Fred Snowflack on Ron Paul - my response

Fred Snowflack, Editorial Page Editor of the Daily Record and a respected observer of Morris County politics, remarked on Ron Paul in his most recent editorial. I took issue with several of his points, as shown below from my correspondence with him.

Snowflack's editorial is quoted in italics, my responses are the indented bullet points beneath each statement.

Paul is a Republican congressman from Texas, but his party designation is really a misnomer. Paul is more libertarian than Republican

  • Ron Paul has been elected to Congress 10 times, each time as a Republican candidate. He was a backer of Ronald Reagan in 1976 (one of only 4 in Congress), even serving as a delegate for Reagan in the bicentennial Republican National Convention. Ron Paul was way ahead of his time and foresaw the Reagan legacy long before it became fashionable. Remember, at that time Reagan was considered "too conservative" to win, but that didn't stop Ron Paul from backing him on principle.

  • Yes, Paul was the Libertarian Party candidate for President in 1988, having felt that George HW Bush's vision did not carry the limited-government hallmarks that originally attracted him to Ronald Reagan. But to say that Ron Paul is not a "real" Republican simply doesn't hold water. (continued...) anti-establishment trait that seems responsible for him attracting a loyal and mostly young following.
  • Perhaps the fact that he is the only candidate with the courage to point out that Social Security offers nothing at all to young people but another black hole from whence their hard-earned money will never return is responsible for his devoted following of young people. Republicans seem to forget that President Bush made an abortive push for Social Security reform several years ago that failed to spark consensus on Capitol Hill, maybe because he squandered so much of his political capital on an elitist neoconservative agenda. Too bad for all of us, especially Republicans, that he neglected a legitimate traditional American conservative agenda, which most certainly does include offering young people the choice to be free of Social Security.

Paul opposes the war in Iraq, which immediately sets him apart from the mainstream Republicans seeking the party's presidential nomination.

  • True, he is the only candidate to have voted against the Iraq War, just as he voted against Clinton's Balkan Wars in the 1990s (like most other congressional Republicans) - because his opposition is based on the traditional American conservative principle of non-intervention. Ron Paul's foreign policy positions are influenced not by the latest poll, like the flip-flopping Democrats - but by careful consideration of the advice of the Founders like Washington and Jefferson, who warned us to beware of foreign entanglements. How right they were.
On domestic issues, he sees much of what government does as unconstitutional and wrong. He talks of getting rid of the IRS
  • I admit on first glance this seems far-fetched, but consider: 2007's Federal Budget was $2.5 trillion, and nearly $1.2 trillion of that is derived from Individual Income Tax revenue. That means about $1.3 trillion is collected by the Federal Government from other sources. In 1995, do you know what the total Federal Budget was? You guessed it: $1.3 trillion. So for the same level of government we had only 12 years ago (I don't know about you, but it suited me just fine), we would not need Income Taxes.'s easy to portray the Fed -- the nation's central bank -- as an entity controlled by the dark forces of money and greed.
  • The criticisms of our monetary policy have much less to do with conspiracy theories than with protecting the middle class and the poor. The fact is, since the Federal Reserve was created, the US dollar has lost 93% of its purchasing power - due to massive inflation. However, if our monetary system was based on gold and silver, this trend would have been averted, and staple goods would be much more affordable.

  • For example, in 1970, silver was $1.64 per ounce. Gas was 36 cents per gallon. That means an ounce of silver could buy almost 5 gallons of gas. Today, gas is about $3 per gallon. But now, an ounce of silver sells for about $14.50, equivalent to almost 5 gallons of gas. You guessed it - if the US dollar were still based on silver, gas would still be the equivalent of what it was in 1970. This is why Ron Paul supporters heed his warnings about the Federal Reserve - for the good of ordinary consumers.
He veers left in opposing the nation's so-called war on drugs and the Patriot Act.
  • Believing that Amendments 1, 4, and 5 should not be thrown to the wayside is considered veering left? I beg to differ. Ron Paul's opposition to the Patriot Act is stemmed from his deep respect for the US Constitution, and his belief that citizens should never surrender their rights to the Federal Government - this is the traditional American conservative position.

  • Remember the horrific abuse of the Federal Government's power in the case of Elian Gonzalez, under the Clinton Administration? Imagine what the likes of his wife would do to conservatives with the Patriot Act. This is why Ron Paul opposes it as a Republican, because the Constitution is not meant to be disregarded or upheld based upon our moods or a particular political climate - it is the supreme law of the land and must be respected.
But Paul jumps far right in calling for a crackdown on illegal immigration. He wants to toughen border security
  • If we were serious about protecting Americans, we would have a President that cared more about who seeps through our own borders than those of Iraq - 6,000 miles away. And instead of having the US Army directing traffic in Baghdad, we ought to have them inspecting containers arriving at American ports, to ensure that no future terrorist attacks will occur.
The Paul campaign may not have much of an organization in the state other than the Internet.
  • Lavish accommodations and all-expense-paid trips for volunteers do not determine the winning candidates, the voice of voters on February 5 does. Right now the Ron Paul campaign is focused on the early January contests - but they are ready to spring into action in NJ at a moment's notice - mobilizing their vast army of volunteers, a small example of which Denville witnessed last weekend. And as far as NJ Straw Polls go, there have been 2, with roughly equal numbers of turnout - Rudy Giuliani swept the first, and Ron Paul swept the second. Imagine what they will do with a full-fledged organization.
To read Paul's New Jersey Internet site is to see a mixture of enthusiasm and political naivety.
  • The site you mention is one of many run by individual supporters, without the guidance of the official campaign. Ron Paul's official website is - I challenge you to find me a better-presented, more professional or more compelling official campaign site from any of Ron Paul's competitors. By the way, votes from those who demonstrate "political naivety" do not count for less than those of wily political insiders.
In truth, Paul has no chance to become president. A Rasmussen poll Tuesday showed him with 5 percent nationally and 4 percent in Iowa, scene of the first caucus. In New Jersey, Rudy Giuliani is far ahead of his fellow Republicans in every poll.
  • Where was John Kerry in the polls at this time 4 years ago? How about Bill Clinton in 1991? Which is not even to mention the fact that the individuals being polled do not include a large segment of those previously disinterested in Republican politics, or politics in general. Many of the polling arguments against Ron Paul's candidacy smack of political elitism - as if the voice of "regular" voters should count more in an election than those heretofore disaffected by the system.
Keep your eyes on Ron Paul, Fred - he is going to surprise a lot of people on February 5.