The Republican Leadership Deserves Only Contempt

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English: Crude drawing of the "No RINO&qu...

English: Crude drawing of the “No RINO” buttons used by American Republicans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The reaction of mainstream Republicans to Mr. Romney‘s claim that Mr. Obama’s campaign was based on promises of gifts to people by the government may as well have been the reaction of Democrats. Mr. Romney, as well as Rush Limbaugh who referred to “Obama Claus,” were roundly condemned by the majority of Republicans who spoke up. Mr. Limbaugh is correct when he says that the Republicans are trying to get a piece of the vote of those people dependent on the government. As he recognizes, this is a pipe dream.

Republicans have degenerated into the party that says, “We’ll keep the programs the Democratic Party offers, but we will cut funds programs so they will financially survive in the future.” Americans tend not to think about the future. The typical young American today looks at the present and how to gain as much pleasure in life with the least effort possible. If that means not getting a job and living off government welfare, so be it. Beneficiaries of federal welfare programs want their money and food stamps now, and they want as much money as possible now. The hell with future generations. These individuals live for today. Like the corrupt emperors of the later Roman Empire, Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party keep their power by giving the people “bread and circuses.” The Republicans are kidding themselves if they think that offering fewer bread and circuses for the good of abstract “future generations” will move the self-centered contemporary government dependent person one bit. Those Republicans who condemned Mr. Romney, such as Karl Rove and his fellow consultants, do not deserve to keep their jobs–there predictions of the outcome of the general election were among the most inaccurate since the “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline in 1948. After Mr. Jindal condemned Mr. Romney, I will not support him if he runs for the Republican nomination. If the Republican Party turns to the left on welfare, immigration, and social issues, I–and many other conservatives–will vote for a third party. Personally I am sick and tired of cowardly Republicans, some of which are not sincere about their alleged conservatism on social issues, giving ground on economic issues and immigration as well. Mr. Ron Paul was one example of a man of integrity who refused to compromise his convictions for the favor of liberals, the press, or Hollywood. Yet he only received a small percentage of the Republican vote in the primaries, and the Republican National Committee treated his delegates with disrespect, refusing to seat some of them at the Republican National Convention. Now some want to eliminate the Iowa Straw Poll because of the influence of Paul supporters. Keep up the good work, Republicans, and see how many conservatives vote Libertarian or Constitution Party next election–or just stay home.

Conservatives (and I am not talking about “Neoconservatives” who are, in effect, Neoliberals”) need to get their message across in the political realm while still realizing that politics is not the means to salvation. We must work to change people’s hearts–one person at a time. Needless to say, that means we should set a good example in our own lives. If one person, one family, one community at a time we can influence people to see the harm that liberalism does, we may make progress. Conservatives within the Republican Party should hold the line as much as possible, but if they are driven out, a viable third party coalition should be considered. Forget the Neocons and the Rockefeller “Country Club Republicans.” A coalition of social conservatives, traditional conservatives in the Russell Kirk vein, and some libertarians that are not mere libertines might be workable. Ron Paul reached out to different groups outside how own libertarian standpoint, especially on opposition to the American Empire–and this is a position to which American Conservatism should return. The Republicans are the party of empire, and the Democrats, being mainly Wilsonian, are the same. Surely some viable group of people willing to bring about real change can end a situation in which one party is only a pale shadow of the other. If the Republican Party wants to survive as a viable force in American life, it must get new leadership–conservative leadership and not wimps who back down from every attack from the predominately leftist press. The current Republican leadership deserves only contempt.

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Romney’s Convention Blundering with Ron Paul Delegates

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Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Romney

Romney (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

Mitt Romney has done what I had feared in an earlier post: he has supported excluding Ron Paul delegates from Maine from the Republican National Convention and has denied Ron Paul a voice at the convention. Ron Paul delegates, who won the Maine caucuses according to the established rules of the Republican Party in that state, are understandably angry. As someone who voted for Ron Paul in the North Carolina Primary, reading about the way his delegates have been treated by Mr. Romney and his supporters is deeply troubling. To win the presidential election, Mr. Romney needs all the votes he can get. By treating Paul delegates in a disrespectful way, he alienates millions of Paul supporters in the United States. Most likely those among Paul supporters who may have considered “voting for the lesser of evils” in the presidential election may decide to vote Libertarian or Constitution Party instead of voting for Mr. Romney. Frankly I would not blame them.

My feelings are mixed. On the one hand, I not believe a second Obama administration would be good for the country. Although it may turn out that Republicans do not have the will to reduce spending significantly, especially given their support of American interventionism abroad, the Democrats would be far worse. Mr. Obama has continued Mr. Bush’s aggressive foreign policy, and Mr. Bush’s restraints on civil liberty have been enhanced under the Obama administration. Mr. Obama’s unlimited support of abortion, even up to the ninth month (partial-birth abortion can be performed at that state) is morally reprehensible. In addition, Mr. Obama supports a bigger government and stronger regulation, regulation that I have experienced directly at the university where I teach. The government is adding more offenses for which the university can be fined. Such regulation and massive government spending has hurt small businesses. Unlike many academics, I know personally a number of small businesspeople in my area. They have all told me that they believe their businesses will go under if Mr. Obama is re-elected.

Yet the Republicans are even more aggressive in foreign policy than the Democrats, at least rhetorically. Practically I believe that will make little difference. Ron Paul is the only candidate who opposes American intervention abroad unless it is clearly in support of American interests. His opposition to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has brought down the wrath of so-called “mainstream” Republicans and Neoconservatives as well as the wrath of Wilsonian Democrats. Although it is a good thing that Mr. Ryan wants to cut domestic spending, he is still enamored with the Roosevelt-Johnson welfare state. Mr. Paul rejects the welfare state in principle. Although there are fiduciary relationships with Social Security and Medicare, allowing the states to deal with such matters can allow those in need to continue to receive help.

I suppose, at this point, I will bite the bullet and vote for Mr. Romney. If the country is in intractable decline, which it will be under the two major parties, at least Mr. Romney might slow the decline. I also am deeply concerned about the Obama Administration’s attitude toward religious freedom and its radical moral agenda. As such, I am at a practical level forced to vote for a candidate who can win the general election.
In any case, I am not a libertarian but a traditional conservative, somewhere between Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul. I can swallow hard and vote for Mr. Romney despite his bad behavior now.

However, other Paul supporters, angry at how they have been treated by the Romney campaign, will vote for the libertarian candidate for president. Some traditional conservatives who are fans of Mr. Paul will vote Constitution Party. Others will not vote at all, and some may even vote for Mr. Obama. Frankly I cannot understand Mr. Romney’s behavior. Perhaps he wishes to act in a decisive manner, but to act decisively against his own self-interest is unwise. I would recommend that he make a peace offering to Mr. Paul and his supporters before his behavior costs him the general election and plunges the United States into rapid ruin.

The United States Should Stay Out of Syria

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Syria

No one can legitimately deny the brutality of the Assad regime in Syria. This is not atypical of many of the Middle Eastern states where ancient customs of absolute rule are slow to die. Some people, left and right, are calling for the United States to become involved in the Syrian conflict. This would be a mistake, even if it involves indirect help to the rebels.

The danger in any revolution, as George Orwell recognized in his book, Animal Farm, is that the end result of a revolution may be a government as repressive or even more repressive than the previous government. Are the Islamists who seem to be the majority of the rebels willing to set up a state that respects human rights? One would have to be naive to believe that. If the rebels win, Syria might get lucky and have a moderate Islamist government like the one in Turkey, if such governments can truly be called “moderate.” If the rebels are hard-line Islamists, then the state of the people in Syria may be worse than it would have been under Assad. One should be careful for what one wishes.

It is not in the national interest of the United States to become involved in the Syrian conflict. It may be in the national interests of Israel or Turkey to be involved, but the United States should allow the Syrians to fight their war and let the results be what they will be. Any military aid, or worse, sending special forces units (who may be there already–who knows?) or regular combat troops would be a disaster. The United States would gain little if anything and lose a great deal given the stress that the U.S. military is already under in Iraq and Afghanistan. Make no mistake about it, the “drawdowns” do not end U. S. military operations in those nations.

Corporations that make money off the welfare-warfare state will support intervening in Syria, but the unholy alliance between the United States government and large defense contractors helps the companies more than it helps the United States. Evangelical Christians, for all their good points, too often approach Middle Eastern politics thorugh the lens of a naive dispensationist premillenialist interpretation of the Book of Revelation. They strongly support American military intervention in the Middle East, believing that such is a part of prophecy being fulfilled.

Suppose the U.S. did get involved in Syria and a radical Islamist regime hostile to the United States was the result. The intervention would surely be said to cause more harm than good. War is a destructive force and often has unintended and bitter consequences that politicians do not invision from the safety of their air conditioned and heated offices. The United States should only go to war when the national interest is at stake. The claim of advocates of force that we would be fighting for human rights is a ruse since there are many countries with brutal dictators in which the United States does not intervene. The long tentacles of the Neoconservatives and war Democrats have slithered into the highest levels of U. S. foreign policy making. Congress needs to stand up to them and not fund unnecessary interventions into the internal battles of other countries. Both presidential candidates agree with the war party’s philosophy. That is unfortunate, for whatever the outcome of the November election, the United States will have a president who desires to continue the warfare/welfare state and its unnecessary interventions into disputes that are none of the United States’ business. If Israel or Turkey want to intervene in Syria–or Iran–that is their business. It is not our place to fight others’ battles for them.

The Republican Establishment Needs to Respect Ron Paul

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Congressman Ron Paul at an event hosted in his...

Congressman Ron Paul at an event hosted in his honor at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. Please attribute to Gage Skidmore if used elsewhere. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Republican establishment has never liked Ron Paul. The warmongering Neoconservatives that control the party dislike his opposition to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The Rockefeller country club Republicans (who make up the RINOs–Republicans in Name Only) dislike his libertarianism and his support for small government. Mr. Paul has been busy gaining delegates to the Republican National Convention. Of course Mitt Romney will be the nominee, but Mr. Paul would like some say on the platform and wants a voice at the convention. Now in caucus states, if more Paul supporters show up, he gets more delegates. If the Republicans in those states do not like the results, they should change the system. What they have been doing, however, is challenging the legitimacy of the delegates that Mr. Paul won under the rules of the caucus states fair and square. The Establishment has voiced disdain for Paul’s views and have labeled him as an extremist. What is so extreme about him? He wants small government. The Republican establishment claims that it wants small government, but they really want what the Democrats want without spending quite as much money. Mr. Paul opposes abortion; so has every Republican Party Platform since 1976 (even with Mr. Ford, who supported abortion rights, as the nominee in 1976). Mr. Paul supports a national interest foreign policy–that is not an isolationist position, but it suggests that foreign entanglements should be regarded with caution and with proper concern taken for American interests.Mr. Paul opposes government surveillance of American citizens. Since when did that become a radical position?

Now many Ron Paul supporters would vote for Mr. Romney if he and the Republican establishment would show them respect, let them keep the delegates they earned in states where they won the caucuses, and allow them to have a voice at the Republican National Convention. If the Republican establishment continues its present course, they will guarantee four more years of Mr. Obama. What is frightening is that the powers that be in the Republican Party despise Mr. Paul and his followers so much that they are apparently willing to risk losing the presidential election. Sadly, the Republican party has become a tent of warmongering Neoconservatives, Premillenialist Fundamentalist Christians to whom Israel can do no wrong, Red State Fascists who want no limits on federal police power, and RINO country clubbers. Hopefully if there are voices of reason in these groups, they will listen to what Mr. Paul and his followers, many who are young and energetic, want to say. If not, the Republican Party will slowly die a well-deserved death.

Ron Paul and the Media’s Blatant Lack of Integrity

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Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...

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Rep. Ron Paul, who finished a hairsbreadth below Michelle Bachman in Iowa, is, in the media’s eyes, a nonentity. This reveals the utter, complete lack of integrity in the major American media sources. The members of the mainstream media (and even Fox News) hate Ron Paul’s antiwar and libertarian views, thus they pretend that he does not exist. But to pretend that the second place winner in the Iowa straw poll does not exist is blatantly lying to the American people. The mainstream media is beyond dishonest; it does not even deserve public respect. And Dr. Paul is not the only person or position the media ignores. The mainstream’s media’s bias toward Mr. Obama was no secret during the 2008 election. But even earlier than that, the media claimed in 1992 that the United States economy was in the worst recession since the Great Depression. The members of the media who said that were liars. The 1973-74 and 1982-83 recessions were far worse than the 1992 recession. But because the mainstream media was rooting for Mr. Clinton, it lied about the economy and helped to get the candidate of their choice elected. On issues such as abortion and homosexual marriage, the socially liberal bias of the mainstream media outlets is obvious, as is the hatred of media members of traditional Christianity. At least Walter Cronkite, who had his own liberal biases, did his homework on the facts and did not intentionally distort them–he had integrity. Not his successors in the media today.

Ron Paul offends the media by opposing their pro-war stance. The media, conservative and liberal, were cheerleaders for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and they ignored both the antiwar left and the antiwar right. How can opposing two needless wars be “extreme”? It is in the eyes of the morally and intellectually blinded media. The media also makes much of Ron Paul’s claims that secession is constitutional. Yet few people during the first 85 years of the American republic would have disagreed with Paul–it was only with Lincoln that the idea of “preserving the union” came into vogue, and then the illegally¬† passed Fourteenth Amendment increased the legal authority of the federal government at the expense of the states.

Neither are Ron Paul’s positions on drug legalization extreme–William F. Buckley, surely a mainstream conservative, supported the legalization of drugs. Anyone who actually believes that the war against drugs is working is so blind to reality that he could just well believe that pigs fly.

Ron Paul deserves a place among the major candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. It is a shame that the utter dishonesty of the American media will work against his receiving the recognition he deserves. Hopefully his supporters will come out and show that that it is not Ron Paul who is irrelevant–it is the American media.

 

Arrogance and Hypocrisy in U.S. Foreign Policy

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Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States...

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President Obama has chosen to lecture Egyptian President Mubarak on the issue of human rights. This is another instance of American arrogance and hypocrisy, as traditional conservatives such as Pat Buchanan and libertarians such as Ron Paul, as well as some on the left, have pointed out. The U.S. has a shameful history of violation of rights and, regarding the American Indians, genocide. The U.S. Army engaged in brutal tactics during the Philippine War in the early twentieth century. In World War II, the U.S. forced thousands of Japanese-American citizens into what de facto were concentration camps–the fact that they were not as brutal as the German camps does not make what the United States did morally right. The U.S. engaged in saturation bombing of Tokyo in March 1945, killing over 100,000 people with the firestorm created from gasoline-laden bombs. The U.S. is the only country to have used nuclear weapons in combat. The U.S. and its allies, violating centuries of just war theory, demanded unconditional surrender of the Axis Powers in World War II. In Vietnam there were multiple instances of abuse by U.S. Army personnel against the Vietnamese people; Lt. Calley’s unit was not the only one to engage in rape or kill civilians. In Iraq and Afghanistan, torture was the official practice of U.S. military intelligence personnel as well as regular army personnel. The U.S. has not eschewed the first use of nuclear weapons in a conflict–not even with President Obama in power. And domestically, neither the FBI nor the ATF have clean human rights records, as FBI surveillance of American citizens and the ATF disasters at Ruby Ridge and Waco show. Now many countries engage in similar behaviors or worse–it may be the case, as blind patriots claim, that the U.S. has a better record on human rights than most other countries. But this does not justify our actions, nor does it justify the arrogance of President Obama in telling Mr. Mubarak how to run his country, especially since democracy in the Middle East tends to lead to radical Islamists coming into power. Perhaps Mr. Obama (and Mrs. Clinton) would prefer the Muslim Brotherhood to gain power in Egypt. If that happens, the powerkeg that is the Near East may explode.

In addition, U.S. policy holds that democracy is the best form of government for all nations. But as Aristotle recognized in his Politics, the best form of government for any state is going to depend on its history and traditions. But the U.S. continues to follow the neo-Puritanism of Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy and try to export “democracy” to the world–at the same time democracy is dying a slow death in the U.S. The rest of the world sees U.S. hypocrisy and hates us for it. The U.S. can do better than this–it can clean up its own house and avoid sticking its nose into every other country’s business. I hope such reform happens–but the secularist Puritan strand in American foreign policy is ingrained that I am pessimistic. We need more Ron Pauls, more Pat Buchanans, more true liberals such as Nat Hentoff, to join together in an effort to both stop U.S. abuses of human rights and also to encourage a “more humble” (as President G. W. Bush said in his pre-911 days) U.S. foreign policy.