Monday, February 20, 2012

Ron Paul: Social Issues a "Loser" in This Election

Congressman Paul is currently my second choice for the presidency behind Rick Santorum. But I may have to re-evaluate that based on the fact that it doesn't appear that the issues that are most important to me are all that important to him:
Yesterday on CNN’s State of the Union, Candy Crowley asked Ron Paul about the new focus in national politics on social issues and whether a national debate focusing on them would help Republicans in November. Paul called it a “losing position,” but neglects to mention that he has campaigned on his opposition to abortion at least since the Ames straw poll, an omission caught by CNS News:
“Do you–are you uncomfortable–certainly Rick Santorum is the one who has been in the forefront of some of this talk on social issues, but there have been others in the race,” Crowley asked Paul. “Are you uncomfortable with this talk about social issues? Do you consider it a winning area for Republicans in November?”

“No,” said Paul. “I think it’s a losing position.

“I mean, I talk about it because I have a precise understanding of how difficult problems are to be solved,” Paul continued. “And they’re not to be at the national level. We’re not supposed to nationalize these problems. The founders were very clear that problems like this, if there needs to be legislation of sorts, the state has the right to write the legislation that they so choose. And that solves a lot of our problems.”

Back on Dec. 19, Paul signed the “Personhood Pledge” published by PersonhoodUSA. This pledge says in part: “I stand with President Ronald Reagan in supporting ‘the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death,’ and with the Republican Party platform in affirming that I ‘support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children.”
The current context of the debate on social issues hinges on federal mandates, a point which Paul acknowledges in this interview. Why would that be a loser? It’s practically the entire context of his campaign — reducing the power of federal government to issue the kind of mandates like the HHS mandate for employers to essentially provide free contraception to their employees. Tying that in with social issues should make the argument stronger, at least if it’s handled correctly.

Matt Lewis argues that not only is Paul wrong, but history shows that Republicans do well when social issues are in play...

(emphasis added)

I keep hearing from Dr. Paul's supporters that he is the "REAL" Catholic choice in this race. But it sounds to me as if the issues of utmost importance to faithful Catholics in this election are not going to receive the attention they deserve from the so-called "REAL" Catholic choice. He's forfeited the field of play, since it is the LEFT who is pushing these issues at the federal level, and the social conservative pushback is merely a reaction to the federalizing of the culture wars. And citing the 10th Amendment is simply NOT going to be a successful response to the next leftist incursion in this ongoing battle for the soul of America.

As I am often asked why I support Rick Santorum over Ron Paul, especially since I do have some major disagreements with Santorum's stance on foreign policy, torture, immigration, etc., allow me to just go ahead and state here for the record why I have backed Santorum. Winning this blasted culture war is what animates me to get involved in politics in the first place. I detest politics, but feel compelled to get involved because I see the daily attacks on my values by people who consider me and mine to be backwards and brainwashed. This culture war is one of attrition that can be won, IF and only IF we are willing to fight it.

On the one hand, Ron Paul has just stated that he doesn't have the stomach for the fight. Rick Santorum, on the other hand, for all his flaws, appears willing to take the fight to the left. In this race, I am backing the guy who will be a warrior for the preservation of what's worth preserving and for restoring what needs to be restored. The guy who just said the fight's already lost need not apply.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Social Conservatism a Winning Formula for GOP

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