Defending Ron Paul, Since I must

As the valiant and few readers of this once-great blog are undoubtedly aware, I’ve not been writing much – or even thinking much – about politics lately. You may also be aware that, while I have a certain sympatico with Ron Paul’s small-government, balanced-budget mindset, I also regard him as a bit of a kook.

Nevertheless, when verbal and literary conservative-on-conservative violence escalates to the point of ridiculousness, as now, I find I must speak up, even through the multiple levels of apathy that form my disinterest in the ugly farce is the winnowing process as we know it.

What’s got me so irked? David Swindle’s column bashing Ron Paul contains some valuable food for thought for those wavering on the event horizon of Paul’s influence singularity; however, Swindle goes too far with this outrageously childish bit of non-transitive logic:

If you believe that the ideas of the Old Right have great value and that we should have followed a “non-interventionist” path during the rise of Nazism then you are an antisemite [sic]. You know good and well that the practical consequence of American inaction would have meant an even higher body count in the Holocaust. But dead Jews are apparently not something that concerns you much.

False. There were many valid reasons for not interfering in internal German politics in the 1930s, notably a little economic downturn called the Great Depression. Heard of it, David? The fact is, America had all she could do to stay afloat while Hitler was consolidating power.

Moreover, a casual student of American demographics will be aware that a significant percentage of immigrants to this country came from Germany or neighboring counties. Sympathy with Germany the fatherland, as opposed to Germany the fascist state, was significant, even compared with the strength of our ties to Great Britain. It was hardly a no-brainer to go to war a second time with Germany, particularly when our WW I allies were mincing around the issue themselves.

Now, Swindle is undoubtedly correct in saying more Jews would have died in Hitler’s ovens if the U.S. had not become involved in WW II. The Nazis would not have been defeated without our contribution, so no other argument is possible.

Nevertheless, to equate non-interventionism with anti-Semitism is both outrageous and fallacious. The many valuable successes of post-WW II American interventionism notwithstanding – Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, anyone? – there is no inherent value in our nation becoming embroiled in foreign entanglements. Each action must be carefully weighed and pursued on its own merits. This is what our leaders were doing, in fact, when Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and lost the war for the Axis by forcing us to take sides against them. Perhaps we would have done so anyway, but it is pure folly on Swindle’s part to believe that our participation on the side of the Allies was either demanded or inevitable.

Similarly, the manner in which Swindle applies the anti-Semite label to Dr. Paul – the only popular libertarian presidential candidate in recent memory – nearly 80 years later is galling. It’s clear to me that traditional conservatives are threatened by Paul. This fear causes them to lose their cool and say foolish things. In his panic, Swindle presents such a severe and personal bias against Paul as to render the question of his own impartiality void and his words valueless.

What Libertarians Stand For

Guy McLendon, Harris County Libertarian Party chair, on libertarianism:

Libertarians traditionally have no truck with either party.

“We’re neither far right nor far left” he said. “We basically align ourselves with Ben Franklin, who believed that government should neither spend all your money nor tell you how to live your life.”

Is it just me or is that sounding pretty good right about now?

A Phoenix in the Ashes

Michael at the PoliGazette has embarked on a couple of exciting opportunities in his native country of The Netherlands, one of which landed him on national TV there today.  Congrats to Michael for his hard-earned and well-deserved success!

Michael’s summary call to action for his countrymen is simply this: "Let’s conservatize this country!". 

This is a great message that could serve equally well in the United States as a rallying cry for conservatives and libertarians to come together and reclaim this country.  Doing so won’t be easy.  While they agree on many fronts, conservatives and libertarians do not always see eye-to-eye on important issues such as drug legalization and the use of the military.

This was made clear to me yesterday during a conversation with a Christian friend with whom I often agree.  I wasn’t surprised to hear that his is giving Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt for the moment.  This is a wise choice, in my view, particularly since we seem to have little choice.

However, I was flabbergasted to hear him say that he felt as though it was time for the liberals to "have their say" in governing the country, particularly with regard to the court systems.  I was literally stunned to silence.  While those on the left would undoubtedly agree with my friend, additional movement to the left on the part of our courts is the last thing this country needs.

Judicial activism is rampant at all levels of the justice system and the Supreme Court is hardly immune.  Indeed, liberal excesses such as the 1960s Affirmative Action and the 1970s Roe v. Wade are still in place, upheld by the high court’s rulings, many of which are based on what can only be called dubious interpretations of the Constitution.  This despite the fact that Republicans have controlled the White House during most of the last 30 years.  Do liberals "deserve" even more control over the judiciary branch?  Absolutely not.

That’s why it’s imperative that libertarians and conservatives find ways to work through contentious issues and form a coalition based on traditional, Constitutional values in order to restore what remains of the social fabric of this country, the strongest threads of which have been severely damaged by the left’s misguided, radical takeover of the social agenda.

We’ll have to compromise in order to get along.  That’s never easy.  I understand completely.  But there are worse things for a libertarian that compromising with a conservative.  For instance, perhaps we could agree to legalize marijuana while continuing to prohibit hard drugs.  Or perhaps we could scale back Roe to allow abortion only during the first trimester.  Hard choices, for sure, but it’s better than sitting on the sidelines watching the Democrats destroy this country.

If a comprehensive set of conservative/libertarian/moderate compromises can be accomplished, perhaps the phoenix that is America will rise again from the ashes left behind by the liberal left’s burning down of personal responsibility, the Christian church, marriage, and the nuclear family.  If not, the fire that burns in the belly of many Americans will go out completely, for liberalism offers nothing but all-consuming, destructive change that will stop only when there is nothing left to burn.