Skip to comments.The Ron Paul Delusion
Posted on 02/24/2010 4:42:22 AM PST by Kaslin
What are we to make of the Republican Party's future now that libertarian Rep. Ron Paul won the presidential straw poll at the well-attended Conservative Political Action Conference last week?
Is the GOP about to transform into the party of the gold standard?
Let's, for a moment, forget Paul (and how I wish this could be a permanent condition, considering the congressman is neither a serious politician nor -- and I can't stress this enough -- a serious thinker).
Libertarianism offers conservatives -- many of them new to political activism -- an earnest ideological alternative to the process-heavy politics that dominate Washington.
It allows Republicans to cleanse themselves of the GOP's failure to deliver on promises of smaller government and fiscal restraint.
None of which is new. The 1964 Barry Goldwater would be considered a libertarian today by many measures. The National Review constructed a "fusionist" effort to bring the parties together. Ronald Reagan explained to Reason magazine back in 1975 that "the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism."
Two sticking points preventing this fling from turning into something more serious have been social issues and war. Has anything changed to alter the dynamics of the relationship? Probably not.
Patrick Buchanan recently claimed that the GOP is showing signs of turning away from its recent foreign policy positions. The focus of policy may have changed -- and perhaps there's more reluctance in nation building -- but polls pretty clearly illustrate Republicans still believe in a robust and proactive national defense.
Social issues are far more complex -- and they always have been, despite caricatures. But the reality is that most of the cultural issues that divide Americans have been mired in political stalemates. You can debate abortion all day long; policy won't be changing.
Economics, on the other hand, touches almost everything in a tangible way. That -- and one of the most aggressive left-wing economic agendas in American history -- makes the libertarian fiscal message seductive.
Does that mean we need Paul?
"Congressman Paul is committed to bringing the conservative movement back to its traditional platform of limited government, balanced budgets and a foreign policy of nonintervention," claims Jesse Benton, Paul's spokesman.
If only it stopped there. Paul isn't a traditional conservative. His obsession with long-decided monetary policy and isolationism are not his only half-baked crusades. Paul's newsletters of the '80s and '90s were filled with anti-Semitic and racist rants, proving his slumming in the ugliest corners of conspiracyland today is no mistake.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of Paul is that thousands of intellectually curious young people will have read his silly books, including "End the Fed," as serious manifestoes. Though you wouldn't know it by listening to Paul or reading his words, libertarians do have genuine ideas that conservatives might embrace.
A serious libertarian, David Boaz at the Cato Institute, found that 14 percent of American voters could be classified as libertarian. "Other surveys," he points out, "find a larger number of people who hold views that are neither consistently liberal nor conservative but are best described as libertarian."
Seeing as the two top concerns at CPAC were "reducing size of federal government" (35 percent) followed by "reducing government spending," it is obvious the message of individual freedom and small government has resonance. But accepting Ron Paul as the leader of this -- or, actually, any -- charge is a mistake for both parties.
There, fixed it.
All anyone needs to know is RON PAUL ENDORSED ADAM KOKESH
We are writing to you to express our grave concerns about Adam Kokesh, who is aspiring to become the Republican nominee for US Congress from New Mexicos 3rd district. Mr. Kokesh has an extensive, and well-documented history of affiliations with radical leftist groups. In concert with these groups he has engaged in numerous anti-America and anti-military demonstrations and protests. Moreover, Mr. Kokesh does not appear to have any personal qualifications that would recommend him for serious consideration as a candidate for the Republican Party. He has a significant history suggestive of poor character and judgment, and he has notable incidents of direct activism against Republican office holders.
Affiliations with radical leftist groups
Mr. Kokesh joined the Iraq Veterans Against War (IVAW) in February 2007, at which time he was 25 years old. The IVAW was formed by the Vietnam Veterans Against War (VVAW), the now infamous group, formed by John Kerry in 1970, and responsible for the fraudulent maligning of our Vietnam veterans at the Winter Soldier Conference in 1971. It will be recalled that John Kerry now stands exposed as having repeated false accusations from that conference, during Congressional testimony in 1971. Similar to the VVAW, the IVAW is a virulently anti-military, anti-America group. It holds the view that our country is an imperialistic and expansionistic One World Order government, and that our military is but a tool of this government. Further, they believe that our soldiers are little more than marauders and murderers who, in the words of John Kerry, behave in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan.
Mr. Kokesh was active in the IVAW from 2007 to 2009, at which time he announced his candidacy for Republican Congressman from New Mexico. There are no indications that he has revoked his affiliations with the IVAW. As an active member of the IVAW, Mr. Kokesh was involved in numerous anti-military, and by explicit extension, anti-Bush/Republican activities and actions. While executing these actions, Mr. Kokesh knowingly and gladly, made common cause with a wide array of other well-known, radical anti-America and communist groups. The list of these other groups includes, but is by no means limited to, the following:
United for Justice and Peace
Communist Party of America
In cooperation with the above-named groups and the IVAW, Mr. Kokesh: participated in multiple anti-war demonstrations in Washington DC, and other cites throughout the country; organized and incited violent demonstrations at military recruiting stations; participated in an initiative to encourage active duty soldiers to desert their military post; organized and participated in a Winter Soldier Conference 2, an effort designed to malign and undercut the moral of our soldiers who were fighting and dying on the battlefield. Even a most cursory search of the Internet will yield a plethora of documents attesting to the veracity of these assertions.
Personal character questions, and anti-Republican Party activities
Apart from his considerable radical leftist affiliations and activities, there many concerns about Mr. Kokeshs general personal qualifications for congressman; and we have specific concerns about the appropriateness of his being considered for being a Republican congressman. Mr. Kokesh has no history of personal accomplishments or achievement, yet he does have a notable history of poor judgment and illegal behavior. Moreover, he has no history of supporting the Republican Party, and in fact has been actively unsupportive and undermining of the Party.
Mr. Kokeshs personal accomplishments and achievements appear to be limited to his having served in the Marine Corps from 1999 until 2006, and his political activism with the IVAW from 2007 until 2009. His MC service was basically unremarkable, in terms of citations, medals, and commendations, and it was ultimately marked by a demotion in his discharge rank, from Sergeant to Corporal, and a downgrading of his discharge status from honorable to general. Mr. Kokeshs tenure with the IVAW has been noted above and need not be repeated here.
There are no indications that Mr. Kokesh has ever maintained any private sector employment, and unless otherwise proven, it might be assumed that his work with the IVAW was financed through contributions to that organization, finances that often originated in leftist organizations such as MoveOn.org. Other than an undergraduate degree in Psychology, there are no indications that Mr. Kokesh has achieved any academic standing that might, given his young age and his otherwise lack of general accomplishments, recommend him for serious consideration for Congress.
There are numbers of incidents in Mr. Kokeshs personal life that suggest that he employs poor judgment, and that he has trouble coping with stress. Examples of his poor judgment include the following: he smuggled a gun home from Iraq, and then was apprehended when he bought it onto a college campus; he has incited protestors to engage in violent actions against military recruiting stations, and; he incited unrest on a college campus by hanging racist poster around the campus, and signed the posters as being a member of the college conservative Republican organization.
Given the above, it is our position that Mr. Kokesh is in no way qualified to represent the Republican Party in Congress. In fact, if his history is any indicator of his future performance, it is most likely that he will behave in a manner that is antithetical to the positions and values of the Republican Party. In our view, a Kokesh candidacy will at best, precipitate much conflict within the Republican Party, and, at worst, invite derision from outside of the party.
Like you, we are interested in maintaining the integrity of the Republican Party. We understand that this is a time when the party leadership is striving to reconcile disparate ideas within the party, and to clarify its unified voice. A Kokesh candidacy would be completely at odds with those strivings and ideals.
We are urging the Republican Party to withhold any endorsement of a Kokesh for Congress candidacy. We look forward to hearing from you.
The sooner the better
Boy, that meaningless little CPAC vote has sure got the Ron Paul haters terrified! Countless posts slandering him, bringing the “racist, anti-semitic” BS back, etc.
ron paul is an idiot. The main thrust of this article, one that we must remember, is that libertarians and conservatives have been tied at the hip for generations. There are far to many on this site trying to divide us, and to rip apart the party. I do believe that these people are actually agents for the communist party (democrats) and are doing this on purpose, for the goal of divding the party, thus losing the elections this year. Do not accept the destroyers so called arguments. These people do not understand, or refuse to understand, the constitution, as written. Do not fall prey to the trap.
Libertarians need to understand that you cannot have liberty without first having a strong national government. Too often they seem to think liberty can exist in a vacum. I’ve always considered myself a libertarian nationalist. I want a strong and agressive foreign and defense policy, but the maximum amount of liberty practical at home.
After the 2008 election, I explored the Libertarian Party and its ideology, and truthfully, much of it is very appealing, at least on paper. In fact, there is a great deal of overlap in Libertarian and Conservative thought, and it can even be argued that Conservatives are Libertarians to a certain degree.
However, in actual practice, I've found in recent months that most Libertarians (but not all, including a few of my very good FRiends on this board) are out and out kooks, especially Ron Paul supporters, who are not much more than rabid wolves in my opinion. Consequently, I could never associate myself with such a party that almost exclusively includes 9/11 truthers, drug legalization proponents, abortion supporters, pacifists, and open borders advocates.
With that said, I do think that the GOP would greatly benefit from a big dose of Libertarian free market and limited government medicine, if the feckless party leadership would only open wide and swallow.
So the author is clearly not in favor of auditing the Fed
Sorry to disappoint you but your kook needs to be committed
I suspect...if “reality” ever hits the Federal bond market...Ron Paul will look even more presidential...
Although I am not a huge fan of Paul I don’t believe that he is an idiot, quite the contrary.
And considering some of the options being pushed on conservatives like Mitt, Newt and the Huckster....
A “strong national government” is the antithesis of liberty. The Founders clearly understood that which is why they attempted to limit the powers granted to the national gov’t to those enumerated in the Constitution. No, you can’t have liberty in a vacuum; it must be preserved at the state and local level from encroachment by the national gov’t. To the extent that you have an agressive foreign policy, you always compromise liberty at home. History clearly demonstrates an inverse relationship between agressive foreign intervention and liberty enjoyed at home.
This article is a spin using stereotypical definitions - a primary mechanism of the Left.
Libertarianism is not Conservatism because the latter depends on the responsible and moral behavior of the individual, thereby allowing human commerce to proceed without the domineering external grip of authoritarian government - it is a manifestation of Christianity.
Libertarianism is simply a shallow (humanistic) reaction, albeit a deserved one in today's venue, against that authoritarianism.
We have a long long way to go and may never get back. As evidenced by this article.
All ru paul and the Claxton Brigade are going to do is ensure that the RATs win. Demanding a “purity test” that can only exist in their minds will do exactly what the dims want, the destruction of the conservative movement. Here in TN in 2006 ford was almost elected to the senate because two conservatives split the vote in the primary which Corker won, then there were people that refused to vote in the election. The paulies political views seem to have more in common with the left than they do conservatives.
I’m more concerned about the 22% at CPAC that cast their vote for Romney.
I’d take Paul over that guy any day.
“(Ron Paul) is neither a serious politician nor...a serious thinker”
“But then again, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself. People want the RINO’s out, unfortunately this is a side effect of that.
It’s almost like what you’re seeing is some Socially Left people migrating strictly for economic purposes.
I know some personally, and this is what’s happening. They are rethinking the old FDR policies.
“Im more concerned about the 22% at CPAC that cast their vote for Romney.”
“Id take Paul over that guy any day.”
Bingo. It’s the Romney-RINOs of the past that helped get us where we are today.
Atleast Paul has a more or less clearly defined position on important taxation/fiscal issues. Sarah? Does anyone know what shi think about tax reform or fed.. anyone?
The problem I have with many modern conservatives is that they are content to leave the government behemoth in place that we have had since the 1970s as long as we don't make it bigger. I want Barry Goldwater style locking the doors on at least half of the Federal bureaucratic offices currently in existence.
If the Constitution doesn't explicitly permit the Federal government to do it, I don't want them to do it.
Perhaps turning back the clock isn't reasonable or realistic but that's what I want.
Thanks for posting that.
Too true. Despite acting, and sounding exactly them; the Republicans really are different than the Democrats. No, really.
So the author is clearly not in favor of auditing the Fed
In total agreement with your Post #10.
"There can be no happiness without liberty, no liberty without constitutionalism, no constitutionalism without morality and none of the above without stability and order."
Ron Paul, anti war, money and supporters from the 9/11 Truthers.
Ron Paul has stated Iran and North Korea ar not a threat.
He states we were attacked on 9/11 because we are Imperial America and occupiers.
Ron Paul is the poster boy for the NeoLeft
I know. I even saw a comment that mentioned Paul as pro abortion because he stated, in-line with the Constitution (that everybody seems to comment on, but none seem to have read), these issues are to be decided by the states. Ron Paul is an OB/GYN physician that has delivered thousands-upon-thousands of babies and has refused to perform even one abortion.
If Roe v. Wade hadn't happened and this decision was left to the states, millions of babies would have been saved from abortion. But, due to the fact that so-called small government conservatives want to unconstitutionally keep this as a federal matter, millions of babies die yearly due to the gridlock. That's why the forefathers advocated almost everything being handled by sovereign states; it's easier to change things at a local level than at a federal level and we could have had this battle won decades ago, state-by-state as the Constitution mandates.
What perplexes me is that he is the most small-government, pro liberty politician in the nation and those on FreeRepublic and elsewhere on other pro-liberty sites ridicule this man and those who support him. I just don't get it. But the message is thriving. For the first time ever, college students - the future of our nation and politics - are accepting and embracing a pro-liberty, non socialist, political ideology and there is now hope that, when all of these politicians and voters spawned from the liberal revolution of the 60's and 70's die off, our nation will return to the ideals of our founding fathers.
It's because they absolutely hate his moral equivalence arguments (we made them mad, we started it blah blah blah) against the wars. I hate it when he does that. He could make so many more or less good and valid arguments against our wars:
America's worst enemies are not hiding in caves in Afghanistan.
Wrong. They tried having liberty without a stong national government with the Articles of Confedertion, and it was a dismal failure. So they adopted the Constitution. I didn't say or mean to imply a national government with unlimited powers, but one with carefully enumerated powers that is still strong enough to keep order at home and defend us from an often hostile world. That's where the I part with the libertarians and Paulpods. They seem to share the belief with liberals that if we just leave the world stage and are nice to everybody they will leave us alone, several thousand years of human history notwithstanding.
Actually, we're laughing. Everyone knows that the college kids stuffed the ballot box at CPAC. CPAC is a joke now, anyway, what with the ACLU and GOProud booths and the overabundance of Libertarians.
I mean, read the article and note the vein of humor running through it.
I think most of us here on FR would be happy never to hear of Ron Paul again. But since his acolytes like to swarm and spam, I suppose we just have to laugh at him.
Oh...and you used one of the classic Ron Paul Acolyte Glossary phrases. ;-)
Ron Paul Acolyte Glossary:
Neo-Con: Anybody who does not worship Ron Paul.
Statist: Anybody who does not worship Ron Paul.
Paul-Hater: Anybody who does not worship Ron Paul.
RINO: Any GOP candidate who is not Ron Paul.
Small-government conservative: This only applies to Ron Paul or Ron Paul disciples such as Debra Medina or Rand Paul. Nobody else is allowed to claim this.
Big-government supporter: Anybody who does not worship Ron Paul.
People who understand and support the Constitution: This only applies to Ron Paul or Ron Paul disciples such as Debra Medina or Rand Paul. Nobody else is allowed to claim this.
9/11: What the US deserved for refusing to roll over to Muslim terrorists in the Middle East.
Yes, I remember a statement he made not too long ago, he said that in his entire medical career he never saw a single case in which an abortion was medically necessary.
What perplexes me is that he is the most small-government, pro liberty politician in the nation and those on FreeRepublic and elsewhere on other pro-liberty sites ridicule this man and those who support him.
I don't think this is a pro-liberty site... pro-conservative first, pro-republican second, and somewhat pro-economic freedom, but not the whole spectrum of pro-liberty. That's why I'm a libertarian and not a republican.
For the first time ever, college students - the future of our nation and politics - are accepting and embracing a pro-liberty, non socialist, political ideology and there is now hope that, when all of these politicians and voters spawned from the liberal revolution of the 60's and 70's die off, our nation will return to the ideals of our founding fathers.
That's what I enjoyed the most about Dr. Paul's 2008 primary campaign - seeing all the young people, as well as all the minorities, at his events.
2 candidates attracted large numbers of those 2 groups to their cause during the 2008 election cycle, osama and Ron Paul, and you know that at least the vast majority of osama's young supporters are completely disillusioned with him now.
On the other hand, I don't see how any of us Ron Paul supporters can change our minds about him, unless our core beliefs were to change as well - he supported the same policies and political platform since the 1950s - back when his positions were very much mainstream republican beliefs.
It's amazing how far to the left the GOP has moved since then.
And vitriolic too. I mean, I always thought that personally attacking people who've done nothing but offered their opinion was a trait of Democrats and those to the left of them. But, if I say anything, no matter how truthful, that doesn't praise Palin (they've already anointed her President and the primary hasn't even begun) or toe the GOP line (no matter how unconstitutional), people go nuts and attack personally. My guy as of now is Ron Paul, and people say horrible things about him (on a personal level, not a policy level) and me and I have never resorted, in response, to their name-calling and the other childish stuff I've witnessed here. It's sad.
Note to both sides; Ron Paul will NEVER be POTUS.
That is all.
“conservatives like Mitt, Newt and the Huckster”
Or liberals like Reagan? It makes as much sense as what you said.
“Libertarians need to understand that you cannot have liberty without first having a strong national government.”
Liberaltarians would rather have all drugs legalized than have a strong military.
I should have said,
“And considering some of the options being pushed on conservatives with the likes of Mitt, Newt and the Huckster....”
But I think most here got my drift.
“But I think most here got my drift.”
Every once in a while I am sharp minded. This was sadly not one of those moments.
I get a kick out of the ones here - it's what keeps me coming back to such a hostile website. Amusing, in a sad sort of way.
they've already anointed her President and the primary hasn't even begun
You know, I hate to say it but I think Palin is about the best we can expect in 2012, at least as far as someone who has a realistic chance of winning goes.
There's a lot I like about her, but I suspect that she's weak on immigration and it looks like she's drank of the neocon kool-aide as far as foreign policy goes.
My guy as of now is Ron Paul...
Right there with you FRiend... probably not electable at the national level, we may not be able to force him to run this time, but he has my vote in 2012 if he wants it.
I have never resorted, in response, to their name-calling and the other childish stuff I've witnessed here. It's sad
You're a better man than I am then... I take as much as I can, but sometimes I just have to throw a personal insult back at 'em.
Got to be careful though. I've seen more than one libertarian-leaning freeper take personal attack after personal attack, finally throw one back and then get immediately banned.
You know the mods and owner have their pet neocons here that you just have to take it from. I try to just ignore them.
Actually got called out by one guy yesterday ("you wanna do something about it... well, do ya - PUNK!). I was very amused.
I'm getting up near 50 & I've been sitting at a desk for 25 yrs now, but I'm a big, ugly, mean-looking guy, and the thought of the wet stain on the front of their pants that I'd see if I actually ran into one of these keyboard warriors makes me laugh every time I get "threatened" by one of them.