I don’t want this blog to turn into a Ron Paul fansite, but I keep coming across Paul-related things that I want to post about.
Anyway. A lot of my political thinking is based on a passage from The True Christian Religion, which states in part,
Anyone can see that there is no empire, kingdom, duchy, republic, city or house which lacks the support of laws, to impose order and so control the form of its government. In each case the laws of righteousness occupy the highest place, political laws the second place, and the laws governing the economy the third. If we make a comparison with a man, the laws of righteousness are the head, those of politics the body, those of the economy the clothes. That is why these last can be changed, like clothes. (n. 50)
When I’m deciding who to vote for, policies or beliefs that have a genuine moral element trump the lower policies. For example, even if Candidate A’s budget-balancing plan is far superior (in my opinion) to Candidate B’s, I’ll vote for Candidate B if Candidate A would support a law that I view to be truly unrighteous.
Now, I think that for the most part, the laws of righteousness are universally agreed upon. They are fundamental principles, such as the idea that it is wrong to murder. But there are a few cases where candidates do have different beliefs about laws of righteousness. And the candidates opinions on these laws trump all the other positions and platforms they might have.
This brings us to my specific point. I believe that the principle of never attacking until you are attacked is a law of righteousness. And no matter what a candidate’s other opinions on economic or political policies, this principle takes precedence (unless, of course, their policies would break another law of righteousness). This is why I will vote for Ron Paul in the Republican primary, and why I will probably vote for the Libertarian or Constitution Party candidate if Paul is not the Republican candidate.
This has always been true. It’s why I voted for the Constitution Party candidate, Michael Peroutka, in the last election, even though I hated his policy on immigration. But something Ron Paul said earlier tonight in the Republican debate made me appreciate him more than before. Wolf Blitzer asked him, “What’s the most pressing moral issue in the United States right now?” Ron Paul replied,
I think it is the acceptance just recently that we now promote preemptive war. I do not believe that’s part of the American tradition. We in the past have always declared war in the defense of our liberties or go to aid somebody, but now we have accepted the principle of preemptive war. We have rejected the just- war theory of Christianity. And now, tonight, we hear that we’re not even willing to remove from the table a preemptive nuclear strike against a country that has done no harm to us directly and is no threat to our national security!
I mean, we have to come to our senses about this issue of war and preemption and go back to traditions and our Constitution and defend our liberties and defend our rights, but not to think that we can change the world by force of arms and to start wars.
I might disagree with him about some of his foreign policy, I might have some doubts about his economic policy, but what matters more to me is his position on preemptive war, and on this issue we’re right on the same page.
(I got his response from The New York Times’ transcript of the debate. Printing transcripts is the best thing newspapers ever do.)