Ron Paul

The Post and Ron Paul

|

In an unsigned editorial, The Wash Post "assess[es] a grass-roots phenomenon, and the strange ideology behind it" and concludes that Ron Paul is more Pat Buchanan than anything. They kick him around for some good reasons–the race-baiting newsletters, fear of a NAFTA superhighway, and more–and then lay into his stance toward Iraq 2.0:

Mr. Paul goes so far as to express understanding of Osama bin Laden's antipathy toward U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia, which, Mr. Paul says, created the "incentive" for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. "It's sort of like if you step in a snake pit and you get bit," he told Mr. Russert. "Who caused the trouble?" During the Cold War, the late Jeane Kirkpatrick chided Democrats for "blaming America first" in foreign policy. That may or may not have been apt. But in 2008, there is one candidate to whom her words definitely apply: Republican Ron Paul.

Whole thing here.

To which H&R regular and blogger Alan Vanneman responds:

After having established the fact that Mr. Paul believes in a lot of nonsense, much of it dangerous, the Post goes on to reveal the worst: "Mr. Paul goes so far as to express understanding of Osama bin Laden's antipathy toward U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia, which, Mr. Paul says, created the "incentive" for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001."

The only problem is, it's a well-known fact that U.S troop presence in Iraq was the catalyst for Bin Laden's terrorist assaults on U.S. interests, both here and in the Middle East. As author Christian Alfonsi notes in his excellent book, Circle in the Sand, U.S. policy makers received frequent warnings that presence of a substantial number of U.S. troops could lead to disaster. During the leadup to the first Iraqi War, the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Charles Freeman, warned the administration that "It remains our judgment that Saudi and Arab political realities preclude a U.S. military presence in the Islamic holy land which appears to be open-ended or semi-permanent." During the war itself, a report issued by a committee headed by Richard Clarke stated that "A permanent U.S. presence will provide a rationale for, and could become a target for, the terrorist threat that will outlive the war." Of course, the U.S. received frequent complaints from the Saudis themselves.

Why does the Post attack Ron Paul most aggressively on the one thing he gets right? Because the Post doesn't want its readers to know the truth. It's a strange way for a "great newspaper" to act.

More here.

More on Ron Paul and the newsletters forthcoming.

NEXT: Paul on CNN

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. How many times do I have to say it? American foreign policy has nothing to do with terrorism. THEY HATE US FOR OUR FREEDOM!!! Get it through your heads.

  2. More on Ron Paul and the newsletters forthcoming.

    Translation: Let’s keep beating this horse.

  3. Hey, since this rEVOlution thing was going pretty well, it’s time to kneecap it. And a lot of libertarians seem totally willing to help hold the tire iron.

  4. yes, let’s keep beating the horse and show our purity. In the meantime, we’ll help to destroy the best politician to come down the pike in decades and a principled, flawed, and good man….but that’s politics. Besides, we need to feel “good” after the last few days and this will relieve the stress.

  5. The W.P.’s hack job insinuates that the newsletter only printed racist or anti-Semitic rants for 20 years, which is obviously false. BTW, even hinting at the possibility that some policy pursued by the Israeli government is bad, becomes enough to be labeled an ‘Anti-Semite’, so I would take any such insinuations by the MSM with a big grain of salt.

    They also perpetuate the fallacy that Paul’s Non-Interventionist philosophy is akin to Buchanan’s merchantilist isolationism.

  6. “The only problem is, it’s a well-known fact that U.S troop presence in Iraq was the catalyst for Bin Laden’s terrorist assaults on U.S. interests, both here and in the Middle East.”

    Error?!

    I believe that sentence should read, “…it’s a well-known fact that U.S troop presence in [Saudi Arabia] was the catalyst for Bin Laden’s terrorist assaults on U.S. interests, both here and in the Middle East.”

    …but I could be mistaken.

  7. Good. I was hoping you guys would get around to covering the newsletters.

  8. It’s a strange way for a “great newspaper” to act.

    The Washington Post may be many things, but a great newspaper is not one of them

  9. This is the reason that while I want Ron Paul to be influential on other candidates, I’d be afraid if he were actually elected president. I’m afraid that his reasoning on foreign policy, while it would’ve coincidentally led to better circumstances than we’re in right now, would endanger Americans. He’s right, but for partially the wrong reasons, and those wrong reasons could get us in big trouble, worse than even the current wars.

  10. An unsigned editorial! When this article leaks, I hope they name some names.

  11. Gee, even the CIA and the deeply flawed 9/11 Commission Report gave our presense in the Middle East in General, and the Bases in Saudi Arabia in particular as a major contributing factor in the motivation of the terrorists in attacking us.

    Perhaps we should only rely on our intelligence gathering operations and government commissions when they agree with preordained political positions. While his opponents at the debate giggle like schoolgirls and laugh derisively at his analysis of geopolitics, only Dr, Paul seems to understand that Foreign Policy consists of more than jingoistic sloganeering and simplistic ‘Us vs. Them’ propaganda. The other candidates seem more concerned with pandering to the ignorance of the electorate rather than elucidating a coherent and detailed understanding of the root causes of global political problems, as well as the solutions that stem from a thorough knowledge of those causes.

  12. The snakepit analogy did suck. You have to differentiate between “appearing” to take everything Bin Laden says at heart and putting it down while telling the truth. He needs to make that distinction for the many, the idiots who elect our politicians.

    He needs to distinguish between the people who kill themselves for a cause and their leader. Bin Laden is a hustler who exploits US presence to create a political movement, to achieve his personal ambitions for power. Taking away US presence disarms his rhetoric and hurts his recruiting, just as the increase in US presence increases popularity and spreads his message as the NIE itself has alluded to.

    You know, kind of like how Ron hustled the racist paleos and libertarians to cash in and keep a fundraising network with his newsletter. He wasn’t really with their cause but he would use that cause to suit his personal ambitions.

  13. If you’re going to follow a person without asking questions, there are two major American political parties waiting to sign you up… call now, no waiting, no payments for the first 90 days and if you call by midnight tonight, you’ll get this extra set of matched Congressional candidates, normally a $100 value, for only five easy payments of $24.99.

  14. Regarding the riots, IIRC, someone went on TV and did make a statement to the effect that the rioting was interferring with people getting their welfare checks. It might have been either RodneyKing or MagicJohnson, or someone else. I distinctly remember a news reporter showing lines in front of a post office and she mistakenly said they were there for their paychecks.

    Second, the WaPo discounts tales of the NAFTASuperhighway, but can’t even get what’s involved right. If they can’t do that, is their attempt to discount that idea credible? There is an actual proposal called the TransTexasCorridor, and not only can you find endless articles about it, it’s being openly pushed by TX’s gov. Ruuudy’s lawfirm even represents one of the companies involved.

    As for the wider “conspiracy theory” of the NAFTASuperhighway, a Canadian provincial government has not only confirmed it, there are maps on their government websites.

    Should you take anyone seriously who tries to “debunk” the scheme?

    It’s certainly interesting how Reason has completely folded over this issue, isn’t it?

  15. Of course the “Cosmopolitans” see right through both their hustles with their superior intellect.

  16. He’s right, but for partially the wrong reasons, and those wrong reasons could get us in big trouble, worse than even the current wars.

    Yeah, nothing like having a non-aggressive foreign policy for getting yourself in big trouble. What?

    The establishment is just happy to finally have a legitimate reason to try and torpedo Ron Paul’s campaign. Up until now they’ve only had his crazy ideas about freedom to work with.

  17. Crap! I just read that Hillary died and I thought, just for a moment…
    Never mind.

  18. Yes, it’s all clear to me now. The Man is keeping Ron Paul down.

  19. Yeah, nothing like having a non-aggressive foreign policy for getting yourself in big trouble.

    I know, right? Just look at the freaking mess Switzerland is in!

  20. How many subscription cancellations are forthcoming?

  21. Are the newsletters actually going to hurt his vote totals any? The TNR story broke too late to affect the Iowa or NH vote where the campaign expected to do better — it seems the perception the war in Iraq is doing better and lack of media taking him serious will hurt him more than the newsletters most voters will never hear of before they reach the ballot box.

    Paul needed the war to continue to head south and the surge to fail in the eyes of the media and public and then he’d be more than a 4th or 5th place finisher in NH and Iowa

  22. It’s pretty sad to see Reason going through all this effort to keep beating a dead horse regarding the newsletters. There’s nothing quite like watching libertarians dumping overboard the best thing they ever had going for them because of a handful of newsletters from more than 15 years ago — 30 years of tireless work and an otherwise sterling record be damned. Tough beans, folks, because we’re probably not going to get another politician like Paul and another movement like this for a couple of decades.

  23. “No! No, we mustn’t back Paul! We must cleanse ourselves constantly until a shining minarchist paradise spontaneously appears in place of America due to our militant daydreaming!”

    Jeebus, the reason staff’s stance on getting a liberty-furthering politician elected to a better office sounds a lot like John Edwards’ budget plan.

  24. lonewacko,
    I can’t remember the last time I responded to you directly. I’m sure I’m overdue, and now looks like a good opportunity.

    You are a hate-mongering, xenophobic turd. The stench of your paranoid delusions puts a foul stench on everything you touch.

    Please find a safe rock somewhere to crawl under and freshen the air for the rest of us.

  25. The other candidates seem more concerned with pandering to the ignorance of the electorate rather than elucidating a coherent and detailed understanding of the root causes of global political problems…

    They’re not just pandering to ignorance, they are promulgating it.

  26. Washington Post Richter scale of insanity:

    1. Holding offensive views about minorities: Crazy.

    2. Believing in a New World Order conspiracy: Crazier.

    3. Disagreeing with the Washington Post’s editorial policy regarding the Middle East: Craziest.

    Of course, this means that roughly 70% of the American public is crazier than whoever wrote the Ron Paul Survival Report, according to the Post’s own standard. Very curious.

  27. I also like how the MSM distorts the truth through omission. You notice how they do not make one mention of the new money, and how it will be used as an instrument of tyranny. That is what we need to inform ourselves about, this new money and all its colors. Please let me inform you, just send me 50 dollars and I will send racist BS to your doorstep.

  28. Ken,

    You got it right. I meant to say “Saudi Arabia.” Thanks!

  29. There’s nothing quite like watching libertarians dumping overboard the best thing they ever had going for them because of a handful of newsletters from more than 15 years ago

    It’s much cooler to be the hip sarcastic outsider than to actually, you know, make any fucking progress. See, now when the hot chick you’re chatting up finds out you’re a libertarian and says “so you support the racist Ron Paul?”, you can say “no, I totally ditched that old scumbag” and go right back to seeing if you can get her to blow you in the coat room for novelty value.

  30. Reason was a successful and well-respected publication before the “Ron Paul revolution.” I think they’ll probably do just fine after Paul is officially a footnote of the 2008 presidential campaign and his earnest followers wander away.

    As for Paul, he’s tracking at 5 percent in South Carolina, 6th place after basically everyone else. It’s probably three to five percent for Paul from here on out.

  31. Paul invited this kind of response. This editorial was the unintened blowback.

  32. Is there anyone who suggests that there aren’t people who seek a one world government…through gradualism?

  33. lonewacko, dont know about what motivates you, but good on ya for your posts on Kirchick and now this WashPo editorial.

  34. xtrabiggg: you’ve nailed it. Paul is not pandering to the idiots, so he will never get their vote.

  35. it’s a well-known fact that U.S troop presence in Iraq was the catalyst for Bin Laden’s terrorist assaults on U.S. interests

    No, it’s a well known justification, like saying wives deserve to battered if they block the TV. There are lots of ways Bin Laden could have protested our presence. Killing 3,000 people who had nothing to do with it isn’t a legitimate one.

  36. Episiarch: As for myself, I’d be happy to explain to anyone interested why Paul is clearly not a racist and point to his sterling 30-year record. People with an open mind will see that Paul may not be a perfect man, but is still the best congressman we have today.

  37. >>>like saying wives deserve to battered if they block the TV

    BS! analogy misfit. more like saying if you wear a short skirt and hang out with drunken meatheads late into the night you increase your chances of rape. Deserve doesnt enter into it.

  38. Hmmm, how exactly is having a bunch of American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia even remotely construed as part of an “aggressive foreign policy”? They were there at the behest of the Saudi government; it’s obvious that this bothers Bin Laden and his ilk, how exactly is that reasonable? Does that mean we had it coming or should tolerate his reprisals? Is that what Paul’s implying?
    One of the key arguments against the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam had been successfully “contained”; by what, I’d ask, if not the presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia.

  39. Abdul:

    You’re confusing “catlyst” with “cause”. See “militarism and nationalism” vs. “the assasination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand” for WWI

  40. I think it is a sad commentary on American libertarianism when someone can say Ron Paul was “the best thing they ever had going for them.” That’s like saying the hottest woman I ever dated was Shelly Winters circa The Poseiden Adventure.

  41. Re: Rudy Guliani’s comment about the terrorists hating our freedom. You are wrong sir. The terrorists hate us because we’re Christian. This is a war of Christianity versus Islamofasicm. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go hoodwink several thousand people into voting for me.

  42. Another thing: I agree with however mentioned Iraq needed to go badly for Paul to gain support, only now he must address that, saying that we need to get out of there and prove we are not nation-building and an empire. We need to prevent further nation-building and imperialism by not continuing the trend. Even the dems gave up on harping on Iraq. Lets avoid further pointless, unjust wars.

  43. “There are lots of ways Bin Laden could have protested our presence. Killing 3,000 people who had nothing to do with it isn’t a legitimate one.”

    Nobody said it was a justifiable motive–some of us are just saying there was a motive.

    Murderers sometimes have motives. …why does suggesting that bin Laden had motives always seem to become so controversial?

  44. There are lots of ways Bin Laden could have protested our presence. Killing 3,000 people who had nothing to do with it isn’t a legitimate one.

    There are lots of ways the U.S. could have protested the rule of Saddam Hussein. Invading his country (and killig lots of innocents, BTW) on the pretense of his WMD and support for the 9/11 attackers isn’t legitimate.

  45. Nope… still nothing from Reason about, say, the anti-muslim bigotry on display from the likes of Fred Thompson and John McCain last night — or McCain’s casual use of “gooks” to refer to Asians. Huckabee can lecture women on how they should be subservient to their husband and how gays are just like necrophiliacs and face nothing but mild criticism.

    Oh, but Ron Paul’s 20 year old newsletters really demand another post.

  46. They’re not just beating a dead horse, they’re beating the tomb it’s been buried in.

  47. Ken,

    Some (many) lack the linguistic or cognitive ability to understand the difference between “motive” and “justification.”

    By acknowledging that OBL had a motive,

    YOUR SYING ITS OKAY!!!11!

  48. “No! No, we mustn’t back Paul! We must cleanse ourselves constantly until a shining minarchist paradise spontaneously appears in place of America due to our militant daydreaming!”

    Right, because Ron Paul is the only politician who’s ever been amenable to the ideas of personal and economic liberty. Give me a break, I’m fed up with the “Paul or nothing for another 30 years” bullshit. As attractive as his candidacy was, he had plenty of warts outside of the whole newsletter garbage. Care to discuss his anti free market stance on immigration anyone?

  49. Oh, but Ron Paul’s 20 year old newsletters really demand YET another post.

    Fixed that for ya.

  50. They were there at the behest of the Saudi government;

    The Saudi government is an undemocratic family oligarchy supported by the U.S. government. bin Laden was doing more than protesting, he was acting like any political power that has defined its enemy.

  51. They’re not just beating a dead horse, they’re beating the tomb it’s been buried in.

    When you’re stroking yourself at the same time, I guess you sometimes lose track.

  52. The snakepit analogy did suck.

    Especially for a guy from Texas. It doesn’t matter if you step in a snakepit or otherwise rile up a rattlesnake; if you see one, you kill it. They’re too dangerous to have around, both to you and you animals.

    Also, re bin Laden and the catalyst or whatever of US troops in Saudi Arabia:

    So what? Exactly what were we supposed to do when he manifestoed all over himself? Everytime some nutter spouts off about how he doesn’t like what we’re doing, we’re supposed to do his bidding?

    The Saudis live in a dangerous neighborhood. One of their neighbors had a nasty history of actually invading his neighbors. Parking a division there as a deterrent at the request of the Saudi government is neither irrational, illegal, nor provocative (to sane people, at least). Are we supposed to calibrate our foreign policy to please the most violent and insane residents of the globe? I don’t get it.

  53. More on Ron Paul and the newsletters forthcoming.

    Hopefully, it’s something meaningful instead of rehashing the same old crap we’ve been reading about lately. Name the true author. Now THAT would be significant.

  54. and Jose Ortega y Gasset wins the thread!

  55. “Right, because Ron Paul is the only politician who’s ever been amenable to the ideas of personal and economic liberty.”

    How many of those other politicians have sparked a genuine grassroots movement, raised nearly $20 million in a quarter, and been in a position to play a major spoiler if he wanted to?

  56. Right place at the right time, Derek. Just because nobody else has stood up and done it, doesn’t mean they’re not out there. Don’t get me wrong, I like RP, donated money and time and everything. I’m just not willing to buy the ‘America’s savior’ BS.

  57. Pottsy,

    Name me a better option for president in 2008.

    In 2012 (or ’08 for that matter), I’d be THRILLED to be able to look down at Paul and say “he’s so anti-immigrant, so extremist on foreign policy, I’m much better off with XXXX.”

    Problem is, “XXXX” is still either

  58. either

  59. either

  60. Right place at the right time, Derek. Just because nobody else has stood up and done it, doesn’t mean they’re not out there. Don’t get me wrong, I like RP, donated money and time and everything. I’m just not willing to buy the ‘America’s savior’ BS.

    ———————

    When was the last time something like this happened, though? Sure, it can happen again, but the point is — this is the best thing libertarian minded people have had going for them in a long time. Paul goofed up with the newsletters, but no one is perfect. And unlike the other presidential candidates, Paul has an otherwise sterling record 30 years long and is clearly not a racist or a homophobe. People shouldn’t be so eager to toss him overboard. And Reason should stop beating a dead horse.

  61. “either less than 1% or worse than Paul.”

    I hate teh interwebz sometimes.

  62. “Parking a division there as a deterrent at the request of the Saudi government is neither irrational, illegal, nor provocative (to sane people, at least). Are we supposed to calibrate our foreign policy to please the most violent and insane residents of the globe? I don’t get it.”

    Saddam Hussein had been largely defanged. …and we originally put our infrastructure and troops there to protect the Saudis from Iran rather than Iraq. Iran wasn’t much of a threat back then either after the Iran/Iraq War.

    Many Saudis saw U.S. troops there as a means to protect the Saudi government from the people of Iraq, not as a bulwark against a foreign invasion.

    If we had Saudi troops here in the United States, even if Mexico was really mean and nasty, getting them the hell out of our country would be my first priority politically.

  63. I think Ron Paul became friendly with a bunch of nasty friends because they were the only people willing to give him a forum for airing his views for many years. Now more respectable people are supporting him, and they want him to jettison the old gang, but it would be impolite of him cast off the old and loyal for the the new. More thoughts here: http://jeffmiller.tumblr.com/post/23552652

  64. “Many Saudis saw U.S. troops there as a means to protect the Saudi government from the people of Iraq, not as a bulwark against a foreign invasion.”

    Now I’m doin’ the same thing!

    Should be, “Many Saudis saw U.S. troops there as a means to protect the Saudi government from the people of [Saudi Arabia], not as a bulwark against a foreign invasion.”

  65. By acknowledging that OBL had a motive,

    YOUR SYING ITS OKAY!!!11!

    Accepting his claimed motives, unexamined, shows no excess of “linguistic or cognitive ability.”

    Osama’s not an idiot, and he’s crafted his public justifications – and changed them – purposefully.

    Among his aims has been to have those who examine and reject his justifications dismissed in the manner you just did.

    SMRT

  66. “There’s nothing quite like watching libertarians dumping overboard the best thing they ever had going for them…”

    A marginally popular paleo-conservative with libertarianish leanings is the best thing we’ve ever had going for us? Sounds like we’re fucked.

    I really don’t like the idea of Paul being associated at the vanguard of the libertarian movement. It was hard enough trying to explain the Big-L/little-l distinction, I’m worried we’ll have to explain away Paul as well. I do think Reason followed the Paul campaign a little too enthusiastically, but given the nature of the other candidates, I think they can be forgiven for being blinded by the contrast (like a lot of other libertarians have been). I really like that they are fully vetting Paul now.

  67. Regarding the riots, if anyone at Reason would like to do some real reporting, let me suggest contacting the many people who’ve written books and made docs about the incident.

    From this:

    With mail delivery halted, thousands of welfare and social security
    recipients lined up at regional post offices to pick up their end-of-
    the-month checks. No incidents were reported…. Though 3,500 welfare recipients got their checks Saturday, there was
    a great deal of confusion over where they would be cashed. Most of the
    banks in the area had been gutted, looted and torched.

    And, from a comment here:

    I remember having to work a detail at the post office because the dummies burned down about ten post offices and then had to wait on the welfare checks.

    As for the NAFTASuperhighway, what do you want me to do, draw you a map? (Note for the delusional: that’s a Canadian government website with the name of the “conspiracy theory” right on a map).

  68. “Also, re bin Laden and the catalyst or whatever of US troops in Saudi Arabia:

    So what? Exactly what were we supposed to do when he manifestoed all over himself? Everytime some nutter spouts off about how he doesn’t like what we’re doing, we’re supposed to do his bidding?”
    ——————–
    No, the same people who said we shouldn’t be micromanaging the world warned of this type of stuff well before 9/11. They never agreed with most interventions. Terrorism is a predictable tactic and a natural response to foreign occupation or domination through puppet governments with some exceptions. Then after all the money we spend trying to keep these puppets in power, they either turn on us, we either turn on them, or chaos ensues and you know who has to take care of it. (See Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran,etc.) It doesn’t prevent nukes or war, it just ensures where the intended target for those nukes are pointed when the war breaks out.

    We have the same Republicans “telling” us that a president cannot micromanage our national economy and achieve its intended results, yet insist we can micromanage the world.

  69. A marginally popular paleo-conservative with libertarianish leanings is the best thing we’ve ever had going for us? Sounds like we’re fucked.

    —–

    I’d agree. Part of the reason why the libertarian movement is, as you so eloquently put it, “fucked,” is precisely because of how so many goody two shoes libertarians react over this incident.

  70. Lonewacko, any chance you fired of those links to Washpost? I know its almost pointless.

  71. As a sidenote, it’s easy to forget that the newsletter that contained all those racist comments was written in response to the LA riots. I mean in no way to excuse the offensive comments in the newsletter, but I think it’s interesting how sensitive people are today about such things. Today the massive riots, complete with the inumerable acts of senseless violence and destruction are practically forgotten about, while a newsletter in response to the riots can create such a ruckus because the writer clearly went overboard in his zeal to condemn the “animals” rioting. What’s worse? Going overboard and writing some racist stuff? Or the rioting?

  72. Hmmm, how exactly is having a bunch of American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia even remotely construed as part of an “aggressive foreign policy”?

    Well, let’s see.

    The Saudi government is a puppet of the United States.

    The Kuwaiti government is a puppet of the United States.

    The Iraqi government is a puppet of the United States.

    The Afghani government is a puppet of the United States.

    At one time, Saddam Hussein was a puppet of the United States.

    At one time, the Shah of Iran was a puppet of the United States.

    The Egyptian government is a client of the United States.

    The Pakistani government is a client of the United States.

    The Kazakh government is a client of the United States.

    The Uzbek government is a client of the United States.

    The Israeli government is a close ally of the United States.

    If you add up the sheer number of electric shocks to testicles or assassinations of activists or abuses inflicted on ethnic minorities or whatever measure of authoritarian abuse you want to use that have been committed by these puppets, clients and allies of the United States, it adds up to a lot.

    At some point along the line, somebody was bound to get pissed off and try to hurt Americans. Up until 2001, it usually only happened to military personnel, embassy personnel, or Americans overseas. The logic of escalation for those events made an attack on domestic US interests inevitable.

    If you think you have critical reasons for maintaining puppet and client regimes around the globe, and for maintaining an alliance with a regime that is hated all over the world, then being the target of terror attacks is part of your cost of doing business. When the Soviet Union was around, you could convince me that a certain amount of imperial realpolitik was necessary. But the Soviet Union is no longer around and as far as I am concerned we should just cut these motherfuckers loose.

  73. @ Jeff –

    So, it’s not what you do, it’s where you do it?

  74. Parking a division there as a deterrent at the request of the Saudi government is neither irrational, illegal, nor provocative (to sane people, at least).

    Said the man supporting foreign occupation. God forbid trying on the perspective of the occupied.
    You do understand that these trouble areas are ex-colonies of the British empire, right.

    How would you like to be a native of a country occupied by a bunch of foreigners?

    And since when is it the job of the U.S. government to subsidize the defense of other countries?

  75. “Are we supposed to calibrate our foreign policy to please the most violent and insane residents of the globe? I don’t get it.”

    Were you against the Bush Administration’s decision to effectively withdraw from Saudi Arabia?

  76. “Are we supposed to calibrate our foreign policy to please the most violent and insane residents of the globe? I don’t get it.”

    If you reject a policy that serves your interests, because some violent and insane people are plumbing it, then you’re still letting violent and insane people dictate your foreign policy.

  77. “The Washington Post may be many things, but a great newspaper is not one of them”

    It’s never been a great paper, but they think they are because they toppled Nixon. That was a great service to the country, but I’d give the credit to Deep Throat much more than I’d give it to Woodward and Bernstein.

    -jcr

  78. I agree with what was said above. I don’t care about this story until something new happens in this story. Because in case you haven’t noticed, almost no one except Reason and libertarian purists care about this. This issue has been on the news all of twice. No one knows or cares about these newsletters outside of the blogosphere, a realm that apparently can’t influence more than 10% of the population of any given state.

  79. How would you like to be a native of a country occupied by a bunch of foreigners?

    We were hardly “occupying” Saudi Arabia.

    What did most ordinary Saudis think about the US troops there keeping tabs on Saddam? Honest question, I really don’t know the answer. I’m guessing most didn’t really like it, but didn’t think it was THAT big a deal and ignored it.

    And since when is it the job of the U.S. government to subsidize the defense of other countries?

    Arguably, if it serves the interests of the US to do so. One can argue about if it truly serves US interests, or if the other country ought to be able to afford it themselves (I think South Korea falls into this categaory, but then you get into deterrent effects and what-not which muddies the waters a lot).

  80. If you reject a policy that serves your interests, because some violent and insane people are plumbing it, then you’re still letting violent and insane people dictate your foreign policy.

    But if your policy is determined by adherence to a moral standard, then you will not be influenced by ‘violent and insane’ people, rather, you will be a moral agent.

    Anyone heard of moral leadership?

    It’s called ‘being an example’. If you want others to behave a certain way, you must first behave that way. It’s something you can’t beat into others.

  81. Oh boy! more on the newsletters! I can’t wait! More bull shit!

    It’s funny. The span of 3 months I went from loving Reason to being ashmaed that I ever loved it.

    It started with Drew Carrey and ended with my realization that your staff if retarded.

  82. Arguably, if it serves the interests of the US to do so.

    So, should other countries follow the same reasoning? Should Japan invade Venezuela because Japan needs oil?

    I don’t see how you can justify such a position except by the ‘might makes right’ argument.

  83. To put it another way, those who want to claim the moral high ground, must first occupy it.

  84. Also, if they hate us cause we’re free… we’ve had Bush for 7 years. Shouldn’t Osama be warming to us by now?

    I aint wearing a head cloth, so Osama’s gonna have to be more specific on which freedom’s he’s pissed about, and I’m sure Bush will be more than happy to get right on that.

  85. >Oh boy! more on the newsletters! I can’t wait! More bull shit!
    >
    >It’s funny. The span of 3 months I went from loving Reason to being ashmaed that I ever loved it.
    >
    >It started with Drew Carrey and ended with my realization that your staff if retarded.

    But Ron Paul is a nigger-guy.

  86. So, should other countries follow the same reasoning? Should Japan invade Venezuela because Japan needs oil?

    Nice shift there. The question, I believe, was “when is it the job of the US to subsidize the defense of other countries”, NOT “is it okay to do anything if it’s in your country’s interest?” That’s a not-so-subtle and very important difference. So why not try addressing my point properly this time? Feel free to add in some caveats about not defending countries if they start the trouble, interests be damned.

  87. Matt: I posted something about this at the WaPo, and some friendly person came along with the link.

    The article I was refering to where the WaPo’s “fact-checker” said it didn’t exist is here. Despite the pushback in comments, he still said it didn’t exist in a later post.

    I guess it’s in the WaPo style guide or something.

  88. And since when is it the job of the U.S. government to subsidize the defense of other countries?
    —–
    NOT “is it okay to do anything if it’s in your country’s interest?”

    OK, ‘pologies for the shift.

    The question then is, where is it mentioned that the U.S. government had any obligation, right, or authority to provide for the defense of any country other than itself?

    Nowhere. IF you can justify crossing the line a little, then that justification can justify obliterating the line. That is, if you can stretch the line to defend another country, then you have to stretch it enough to invade other countries for the same strategic reason.
    Hence the first War on Iraq in defense of Kuwait.

    The U.S. government does not choose allies on any basis other than strategic value. The U.S. government does not extend the protections of the Bill of Rights to people in other countries. It has a sad record internationally in regard to ‘democratic values’.

  89. I have a suggestion for everybody:

    Stop wasting your time listening to the propaganda “news”. You are squandering your life. They are always going to lie, and always misrepresent. They are dishonest.

    You want to be free? Start by canceling your cable service, get a bunch of CD’s to listen to in your car, and use the Internet for it’s original intent: research.

    Good luck everybody, because the country is about to fall apart. Get ready for it.

  90. The question then is, where is it mentioned that the U.S. government had any obligation, right, or authority to provide for the defense of any country other than itself?

    First apology accepted, its actually cool when folks do that online, we don’t do it enough.

    Now as to your question, I’d say in a couple of places, namely, “provide for the common defence”, and obliquely, in the section on treaties.

    Its the JOB of the Feds to defend the nation, and if providing some assistance to another country helps do that, I really think that’s where the authority is to be found. I have an extremely hard time imagining the Founding Dudes, as leery as they might be about getting involved in others troubles, would be so inflexible as to think the option should not be available to them. Especially when we consider that the US would not exist without the aid of France, and that example would still have been fresh.

    Treaties become part of the law of the land, and thus a defense treaty, for example would obligate the US to help defend another country.

  91. Translation: Let’s keep beating this horse.

    This horse isn’t gonna be dead ’til Dr Paul explains what was really going on. If anything, his comments have only deepened the mystery, especially considering he had a different story back in 1996.

    I’m still supporting him, but I definitely won’t be as enthusiastic about it, and this mess is going to follow him around until he comes clean. Don’t blame Reason for that. They’ve been blogging every positive Ron Paul story for months, don’t expect them to go silent now that there’s a negative story out there.

  92. The problem here is that Ron Paul takes the right first step, and then doesn’t bother to consider the rest.

    Okay, the reason for 9/11 was the U.S. troop presence in Saudi Arabia. Now, class, what was the reason for the U.S. troop presence in Saudi Arabia?

    Oh, yeah, to keep Saddam Hussein guy, an odious civilian-gassing nuke-seeking dictator, from gaining the geopolitical power that would have come from controlling both Saudi oil and Mecca.

    So, what were our alternatives when 9/11 happened?

    1) Keep U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, further enraging Osama Bin Laden.

    2) Withdraw U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia, and watch Saddam Hussein’s still-big-enough-to-beat-the-Saudis army seize control of both Saudi oil and Mecca.

    3) Withdraw U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia, while overthrowing Saddam Hussein to ensure he didn’t wind up controlling Saudi oil and Mecca.

    Now, you can argue that we shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place. That’s nice, but come September 11th, 2001, it was too late for George W. Bush to undo what Clinton and his father had already done. We don’t have time machines.

    The Ron Paul answer is, as best I can tell, that Saddam Hussein should currently be dictator of not just Iraq, but of the Arabian Peninsula as well, in an economic and political position to make economic sanctions impossible, and fully free to pursue the nuclear ambitions that he pursued before the Gulf War, wehile harboring resentment of the United States over Desert Storm and Desert Fox. Because at least that way we wouldn’t have gotten our hands dirty in the Iraq War.

    That’s insane, and it’s equally insane of anyone who agrees with Paul. When “moral principle” amounts to a Kantian categorical imperative that you let a proven murderer aim a gun at your children, it ceases to be moral or principled.

  93. ‘1) Keep U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, further enraging Osama Bin Laden.

    2) Withdraw U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia, and watch Saddam Hussein’s still-big-enough-to-beat-the-Saudis army seize control of both Saudi oil and Mecca.

    3) Withdraw U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia, while overthrowing Saddam Hussein to ensure he didn’t wind up controlling Saudi oil and Mecca.’

    Option 4) They could have told the Saudis and Kuwaitis to use all that oil money they have to build a better military and look after their goddamn selves. You know, rather than using that oil money to fund wahhabism across the globe?

  94. Its the JOB of the Feds to defend the nation, and if providing some assistance to another country helps do that, I really think that’s where the authority is to be found.

    The Constitution states that the Union is to provide for the common defense, meaning exactly that: protecting the states from foreign invasions. Assisting another country is NOT promoting the common defense, but getting into foreign entanglements.

    Okay, the reason for 9/11 was the U.S. troop presence in Saudi Arabia. Now, class, what was the reason for the U.S. troop presence in Saudi Arabia?

    Oh, yeah, to keep Saddam Hussein guy, an odious civilian-gassing nuke-seeking dictator, from gaining the geopolitical power that would have come from controlling both Saudi oil and Mecca.

    Unless you are a mind-reader, there was no intention from Hussein to invade and keep Saudi Arabia. The reason the troops stayed in the region was to provide protection for the local Saudi king – and that was it. This is what had many Muslims, especially Bin Laden, up the wall.

  95. Now as to your question, I’d say in a couple of places, namely, “provide for the common defence”, and obliquely, in the section on treaties.

    And that has ‘what’ to do with Iraq?

    Where is the line drawn? And what is the actual record of most U.S. interventions?
    Such as arming Muslim resistance in Afghanistan, building training camps, funding bin Laden, etc.

    Seems to me that permitting our government to do as you advise has had a negative return. That’s without even mentioning the cost to taxpayers.

  96. Withdraw U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia, and watch Saddam Hussein’s still-big-enough-to-beat-the-Saudis army seize control of both Saudi oil and Mecca.

    Was there any indication that Hussein had any such ambition? Or is that another White House fabrication?

    IAC, much of the Arab world was pretty hostile to Hussein and any move on his part would’ve incurred the interest of other Arab countries.
    In fact the one thing that earned Hussein admiration in the Arab world was his being subjected to U.S. hostility. And once upon a time he was our ally (not friend) in the region.

    You do realize that Hussein’s complaint against Kuwait was that they were slant drilling under Iraq…and that our ambassador indicated that the U.S. government would not be concerned if he did something about it?

    There’s a picture floating around of him shaking hands with Donald Rumsfeld.

    I think U.S. foreign policy is schizophrenic and counterproductive. I think history largely bears this out.

  97. More on Ron Paul and the newsletters forthcoming.

    I shall alert the media.

  98. this mess is going to follow him around until he comes clean the Second Coming of Christ

    There. Fixed that.

  99. fail me..
    Reason.., please please please stop it. please? I pay my money, and love reading Jacob Sullum, sometimes others, but this is plain stupid. You are not hurting RP, but only yourselves. This is getting genuinely pathetic.

  100. And that has ‘what’ to do with Iraq?

    Iraq? Conceivably, nothing. But that’s not the question you asked further upthread.

    Without a doubt, Congress has the power to declare war. Whether or not a given declaration is a good idea is another matter. Follow me?

  101. The Constitution states that the Union is to provide for the common defense, meaning exactly that: protecting the states from foreign invasions. Assisting another country is NOT promoting the common defense, but getting into foreign entanglements.

    Avoiding foreign entanglements comes from Washington’s farewell address, not the Constitution. It may be generally good advice, but it lacks the force of law.

    I find the notion that the Founders intended their new government to be *legally* forbidden from intervening of behalf of, or providing money or credit or other assistance to a third party, especially if doing so might help defend the nascent American States, ludicrous. And I doubt there is textual support for such a view.

  102. So on 9/11, the US stepped into the snake pit?

    Paul, you are truly an idiot sometimes.

  103. Paul does not talk so much about the reasons behind the attacks as much as he assigns blame to the US for the attacks. He seemingly thinks Osama bin Laden is a rational, reasonable individual whose legitimate grievances were manifested in his attacks on 9-11. His ridiculous statements concerning the multiple assassination attempts aimed at Benazir Bhutto, and his recent statements concering Iran are just more of the same “Blame America” first bullshit.
    This magazine needs to make a distinction between the statement of historical facts, such as Bin Laden’s stated reasons between 9-11 and Paul’s manipulation of those facts into an indictment of the United States so that he can further his absurd Ostrich “head-in-the-sand” foreign policy.
    The man is a crackpot, unworthy of serious consideration for the presidency, and his newsletters are enlightening people to that simple fact.

  104. Fluffy wrote:

    “Washington Post Richter scale of insanity:

    1. Holding offensive views about minorities: Crazy.

    2. Believing in a New World Order conspiracy: Crazier.

    3. Disagreeing with the Washington Post’s editorial policy regarding the Middle East: Craziest.

    Of course, this means that roughly 70% of the American public is crazier than whoever wrote the Ron Paul Survival Report, according to the Post’s own standard. Very curious.”

    4. Assholes who actually believe Paul’s bullshit “ghostwriter” excuse: Craziest fuckers on the face of the earth.

    I am glad Ron Paul doesn’t have a chance in hell, because the leader of the free world shouldn’t be elected by a group of people insanely gullible enough to believe Paul’s bullshit story concerning the authorship of those newsletters.
    The “ghost-writer” excuse is so pathetic, I think it even surpasses the teacher in Missouri who, last week, blamed his molestation of his students on his high blood pressure.

  105. In my post made on 1-12-08 at 12:34 AM, the word behind should be substituted for the word between in the fourth sentence.

  106. #$! Why does the $D)(*#$ hit & run server lose comment submissions all the time?!

  107. When Reason writers and Cato researchers were busy making excuses how to get libertarians behind an invasion of Iraq…

    OK, all these attempts to paint everyone who is critical of Ron Paul over these newsletters as warmongers is getting annoying! I don’t follow Cato very closely, but I do follow reason. They have never pushed the invasion of Iraq. What reason does do is publish a variety of authors/interviewees with a variety of opinions, with the idea that, you, the reader, can make up your own mind. On the whole, though, reason has been anti-Iraq War.

  108. A Rebuttal of the Washington Post Editorial

    The New Republic recently reviewed back issues of newsletters published under Mr. Paul’s name during the 1980s and ’90s; it discovered crude attacks on gays, blacks and Jews

    Is there any example of an attack on Jews in the cited newsletters? Criticism of the Israeli government and its supporters is obviously not an attack on Jews in general. To construe it as if it is unfairly conflates Jews in general with the many sins of the Israeli government and its supporters.

    …including the observation that the 1992 Los Angeles riot ended because “it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.”

    Although it has little relevance since Dr Paul didn’t actually pen these words, this seems a tenable speculation with the racism confined to the “the blacks” bit since it must have been time for everyone to pick up welfare checks. ( BTW, is this is the most anti-Black passage in all the newsletters? I’m thinking that it might be.)

    Mr. Paul has said that the newsletters do not represent his beliefs, because they were ghost-written products he “did not edit.”

    Follow his writings and pronouncements over the years and it’s clear that Dr Paul is an anti-racist.

    Though his campaign may owe its energy to 21st-century technology, Ron Paul is no innovator.

    Was that ever contrived! This whole editorial seems prety pedestrian and unsophisticated. The piece from the New Republic was pretty slow too but that guy was hobbled by an anti-intellectual left-wing bias.

    To all the difficult questions of a complicated, interdependent world, he offers pretty much the same prescription that such right-wing American isolationists as Patrick J. Buchanan have offered in the past: The nation must disengage from international affairs so as to concentrate on the real enemies at home.

    What Dr Paul wants is for the freedom of capitalism to allow us, our products, and our ideas to be spread all over the world. And just what “real enemies” at home does Ron Paul, or Pat Buchanan for that matter, want to go after?

    To be sure, Mr. Paul, who would end the war on drugs, does not seem to want a Buchanan-style culture war. His demonology, inspired by idiosyncratic economic theories, centers on the Federal Reserve Board,

    The “idiosyncratic economic theory” that Dr Paul favors is capitalism and consistent with that, he would like the monopoly status the government grants the Fed taken away. If we keep the Fed, Ron Paul would like to have it audited and also to he would like the currency to be backed by gold to stop the government from inflating the currency and reducing its value.

    Mr. Paul proposes a “golden rule” for foreign policy — treat other countries as we would have them treat us….his bromide offers no help in such real-world scenarios as a North Korean invasion of South Korea

    South Korea is an affluent nation that has te resources to defend itself. Ron Paul would tell them that they need to start preparing to do so.

    Mr. Paul goes so far as to express understanding of Osama bin Laden’s antipathy toward U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia, which, Mr. Paul says, created the “incentive” for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    That was indeed one of the motivations for the attack, as Alan Vanneman points out. Note as weel that the findings of the 9/11 commission reveal:

    “Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the man who conceived and directed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was motivated by his strong disagreement with American support for Israel, said the final report of the Sept. 11 commission.”

    http://www.kentucky.com/mld/heraldleader/news/nation/9222612.htm

  109. Alan Vanneman:

    After having established the fact that Mr. Paul believes in a lot of nonsense…

    What?? What nonsense? How established? The rest of Alan’s piece is strong but the evidence does not warrant this first sentence.

  110. Thanks for doing a Ron Paul investigation. Now that there is growing momentum in the libertarian movement we need a journalistic institution with the resources to do a check up, every now and then, on the health of the libertarian movement. I am renewing my subscription that I let lapse earlier this year.

  111. OMG!OMG!OMG!

    Mark D is the

    (jarring chord)

    THE ANTI MONA

  112. WaPo is at it again today:

    “Libertarians get patronized a lot. Chipmunky and earnest, always pursuing logical consistency down wacky paths, they pose no real threat to the established order.”

  113. “It’s pretty sad to see Reason going through all this effort to keep beating a dead horse regarding the newsletters. There’s nothing quite like watching libertarians dumping overboard the best thing they ever had going for them because of a handful of newsletters from more than 15 years ago — 30 years of tireless work and an otherwise sterling record be damned. Tough beans, folks, because we’re probably not going to get another politician like Paul and another movement like this for a couple of decades.”
    Yeah, sure Ron Paul might not be %100 libertarian, but no one with his views on economics, monetary policy, foreign policy etc. has come close to sniffing 5% of the popular vote in the last 40 years…

    Like I said libertarians much like objectivist are more interested in being the cool outsider that bitches about everything but never does anything to change it…

    They act like fans of punk rock bands that make it big and all of a sudden have hard core supporters calling them “sell outs”, if a libertarian candidate ever wins the presidency it will be WITHOUT the support of the libertarians because they would of jumped of the bandwagon and call him a sell out once he went over 2%…
    pathetic really

  114. “Barack Obama responded to “Partnership For A Drug Free America” presidential candidate questions by saying he would increase the drug war and give federal power over drug courts. Obama will make the drug war even worse in America!”

    “Ron Paul promises to free ALL jailed non-violent federal drug law offenders. Ron Paul will restore VOTING RIGHTS to all previously convicted federal drug-law offenders. Ron Paul will free hundreds of thousands of African-Americans. No African-Americans will be freed by Obama — none of the blacks in jail (over 600,000 blacks in jails in the USA for drugs) would be released under Obama’s Prohibition. Those same people would be freed, pardoned and have their voting rights restored by President Ron Paul.”

    http://hic1.kazserv.com/~khabs/Leadbelly/MidnightSpecial.mp3

    http://www.houstonculture.org/cr/lead.html

    ————


    Slavery Today And In The Future In The United States

    Slave Labor Easy Source For Corporate And Government Profit

    Disturbing Implications For Racial Minorities

    “As prisoners become sources of profit for the State, we can guarantee one thing: there will be more of them.”

    http://www.injusticeline.com/slave2.html

  115. @Mike Laursen,

    #$! Why does the $D)(*#$ hit & run server lose comment submissions all the time?!

    I’m not certain, but I think it happens when several people try to post comments at the same time, which can happen in a popular thread. I know it’s happened to me often enough. If my comment is long enough that I can’t easily remember it or re-type it, I usually copy it to my clipboard before submitting it; that way I can simply refresh the page and paste the comment back in. Usually goes through okay then.

  116. Dear Lew,

    You have now had three opportunities -1996, 2001, and 2008 – to prove that you are a friend of Ron Paul and freedom, and you have failed to do so each time.

    This week, for the third time, the puerile, racist, and completely un-Pauline comments that all informed people say you have caused to appear in Ron’s newsletters over the course of several years have become an issue in his campaign. This time the stakes are even higher than before. He is seeking nationwide office, the Republican nomination for President, and his campaign is attracting millions of supporters, not tens of thousands.

    Three times you have failed to come forward and admit responsibility for and complicity in the scandals. You have allowed Ron to twist slowly in the wind. Because of your silence, Ron has been forced to issue repeated statements of denial, to answer repeated questions in multiple interviews, and to be embarrassed on national television. Your callous disregard for both Ron and his millions of supporters is unconscionable.

    If you were Dr. Paul’s friend, or a friend of freedom, as you pretend to be, by now you would have stepped forward, assumed responsibility for those asinine and harmful comments, resigned from any connection to Ron or his campaign, and relieved Ron of the burden of having to repeatedly deny the charges of racism. But you have not done so, and so the scandal continues to detract from Ron’s message.

    You know as well as I do that Ron does not have a racist bone in his body, yet those racist remarks went out under his name, not yours. Pretty clever. But now it’s time to man up, Lew. Admit your role, and exonerate Ron. You should have done it years ago.

    John Robbins, Ph.D.
    Chief of Staff
    Dr. Ron Paul, 1981-1985
    http://godshammer.wordpress.com/2008/01/12/open-letter-to-lew-rockwell/

  117. I challenge anyone to google Ron + Paul + prisonplanet and google Ron + Paul + stormfront. You’ll see that Ron Paul has strong support amongst the kooks and antisemites. Before you hand your cash over to Ron Paul decide whether you are a kook, an antisemite, or both.

  118. but on the contrary….the president of the Austin NAACP also supports Paul.

    http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_08_29_linder.mp3

    Perhaps Reason and Cato writers are blowing this out of proportion?

    Maybe his live and let live approach is uniting stranger bedfellows?

  119. zman,

    It’s unusual when someone says something that illogical here. I suggest you save your nonsensical comment and read it from time to time. If and when you can spot the logical fallacies, you’ll know that you’re maturing intellectually.

    If you’re a child, I suggest that you ask your parents or a teacher for help.

  120. stringer,

    Nice find! I think that it is evidence of the truth in this matter. You should spread it everywhere and get a hold of the Ron Paul campaign and tell them to do the same.

    Here’s a written story on the matter:

    Austin NAACP President: Ron Paul Is Not A Racist

    http://tinyurl.com/28g7p9

  121. Here’s another commentary:

    http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2008/01/skunks-and-their-tactics.html

    The people at the Mises Institute, who were closely tied to the Ron Paul newsletters that have so many people sick to their stomachs are stooping to a new low. These people have no shame.

    Read on….

    http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2008/01/skunks-and-their-tactics.html

  122. Classically Liberal,

    Ok, but wait. Your link calls Hans Hermann Hoppe “Nazi friendly”! Can you back that up?

  123. Hoppe and Neo-Nazi paper Junge Freiheit in Germany

    http://www.tomgpalmer.com/archives/022319.php

  124. Classically Liberal,

    Thanks for providing the link.

  125. Political correctness is a very strong signal of statism. In the mind of a statist, something is either required or banned. Either homosexual behavior is banned or it is required that everybody respect homosexual behavior. Either races or discriminated against by law or it is required that everybody treat races as equal in associational decisions. Statism, exemplified by its ideology of political correctness, recognizes no middle ground where all preferences and tastes can be respected by law. In the world of the statist, racial equality under law cannot occur without expunging private racial discrimination by screaming taboo and force of law, nor can homosexuals “be equal” unless everybody is forced to recognize homosexual marriages.

    In a world of liberty homosexual freedom and “homophobia” would coexist. Racial equality under law and racial discrimination in personal decisions by those who prefer such discrimination would coexist. Neither side would need to feel politically threatened by the other. All persons could satisfy their preferences, whether “vices” or “bigotry” or otherwise, as long as they are not initiating force. But this is not the wolrd the “cosmopolitan libertarians” want. They demand not just eradicating legal restrictions on their own vices, an opinion on which all libertarians agree, but they demand that we in the suburbs and the rural areas and anybody else who does not share their tastes recognize what many of us choose to believe are vices, for example homosexual “marriages”, adultery, and use of addictive drugs, as virtues. If we do not, they will lash out at us with the most viscious kind of hate as if we were trying to ban their vices. This is “very small tent” libertarianism since, as Ron Paul is demonstrating, the vast majority of libertarians are of the rural and suburban type, not of the urban “cosmopolitan” type.

    By eagerly participating in the politically correct smear campaign against Ron Paul on the very day of the traditionally most crucial primary, New Hampshire, many of the beltway “libertarian” / “cosmopolitan libertarian” has crowd have revealed their true anti-libertarian, pro-government colors. Some of these are just what Tom Paine called “sunshine patriots and summer soldiers”, Benedict Arnolds who switch sides at the first signs of trouble. But most have just lived around D.C. so long that they have become statists in their hearts. By getting so worked up about about somebody else’s personal preferences and opinions about race and homosexuality — which they choose to view as vices, as is their right — during the middle of the election campaign, they have demonstrated a preposterously strong streak of political correctness and thereby revealed a strong statist instinct.

    Only a statist believes that the middle of an election campaign, much less the very day of the traditionally most important primary, is the best time to publically air the possible personal vices of libertarian candidates, in order to distract attention away from that candidate’s political views and smear him. Indeed, this has always been the statist’s favorite tactic for smearing anti-government types in older organizations like the John Birch Society. Now we all except the “bigotry” of the JBS as historical gospel — the legacy of liberal and National Review-type MSM statists who then controlled the memetic agenda. The beltway “libertarian” smear campaign against Ron Paul is repeating almost exactly the tactics that statists like Bill Buckley pulled against the small-government JBS and the anti-interventionist Taft wing of the Republican party a generation ago.

    In the statist world of the “cosmopolitan libertarians,” only cosmopolitans get to satisfy their preferences and tastes (or as some others choose and should be free to choose to view them, vices) in the marketplace. Statists in their guts, the “cosmopolitan libertarians” view any differences in values as political threats. Suburban and rural preferences and tastes, whether vices (like racism and homophobia) or otherwise must therefore be shouted down and banned, and even the most ardent libertarian like Ron Paul for whom it is suggested might hold any such values they view as a political threat. That is why so much effort has been put in by, not just the straightforward enemies of liberty in the pro-war crowd, but even by some anti-war DC “cosmopolitan libertarians”, to sabotage Ron Paul’s campaign.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.