Friday, January 13, 2012

The REAL Conservative is RON PAUL

Everyone is searching for the true conservative. The majority of the party doesn't want Romneycare, nor do they support policians who take money from lobbyists or big-government programs. They want real, conservative values.

To the person who's been paying attention, Ron Paul is the only real alternative. However, many pundits and other Johnny-come-latelies have been questioning Paul's overwhelming conservative credentials. Let us take a look at these attacks, and compare them to the words of someone most people consider the standard-bearer of the GOP.

At the debates, or in TV interviews, they ask Ron Paul about third parties, speaking as if he committed a sin when he doesn't utterly rule out a third party. But Paul is supported by the words of a previous GOP leader... A fairly famous one, at that. When asked, "Governor if the Republicans were to nominate a candidate that was unacceptable to you in 1976, could you support a Libertarian third party candidate?" Ronald Reagan replied, "I have to wait and see what you’re doing and what you are standing for." Not exactly the absolutist, 11th commandment answer the neo-cons want.

When Paul points out that there is no real left and right, anymore, but a fight between liberty and tyranny, he has the words of Reagan to back him, "You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I'd like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There's only an up or down: up- man's old -- old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course."

When Dr. Paul stands alone at the debates, attacking the neo-cons for their so-called 'Patriot Act' and Department of Homeland Security, he may be all alone on that stage, but he is in good company. "These proliferating bureaus with their thousands of regulations have cost us many of our constitutional safeguards. How many of us realize that today federal agents can invade a man's property without a warrant? They can impose a fine without a formal hearing, let alone a trial by jury, and they can seize and sell his property in auction to enforce the payment of that fine." Ronald Reagan said that when he was fighting Mitt Romney's father and the Rockefeller wing of the establisment GOP in the early 60s.

Reagan also said, "I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves." This is exactly the point Ron Paul is trying to make that gets taken completely out of context. Reagan went on to say, "That’s one of our sacred rights–to be stupid." For example, wearing a seatbelt is smart, and Paul has never said you shouldn't wear one. Failing to do so shouldn't warrant a police stop and violation of your 4th Amendment right to privacy, though, and that's the important point that both Reagan and Paul were trying to make. What you do with yourself is your business, and no one elses. If you take that away, you lose the whole point of liberty.

I also take issue with those who say Ron Paul's position on foreign policy sets him 'at odds' with Republican ideals. It is no different than when another Ron, Ronald Reagan, chastised those who wanted to continue sending troops to Vietnam in the 1960s, saying, "I wonder who among us would like to approach the wife or mother whose husband or son has died in South Vietnam and ask them if they think this is a peace that should be maintained indefinitely." In his memoirs, he expressed great regret over sending troops to Lebanon. "The irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there. If there would be some rethinking of policy before our men die, we would be a lot better off. If that policy had changed towards more of a neutral position and neutrality, those 241 marines would be alive today." "The sending of the marines to Beirut was the source of my greatest regret and my greatest sorrow as President."

Both Reagan and Paul advocated the traditional Republican ideal of peace through strength. Make your military and economic might so formidable that enemies fear you too much to even attempt an attack. This could have been shown after the 9-11 attacks with Paul's plan to get the terrorists. He would have done what took a decade within the first few months of the attack using the traditional republican methods of dealing with rogue characters. Instead, we borrowed a page from the neo-liberals and neo-cons by going into nation-building mode.

When Ron Paul, unlike so many of his GOP rivals, attacks raising the debt limit and supports a return to some sort of gold standard, he is again supported by Reagan. Reagan complained about raising the debt limit, saying, "We have raised our debt limit three times in the last twelve months, and now our national debt is one and a half times bigger than all the combined debts of all the nations in the world. We have $15 billion in gold in our treasury--we don't own an ounce." "I believe the only way to acheive price stability is to return America to some form of gold standard." He further promised to attempt to return the country to a gold standard. In this charge, he failed. The neo-con establisment fought him every step of the way. Only two congressmen helped him in his attempt to get America back on gold, and, wouldn't you know it, one of them was Ron Paul.

Don't get me wrong, though. Under pressure from the neo-con wing, Reagan's 11th commandment to never speak ill of someone in your party basically gave up the ship to the neo-cons. The only ones to benefit from the 11th commandment were the dirty, dishonest politicians who quoted it as if it were a free-pass to be as repugnant as they could be. By the 90s, politicians like Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum were passing for conservatives. Not speaking ill of these nanny-statists allowed the party to become overrun with them.

I believe it is time to clean house, "grow up", and get back to our conservative soul. Again, the words of Reagan, "If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism." That heart and soul is only represented by Ron Paul.

SOURCES:

Reagan's Goldwater Endorsement Speech, 1964. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXBswFfh6AY

Reagan Campaign Video, 1975.

Reagan interview in REASON magazine. http://reason.com/archives/1975/07/01/inside-ronald-reagan/

An American Life: The Autobiography by: Ronald Reagan


ABOVE: Ronald Reagan listens intently to Ronald Paul as he no doubt speaks about the Shining City of America and the Gold Standard.

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