists that abortion law ought not to be a federal prerogative and, during his 2008 presidential bid, resolutely refused to give the Pro-Lifers the assurances they wanted.
Similarly, when almost every conservative legislator, including a great many Democrats, supported a law to prevent gun-shops being sued for crimes committed with weapons they had sold legally, he voted against the measure on grounds that it represented a usurpation of jurisdiction from the 50 states
Many Republicans regarded his opposition to the Iraq war as almost treasonable. Although the issue is no longer the shibboleth it was — plenty of conservatives, knowing what they now know, wish that they had kept the trillion dollars to spend on something else — Ron Paul is still treated with suspicion.
Now I don't always agree with the Texas Congressman. Indeed, I don't agree with his absolutist non-interventionism. Although, like him, I opposed the invasion of Iraq, I'm glad the US intervened militarily against Nazism and Soviet expansionism, and I regard the alliance of free English-speaking nations as one of the happiest geo-political facts of our era.
September 23, 2009
Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.
© 2009 The Telegraph