Ron Paul takes positions on foreign policy and immigration that are deal-killers. And in tonight’s debate, he killed the deal.
Ron Paul on foreign policy
On foreign policy, Ron Paul does not want the United States to “intervene” beyond US territory. He makes no secret of his wish to bring the troops home from all US bases in foreign lands. He even blames the US government for the deaths of 3,000 civilians on September 11, 2001. He does not say that the US government murdered those people in a false-flag attack. (Many of his followers do say that, but not Dr. Paul.) But he says something arguably worse: that the US government provoked that attack.
In the debate tonight (September 7) in the Reagan Library, he made the most tasteless remark yet along this line:
I was astonished! We are spending twenty billion dollars on air conditioning for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I would take all that away, use ten billion to pay down the debt, and use the other ten toward FEMA and any other agency that we really need. And if you took that air conditioning away, those troops would come home very quickly, and I’d be happy with that.
Only Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (of Daily Kos fame) has made a more tasteless remark than that. The Kos actually called them “mercenaries” and, in obscene language, said that he did not care whether they lived or died. At least Dr. Paul didn’t say anything like that. But he can scarcely claim to support the troops after saying what he did say.
Ron Paul on immigration
Representative Ron Paul (R-TX-14). Photo: US House of Representatives
On immigration, Ron Paul wants to “let them in.” Tonight he made that abundantly clear. Barack H. Obama once spoke of a fence with a moat with alligators. Ron Paul spoke of a fence with watchtowers and guards carrying machine guns. He blithely suggested that, if the economy were stronger, immigration would not be a worry.
Memo to Dr. Paul: competition for jobs isn’t the only worry. Someone might carry weapons of mass destruction across that border. He might also do well to consider a diplomatic predicament in which he might find himself. What if a swelling immigrant population demanded a plebiscite on the retro-cession of the American Southwest back to Mexico?
But even that was not the worst. The worst was when he said that those machine-gun-toting guards would serve, not to keep illegal immigrants out, but to pen American citizens in. In short, he actually compared a future United States of America to the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Ron Paul – an overview
On many other issues, Ron Paul says many good things. He would abolish the Federal Reserve and establish an objective standard-of-value for the nation’s money. He would repeal the health care reform bill, which is unconstitutional on its face. (Though whether he knows all the 15 reasons why it is unconstitutional, is less clear.) He would abolish all income taxes. And he has never accepted the defined-benefit Congressional pension.
Yet his campaign style is less than refined. He is attacking his fellow Texan, Governor Rick Perry, at an appallingly early stage in the campaign. As part of this, he made much of Perry’s earlier history as a Democrat and the manager of Al Gore’s 1988 primary campaign in Texas. But Ron Paul is clearly living in a glass house here. In his latest ad (see below), Paul says that he stood by Ronald Reagan. But in 1988 he broke with Reagan and ran for President himself—on the Libertarian Party ticket.
The foreign-policy critique
Several observers, among them David L. Bahnsen, criticize Ron Paul for his foreign-policy opinions. (“An agenda of anti-Americanism and military isolationism,” said Bahnsen last May.) Sadly, Bahnsen devoted most of his article to an irrelevant issue: Ron Paul’s association with Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectatorstayed on topic last month. Like Bahnsen, Lord decries Paul’s isolationism. But Lord complains further that Paul is trying to change the history of American conservative politics. Lord explained this further today: beginning in 1940, the American conservative movement argued about foreign intervention. The target in 1940 was Adolf Hitler; after the war, Josef Stalin became the target. The conservative movement’s leaders decided that allowing a Hitler, or a Stalin, to build an industrial base in conquered territories would be suicidal. Therefore, one does not wait for an egomaniacal or ideological emperor to lay siege to the home territory. Instead one tries to weaken or depose the emperor before he even gets close.
Adolf Hitler made the mistake of joining Japan in its war with America. The Soviet Union lasted for another forty years, until at last Ronald Reagan called it what it was and ran up the arms race. In so doing, Reagan tested the Soviet industrial base to failure. Ron Paul would not have done this. And today, Paul shows no understanding of Muslim history or doctrine. He does not know, and might not care, that the Qu’ran and Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”) share many ideas.
Ron Paul ally Tom Woods replied to Lord’s August article (see video below). In so doing, Woods showed another disturbing thing that Ron Paul and his cohorts often do: misrepresent history. To take the first example that Lord caught: Felix Morley, founder of Human Events, did advocate non-intervention. Ronald Reagan did read Human Events regularly. But Morley resigned from Human Events long before Reagan became a regular reader. By then, and certainly when Reagan was President, Human Events published many things that Morley would never have approved. So when Woods hints that Morley influenced Reagan, he is, frankly, lying.
Furthermore, Ron Paul and his followers have laid themselves open to a charge of anti-Semitism. Ron Paul specifically said, in April of 2004, that the 9/11 attacks occurred on account of:
oil, neo-conservative empire building, and our support for Israel over the Palestinians.
For “neo-conservative,” read “Jewish.” Everyone knows this.
Paul cagily avoided blowing this gaffe in the debate. In that he had help: neither of the two moderators asked a single question about Israel, or the 1949 Armistice Line, or the very real threat that war between Israel and Egypt might break out any time.
If the Republican Party nominates Ron Paul for President, he will win. A recent Gallup poll clearly showed that Obama would get less than 50 percent of the vote against Paul, Perry, Mitt Romney, or Michele Bachmann. That means that any of the four could beat Obama, and probably would.
If the country then gets a rude awakening (as it did on December 7, 1941, and again on September 11, 2001), at least Ron Paul’s fellow citizens could arm themselves. A President Paul would probably order the Sixth Fleet to stand well away from an Arab-Israeli combat zone. (He would not want the Israeli Air Force to strafe another American ship, as they did the USS Liberty, entirely by accident.) Under that circumstance, Israel might win, as it did in 1967 and 1973. But she might literally have only the Lord to thank for that. (See Ezekiel chh. 38-39.)
Still, the Republican Party would do well to nominate someone else. That someone else should then make Ron Paul his Secretary of the Treasury, so that he could prove his hard-money theories. Hopefully the next President could then concentrate on keeping America strong, at home and abroad.