Even though he's not one of the top tier contenders, I thought it might be worthwhile to go ahead and write a short, but sweet primer that will explain why so many Republicans have a big problem with Ron Paul. Enjoy!
#1) Ron Paul is a libertarian, not a conservative: I have nothing against libertarians. To the contrary, I like them and welcome them into the Republican Party. But, conservatives have even less interest in seeing a libertarian as the GOP's standard bearer than seeing a moderate as our party's nominee. In Paul's case, his voting record shows that he is the least conservative member of Congress running for President on the GOP side. So, although he is a small government guy, he very poorly represents conservative opinion on a wide variety of other important issues.
#2) Ron Paul is one of the people spreading the North American Union conspiracy: If you're so inclined, you can click here for just one example of Paul talking up a mythical Bush administration merger of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, but you're not missing much if you don't. Reputable conservatives shouldn't be spreading these crazy conspiracy theories and the last thing the GOP needs is a conspiracy crank as our nominee in 2008.
#3) Ron Paul encourages "truther" conspiracy nuts: Even though Ron Paul admits that he does not believe in a 9/11 government conspiracy, he has been flirting with the wackjobs in the "truther movement," like Alex Jones and the "Student Scholars for 9/11 Truth." Republican politicians should either ignore people like them or set them straight, not lend credence to their bizarre conspiracy theories by acting as if they may have some merit, which is what Ron Paul has done.
#4) Ron Paul's racial views: From the Houston Chronicle, Texas congressional candidate Ron Paul's 1992 political newsletter highlighted portrayals of blacks as inclined toward crime and lacking sense about top political issues.
Under the headline of "Terrorist Update," for instance, Paul reported on gang crime in Los Angeles and commented, "If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be."
Paul, a Republican obstetrician from Surfside, said Wednesday he opposes racism and that his written commentaries about blacks came in the context of "current events and statistical reports of the time."
..."Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal justice system,' I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal," Paul said.
...He added, "We don't think a child of 13 should be held responsible as a man of 23. That's true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult and should be treated as such."
Paul also asserted that "complex embezzling" is conducted exclusively by non-blacks.
"What else do we need to know about the political establishment than that it refuses to discuss the crimes that terrify Americans on grounds that doing so is racist? Why isn't that true of complex embezzling, which is 100 percent white and Asian?" he wrote."
#5) A lot of Ron Paul's supporters are incredibly irritating: There are, without question, plenty of decent folks who support Ron Paul. However, for whatever reason, his supporters as a group are far more annoying than those of all the other candidates put together. It's like every spammer, truther, troll, and flake on the net got together under one banner to spam polls and try to annoy everyone into voting for Ron Paul (which is, I must admit, a novel strategy).
#6) Ron Paul is an isolationist: The last time the United States retreated to isolationism was after WW1 and the result was WW2. Since then, the world has become even more interconnected which makes Ron Paul's strategy of retreating behind the walls of Fortress America even more unworkable than it was back in the thirties.
#7) Ron Paul wants to immediately cut and run in Iraq: Even if you're an isolationist like Ron Paul, the reality is that our foreign policy isn't currently one of isolationism and certain allowances should be made to deal with that reality. Yet, Paul believes we should immediately retreat from Al-Qaeda in Iraq and let that entire nation collapse into genocide and civil war as a result. Maybe, just maybe, Paul's motives are better than those of liberals like Murtha and Kerry, who want to see us lose a war for political gain, but the catastrophic results would be exactly the same.
In the single most repulsive moment of the entire Presidential race so far, Ron Paul excused Al-Qaeda's attack on America with this comment about 9/11:
"They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years."
In other words, America deserved to be attacked by Al-Qaeda.
This is the sort of facile comment you'd expect to hear from an America-hating left winger like Michael Moore or Noam Chomsky, not from a Republican running for President -- or from any Republican in office for that matter. If you want to truly realize how foolish that sort of thinking is, imagine what the reaction would be if we had bombed Egyptian or Indonesian civilians after 9/11 and then justified it by saying "We attacked them because those Muslims have been over here."
#9) Ron Paul is the single, least electable major candidate running for the presidency in either party: Libertarianism simply is not considered to be a mainstream political philosophy in the United States by most Americans. That's why the Libertarian candidate in 2004, Michael Badnarik, only pulled .3% of the vote. Even more notably, Ron Paul only pulled .47% of the vote when he ran at the top of the Libertarian ticket in 1988. Granted, Paul would do considerably better than that if he ran at the top of the Republican Party ticket, but it's hard to imagine his winning more than, say 35%, of the national vote and a state or two -- even if he were very lucky. In other words, having Ron Paul as the GOP nominee would absolutely guarantee the Democratic nominee a Reaganesque sweep in the election.
Summary: Is Ron Paul serious about small government, enforcing the Constitution, and enforcing the borders? Yes, and those are all admirable qualities. However, he also has a host of enormous flaws that makes him unqualified to be President and undesirable, even as a Republican Congressmen.