Monday, January 23, 2012

The Problem with Ron Paul

I agree with Ron Paul on just about every subject, but I am not supporting him for President. What gives? First, he occasionally makes a total clown of himself. He can be absolutely correct and so totally befuddle the listener that he gives his ideas a bad name. When your ideas are the best, you should be able to take it the opponents of greater liberty much more effectively than he has. Second, it has become increasingly clear that he is not in the race to win it. His strategy appears to be pick up enough delegates to get his issues aired at the convention. I would normally not object to such a strategy, as the Republican party has proved themselves unworthy of commitment to any actual principle over the years. However, this year, Barack Obama represents an existential threat to the liberty of all Americans, and he must be defeated and Obamacare repealed. This is imperative to getting us of the road to serfdom and back on the highway to prosperity and liberty. Mr. Paul's continued presence and his goal of extracting concessions at the convention will work to the advantage of the President's re-election.

However, my biggest argument is with his foreign policy, actually, his national security policy. Now, I agree that we could do with a huge cutback of bases overseas, and even the defense budget requires scrutiny, but Ron Paul is naive if he believes that neutrality is going to make America more secure. We know from history that it is tyrannies, not democracies that are the source of war and conflict. Further, a stable world political order, in which small nations are not subject to territorial violations by their neighbors keeps the peace, which helps with both United States' and world economic growth. This means that it is in our best interests to work against tyrants and would be tyrants the world over. It also means that we support Israel, as the only true democracy in the Middle East, against aggression from her neighbors. Al Qaeda and its like minded co-conspirators actively believe in pan-Islamic dictatorship, and have simultaneously made the mistake of attacking the United States. This makes defeating them, and killing bin-Laden as part of a legal war of self-defense, legitimate execution of America's national security policy. Ron Paul always seems to get tongue tied when discussing the killing of bin-Laden. One of the principles roles of President is Commander-in-Chief. It seems that Ron Paul is squeamish in exercising our sovereign right of self defense, and that makes him unfit for the Presidency.

Let me be clear that we should not get into a war with every dictator on the planet who might threaten us. Even if that were desirable, we lack the national treasure to do so. For example, I have argued that attacking Iran, even if they obtain nuclear weapons is not a realistic option. We must pick our battles. But we should retain the right of self-defense, and further, the right to intervene in conflicts where tyrants threaten the international order, when that is in the national interest and Congress so authorizes.


  1. So who is it? Were I more sympathetic to libertarianism I would suppose my ranking on personal and commercial liberty grounds would be Paul>Romney>Gingrich>Santorum. Thoughts?

  2. I used to make the same arguments regarding foreign policy, but one day I decided that I needed to know more about what was going on in the Defense Department.

    What I found out was that it was I who had been incredibly naive, and not Dr. Paul, who had been giving it to me straight all along.

    Most people aren't aware that 4% of Defense personnel take 80% of the casualties and account for only 1% of the Defense budget.

    Dr Paul advocates a pro-American foreign policy, not a pro-UN foreign policy, which is what we've got right now. Check out the 1962 State Dept. memo calling for a one world army under UN control. America now supplies that army, and it really bothers me.

    What's really going on in the bowels of the Defense Department is NOT on the conservative talking points memo. Read The Grand Chessboard and it's like a play by play of what is unfolding before our eyes.

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  4. Calivancouver, sorry to be late getting back to you. Started a class this week and it eats some time. I am leaning towards Romney because he is personally honorable. Newt is too willing to jump on stupidity like Cap & Trade. If you believe that global warming is a real problem, you would be for a carbon tax as less distorting. If Newt's so smart, he should know this. Santorum is unacceptable, a real enemy of what the Tea Party stands for.

    republicanmother, thank you for those facts. Dr. Paul indeed has some good ideas about military spending and national sovereignty. However, I fundamentally disagree with him on "neutrality." Prior to World War II, we were already helping Britain, because we knew that Hitler was a tyrant. Further, Ron Paul's seeming squeamishness over killing bin-Laden, which is our nation's right under established international law of armed conflict, is disqualifying, in my opinion. With regards to that 4% number, that is the result of the fact that the pointy end of the spear is getting sharper and sharper. The lethality of our soldiers requires a long logistics and infrastructure tail that enables incredible killing power to be put in the hands of 19 year old infantrymen.