Recently by Ryan McMaken: Catholic Theologians: Prostitution Should Be Legal
Remember that time Ron Paul used the Golden Rule to explain his foreign policy? Conservatives booed him for that. So who can be surprised that conservatives have been falling all over themselves to condemn Ron Paul for quoting Jesus – in correct context, by the way – to note that the violence wrought by over a decade of nonstop war in America leads to tragedy on the home front?
Every neocon pundit and middle-American red-blooded conservative took a few minutes out from running around shrieking “boo-yah” and polishing his dually F-250 to be outraged that someone dared suggest that a government employee wasn’t a holy relic.
The Daily Caller was the first to the show, posting Paul’s twitter post without comment and allowing the comment box to quickly fill with outraged Republicans who were dismayed that anyone would not endorse every action of every single taxpayer-funded soldier who ever drew a bead on some dirt-poor 12-year-old child-soldier 10,000 miles away. Others soon piled on.
The most transparent were the conservatives who claimed to be former supporters of Paul who must now go support some more “patriotic” politician: One who doesn’t actually question anything the military does.
One member at RonPaulForums.com said “‘Live by the sword, die by the sword’ is what the dumbest, stupidest, most delusional people around here would say. There’s no way that Ron actually said this. Ugh. How said [sic] and pathetic.”
That seems to be the general reaction one gets from conservatives about the Golden Rule also.
This is what it comes down to for most conservatives, of course. All that stuff about laissez faire and freedom and free markets has never been more than an act and an affectation which goes right out the window if someone ever criticizes the US Government in a truly trenchant or penetrating manner.
Most of these sunshine patriots who now whine that Ron Paul has lost their support, wouldn’t ever have supported Ron Paul in the first place if Obama weren’t in office. Had Ron Paul run against a GOP incumbent, most of these timid and prevaricating “opponents” of big government would have condemned Paul for questioning the glorious deeds of “our” Commander-in-Chief. Among conservatives, Ron Paul has only ever had minority support, for in the end, conservatives love government, as exhibited by their latest outrage. They just love it in a slightly different way from the left liberals.
As I’ve noted before, the Tea Party movement, and most conservatives who pretend to be for small government, only act when there’s a Democrat in office. During eight years of Bush shredding the constitution, spending money like there was no tomorrow, and inflating the money supply with his pals at the central bank, no conservative would walk ten feet to protest the federal government. But about five minutes after Obama was sworn in, the Tea Party protests swelled into a huge disingenuous show that will evaporate five minutes after any Republican is sworn into office, assuming the GOP can actually win a national election with one of the out-of-touch never-had-a-real-job rich boys they insist on nominating.
In the end of course, Ron Paul has never been about rallying people to himself. He has been about the message, and the message is about freedom. It is a logical impossibility to be simultaneously pro-freedom and pro-military. Patrick Henry, who called government soldiers “engines of despotism” knew this. Thomas Jefferson knew this. Every true friend of liberty from William Graham Sumner to Murray Rothbard knew this. And Ron Paul knows it. Some of his supporters, still stuck in the mindset of a form of Geezer Conservatism in which “freedom-lovers” bow and scrape before the US Government, denied that Ron Paul could have even agreed with the Twitter post. No such luck for them. The tradition of laissez faire is a tradition against standing armies, and wars, and deference to military “heroics.” Conservatives who are troubled by this should probably be honest with themselves and find a candidate more suitable to their views. I hear Newt Gingrich is still taking donations.
Ryan McMaken [send him mail] is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.