Ron Paul, The Military, and Why There Is Almost No in-Between

Ingram delves further into why there is no in-between with those in uniform and their opinions of Ron Paul. Love him or leave him, sailors and Marines have strong beliefs on his military policies.

There doesn’t seem to be an in-between opinion with service members on Ron Paul. He is either loved or despised. Praised or loathed.  Working in politics and being around many folks who have served and now work in politics too, I have had the opportunity to have the Ron Paul conversation on several occasions. With older veterans and service members I find that they tend to agree more with Congressman Paul’s ideas on war, foreign affairs, and military spending. With the younger generation of servicemen I see them divided on the topic. The ones who are downtrodden on Afghanistan tend to agree that we need to pull out as quickly as possible. The ones who still believe we should be in Afghanistan vehemently disagree with Paul.

Congressman Paul is an Air Force veteran and relies on his own experiences in the service to campaign to and court the military vote. Many veterans and active service members find comfort in his service and the fact that he can sympathize on what they do while they serve. Many others are taken back that a man who served in the military could come off, as they perceive, to be so anti-military. 

To compare and contrast for all of you readers, I asked many friends in politics who served in the military for their opinions and thoughts. The two I chose to highlight seemed to define most clearly the differences in the Ron Paul political camps — one Pro-Paul policy, the other Anti. The Pro-Paul fan is a retired sailor in his 40s — the Anti is in his 30s and is currently serving in the navy. Each has had completely different experiences while they served in the Navy. I have made the personal decision to keep their names out of the article because of the recent issues we’ve seen play out with those in the military and how politically involved they are or aren't allowed to be as of late. 

First, let’s examine the statement I gathered from my Pro-Paul friend.

"For me, its the following issues that make me a Ron Paul supporter.

(1) CONSTITUTIONAL: I think service members respect the Constitution. They take an oath to support and defend it and probably appreciate a public official who uses that document as a litmus test about what government can and can't do. 

(2) FOREIGN POLICY: Ron Paul wore the uniform of this great country. He understands how severe war is and adopts a constitutional foreign policy, which by design, is supposed to be deliberative. Service members have no problem running towards the action, to defend this great nation, but I think they appreciate a leader who thinks long and hard before committing American blood and treasure to overseas engagements. 

(3) PATRIOTISM: Military members are (thankfully) very patriotic. They understand that our budget trajectory will end in a default or hyperinflation. I think they appreciate a commander, who has the courage to make the hard decisions, regardless of the fallout, to do the right thing to save this great nation. Ron Paul is the only candidate with a plan to balance our budget and restore the Republic."

Now, examine the statement from the anti-Paul Friend

"I understand the simple appeal of a candidate who advocates a much higher standard for military involvement to service members stretched thin by decades of high (operations) tempo combined with drawdowns and budget cuts. The problem is that Rep. Paul is, like his supporters in and out of uniform, naive to the nature and scope of the threats we face as a nation. The only question is, is Dr. Paul unaware, or intentionally misrepresenting the national security environment for personal political gain? I think it’s the latter."

See what I mean as to how there's (almost) no in between on service members and their thoughts on Paul? The single, middle of the road exception came from another friend, A Marine. "I guess I don't have very strong thoughts on the guy. I mean I think his wanting to cut military spending is a little extreme, but at least he never dodged the draft and served his country honorably, even if he was in the Chair Force." he said in the sarcastic and joking way Marines are known to razz guys in the Air Force. 

I have my own opinions on the congressman as a civilian, but this post isn’t about me or civilians and our thoughts. I will save my own opinions for another time. This piece is intended to convey the many broad and strong thoughts and opinions those who serve have on this controversial figure. And for the record, I have had the privilege of meeting Rep. Paul many times. He has always been kind and down to earth. Much more so than many other politicians I have encountered over the years. Agree with him or not, I do believe his campaign platform comes from a place of principal. 

Ashley Nicole Ingram is the Chair of the Temecula Valley Young Republicans and the Executive Director of the California Young Republican Federation.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ray Parker April 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Terrorism does not exist beyond a small minute portion of people. Did you know you are more likely to dies from a slip in your bathtub than from terrorism? So, in response to your statement it is not necessary at all to police the world and it only makes that "terrorist" cause grow. American military forces are responsible for the deaths of more than 150,000 innocent Iraqis, and you somehow think that is justified by some small piss ant terrorist organization that probably doesnt have the capability to attack us in the US. It is just another excuse for our government to be intrusive and a bully so stop supporting it please.
Ray Parker April 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Newt gingrich is owned by special interests...probably not a good politician to look out for us lol
Troy April 20, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Ray... First off you're not my friend. Second, no need to call me a scumbag. Third, I have direct knowledge of these things I speak about. I dont think our servicemembers are desparate. I do think that based on Ron Paul's policies that there are servicemembers that would donate to him out of desparation to end the high tempo deployments. Obviously Romney, Santorum or Gingrich aren't going to stop deployments. Paul will. So those that joined for the college benefits, then are shocked when they're deployed would be the types to vote for Paul. I'm not some crazy old man. I'm 26, and have served for 9 years in the California Army National Guard. I've deployed to Iraq twice. OIF3 and 2008-2009, one year each. You want my AKO email? Sometimes war is necessary, unfortunately. Yes, I agree, these two wars should be ended. However, I dont beleive our nation should go back to isolationism. The global economy relies too heavily on our protection. Its too bad, but somehow we ended up as the world police. Pandoras box has been opened, and now it cannot be closed. Our economy is too closely tied to the economies of other nations. We rely on global trade. Without our strong military presence, that trade would break down. Put the name calling aside man. It's unecassary and counterproductive to a healty debate. I'm not attacking you personally, I just feel that you're jumping to conclusions and twisiting my words.
Ashley Ingram April 20, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Ugh enough of the name calling Ray. GROW UP. Adults dont talk to one another this way. Civility please.
Ray Parker April 20, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Well obviously you don't see things the way I do. War is counterproductive to freedom everywhere. Not my name calling. It is not necessary to act the way the US does towards other countries. Our world is about to change and we will see who's ideas are counterproductive then.


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