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Op-Ed: The Worst Case Scenario (barring the Apocalypse)

Given Ron Paul’s checkered political past and racist fan base, why take the risk of voting for him?
Published: Thursday, December 29, 2011 3:18 PM



As an American, a conservative, and as a supporter of Israel, it's not exactly an earth-shattering revelation when I say that I am dissatisfied with the current presidential administration. President Obama's domestic initiatives are questionable at best, and his approach to foreign policy has us well on the road to disaster. It's with all this in mind that I resolved to vote for anyone but Obama in next year's election.

Even though we haven't even picked a GOP candidate yet, nobody could possibly be worse for our country than the incumbent. As it turns out, I had spoken too soon.

There is, in fact, one Republican candidate who is so far off of the political mainstream that, should he secure his party's nomination, it almost certainly guarantees not just a failure for the GOP, but a spectacular failure. I am speaking, of course, about Congressman Ron Paul.
 
Have you ever looked at the two big party candidates in an election and thought you were being forced to choose between “Tweedle-Dee” and “Tweedle-Dum,” and that the overall difference between the Democratic and Republican candidates was so slight that the election of either would do little to change the political landscape?

Well, there’s a very simple reason for that. The rank and file of the Democratic and Republican Parties occupy positions just barely to the left and right of center.  You see, the majority of American voters are what you call “moderates.” They believe in a moderate amount of government involvement in the affairs of individuals, and a moderate amount of government involvement in business.  That’s normal – the government exists to carry out the will of the majority while simultaneously protecting the rights of the minority. To do all that, we need police, and courts, and legislators and what have you.

Of course, there are individuals and parties who support various extreme stances, be it extreme over-involvement (when a government is too hands-on the private lives of civilians, it’s called fascism; when the government takes the “free” out of the free market, we call it communism), or a complete laissez-faire attitude to both. Because these political ideologies are on the far ends of the spectrum, one finds less and less popular support the further out one goes. And in our two-party system, a fringe candidate is, for all practical intents and purposes, unelectable, at least when it comes to the presidency.

In any event, as the poster child for Libertarianism, Ron Paul is, in theory, a proponent of the hands-off approach to government. And while Paul’s Libertarian philosophy isn’t as malevolent as the –isms that have enslaved parts of Europe and Asia over the last century, they pose a danger nonetheless, both to the people of the United States, and our ally, Israel.

Let’s set aside for a moment the infamous newsletters, and Ron Paul’s history as an inspiration to white supremacists everywhere. He didn’t write those articles, after all. And anyone wanting to learn more can simply plug the terms “racist” and “Ron Paul Political Report” into any search engine. Moreover, President Obama for years belonged to a church where he was treated to racist diatribes on a weekly basis by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and it doesn’t seem to have affected him any. So I guess if the electorate wasn’t shaken by the racist ties of a sitting president, Ron Paul should get a free pass. So let’s stick to politics.

Ron Paul, as a matter of principle, believes that the U.S. should end all foreign aid. While that would mean no more U.S. money for terrorist groups like Hamas (hooray!), it would also mean no assistance for Israel (boooo!), so you could argue that it’s a wash. Except that we give our Israeli allies far more assistance than the P.A., and the P.A. doesn’t receive any military aid at all.

But perhaps more importantly in a big-picture terms, eliminating foreign aid deprives us of a valuable foreign policy tool. If countries on the U.S. dole are acting in direct opposition to American interests, or in a way that creates instability or humanitarian crises, we don’t just revoke all aid. We should make it contingent on their taking practical steps to resolve the situation. And if they don’t, then we cut the aid. The carrot and the stick are a package deal, as it were.

But then again, Ron Paul was one of the few voices in Congress to support Israel’s bombing of the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq. And by “support,” I mean he basically declared that it’s none of our business. That actually sounds kind of sensible. Better than saying “we need to stop them,” though perhaps not as good as asking “how can we help?”
 
It was a confluence of American and Israeli interests that Saddam Hussein not get a nuclear reactor, so in terms of realpolitik, Ron Paul was doing the smart thing. But what does he think of Israel when their goals and ours don’t happen to coincide?
 
As it turns out, Ron Paul may not hate the Jews as such, he would prefer if the Jewish state simply didn’t exist. As former senior Ron Paul aide Eric Dondero puts it:
 
“Is Ron Paul an anti-Semite? Absolutely no. He is however, most certainly anti-Israel, and anti-Israeli in general. He wishes the Israeli state did not exist at all. He expressed this to me numerous times in our private conversations. His view is that Israel is more trouble than it is worth, specifically to the American taxpayer. He sides with the Palestinians, and supports their calls for the abolishment of the Jewish state, and the return of Israel, all of it, to the Arabs."

I think that’s all we needed to hear. Even if Dondero isn’t being 100% truthful (though I’ve no reason to suspect him), given Ron Paul’s checkered political past and racist fan base, why take the risk of voting for him? And even if you ignore all of that, why pick a candidate who’s far enough off center to be an all but guaranteed failure?

A vote for Ron Paul in the primaries is, ultimately, a vote for Barrack Obama.