Bill Fleming suggests from a different thread that we discuss Ron Paul, and specifically, a Washington Post column by Michael Gerson, which you can read here.
Michael Gerson is an excellent writer and his analysis of the Ron Paul candidacy is a good one. Of course, as a liberal writer, nothing could make him happier than to have the Republicans cast Paul out in such a manner as to incite him to run as an independent, split the GOP and assure an Obama victory.
Paul's politics resound with the conservative poor. (There's a term you don't often see.) His isolationist mantra makes no more sense than did William Jennings Bryan's.
Isolationism is impractical in the modern world. Jefferson's inaugural address admonition, "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none..." does not work in the 21st Century. James Monroe's Monroe Doctrine: "In the wars of the Europlean powers, n matters relating to themselves, we have never taken part, nor does it comport with our policy, to do so." was fine for 1823. Iran and North Korea didn't have nuclear capability.
We live in a global world. We borrow from our enemies and loan to our friends. The world is a political jumble and simply declaring our neutrality and taking no world responsibility is unrealistic, and often is immoral.
Therein lies the true problem with Ron Paul's candidacy. Most of us can support at least part of his economic policy of discontinuing the wasteful spending we now see. But his isolationism would be the undoing of us. Republicans get that. His candidacy will not be the "undoing" of the GOP, as Gerson suggests.
Gershon's premise that Paul is a racist and his candidacy will taint the GOP as a party of racists won't fly with Republicans, because they are not (for the most part) racists. Paul has economic ideas that appeal to economically distressed white people who do not want government handouts. But that appeal extends to many poor minorities, a fact that is lost on Gershon, or he simply chooses to not mention it.
Now, could the GOP benefit from a more Libertarian view than what is currently represented by the candidates running for the presidential nomination? Sure. But it has to be about building an economy that ensures our right to pursue happiness, no matter who we are.