The Gridbook Blog endorses Ron Paul for President in 2008.
First I should say that it is not my intention to tell anyone how they should vote. Many people of good conscience, strong values, and excellent intelligence (such as my wife) vote differently than myself for various reasons. The intention of discussing politics on a blog, however, is to influence thought and shed light in the sometimes dismal world of political power. With all the discussion of politics (with a good bit from a personal perspective) on this site I think it is reasonable for me to also let you know for whom I am voting and why I think this person would make the best president.
With an atypical set of political stances it isn't easy to choose a major party candidate to support. It is much simpler to pick out the ones that I think would be the worst (such as Gulliani and Clinton) than the best. I initially found Ron Paul by accident when googling the term "consistent life politics." All I knew about Paul before was that he is a Libertarian with a small but passionate following, particularly on the web. I decided to do a little research on this congressman. Although Dr. Paul doesn't use the term "consistent life" to describe his politics, his positions seem to adhere better to consistent life values better than any other candidate of which I am aware.
First of all Dr. Paul is very pro-life on Abortion. Unlike a lot of Republicans that give the tragedy of abortion lip service but don't seem inclined to do anything to stop it, Paul is pro-active and has introduced legislation to amend the constitution to define human life as running from conception to natural death. Paul is also opposed to aggressive and violent intervention around the world. He is the only person running for president in either party that voted against the Iraq war from the beginning. While he is not a pacifist, he seems opposed to the use of deadly force in most cases that don't involve national defense. He is opposed to the federal death penalty, although he seems open to it on the state level.
Dr. Paul mostly discusses these positions based on his constitutionalist, limited-government values, however, his underlying beliefs seem consistently compassionate and anti-violence. His experiences as an OB/GYN and a serviceman during Vietnam seem to have left him with a strong aversion for violence. He is quoted pointing out how odd it is that his fellow pro-life, Christ-loving politicians so often seem the most eager for war and bombing. I couldn't agree more.
I certainly am not a Libertarian. I do not have the same confidence that just because free markets create wealth they can also fix all other ills if sufficiently unrestrained. (I have even been known to border on Socialism) But with the recent poor performance of liberals and conservatives in the executive branch, I am certainly willing to give a Libertarian a try. Having listened to quite a few of his speeches and interviews I cannot help but be struck by his intelligence, straightforwardness, humanism, and apparent integrity. Like his policies or not you have to be impressed with Paul's character. I know that looks can be deceiving in politics, but he certainly seems a breath of fresh air compared to most candidates who seem unable to speak in anything other than prefabed sound bites.
There are certain positions on which I would differ from Dr. Paul like immigration and certain approaches to civil rights, environmental policy, and medical care, but looking at the overall candidate I cannot help but pick Ron Paul from the rest of the major party candidates as most worthy of my vote.
I strongly encourage everyone to learn more about Ron Paul before you go to the polls this primary.