THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In the 2008 presidential election I made the mistake of actively supporting certain presidential candidates on this blog. I don't regret having done that, as the cause was just considering what happened on election day. However, I wish to take a completely different direction with this blog for the 2012 presidential election. Rather than actively endorsing particular candidates, I will instead do reviews of candidates from a traditional Catholic perspective. In the end I will probably reveal who my personal vote will go to, but I will try not to tell my readers what to do.
In the 2008 presidential election Congressman Ron Paul surfaced as an iconic darkhorse candidate, defying all odds and stealing a sizable percentage of both Republican and Democratic voters in the primary season. All signs seem to indicate he will make another bid for the Whitehouse in the 2012 election. With that in mind, Catholics should know a thing or two about him.
CONGRESSMAN RON PAUL
Religion - Baptist
Party - Republican / Libertarian / Republican
Profession - Medical Doctor / Politician
- Pro-Traditional Marriage
- Pro-States Rights (Subsidiarity)
- Anti-Socialist (pro-free market)
- Anti-Big Government
The details of Ron Paul's positions and voting record can be seen OnTheIssues.Org. At first glance his voting record is curious, almost appearing to contradict himself at times. However, when one understands his militant position on State's Rights (federalism or subsidiarity) it starts to make sense. Paul believes the overwhelming majority of social and moral issues must be handled on the state level where the government is closer to the people, and the people can assert more control over it. The intrusive power grabs of big government in Washington D.C. have exacerbated America's moral problems turning them into a full blown crisis. The problem with trying to fix these moral problems at a federal level is twofold. First, because Washington D.C. is so far removed from the American people it is out of touch with them, and virtually unaccountable to them. So trying to solve these problems at the federal level will result in no progress whatsoever. Second, concentrating power in Washington D.C. is what turned our moral problems into a crisis in the first place. Two wrongs don't make a right and the federal government is incapable (let alone incompetent) to even address them. Only the states can adequately deal with the moral and social issues before us. Granted some states will make the wrong choices, and they will learn their lessons the hard way, but they must be allowed to make these choices in the first place so they have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Other states will make the right choices, and they should be free to, so they can reap the rewards thereof.
The single issue that has given Evangelicals the greatest pause for concern over Ron Paul is the same issue that should give Catholics more enthusiasm for him. Ron Paul is an Anti-Zionist. By that I mean he does not support the notion of absolute Israeli supremacy over the Palestinians and does not believe Israel should get unconditional financial and military support from the United States. This does not mean he is anti-Israel per se.' Indeed, Ron Paul has supported Israel's right to defend itself from legitimate threats to it's safety. What distinguishes him from traditional Republican candidates is his assertion that Israel must follow the same moral code we would expect from all of our allies, and we need not support all of Israel's policies, especially when they are unjust toward Palestinian Christians and Muslims.
Overall, Congressman Ron Paul is an acceptable choice for President of the United States. He is far from perfect, and some of his views are less than ideal. I certainly don't agree with them all. Nevertheless, his libertarian ideology (while not ideal) does create a sound counterbalance to the authoritarian trajectory of our current federal government thanks to the actions of previous presidents. In a race between Ron Paul and Barrack Obama, Ron Paul gets my Catholic vote hands down.