Another election has come and gone, and the Republicans are celebrating.
Yeah! They took over the Senate.
Whoo hoo! Promises were made on the campaign trail!
Awww snap. Obama’s regime is gettin’ a smack down!
Take that, 2016 Democratic Presidential hopefuls!!!
We’re finally going to turn this ship around! Obamacare. Loose borders. Out of control EPA regulations. Federal Minimum Wages. Islamic Terrorists around the world.
Now, I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, and I have lots of friends / readers that are on both sides of the 2-sided aisle. This was the first major election after deciding we will no longer vote. The last time we voted was in 2012, and we only voted for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee for President. We also voted for Dr. Ron Paul in the Republican primaries.
Looking back over the last 4 years, I have come a long way in my personal philosophy of Liberty, the role of government, the use of force, and voluntary exchange.
I’m sure I’ve written about it before, but it started when my friend David Henderson introduced The Law by Frédéric Bastiat to me. It’s a short read, and I HIGHLY recommend it. And it’s free.
Before then, I was a pretty hard core Conservative Republican. I remembered the events of 9/11, Secretary Colin Powell’s speech in the UN warning us of the imminent biological and chemical warfare coming our way, and everything that led up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the time, it made sense to me. Visions of the Gipper swelled in my heart. These guys attacked us because they hated our Freedom. If we didn’t strike back hard, they would come at us again.
Right around that time, I saw this video from the Ron Paul camp concerning his stance on Foreign Policy.
I then found many others, particularly his clips from the primary debates, and he completely turned my world around.
For generations, our military has been running around the globe, trying to police the bad guys from the good.
We’ve been helping our allies keep their countries safe.
We’ve protected our interests, helped establish democracies, and freed countless refugees.
For so long, we’ve been accustomed to being the global police, that it sound like crazy talk to your average voter to even suggest withdrawing all of our troops, closing all foreign bases, and telling the world to fight their own fights. It really boggled my mind in 2012 when Republicans were praising Ron Paul for everything except his foreign policy, calling him an Isolationist or Non-Interventionalist (the later being more PC?).
When I started talking about cutting Military Spending, but maintaining or even increasing our Domestic Defense spending (as Ron Paul distinguished over and over again during the primaries), I would oftentimes get the deer-in-the-headlights look. I might as well have been talking about building a Time Machine out of a DeLorean.
I Hate Wars.
All of them.
I hate that we send young men and women away from their spouses and children to fight on foreign soil.
It’s preposterous that to even question our involvement in these wars somehow stirs up Love It or Leave It / Support Our Troops angry mobs or memories of 1960’s style Hippie protests targeting soldiers just doing their job.
It occurred to me that there was an episode of the Original Series Star Trek that perfectly describes our perception of War. The episode is A Taste of Armageddon. The planets, Eminiar VII and Vendikar, have been at war for over 500 years. However, they fight via computers and calculated casualties willingly walk into a disintegrator in order to avoid real battle and destruction of property. They’ve become so accustomed to being at war for generations that they willingly commit mass genocide.
In the same way, most Americans are isolated from the grotesqueries of war. We take comfort in our drones and missiles, killing thousands of people (many civilians) from a distance. Democrats and Republicans alike are more than willing to send your sons and daughters to die in a foreign land.
Our wars need to stop. We need to bring our troops home and reunite them with their families. Our foreign policy needs to be centered around establishing peaceful and voluntary trade. Our military should be dedicated to defending our shores.
To those families that still have active military serving overseas somewhere, I pray they will be sent home soon and safely. For those that are considering a career in the military, until the American people say “enough“, please consider whether your life and family are worth the sacrifice, policing someone else’s shores and getting involved in someone else’s fight.
Watch Dr. Pauls’ video. Ask yourself if our global presence is making the world more peaceful or dangerous.