Ron Paul is not fit to be President (see, e.g., this and this). But he does have qualities that make him interesting. One is that on issues he cares about — racism apparently not being one of them — he is more principled, more consistent (and more extreme) than we are used to seeing in a putative national candidate. (Reagan was certainly not consistent; he raised taxes significantly.) One of those issues is monetary policy: he hates the Fed; although I don’t go far down that road with him, Paul’s pushes for Fed transparency (with Alan Grayson) have been beneficial, and the results deeply revelatory. Another is his support for what we used to call isolationism, but Paul wishes to rebrand as loving our foreign friends.
Here’s his case for pulling back from empire:
Something about the presentation made me think of Mike Gravel.
Kidding aside, Paul does have a serious point: US military adventurism doesn’t work out very well for us or our, um, beneficiaries. The US has at least 662 foreign military bases in well over 150 nations — not counting all the secret ones where no one has ever been tortured or subjected to rendition in places where they torture folks. The latest new foreign military base is in Australia, a state no doubt in danger of imminent invasion.
Bases create demand for infrastructure to protect them, which is then used to justify a larger number of carriers and other force projection tools. Those in turn need bases to supply them… Meanwhile, other countries feel occupied, or encircled. And the US spends far more on arms then any other country in the rest of the world. Indeed more than then the sum of the expenditures of the next 15 countries (2010 data.)