Ron Paul For Iowa

Today’s Courier Herald Column

Ron Paul needs to win the Iowa Caucuses. There, I said it. Right up front.

For all the Paul supporters that accuse the media of ignoring the Texas congressman who has achieved rock star status among his followers who demonstrate cult like devotion, I shall now forever be able to point to the first eight words of this column to not only demonstrate that I am well aware of their candidate, but have even found a way that he can positively contribute to the Republican nominating process. Should the eventual GOP nominee (who will not be named Ron Paul) win the Presidency, Paul winning in Iowa could actually be a benchmark that helps the new President deliver the agenda that must be essential to this campaign.

As you can imagine from this opening, I am not a huge fan of Dr. Paul’s policies. He has been a consistent clarion call for fiscal reform and limiting the scope of the federal government which are worthy goals which I share. His prescriptions, however, are often akin to prescribing a double barrel shotgun to cure a headache. While it would in fact cure the problem once and for all, most doctors with a focus on the well being of the patient would prescribe something between an aspirin and an extra strength Motrin. Paul supporters would take pride in this analogy, claiming it would prove that most political “doctors” are just different flavors of the same school of medicine. They are correct in asserting that Dr. Paul is quite uniquely different.

It is those supporters who have held strong with Dr. Paul through his multiple Presidential campaigns, greeting each person as if they’ve never heard of Dr. Paul before. Their assumption is that no one has ever heard the arguments they learn in their meet ups and repeat for anyone who dares mention politics in their presence, and that anyone that disagrees with them has never studied economics. Long before Herman Cain’s supporters claimed the “positive intensity” metric to show dedication of supporters, Dr. Paul’s supporters invented it. Their enthusiasm in spreading their message can be quite off putting, to be charitable.

One of their strongest arguments is that because Dr. Paul is ignored, that he will be nominated once his message gets out. What they miss is that not one negative ad has ever been run against Dr. Paul in any coordinated attempt at demonstrating his negatives. Should Paul actually be successful in Iowa, we can expect this to quickly change, and thus we’ll save those for another day. After all, I’m trying to be positive here. Trying.

And in that spirit, I will move along to where Ron Paul can actually be helpful to the Presidential debate. Paul, bucking the trend of a long line of Presidential hopefuls, has asserted that he is for stopping the various subsidies that prop up the corn based ethanol industry. In Iowa, ethanol is the third rail of Presidential politics. $6 Billion annually is provided to farmers and producers under the guise of green energy, despite the fact that it takes roughly 1.6 gallons of oil to produce one gallon of ethanol.

There are many other green fuels that are much more energy efficient than turning corn into ethanol, which is literally food into fuel. As basic economics would suggest, removing this corn from the world food supply has increased not only the price of corn, but the other food from animals that feed upon it. And thus, subsidies for corn based ethanol do nothing to help us become more energy efficient, increase grocery costs, and increase the national debt by an extra $6 Billion per year.

Ron Paul has focused his resources in Iowa, and the media that has generally only looked to him for a quote attacking a front runner has turned to him to keep the horse race interesting. He is much more organized in Iowa than front running Newt Gingrich. He has unquestionable pro life bonafides, perhaps making him more acceptable than Mitt Romney. And thus, perhaps, he can pick off the first caucus in the nation. Their votes will be cast in just three weeks.

While Iowa does not have a great track record of picking Presidents, it does have the power to pick a message. Should Ron Paul win Iowa, the eventual nominee can face every constituency going forward and say “If Iowa can give up ethanol….”

The next President will have to convince Americans to give up some things they expect from the Federal Government if the budget is to be balanced, if the economy is to be stabilized. Iowa has long benefitted from leading the vote for Presidential nominations. Iowans should now take the lead in giving up the pork, theirs of the corn-fed variety. The best way Iowans can do this is to caucus for Ron Paul.


  1. It’s crap like this that keeps politics fun for me. As for your analogy, I very much doubt that Dr. Ron Paul (being an actual doctor) would take off someone’s head to cure a headache… but I think he very much would take a shotgun approach to the gargantuan leech causing the headache. Also you give too much credit to the other’s providing something for the pain… they more than often use the witch doctor approach of dancing wildly making lots of noise and then giving some trinket for one to show friends while the pain continues and the leech continues to grow.
    As for the rest of the post, I agree whole heartily. A Ron Paul win in Iowa would change the dialog in a positive direction. We saw some of this in the last debate and Sunday political shows with more of the other candidates and politicos making the claim “Ron Paul is right …” or “I agree with Ron Paul…” Which I’m sure is due to his gaining of support and climbing in the polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

    That said, Thanks Charlie. Whether I agree or disagree with you, I always enjoy your writing.

  2. Three Jack says:

    for no other reason than his idiotic statement about the bush administration being gleeful in the aftermath of 9/11, ron paul deserves to win no primaries. and fortunately for america, a significant portion of his supporters will likely still be on christmas break from college when the caucus takes place 1/3.

    • Engineer says:

      He was talking about how in the days right after 9/11, they were trying to find ways to pin the attacks on Iraq. Additionally, Paul gave an excellent explanation of his comment on Fox News. (For your convenience, I went ahead and listed the link in a way so it skips to the question regarding the statement you mentioned.)

      Lastly, those supporters being out from college gives them all the time in the world to go vote and as we’ve heard from his opponents (Mitt at the ABC debate over the weekend), Paul’s supporters in Iowa, rain or shine, are extremely vocal and turn up in numbers.

      • Three Jack says:

        thanks for the link…instead of glee, there was “a lot of pleasure….blah, blah, bob woodward said…blah”. dancing on a pin.

        using paul’s statements then and in your link, one would have to believe something like the following took place:
        w: gosh darn shame about all those people dying yesterday.
        rummie/cheney/neocon: yea, here’s a tissue. but look at the bright side, at least now we have an excuse to invade some mid east countries like afghanistan and iraq. yesterday’s airplane attacks are a blessing in disguise…we get to kill us some camel jockeys.
        w: i feel better already!

        really? even the most diehard paulhead has to acknowledge he should retract the statement and apologize at the very least.

        • Engineer says:

          Apparently you forget (or are just ignoring) the multitude of times that the Bush Administration tried and failed to link 9/11 to Iraq prior to the invasion in March of 2003.

          • Three Jack says:

            that has nothing to do with feeling ‘glee’ or ‘pleasure’ in the aftermath of 9/11 because they could finally attack.

            what next engineer…you going to layout the 9/11 conspiracy trail for us showing how the government was actually behind the attacks?

            • Engineer says:

              It seems you are unable to separate the truther movement from questioning policy. You do realize that the 9/11 Commission Report, the DoD, and a number of other sources have all agreed that the US’s foreign policy was a major contributing factor to 9/11? Bad foreign policy does not mean that they (the actions and policies put into place prior to 9/11) were intentional (by any person or group), in fact, it is simpler to point out that compounded bad policies in the decades before were largely responsible (going back to the end of WWII). Hindsight is 20/20, and it only makes sense to use it to make sure you don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.

              • seenbetrdayz says:

                Excellent post.

                Furthermore, let’s not forget that Rahm Emanuel once stated: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

                Of course, Rahm was a democrat and Bush was a republican, but that really doesn’t mean much, unless someone believes that democrats are demon-spawns and republicans are saints (let’s hope not). Governments, in general, throughout history, regardless of who is in power, have more often than not found opportunities in the midst of disaster, and I don’t mean that in a good way.

                Were Bush officials “gleeful”? Perhaps that was not the best choice of words. I don’t know, because I never spoke with the same Bush advisors that Ron Paul apparently did. But I do firmly believe that the government seized the opportunity to eventually build a trumped-up case for a war in Iraq. The entire country was in a passionate uproar, and because of that, Bush knew he could do pretty much anything he wanted to do and the people would back him. Furthermore, the PATRIOT act was sitting in a filing cabinet for a decade or so, but there was never any ‘good reason’ to implement it . . . until 9/11. So yeah, any government is not just going to sit on its hands when the people are scared, and power is there for the taking.

                Although, I look at how eager the folks in Washington are for a war with Iran, and “glee” might be an understatement. War is not something to be taken lightly, and as difficult as it is to maintain the ability to reason when emotions are running high, we can’t afford another war. But if Iran even looks at us funny, the ‘gleeful’ will get yet another opportunity.

  3. Oh, sorry about the word ‘crap’… I’m southern and publicly educated… crap = stuff.
    Speaking of ‘stuff’, one moe thing I noticed. I don’t think you have to worry so much about the average American having to ‘give up’ stuff…lord knows…. it’s the power hoarders, war profiteers and control freaks that are gonna give the next Prez the biggest problems, if he really wants to do what’s necessary

  4. NoTeabagging says:

    Thanks Charlie for pointing out some of the ethanol boondoggle. I think if you really look at farmers, they would prefer growing something, anything, under a better system. Currently most farmers are tied to growing growing corn under strict contracts with Monsanto for tasteless GMO seeds, tons of pesticides (more petroleum based waste) and ever increasing pressure to buy expensive equipment and remortgage the farm. We still have a system that pays farmers to over produce or worse does not allow them to diversify and grow other crops or varieties.

    The health industry is already progressing with a backlash again high fructose corn syrup and other corn derivatives in practically all our processed foods. Consumers are finally getting the word to producers by buying less processed food and asking for good old sugar in their sodas. So there is a slow decrease in corn by-products as a component in processed foods.

    Cows were never designed to eat corn based foods. This is a forced feed that that is unhealthy for the cows and has changed the taste and nutritional value for meat eaters, not in a good way.

    But enough about corn, back to Ron Paul corniness. Your comment, “Their enthusiasm in spreading their message can be quite off putting” reminds me of the last campaign when his enthusiastic supporters hung stenciled bed sheets on overpasses and other public property. As PP reader may recall, the Sign Czar finds this activity highly illegal and offensive. The Sign Czar tried to have a civil dialog with some 2008 Ron Paul supporters asking them to please not clutter the public realm. Their answer boiled down to this: All public property is paid for by personal taxes and is therefore personal property to with whatever anyone wants. In other words, we all have the right to graffiti public buildings and structures or hang stenciled bedsheets on them because ‘we’ paid for it and we own it. One supporter reminded me of his right to protect such property by invoking the 2nd amendment. Not one Ron Paul supporter would ever acknowledge my right, as a co-owner of this public/personal property, to de-clutter it or keep it clean. Hmmm. Do I really want to vote for someone that incites his followers to be disrespectful of other citizens rights to basic enjoyment of the environment?

  5. One thing you can’t rule out – Democrats who may be voting in the Republican primaries. Keep in mind that a lot of Democrats realize that Obama will most likely be the Dem nominee. Thus, they may decide to choose who they like more on the Republican side. I’ve talked to a fair number of Democrats who say they prefer Ron Paul over Romney or Newt. Will it be enough to sway the vote? Only time will tell.

    • TheEiger says:

      If you honestly think that Dems voting in the Republican primaries is going to give Ron Paul the nomination you truly are living in left field.

      • seenbetrdayz says:

        Two words:

        Ronald Reagan.

        And that would be the second time the democrats have had to step in and save the republican party from extinction, despite the GOP’s continuous efforts to destroy itself.

        Since the democrats know that Obama is going uncontested, why wouldn’t they jump in and pick the one candidate who is most-unlike Bush II? It’s called ‘hedging your bets’. I mean, they might not agree with Ron Paul, but they’re not going to risk someone like George Bush III Rick Perry getting the nomination.

      • Engineer says:

        Actually I personally know several lifelong Democrats that have told me that are voting for him just because of his anti-war stance. So I wouldn’t count them out as a potential voter base.

    • NoTeabagging says:

      I think the election would be far more interesting with Ron Paul and Obama. The rest of the lot are dull and predictable. If Ron Paul is truly unique in his views, he should run as an independent and dump the Republican brand.

      No one is going to make any real change until they emerge as independent of party politics and truly go after both parties in Congress. The party players are doing less and less each year toward true governance and leadership. Instead they fight for control of issues from a single point of view. They have this deluded sense that every bit of legislation must be a victory or deeat for a particular party and that voterrs are always going to contribute and vote for the victorious party.
      They fail to see the growing discontent for the entire two party system.

      Obama was the hope for non-partisan leadership. He failed miserably at this. Non-partisan leadership was one of the strengths of his speeches from 2004 forward that received so much attention. Independents need a new non-partisan voice.

      • “If Ron Paul is truly unique in his views, he should run as an independent and dump the Republican brand.”

        The problem with that is the protectionism of the ballot box by Republicans and Democrats. Ever tried running for something as a third party or independent? Do a Google search for ballot access laws. Here’s one of the first results returned, written by Richard Winger of Ballot Access News:

      • benevolus says:

        “dull and predictable”. I submit that if this is the criteria we judge our politicians by, we are surely doomed. I WISH our politics was dull and predictable. Those guys should shut up and take care of business and not try to out-hype each other. This is not a “reality” TV show.

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