Sunday, November 11, 2007

Beyond Useless Wars, What Does Ron Paul Stand For?


November 11, 2007

Ron Paul: merely a Barry Goldwater without the gunpowder

I don't use the word "fascinating" very often to describe political movements, but that's just what the Ron Paul phenomenon is. It's fascinating because it's a strange sort of outlier, a borderline freak show, an insurrectionary abnormality within the normally staid and stuffy Republican Party.

Paul has ignited a dedicated and mushrooming base largely, as we know, because of the Iraq war. He alone among the Republican warhawk club of presidential candidates called a spade a spade early on -- that the war was an anti-constitutional betrayal of America's interests -- and thereby stood out from the snarling pack. In doing so, he also put to shame the Democratic candidates, excepting Dennis Kucinich, who have done little but waver and waffle on the war's status quo. Hence Paul has been able to draw visceral antiwar support from both sides of the blurred ideological divide.

When both parties get themselves mired in such an intolerable state of affairs, Ron Pauls happen. It's as simple and predictable as that, but no less fascinating. Because they usually take on a common-man, log-cabin, "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" kind of grassroots enthusiasm that's like a behemoth without a head. Support sprawls, and indignation and frustration rule, but usually in only one identifiable cause and direction; in this case, the Iraq war and demands for its end.

But if Paul's supporters, who are growing in numbers and financial contributions literally by the minute, were to scratch the surface of Paul's vocal frustration on their behalf, I doubt they'd like what they find. For, beyond the Iraq war issue, what Paul represents is a neo-New Rightest movement within an already reactionary political party. He takes the Republican clock -- already cranked back to the Gilded Age -- and turns it further back to the virtually non-governmental age of the early 19th century.

Paul is nothing new. He's just Barry Goldwater without the gunpowder.

For this Texas congressman, who has drawn a handsome government check for 20 years, simplicity reigns, just as it did for the Arizona senator. Government is bad, government can never be helpful, we were never so well off as we were in 1787.

The internal complexities of that era that led to, say, our bloodiest war, severe and repeated economic depressions and an unsustainable two-tiered class structure are easily overlooked, if only one would restrict oneself to a McGuffey's Reader view of American history and political philosophy.

This, Paul has done. For him, complexities begone -- and that's a seductive proposition for millions who are sick of, and confused by, the turmoil of modern, post-industrialized life. It's so simple, and comforting, to identify one enemy -- the government -- and envision a happy, carefree life with its perceived intrusions erased.

Take a look at Paul's Web site, and you'll soon see what I mean. It's chocked full of the most curious phenomena -- what you might call black-and-white ambiguities, all promising a simpler, and thereby happier, future.

Take, for instance, taxes. Paul likes lower ones, and who doesn't? How low, we can't say, because he doesn't. But he does say things like this: "Whether a tax cut reduces a single mother’s payroll taxes by $40 a month or allows a business owner to save thousands in capital gains taxes and hire more employees, that tax cut is a good thing."

Well, for that single mother it might be for a while, until she realizes her and her children's health care is now kaput, her daycare subsidies are forever gone, her kids' school will continue to crumble, the federal highway she travels to work on is unattended, the air she breathes and the water she drinks are worsening in quality, her state and local taxes are now $400 a month in a failing attempt to compensate -- and her employer is now cashing all his goodies in with no capital gains to pay.

You want 1787? Or 1887? You can have it, but you won't want it for long. I can guarantee that, because neither did the folks who lived in 1787 and 1887.

There's no doubt Paul's antiwar, anti-imperialism message is a powerfully sensible one. Go beyond it, though -- turn down the siren song of simplicity, and turn up the muted lessons of history -- and your Paulite enthusiasm, if so possessed, is sure to drift away.



(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.


2 comments:

iconoclast63 said...

Typical big government stooge, claiming limited government is an archaic relic of bygone days. The "bloodiest war" and "economic depressions" you speak of were caused by precisely those elements in government that Dr. Paul seeks to de-claw. It really scares me to see people like you out there on the scene pontificating arrogantly as if your are an authority that the sheeple actually listen to. Keep bowing your head to the "establishment", allowing mega corporations to dictate our foreign policy for their own ends and expanding the socialist agenda that benefits them while the rest of us wake up and realize that if we don't take this country back soon there will be nothing left of it.

Pelican1 said...

Iconoclast has left comments before. I have never allowed one I read to be posted whenever I had the posting/edited duty of the day.

Why? We don't except any comment that is highly insulting to the author or commenter and does little-or-nothing to further address issues of the post or to alert our readers to News we find needs to be in the "Need to know-ASAP file, or the "News of on-going danger to ordinary citizens who are exercising their first amendment rights)Even though we love comments and post almost other we get. Those disagreeing or agreeing with that author the post or the commenter to the post.

We do not post much original material on this blog however, when we do comment and and such, we always do so in green, in the body of the post

This comment is a fairly good example of the kind of comment we are talking about.

Author of the post is given quite the verbal smack-down, while the title if the post is, "what does Paul Stand For? All if it?" This was a perfect opportunity a whole bunch of independents, unaffiliated to be given a good lesson on what Rep. Paul does stand for, in a polite way. Otherwise, you're just wasting our sphere-space.

If you read the blog very often, it would be clear, to Mr. Iconoclast, that we, slightly over 500 indepentdents, share a number of what Mr. Paul stands for, beyond the war and this disgusting, evil empire in who's belly we all live.

But inconoclast chooses to begin his post by calling the author a "typical big government stooge." I doubt that many of our readers would have read much beyond that goofy piece if verbal assault. Insulting people is not a good way to win hearts and minds for one's cause or one's candidate.

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