The Ron Paul organization has been mailing me a lot of material lately including a very nice Christmas card. Paul has a nice web site and he is very articulate in stating his positions. He has done well in the debates and on national media outlets. These factors are reaping benefits for him. According to the polls, Romney and Paul are leading in Iowa. Paul has a strong grassroots organization in Iowa. The news reports that Paul is gaining ground in New Hampshire.
I know evangelicals who are excited about Ron Paul but I am not so excited. I have truly struggled with this situation as there are some things I like about Paul but there are some lingering issues. It is this lingering doubt that makes it not possible to support Ron Paul. I will explain my reasoning with two historical examples and their
rationales for their political positions. First, Stephen A. Douglas was a dominant figure in the 1850’s. He was a major contributor to the Compromise of 1850 and a presidential candidate in 1860. When it came to the issue of slavery, Douglas believed the issue should be left to the states. He was a strong supporter of popular soveriegnity. This doctrine lead to the Nebraska-Kansas Act of 1854. This act was a contributing factor to Bleeding Kansas. Historians are divided over Douglas’ personal position on slavery.
Second, consider Mario Cuomo of New York. He was a major figure in the Democratic Party of the 1980’s and his influence
carries on to this day. Cuomo gave a speech in 1984 where he put forth that he was personally opposed as a Catholic to abortion he supported politically the woman’s right to choice. Cuomo tied the issue of abortion to slavery in his speech.
Now, consider Ron Paul’s position on abortion. It is similar to Douglas’ “popular soveriegnity” in that Paul believes this matter such be left to the state. He believes that the Constitution does not allow the Federal government to ban abortion. Paul holds that the ninth and tenth admendments to the Constitution makes it a matter for the states to resolve. Paul’s position is similar to Cuomo’s in that he stresses he is pro-life but feels the Federal government does not have a role in protecting the unborn child. Paul states he believes that life begins at conception but yet does not see a role for the Federal government in abortion. Paul is trying to be on both sides of an issue. His position is not even the historical Republican position which the GOP has held since 1976. No, his position on abortion is more Libertarian party than Republican party. Paul is like an antebellium politican saying he is personally opposed to slavery but believe it is a matter left to the states. How can the denial of the most basic human right to life not be a Federal issue?