Ron Paul and I have very few things in common besides our last name. We agree on very little, and we defend those few policy positions we happen to share on very different ideological and philosophical grounds.
My namesake and I agree on one thing, though: Ron Paul has every right to participate in the Republican primary debates.
Saul Azunis, the Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, wants Paul out of the GOP debates simply because he finds Paul’s ideas objectionable. Here’s the direct quote:
“I think he would have felt much more comfortable on the stage with the Democrats in what he said last night and I think that he is a distraction in the Republican primary and he does not represent the base and he does not represent the party.”
If candidates should ever be excluded from debates – and I leave that as an open question – it should be based on measured levels of support, simply so voters can get better acquainted with the more viable candidates. Interestingly, since Paul commented that the 9/11 attacks were motivated by U.S. military activity in the Middle East, interest in his candidacy has gone through the roof.
Clearly, the campaign to exclude Paul isn’t based on his waning support or viability. This effort to exclude him on the basis of his ideas is more than absurd – it’s an affront to democratic principles.
And if you’ll permit me to idealistically invoke John Stuart Mill here, shouldn’t Paul’s kooky thoughts – some far more kooky than his most recent controversial remark – be exposed in the marketplace of ideas for all to see and reject?
I would think so.
This whole fiasco makes me all the more grateful to have a forum where I can ask my own kooky questions and pose my own challenging ideas.
— Scott Paul