The supporters of Ron Paul say he’s a conservative. They cite his strong commitment to the US Constitution on economic issues. They remind us about his focus on the 10th Amendment. They point out his desire to return to a solid currency. What they scurry to cover is his naive, nonsensical ideas about national defense and foreign policy. What they rush to ignore are the asinine contentions of Ron Paul that seek to pander to 9/11 conspiracy theorists, and his child-like view that Iran will be fine if it develops nuclear arms. Even if these weren’t bad enough, his supporters use stealth and misleading approaches to sell him as a conservative. I’m weary from all those who tell me Ron Paul is a conservative, because in fact, he is not. Instead, he’s a libertarian, and he’s in the wrong party, and I have no problem suggesting he should take his act elsewhere, and if need be, take his followers with him. Conservatives don’t pander to so-called “truthers” or to the hemp lobby, but that is the core of his support. Conservatives don’t blame America for the September 11th attacks of 2001. Ron Paul does.
Even during Thursday night’s debate, Ron Paul was clearly out of place on the stage with fellow Republicans. His views on several issues of national import made it plain that he’s missed something basic in how he regards the role of the United States in foreign affairs, but more fundamentally, something is broken with respect to the extremely naive view he takes of foreign governments and their actions. What Congressman Paul supposes is that Iran will act every bit as rationally as the United States, but we have no evidence upon which to base such a supposition. History is replete with examples of regimes that were fundamentally irrational and completely unmoved by the notions of human rights or natural law, and supposing that they would accept our moral basis or standard for rational conduct is every bit as absurd as the proposition that we must accept theirs. In point of fact, the Islamic Republic of Iran has enshrined in its constitution the requirement to spread Islam to all parts of the world. When Paul argues that we might reasonably rely upon a notion of peaceful Iranian intentions, he does a serious disservice to the American people, either through purely wishful thinking, or through sheer dishonesty.
In his heated exchange with Representative Bachmann in Thursday evening’s debate on FoxNews, he exhibited the ridiculous extent to which he has bought into leftist mythology about Iraq, too. He cited a number of Iraqis killed as more than one million, but this reflects the most absurd estimates of the most radically anti-war propagandists. Even WikiLeaks, having stolen and released actual classified US estimates of Iraqi War dead is around one tenth of that number. Don’t get me wrong: This is a tremendous number of deaths, but it is a small portion of what Ron Paul reported, and what it reveals is his willingness to rely upon the most ridiculous claims of conspiracy theorists and anti-war propagandists. Had he relied upon the more accurate number, he wouldn’t have come across as a bizarre conspiracy nut, but by exaggerating this number by relying upon numbers from sources of dubious credibility, he became his own worst enemy.
When Ron Paul talks about the overbearing size of government, he makes much more sense, because in that arena, he speaks to issues wherein he needs no bombastic, incredible claims in order to demonstrate his point. He can merely reference the laws made by Congress, signed by the President, and this is sufficient. When he gets into the discussion of foreign policy matters, it is as though he loses all grounding in credible facts, both in history and law, but more importantly in his flawed understanding of human nature. The tyrants of our world do not care for the arguments of John Locke, or Adam Smith, or Thomas Jefferson, to name a few. Such despots care not for the facts of human nature or human rights, or they wouldn’t be despots at all. When Ron Paul pretends to himself or to others that one can contend with the Islamic Republic of Iran in the same manner one can deal with Canada, he is ignoring the facts of the world in which we live, and in which a President must successfully navigate the ship of state. Ron Paul’s misunderstanding is so thorough as to be dangerous, not merely to individual citizens of the United States, but to the country as a whole. This is a dire misreading of our founding documents, the design of our government, and the purpose for which it stands, and it negates the value he might offer in other areas of discourse. On this basis, Ron Paul is wholly unfit to claim the mantle of conservatism, never mind to be sworn in as President of the United States.