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Friday, December 16, 2011

What We Don’t Know About Ron Paul

All initiation of force is a violation of someone else's rights, whether initiated by an individual or the state, for the benefit of an individual or group of individuals, even if it's supposed to be for the benefit of another individual or group of individuals. — Ron Paul

Does Ron Paul have a lot of interesting ideas he puts forward as a presidential candidate?

Yes. From his honestly libertarian views (he was the 1988 Libertarian presidential nominee, so he's been at this a long time) to his willingness to challenge the status quo on economics (questioning the role of everything from sugar subsidies to the Federal Reserve) to his emphasis on the Constitution and the Founding Fathers, Congressman Paul has been fearless in sticking with his principles. And in bringing new ideas — or old ideas — to an American electorate that has been staggered by the far-left reality that is the Obama Administration.

But as complaints surface in the wake of his strong showing in the Iowa Straw Poll, complaints from Paul supporters and candidate Paul himself that he is not receiving the attention that is his due — someone should say the Congressman and his supporters are correct. There should be — must be — more attention paid to the Paul campaign.

I consider myself a conservative with strong opinions on our economy, liberties, culture, and national security. I believe we should follow the Constitution in all matters of governance and that we have drifter way off course in this abidance with the dictates of our founders as we created a welfare state enhanced with tyrannical powers through the use of regulations and coercive taxation. I believe that the primary duties of the chief executive of the United States are to protect and defend our Constitution, insure our sovereignty, and secure our borders. His or her job is not to create jobs, regulate private business, and use the power of government to pick winners and losers in he our free market system. His or her job does not include collusion with private and public sector unions to regulate the right of free men to work where and when they want to work.

I believe in the economic policies of the Austrian School of Economics and the teachings of Hazlitt, Hayek, Bastiat, Williams, Sowell, and Friedman. All of these men have warned us of the tyranny of of a government controlled economy.

Having said this you might think I would be a supporter of Ron Paul. Well, I am not. I find Mr. Paul to be a very dogmatic libertarian with good sound economic principles and a stated support for the Constitution and the principles of our founders. Where I fall off of Paul’s train is his record of associations and his 100% or nothing philosophy.

Paul, like most dogmatic libertarians and left-wing liberals is their adherence to my way or the highway philosophy. This was evident in the Democrats passage of Affordable Health Care Act. Ronald Reagan used to say that if he could get 70 or 80 percent of what he wanted he was a winner. Don’t forget that Reagan, though elected by landslide majorities, still had to work with a Democrat controlled Congress led by Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, a true left-wing liberal from Massachusetts. I doubt Ron Paul would be able to do this. As a single congressman he has not had to compromise the way a chief executive must he or she wants to be a successful leader. Yes, the leader must promote and support his programs and principles, but on a dictator with supreme powers can get 100% of what they want.

The President of the United States must convince the majority of the citizens that his policies are correct and sound, the way Reagan and FDR did. They cannot rule by fiat the way presidents like Wilson and Obama.

Another aspect of Ron Paul has been his past associations with Anti-Semites and isolationists. Jeffery Lord writes a detailed account of these associations in The American Spectator in an article titled “Ron Paul and the Neoliberal Reeducation Campaign.” A few of Lord’s comments are as follows:

“Because the Paul campaign is not just a campaign for president. This is a campaign -- a serious campaign -- to re-educate the American people to an alternate universe of reality. A campaign that goes far beyond whatever will happen at the polls in 2012.

And sorry to say, this re-education campaign does not present a pretty picture of itself.

Looming over the interesting and appealing ideas of the Paul campaign is a veritable political tornado of allegations involving anti-Semitism, racism, pacifism, far left-wingism and, at the edges, a tiny flicker of intimidation.

When it comes to foreign policy, Ron Paul and his supporters are not conservatives.

This is important to understand when one realizes that Paul's views are, self-described, "non-interventionist."

The fact that he has been allowed to get away with pretending to conservatism on this score is merely reflective of journalists who, for whatever reason, are simply unfamiliar with American history. Ironically, it is precisely because the Paul campaign has not been thoroughly covered that no one pays attention to the historical paternity of what the candidate is saying.

There is no great sin in Paul's non-interventionist stance (or "isolationist" stance as his critics would have it). There have been American politicians aplenty throughout American history, particularly in the 20th century, who believed precisely as Paul and his enthusiasts do right now. (Paul touts his admiration for the Founding Fathers, but even that is very selective. James Monroe of Monroe Doctrine fame was a considerable interventionist, Washington as a general invaded Canada, and Alexander Hamilton gave rise to Paul's idea of evil spawn -- the Federal Reserve. Interventionists of all types have been with us right from the start.)

The deception -- and it is a considerable deception -- is that almost to a person those prominent pre-Ron Paul non-interventionist "Paulist" politicians of the 20th century were overwhelmingly not conservatives at all. They were men of the left. The far left.

There is no great sin in Paul's non-interventionist stance (or "isolationist" stance as his critics would have it). There have been American politicians aplenty throughout American history, particularly in the 20th century, who believed precisely as Paul and his enthusiasts do right now. (Paul touts his admiration for the Founding Fathers, but even that is very selective. James Monroe of Monroe Doctrine fame was a considerable interventionist, Washington as a general invaded Canada, and Alexander Hamilton gave rise to Paul's idea of evil spawn -- the Federal Reserve. Interventionists of all types have been with us right from the start.)

The deception -- and it is a considerable deception -- is that almost to a person those prominent pre-Ron Paul non-interventionist "Paulist" politicians of the 20th century were overwhelmingly not conservatives at all. They were men of the left. The far left.

From three-time Democratic presidential nominee and Woodrow Wilson Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan to powerful Montana Democratic Senator Burton K. Wheeler to FDR's ex-vice presidential nominee Henry Wallace to the 1968 anti-war presidential candidacy of Minnesota Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy to 1972 Democratic presidential nominee (and Henry Wallace delegate in 1948) George McGovern, non-interventionists have held prominent positions in the American Left that was and is the Democratic Party.

But of particular interest, and here is where the deception by Paulists is so considerable, the Ron Paul view of foreign policy has been the cornerstone of Republican liberals and progressives. Those who, using current political terminology, would be called the RINOs (Republican In Name Only) of their day.

Specifically this included the following prominent leaders of the non-interventionist/isolationist camp:

• Liberal Republican William Borah, the Senator from Idaho
• Liberal Republican George Norris, the Congressman and Senator from Nebraska
• Liberal Republican Gerald Nye, the Senator from North Dakota
• Liberal Republican Robert LaFollette Sr., the Senator from Wisconsin
• Liberal Republican Robert LaFollette Jr., the Senator from Wisconsin”

Lord’s article continues as he explains the charges of Anti-Semitism in the Paul camp:

Disturbingly, the history of Neoliberalism is replete with charges of anti-Semitism.

While this is a charge in today's political dialogue that has been thrown repeatedly at Paul and his neolib followers (more of which shortly), it has reared its ugly head with earlier neolibs long before Paul was on the political scene. It is a charge that appears to be inevitable when the core premise of non-interventionism is that some dark force somewhere is pushing America into an unconstitutional interventionist war.

All too often that dark force for the Neoliberals turns out to be the scapegoat of hard-leftists everywhere in the world: the Jews.

All too often that dark force for the Neoliberals turns out to be the scapegoat of hard-leftists everywhere in the world: the Jews.

Before Pearl Harbor, as the war in America over going to war in Europe raged, the once fierce opposition by the American people to taking on Hitler and the Nazis began to change as Hitler's relentless march through Europe picked up speed. This opposition also began to change in Hollywood, and soon a small raft of anti-Hitler, anti-Nazi films began to appear. These included Confessions of a Nazi Spy starring Edward G. Robinson (1939), Alfred Hitchcock's 1940 Foreign Correspondent and, hilariously, Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940).

Neolibs were furious.

Senator Gerald Nye, the liberal Republican non-interventionist, took to the radio airwaves in August 1941to accuse Hollywood studios of serving as "gigantic engines of propaganda… to influence public sentiment in the direction of participation by the United States in the present European war." The speech, take note, was mostly written for Nye by one John T. Flynn, a former editor of the progressive New Republic magazine. (We'll come back to Mr. Flynn in moment.)

Nye also did something else in that radio address written by John Flynn. One by one he read out the names of the heads of these Hollywood studios -- names which, as he used particularly scathing or sarcastic tones to pronounce them -- were unmistakably taken by his audience to be Jewish names. Said Nye in the speech written by Flynn:

"….There is Harry and Jack Cohn, of Columbia Pictures. There is Louis B. Mayer, of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer…. There is Barney Balaban and Adolph Zukor, of Paramount…. There is Joseph Schenck and Darryl Zanuck, of Twentieth Century Fox…. There is Murray Silverstone, of United Artists, and the great Sam Goldwyn, of Samuel Goldwyn, Inc. There are the three Warner brothers, Arthur Loew, Nicholas Schenck, Sam Katz, and David Bernstein, of Loew's, Inc…. [Hollywood] swarms with refugees ... [and] British actors [as well as] directors ... from Russia, Hungary, Germany, and the Balkan countries….. susceptible to… national and racial emotions."

Meaning, of course, the men responsible for these films were Jews.

Literally before the day was out Nye had a resolution on the Senate floor demanding an investigation of Hollywood studios. In little over a month -- September 9, 1941 -- the liberal Democrat non-interventionist Senator Wheeler had ginned up that Senate investigation and it was opened for business. Harry Warner, one of the legendary Warner Brothers -- and yes, but of course, a Jew -- was dragged before a United States Senate subcommittee to explain himself. So too was the Jewish Nicholas Schenck of Loew's made to appear. And the great filmmaker Darryl Zanuck, then a vice-president at Twentieth Century Fox -- who was not Jewish. The witnesses against the three? That would include Senator Nye himself -- and John T. Flynn.

It was a headlining investigation that had as its unmistakable context an investigation into the Jewish influence in Hollywood. This, mind you, a full eight years after Hitler opened his first concentration camp at Dachau, the war already underway.

Fortunately, Americans increasingly aware of Hitler's lethal anti-Jewish obsessions, protested the hearing. The Republican New York Herald Tribune thundered at what it called an "inquisition." The Chicago Sentinel, an American Jewish newspaper, fingered the investigation for what it was. Senator Nye, said the angry Sentinel, was using "the tactics of the demagogue -- and the German demagogue at that." In the end, the investigation withered. By December Pearl Harbor had changed everything. (And, notably, Senator Taft never involved himself with this. Taft's friendship and support from the Ohio Jewish community was the stuff of Ohio political legend.)

What does this old history have to do with what might be called the dark side of the Paul campaign?

In his book The Revolution: A Manifesto, Congressman Paul includes at the end a section called "A Reading List for a Free and Prosperous America." And on that recommended reading list? Here's the entry, in full:

Flynn, John T. As We Go Marching. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1944. Flynn, an accomplished journalist, analyzes fascism in Italy and Germany and concludes by considering the state of America in his day.

That's right. Congressman Paul is recommending the writings of a man who, in his day, was seen as a driving force behind the anti-Semitic liberal Republican Senator Nye and the Senate investigation into Jewish influence in Hollywood.”

According to Lord here is what Paul supporters think of some of the most popular conservative politicians, commentators, and writers. Lord has done considerable research on those who support Paul and are close to him.

Ronald Reagan: Here the late Paulist Murray Rothbard labels the conservative presidential icon as a "cretin," Reagan's two-terms in office described as "eight dreary, miserable, mind-numbing years."

William F. Buckley, Jr.: The man who became the very gold standard of the American conservative movement is viewed as a "defacto totalitarian" here, again in another Rothbard selection from ex-Paul chief of staff Lew Rockwell's site, a site for which Paul himself has written.

Antonin Scalia: Justice Scalia is not only no conservative in Paulville, he is -- sitting down? -- "a reliable supporter of presidential dictatorship, the police state, the torture-warfare state, and the empire." This gem was penned by ex-Paul chief of staff Rockwell himself.

Sarah Palin: That's right. This business of Sarah Palin being a conservative, according to Rockwell, is just a ruse. In fact, Governor Palin is really a "double agent" for the "regime." From the same article as above. Oh yes… don't forget Governor Palin is quite possibly a "puppet" (as seen here by Jack Hunter, now the Paul campaign's "official blogger"). Oh, and Mr. Mulshine, the Paulist columnist? To him Palin is "just another whiny liberal claiming victimization."

Edwin Meese: The former Reagan Attorney General beloved of conservative activists is described in Paulville as the "mouthpiece" for fascists

The Koch Brothers: The fascists for whom Ed Meese is the fascist mouthpiece? That would be the libertarian Koch brothers who, apparently, aren't libertarian at all in the eyes of Paulville. In Paulville, libertarian conservatives David and Charles Koch are said to be supporters of a "fascist regime." Same post as above. It is surely no coincidence that the Koch brothers were targeted earlier this year by the far-left hacking group Anonymous. As seen in this Politico story. Once again, the right/left neoliberal profile surfaces.

Clarence Thomas: Dubbed part of a fascist "tag team" by Paul supporters. Why? Because Justice Thomas, along with fellow Justice Scalia, spoke at that gathering sponsored by those fascist Koch brothers. Where Ed Meese was covering as the mouthpiece for the fascists.

Rush Limbaugh: Rush? Rush Limbaugh? That Rush Limbaugh isn't a conservative? Nope. Not in Paulville. In the eyes of Paulvillians the Rush Limbaugh so many millions of conservatives thought they knew and loved turns out to be a man with "Stalinist tendencies" -- aka a commie. Read all about it here.

Sean Hannity: So OK, understanding that Sarah Palin is a double agent and a puppet and Rush is pulsing with Stalinist tendencies, surely Sean Hannity -- conservative talk show and TV host extraordinaire, author of the bestselling Conservative Victory -- surely Sean is a real conservative? Naaaaaaaaah. Not in Paulville. There our friend Sean is -- no kidding -- "evil" That's right. You read that right. Hannity is, quite seriously in the minds (?) of Paulville's neolibs, part of the "pantheon of warmongers that make up the true axis of evil." Once that is understood, this video of Ron Paul supporters literally chasing Hannity through the streets of New Hampshire in 2008 can be seen for the leftist intimidation it was intended to be. The fact that the video of Paul supporters chasing Hannity so closely matches this video of Wisconsin leftists chasing and trapping a Wisconsin Republican legislator is a chilling reminder of the commonality of the protestors involved.

Mark Levin: Come on. So he wrote the bestselling conservative manifesto Liberty and Tyranny.

So Michele Bachmann has called Levin an inspiration to the Tea Party. So Tea Party members were waving the book in the air at their rallies. So what? Levin's no conservative in Paulville. Levin's… you know… wink wink… one of them.

I suggest you read Lord’s complete article to get a better picture of who Ron Paul really is and what he represents.

Most of this stuff has gone pretty much unreported as Paul was a minor candidate. With his rise in the polls in Iowa the media will begin bringing all of these comments from Paul and his supporters to the forefront and if he were to get the nomination the Obama media will savage him.

As I have written before 37 percent of the electorate claim to be independents or “moderates.” It is these folks that will decide the next presidential election.

While the race for the GOP presidential nomination heats up, there has been a great deal of debate about what sort of candidate can win. Much of the conversation centers on the oft-discussed “independent vote.” While I agree that winning over independent voters is critical, the way the term “independent voter” is used is incorrect, and thus, strategies targeting this group often miss the mark.

Just because someone claims to be an “independent” does mean he or she is in the middle of the road. Some independents lean towards libertarian while other lean to government intervention and the left. They just do not want to be associated with a political party or ideology.

By and large, I think the largest share of independent voters is looking for someone they can trust. Confidence in politics—especially Washington politics—is at record lows. When Americans lost confidence in the GOP during Bush’s second term, they flowed over to the Democrats. Now they are losing confi­dence in Democrats, and are starting to flow back to the Republicans. None of these shifts have represented any significant change in ideology, but rather, a loss of confidence.

For what it’s worth, to win a large share of the independent vote, the GOP needs to nominate someone who the non-ideologically-driven independent voters believe they can trust. Preferably it would be someone with a non-establishment reputation, as Obama was able to convince voters in 2008. After all, a large percentage of independent voters are disgusted with the two major parties, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum.

If my reading is correct, the strategy of nominating a “safe” candidate to court independent voters under the belief that they are predominately moderates is a poor one. This strategy confuses political independence with ideological centrism, and fails to address the central concern of a large percent­age of these voters, namely, that politics-as-usual is simply awful.

I believe the American electorate is looking for a problem solver not a dogmatic ideologue of either stripe. These so called independents have had enough of the Obama administration and want a president that can inspire confidence without taking an axe to many of the programs they hold dear. Whoever this person is they will have to tread carefully as they begin to turn this ship of state back to course towards fiscal sanity, secure borders, and constitutional government. I do not believe Ron Paul is that person.

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