The Honor of Ron Paul
by Joseph Sobran
I guess I've known Ron Paul for a quarter of a
century now, and I don't remember how we met. My first
memory of him is a quiet dinner on Capitol Hill, during
the Reagan years. He told me with dry humor of being the
only member of Congress to vote against some bill Reagan
wanted passed. For Ron it was a matter of principle, and
he was under heavy pressure to change his vote.
What amused him was that the Democrats didn't mind
his voting against it; all the pressure came from his
fellow Republicans, professed conservatives, who were
embarrassed that anyone should actually stand up for
their avowed principles when it was unpopular to do so.
That was Ron Paul for you. Still is. The whole
country is getting to know him now, and the Republicans
still want to get rid of him. The party's hacks, led by
Newt Gingrich, have even tried in vain to destroy him in
his own Texas district.
They're right, in a way. He doesn't belong in a
party that has made "conservative" a synonym for
"destructive." George Will calls him a "useful
anachronism" because he actually believes, as literally
as circumstances permit, in the U.S. Constitution. In his
unassuming way, without priggery or histrionics, he
He may have become at last what he has always
deserved to be: the most respected member of the U.S.
Congress. He is also the only Republican candidate for
president who is truly what all the others pretend to be,
namely, a conservative. His career shows that a
patriotic, pacific conservatism isn't a paradox.
If they can't expel Ron Paul from the party, they
can at least deny him the nomination. The GOP