Is Ron Paul the Answer?

I don’t think there has been a bigger election in my lifetime than the upcoming 2012 election which will decide the fate of our nation at a tremendously dangerous time. Over the years I’ve been a big fan of Ron Paul’s for his principled positions in congress in always voting from a constitutional position. However, having him run for president has given me pause in reconciling things I thought about his foreign policy stances. Domestic policy? Super. Foreign? Ehhh…

I’ve been trying to understand his positions better and asking questions of my Ron Paul friends, specifically on the topic of foreign policy and his Israel stance since he seems to take a beating from all the other Republican candidates on those points. The other day I received and then sent out a video, the first one below, and it helped a couple people decide to support Ron Paul. I’ve since received a couple more videos which better explain his positions on Israel, and to me, he makes a lot of sense. As one who for a long time thought some of his statements about 9/11 and Israel were whacky, I actually feel comfortable with him now and feel like I can fully support him (which I did today with a financial contribution). Our Founding Fathers wanted to avoid all “entangling alliances” and that is essentially Ron Paul’s position, which is the constitutionally sound position. There is nobody I trust more on domestic issues (audit and end the Fed and IRS) to reduce all government involvement in the market, and his foreign policy would save us trillions of dollars.

I summarized what I thought was Ron Paul’s position on foreign policy and had a friend (Connor Boyack) help expand these a little:
-Stop foreign aid to everyone including Israel so we don’t treat them as a puppet (right now, we give more money to Israel’s enemies than we do to Israel)
-Become free from entangling alliances as Washington and other founders counseled us
-Israel is free to defend itself and take whatever action is in its national interest. They have plenty of money and weaponry and should act on the basis of their own sovereignty, not with permission, clearance, or subsidization from other countries like the USA.
-Israel is free to ask us for assistance and we can choose to help in appropriate ways, provided those ways are constitutional.

Do I agree with every position of Ron Paul’s? No, but where I do have a difference of opinion, it’s dwarfed by the things I agree on with him and when compared to the other candidates, he comes way ahead of most of them, and where it’s close such as with Michelle Bachmann, I’d much rather have Ron Paul’s commitment to closing unconstitutional federal agencies, especially the Department of Education and return that entire function to the states. He also favors a strong defense at home.

This first video is what finally let me understand “blowback” which he’s been ridiculed for in several debates. If there is only one video you watch, make it this one.

If you want an explanation from Ron Paul on his foreign policy and clear position on Israel, watch this one.

This last one is fact checking by someone on Ron Paul’s statements that he has been criticized for.

14 Responses to “Is Ron Paul the Answer?”

  • Jay:

    I am a veteran and I am voting for Ron Paul.

  • Thank you Oak! I agree that Ron Paul is the closest candidate we have to a founding father. I’m reminded of the admonition from David O. McKay on the subject:

    have urged you, above all, to try to support good and conscientious
    candidates of either party who are aware of the great dangers inherent
    in communism and who are truly dedicated to the constitution in the
    tradition of our fathers. We have suggested also that you should support
    candidates who pledge their sincere fidelity to our liberty-a liberty
    which aims at the preservation of both personal and property rights.”
    (“Vote Your Convictions,” Deseret News, 11/2/64)

    I’m also reminded of the Lord’s admonition in D&C 98:10…

    “Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and
    good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever
    is less than these cometh of evil.”

    I believe Ron Paul fits the ticket on both accounts. Also, while on the subject of Ron Paul’s foreign policy I think Ezra Taft Benson put it well when he said:

    in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the president of the United States
    or to Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to
    ‘uplift’ their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their people, or
    even to defend them against their enemies.” (America at the Crossroads, August
    30th, 1969)

  • Louganzo:

    By that logic we shouldn’t have opposed the Nazis. They had no interest in attacking the U.S. this is the type of absolutist position that Paul supporters always take.

  • Louganzo, wars are complex things. It’s hard to use hindsight to say what Ron Paul would have done in WWII if he’d been president, and frankly, that’s probably unfair. People only know what they’ll do when they’re in the situation themselves and have the level of intel at that moment. Jefferson went after the Barbary Pirates because they were messing with our shipping and he didn’t wait for congress to pass a war resolution… Dr. Paul is very much about defending America. Here’s an interesting clip I listened to tonight of Glenn Beck responding to a radio caller on why he would vote for Ron Paul if Gingrich got the GOP nomination (and Beck does NOT like Ron Paul on his foreign policy).

  • Dbabbitt:

    The Nazis were intent on conquering the world- eventually. That has not changed over the years even down to our day when they have aligned themselves with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, Socialist, Communists and a plethora of other radical groups right here in our own country. However, our founder’s policy was to protect America from enemies foreign and domestic and not to be the policeman of the world. We entered the war because Germany’s ally, Japan, attacked us outright at Pearl Harbor which was viewed as an act of war against the United States. It wasn’t until we were attacked that we engaged in military action for self preservation.

  • Throughout history there have always been major threats to the world. It isn’t wise or moral to constantly be looking for a fight. Our standard should be peace. I believe that we should renounce war and proclaim peace and that we are only justified in taking up arms as an act of self defense of our own nation (D&C 98). You might be interested to know that the First Presidency, while the war drums were beating in 1941, opposed the war that was coming. While replying in a letter to the US Treasury for their requests from the church to support war bonds Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, and David O. McKay wrote:

    “The Church as a Church does not believe in war and yet since its
    organization whenever war has come we have done our part … we do
    thoroughly believe in building up our home defenses to the maximum
    extent necessary, but we do not believe that aggression should be
    carried on in the name and under the false cloak of defense. We
    therefore look with sorrowing eyes at the present use to which a great
    part of the funds being raised by taxes and by borrowing is being put …
    We believe that our real threat comes from within and not from without,
    and it comes from the underlying spirit common to Naziism, Fascism, and
    Communism, namely, the spirit which would array class against class,
    which would set up a socialistic state of some sort, which would rob the
    people of the liberties which we possess under the Constitution, and
    would set up such a reign of terror as exists now in many parts of
    Europe …” (LDS First Presidency, 1941)

    So it turns out that you could oppose Naziism and still oppose foreign entanglements… If you are so interested in fighting non-US-defense wars I recommend dedicating your own life and property to those endeavors. Don’t rob the lives of our soldiers and the property of our citizens to serve your biases.

  • Anonymous:

    Interesting post, Oak.  Ron Paul’s positions are quite magnetic, meaning that they can attract and repel at the same time.  Ron Paul is a true libertarian, something that the Democrat Party and Republican Party are not.  When analyzing Libertarianism, you have to take into account the three legs: Political, Economic, and Social.  While many political and economic positions of Ron Paul are enticing to many conservative Utahns, the social positions are more troublesome due to the fact that Utah Republicans are very socialistic when it comes to the government telling citizens what they can and cannot do in their personal lives. Ron Paul and libertarianism operates under the philosophy that if something isn’t directly spelled out in the U.S. Constitution, the government has no business making laws about it.   Look at these Ron Paul positions for instance:

    1.  The internet should be free from government regulation, including gambling, and pornography.  He has voted to reject laws that help catch online child predators.

    2.  It is constitutional to engage in prostitution as long as it doesn’t hurt others.

    3.  Opposes federal efforts to define marriage and supports gay marriage if that is “what people want to do.”

    4.  Supported repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

    5.  The federal government should stay out of the Abortion debate and that the decisions should be left to the states. 

    6.  Supports stem-cell research

    7.  Opposes capital punishment

    8.  Rejects government issued school vouchers, but prefers education tax credits (a hypocritical position if you believe the federal government should have nothing to do with education).

    9.  Paul believes in holding people and corporations accountable through tort action when it concerns polluters. (Republicans typically call for tort reform in an effort to protect corporations)

    10.  Favors marijuana being legalized as a medical option and getting rid of government regulations and restrictions on all currently illegal drugs including alcohol.  They can also be traded freely as a product between the states under the interstate commerce clause.   

    11.  Is against tinkering with the electoral college (something being talked about by current Utah Republicans).  

    These are just a handful of issues that I know do not sit well with many Utah politicians and voters.  When considering Ron Paul, you have to take the whole package, not just portions of it.  Out of all the candidates currently running for President, Ron Paul doesn’t waver from his beliefs.

  • Anonymous:

    Jim, which Founding Fathers?  The Founding Fathers were not in agreement on everything.  We can’t just lump them all together all of the time.  The Founding Fathers had vigorous debate and contentions over many issues involving the size, scope, and reach of government.  

  • Anonymous:

    Louganzo, it is a very fair question.  After the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt only asked for a declaration of war against Japan, not Germany.  In fact, there was no desire to declare war on Germany in the U.S. Congress even though the U.S. Navy was already engaging German U-boats in skirmishes before December 7, 1941.  Germany solved our reluctance to declare war on them by declaring war on us first in an effort to show Japan support for the Tri-Partite Pact.  I’m sure that Ron Paul would have opposed the Nazi’s after they declared war– just as had happened in history.  

  • Anonymous:

    I doubt that the majority of the Founding Fathers ever envisioned America to be at a point where it could be in a position to be policeman of the world.  Thomas Jefferson thought it would take several generations just to settle the Ohio Valley area when it actually took less than one generation to do so. 

    We were probably lucky that Japan drew us into the conflict when they did (unfortunately, many young men paid for this with their dearest blood), because our isolationist tendencies could have led to Nazi’s ultimately conquering all of Europe and Russia and Japan conquering Southeast Asia and Australia.  I can’t predict alternate versions of history, but the world would be a much worse place if we waited much longer to get in the war.  Because of this wake-up call,  we do need to be more actively engaged in shaping the world in order to protect ourselves, but I do agree that we need to pick our “conflicts” wisely.

    The solution to the Middle East is simple.  Encourage the development of alternate sources of energy.  Without oil, the Middle East wouldn’t have the money to buy/research weapons or stir up regional conflicts.  Oil is the best weapon to use against the Middle East, not war.  It is their Achilles heal.  Unfortunately, the oil lobby continues to buy influence among our elected officials to keep the world addicted to oil and the problems that come with it including war and the loss of American lives. Ron Paul has spoken out against this kind of corporatism (right-wing socialism).                

  • My thoughts on these issues are that as president, Ron Paul would respect the constitution and not engage in “executive order” manipulation of the law. The congress writes legislation and if they don’t change the laws, the president doesn’t have a lot of power to do it himself (unless you try and obtain dictatorial power by saying irresponsible things like “if the congress won’t do it, I guess I’ll just have to”).

    On war, I think if the congress actually declared war, Ron Paul would carry it out. He wouldn’t engage with foreign nations like we see constantly happening during the past decades, unless the congress had a clear declaration. However, I think he would defend clear American interests like Jefferson did with the Barbary pirates. He’s tried to get congress to declare war instead of just funding wars, so there would be a clear objective.

  • I am well aware that the founders weren’t in full agreement on everything. Read my comment again. I said Ron Paul is the closest we have to “A” founding father. Also, David O. McKay said to support candidates who are dedicated to the Constitution in the tradition of the founding fathers. Perhaps you should address your comment at him although in his defense I think he was referring to their collective fidelity to the Constitution.

  • The King's Court:

    Jim, is this just a forum for LDS people only?  What about those who read your comments who don’t know anything about David O. McKay?  It would be nice to make persuasive arguments that stand on their own political merit rather than muddy the waters with the dogma of a specific religion.   With that said, if David O. McKay was alive today, I would ask him which founding fathers he was referring to as well.  For me, the tradition of the founding fathers is spirited debate, compromise, and a system of checks and balances that keeps one branch of government from overpowering the others. 

    Now here is something to think about.  The currently gridlock in Washington would be well received by the framers who authored the separation of powers clauses in the Constitution.  For some strange reason, many Republicans view the amount of money a government spends as the sole litmus test of the size of government when in reality it is the sheer amount of legislation that is the true litmus test of the size of government.  For instance, the Utah legislature passed over 500 pieces of legislation in a six week period.  Now that is big government.  We don’t need 5,000 pieces of legislation every decade.  Gridlock in Washington is good, because of the limited amount of legislation that it creates. Our Utah Republic on the other hand would be abhorrent to many of our founding fathers, especially Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, because in Utah, we have a political system dominated completely by one faction that can legislate laws as easily as a King can make a decree. 

    Perhaps now you know why I’m called the “King’s Court.”    I’m making a statement about the unhealthy political system in Utah.        

  • It’s very possible, Louganzo, that like Napoleon before him, without US intervention, Hitler would have be clobbered after spreading himself too thin by attempting to conquer nation after nation.  In fact, Hitler did make the exact same mistake Napoleon did in attacking Russia, both attempts proved disastrous for the aggressor.