Some politicians who aspire to become president say the right things, but you get the sense that they don’t actually believe a word that they say. Some politicians say the right things, but as soon as the winds of public opinion change, they adjust their positions to match. Some politicians are just wrong-headed in what they say and do. Ron Paul is an aberration, though, in modern American politics. He says what he thinks, and then doesn’t adjust his position when, temporarily, public opinion turns against him. Let’s look at two of his more important policy areas, the economy and defense, and see where Paul stands.

478px Ron Paul  official Congressional photo portrait  2007 1 2

For a long time now, Paul has warned the rest of us of the effects of unbridled government spending and bailing out private firms. He told us that, if we did such things, we would have huge government deficits, high oil prices, and a declining value of the dollar. During the last decade, where politicians of both political parties acted as if the government was their own charge account, with no credit limit and somebody in the future paying the bills, he was virtually alone in trying to be responsible with our money. For the rest of our leaders, do we want paid prescriptions, charge it. Do we want to subsidize insurance firms to make Medicare cover more for the wealthy, charge it. Do we want to bail out Wall Street or car companies, charge it. Do we want to prop up state government employment, charge it. Do we want to fight major wars for a decade or more, charge it. But Paul is different. He believes that government should spend what it gets in; if revenues decline, then spending should as well.

While the rest of the DC establishment has been cheerleading our never-ending wars of choice, as long as nobody who they knew would ever have to fight in them, Ron Paul has been steadfast in his opposition to them. He has opposed the idea of democracy-building in lands that have never shown a propensity for the idea of popular elections. He is not an isolationist; a decade ago, he voted to authorize government funding to get Osama Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders. But he, virtually alone, understood that our adventure in Iraq was merely a trillion dollar trinket to prove the manhood of a bunch of politicians too cowardly to actually pay for the bauble, but eager to wear it.

Paul’s idea is that, rather than spending our treasure in both money and the lives of our bravest young people in these silly endless wars, instead, we build up and aggressively defend our own borders. He wants money to be spent on intelligence, so that our nation can proactively act to prevent threats. He wants, if we do engage in wars, for Congress to actually have to declare war first, the way that the Constitution intends. He believes that, prior to engaging in foreign conflict, there must be a clear mission and a defined strategy to achieve that goal. We’re still waiting for either a mission or a strategy in Iraq, Afghanistan, or now Libya.

The Bible tells us that ‘A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown, among his relatives and his own family.’ So now that a Democrat is president, other Republicans have climbed aboard much of Paul’s economic positions. But we all really know that if another Republican is nominated and elected, we’ll all go back to spending like crazy. We saw at the last Republican debate and through polling, that his defense positions are wildly popular among the electorate. But no other candidate has the courage to actually stop fighting these wars. The foreign ‘allies’ and lobbyists who pay for their elections will never permit them to do what the people want. Only one candidate will actually do these things. That person is Ron Paul.