Thomas Mullen on Ron Paul, republicanism vs. democracy, and taking an axe to the Federal Leviathan:
Ron Paul’s presidential campaign strategy is rooted in republicanism. He has deliberately focused his efforts on the states that hold caucuses instead of primaries because caucuses do not let the majority rule unchecked. Instead of merely pulling a few levers behind a curtain, caucus participants must complete a multi-tiered process that occurs for months after the popular vote before being chosen for the national convention. Who can doubt that these delegates are more informed than the typical primary voter? The essence of republicanism is for reason to triumph over the transient passion of the majority.
Paul’s platform likewise represents what is best about conservatism. Without exception, it protects the individual from oppression by the majority. He is the only Republican presidential candidate that has actually said the words “role of government” during any debate. That’s because he is the only candidate that seems to recognize that the government’s role is limited; that even a majority vote cannot sanction it to exercise power beyond those limits. Throughout all of human history, conservatives have defended this principle against the ungoverned passion of the majority.
The federal government doesn’t need a manicure. It needs reconstructive surgery. Make that deconstructive surgery. You don’t turn $1.5 trillion deficits into surpluses by tweaking the way that federal departments are managed. You do so by completely eliminating departments and redefining the role of government. Only Ron Paul is proposing to do so. If there is anything left of what made the Republican Party different from the Democrats, they should support both Ron Paul’s platform and his political strategy.