A Deadly Status Quo Is the Cost of Not Voting for Dr. Paul

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare


DIGG THIS

Christmas morning
broke clear and cold here in Virginia and before my children woke
I got to thinking about the opportunities that would lost by anyone
who decided not to vote for Dr. Ron Paul in the primaries. Perhaps
it was because I got chilled and cranky as I walked down to the
road to get the paper, but the more I thought, the more I doubted
if Americans really understood what they would be voting for
if they chose another candidate.

Of course one
need not agree with all of Dr. Paul's views to recognize the chance
he presents for Americans to begin to alter the disastrous status
quo policies — foreign and domestic — being advocated by the other
presidential candidates. I strongly disagree with Dr. Paul, for
example, on the issue of preemptive military action; in our war
against Islamist insurgents, preemption will serve America by keeping
our foes bleeding and off-balance, as we begin, as Dr. Paul has
said, to disengage from other peoples' wars. But because I do not
support Dr. Paul on this point, would it make sense for me to vote
for Senator McCain, who wants to send our soldiers and Marines to
die in the howling wastes of Darfur; or for Mr. Giuliani and his
coterie of neoconservative advisers who are fairly aglow with a
lip-smacking lust for an even broader Hobbesian war against Muslims
than that waged by George W. Bush; or for whatever foreign policies
Mr. Huckabee and his evangelical colleagues cook-up after their
daily chats with God; or for Senator Clinton who is advised by a
self-confessed felon and who believes U.S. and Israeli interests
are identical and that Israel's wars are America's wars? No, such
a vote would be senseless and only help the status quo to triumph.
While I disagree with Dr. Paul on preemption, his position and prudence
on this and other foreign policy issues are a sounder starting point
for an American debate than the other candidates' cheerful willingness
to leap from the frying pan into the flames and dragging our country
into the fire of wars that do not need fighting or that rightfully
should be fought without U.S. involvement.

One can also
dislike the views of Dr. Paul and other Libertarians regarding Abraham
Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and other great figures in American
history. I frankly admit that I cringe and get angry when I hear
Dr. Paul criticize Mr. Lincoln, who I consider the greatest American,
next to George Washington. But Dr. Paul and his colleagues have
reasoned, fact-based arguments for their views, and though I think
their arguments are often wrong, and at times scurrilous and historically
obtuse, they at least have a firm grip on the fact that there was
an America before the 1960s, and that broad knowledge of where the
United States came from is an essential prerequisite for shaping
policies to ensure its survival. This sort of historical literacy
surely is not to be found in Mr. Giuliani, whose knowledge of the
world seems to date from 9/11; in Senator Clinton and most other
Democrats, who are ashamed of where America came from and are doing
their best to coerce by federal mandate the country's remaking in
their own elitist and multicultural image; or in the rest of both
parties' candidates, who are so ignorant of U.S. history, and that
of other peoples and nations, that they believe what Americans have
struggled, fought, and died to create in North America over the
past 400 years can be put on a CD-ROM and transferred to other cultures.

At base, then,
a person need not agree with Dr. Paul on each and every issue, but
only on the most important issue: America's future economic viability
and its sovereign independence as a nation. On this issue, Dr. Paul
puts U.S. economic, constitutional, and national security interests
first, and he does so in a frank, clear, and unflinching manner.
And so what would a non-Ron Paul ballot tell us about the voter
casting it?

  • If a person
    chose not to vote for Dr. Paul, he or she would have to be content
    with the staggering debt Washington is incurring for this and
    future generations. While it has become a commonplace to say
    that our grandchildren will pay for this generation's profligacy,
    it is nonetheless troublingly true. And the debt we have incurred
    is not one that finds us owing ourselves, but rather it is one
    in which Americans have knowingly indebted themselves to their
    enemies — the Chinese and the Saudis. There is, so far as I
    can tell, no candidate other than Dr. Paul who says that America
    should return to its pay-as-you-go traditions, and argues that
    it is clearly lacking in foresight, prudence, and commonsense
    to provide rivals and enemies with the ability to detonate a
    financial weapon of mass destruction that could, by simply calling
    in our debt, slay America's economy and standard-of-living.
    Indeed, so oblivious to this danger are Dr. Paul's fellow candidates
    — or so abjectly willing are they to court future economic ruin
    if it means electoral victory now — that they want to borrow
    many billions more from our foes to fund universal health care,
    additional foreign military adventures, college-educations-for-all,
    and more foreign and military aid for their overseas buddies
    in Egypt, Cairo, Tel Aviv, and Saudi Arabia.

  • A person
    not voting for Dr. Paul would be further validating the reality
    that America is fast becoming a country of men — and women —
    and not of laws. Making issues more complex than they are is,
    of course, the time-honored way in which most U.S. politicians
    ensure that the status quo in which they are elected and reelected
    remains unchanged. The best examples today of this complexification
    process are border control and immigration. Our bipartisan governing
    elite and its non-Paulian spawn running for president have so
    encumbered a straight-forward law-and-order issue like immigration
    with the entangling considerations of human rights, refugee
    rights, citizenship rights and other non-pertinent issues that
    nothing is being done to halt the flood of undocumented aliens
    that is entering the country and eroding national security.
    Save for Dr. Paul the message from the other candidates on this
    issue is "Damn the law and U.S. security, I need the Hispanic
    vote."

  • And perhaps
    most inexplicably, ballots cast for one of Dr. Paul's rivals
    — especially Senator McCain and Mayor Giuliani — would show
    that many American parents are content to raise their children
    and then have them pointlessly killed abroad while serving as
    cannon fodder for the democracy-mongering interventions of their
    governing elite and wars that our elite start but never intend
    to win. From the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to protecting
    far-off borders by endlessly expanding NATO, to the civil strife
    of Darfur, to picking fights with the Russians, to democratizing
    Pakistan into anarchy, Dr. Paul's fellow candidates fairly salivate
    at the prospect of getting America involved in ever more bloody
    democracy-installing campaigns overseas. These adventures will
    of course require far greater numbers of soldiers — but not
    from the families of the elite of course — and will inevitably
    force them to reinstitute universal conscription, notwithstanding
    their pledges to the contrary.

So what does
it mean to vote for a candidate other than Dr. Paul? To so vote
means that one is knowingly voting for a man or a woman who does
not intend to do what he she has pledged to do. Whether it is on
the issue of budgetary restraint, abortion, trade, overseas intervention,
borders, taxes, jobs, or foreign aid, there is no reason to believe
that any candidate other than Dr. Paul would alter the policy status
quo more than superficially. Each of the other candidates is the
clone of those who have governed America for the past twenty years:
These are men and women who ignore the law, spend and borrow mindlessly,
and consistently spend the lives of our children by involving America
in other peoples' wars through their unrelenting interventionism.
They will do what they must to win office, and can be relied on
to abandon any and all campaign promises if they find such a jettisoning
can help them keep office.

And it is on
the point of reliability that Dr. Paul's candidacy rightly has roused
so much interest among everyday Americans, and particularly among
younger people. In all of the voluminous and often scare-mongering
criticism of Dr. Paul and his ideas that has flowed from his fellow
candidates and much of the media, no one has yet suggested that
Dr. Paul would not try to do precisely what he says he will try
to do. They have ridiculed what he intends to do if elected, decried
its supposed impracticability, and called it simple-minded isolationism,
but they have not once questioned his resolve to try to get it done.

My
own guess, for what it is worth, is that the reason Dr. Paul is
attracting the interest and support of Americans lies in the sense
they have that the Texan intends to do precisely what he says he
will do. Also spurring interest in Dr. Paul is the fact that he
is the only presidential candidate intent on shattering the structure
of the incestuous, privileged, self-serving, bribe-taking, and above-the-law
country club in which our bipartisan governing elite dwells and
hob-knobs with much of the media. For these reasons, Dr. Paul is
attracting the attention of men and women who know in their minds
and hearts that the other candidates' promises of change are worthless,
and if any is elected Americans would inevitably find themselves
in 2012 with the same disastrous economic, foreign policy, and law-and-order
status quo that is untenable in 2008.

The chance
to see America benefit from a leader who strives to do what he has
promised, while simultaneously thumping America's self-serving political
elite and camp-following media are two of the best of the many excellent
reasons to vote for Dr. Paul.

December
29, 2007

Michael
Scheuer [send him mail] is
the author of Imperial
Hubris and Through Our Enemies’ Eyes
. He recently resigned
after 22 years at the CIA.

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts