From my experience, people who attack libertarians such as Ron Paul are often not serious about ideas. I have noticed the individuals who deride Dr. Paul do so mostly with shallow and dishonest attacks.
Take the various socialists and welfare-statists who attack Ron Paul. I understand they support nationalizing healthcare while generally being against the occupation of Iraq. Because they oppose the occupation, they should find a powerful ally in someone as principally opposed to it as Ron Paul. Take also the neoconservatives in the mass (minded) media such as Faux News who attack and omit Dr. Paul. I understand they support the occupation of the Middle East but also believe government should be strictly limited in accordance with traditional conservative ideas (right? right???). In Ron Paul, they have a great opportunity to highlight these at least rhetorical parallels while simultaneously expressing reasonable disagreements. Because of these considerations, I believe it reasonable to expect a certain amount of give and take among the three camps, if only for practical reasons.
What I have experienced instead has been a surreal and dishonest two-front attack against Ron Paul. No argument seems to be too trivial or irrelevant for the anti-Paulians to make. They seem to be bringing up every possible issue (real or imagined) against Ron Paul in the hopes something — anything — will stick.
- While the President gets dictatorial power to spy on and indefinitely kidnap innocent Americans, socialists and neocons speculate wildly about Ron Paul supporters “spamming” internet polls.
- While thousands of men, women, and children violently die in Iraq and Afghanistan, socialists and neocons misrepresent Ron Paul’s refusal to fund stem cell research.
- While the Bush administration plots to drop nuclear weapons on Iran, socialists and neocons spin every single Ron Paul victory to be meaningless or nonexistent.
- While people suffer without healthcare because government intervention makes it unaffordable to the poor, socialists and neocons distort a decade-old mishap Ron Paul had with one of his previous ghostwriters.
Where they manage to attack Dr. Paul's ideas directly, they do so with increasingly ineffective arguments. Consider further:
- While the Constitution is trashed and mocked by all three branches, socialists and neocons talk about how Ron Paul’s message of rule of law is anachronistic.
- While government at all levels rob the people blind, socialists and neocons sneer at Ron Paul's suggestion to get rid of the Federal income tax.
- While the American economy further implodes due to the boom and bust cycle created by the Federal Reserve, socialists and neocons talk about how Ron Paul’s anti-Fed proposals are “irrelevant."
- While the prices of essential goods dramatically increase via inflation, socialists and neocons talk about how Ron Paul’s hard-money ideas are unrealistic.
- While Ron Paul educates Americans on economics, socialists and neocons spread discredited Keynesian and Marxist myths which undermine liberty and prosperity.
- While Ron Paul plans to help reintegrate America with the world through peaceful trade and foreign policy, socialists and neocons smear him as “isolationist."
- While Ron Paul gains more supporters every day, socialists and neocons criticize his lack of name recognition in land-line phone polling — yet at the same time groan about how fanatical and pervasive his supporters are…
Something isn’t right. There is honest disagreement, and then there is demagoguery. There is mutual respect, and then there is mud-slinging. I cannot name one person who Dr. Paul has disparaged as badly as most of his critics see fit to disparage him. This says a lot about all said parties involved.
What is it then about Ron Paul that inspires such fevered attacks? I will say what I believe. I believe the battle for freedom takes place not only in the upcoming election, but also in the arena of ideas. In this arena, I believe Ron Paul's message is more powerful than any political shenanigans that can be put against him. I believe also the embittered detractors have good reason to be up in arms. With every Ron Paul victory, they have found their intellectual weaponry to be unexpectedly brittle and ineffective against the message of freedom.
August 22, 2007