Archive for the ‘Ron Paul’ Category

New Rush Parody: Ron Paul

Friday, December 16th, 2011

This is hilarious, because like all good humor, it finds its roots in the truth.  Rush was on the warpath about Ron Paul Friday, and frankly, he has it right: Ron Paul simply is too disconnected from reality on the matters of foreign policy and national defense.  Paul seemed on the verge of coming completely unglued in an exchange with Michele Bachman during Thursday night’s debate on FNC, and Michele Bachmann surely got the better of Paul.  Here’s Rush Limbaugh’s parody, from Dailyrushbo.com:

For the record, what follows is the exchange between Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul during the debate Thursday:

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Bombshell: Who Wrote the Controversial Ron Paul Newsletters?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Telling the Truth?

Ron Paul had denied authorship and editorial control of his newsletters, particularly those things that have been questioned as seemingly racist in nature.  Now, as it seems to be turning out, it looks like the newsletters had been authored by Ron Paul himself.  This conflicts with his statements, and claims that he hadn’t written them, and that he wasn’t responsible for all of the comments or content.  As Conservatives Network is now reporting, it seems that the author had been Congressman Paul all along. H/T to Mark Levin for “tweeting” the story with a link on American Spectator’s website.  This controversy first arose in 2008 because of comments in newsletters that seem to be tinged with overt racism.  The explosive disclosure by CN seems to put the matter of editorial control to rest.  Whether Ron Paul is a racist is another matter entirely, but it’s clear that he was responsible for editing the newsletter and authoring much of its content.

Ron Paul has some explaining to do, and this is one more instance in which a politician attempted to side-step his past, but was finally caught.  I expect Ron Paul’s supporters to be initially aghast at the truth of the matter, but then to quickly return to denial.  Ron Paul is not suited to be President, and his lack of candor about his newsletters is one more reason to dismiss him. It’s actually a matter of some sadness, in my view, because Dr. Paul had brought more focus to the issue of the Federal Reserve’s fatal flaws, and to some of the budgetary issues confronting the nation, but the truth is that he was never a genuine conservative, but instead a libertarian who has made his career subservient to pandering to libertarian views on various issues.

Here’s video of Ron Paul’s denial in 2008(He also insists on his libertarianism, rather than conservatism.):

The editor of ConservativesNetwork has a response ready for Ron Paul’s supporters.  Here’s a sample:

Saying NU-UH, doesn’t make the facts above go away.
Shouting, “LIAR!” – doesn’t make the facts above go away.
Giving a link to a Ron Paul denial doesn’t make the facts go away.

Shouting neocon, shill, warmonger, hit piece, or any other word in your vocabulary, doesn’t make the above facts go away.

Saying this is old news, doesn’t make the above truth go away. If a candidate for president built wealth for two decades off of being racist, voters deserve to know.

Saying this was debunked years ago, doesn’t make the truth above go away. The above facts debunk any supposed debunking from Ron Paul.

What this suggests to me is that the editor has had his run-ins with with Paul supporters a time or two.  Believe me, I know the feeling, but I also think it’s fair to say that this has been one of the recurring problems with Ron Paul: He doesn’t do well when criticized, and his supporters seem incapable of accepting any criticism of Paul, on virtually any issue.  I was willing to allow that Ron Paul might have been to far removed from editorial control of his newsletter, but now it seems as though he was trying to trick people with that statement.  He was the editor.  What else can one say about that?

Is Ron Paul a Conservative?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Separated from the Rest

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.

 

Paul Supporters: Now May Be The Moment to Grow Up

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

They're Baaaack...

If you’re a Ron Paul supporter, I am trying to grab your attention.  For a change, somebody needs to do so.  I’ve listened to the childish, näive arguments of Ron Paul’s crowd for long enough.  The Republican party has listened to you and tolerated your irrational positions for long enough.  Conservatives have listened to the wistful nonsense for long enough.  The simple fact that neither you nor your chosen candidate will accept is that there are people in this world who hate without any sane rationale,  who will kill, maim, and murder without any but the most nonsensical justifications.  There are people in this world who wish to attack America or Israel for the sake of what they are, rather than what they do.  To pretend otherwise verges on self-delusion and madness.

It’s time for those of you who follow Ron Paul to recognize that the world isn’t such a friendly place. It’s not all “rainbows and unicorns,” so you might want to deal with reality for a spell. I’m flabbergasted with the ability of some Ron Paul supporters to pretend that those who oppose this country play by rules that they could endorse.

In short, it’s time to grow up.

When Ron Paul offered that if only we would withdraw from the Middle East, the Islamists would play nice, it was one of the most dangerously näive statements I’ve heard since Neville Chamberlain’s “peace for our time” foolishness.  Ron Paul fans love to point to the history of the Federal Reserve, but when it comes to the history of warfare and the conflicts between civilizations, it seems they’ve taken a pass.  Specifically, when it comes to matters of foreign policy, Ron Paul has shown a disdain and reckless disregard for the truth of our conflict with radical Islamists.

There is no peace you can make with people who want you dead, and who wish to displace you from your own territory.  The thesis Paul promotes is that we can have peace by simply leaving them be, in the hope that they will leave us be.  This is roughly akin to the idiotic premise put forward by some that you can respond to a playground bully by ignoring him, thus causing him to…what?  Stop being a bully?  This is simply unrealistic in the face of all  human experience to the contrary, because in fact, all that will ultimately stop the playground bully is a knuckle sandwich delivered by one of his would-be victims.  That’s it. That’s the only way it works in the real world.

Paul’s supporters frequently buy into his faulty proposition that if only the United States would remain clear of the Middle East, and withdraw its support of Israel, the Islamists would not have reason to hate the United States, and therefore leave us be in peace.  This is a grotesquely naive view that cannot be shoe-horned into any approximation of reality with which I’m familiar.  It cannot be.  The simple fact is that our civilization is pervasive.  The Soviets learned this as they struggled against our pop-culture, and our vast productivity, and the robust consumerism that tends to dominate a free country.  They hated our blue jeans and our rock and roll, because the young in their empire craved these things as they craved the liberty that brought them into existence.   Few things caused more heartburn in the Kremlin than the creeping of Western culture over their borders, through the airwaves, and into their black markets.   To them, it was a danger on par with our missiles and our bombers built to hold them at bay, but over the long run, they had no weapon to repel it but propaganda which few of them believed.  In much the same way, the American culture now pushes into countries via satellite and Internet and any other pipeline, and this makes the Islamic world tremble, because in the same way these things that speak freedom were a threat to the dictators in the USSR, so too are they a threat to dictators in the Middle East.  The difference is that they are also a threat to the theocratic elements there, who see government as an arm and instrument of Allah.  In the Soviet Union, they outlawed God or gods to establish a state-run monopoly over the lives and thoughts of people, but in the Islamic world, the imams and mullahs seek a similar monopoly via a unity between “church and state.”

In this sense, where the Supreme Soviet made the state God, the Islamists wish to  make God the state.  While the outward appearance of the two approaches seem dis-similar, the character and nature of the two are for all intents and purposes the same, and the results they bear forth are indistinguishable:  Death, poverty, and slavery are all such civilizations can produce.  No amount of happy talk will change this, and neither will it change the aggressive stance such cultures will of necessity take in response to our civilization.  The truth is that in the longer run, a free society of the character ours has been until recently cannot occupy the same space as the sorts of regimes characterized by unrestrained statism in any form, be they secular dictatorships or theocratic regimes.  The cultural bleed-over is the biggest threat to the statist regimes, for with all the control they exert over their people, they cannot deny to them the basic desire to have those material effects of freedom.

Ron Paul and too many of his supporters suffer under the deluded notion that assumes all people share the same basic values and desires.  This is not true of governments, and it may not even be fully true of people.  Yes, we all want food, shelter, water and the necessities of life, but how we go about getting them is a matter of distinction.  A simple example is to compare yourself with a mugger.  You both want money to purchase your life’s necessities, but only one of you is willing to engage in productive work to obtain them.  The mugger is willing to deprive you of property to fulfill his needs, and you wouldn’t permit yourself that abandonment of those values that forbid such actions(or so we would hope.)  With this small example in mind, you really need no greater, more in-depth understanding of the differences that exist among ordinary people in their morality and values to recognize that the difference in the motivations of civilizations can and do vary greatly.

Apply this to the question of foreign policy.  What does America gain from its relations with the Middle East?  We buy oil there, but little else, and in large measure, it had been we who discovered and developed the resource before they forcibly relieved us of our investments.  What do these countries gain from us? Aside from the money in payment for these resources, they obtain many things as free-riders.  No cellular phones would they have developed.  No televisions would they have invented.  Not even a single automobile have they produced.  All of these things were born of our culture and our civilization, and the freedoms we enjoy.  Their culture does not support the widespread production of material prosperity, but their leaders tell them these are all things without which they can live more happily, while said leaders enjoy them.

Those leaders pose as both the material and spiritual caretakers of their respective nations.  On this basis, they are able to mobilize large bodies of militants rapidly to almost any cause or purpose.  Yet these nations produce very little that isn’t seized by force from others in some manner.  Seizure is their primary means of subsistence, and it is this upon which they come to rely.  You can pretend to yourself that if only we will withdraw from them, they will leave us in peace, but their history and their culture offers a vision of conquests and warfare.  If you fail to understand this, you are inviting disaster.  The most certain way to overcome them is not by withdrawal, for you cannot withdraw from a pursuing attacker, but by engagement.  This engagement need not be aggressive on our part, but it must be mindful that sometimes, bullies simply need a knuckle sandwich, and we must recognize that “time-outs” will not suffice.

Neither may we permit ourselves the illusion that by abandoning our allies we may obtain a lasting peace.  Israel is in many ways the closest thing we have to an outpost in their midst.  It is the only country in the region that holds legitimate elections.  It is the only country that recognizes some form of inviolable rights of individual people.  Those in the region who seek to erase Israel from their maps consider it a threat: In their midst is a country in which production beyond bare subsistence is the norm.  In Israel, one need not be a ruler to obtain a prosperous life.   This is the threat Israel poses, and in truth, it is also the threat the US presents to the Islamists.  It is not by mere coincidence that relative prosperity in the region is in tight correlation with militancy.  Poverty and radicalism are constant cohorts; where you find one, you will frequently find the other.  People in poverty more readily turn their lives over to rulers.  Our own welfare state and its well-established relationship to at least one major party should make this clear.

What should have become clear to you by now is that our country is now under that same threat.  In fact, it is being fomented and pushed by people with much the same motives.  For the moment, we retain the power to undo it, but even if we do, we will be forced to confront the sad reality that in places like Egypt and Libya, there will be no easy reform.  It’s clear that we can no longer afford to prop up the devils of our choosing in the region in the hope that they will be less awful than others who may arise, but I also think it’s reasonable to suggest that our foreign policy will still require us to walk a fine line that supports our allies and punishes our foes.  As long as we are dependent for so much of our energy on our trade with the region, we will be compelled to find ways to make it work, but we mustn’t shy from this problem.  Pretending that absolute thugs like those now controlling Iran are anything else is a prescription for disaster.  When Ron Paul offered with a straight face that he believed Iran was interested in nuclear energy solely for peaceful purposes, or that our presence in Saudi Arabia was the cause of the 9/11 attacks, he demonstrated his inability to square reality with his ideology. We can learn a good deal from Dr. Paul on the matter of economics, but his view of foreign policy is irresponsible and immature.  It is made of a childish petulance that demands in the form of a plea for a reformation of bullies it envisions no willingness to enforce.

Put simply, it’s dangerous, precisely because it returns us to an illusory pre-9/11 mindset that is sure to bring deep tragedies upon us.  Many Ron Paul supporters believe their candidate doesn’t find a fair shake, but this is simply not so.  Instead, his foreign policy prescriptions have been roundly rejected by those who would in other issues be his natural allies.  For those of you who hold fast to this position, it’s time for you to realize the nature of what is arrayed against us and man a post.  If our nation is to survive the attacks we will soon know from within as well as those from without, it’s time to grow up and leave the rainbows and unicorns behind.  Our enemies don’t believe in them as the basis for their foreign policies, and neither should you.

The Undeniable Truth About Ron Paul

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

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It’s obvious that Representative Paul has a staunch following that supports him come what may.  Ignoring the legion of so-called ‘Paul-bots’ who seem able to descend on every internet poll and straw poll like flies to a carcass, I wonder more about the nature of their support. I’ve known a number of Ron Paul’s supporters, and they seem to have some very good ideas, but the ideas they offer aren’t in any way impeded or tempered by reality.  While I also like some of Ron Paul’s positions, he suffers from an all-too-convenient naiveté with respect to certain issues that make of him a questionable candidate at best.  Despite his virtues on some very important issues, his moral agnosticism on others brands him unsuitable to restore the American nation, now wounded and bleeding profusely in the escalating Obama disaster.

Mr. Paul is strong on general economic principles, but weak on firm ideas for implementation of them.  He says he would do many of the things in the sphere of economics that would likely serve to improve the general economy, and his notions about private property rights(including earnings and wealth) are fantastic. In this respect, he is far superior to the RINO contingent that is composed of Romney, Pawlenty, Huntsman and Gingrich, and it certainly exceeds the macro-economic worldview of  former Federal Reserve Board member Herman Cain.  The problem is that Mr. Paul doesn’t tell us anything of substance about what he would do to reform things.  Yes, he supports the US Constitution’s view of a laissez faire economy, but he doesn’t ever get around to explaining in detail where he thinks government involvement should begin, if ever.

Mr. Paul is also strong on his general commitment to deal with our ballooning entitlements problem. His view on how to implement a solution is nevertheless far too radical for the general public.  He would, if he could, end all entitlements today.   For a person like me, who studies economics, it’s a numerically satisfying answer, but the truth is that such an approach would never likely see the light of day, and would wrench people from their current situations, already stressed by inflation, and deposit them directly into  poverty. I hardly see such an abrupt, ham-handed approach to entitlement reform as plausible, never mind practical.   It’s simply not something you could end overnight, though it’s certain that you could begin on that path with a more pragmatic plan.  This one issue guarantees that Mr. Paul cannot be elected. With over 60% of the public receiving some form of non-wage payment from the Federal government, it’s clear that such a constituency dooms Mr. Paul’s candidacy once they understand his views fully.

Mr. Paul is likewise a critic of the Federal Reserve.  He realizes that the Fed constitutes an un-elected, un-accountable body that has far too much power in the general economy. Having never been audited by Congress, Mr. Paul rightly explains that we need to examine the Federal Reserve with a mind to sun-setting the institution.  Once again, while it’s easy to make such profoundly sweeping statements because they appeal to large numbers of people, the truth is that there can be no easy removal or replacement of the Federal Reserve’s functions without substantial planning.  He offers none of that.  There is at least one other Republican prospect who has challenged Federal Reserve policy, but Mr. Paul’s ‘ejection seat’ mentality is not a serious way to begin.

The seat of Mr. Paul’s popularity seems to be with the drug legalization crowd. When viewing lop-sided poll results on some website, it is tempting(and probably not far off the mark) to imagine a legion of basement-dwelling ne’er-do-wells who like to smoke a bit of the wacky-weed as they wax philosophic on their pro-Paul blogs. Still, it’s fair to say that there is an undeniable logic to Rep. Paul’s view that as sovereigns over their own lives and bodies, people ought to be able to choose freely what to inject or snort or smoke. I fully understand this libertarian lynch-pin, but I also recognize that until you put in place a system of absolute civil and criminal liability for the conduct of people under such influence, there can be no practical manner in which to protect the rights and the lives of the rest of us.  At a cocktail party, I’m sure it’s a fine-sounding policy position, but in practice,  that becomes just so much happy-talk once a person’s life has been snuffed by an officially  sanctioned cocaine-snorter who takes them out in a head-on.

Mr. Paul also seems to be the beneficiary of true isolationism.  I view isolationism as the naive view of the world  that believes it is possible to withdraw to your own borders, and expect the rest of the world to simply leave you be.  I am supportive of withdrawing our troops where they are not really needed in the furtherance of our vital interests, and I am much in favor of the idea of telling the United Nations to pack up and re-establish their socialist playground in Brussels, but I also realize that this is a dangerous world growing still more dangerous as nuclear weapons are now in the hands of the Pakistanis and North Koreans, and will soon enough be in the hands of the Iranians.  Any person who thinks that the United States will be safer as a result of a global withdrawal simply isn’t playing with a full deck, and constitutes a danger to the country through a genuinely adolescent view of the world.

In much the same way, Ron Paul seems to believe that the withdrawal of all foreign aid of any sort will bear budgetary fruits while reducing our moral hazards.  Again, Mr. Paul is simply wrong, and while foreign aid has long been the object of sloganeering, the truth is that total US foreign aid is a tiny proportion of our budget. I believe we need to examine all of it, but I also know that some of it does bear fruit.   For instance, we’ve supported Israel at some expense, but by doing so, we’ve also generally maintained a higher level of stability than would otherwise result.  Why do we care?  Simply put, until we have a President committed to developing our own energy resources, our economy depends upon the energy source that is the Middle East.  Pretending this isn’t the current situation won’t protect us from the consequences. There are other prospects who more thoroughly understand the importance of developing our own resources first. While we develop our own energy resources, the stability of the Middle East is critical to our nation’s health.  Just the last eight months of events in the region, and their effect on the global economy, demonstrates the point in economic terms in a way no mere policy position ever will.

Mr. Paul claims to support the constitutional concept of federalism, but it’s a tainted view of federalism that contemplates a level of latitude to states they ought not possess with respect to the rights of individual citizens. Under our constitutional system, if a right exists, it exists in all places under our constitution at once, and is not subject to the vagaries of state or local governance.  This dangerous misunderstanding of federalism would allow states to restrict rights otherwise made explicit by the Constitution.  Freedom of speech ought not be a concept restricted to observance by federal departments alone.

Doing  justice to Mr. Paul requires an honest examination of his positions.  He’s formidable on a number of issues in the essential sphere of economic liberty, but sadly, that’s where Mr. Paul’s value as a candidate ends, in large measure because he proposes no practical method by which to implement these ideas in law.   Stating these undeniable truths about Ron Paul’s glaring shortcomings is to do justice to the electorate.   There are others who understand the realities of our dangerous world. Many Paul supporters believe it is impossible to vote for any other candidate without falling prey to the ‘lesser of two evils’ choice.   I beg to differ, but were I to consider who belongs on the very short list of ‘not evil,’ it wouldn’t include Dr. Paul, if only because it is impossible to suggest, with a straight face, that Mr. Paul, having served in Washington as long as he has, doesn’t understand the clear danger of his undeveloped and ambiguous policy generalizations, and if he does, it is impossible to place Paul on any such list.