Thursday, February 21, 2008
The Phil Valentine Show, and Why I Won't Vote for Ron Paul at the Convention
This business of being a delegate to the Republican National Convention, free to vote for whomever I choose, is going to be fun for another couple weeks, at least until Senator McCain wins a few more primaries and mathematically locks down the nomination without the aid of the eight of us who are Romney delegates from Tennessee.
Not wanting to squander my 15 minutes, I called one of the producers of the Phil Valentine Show, a very good, very conservative Nashville based syndicated radio talk show host and told him I wanted to get advice from Phil and his listeners on how to vote.
The next day, the producer called me (it was "the Round Mound", Phil's regular sidekick Johnny B. apparently being on vacation), and in about two minutes I was on the air with "Uncle Phil" himself. Phil advised me to hold Senator McCain's feet to the fire, and secure three pledges from him:
1. Opposition to amnesty for illegal aliens
2. Support in making the Bush tax cuts permanent
3. Abandonment of his support for legislation that supposedly addresses global warming
I also gave Phil my email address, and asked his listeners to email me with their advice.
30 of them did just that.
10 listeneers emailed me and echoed Phil's advice, with most of them advising me not to vote for McCain if he didn't make those three promises. (Note to these folks -- He's on the record that he supports permanent tax cuts, but the other two issues are a little less clear).
20 listeners emailed to advise me to vote for Ron Paul instead.
All 20 of these emails were lengthy and filled with passion.
And all 20 were unpersuasive.
Straight from Ron Paul's official website comes the following position on Iraq:
On my first day as commander-in-chief, I will direct the Joint Chiefs of Staff and our commanders on the ground to devise and execute a plan to immediately withdraw our troops in the safest manner possible.
Those who caution that leaving Iraq would be a disaster are the same ones who promised the conflict would be a “cake-walk.” It is impossible to tell how long we will have to stay and how many lives we will have to lose if we wait for political factions that have been at war for centuries to come together.
As long as we occupy Iraq, the violence against our troops will continue, and the Iraqi government will become more dependent on us. It is in the best interests of the Iraqi people that we return their country to them immediately. Indeed, violence has already gone down in the areas that are not as heavily occupied.
An immediate withdrawal from Iraq would be an unnecessary concession to an enemy whom we are finally beating, and beating fairly soundly at the moment. It would embolden the chastened and retreating Islamic jihadists to attack other countries, leading inevitably to further attacks on American soil.
Such an action would significantly increase the likelihood that we would experience an American Hiroshima in our lifetime at the hands of this enemy.
As Abraham Lincoln demonstrated by his strong and wise actions a century and a half ago, the single most important responsibility of the President is to preserve and protect the Union. And Ron Paul's policy on Iraq would do exactly the opposite.