Category Archives: Ron Paul

I Hate War

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.
IT’S ON!!

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.

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Global Intervention

Been trading email back and forth with afriend on this topic, so I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts here and get someadditional feedback.
Ron Paul has been criticized by a lot ofConservatives over his foreign policy.  Many don’t agree with his view (which, by the way, he’s maintainedconsistently long before he thought about running for President, but I digress)that the United States should not intervene in the political, social,religious, economic, or ethnic affairs of any other country in the world. He advocates that we should bring all of our troops home, with a fewexceptions, to defend our homeland and our borders.  Some are still confused and think his budget cuts would leave us defenseless.  As he shared during the SC debate, it’s thedifference between Military Spending and Defense Spending.  We should NOT be setting up long-termmilitary bases in other countries, particularly ones that have asked us not to be there.  Weshould not be using our military to defend countries thatare perfectlycapable of defending their own lands.

Conservatives, and surprisingly many liberals,think Ron Paul is crazy for advocating such a thing.  They think it’s ourduty to police the world, to maintain peace and order, and to establishdemocratic states with religious freedom like ours.

Paul’s opponents also profess that we need tobe actively engaging and killing our enemies.  Usually this means we needto enter into countries that don’t want us there, setup a military base ofoperations, and hunt for terrorists.
What I’d like to ponder over is the notion ofthe use of force.  When is violence justified?  When is it not?
I had already shared that the purpose of government and the law is to protect our God-given rights to our person,property and liberty.
Our laws, however, have limited jurisdiction.
Our own Declaration of Independence states:

We hold thesetruths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they areendowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these areLife, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights,Governments are instituted among Men, derivingtheir just powers from the consent of the governed,

Our laws were written and given legitimacy andauthority based on the social contract established between the United States representative government and thecitizens.  No such agreement has beenestablished with foreign citizens.  Infact, one of the reasons we revolted was over King George’s refusal to allowthe colonists’ representative voices to be heard (read: taxation withoutrepresentation).
So assuming we have a correct understanding ofWHO the governed are, how does the government legitimately protect our rights?  To answer this, we have to know somethingabout the nature of man.

Fredric Bastiat writes:

Self-preservationand self-development are common aspirations among all people.  And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted useof his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, socialprogress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing.
But there is alsoanother tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others.

…This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man – in that primitive,universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desireswith the least possible pain.

… Now since man isnaturally inclined to avoid pain – and since labor is pain in itself – it followsthat men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work.

… It is evident,then, that the proper purpose of law is to usethe power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder insteadof work.  All the measures of the lawshould protect property and punish plunder.

Put simply – the enforcement ofthe law, which may include the use of force, should be a measured response to discourageplunder and to protect Property, Life and Liberty. 
So, let’s take this to a realworld scenario:
Sharia law is a hot topic.  Globally, there’s growing unrest thatradical Muslims want to implement their religious laws in place of, or at leastsuperseding, local laws.  How should theUnited States handle this phenomenon?  Whatwould be the just response to these advocates? Well, it depends:
  1. IF we are talking aboutUS Citizens living stateside, I would argue that as long asthey are not inciting treason or breaking any laws, these proponents have theright to Free Speech just as I would have the same right to advocate going backto the establishment of Levitical law.  Hopefully, both these attemptswould be deemed unconstitutional by the courts and turned down. But I don’t support bypassing Constitutional due process andthe stifling of Free Speech.  And I REALLY don’t support the useof violence to suppress Free Speech.
  2. IF we are talking aboutforeign citizens living stateside, one could make the case thatthey are not guaranteed the same rights as our citizens do (again, nosocial contract).  I’m not an immigration expert, but my guess is that ifa foreign national was inciting treason or violence in our country, at the veryleast, we could deport them back to their homelands.  This may beconstrued as a military act of force, but I would argue it’s within our legaland moral grounds to use it in this case.   In an extreme case where thesepeople are actually plotting attacks on us, we could detain them in militaryprisons under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Depending on the evidence, I would support this use of force, but there wouldhave to be some kind of an oversight to this use of force.  The problem is that currently Idon’t see anything in the NDAA that keeps the President and the military fromabusing this power — including locking up U.S. CITIZENS.
  3. IF we are talking aboutforeign citizens living outside of the US, we have NO legal or moralrecourse to silence these people.  Andthis is where we’re getting ourselves into trouble.  It is not our duty tostop Sharia’s proliferation in other nations.  It’s tough enough for us tojustify, to our allies and enemies, our military presence in their lands. But for us to be pushing how their laws should beestablished / people governed, that has HUGE political implications including militaryuse of violence.  And I would be totally opposed tothat specific use of force.

The use of violence for thegreater good has been wielded all too casually and frequently and at theexpense of Liberty.  It should be usedwith extreme consideration.  Ron Paul’smessage of minding our own business is just. It is right.  And it is the only sustainable foreign policy being discussed by any ofthe politicians today.

Fandemonium: the cult of personality

I really should consider adding pictures and such to my blog to make it more pretty.  I’m not very artistic in that way, so apologies that it’s not so aesthetically pleasing.  Something I’ll have to work on eventually.  My wife always tells me that the things that excite me most are the things that put her to sleep — ie. politics, economics, Sci-Fi.  😉

I read somewhere on FB a comment made about how Ron Paul’s supporters are head-over-heels in blind love with him, much like Obama’s supporters were during the run up to the 2008 election.  Though I agree that there are some Ron Paul fans out there that fit this characterization, I don’t think the reasons for his recent rise in popularity has much similarity at all.

Look back on the kinds of people that voted for Obama.  I’d characterize them into 3 different broad groups though there was definitely some overlap:

  1. African Americans / Minority voters pulling for the Minority candidate.  Some people of color, including many Asian Americans, voted for Obama simply because of the color of his skin — eg. non-white.  I was born in Korea.  My parents and I moved to the United States when I was 3 months old and we eventually became naturalized citizens.  Have I felt racism in my country?  Absolutely!  But I’m an American.  I’ve never let the heritage of my parents and grandparents define who I am.  And I don’t have anything in common with Korean nationals other than we’re all humans created in the image of God.
  2. White voters that felt obliged to right some racial wrong in the past.  I have friends that voted for Jesse Jackson for the very same reason back in the 80’s.  Curious about these people because in their effort to prove they are non-racist, aren’t they basing their decision on race?
  3. Disgruntled liberals as backlash against George W. Bush.  Pretty much would vote for anyone that was not a Republican.

These are hugely overgeneralized, but I’m sure if you think of anyone you knew that voted for Obama in 2008, they would fit at least one of these categories.

The biggest differential between Ron Paul and Obama in running for President is that Ron Paul has an established track record of consistently sticking to his values of small government, tight fiscal conservatism, and a non-interventionalist foreign policy.  Obama had NO record.  During his short Senate career prior to his Presidential run, he did NOTHING of consequence.  His resume consisted of him being a Community Activist.  Basically a puppet with a lot of promises.

Now look at Ron Paul’s base of support.  Like me, most of the new supporters of Paul are discovering him for the first time because of the values he preaches AND practices.  Americans are tired of policing the world.  We’re sick of out of control spending.  We want someone to do something to fix the HUGE social entitlement bill that’s going to bankrupt our economy rather than kick the can further down the road for our children.  We’ve had enough of Big Brother regulating everything from seat belts to marriage laws to what we can watch on television.  Organizations like the CATO Institute and the Mises Institute have been around for years preaching Liberty.  They aren’t swayed by a slick campaign logo and sound bites.

And I’ll say this much.  Eventually, something will come up that may shake some of the fandemonium around Ron Paul – especially if he receives the Republican Nomination.  Maybe something from his past or some video of him speaking when he doesn’t realize he’s on camera.  We’re all human.  But those that are supporting his message of liberty should stand by that dream.  Ron Paul will come and go long after November 2012.  But the hearts of men and women will yearn for freedom.  And that will never go away.