While Ron Paul has run for president twice, as well as served in the United States House of Representatives, as a Republican, he is far from a lockstep follower of that party or even a devotee of the “two-party system.” Indeed, Paul is quoted in a Sunday Victoria Advocate article as calling the two-party system “horrible” and speaking favorably of people voting “their conscience instead of Republican or Democratic.”
Paul in 1988 ran as the Libertarian Party presidential nominee. In 2008, after competing in the Republican presidential primary, Paul held a press conference at which he promoted the fact that several third party candidates, three of whom joined him at the press conference, had announced their agreement with a list of principles Paul saw as important for America. These principles related to actions including ending US military intervention, protecting privacy, limiting presidential power, stopping the growth of the national debt, and auditing the Federal Reserve.
At that press conference, Paul said third party candidates are important “because right now there’s only one party,” given that “the two parties agree on everything” while not supporting the principles upon which the third party candidates at the press conference had agreed.
Now, eight years after that press conference, Paul continues challenging the two-party system, or, as he calls it, “one-party system.” Paul also continues promoting that people consider voting for candidates from alternative parties. Below are Paul’s latest comments on the matter, extracted from Kathryn Cargo’s Sunday article “Should the US have a two-party system?” at the Victoria Advocate:
Ron Paul, former U.S. congressman, has always run for office as a Republican except in 1988 when he ran for president as a Libertarian.
He identifies as a Republican, but he has Libertarian beliefs. Paul said there are no advantages to a two-party system.
“It’s horrible,” he said. “I don’t think it’s very democratic. Why should you exclude someone because they are small in number, and they don’t get to express themselves?”
If the government had a proportional representation voting system, third or alternative parties would have a chance, Paul said.
“If they’re inclined to like one of the third parties and they know that if they can get 10 percent, they’ll have a 10 percent representation in the Congress, their vote would become so much more valuable,” he said. “People would vote their conscience instead of Republican or Democratic.”
Paul calls the two-party system a “one-party system” because throughout his lifetime, there has never been an election that has made a large difference in policy, he said.
“Either party spends money and runs up debt,” he said. “They fight and send troops all around the world. It doesn’t change. Neither the Republicans nor Democrats have tried to stop the fact that the president can start a war without a declaration.”
Read the complete article here.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.