Ron Paul, the Expatriate's Patriot


Ron Paul gives the more than five million Americans living abroad the opportunity to hold their heads a little, no, a lot higher. Having spent twelve of the last fourteen years abroad, in Chile, Malaysia, and South Korea, this writer, for one, has never felt prouder to be an American than in the recent months since Dr. Paul of Texas launched his presidential bid. And if this Incomplete List of Ron Paul Blogs is any indication, our foreign hosts and friends are catching on as well:

Many of my fellow American expatriates and our foreign friends find in the good doctor the embodiment of what makes America beautiful, its original traditions of self-government and non-interventionism. These are now all but lost save for that quixotic figure, Dr. Ron Paul. While he may not be as well known (yet) overseas as Obama, Hillary, or Giuliani, these three are known mostly for who they are (or, in last case, for where he was), rather than for what they believe.

Dr. Ron Paul, quite simply and radically, stands for the principles stated in our founding documents. The Declaration of Independence has inspired countless peoples the world over in the grip of tyranny. (For but one example, take a look at how the Declaration of Korean Independence, proclaimed on March 1st, 1919, parallels that one proclaimed on July 4th, 1776.) Similarly, the Constitution of the United States, described by the régime as “quaint,” has been a model for governments the world over, including even the Swiss, who, in imitating American federalism, are more Catholic than the Pope.

While the ideals upon which our country was founded are lauded by many, no one wants them imposed at the barrel of a gun. The wave of spontaneous sympathy and solidarity from Paris to Tehran that followed the attacks of September 11th, 2001 was quickly squandered by an administration that took a “you’re-either-with-us-or-against” approach to diplomacy, that has alienated us from our allies and further alienated us from our enemies. The adoption of the neocon “Democracy on the March” ideology has only made matters far worse.

In the last six years, ours has become the opposite of the “humble nation” Mr. Bush promised in the debate of October 12th, 2000. Indeed, Dr. Paul has publicly stated that his foreign policy is the one the future president promised on that day: “If we’re an arrogant nation, they’ll resent us; if we’re a humble nation, but strong, they’ll welcome us.” We have become an arrogant nation, more arrogant than ever, and we are resented more than ever.

Merely entrusting the presidency to the other wing of The War Party will do nothing to restore our ravaged image abroad. Mr. Bush made his “humble nation” remark to the vice-president of a régime whose secretary of state has called ours the “indispensable nation,” implying that all the rest just can’t get by without us. She also infamously called “worth it” the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children under the rgime sanctions. This, and Mr. Clinton’s cruise missile diplomacy, his wagging of the dog to divert domestic attention from his numerous scandals, and his pravoslavophobic bombing of Serbia, caused a great deal of hatred for America and Americans.

Of course, the history of interventionism and its blowback goes back much further than the era of the Bush and Clinton dynasties. What is the American Century if not a century of American interventionism in the four corners of the globe? We have to go back to the end of the 19th Century to find a president who recognized this to be “every bit as odious as imperialism and misguided nationalism” and who advocated that “we never get caught up in conflict with any foreign state unless attacked or otherwise provoked.” That president was Grover S. Cleveland, whom Thomas J. DiLorenzo called the “great libertarian from Buffalo” (and from whose article The Last Good Democrat come the quotes in the preceding sentence). His presidency ended in 1897, the year before the Empire began. It is time for the “great libertarian from Texas” to take the White House.

Dr. Ron Paul stands for non-interventionism, as described in his brilliant essay, The Original American Foreign Policy. They don’t hate us for our freedoms. They hate us for our Wilsonian foreign policy as advocated by the other candidates in both parties, which is in direct opposition to the Washingtonian and Jeffersonian non-interventionism expressed by Dr. Ron Paul.

Oderint dum metuant (let them hate as long as they fear) is the order of the day under the current régime. It has succeeded in that they do, indeed, hate us. They don’t fear us as much as they did because they realize we’re broke and in perhaps the terminal decline that has destroyed all empires, but they still hate us. They have even grown to resent us in allied countries. While most people understand that people are individuals, not representatives of their governments, it becomes tiresome for an expatriate to need to incessantly explain his self and his country to his hosts, although with Dr. Paul’s candidacy it has become easier and more enjoyable, which is the starting point for this essay.

But it is not to make our lives easier that Paulistas abroad support the man. Most Americans abroad hope to return home someday, and we hope to return home to a country that we recognize. It is even becoming doubtful whether we will even have country to which to return, a possibility pondered by Michael S. Rozeff in his recent essay, On Track for U.S. Collapse. Ron Paul is the only candidate who speaks of turning things around.

Your fellow Americans abroad want to come home someday! Support Ron Paul!

November 6, 2007