FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE

Tuesday

Ron Paul

The Presidential campaigns are in full swing. On the Democrat side, the only names you hear are Clinton and Obama. The race for the Democrat nomination is between these two. The Republican nomination is a slightly more complicated. Four front-runners have emerged: Giuliani, McCann, Romney, and Huckabee.

But, there is one more candidate on the Republican side who has gained a lot of attention. This guy has an Internet following like nothing I’ve ever seen before. At every turn in cyberspace, or the real world, his supporters are shouting at the top of their lungs. His base is energized and ready for a fight.

That candidate is Ron Paul. Before I go any further, it is important to note one thing. Officially, Ron Paul is a Republican. He currently serves in the House of Representatives as a Republican and he is running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. However, Ron Paul is a Libertarian at heart. In 1988, he ran as the Libertarian nominee for the Presidency. Many of his positions (such as National Defense, the Patriot Act, the War on Drugs, and the Federal Reserve) conform to the platforms of the Libertarian Party and stand in direct opposition to the official platforms of the Republican Party. Mind you, I’m not being critical of his positions on those issues. I’m simply stating that he agrees with Libertarian views much more than he does with Republican views.

I’ve expressed on a number of occasions that the recent Republican leadership in Washington has forced me to abandon the Republican Party on principle. I still agree with them on a number of issues, and I would continue to vote for Republican candidates who represent my views. However, they are no longer the Party of small Government or limited spending. They have lost touch with their Conservative roots. Therefore, I can no longer call myself a Republican. I commonly refer to myself as a Libertarian (although I have a few disagreements with their official positions).

As I have grown older, my world view has shifted on a number of issues. I have found myself more committed to the ideas of true freedom and individuality. To his credit, Ron Paul represents this view as well.

Paul is committed to the idea of smaller Government and an emphasis on individuality. On many of his positions, I am in complete agreement. There are things that I really like about Ron Paul.

Alas, I cannot support him. There are two primary reasons.

First, his views on the War against Islamic Terrorism. Admittedly, he favored fighting the Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan. He voted for military intervention on that front. But he opposed, and continues to oppose the War against terrorists in Iraq. He, like many opponents to the Iraq War, claims that terrorists were not in Iraq before we invaded. We haven’t accomplished anything there. We have made the situation worse.

I disagree. I still believe that Saddam Hussein was a threat to us and served as an ally to the Islamic radicals. Removing him from power was the right decision.

Ron Paul believes that it was a mistake to intervene there. In fact, he has adopted a rigid non-interventionist foreign policy. Basically, he believes that if we don’t mess with them, they won’t mess with us.

In my opinion, this as a HUGE mistake in judgment. The Islamic terrorists have stated on many occasions that they will not stop until the United States is completely destroyed. It is not their desire to simply drive us from the Middle East. They hate our very existence. They seek our eradication.

Before World War II, there were many in the United States who believed that we should not get involved. Hitler’s campaign was Europe’s problem. Should we have remained inside our own borders? Should we have accepted the belief that if we don’t mess with Germany, they won’t mess with us?

Of course, there is something to be said about reducing our military presence throughout the world. There is an argument to be made that we involve ourselves in too many conflicts that don’t affect us. But, the War against Islamic Terrorism is not one of those. I believe that defeating the Islamic radicals is vital to our survival. Because of that, I cannot support Ron Paul.

But, there is a second reason. And, this speaks directly to his rationality. In order to gain support for his campaign for the Presidency, Ron Paul has pandered to a group of people which I find not only detestable but completely lacking in credibility. That group is the 9/11 Truthers.

“Truthers” believe that the United States Government was behind the attacks on the World Trade Center. Different elements of the group believe that the Government either knew about the attacks ahead of time and allowed them to occur, or that the Government was directly responsible for the planning and coordination of the attacks as well as the subsequent “cover-up.” Truthers should be denounced by every elected official as the nutcases that they are. They should be lent no credibility whatsoever.

Yet, Ron Paul has found a niche with these people. Not only has he indulged their desire to reopen investigations on the 9/11 attacks, but he has also appeared on the Alex Jones Show (If you don’t know who Alex Jones is, look him up. But, beware. You are entering the land of the insane.).

I understand that Presidential candidates must reach-out to different segments of the population to gain support and momentum for their campaign. But, the line has to be drawn somewhere. I’d say that line should be drawn at the “Tin-Foil Hat Brigade.” No candidate should give credence to a group like this unless they want their rationality seriously questioned.

I don’t want this to sound like “guilt by association.” I am not suggesting that Ron Paul is a 9/11 Truther simply because he appeared on the Alex Jones Show. Ron Paul has done a fine job of implying that all by himself.

Several months ago, Paul was questioned by a representative with the “Student Scholars for 9/11 Truth.” Here is the exchange that took place:

Student: We’ve heard that you have questioned the government’s official account.

Paul: Well, I never automatically trust anything the government does when they do an investigation because too often I think there’s an area that the government covered up, whether it’s the Kennedy assassination or whatever.

Student: So I just wanted to say, you know, we’ve talked to Dennis Kucinich and he says that he’s willing to, you know, investigate it. He would advocate for a new investigation.

Paul: Into 9/11?

Student: Yeah, into 9/11. I mean, if it was Dennis Kucinich and you, there’d be congressional support. You know what I mean? So you wouldn’t be the only one.

Paul: It’d be bipartisan, too. And I’ve worked with Dennis a lot on a lot of these issues.

Student: So I mean, would you advocate for a new investigation into 9/11?

Paul: Yes, I think we have to look at the details of it.



Maybe he’s just clamoring for any support that he can find. Maybe he actually “questioned the government’s official account.” Either way, Paul has a problem. He's pandering to conspiracy theorists.

That is why I cannot support Ron Paul.

1 Comments:

  • I feel the same way, I can't support RP. I may still vote for him since my state will go Republican and I can send the message I support some of his ideas. thereby, getting the main planks of his embedded into the Rep. platform.
    lp

    By Anonymous Larry, At December 08, 2007 1:14 PM  

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