I have such a low opinion of Iowa conservatives that I have picked Ron Paul to win the Republican caucus today. Yes, I’m half-joking. But that also means I’m half serious. Nebra, who seldom jokes at all, has picked the logical choice, Mitt Romney.
I can see the attraction to Paul, the little curmudgeon from Texas. His libertarian ideas often strike home, even to someone like me who is a centrist Democrat. Unlike Romney, he never changes colors and speaks his mind clearly.
Michael Gerson, the Washington Post op-ed columnist, recently panned Paul as a “radical” and listed some of the Republican candidate’s thoughts. I found myself nodding in agreement with Paul in many of them. Like the presidency of Ronald Reagan as a “dramatic failure,” legalizing prostitution and heroin, blaming terrorism on U.S. militarism and accusing our government of a coverup on 9/11. I don’t agree in full that America is “the most aggressive, extended and expansionist” empire in the history of the world. It’s close but the title has to belong to the Romans.
But to suddenly do away with the CIA and other important government agencies, to say that we should not have entered World War II, particularly to end the Holocaust, to move into an isolationist mode, well, I think those notions are beyond frightening.
For Iowans to go for Paul, as I, again half-joking, predict, is to court national disaster. That his ideas will even place him in contention with Romney or Rick Santorum or whoever is the kind of craziness I ascribe to conservatives in Iowa and that middle part of the country.
On top of that, Paul is not electable by the general population. He could not hope to win the presidency. And he is 76 years old. If beating Obama is the end game, then Iowans have only one clear choice. Romney. I say do thoughtful Americans a favor. Vote Paul.
But the question awaits an answer: How crazy is Iowa anyhow?