Paul’s Foreign Policy Focus

One doesn’t have to agree with all of Ron Paul’s libertarian views to admire his principled anti-interventionism and opposition to America’s eternal wars: clearly his foreign policy positions intersect at the point where character meets ideology. In this interview with USA Today, he responds to the ever popular if-only-Paul-would-moderate-his-‘isolationism’ meme:

His poll status has attracted fire from his Republican opponents, who have criticized his views on Iran — he opposes a U.S. strike to stop their nuclear ambitions — and Israel, which he says no longer needs U.S. foreign aid. They’ve called Paul ‘outside the mainstream’ for those and for calling for the speedy removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

“Paul cares little for calls that he ‘go more moderate’ on foreign policy. He is who he is. ‘That would be the last thing I’m going to do … water down my beliefs.

“‘Others have argued ‘Oh yeah, if Ron Paul would just go more moderate on this foreign policy all of the sudden he would get a broader audience’ and that’s isn’t it,” he said. ‘The more I’ve been talking about what I’ve been saying for a long time, the more people we have joining us.‘”

This is the same argument I make in my Friday column on the subject of “Ron Paul and the Future of American Foreign Policy” — that Paul’s success has changed the discourse inside the GOP and the conservative movement, and transformed the political landscape. His Iowa surprise debunks the myth of a monolithic militaristic “conservatism,” which hasn’t been the case since the implosion of the Soviet empire — and really never was the case, since libertarians dissented early on from their conservative cousins’ enthusiasm for nuclear war with the commies.

What has charmed millions about Paul is his purity, and I don’t just mean ideologically. It’s his insistance on emphasizing precisely what is supposedly “controversial” about his candidacy —  because he recognizes its moral importance as well as its centrality to his own worldview. How unlike a politician can you get?

  • Ben C
  • Great point Justin. We might not be able to hope for a libertarian GOP but a movement back toward the "Taft Republicanism" of old sure would be a start.

  • liveload

    Dr. Paul know that Foreign Policy falling into line is simply going to be a byproduct of killing the Fed and taking away their printing presses. Without the money, nothing moves. Not one can of beans, not one box of bullets, not a single band-aid. Anyone who wants to take out the Fed will see a huge gain in world happiness right afterward. It will be a cascading domino effect unlike any other witnessed in history. So yeah, he's all for non intervention. Social policies be damned, we can sort that crap out for ourselves once we've stopped the war machine.

  • Curious observer

    Here's the problem. I've paid — I think — moderately close attention to this campaign… and not one time have I heard Ron Paul say "You can't have limited government at home and a military sprawling across two-thirds of the world's nations at the same time"… or words to that effect. Something to put a bug in the rear end of the garden-variety "conservative" to at least get them thinking and to knock his opponents off-base: Really, how could they plausibly respond to something like that?

    Maybe that's a lost cause. But it seems worth trying.

  • Jeremiah

    "His Iowa surprise debunks the myth of a monolithic militaristic 'conservatism' . . . . "

    Excellent point, Mr. Raimondo. I've heard a number of people in my own rural Kentucky community—and, like me, they're just regular folk—express their astonishment that anyone should want another Middle Eastern war. Of course, I'm sure there are plenty of redneck jingoes about, too—but the bloodthirstiness of rural and middle America has most certainly been exaggerated.

    It seems Ron Paul is bringing a lot of this "dovishness" latent in American conservatism to the surface. The establishment, in a desperate attempt to put these newly rebellious, peace-loving peasants in their place, is chanting old mantras, old lies, with renewed vigor: "Conservatives love war!" "Only leftists are antiwar!" "To support the wars is to support the troops!"

    But it's not working—not well, at any rate. And even if Ron Paul doesn't get the nomination—and he's not out of the game yet—, his impact on American conservatism, and on the American political scene in general, will have been far-reaching and likely permanent. Thanks to Paul and his supporters, the Old Right—and the ancient ideas of peace and liberty for which all such movements are only vessels—live again.

    • Curious

      I agree Jeremiah!

      I've been wondering if all this leftest talk means that the Old Right is now on the left side of the political divide and the Social Democrats are on the right.

      • antiwar7

        Left and right are labels that divide the people and help the current duopoly stay in power. Don't help by trying to keep them current.

        I think some more meaningful terms include "antiwar" (the majority of people) and "prowar" (the majority of federal politicians and national pundits).

  • Orville H. Larson

    Doctor Paul is a noninterventionist, not an isolationist. The latter is neither possible nor desirable. The former certainly is.

    His opponents Gingrich . . . Santorum . . . Perry . . . Romney . . . Huntsman . . . Bachmann . . . are all chickenhawk, warmongering scumbags. Piss on the lot of 'em.

    If you value freedom–and why wouldn't you?!–support Doctor Paul.

  • David

    Paul is the only real conservative in the race, the only one who seems to believe that the first responsibility of the American government is to look after the interests of the American people, not those in other countries. There is nothing remotely conservative about any of the other candidates, nor are any of them really interested in small government.

  • antiwar7

    In 2008, his campaign's TV ads never seemed to mention his foreign policy views. That was a mistake that cost him potential support. I hope his current campaign staff have learned this lesson.

  • tonisaman

    Bravo! Great tell the truth for a change Journalism….Not that you Mr. Raimondo, don't always tell the truth, but rather most journalists are jaded in their thinking. Even when they are supposed to be non-biased. I just saw an interview where George Stephanopolous was so disrespectful to Dr. Paul in an interview. I wrote George today on his website and told him what I thought of him. We 99% may be slow on the uptake but once we are made aware of the corrupt MSM we are no longer able to be put back under the ether.

    • I really don't know why people practice dishonesty.
      What do they get from it? It is fame, money, etc?
      Well, still.. God is just looking from above.

      Angel
      from pot catalytique 

  • JP

    Ron Paul has the guts that is needed to be a great president. I think it is this quality that will help him succeed where Obama has failed.

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  • which hasn’t been the case since the implosion of the Soviet empire — and really never was the case, since libertarians dissented early on from their conservative cousins’ enthusiasm for nuclear war with the commies.

  • misi3kpl

    W szacuj?cym wokó? 1000 stron internetowych impulsie ustawy znalaz?y si? te? spadki, jakie no tak ulepszaj? regu?y rozpocz?cia a? do VWP, i? mog?aby a? do niego wnikn?? Rzeczpospolita polska. – Przede wszystkim winni?my wzmocni? maksyma, zabezpieczy? kra?ce równie? powo?a? do ?ycia uk?ad nadzorowania jednostki wje?d?aj?cych a wyje?d?aj?cych spo?ród Stany zjednoczone ameryki pó?nocnej, a dopiero wizy do usa pó?niej rozs?dza? si? na amnesti? – zwa?a Camarota.

    Zg?oszony przy u?yciu ponadpartyjn? wspólnot? senatorów wst?pny projekt ustawy imigracyjnej zosta? w maju obrany obfit? grosem g?osów na krzy? senack? komisj? pomiaru s?uszno?ci. Nie stanowi?o wówczas obwarowa? ani storn a? do notacji o VWP. Na forum zupe?nego Senatu plan dotrze najsilniej naoko?o 10 czerwca.
    .pl/user/387866-Andrzej2121/>wizy do usa

  • misi3kpl

    – Tak d?ugo jak nie b?dziemy dysponowali ustroju, kto przystanie nam na obserwowanie wszelkich jednostek, nie na odwrót podczas wizy do usa gdy wje?d?aj?, tymczasem tak?e, podczas gdy odje?d?aj? spo?ród Stany zjednoczone ameryki pó?nocnej, co zezwoli nam doj?? do ?adu, który w ?rodku d?ugo ostaje w kancie, nie winni?my poszerza? oprogramowania wizy do usa o biegu bezwizowym (Visa Waiver Projekt) o oryginalne kraju, w owym o Polsk? – stwierdzi? Camarota.

    W s?dz?cym w przybli?eniu 1000 adresów internetowych projekcie ustawy wypatrzy?y si? podobnie spadki, które rzeczywi?cie trawestuj? wizy do usamiary do??czenia do VWP, i? mog?aby a? do niego wprowadzi? Lechistan. – Nasamprzód winni?my podeprze? kanon, ubezpieczy? wizy do usa granice i mianowa? system filmowania jednostki wje?d?aj?cych dodatkowo wyruszaj?cych spo?ród Wuj sam, i dopiero nadal rozstrzyga? si? na amnesti? – rozwa?a Camarota.