June 23, 2007

To Donate Or Not?

Let's say I have a few bucks to give to the presidential candidate of my choice. What should I do? I'm fairly agnostic about which of the "Big Three" Democratic candidates I want to see nab the nomination--Obama has the least hawkish foreign policy instincts, Edwards the most sweeping domestic policy vision, while Clinton's the most adept at winning political skirmishes, but the differences are probably smaller than they might appear. Among the also-rans, Kucinich's views come closest to my own, but he appears to have scant interest in actually campaigning.

In that case, Ron Paul might actually be my best bet. No, I'm not nostalgic for the gold standard, and no, I don't want to abolish the Department of Education--though I would be down for abolishing the Energy Department--but there's no danger of either of those things happening. Ron Paul does, however, expose Republican voters to ideas on foreign policy that I think should be widely disseminated--namely, that we shouldn't go around attacking other nations willy-nilly. He's not polling very well, but if he's actually capable of changing minds or broadening the GOP debate on foreign policy, then it would be a grand thing for his campaign to keep on trucking.

On the other hand, it's possible that Ron Paul comes across as so wacky in the debates that he makes guys like Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani--who would, apparently, still attack Iraq if they could do it all over again--seem reasonable to the median viewer. If that's the case, Paul does more harm than good, and I definitely shouldn't give him any money. So which is it?
-- Brad Plumer 3:36 PM || ||