I have watched parts of several Republican Presidential Debate over the last several months. I caught only highlights of a recent one in South Carolina on Monday, Jan. 16.
I then was a bit amazed that the Golden Rule (Examples) came up in the course of that session. Responding to a question from one of the moderators, Congressman Ron Paul tried to address the sovereignty of other nations like Pakistan when it comes to military actions, America’s in particular:
“My point is that if another country does to us what we do to others, we are not going to like it very much. I would say that we maybe ought to consider the Golden Rule in foreign policy. Don't do to other nations what we don't want them to do to us. We endlessly bomb these countries, and then we wonder why they get upset with us?”
Mr. Paul was loudly booed by the audience in response to this comment. Like other candidates, he has strong enough shoulders to handle such a reaction. The boos tell a lot about the people in the seats. But, the Golden Rule speaks loudly about Ron Paul.
I am coming to think that Ron Paul - whether or not a person agrees with his eccentric political positions - may be due to have another title added to the ones he has already collected. Paul started adult life as an Flight Surgeon in the US Air Force in the 60s. He moved on to work as an OB-GYN in Texas delivering thousands of babies. For the last 20+ years, he has been Congressman Paul representing the 14th district of Texas.
Over his many years in Congress, Ron Paul has been a staunch advocate of the US Constitution and endeavored indefatigably to induce the federal government to be more frugal, honest and responsible. Not an easy task and one that gets harder as the years go by.
Paul has become a thorn in the side of the traditional ways of doing things as well as of his so-called conservative Republican Party. While fellow candidates continue to pledge to bomb Iran at first chance, Rep. Paul has repeatedly suggested in many ways to “do unto others as we would have done unto us.”
Recently, I was reminded of a comment made long ago by Robert Kennedy about George McGovern. Kennedy called him “the most decent man in the US Senate.” I should think that Ron Paul ranks similarly in the modern US House of Representatives. Although many of his ideas and approaches to governing don’t sit well with numbers of his colleagues: http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/18/politics/ron-paul-congress/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
Ron Paul also reminds me of Jerry Brown - Governor Moonbeam, who has been a persisting figure in American politics including Mayor of Oakland, CA, California Attorney General, and now California Governor in another round in a very difficult period in that state’s history.
A recent column in the San Francisco Chronicle compared Ron Paul with Jerry Brown a few years back. Ron Paul in 2012 mirrors Jerry Brown in 1992:
I believe Ron Paul can be compared very favorably to George McGovern and Jerry Brown. I also think Dr. Paul deserves extra credit for trying to temper things and treat others as brothers not enemies.
Ron Paul, at 76, is a few years older than Governor Brown. But, he is still extraordinarily active having challenged numerous people including fellow candidates to 30-mile bike rides. He rides bikes whenever work permits and is riding hard for President. But, his greatest pursuit is upholding the Constitution and abiding by principles.
Another comparison might be made with a candidate who did reach the White House, President Theodore Roosevelt who was famous for his trademark slogan, "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." That might have worked 100 years ago, but the modern day may well call for a far different, yet even more well known approach to human - maybe now political - affairs.
For, the moment I would like to imagine candidates and commoners carrying Golden Rulers and using them to measure their actions and lives. Furthermore, I think that Dr. Paul deserves a new title for bringing this approach to the fore in present-day politics.
Thus, I have decided to call him Saint Paul henceforth. Alternatively, Saint Ron Paul. I recommend you take time to read a bit about Ron Paul via the Internet and consider that maybe we all would do better if we lived and worked, spoke and thought as he does - or tries to do. His manner and principles may help explain his growing popularity especially among young people.
While Saint Paul may not be wholly successful in his presidential campaign, he can be assured that he will have affected many lives positively, set a higher standard for fellow politicians, and set aside “treasure” in heaven for himself and his brethren.
If we all worked at treating others as we wish to be treated, we would find ourselves in company of a large majority of Earthlings regardless of politics, religion and tradition.