Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Romney (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

Mitt Romney has done what I had feared in an earlier post: he has supported excluding Ron Paul delegates from Maine from the Republican National Convention and has denied Ron Paul a voice at the convention. Ron Paul delegates, who won the Maine caucuses according to the established rules of the Republican Party in that state, are understandably angry. As someone who voted for Ron Paul in the North Carolina Primary, reading about the way his delegates have been treated by Mr. Romney and his supporters is deeply troubling. To win the presidential election, Mr. Romney needs all the votes he can get. By treating Paul delegates in a disrespectful way, he alienates millions of Paul supporters in the United States. Most likely those among Paul supporters who may have considered “voting for the lesser of evils” in the presidential election may decide to vote Libertarian or Constitution Party instead of voting for Mr. Romney. Frankly I would not blame them.

My feelings are mixed. On the one hand, I not believe a second Obama administration would be good for the country. Although it may turn out that Republicans do not have the will to reduce spending significantly, especially given their support of American interventionism abroad, the Democrats would be far worse. Mr. Obama has continued Mr. Bush’s aggressive foreign policy, and Mr. Bush’s restraints on civil liberty have been enhanced under the Obama administration. Mr. Obama’s unlimited support of abortion, even up to the ninth month (partial-birth abortion can be performed at that state) is morally reprehensible. In addition, Mr. Obama supports a bigger government and stronger regulation, regulation that I have experienced directly at the university where I teach. The government is adding more offenses for which the university can be fined. Such regulation and massive government spending has hurt small businesses. Unlike many academics, I know personally a number of small businesspeople in my area. They have all told me that they believe their businesses will go under if Mr. Obama is re-elected.

Yet the Republicans are even more aggressive in foreign policy than the Democrats, at least rhetorically. Practically I believe that will make little difference. Ron Paul is the only candidate who opposes American intervention abroad unless it is clearly in support of American interests. His opposition to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has brought down the wrath of so-called “mainstream” Republicans and Neoconservatives as well as the wrath of Wilsonian Democrats. Although it is a good thing that Mr. Ryan wants to cut domestic spending, he is still enamored with the Roosevelt-Johnson welfare state. Mr. Paul rejects the welfare state in principle. Although there are fiduciary relationships with Social Security and Medicare, allowing the states to deal with such matters can allow those in need to continue to receive help.

I suppose, at this point, I will bite the bullet and vote for Mr. Romney. If the country is in intractable decline, which it will be under the two major parties, at least Mr. Romney might slow the decline. I also am deeply concerned about the Obama Administration’s attitude toward religious freedom and its radical moral agenda. As such, I am at a practical level forced to vote for a candidate who can win the general election.
In any case, I am not a libertarian but a traditional conservative, somewhere between Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul. I can swallow hard and vote for Mr. Romney despite his bad behavior now.

However, other Paul supporters, angry at how they have been treated by the Romney campaign, will vote for the libertarian candidate for president. Some traditional conservatives who are fans of Mr. Paul will vote Constitution Party. Others will not vote at all, and some may even vote for Mr. Obama. Frankly I cannot understand Mr. Romney’s behavior. Perhaps he wishes to act in a decisive manner, but to act decisively against his own self-interest is unwise. I would recommend that he make a peace offering to Mr. Paul and his supporters before his behavior costs him the general election and plunges the United States into rapid ruin.