Ron Paul: “It’s A Losing Position” For Republicans To Focus On Social Issues

“I don’t see how that’s possible,” said Ron Paul in response to a question about whether or not Rick Santorum can win against Barack Obama with a campaign focused on social issues.

Just to clarify Paul’s position here (I think he’s right, by the way), this doesn’t mean that Republicans should abandon their social/moral beliefs. This means that Republicans should focus on policies that allow people to make their own choices as opposed to imposing certain beliefs or moralities on them.

The contraception issue is a perfect case in point. The left would like to make the debate about whether or not contraception is moral, but that’s not the question at hand. The question at hand is whether or not the government can force you to buy something, specifically something you might find morally objectionable. The left says the government can, Republicans should say that those sort of purchases should be up to the individual (or the business/organization, as the case may be).

In order to be successful, Republicans need to be perceived as protecting our liberty not as wanting to impose (or “restore” as many Republicans put it) a certain set of values on the nation.

Catholics should be free to be Catholics. Jews and Muslims should be free to be Jews and Muslims. Atheists should be free to be atheists. Individuals should be free to be individuals, and live their lives as they see fit. That’s the winning message, and that is Rep. Paul’s point I believe.

One can be socially conservative (it’s worth noting that Paul is staunchly pro-life) while simultaneously opposing the idea of government imposing moral standards.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • HG

    It has been liberals and independents “focusing” on social issues.  Santorum has been “focused” on the issues.  My opinion is, if you don’t want the campaign focused on social issues, stop focusing on them. 

  • Econwarrior

    Paul is a moral relativist.

    • Sparkie Arbuckle

      That’s not true at all.  Someone who unflinchingly defends basic individual autonomy and regularly criticizes the manner in which the gov’t coerces those individuals can hardly come off as a moral relativist.

      On the other hand, someone who advocates a unitary executive branch under a GOP president, giving the president unprecedented power in the history of the country, and then complains no matter what the president does under a Democrat president strikes me as a much better candidate for moral relativist since you think the basic rules which govern our society ought to fluctuate wildly in the period of a decade to suit the short term political goals of your party.

      Also, people who think it’s immoral for the federal government to spend a lot of money and be socialistic, but constantly advocate wars to benefit Saudi Arabia and/or Israel (expensive, command economy), are just ***moral hypocrites who say one thing and do another***. 

      • mickey_moussaoui

        The Saudi’s, the ones Obama bows down too, have just raised the price of oil today. Are you telling me that Mr.”suck up obama ” will not defend the Saudi’s from Iran, militarily, if they go nuclear?  Are you telling me “Mr kiss Saudi ass Obama” will attempt to negotiate with the Saudi on their recent decision to raise oil prices? Command economy? lol

         lol ,dream on.

        • Sparkie Arbuckle

          War economies are command economies.

          The entire bloated defense industry is a big command economy.

  • borborygmi

    Met a young gentleman behind a convience store counter.  He was talking about Ron Paul. I said that Ron Paul doesn’t have a chance.  He replied the younger voters rise up in time to get him nominated,  ” I voted for Obama, I voted for hope and change and got neither.  This should strike fear in the Democrats, if  this young voter is representative of those who voted for Obama  last time and they are defecting all the way over to Ron Paul,  Obama is in deep doodoo. 

    • $8194357

      IMO emotion based voting..REAL facts are what any of us should be voting on. to bad they are so hard to come by anymore from any direction….

      • flamemeister

        The population is in Messiah-mode. Let’s try another.

        • $8194357

          Yeah, I see that..

  • The Whistler

    Reacting to issues that are out there today isn’t “focusing” on them. 

    • HG

      Exactly, Whistler.  Liberals and Santorum critics are the only ones focused on social issues.

    • suitepotato

      Exactly true. Of course, Rob misses that because he’s a garden variety muddle-headed child of a libertarian, without the grounding in reality to accept that not everyone can have their way and do whatever they want. That mentality is as bad as liberalism, and is just another sort of entitlement thinking. Libertarians think you have the right to do anything you want and liberals think you have the right to make someone else pay for it. There’s no real difference.

      In point of fact, these issues exist because large numbers of people don’t believe abortion should be legal, don’t believe the nuclear family is passe, and don’t think of religion as for fools. The majority have real beliefs and everyone must surrender just a little to come to a compromise and accomodation. The issues are created because too damn many are of the mind that they can and should have everything, that it must necessarily be accompanied by the other guy getting nothing, and that they have a right to whatever it is they want and the other guy has no expectation of anything.

      Libertarianism like liberalism is unable to address the reality of pluralism inherent in societies of individuals and self-forming groups. Instead, they play to factionalism, schism, and destruction of the body politic.

      • Daryn Rabbe

        Libertarianism is severely misunderstood.

        “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add within the ‘limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrants will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

        There’s your “surrender, compromise and accomodation.”

        Now allow me to inform you of the difference between a social conservative & liberal – to that of a libertarian.

        Today’s social conservative & liberal both appeal towards NATIONAL government in order to FORCE their beliefs upon ALL of society.(tyrant’s will) That’s a pretty damn big group. The libertarian, such as was intended by our framers, believes in a decentralized, local & voluntary means of resolving disputes among individuals. You know, the allowance for tolerance & respect for a diversity of viewpoints.

        In otherwords, liberals & social conservatives enjoy abusing power and are truly the intolerant and disrespectful. You thrive on force at a National level. The one-party National Fascist Party is merely divided into two “wings” which take turns trading & abusing power on social issues  (keeping the masses entertained), while practicing crony-capitalism behind the scenes which is subsidized by the masses.

        So the Nationalization of beliefs is how social conservatives and liberals “address pluralism”?  …while libertarians support a state & local voluntary-based means to address diverse beliefs which is the “destruction of the body politic.”



      • Sparkie Arbuckle

        All you mean is that Rob is less of a fascist than you.  You need not take up so much space doing that.  Just say it.

  • LastBestHope

    Santorum talks the talk but does he walk the walk?

    “Santorum’s effective tax rate was precisely the average of all federal taxes paid by those earning more than $1 million, according to the Tax Policy Center. Of all the candidates, Santorum gave the least to charity in 2010 – less than 2 percent. Romney and Obama both gave about 14 percent of their fortunes away, while Republican Newt Gingrich gave less than 3 percent, figures from their 2010 returns show.”

    I have heard it said that if you wanna know what you value, take a look at how you spend your money. For most of US, it’s pretty plain…housing, transportation, food, healthcare. But for the wealthy, they have choices.

    Santorum’s and Newt’s miserly charitable giving says a lot. Obama’s recent giving says he is running for reelection. Romney’s giving is the way he lives his life and not a recent spluge, made to impress.

  • realitybasedbob

    Since gop is losing the the economic issues and have completely lost the National Security issue, all it has left is Guns, God and gays.

    What did ever happen to that tea party anyway?

    • Jim

      The real Tea Party has always been supporting Ron Paul.

      • suitepotato

        The bulk of the masses who showed for the Tea Party rallies DO NOT support Ron Paul now, never did, and never will. Stop dreaming.

        • Daryn Rabbe

          Jim didn’t mention anything about the “bulk of the masses”, but rather pointed-out that the supporters of the original Tea Party, which was started by Ron Paul and later ripped-off by Neocons, are still around and supporting Paul.

          Technically, copying Paul & his supporters ideas would make the neo-cons “Paulbots.”  

      • HG

        Boy, you Paulbots are delusional.

    • LastBestHope

      Economic issues favor your hero? Only the truly clueless would say such a thing:

      American’s are as lost as is possible… more desperate than any time since the Great Depression.

      Read the numbers that reveal the misery @

      • $8194357

        (Economic issues favor your hero? Only the truly clueless would say such a thing:)

        Sad isn’t it….

        • LastBestHope

          Sad and self-defeating.

          Romney was born to fix this mess, A lifetime in preparation. Never has the moment more suited the man….

          and yet we, who all want Obama removed from power, pick nits endlessly.

          May God save US

          • realitybasedbob

            So, Mr. Hopey, Willard is the new The One?

          • mickey_moussaoui

            We don’t pick messiahs. We look for competent, veted, experienced leadership. We will leave the rock star hunting for you libs.

      • two_amber_lamps

        Economic issues favor your hero? Only the truly clueless would say such a thing:

        FantasybasedBoob is quite the card…

        The tripe that baboon spouts is spectacular…  do you suppose he actually keeps a straight face when he pushes the “post” button? I wish he’d stop being so funny, I’ve got the flu and he makes me laugh so hard my sides ache….

        :D :D XD (ouch!)

        • mickey_moussaoui

          Cover they key board to keep the spittle off

    • mickey_moussaoui

      Pure nonsense booby. You are starting to sound like that bitter harpy Debbie Hannitized Wasserman Schultz.
      America is losing the economic issue BECAUSE of obama and his party. The Republicans are guilty of not stopping them. As far as national security goes, well obama has bought into Bush’s Homeland Security agenda full scale. He can thank the Republicans for that. Although, Iran just might bite him in his skinny little ass if they go rogue. Don’t get too confident with little Barry. He has lots of room to fall.

  • Reverendyo

    I don’t believe Santorum can beat Obama.  The media will eat him alive with his contraception and his beliefs that are anti-freedom.  Sadly, the one man who can beat Obama and is the most conservative can not win over the majority of republicans.  It is sad that the neocons have taken over the Republican party.  

  • Neiman

    When we cease to be moral we cease to be good and when we cease to be good, we cease to be great. Very simply formula really, it worked for us before 1962, it hasn’t since then.

    It is better morally and spiritually, it is much better for the nation economically and in defense of our military power, to focus and even lose on moral/social issues, as no matter a temporary loss we will win long term. Only short sighted liberals, libertarians and atheists (same thing really) want to abandon these issues so critical to a free and prosperous people, long term conservatives would rather be right, because that will guarantee long term success.

    • Chris

      Is it moral to work on the Sabbath?

      • Neiman

        For the Jews it is a violation of the 10 Commandments, for them it is not a moral but a religious law.

        For Christians there is no Sabbath, unless the person is a Seventh Day Adventist or other legalistic group. We Christians gather together for corporate worship on the First Day, Sunday, but hold all days as alike unto the Lord.

        Now that is the answer, none of your usual games please. It was asked and clearly answered.

        • Chris

          I thought the Sabbath was mentioned a lot in the Bible, like the following:

          Lev. 23:3
          There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the LORD.

          Does that not apply anymore?

          • Neiman

            I gave you the facts about the Sabbath and the Jews (OT) and Christians (NT); and if you cannot understand the difference, that is your problem, not mine.

          • Chris

            Then you agree that the OT doesn’t apply to us  anymore.

          • Zog


            Bible beaters like Neiman are very cute about accepting the parts of the Bible that they like and ignoring the rest. I’m an old man and, in my lifetime, plenty of business enterprises were forbidden by law to operate on Sunday, and even farmers who did urgent work on Sunday would be bad-mouthed by their neighbours.

            Anyway, I’m glad that Christians are now renouncing the OT because most of it is silly shit anyway.

          • Chris

            Finally a voice of common sense.

          • Neiman

            No I do not agree. The moral spiritual truths and the prophecies therein surely apply.

          • Chris

            Then we cannot work during the Sabbath as the OT had commanded.

          • Neiman

            You are wrong! You do not want to understand, you just want to attack Christ here.

          • Chris

            No, what I’m getting at is whether you follow the OT or not!!!  The Sabbath is part of the 10 commandments!

          • Neiman

            Asked and answered. Play with Zog, he is your spiritual brother.

          • Chris

            This is your answer: yes but  no.  Very schizophrenic.

          • Neiman


            This is your answer: yes but  no.  Very schizophrenic.

            Not that at all, it is simply beyond your foolish understanding and I am tired of your games. Go play elsewhere, you are boring me.

          • Guest

            Neiman- glad to see that your usual ridiculous religious shell games are still in full swing.

            In multiple threads, Chris has asked straight up regular questions that almost any moron could answer. You have evaded him and used doublespeak- admittedly, it’s impossible to defend either the old or new testament, as they are both so obviously contrived and clearly man-made, riddled with inconsistencies, errors, homophobia (which you have no problem promoting), xenophobia, and general hatred.

            You are, as always, a raving jackass.

            At least you’re consistent there.

          • mickey_moussaoui

            Who is “us” ? You don’t speak for everyone. You
            are not religious, so be it. I’m surprised that a lib would argue against the
            fourth commandment. You guys are the ultimate entitlement freeloaders. You
            should have the commandment written into all your grievances against big

  • Jay

    I agree with Paul. Santorum wants to turn this country into a theocracy. That didn’t work out too well for him as Senator from Pennsylvania, and it will work out no better for him nationally.

    • Neiman

      That is a damnable lie! I challenge you to prove he has called for a theocracy or offer any statements that would provide objective support. You will never apologize, but you should tell the truth. Now get this straight – to advocate on behalf of Christian morality for our country and to state one’s moral values clearly, to vote only for Christians and to try and influence our laws is not to argue for a theocracy,it is participatory democracy. That is a nice little liberal lie designed to defeat Santorum, but it is just that a LIE!

      • Jay

        Aw, widdle Santorumbot get his Big Brother-loving panties in a knot? Politics 101: Accuse anyone you disagree with of being a liar. Here’s a thought: If you want Christian morality, live it. Don’t use Washington or any of the state legislatures to impose your beliefs on me or others who don’t worship your God. I don’t care what you do in your personal life so long as you hurt no one and don’t endanger society. Do me a favor and don’t try to impose your sanctimonious beliefs on me either.

        • Neiman

          Ah, no offer of objective documented proof that Santorum wants America to be a theocracy. I knew you were incapable of apologizing for your lies.

          Next, from our founding as a nation, we have mostly been a Christian people and our Founding Fathers promoted Christ in our public schools, even buying them Bibles. So, those people that birthed this nation testify against you.They saw it the right of people of faith to choose only Christians as their elected officials, if they chose, and recognized their right to influence our laws and the moral character of our nation. Even Jefferson, a god to you liberals, said in the Northwest Treaty that new states should encourage the Christian Bible be used in their schools which produced good moral character and was good for the nation.

          What kind of faith would Christians have, if they did not try and influence everyone to walk according to the Commandments of God and seek to save their souls through propagation of the faith? The First Amendment means you may not silence us and any real Christian, even under threat of death, could not refrain from reproving the world of sin and leading as many as possible to Salvation in Christ.

    • HG

      That is some hype only a OWSer could be more proud of. 

      There isn’t a fact to support your ridiculous nonsense.  

      Your first mistake was agreeing with Paul.  It all went downhill from there.

  • Sparkie Arbuckle

    Santorum never stood a bat’s chance in hell of winning a goddamn thing.  That you are still talking about him only evidences that he would be that much worse of a president since he is persevering (apparently) for his ego at the cost of party unity.

    It’s merely an index of how the GOP is hostage to nutbags with moneybags.  The fact that Santorum is still being talked about is not a function of ‘democracy’ whatsoever.

    It’s just money providing what little inertia he still has.  

    Personally, I think he should just go crawl back into whatever cage he engages in all the virulent, sinful, deviant behavior that has come to be so strongly correlated to outspoken moral conservatives.  Good riddance.

    PS – He’s young, but he looks more like a corpse than any of the others, IMHO.

    • Neiman

      Yes, we need the opinion of an atheist, evolutionary Marxist like you to tell Republicans and Conservatives who to vote for and who will win. They said much the same things about Reagan, one of the top three Presidents in our history and it was/is all bs, designed by you Leftist crud to divide the GOP and keep Comrade-Chairman and Imam Barry Sotero in office another four years to complete his destruction on America..

      • Sparkie Arbuckle

        I’m an atheist, yes.  Marx was wrong though.  He made claims, they were false.  Also, one cannot ontologize econ.  Historical class struggle as the prime mover?  GTFAH.  Same sort of wrong bullshit issues from the traps of conservatives who think the only human science is econ.  They are wrong in a similar way to Marx, but, of course, they think they are right and that Marx was wrong.

        • Neiman

          Those that place their happiness and the future of man on conservative economics are surely wrong.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      And you think big money isn’t keeping obama in the running? heh heh heh

      I see little moral character difference between obama and Santorum except that Santorum has the courage to be vocal about it whereas obama never takes a public stand on anything. For instance, obama has not supported the gay agenda publically and the gays know it. Santorum has support from a segment of this society and that is very much Democracy in action. You need to get over yourself. You libs think anything that doesn’t fall into your narrow perspective of command and control is not or never can be “democratic”. You people do not deserve to even use that word. You are the most UNDEMOCRATIC group of bigots in the nation. What strikes many as ironic is that you leftists have such vitriol for individual morals in general. As if having morals is somehow wrong.
      No one is trying to impose their morals on you and your ilk unlike the left which attempts to impose their lack of morals on the country at every opportunity. People like Santorum are not asking you to change, they want you to stop trying to change their morals against their will. Give them the free will that God granted man and stop trying to drag everyone into your sewer.

  • toomuchguvmint

    That people abuse drugs and alcohol is news to no one. That people who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol have a greater propensity or probability of harming other members of society should not be news to anyone either. Said use and abuse of alcohol and drugs is not an excuse for individuals who harm other members of society. Why would anyone want to vote for a presidential candidate who wants to increase the legalization of the use of these harmful drugs that greatly increase the probability of innocent members of society meeting a violent end? When the use and abuse of many of these harmful drugs is illegal at least some of the users and abusers of these substances who have been convicted of illegal acts are confined and unlikely to harm as many innocent members of society.

  • Clint F

    Anyone who buys the idea that “contraception” is the issue has shut off the critical thinking portion of their brain.  Last I read, abortion-inducing drugs were also part of that “contraception” package that church organizations are being forced to provide against their religious beliefs. The media has sucked the air out of that portion of the argument because they know they’ll lose it, and they know that most catholics aren’t devout anyway, so they divert everyone’s focus to condoms and the pill.


  • SigFan

    Mark 8:36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”

    Some fights really are worth fighting.

    • flamemeister

      Toqueville saw the American involvement in religion as the core of its success.  This country will rise or fall on issues of good and evil, Christianity or secularism.  Secularism has made everything worse.  Whether one sees religion as true or false, it has been the major driving force behind culture in all its aspects.  Get rid of it, and it will rise again with a vengeance. It’s not merely the economy at stake, it is souls.  Whether we know it or not we are immersed in a theological battle with the highest possible stakes.  I was stunned at how well Santorum understands this.

      • SigFan

        I have always believed that it is and always has been the underlying common understanding of right and wrong, good and evil, license and restraint that allowed this country to rise. An inherently good people with a clear understanding of that, whether they are practicing a religious faith or not will do the right thing far more often than they will do the wrong thing. The erosion of that understanding into the subjective moral relativism of today is what is causing the greatest part of our decay IMO. It is a battle on an epic scale, and the souls of men and the soul of this country is at stake. Unfortunately, I am not too confident that we haven’t slipped our moorings completely at this point and that we collectively know how to get back to port. I hope I’m wrong.

  • Lynn Bergman

    Ronald Reagan’s success came from his abundant respect for social, fiscal and foreign policy conservatives. We knew Ronald Reagan…Ron Paul is no Ronald Reagan.Two out of three ain’t bad but three out of three yields success.

    Herman Cain… Michelle Bachman…and now Rick Santorum were my first three choices. Anyone but Romney…or Paul!