Matt Barber

“I don’t want Iran to have a nuclear weapon,” he continued, all the while demonstrating to everyone watching that a President Paul would be unwilling to lift a finger to prevent it.

His pacifist ruminations prompted fellow presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to respond: “With all due respect to Ron Paul, I think I have never heard a more dangerous answer for American security than the one that we just heard from Ron Paul. … I’ll tell you the reason why, the reason why I would say that is because we know without a shadow of a doubt that Iran will take a nuclear weapon, they will use it to wipe our ally Israel off the face of the map, and they stated they will use it against the United States of America. Look no further than the Iranian constitution, which states unequivocally that their mission is to extend jihad across the world and eventually to set up a worldwide caliphate. We would be fools to ignore their purpose and their plan.”

Mr. Paul evidently is one of those fools. Iran is today’s version of Nazi Germany, and Mr. Paul’s obtuse strategy of reckless inaction affords him the dubious title of this generation’s Neville Chamberlain. Like Chamberlain’s fruitless appeasement, Mr. Paul’s similar strategy simply feeds the insatiable beast.

Don’t get me wrong. I personally like Ron Paul. He’s that affable - if not a little “zany” - uncle who has the whole family on edge at Thanksgiving. “Oh boy; what’s Uncle Ronny gonna say next?”

Still, you wouldn’t give Uncle Ronny the carving knife for the turkey, much less the keys to the Oval Office.

Mr. Paul is many things, but conservative is not one of them. He’s a died-in-the-wool libertarian. That’s one part conservative, two parts anarchist.

Ronald Reagan often spoke of a “three-legged stool” that undergirds true conservatism. The legs are represented by strong free-market economic principles, a strong national defense and strong social values. For the stool to remain upright, it must be supported by all three legs. If you snap off even one leg, the stool collapses under its own weight.

Mr. Paul is relatively conservative from an economic standpoint, but in true libertarian form, has snapped off the legs of national defense and social values.

The libertarian is a strange and rare little animal – a bit like the woolly flying squirrel. It spends its days erratically darting to-and-fro atop this teetering, one-legged stool in a futile effort to keep it from toppling. America witnessed Ron Paul doing this squirrelly libertarian tango on the night of December 15th. Cute but unstable.

Ron Paul never had a chance; but now, with the possible exception of his most committed devotees, I suspect most people will finally admit it. Regardless of what happens in Iowa, the Paul engine has run out of steam. During the debate it pulled into the station and released its final wheeze right alongside the Cain Train.


Matt Barber

Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).