For starters, I would like to begin by saying that domestic issues wise Ron Paul is the single best candidate out there. He is for eliminating as much of government as he can to get us back to the original intent of what the framers saw for the federal governments power and influence. Things like the department of Education and the department of Energy would be gone quite quickly as those are executive branch departments that are controlled by the president. He is for ending the fed and returning control of the money supply to the government, and thus the people of the United States and not some private/public monstrosity as it is now. This, and many other positives to him I agree with him more as a percentage of his talking points then any other candidate.

Then, how is it, that I cannot in good faith ever vote for him? There are two different fatal flaws in his presentation at least. Some Ron Paul supporters have tried to say that he is like Reagan in his defense policy he supports, but the candidate Ron Paul paints a much different picture. One of his most ardent comments he has made over and over is that he would bring every troop home immediately once he is elected. He is then asked the follow up question of “what if the generals on the field advise you not to do so?” He said he would override them no matter what that it would be his decision and there is no way to change his mind on it. In and of itself this is a problem, but its not the only problem. The reason this is a problem is that there was a reason we went to both countries we are currently in. Regardless of whether you believe it was justified (Ron Paul himself voted for the war in Afghanistan before he voted against it) in our military operations there we are there. If we just unilaterally leave now (which before he was elected Obama had said thats what his intent would be) we are leaving a gaping hole and an unstable situation. Extremists, dictators, enigmatic leaders usually fill these sorts of holes, and we would leave it a bigger problem then before we left it if we leave right now.

However, it is worth noting when he says all troops he is not just talking about Afghanistan and Iraq (and of course Libya, and the other african nations we are in now supporting the supposed “arab spring” which I would be in favor of). He is talking about all deployed military everywhere outside the country to be brought home. Now, alot of people would just say. Why would it be a big deal to bring troops home from say, germany, or japan. The problem I have with it is that I believe in peace through strength. One of the aspects of strength outside of the actual navy/air force/army troops and the technology and might they deploy is tactical. Tactical strategic advantages gained through deployments in allied nations to be able to react quicker to threats borne overseas. This is why the peace treaty with Russia was so bad. It forced us to abandon our strategic weapon defense system we were building in Europe to combat, not Russia necessarily, but any missile launch from that side of the world. It would have been a great benefit to have a system like that.

So Ron Paul believes in a reactionary minimalistic military presence. Deployed inside of the country until we are attacked. This in and of itself is not a huge deal (although it is quite a big deal because it relies on a utopianistic worldview that if we do not bother people they will not bother us) when you combine it with another stated policy of the Ron Paul candidacy as we’ve seen in the debates it is downright scary. He is not for any significant crackdown on illegal immigration. He believes a fence will be used to “keep us in and restrict our free movement” which to that I would say where would we go? If we lose here there is nowhere left to go. The reason this is a big deal is because per his foreign policy we will not be attacking our enemies abroad, and rather waiting for them to attack us here. When you combine that with our porous border it sets up a worst case scenario in our fight against radical jihadist Islam. To this Ron Paul would say “but they would leave us alone if we left them alone.” At this point, even if he had a point that if we had never “occupied” their land we already have, we cannot go back in time and take the actions back. They already hated us to begin with for multiple reasons. The two biggest is our historical support of Israel, and our lifestyle and tendency of historically being regarded (and truthfully regarded) as a Christian nation.So we would be leaving our borders wide open for them to take advantage of. Once they are here, they will be treated as criminals, and not terrorists.

Speaking of Israel brings me to my next point. Israel has a strong military. This is absolutely true. Especially for the size of the country that they have. Ron Paul would “get out of the way of the Israeli military” which is a good thing. But, for the entire existence of the State of Israel we have been there as a hedge against those that would “wipe them off the map.” After the Arab Spring there are no countries left willing to be civil with Israel. They are completely surrounded by those people who would push them into the sea, and without intervention by God it would be an easy task if they were determined to do it. So, if it is their stated objective, its such a small country that it would only take a small offensive to do it, and they are infidels to them why has it not been done? It is my view that the might of Israel’s military is not sufficient, but their alliance with us makes it enough. Why do these nations hate us so much? Cause we are viewed as the biggest reason that Israel still even exists. Letting them fend for themselves will be of disastrous consequence. Once they are done with “Little Evil” in Israel, they will then focus of the “Big Evil” of the U.S. Then, not only will we have Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists to deal with, but also Hezbollah and other Palestinian groups to deal with on top of it.

The smallest reason I have is also quite a big deal. He has shown through his debates that not only does he have positions that I find indefensible, but even those positions I agree with him on he shows a lack of reality to be able to get those things done. Its like he believes that he gets elected and then poof it will happen. No regard for the realities that would greet him once he got the presidency, much like Barack Obama on the other side. Now let me ask you, even if we agreed on everything how would it help that movement if its principle leader after three years was viewed as an incompetent failure? You have to be able to get things through congress, and he has a real lack of perspective when it comes to how this can be done. This is shown even more explicitly with a number of his supporters. They can be mean-spirited, vile, and look down their nose at anyone who dares disagree with them. Not all, but a good number of them I’ve run into.

So this is why the candidate that I tend to believe more of what he says then any other cannot possibly get my vote. The next question is Am I alone in this assessment? So lets take a look at what happens when people drop out of a race. The lowest finishing candidates in the Florida straw poll that saw Herman Cain surge were Gary Johnson (zero votes) Michelle Bachmann (40 votes) Jon Huntsman (60 votes) Newt Gingrich (224 votes). If Gary Johnson had gotten votes, they would almost surely go to Ron Paul. I think Ron Paul is the only reason the former New Mexico governor has not gotten any traction at all. Michelle Bachmann is a strong foreign policy, and small government person. Who would her votes have gone to if she were not included? Not likely to go to Rick Perry, because most of her supporters agree about immigration and mandates with her especially those that are left supporting her at this point the lowest so far of her candidacy. My best guess would be that most would actually go to either Rick Santorum or Herman Cain. Probably about a 50/50 split.

Jon Huntsman was brought up by Michael Moore as someone who should primary Barack Obama. Need I say more? His voters more then likely either have a skewed vision of what he stands for or would never actually vote in a republican primary normally anyway. No way does this big government guy give votes to Ron Paul even if they agree on Iraq and Afghanistan. Newt Gingrich is a beltway guy. He’s smart, good at a debate, but tends to be a bit too lax on criticism of government involvement if not complicit. His voters would more likely go to Romney or Santorum. Could Paul pick up a few votes here and there? Sure, but I doubt anything significant. He has an absolute ceiling on what his voting percentage can be, and the more people that are in the race the better his chances of having a presence are. At the end of 2008 he got the single largest percentage of votes he ever had, but was losing by 30-40% to McCain and Romney in the states that they were winning. In short, Ron Paul is self-limiting mainly because of the things contained in this post.