The Problem With Ron Paul

It’s not racism, or anti-semitism — it’s the foreign policy.

I have to say, though, that while the word “homophobic” is vastly overused (for instance, it is not “homophobic” to oppose gay marriage, at least not intrinsically) the congressman does seem literally homophobic to me, based on this description of his behavior. On the other hand, one can be a homophobe, and still support gay rights.

[Update a few minutes later]

The trouble with Ron Paul’s defense on the newsletters.

38 thoughts on “The Problem With Ron Paul”

  1. His monetary policy is nothing to get excited about either. His crusade against the Fed and fiat currency generally is a quixotic one. If he ever achieves victory in that regard, it will be a Pyrric one. The era of the gold standard did have tighter money, but that’s hardly a good thing. Wild swings in employment and deflation-driven recession cycles are no picnic.

  2. It’s not even clear to me that the purported unpolitically correct things purportedly said in the newsletters are particularly bad in any case. As one person noted, Charles Murray has said the same things. This is all sounding very teacup, stormish to me.

  3. The reason I don’t support Paul is definitely the foreign policy. I do not have an informed opinion about the Fed so I can’t comment on all that. But Paul is whacked with regard to FP.

    I also think he’d get rolled by both parties of Congress.

  4. Yes, how irrational, returning to a 19th Century foreign policy based on President Washington’s recommendation to avoid foreign entanglements.

    1. Exactly! How many wars are we embroiled in now, and how many more are being pushed by both parties for all sorts of flimsy reasons? They seem very eager to send other people to fight, but won’t go themselves because they are “too important”.

    2. And do you think Washington thought that state of affairs (avoid foreign entanglements) could, or should, be maintained forever? Or is it possible he meant that we ought to stay loose until we had actually solidified as a nation? Do you think he would have retained this opinion forever?

      And what do you think he meant by “entanglements”? Did me mean no foreign trade? If he did not, then how do you imagine he figured one could stay “unentangled”?

      It wasn’t 20 minutes after the nation was founded that we found ourselves sucked into the “Quasi-war” even though we didn’t want involvement. We were friends of both sides and were forced to choose up sides.

      Could it be that Washington was not proposing an isolationist policy?

      1. Gregg,

        Gee, where do I start? One of the reason nations in Europe spend so little on national defense is because we have had our troops in Europe since the end of World War II protecting them. Perhaps it was justified immediately after the war, but by the 1960’s Europe was back on its feet economically and could have taken over the burden, but instead they left it on the U.S. A similar situation exists in Japan. And how long have we been protecting Saudi Arabia? Most of Saudi’s oil goes to Europe and Japan. If they wish to protect Saudi Arabia that’s fine, by why U.S. troops? And what about South Korea? Its economy is many times larger then North Korea. Surely it could pay for its own defense.

        Ron Paul long standing argument for bringing those American troops home and requiring those nations to pay for their own defense is not a bad idea. Why are we running ourselves into deeper debt for their benefit? And making enemies by simply having our troops in places like the Persian Gulf? While making those nations more competitive by subsidizing their defense.?

        As for Iran, I think they realize if they use a nuke against the U.S. they will cease to exist as a nation being turned into an instant nuclear waste dump. The same would also happen if they use one against Israel. It was an argument that kept both Iraq and Libya in line. No, the invasion of Iraq was not necessary although it was necessary to clean up Afghanistan after 9-11.

        No, its not isolationism as Ron Paul’s enemies argue. Its simply deciding to no longer being the world’s policeman and something I believe President Washington would agree with.

        As for your quasi-war. I assume you are referring to the War of 1812, started by the British stopping U.S. ships, including warships and impressing American citizens into the Royal Navy. Or are you referring to the war with the Barbary Pirates when the President Jefferson decided we wouldn’t stand for the Barbary countries hijacking American ships and holding Americans hostages. Not subsidizing the defense of foreign nations is different then defending yourself when your citizens are attacked on the high seas.

        1. crazy isn’t it? Foreign policy is where so-called conservatives become interfering statists and liberals become laissez faire non-interventionists. But hey, consistency isn’t considered a political virtue.

          1. “liberals become laissez faire non-interventionists”

            Um, they do? Like Madeliene “What do we have this fine military for if we cannot use it” Albright?

            I am not trying to be snarky, here, really. Some liberals may be sincered in opposing the Iraq war, some may be seeking tactical political advantage and are being cynical, but there is a long list of interventions that liberals have supported and do support.

          2. Liberals are for any war started by their party; and against any war started by the GOP. Same with the media.

          3. Gregg,

            Every US war or military intervention since Panama in 1989 has had support from a great number of liberal leaders. I supported every one of them too, although I do think a greater concern for civilian casualties could have been shown in many of them. (For example: in Panama, Noriega had it coming but the Panamanians didn’t.)

            I think Clinton and Albright were yearning to go to war in Iraq (beyond what was in fact carried out by the US military during the Clinton admin), they supported Bush-43’s invasion, and they were as surprised as anyone when a significant WMD threat didn’t turn up.

            It is easy to find the far-left fringe that opposes all war, but such people don’t elect many like-minded people to national office.

            I think it is much harder to find the liberals you are talking about — the ones who only oppose GOP wars. Do you really think there are many people who supported the intervention in Serbia but opposed the invasion of Afghanistan?

        2. Tom Matula Wrote:

          “Gee, where do I start?”

          You could start by learning what Washington actually meant in that speech. If you are going to use it, you REALLY ought to know what he meant. I gave you clues – go read. As supporting info I refer you to Washington’s 1795 letter to Morris – it’s on the Web.

          And your assumption that what I mean by the “Quasi-War” is the War of 1812, or the War with the Barbary Pirates, tells me all I need to know about what *YOU* know of US history……


          You really need to study a little….Jay treaty, XYZ affair, French revolution/government change, US debt to France, US Navy kicks butt, Convention of 1800.

          And you obviously haven’t the slightest idea what Washington would believe.

          1. Gregg,

            OK, now you really don’t make any sense. The Jay Treaty prevented the U.S. from getting involved in the French Revolutionary Wars by resolving the border issues it still had with England, including British officials in Canada encouraging Indian attacks in the disputed Ohio territory and gaining return of the private American merchant men that were seized taking goods to France which the English had under a blockade.

            So it prevented America for getting pulled into European affairs and allowed the U.S. to stay neutral, a non-involvement which paid dividends in 1803 when France sold the U.S. the Louisiana territory.

    3. Tom:

      Try again.

      The Jay Treaty resolved pretty big differences between us and Great Britain which were the residue of the Revolution. It also had economic clauses in it. This, then set the stage for 10 years of peaceful (relatively) trade between the US and GB.

      France, you might recall, was a very good ally of the Revolution. Those trade deals linked us to GB, which was considered something of a betrayal of a former ally, infuriated France: we were now dealing with their enemy. On top of that, the US said it wasn’t going to re-pay the war debt.

      The Jay treaty was very important in linking us to GB and thereby (along with a refusal to re-pay the debt) causing France to start snapping up American shipping, which then led to the US Navy defending (and winning), and therefore: “Quasi-war”.

      ALL of which was brought up to show you that whether or not you want to stay out of “entangling alliances” a nation can find itself in one, anyway.

      You still haven’t responded to the questions about Washington’s statement that I posed to you. Have you read Washington’s letter to Morris?

      1. Greg,

        Yes I have and unlike you I am not too lazy to provide a link to it.

        Yes, it a good summary of the issues we still had with the British following the Treaty of Paris which led to the Jay Treaty. But I think its you that fail to understand just what President Washington meant. He didn’t mean that the U.S. just roll over and play dead, nor that we avoid foreign conflicts that have a direct impact on U.S. interests, just that we stay out of the politics of Europe, especially the ones that were going on at the time as a result of the French Revolutionary Wars. And the problems that the U.S. had, especially U.S. shipping, first with the British and then with the French because of the French Revolutionary Wars was likely a motive for it. But you also fail to recognize another cause, and that was the Congress being to cheap to fund a standing Navy to protect the U.S. merchant marine until 1794, laying too much trust in the Minuteman model.

        And which us back to topic, Ron Paul advocating U.S. foreign policy returns to the 19th Century/early 20th Century Washington Model as a replacement to the post World War II policy that has been so expensive to the nation.

        In the 19th Century we fought one war with the British over impressing American seamen. We avoided a second one over the Oregon Territory and their providing help to the Confederates. We had a policy alliance with the British as a result of the independence movement in Latin American (you may have heard of it, the Monroe Doctrine). But we stayed out of the Crimean War and the Franco-Prussian War, and several smaller European conflicts. We fought a war with Mexican over annexing Texas and threaten war with France over Emperor Maximilian I. Then we fought one with Spain over Cuba. But by extending it to the Spanish Colonies in the Pacific the U.S. started on its path to the conflict with Japan in 1941. It should also be noted we stayed out of World War I until the Zimmerman Telegram.

        By contrast look at the conflicts the U.S. has been in since World War II. Look at all the places you now have large basing of U.S. troops, often causing friction with the local population as in Okinawa. The stationing of large numbers of troops on Japan, Germany and South Korea may have made sense in the decade after World War II while those nations were rebuilding, but what purpose does it serve today when all those nations have healthy economies and could easily afford to defend themselves?

        Which brings us to the questions YOU failed to answer with your detour into 18th Century politics.

        1. Why should American keep adding billions to the American debt by basing huge numbers of its military in countries like Japan, Germany, UK, South Korea, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qtar? Nations that are more then capable of affording their own defense?

        2. Why should the U.S. be in the business of nation building? Its one thing to take out risks to Americans like the Somali pirates and Al-Qaeda. Its another invading a dictator we don’t like and then spending billions rebuilding the country into a clone of the U.S.

        3. And that brings us to the key foundation of Ron Paul’s foreign policy. Do you think the U.S. should continue to be the world’s police force? And force Americans to carry the burden of global peace on their shoulders?

        1. I have my own Democratic Party liberal-scum answers to your three questions:

          1) By basing troops in those countries, we are ready to quickly defend those regions, but moreover, they signal those countries adversaries that we are definitely going to be entangled in any war they bring. This has served as an effective deterrent. And why should we want to be so entangled? To keep the world at peace, and thus keep the United States at peace. When we can afford it, we should build more bases in more places.

          2) We should be in the business of nation building because prosperous democratic pro-western countries are less threatening to us than failed states which can serve as a launch pad for terrorism. Prosperous countries are all good for the economy.

          3) I think the world needs a police force. Other free countries are very welcome to join and contribute arms, money, and yes, even leadership (eg France in Libya), but we should do it alone if necessary.

          1. Bob-1

            In response to your individual questions.

            1 [[[By basing troops in those countries, we are ready to quickly defend those regions, but moreover, they signal those countries adversaries that we are definitely going to be entangled in any war they bring. ]]]

            Why do WE have to defend them with American blood and resources in the first place? If they are not willing to spend on their own defense why should we? And did an entanglement strategy work in Vietnam? Cambodia? Laos? Cuba?

            2 [[[We should be in the business of nation building because prosperous democratic pro-western countries are less threatening to us than failed states which can serve as a launch pad for terrorism. Prosperous countries are all good for the economy.]]]

            Yes, they will be remade in the image of America IF they like it or not. And if that is true why aren’t we nation building in Saudi Arabia where many of the 9-11 terrorists came from. And well we are on it why do you think America and not Canada has been a target for terrorism?

            3. [[[I think the world needs a police force. Other free countries are very welcome to join and contribute arms, money, and yes, even leadership (eg France in Libya), but we should do it alone if necessary.]]]

            Ahhh, the Pax Americana model. Americans must tax themselves into deep debt because its our divine mission to bring the glories of the America Way to the world, if they like it or not 🙂

            4. [[[“also good for our economy”]]]

            You mean running up a huge national debt so we have the money to spend on the military to defend other nations is an economic stimulus. But I though excessive government spending was the problem? Now you say its the solution to a good economy?

            Thank you for illustrating the difference between Ron Paul and the rest of the Republicans. Ron Paul is for a strong American defense and the military having the best weapons. He is not for for grinding our military down in no win wars spreading the benefits of Pax Americana to the world.

          2. You’re in Australia, right?

            When I was in college, a friend of mine got back from Australia. I asked “From a cultural point of view, did Australia feel more like Canada or more like the UK?” He replied “It really felt a lot more like California than either of those places.”

            Obama is expanding the US military presence in Australia, at Australia’s invitation, and it already feels like home. Sounds great to me! Definitely a model for an American-centric world, and no coercive empire required.

          3. Paul,

            I was being flip. In all seriousness, I think it is essential for US bases to be in free countries, and at the host country’s invitation. I’d love to see a world that looks like suburban America, but only if it is by choice. And I really do think it is fine if other free countries are free loaders to some extent when it comes to their own defense — America ends up much better off if it can prevent another world war, so it isn’t like we aren’t getting something for our hard-earned money.

  5. I agree with Dale Amon. I’m not a Paul voter (as a monarchist I object to the practice of voting as a means of picking leaders), but the fact that everyone in the media/academic/government/institutional complex hates him means he’s probably the only honest man running.

    My own opinion: If the truth is “racist”, then an honest man has the obligation to be a racist. Rep. Paul wouldn’t be the first person crucified for speaking the Unpleasant Truths That Must Never Be Acknowledged.

    1. …but the fact that everyone in the media/academic/government/institutional complex hates him means he’s probably the only honest man running.

      Well, he is the only non-Leftist in the race — right or wrong, they must hate him.

  6. There is this piece over at Reason dot com about how the newsletter thing with Ron Paul is all overblown and a non-issue. The comments got me to thinking not only about Paul but about places taking comments such has here, Chicago Boyz, Richard Fernandez’ Wretchard, Mencius Moldbug, and others in the Right Blogosphere.

    A lot of people comment under “handles” and I respect people wanting to express opinions without giving up their privacy. Some of us, our esteemed host Rand and others commenting here, choose to use our proper names. Mencius Moldbug, I believe is a “handle”; Richard Fernandez started out with that “Wretchard the Cat” handle until he made known his identity whereas the Instapundit has been Glenn Reynolds since forever. My thought on this is that privacy on the Web is a mirage as handles and IP addresses can always be hacked to make known who-is-who if there is enough notoriety about an opinion being expressed.

    I also think that some use of handles is rather lame. I have been active in a group advocating for public spending on passenger trains which is largely a brick-and-morter public opinion advocacy group rather than exclusively a Web presence. You can argue against public funding for trains and label me a Socialist for supporting such funding, but let’s set that discussion aside for now. My concern is that one of our board members was e-mailing the rest of us about how he posted on some public forum where trains were brought up, maybe it was one of those newspapers with a Web forum, and he told us about his “handle” that we could know who it was saying nice things about trains.

    My thought was, “Oh, . . ., come, . . . , on!” We are not advocating for the overthrough of that fellow in Syria where Iranian Special Ops guys will come knock on our door in Wisconsin. We are simply advocating for public funds to get a choo-choo from Milwaukee to Madison, and if people are agin’ it, so fine, it is a Free Country, so use the name your Momma put on the birth certificate instead of some handle when you say you are for trains.

    But back to the subject at hand. I am not advocating restrictions on free speech or moderation of some of the comments expressed here and other places. A person needs to “let their hair down” and speak what is on their mind, and if someone sees such speech as immoderate or racist, let someone post a comment calling those remarks out.

    On the other hand, my Momma once had reservations about me participating in Conservative groups back in the 1970’s (C’mon, Ma, Young Americans for Freedom is not some fringe right-wing group, it is W F Buckley’s personal project). On the other hand, just as people on the Left once worried about joining innocent-sounding Communist front organizations (or maybe they didn’t worry, and if you brought the subject up, you were a McCarthyite), people on the Right need to worry about guilt-by-association, especially since there isn’t the same get-out-of-jail-free card of invoking McCarthyism that works that well for our side.

    So there is a fellow with many opinions including a rather high opinion regarding himself that goes by the name of the right-hand-man to Genghis Khan — that person hangs out a lot around Fernandez’ Belmont Club along with Chicago Boyz. This dude or dudette goes on this tear about Mr. Barack H Obama being the Manchurian Candidate because he won’t let his grades out from Oxy or something.

    I guess there is a place for speculating about all things political, and people need to be able to “let their hair down”, and our President got easy treatment for hanging around a church where that preacher could really let his hair down. Also, Mr. Fernandez is a very thoughtful person about many serious issues with a very gentle affect the few times I have heard him on an audio feed. Far be it for me to claim ambitions to be in some leadership post sometime in the future, but of all the people on the Right Blogosphere, Mr. Fernandez is a playa’ who ought to “go places” eventually. But oh my goodness! Some of the off-the-wall tin-foil-hat black-helicopter speculatin’ that goes on over at Belmont Club in the comments section, and Mr. Fernandez sometimes jumps into a thread but much of the time he lets things go where they lead, boy would they be a lead weight around the neck were Mr. Fernandez in Dr. Paul’s shoes. Thinks get so crazy over there I am beginning to think about heeding my Momma’s warnings and stop commenting over there . . .

  7. What I dislike the most about Paul is the way he is being spun as a spokesman for the libertarian POV.

    So…. if you’re a libertarian, you too must be a racist, homo-hating anti-Israel nut!

    1. How about putting up another candidate then? Ya know anyone can run right? Oh, that’d be too hard. It’s much easier to just complain about the person who has actually done something than to do something yourself.

    2. Eric,

      Technically he is not a Libertarian, he is an Objectivitist. If you read Ayn Rand you will see that Objectivists don’t believe in war other than in defense.

      1. Source? I’ve never heard Paul utter a single Objectivist argument. I’ve seen him say he liked Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged, and especially the monetary policy (gold) but that’s about it. His morality is Christian, not Objectivist.

        1. Trent,

          His foreign policy views are also Ayn Rand. Recall what ships Ragnar Danneskjöld was attacking and why.

          Yes, his morality is still Christian, but its hard to find any true Objectivists in politics since being in public service is contrary to Objectivists belief that you should focus on your rational self-interest. Why would any pure Objectivist subject themselves to the judgements, attacks and stress of a political campaign when its easier to just find your own Galt’s Gulch?

  8. Paul isn’t, strictly speaking, a libertarian. Constitutional original constructivist and states-righter would be more apt. With regard to National Defense and Foreign Policy, I think what Paul has in mind is more along the lines of the Swiss or the Swedish model.

  9. I have to say, though, that while the word “homophobic” is vastly overused

    Civil society (or even Dennis-Miller-level sarcasm) shouldn’t use the language of bigots at all. Aside from bastardizing “phobia” to mean something that it is not (in either ancient Greek or modern English), “homophobe” was invented by moonbat activists for the term is really shorthand for “one who dissents with the dominant gay activist culture. Call AIDS a gay disease? You’re a homophobe! Believe that AIDS isn’t a gay disease but that doctors should be allowed to test patients they’re about to operate on for HIV? You’re a homophobe! Believe that sex ed classes should take a neutral stance toward homosexuality? You’re a homophobe on GLSEN’s “naughty” list! Oppose SSM and your name is Elton? You’re a self-loathing homophobe! (Crooks and Liars didn’t call him that, but it did essentially brand him a traitor.)

    Above all, simply believing that homosexuality is messed up in the head to some degree is regarded as “homphobia” by leftist cultural bigots. EVERYBODY THINKS EVERYBODY ELSE IS SCREWED UP. But people manage to get along.

    On my unwritten list of Stuff That Should Have Never Been Invented I’d like to add the phrase “I respect your opinion.” Correctly stated, the sentiment is “I respect you despite your whacked opinion.” That’s how tolerance works.

    Oh, and if you don’t buy into the fraudulent “I respect your opinion” definition of tolerance, you’re a homophobe. And you’re on GLSEN’s list twice.

Comments are closed.