How one Christ follower decided to vote for Ron Paul, Part 1

A long time ago in a lifetime far, far away, I was a Republican. I stood in line for an hour or so–and was happy to do it–to be able to cast my first presidential vote for Ronald Reagan against the dangerous Walter Mondale. The primary reason he was dangerous, I guess, is because he was perceived as weak on defense issues. He was socially liberal being for everything I was against and against everything I was for. Back in those days, I would read the party platforms (if I could find them in that Information Dark Age). The Democratic Party platform was something out of my weirdest nightmare. I agreed with almost nothing in it.

I regularly wrote letters to the editor and once wrote a letter to the editor of a county paper in which I called our liberal Georgia senator, Wyche Fowler, “a southern-fried Ted Kennedy.” (I still think that is a good line, because he really was.)

Over the years, I have remained pro-life, pro-1st and 2nd amendment, pro-church, pro-business. In many elections, especially early on, I voted straight Republican tickets, even down to the judges and state utility advisers (or whatever it is those people do). I would not have voted Democrat if you put the proverbial gun to my head. Or a real one, either.

Then, a few years back I began to notice some things, the main one being that when you got right down to it there really isn’t a hair’s breadth of difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party if you look at what they do, rather than listen to what they say. To listen to them talk you’d think they could never agree on anything, but they agree on some very, very important issues.

The main two or three issues upon which Democrats and Republicans agree–especially if they are the party in power–is that bigger government is to be preferred over smaller government, spending money we don’t have and never will have to build said government is the best way to go about it, and that various special interests (banking, military, oil, etc) should have their campaign contributions rewarded with favorable legislation, lavish government contracts, and, when possible, lax prosecution when criminal behavior occurs.

As a believer I had always believed, and still do, that God blesses nations, though I might think about it differently now than then. I was convinced that God was not going to bless “us” (the United States) if we allowed abortion, gay-rights and the like to be part of our culture. The problem was that I cherry-picked the stances I thought God would judge and ignored quite a few others that God judged in the Bible. But it really didn’t matter because those were “liberal” causes.

So, I found myself in somewhat of a dilemma. The positions that were of crucial importance to me found little or no progress, while the country continued down a financial path that seemed problematic no matter who sat in the White House or held a majority on the Hill. For the first time in my life, I thought about not voting.

In the second half of George W. Bush’s presidency it was obvious to me that Republicans were going to have a very difficult time overcoming his low approval rating and keep the White House. Sure enough, they propped John McCain up and invited him to get run over by the Obama Train.

My daughter, who had always been interested in politics, said to me, “Why don’t you check out Ron Paul?” I, along with most Americans in 2007 outside of Texans and gold coin buyers, said, “Who?” “You need to check out Ron Paul,” she insisted.

So, slowly and somewhat reluctantly I began to delve into researching this rumpled looking little man with white hair, black eyebrows, and an unfailing tendency to take any subject directly, unerringly to a screed on the Federal Reserve Bank.

She even drug me off one night in 2008 into north Hall County, Georgia, to a “meet-up” with other Paulites. Everyone was nice and there were a number of Dr. Paul’s books in supply along with signs and bumper stickers. Some of those folks kinds scared me, though, like all their household plumbing was filled with cans of pork-n-beans and beef stew waiting for the zombie apocalypse.

“Oh, boy,” I thought. “Who is this guy?”

But, every time I questioned something, she would correct me. My problem was that I was thinking of him like a typical Republican, which I absolutely should not have done.

So, I started listening to his speeches and interviews on YouTube. I didn’t depend on his debate performances, because it was pretty clear he wasn’t the best debater in the world in presentation (but the substance was there for anyone who would pay attention). There was a moment, very early in the 2008 election cycle when he introduced himself to the debate audience saying “I’m Ron Paul, and I’m the champion of the Constitution.” That one sentence set him apart in my mind from any other candidate. They didn’t act like they knew what the Constitution was.

It also reminded me that I’m an American, and the Constitution means something. It is supposed to be the track upon which this country runs, freeing the people to power the engine. It is the primary document that protects the people from the excesses of the government, the founders gift to “our posterity” to help protect them from what they were experiencing from the King of England. It’s now more commonly used for a doormat and toilet paper on Capitol Hill.

I also learned to pay attention to the rest of the Bill of Rights, not only the first two. There really was more to being an American than having freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom to own guns.

There were his warnings (and again in the debate on December 15, 2011) about the centralizing of power in the Legislative Branch, a complete violation of the Constitution. His concise and accurate arguments against the Federal Reserve Banking System are devastating, but most Americans are not paying enough attention to make understand them.

He’s the only candidate in either party who makes any attempt at all to bring actual Biblical principles to bear on how things should work, rather than just quoting a scripture here and there in a speech. But, because he rightly believes that the Constitution is the guiding document for United States government, even people who don’t care for the Bible still support him.

All my life I’ve heard, “Where are the statesmen? All these stupid politicians; just once I’d like to see a statesman.” Ron Paul is the closes thing to a statesman running for president that I am likely to see in my lifetime. I think the problem is that it’s been so long since we’ve seen one, we’ve forgotten what they look like.

It seems to me, that if we will not vote for him, we probably would not have voted for Washington, Adams or Jefferson, either. I think that says more about us than it does about Ron Paul.
You do not have to take my word for it. Check out Ron Paul from his own writings.


Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

3 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • SVMuschany

    With all due respect bro Duren, Ron Paul’s foreign policy positions are down right dangerous. He is willing to LET Iran have Nuclear weapons, on the assumption they wont use them. When in reality, with the type of extremist leaders Iran has, we know they WILL use them if given the chance (or at least give them to an terrorist group like Hezbolah or AQ who will use them themselves). And he has stated that he would not support Israel at all. Now i am not one of those dispy pre-mil types, but I think turning our back on Israel is a very stupid idea. Isolationism is NOT equal to or supported by the Constitution. Base on his foreign policy “flaws” alone he should not be anywhere near the White House.

    • Simon Zur

      This is so similar to how I, another follower of Christ, came to support Ron Paul.

      @SVMuschany. I here what your saying. This is basically what I have heard repeated again and again by the talking heads on television and radio. I used to think the same exact way. Then I began to question, like the Berean’s, to see if these things were true. I found a glaring contradiction in the “logic” of this position. On the one hand, they say that Iran wants to establish a global caliphate. Ok, they probably do. However, on the other hand, they say that they would use nucleur weapons if they obtained them. Isn’t that strange? I mean, if we consider that if they get a few weapons, it will be nothing in comparison to the hundreds that Israel already has. If they used one, what would happen in response? Israel would unload on them. In other words, it is a mutually assured destruction model similar to what we have with the Russia and China. So, here’s the problem. How is Iran going to establish that global caliphate without cities, a country or people?

      So then I asked why would they use such harsh rhetoric about wiping Israel off the face of the Earth if they can’t possibly have any intention of actually doing it by nucleur means? The answer is simple. Their politicians do the same thing there that our politicians do here. They talk tough and promote war to excite their supporters to continue supporting them. And, that brings us full circle, doesn’t it?

      • Marty Duren

        Thanks for stopping by, Simon. You posted while I was still responding to SV.

    • Marty Duren

      SV-
      Thanks for stopping by.

      We have a fundamental disagreement. The United States has nuclear weapons. If the UN told the President, “Your country can no longer have nuclear weapons,” do you think he would listen? As much as you may fear Iran, they are a sovereign nation over whom we have no authority. Trust me, if the constitution of Iran remained the same, but the president was replace by one friendly to the U.S. we would suddenly support Iran’s freedom to develop nuclear weapons.

      Regarding Israel, not giving her financial aid is not the same as turning our backs on her. RP favors friendly relationships and free trade. How, exactly, is that turning our back?

      The truth is that the Middle East would potentially be much more stable if we stopped suppressing Israel’s sovereign right to defend her own existence.

      BTW, there is a difference between isolationism and non-intervention. Our interventionist policies have brought little more than death, debt, and destruction.

      • SVMuschany

        We may not have sovereign authority over other nations. But if you take that logic to an extreme, we should not have gone after Hitler in WW2. Sure maybe kick him out of the countries he invaded, but we would have to stop there. Who cares what he did with the millions of Jews in his own country.

        Furthermore if you cant see the danger of an extremist Islamic state with clear ties to known terrorist groups, then there is no real further discussion. Iran and its leader are NOT the same as the Soviet Union and its leaders. The key difference is that the Russians were not willing to be martyrs for their causes/beliefs. The Iranian leaders (and their associated terrorist groups), ARE willing to become such martyrs if it furthers their cause. The old MAD theory of nuclear warfare will not work with Iran. It is foolish to assume it will…It is dangerous to assume it will.

        • Marty Duren

          SV-
          There are two things you overlook. First, we didn’t go to war in Europe to rescue the Jews. We went because our allies were being attacked. The depth and breadth of the Final Solution wasn’t fully known until after Hitler had been dispatched. Second, Ron Paul’s position is that America goes to war with a declaration of war from congress as provided in the constitution. As it is, we go to war when the president decides to send in troops, planes, ships or drones.

          That’s a monarchy.

          BTW, how many Iranians have detonated themselves with any kind of bomb in the last decade to spread the cause of Islam?

        • SVMuschany

          So we should wait for our allies to be attacked before we respond? Or should we be proactive and stop nations from attacking our allies before they do? Here is a little fun fact. Israel was attacked or about to be attacked 3 times in 30 years (49, 67, 73) by the surrounding Muslim countries. This was before the United States was as supportive as it is now. If we stopped such support, I would wager they will be attacked again.

          As for Iranians strapping bombs to themselves, seeing as Hezbollah is directly financed and trained by Iran, I would say that it happens a lot more than you think. Secondly, one just has to listen to the words coming out of the religious and civil leaders (though there often is no difference between the two) as to how they feel about Israel and what they want to do to Israel if given the chance.

          furthermore, when Iran uses a nuclear weapon against Israel (or an American military base in the region) it will be far to late to do anything about it. Clinton was given several chances to either kill or capture OBL, but he declined for various “political” reasons. Who knows what would have happened if we would have got him before 9/11. As such, we dont want to be wondering “What would have happened if we stopped Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?”, wondering that after the fact does no good.

        • Marty Duren

          SV-
          “furthermore, when Iran uses a nuclear weapon against Israel (or an American military base in the region) it will be far to late to do anything about it”

          And you accused RP supporters of be hyperbolic?

          As to your comment below, what Ron Paul wants is for the constitution to be our guide. If, as you suggest, all these dire things beging coming to pass then congress issues a declaration of war and off we go with a defined mission, workable strategy and clear exit plan. It’s the same answer of our allies are attacked.

          Sorry that you feel you can no longer engage.

    • John Elam

      SV,

      How many Iranians are you willing to kill in order to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon?

      I am serious in this question. War is not “specific” to the bad actors. We have one and have used it twice, which I believe historically was just, difficult, but just. You have no guarantee that you will stop Iran. None. GW told the world that the axis of evil included N.Korea and we must at all costs stop them from getting the nuke. We did not.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

      I have no reason to believe that a country further in debt and war weary will stop Iran when we could not stop N.Korea.

      It is not isolationist to stop our interference in Israel’s foreign policy. We should support our ally, but mostly we tie her hands and allow Hezzbolah a free shot via the Palestinians. We are now supporting a two state solution. Our efforts to bring peace to the Mid East are calamitous. Israel dispatched Egypt in 68 with little trouble. The best support we can be to Israel is to continue to sell her superior weapons for her own defense.

      We would not have a problem with Iran if we did not interfere with Israel. Of that you can be sure.

      War propaganda is not helpful.

      Next question: Are you ready to cash in your 401K to pay for the last decade of war? Will you confiscate the wealth of the 1% to do so? Will you continue to borrow from the Chinese to fight the Taliban so that a corrupt Afgahni government can give mineral contracts to China?

      If you will line up with fellow Repubs to pay for this deal, or the next deal, or the next decade of deals then we can have an honest conversation.

      • SVMuschany

        Good bye…I have found that Ron Paul supporters for the most part are people who have no grasp on reality. They (you) use hyperbole to try and support their views, and then personally attack people with defamation when there are opposing views. After all you take after Ron Paul himself who without any facts, said Rep Bachmann hates Muslims. Just as you Mr Elam did here. After all, I must want to kill all the Iranians in the world simply because I know that letting Iran get a nuclear weapon is a very bad idea since they WILL use it.

        BTW…”MAD” discussions are irrelevant since no American President will ever again sign the order to use a nuclear weapon, even if someone else uses one on us or an ally.

        Waiting to be attacked is ignorant and foolish.

  • Blake

    Yeah, I can totally see Jesus voting for Ron Paul.

    • Marty Duren

      Thanks, Blake, but Jesus isn’t registered to vote in the U.S.

      • Blake

        I wonder how Paul voted for Roman Senate elections.

        • Marty Duren

          Now, that’s funny!

  • Beth L.

    Vote Ron Paul for peace. Vote anyone else for war. It really and truly is that simple. Paul may not be a complete guarantee of peace (because no human can be), but anyone else is surely a guarantee of war. Whether we go to war because someone with nuclear weapons attacks us (incredibly unlikely) or because we preemptively attack someone because we assume they have or may one day have nuclear weapons (downright evil of us), it’s still war. I have had it with fearful conservatives sending our men and women to fight their mostly unsubstantiated fears. I wouldn’t for one second even dream of sending my husband, father, brother, or sister to war for these outrageous, paranoid ramblings about Israel, Iran, and other middle east countries. SV, send your family members to fight your stupid wars, but I will not take part in it.

    “I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.” -George McGovern

  • Marty, you echoed many of the sentiments that I have as well. It was only a few years ago that I wholeheartedly supported Romney for president, supported invasions of other sovereign nations “for their own good,” and understood very little about the true damage that our banking cartels (aka Federal Reserve) has done to our nation.

    Thanks for sharing your “conversion” to Ron Paul supporter. I think that there comes a time where someone just gets it. They have this aha moment where it all comes together. One has to be willing to spend some deep time in thought and choose to question some preconceived notions, but glad you (and I) have made that journey!

  • Bintang Kejora

    The problem with the strict anti-war position that Ron Paul holds to is its complete disregard for the Bibles command to Do Justice and Love Mercy.

    http://suarabaptis.blogspot.com/2011/11/west-papuas-cry-for-help.html

    • Marty Duren

      Bintang-
      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your concern, but the simple fact is that the Bible commands God’s people to do justice and love mercy. It simply isn’t the responsibility of the U.S. government to go about dropping bombs in a show of mercy. BTW, if you’ll check our inglorious history on the subject, our tendency as a government is to “do justice” and “love mercy” when our corporate interests have a stake, ie, oil.

      Ron Paul does not hold a “strict anti-war position.” He holds the constitutional postion that war must be declared by the congress. The abuses of the last several presidents notwithstanding, is simply isn’t the defined role of the president to sent troops into battle at the whim of the U.N. or his own personal feelings.

  • Pingback: How one Christ follower decided to vote for Ron Paul, Part 2 | martyduren.com()

  • Bintang Kejora

    We the People Marty!!!!!
    Government is given the task of bearing the sword.
    I will coincide the point of Ron Paul not being a “Strict Anti-War supporter” but he is more Ant-War then reasonable conservatives should be as I understand the Just War theory.

    BTW–the corporate interest have had zero to little impact on justice in West Papua. It is one of the most resource rich regions of the world yet corporate interest have done little to assuage the neocolonial state of Indonesia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grasberg_mine

    I say it is time for our government to right the wrong we did in the 1969 act of Free Choice.

  • Pingback: How one Christ follower decided to vote for Ron Paul, Part 3: Abortion | martyduren.com()

  • Pingback: How one follower of Christ decided to vote for Ron Paul, Part 4: Decriminalizing Drugs | martyduren.com()