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Ron Paul Realism: Question 3 of 7

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If you’re just getting here for the first time, I asked Ron Paul supporters 7 questions and got an avalanche of answers.

So today I’m continuing to post their answers to each question in a single convenient post. Find their answers to 1 and 2 by clicking the numbers.

Now onto…

Question 3: What would a Paul presidency look like given that Paul’s position is a rather simple one…meaning he doesn’t vote for anything that isn’t sanctioned by the Constitution?

  • Dw: A Paul presidency would have extremely qualified people at all posts for sure. Keep in mind one thing, he cant do most of the stuff he talks about w/o congress, so they would have to get along. I am sure some pet projects will still get by as reward for congress tackling the big issues and severely knocking down spending. The IRS would be dead! We would probably end up with some kind of new system but it wouldnt collect nearly as much from us as the IRS and it would be FAIR. He would shut down the south border with national guard and technologies, and there would be NO amnesty, period. No cutting in line. Above all he would be the first honest president we have had in a long time, you would feel that he was leveling with you bad or good. He most likely will only serve 4 years due to age and will probably have a vice pres that is a duplicate of him like Sanborn from S.C.
  • Tony Lambiris: I think America would become a lot less stifled by all the unnecessary laws on the books, and I think people would become more self-reliant in general. The government isn’t supposed to be our baby-sitters, yet every year our rights and freedoms become less and less.
  • Jim: We would see many vetoed bills, a reversal of the executive orders, a humble foreign policy. States would assume greater control, as federal power is reduced. For once, we will see a decentralization of executive power.
  • mike: what do you mean what would it look like? would look pretty good i think! some stances may be too idealistic and a compromise may have to be made. but ultimately it is not leading us towards a police or welfare state even further where many others wish to take us.
  • James Maynard: Can we spell VETO? LOL. Congress would come to a rude awakening pretty quickly that they can’t get anything passed that is not authorized by the Constitution w/o an override.
  • Spirit of ’76: I think Paul’s own words are a good indicator: “We need a strong president, strong enough to resist the temptation of taking power the President shouldn’t have.” I think the major changes we will see involve balanced budgets, a reduction of the deficit, and executive branch non-enforcement of patently unconstitutional laws. What we won’t see is signing statements, strong-arm tactics, and a belligerent state department.
  • coainley: It would look like we finally had a president with principles instead of large corporations pulling the strings.
  • Iconoclast421: I imagine a Ron Paul presidency would be him spending a lot of time making speeches and explaining why he is vetoing just about everything the congress passes. Because it is all written by lobbyists! I truly believe that a good principled president is the biggest step the country can take toward cleaning up washington. We know that, realistically, he isn’t going to singlehandedly abolish the income tax or anything grand like that right away. But one thing he can do is stop the bad legislation from getting out the door. Or at least force the congress to read the bills and debate more before passing them. I think the whole country would take a much more active interest in politics with Ron Paul as president. Checks and balances would mean something again.
  • Tannim: A lot of empty buildings in DC with “For Sale” signs in front of them. A lot of fuller wallets in the USA proper from a lighter tax burden. A lot of troops coming home. And a lot of corporations having to actually make money instead of relying on government subsidies and corporate welfare. A lot less government, a lot less fear, and a lot more freedom and optimism.
  • chad: i don’t understand this question, what did the jefferson administration look like? after all it was him who started the republican party.
  • bbartlog: I don’t really know, and speculating on it would take up a ton of space. The thing is that I am sufficiently unhappy (despairing even) with the direction the country is going that I would be willing to put up with a lot of gridlock and strange events for a chance at making things better. If nothing else, I imagine foreign wars and Guantanamo would end, and Paul could rescind the anti-civil-liberties signing orders of Bush.
  • Jordan: What would a Paul presidency look like given that Paul’s position is a rather simple one…meaning he doesn’t vote for anything that isn’t sanctioned by the Constitution? The war in Iraq would end, the IRS would be abolished, the illegal executive orders Bush signed would be canceled, and that’s just to start.
  • Ellis_Wyatt: This is, of course, complex. In brief, America has some surgery to go thru, and it’s going to hurt at points, but we MUST take this bitter pill. The bankers will try to fight for their gravy train, the FedRez, with every cheap trick they have, but we MUST kill fiat money, once and for all, period. Astute observes will note that there is MUCH corruption that needs to go, and the corrupt do NOT want to give up their ill-gotten gains. But I’ve picked my side (Justice), and you must as well. So, expect some hardship, because I intend to contract the money supply to shake out the bad credit. It has to be done. Now, if you do not know what that will do, you REALLY want to learn ASAP.
  • James Aragon: He could weaken the powers of the executive branch, force Congresse’s hand in fiscal responsibility (otherwise Congress faces the wraith in 2010), direct a executive bureacracy standdown (DEA, FDA, FTC, DHS, etc), and pull us out of other peoples business (Iraq, Korea, Japan, Germany, etc).
  • meatwad: RP not voting on anything that isn’t sanctioned by the constitution would mean that individual states would have to legislate those issues. Imagine, each state having more than property and vehicle tax rates to distinguish one from another… Oh the horror!
  • Patrick: Imagine a president that actually uses his veto pen on spending bills. Forcing the Republicans and Democrats to pass bills with a 2/3?rs majority. Proving, finally, that they are the same party.
  • Vicky: Uh, WONDERFUL! You couldn’t posibly be suggesting anything different. Only a complete ignoramous would suggest that the American Utopia lies not in the Constitution.
  • Edward Keithly: Lots of vetoes. If Congress is determined to violate the Constitution, the very least the POTUS can do is make them do is get a 2/3 majority. […] Lots of pardons. It is a plenary power given only to the POTUS, and virtually unchecked by either of the other two branches. I would encourage him to use it vigorously. […] Withdrawal of troops from most places on the globe, with a portion of them given responsibility for border enforcement, primarily on our southern border. […] Rescindment of most previous executive orders and Presidential directives, particularly those that infringe on the rights of US citizens.
  • meinaz: Take a look at Calvin Coolidge’s presidency. America was prosperous and mass immigration came under control. Quiet Cal was a vastly underrated president, IMO.
  • Jeanette Doney: Ron Paul’s presidency would help states focus on fixing their problems, honoring state rights laws, while not trying to fix those who don’t want America to fix their problems, or empowering those who do want America to fix their problems with force.
  • Corey Cagle: I think a Paul presidency would change his nickname to “Dr. Veto”, which is unquestionably good. The less that gets done in Washington, the better off we all are. Aside from using his veto power on anything unconstitutional, I would expect that the massive body of Executive Orders would be repealed, pressure would be put on Congress to repeal the 16th Amendment, we’d see a panel of Austrian School economists devising a way to return us to commodity-backed currency, and our foreign policy might just become sane. If Ron Paul accomplished nothing more than repealing Executive Orders and shutting down the vast majority of our 170+ overseas military bases, I’d be satisfied.
  • Dan Warner: A Ron Paul presidency would be the best medicine for this country. I can imagine his state of the union speeches, where he takes the lawmakers to task to finaly tow the line and get back to the business of representing the people rather than special interests. He would bring them all back to reality. The power of his pen could get rid of most of the stupid and constitution destroying executive orders that have been put in place by Bush and Clinton. He would be a great leader by example. Not to mention the fact that if he did win everyone would be in so much shock and fearing for their own positions that they would soon be listening to us rather than the special interest groups and PAC’s.
  • Buckwheat: He would reduce the size of the federal government substantially, but restrained by both his understanding that dependency takes time to break and the power of Congress.
  • Jonathan Bennett: I imagine it would actually be a presidency with integrity for once. I foresee many vetoes. Government growth would come to a screeching hault. There might possibly be a few members of Congress learn from Ron Paul, follow his lead, and begin upholding their oath of office. It would be great for once, instead of shameful!
  • NH: It would be wonderful.
  • Aaron: Implicit in this question is a recognition that most federal lawmaking these days is not sanctioned by the Constitution (you are correct). […] Paul’s presidency would look a lot like the one I described Obama having except more dramatic. His opposition would be fierce. He will be besieged and will not have a second term absent a Reaganesque populist breakout. Although, I think he is great, he lacks the charisma of Reagan or Andrew Jackson.[…] But, this “failure” of a presidency I just described would be the best thing to happen to this country since the end of segregation. Freedom will at least have a chance to be considered. […] Liberty will be a proposition to be affirmed or negated rather than simply brushed aside in order to “protect us from those who hate our freedom” or to reward those who want seemingly simple solutions to complex resource issues like medical care. […] His unbridled use of the veto power will be a refreshing breather from Leviathan’s growth and corporate America’s conglomeration. […] Finally, as commander in chief he will have the authority to ensure that Americans will no longer be killing Iraqis and being killed by Iraqis that alone is a good enough reason to take the gamble of elected someone who will face a difficult presidency.
  • John Campbell: It will be more open, with fewer secrets and respect for civil liberties. Lot’s of legislation will get vetoed. There will be less saber rattling. Financial markets will respond favorably to the prospect of sound money and reduced deficit spending. Liberals will villify him as they did Reagan.
  • Doofus: He would cut government drastically. That would be a great thing. Many of these questions should be handled at a state level; the Supreme Court has abused badly the scope of “interstate commerce.”
  • Corky: It would not be an imperial presidency, that’s for sure. For the details, why not have a look at his statements on the issues?
  • Scott: Well, he is fiscally conservitive, so I would imagine all the executive orders, especially the “classafied” and “Secret” ones would be gone with imead.
  • PC: People would actually be able to decide what a Paul presidency would look like because he wouldn’t tell you how to run your life. If people don’t fall for the usual scare tactics by the big government chicken littles it will be a revolution in politics. Right now we take the vast majority of tax money and ship it to one city to be divided. Do you know how many lobbyists are in DC. Give them fifty fronts to fight, and if the federal government does less, then people will take more interest in their State and Local governments which should affect their lives more. Basically a Paul presidency will not try to make California and Mississippi residents conform to the same beliefs. The country would be much more diverse as to how the states are run, successful governing plans would rise to the top and states with bad management would benchmark off of the better states and communities.
  • Lex: A Ron Paul presidency? Tons of vetoes, lots of press conferences explaining the Constitution to Americans, a less belligerent stance in the Middle East (aircraft carriers protecting our coasts, not threatening Iran), a rebirth of the freedom movement around the world (it’s already starting with his campaign.)
  • Ward Ciac: He can only guide the direction, Congress and the Courts have power too.
  • Tim: “Dr. No’s” presidency will be a four-year parade of vetoes. It will be wonderful. Paul will sign into law only those pieces of legislation that tend toward limiting the government to its Constitutional role.
  • Michael: Paul’s Presidency would be one of change and introspection. It would force the Senate and the Congress to debate and vote on things that are important to the people. There are serious inefficiencies in the government right now and it needs to investigated, debated and worked out. No more things such as the 2.3 Trillion dollars that went “missing” in 2001. Every department would be audited and their roles would have to be justified and the wasted would be eliminated as best as possible.
  • Dary: It would look like it is supposed to look like.

Conclusions?

I think from the answers I see here, there’s a lot of anti-war sentiment. And that’s okay. But if you think Paul is going to get the GOP nomination with that message, I really think you’re kidding yourself. I really liked what Michael had to say about Paul’s presidency being a period of “change and introspection”, but I only think it can happen under a 3rd party banner.

And to that point, I think part of Aaron’s answer speaks to that…

Liberty will be a proposition to be affirmed or negated rather than simply brushed aside in order to “protect us from those who hate our freedom” or to reward those who want seemingly simple solutions to complex resource issues like medical care.

Does that sound like something voters on the GOP side would vote for? No, me neither, but I bet a lot of Independents and pissed off Libertarian Republicans would.

Obviously it’s all up in the air. Obviously it’s all speculation. But if you really think that Paul’s presidency will be about significant change, then I think it’s going to have to come from outside of the system, not from within.

Just my two cents.