It’s been quite humorous watching Dick Morris switch modes – from dismissing Ron Paul as a nut and a crackpot to hysterically warning people how dangerous he is. In one of his recent lunch videos, Morris ranted nonstop about Paul, going so far as to say, “He is the most radical, liberal candidate running.” Then, on “The O’Reilly Factor,” Morris said, “I think that he is absolutely the most liberal, radical, left-wing person to run for president in the United States in the last 50 years.”

Funny, but I’ve known Ron Paul for more than 30 years, and I see him as one of the purist conservatives in Washington – and certainly the most conservative person in the current field of Republican candidates. I’m talking about true conservatism, which Ronald Reagan accurately described when he said, “The very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”

So what, specifically, does Morris not like about Ron Paul? For starters, he says that Paul “has this crazy idea about returning to the gold standard.” Hmm … I never thought of a return to sound money as being a crazy idea. With all due respect, Dick, I think I’ll stick with Hayek and Von Mises on that one.

Other Ron Paul sins, according to Morris, include his desire to:

  • Get rid of the Fed.
  • Legalize drugs. (Sorry, pseudo-conservatives, but the unpleasant reality is that the war on drugs has caused even more violence than the war on alcohol did.)
  • Stay out of other countries’ affairs (which would make it possible to slash our military budget withoutweakening our national defense).
  • Repeal the Patriot Act, which would reduce government’s ability to snoop on American citizens.

Morris even claimed that Ron Paul favors abortion on demand, paid for by the government. Now that’s one I’ve never heard before. Paul has always been adamantly pro-life and, further, he believes that the issue of abortion comes under the auspices of the states, not the federal government.

So why is Morris so worried about a guy he has repeatedly referred to as a nutcase, a crackpot and worse? Because, he says, he is afraid that Paul will run as a third-party candidate and “hand the election to Barack Obama.”

First of all, Ron Paul has never been the nutcase his detractors have tried so hard to label him. Second, he is one of the most morally sound individuals I have ever known, and is intellectually sound as well.

In fact, the “crazy uncle” remarks that the fearful media pundits keep throwing out about Paul couldn’t be further from the truth. On the contrary, if Ron Paul has one weakness, it’s that he’s intellectually above the average voter’s head, which sometimes makes it difficult to understand him.

I admit that a handful of comments purportedly made in Ron Paul’s newsletters in the 1980s and 1990s were over the line, but they certainly were not hardcore racist. More important, he unequivocally renounces them today. Often, Paul’s problem is that he is very uninhibited when it comes to being precise about the law and what he believes to be the truth, and, unfortunately, a majority of the population is more interested in political correctness than the Constitution or the truth.

I can only speak from my own firsthand experience, and, behind closed doors, I have never heard Ron Paul say anything that even mildly bordered on racism. Nor is he anti-Semitic or anti-Israel. As he explained it to me on a couple of different occasions, he just happens to believe that Israel would be better off without having to answer to the U.S.

Putting aside the mudslinging, the bottom line is that, more than any other candidate, Ron Paul stands for freedom. But is such a strong advocate of freedom electable? Dick Morris and other establishment Republicans say absolutely not. And they could be right. But there’s a part of me that wonders if they might just be wrong.

If Ron Paul ran as a third-party candidate – especially if Mitt Romney were to be the Republican nominee – he would attract not only tea-party voters, but independents, moderate Democrats and anti-war people of all stripes. While the contrast between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is, from a long-term point of view, marginal, the contrast between Ron Paul and Barack Obama can only be measured in light years.

Mitt Romney is John McCain. Mitt Romney is George W. Bush. Mitt Romney is Bob Dole. Mitt Romney is George Herbert Walker Bush. Mitt Romney is Thomas Dewey. Mitt Romney is Herbert Hoover. Which is why I believe that millions of disgusted and desperate Americans, rather than swallowing John McCain Light or accepting four more years of Obama’s anti-American policies, might just consider casting their vote for a candidate who stands for pure, unadulterated freedom.

Even if Paul did not win, it would be a presidential race like no other. And if it resulted in Obama’s re-election, I’m fine with that if it keeps Mitt Romney from taking the reins of power and feeding us small doses of socialism day in and day out.

Longtime readers will recall that I took the exact same position in 2008 when it was John McCain versus Barack Obama. Early on, I said that I preferred Obama over McCain because his Marxist agenda would finally wake up millions of apathetic Americans. And that’s precisely what happened. In fact, by scaring the hell out of the American electorate, Obama brought the tea party into existence.

Unfortunately, the tea party has not kept the heat on either Obama or Congress. But if Barack Obama is re-elected, maybe tea partiers will be jolted into rising up in earnest – 365 days a year – and get serious about taking back America.

While Dick Morris says that “Ron Paul is just an absolute nightmare,” I say he would be the perfect person to lead the charge against Obama’s march toward Marxism.

Maybe it’s Dick Morris who’s the crazy uncle.

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