An Open Letter to Pro-War Libertarians on Behalf of Ron Paul

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To my fellow libertarians who happen to be war-mongerers and Objectivists (or do I repeat myself?):

I know you hate Ron Paul. He’s against the Iraq war. And he’s skinny, to boot. And a Christian. And likes babies. Yuck.

But hear me out. I’m giving you a chance to save face. I know many of you are a bit embarrassed by your previous pro-Iraq war stance, and by being lumped in with the likes of Bill Maher and Christopher Hitchens. You want a way to save face, but still look macho.Here’s why you are wrong to oppose Ron Paul for President. First, other than differing with you on war, you know you agree with him far more than with anyone else. So the main issue is war. Right?

In your eyes, the “Islamo-fascists” are the real threat. You are usually smart enough to realize that anti-war libertarians are not really “isolationists,” but when your neo-con buddies at the local goose lodge smear us all with that label, you quietly snicker as you quaff your ice wine. But you think we need a strong military, and need to actively patrol our borders–which is the entire globe, after all–to make sure the children, the savages, stay in line.

Look, we real libertarians disagree with you. We think such a view is non-universalizable and wrong. Fine. But let’s let that go. We’ll go with your muscular, macho, pro-hockey loving libertarianism for a minute.

It seems obvious that you only have two real choices. Both of them are inferior to a Paul presidency.

First, let’s assume the most gung-ho pro-war of the current Republican candidates wins–John McCain (or Giuliani, whatever). Now even McCain, in office, with the practical complications of dealing with a divided or Democrat Congress, won’t be any worse–sorry, I mean “better”–than George W. Bush. Think about it: you guys always whine that our soldiers just need to have the “shackles removed” to “really win.” What this means, of course, is that “collateral damage” of, say, ten times or more than what we currently inflict ought to be tolerated. Toss a mini-nuke into a village in Basra to kill a couple of suspected Islamo-fascists. If you kill 1000 “innocent” civilians, so what? Are 1000 Muslims worth one good Christian–I mean American–soldier’s life? And so on.

But let’s face it. Even with macho, teeth-clenching, flinty-eyed McCain in office, he’ll be hampered–just as George Bush and LBJ were–in prosecuting the war the way it “needs to be” done. The good ole’ days of the Enola Gay are gone.

So even if one of “your kind” gets in office, which is unlikely, he or she won’t be able to be prosecute war as it “needs to be” fought. All those pesky democrats and greens and “human rights” advocates and “world opinion” will get in the way. In other words, even if you are right, and we “need” to fight a certain type of muscular, global war against all the “rogue nations” and Islamo-fascist bad guys–it ain’t gonna happen. So whether we have Ron Paul, or John McCain, as President–we aren’t gonna fight the ass-kicking kind of war you really want us to fight. Just face it, and let’s move on.

But at least, if Ron Paul wins, although you get no gloating over our global ass-kicking, you at least get a payback: massive tax cuts and rolling back of unconstitutional federal programs that are sapping our vitality and American spirit. If McCain wins, he still loses the holy war (hampered by all the sinners–but still), and eviscerates the Constitution anyway. All pain, no gain. It’s a no-brainer to me.

And of course a Hillary or Barack is also worse, for you, than Ron Paul. Hillary, even if she’s as macho as McCain, would also be unable to wage a war the “right way” (and she’d waste tax dollars in the failed attempt); plus she’d raise taxes and expand social programs. So here, too, Paul is a clear winner. Likewise with Barack: even if he were as much a pansy as Paul on military imperialism (which I doubt; remember his comments on Pakistan?), he would be still worse on domestic spending and social policy. Again, Paul is the clear winner.

So no matter who wins, we won’t kick global ass. Paul’s the only one who at least gives you a kickback.

So, until an Austrian economics savvy Attila the Hun with a magnetic personality enters the race, make yours Paul!

8:55 pm on December 18, 2007