Rand Paul

Rand Paul on Meet The Press: Hillary Clinton a "War Hawk," "you have to change the whole war on drugs," and more


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was on Meet the Press yesterday, including the above segment about his recent charity trip to Guatemala, where he's been doing free eye operations since 1996. The clip above spends too much of its time debating whether or not the trip is simply a pre-advertisement for a presidential run (the short answer is yes, but so what).

But the topics covered also included the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, the drug war, militarization of police, and foreign policy and this is pretty meaty stuff (in bold)

Let's say none of this has to do with race. It might not, but the belief—if you're African American and you live in Ferguson, the belief is, you see people in prison and they're mostly black and brown, that somehow it is racial, even if the thoughts that were going on at that time had nothing to do with race.

So it's a very good chance that had this had nothing to do with race, but because of all of the arrest and…the way people were arrested, that everybody perceives it as, "My goodness, the police are out to get us," you know? And so that's why you have to change the whole war on drugs. It's not just this one instance.

On police militarization:

Homeland Security gave $8 million to Fargo to fight terrorism in Fargo, North Dakota. And I say if the terrorists get to Fargo, we might as well give up. I say that as a joke, but, I mean, it's like, "What are we doing spending $8 million in Fargo? What are we doing sending a tank?" There's an armored personnel carrier in Keene, New Hampshire.

On Democrats and Hillary Clinton:

…were I to run [for president], there's gonna be a lot of independents and even some Democrats who say, "You know what, we are tired of war. We're worried that Hillary Clinton will get us involved in another Middle Eastern war, because she's so gung-ho."

If you wanna see a transformational election in our country, let the Democrats put forward a war hawk like Hillary Clinton, and you'll see a transformation like you've never seen.

Full transcript here.

That last bit is a bit hyperbolic (like you've never seen?) but also on-target. Hillary is a hawk's hawk, which is one of the reasons Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic was so keen on talking to her and why she was so quick to slag President Obama as a prevaricator (rather than as simply another version of an ineffective interventionist).

On August 21, blogger and longtime Hit & Run reader Alan Vanneman flagged this bit, which has been described as the "money quote" from Clinton's Q&A with Goldberg. Read it closely and you start to understand why American foreign policy is so FUBAR:

I think we've learned about the limits of our power to spread freedom and democracy. That's one of the big lessons out of Iraq. But we've also learned about the importance of our power, our influence, and our values appropriately deployed and explained. If you're looking at what we could have done that would have been more effective, would have been more accepted by the Egyptians on the political front, what could we have done that would have been more effective in Libya, where they did their elections really well under incredibly difficult circumstances but they looked around and they had no levers to pull because they had these militias out there. My passion is, let's do some after-action reviews, let's learn these lessons, let's figure out how we're going to have different and better responses going forward.

As Vanneman notes:

Well, if that's a money quote, I want my money back. Hillary isn't saying that we shouldn't have gone into Iraq, or that we shouldn't have invaded Libya. No, our problem was that we didn't do it effectively! Yeah, that's the problem!

Read more here.

The Democratic National Committee responded to Paul's comments thus:

"Senator Paul's foreign policy vision is to retreat from our responsibilities abroad by ending all foreign aid to our allies—including Israel. That's the vision he's laid out and defended time and time again and that even conservatives have said would bring 'terrible misery' to millions of people across the globe."

The DNC is correct in noting that Paul has in the past proposed ending all foreign aid, including that to Israel. He has also denied that he proposed that, earning him a "pants of fire" rating from Politifact, the fact-checking operation. After releasing a budget proposal in 2011 that cut all foreign aid (and taking a ton of shit for it, especially the portion that would go to Israel), Paul released an amended budget:

Paul's new bottom line for foreign aid wasn't to cut it to zero. Rather, the proposal said, "Freeze foreign aid funding at $5 billion." Though the report doesn't say so explicitly, that would have been enough to cover the outlays for Israel.

Read whole thing here.

That's an important reminder that Rand Paul is a politician and that politicians are given not just to changing their minds but denying that they have ever changed their minds.

And yet, he's still basically right that he and Hillary Clinton (who in this case is standing in for just about every possible Republican presidential wannabe and most other Democrats too) disagree about foreign policy in really important ways. I've written elsewhere that I don't consider Paul an isolationist (a tag that is pretty accurate regarding Ron Paul). But far more important, Rand Paul at this stage of the game is the ONLY national politician who seems actually to be interested in acknowledging the failure of the past dozen-plus years of U.S. foreign policy as a failure of vision, not simply of tactics. Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, all the Bush admin flunkies, you name it: They're complaining that we didn't prosecute wars properly or do the right sort of occupation after various missions were accomplished. They're not really talking about larger questions of America's role in the world or thinking about jihadism as anything other than an excuse to keep growing the size and scope of Pentagon budgets, surveillance operations, and the like.

If Rand Paul remains the only major representative of either party who is willing to directly address those questions and offer up a less war-happy position, he's absolutely right that he's going to be incredibly attractive to independents and Democrats. Not simply because they're tired of "war," but they're tired of a generally failed policy being pursued with at best minor modifications.

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  1. Rands Paul hates women and wants your children to be beheaded by terrorists on Main Street, USA!

    1. Rand Paul: He puts millionaires before your children.

  2. Terrorists in Fargo? The Coen Brothers should make a movie about that.

    1. +1 Wood Chipper

    2. They slipped over the border with the goal of disrupting this year’s sugar beet crop. What will the USA do without its source for heavily subsidized sugar?

  3. Recognizing that it’s a mistake to pin too much of your hopes on a politician (e.g. pray for us Obama), I really really really am getting the sense that Rand Paul is going to force some substantive change. It’s going to get interesting.

    It’s also interesting how an eye surgeon is a moron, but a man with credentials but no accomplishments is just too brilliant for mere mortals to understand.

    1. Paul has an M.D. He’s just as credentialed. He just happens to have done real work during his life. Progressives hate that. They love the fantasy of academia being more important than real work.

      1. One of the critics of Chelsea Clinton talking about money recently started by saying, of course she is an accomplished young woman, referring to her several advanced degrees. No…those are credentials, not accomplishments, and how sad really that a 34 year old woman has really no accomplishments she can point to. Yet, someday..Senator Chelsea…Governor Chelsea…

    2. He just misses that invaluable experience as a community organizer…

  4. Reason misses the real outrage. They actually tried to slam him for doing free eye surgery in Guatemala. No kidding.


    CHRIS JANSING: And now to a Meet the Press exclusive: A journey to Guatemala with Kentucky Senator — and Doctor — Rand Paul. Top Republicans eyeing a run for president in 2016 have spent a lot of time in two key battleground states: 20 visits to Iowa, 10 more to New Hampshire. But so far, only Paul has turned a foreign country into a unique photo op….

    Footage of poverty-stricken eye patients.

    CHRIS JANSING: … A mission to restore sight, and hope, to the poorest of the poor. And if it all plays well to American voters it could further Rand Paul’s personal mission, too — to position himself for a race for president.

    Oh, please.

    RAND PAUL: I’ve been doing, you know, this kinda stuff for 20 years and so–

    CHRIS JANSING: But not in a foreign country.


    1. It continued

      RAND PAUL: Well, you know, depicting who I am, I think, is an important part of– presenting a face to the public.

      CHRIS JANSING: There is no doubt about the humanitarian aspect of this trip…. Chronicling it all are Paul’s advertising team…. Whose TV commercials helped him with his upset win for Senate four years ago. Also along, a film crew from Conservative super PAC Citizens United, with equipment that included a drone for aerial shots, and its co-founder and President Dave Bossie.

      Citizens United! We switch to an interview with Bossie.

      CHRIS JANSING (TO DAVID BOSSIE): Does having Citizens United, Dave Bossie, there make it look more political?… Bossie did some charity work of his own, helping to install a water filtration system. But he spent many hours with Senator Paul and gave advice to the camera crew. For Paul, too, long hours in the O.R. were interspersed with interviews, multiple conversations with us over three days where nothing was off limits….

      Imagine if Hillary had any usable skill and went to Guatemala to help poor kids for free. She would be portrayed as the new Mother Theresa. Paul does it and it is just a photo op and really really bad because well some guy who was associated with Citizens United showed up.

      1. Imagine if Hillary had any usable skill


      2. Imagine if Hillary had any usable skill

        Smearing women to defend predatory men is a skill that she’s used a time or two.

      3. Chronicling it all are Paul’s advertising team…. Whose TV commercials helped him with his upset win for Senate four years ago. Also along, a film crew from Conservative super PAC Citizens United, with equipment that included a drone for aerial shots, and its co-founder and President Dave Bossie.

        Dr. Paul–if you can even call him that–probably even agreed to take and sign photos with supporters at one point. In all my years, I’ve never seen such a shameless political ham.

        The great thing about the internet and the fragmentation/specialization of reporting is that it’s forced the former mainstream press to drop its pretense of impartiality. In the post-Crowley, Fox News era, no one has any illusions as to whether media talking heads are the wise, “just the facts, ma’am” political stewards of the American public.

      4. Well, of course they had to take the Citizens United film crew. Otherwise the actual press wouldn’t have shown up. They only show up when they can score points for the left.

        Which they did, or at least tried to do.

  5. The thing I find incredibly strange is how much a neoconservative hyper-interventionism has become the norm for both parties. As Gillespie says, Paul isn’t exactly an isolationist/principled non-interventionist. Really, his geopolitics ultimately wind up sounding like what, until really maybe a decade or so ago, was mainstream conservative consensus. If someone today were to advocate the substance of the Weinberger Doctrine (wikipedia.org/wiki/Weinberger_Doctrine) or the Powell Doctrine (wikipedia.org/wiki/Powell_doctrine), they’d be brandished isolationists. Much the same could be said of Kissingerian realism. It’s crazy.

    1. Paul isn’t an isolationist. And if he does get elected President, I think he can be relied on to do the right thing if events force him to. That means he will end up doing things his peacenik Libertarian supporters may find shocking.

      1. Perhaps.

        The thing that surprises me, though, is just how much his position is branded isolationist. As you say, it’s not. It’s just not so hyper-interventionist as what has become the cross-party consensus.

        1. That is how politics works. You try and make your opponent out to be a radical to scare off the mushy middle.

          I think it is a pretty dumb attack. Most people want to be isolationist and don’t care about the rest of the world. The charge that stuck against Ron Paul was that he was some kind of a nut who would spend four years apologizing for America rather than defending it. I don’t think Rand is suspect able to that charge.

          1. Ron Paul manages to critique US policy in the most electorally stupid ways. Rand is smart enough to state those critiques in more neutral language, and lo and behold, they’re quite popular.

            1. The other thing is that the way things are going, we very well may be at war before the end of the year or before 2016. So the nature of the debate may change such that nothing anyone is saying now will be remembered or mean anything. I hope not but I have this impending sense of doom lately.

              Also, thanks for the weight lifting tips. What you sent me is exactly what I was looking for. Plan to start tomorrow morning first thing.

              1. Ah, you are now in the Uncle Warty’s Squat and Deadlift for Great Justice and Might program now?

                It is working for me.

              2. very well may be at war before the end of the year or before 2016.

                We’re at war now, and have been pretty constantly for a long, long time.

              3. Plan to start tomorrow morning first thing.

                Sweet. Have fun.

            2. No disrespect, but I have to disagree. As John suggests, there is some substantive difference between the two. Paul fils isn’t really arguing, as his father had, for an anti-interventionist foreign policy. When you examine it, it basically comes out as what, like I said, was mainstream conservative geostrategic thinking until maybe a decade or so ago. It’s just the political consensus has become so hyper-interventionist that that thinking looks relatively non-interventionist.

              1. This. Rand sounds like Weinberger. I can appreciate that although I would probably be even more restrictive on the use of the military.

                Ron has been sounding nutty as of late. I wonder if he is getting dementia sometimes.

                1. You mean, like when his team of crack Twitter staffers danced on Chris Kyle’s grave hours after he had been murdered?

                  Ron has always been a faithful Austrian, a die-hard libertarian, and a terrible, tone-deaf politician.

          2. …who would spend four years apologizing for America rather than defending it.

            Thank God we didn’t end up with a president like that.

            1. Man I wish this site had an “up vote” button! Literally Laughed Out Loud

      2. This is why I refuse to get excited about him, or any politician. I’ll vote for him if given the opportunity, but at the end of the day he’s just another politician.

        1. At the end of the day events dictate actions more than ideology and any President is the President of the entire country and has to compromise and reach out to the other side if he is going to be anything but a complete disaster.

          1. Yeah, exactly. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who’s sitting in that chair, they all end up acting about the same. A single libertarianish president won’t be able to accomplish anything as long as the vast majority of the country still desire to be ruled by others. These things have to be accomplished bottoms up, not from the top down.

            1. I don’t necessarily agree.

              If a chief executive was hell-bent on getting rid of government, he actually has the authority to do so. All he’d need to do is fire (via executive order) everyone working in a given agency and not re-hire replacements.

              Yes, the next asshole could rehire, but after 4(8) years all the bureaucrats would be off to new jobs (hopefully in the private sector) and all that experience on how to do evil would be lost. Net plus.

              Of course, that would require some HUGE chops.

              1. But he would never have popular support to do these things. You have to build popular support before you can act. If Paul did as you suggest he would be impeached – it would set the cause of liberty back 50 years.

                1. Impeached for what? Completely within his powers.

                  1. Maybe so, but if he goes in and dismantles the federal bureaucracy, you’re going to see an endless stream of images of seniors without their social security checks and starving children. It may all be within his powers, but he’ll be gone.

                  2. Impeached for what? Completely within his powers.

                    His powers are whatever he can convince 2/3 of Congress his powers are.

              2. The bureaucrats will be on unemployment. You ever meet some of these morons ? No company will hire them.

        2. I understand what thom is saying…

          I hate to vote for anyone to be my emperor. I don’t even want to be ruled by a libertarian emperor.

          But if we do have to have an emperor, a libertarian one is a lot better than a social conservative or a progressive.

          So, I wouldn’t say he’s just another politician. He’s the best hope we’ve had to move this country in a more libertarian direction…ever.

          1. He’s the best hope we’ve had to move this country in a more libertarian direction…ever.

            The weird thing is that this might be literally true. I’m a huge admirer of Jefferson the writer, but Jefferson the politician was an explicit empire builder.

            When we’re ranking presidents, we tend to segregate 20th-century men from the 18th and early 19th-century variety under the assumption that something changed radically under Lincoln and then Wilson/FDR, but many of the founding fathers were wishy-washy in their liberalism and tended toward political convenience much more than their purported liberal ethics. Maybe Rand would morph into some kind of lukewarm Eisenhower character if he were elected, but Eisenhower would be a shit ton better than what we’ve had for the past three generations.

    2. Paul needs to get nominated by a party that doesn’t share his enthusiasm for libertarianism.

      He needs the votes and support of establishment Republicans in order to get nominated.

      If you can’t get a libertarian into the office without him saying things and posturing himself in such a way that makes establishment Republicans comfortable, then it would be childish for us to expect him to run with soothing their concerns in various ways.

      I’m not looking for him to be a protest candidate. I want to see him win. If he has to throw them a bone every once in a while to make that happen, I can live with that. What I can’t live with his president Hillary fucking Clinton. What I can’t live with is another four or eight years of progressive politics.

      Getting 90% of what we want so we don’t have live with 100% of what we don’t want should be a no-brainer.

      1. Hell, getting 10% of what we want instead of having to live with 100% of what we don’t should be a no brainer. But, Libertarians have never been big on accomplishing anything.

        1. How about just stop 90% of what we don’t want. I mean, the bar is really fucking low.

          1. Exactly. The GOP has been going the wrong way, only slower. Actually stopping things once in a while would be nice.

            The GOP is probably going to win the Senate back this fall. Once they do, do you see them forcing thru a repeal of ACA? Yeah, I dont either.

            And their excuse would be that Obama would veto it, or that the press would make them look bad, or some shit like that. Or that they are waiting for a GOP president.

            This has been my problem with them, they are a bunch of pussies. The House could have defunded the ACA in 2011. They couldnt repeal it, but they could have shut the entire mother fucking system down. Oh noes! Romney might have lost in 2012!

            1. They don’t have to repeal the thing–if that’s not politically expedient.

              They could just repeal the individual mandate.

              And if that makes the whole house of cards collapse, that’s hardly their fault–for building ObamaCare on such a wildly unpopular and immoral cornerstone.

              1. Obama would veto that. I doubt they would get the numbers to override the veto.

                1. Doesn’t work that way. All spending bills have to originate in the HOR. So the HOR passes a spending bill, the Senate can accept it or send it back with suggested revisions, then the POTUS can sign or veto. But not one red cent can be spent without the approval of the HOR.
                  In theory. What really happens is that the MSM starts telling the populace that the Evil Republicans have SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT, while showing video of starving people who aren’t getting their food stamps, SSI, or Unemployment benefits.
                  Then everybody gets together and passes a “temporary” budget. Meanwhile. the POTUS has used the Federal Reserve to find imaginary money (I mean more imaginary than usual) to keep funding his priorities.
                  But Ken is right, if the House of Representatives had any actual BALLS, they could shut the whole thing down in a minute flat.

    3. Weinberger made the most sense in general. It should be noted that it was a good thing that Weinberger was there to offset Shultz and his “preventative war” theories.

  6. They’re trying really hard to provide “balance” to whether Rand Paul is doing something good by restoring sight to the blind.


    1. It’s a trifling thing, much less important than Obama increasing racial awareness.

    2. When they follow Hillary out to her yearly baby harbor seal clubbing job the report will be glowing.

  7. Why do you think there haven’t been terrorist attacks on Fargo, mister smarty? Next you’ll say we need to give up our tiger-repelling rocks.

    1. I thought we had to gear them up for the inevetable Fargo race war.

      1. Given that the largest minority in North Dakota is the Sioux, maybe it isn’t a dumb idea to gear up for Custer II: Electric Boogaloo.

  8. Well now that makes a lot of sense dude.


    1. You were more on topic yesterday, Anon-bot.

  9. My passion is, let’s do some after-action reviews, let’s learn these lessons, let’s figure out how we’re going to have different and better responses going forward.


  10. “Let the Democrats put forward a war hawk like Hillary Clinton, and you’ll see a transformation like you’ve never seen.”

    Let the Republicans put forward another Bush, and we’ll see no transformation at all.

    If they nominate anyone other than Paul, I hope there’s a real backlash.

    1. The Republican will lose, unless it is Rand. My vote will not only NOT go Republican, but I may in fact, vote Democrat out of spite.

      The Republicans can either get on board, or they can suffer the fate of the Whigs. Burn it all down.

      1. If large numbers of people vote libertarian team red may see that as votes they could have gotten had they moved in that direction. If people vote D as a protest to a neocon candidate team red will move even more progressive under the mistaken belief that the “swing voters” live in some mythological space between Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

      2. “The Republicans can either get on board, or they can suffer the fate of the Whigs. Burn it all down.”

        Hell yeah! 2 thumbs up, one million “up votes”, and 5,000 likes!

  11. Which character did Rand Paul play in Scrubs?

    1. The Zack Braff one?

  12. If Rand Paul remains the only major representative of either party who is willing to directly address those questions and offer up a less war-happy position, he’s absolutely right that he’s going to be incredibly attractive to independents and Democrats.

    This is why I think many people around here overestimate RP’s chances. You honestly believe Democrats are anti-war on principle, and not just anti-Iraq-War because they hated Bush for stealing the 2000 election from the climate expert guy?

    In a Paul vs. Hillary contest, the overwhelming majority of Democrats would just say “Sure, I’m not happy she voted for the Iraq War, buuuuuuuuuut…” and then proceed to vote for her anyway. Because of the issues they genuinely do care about (abortion).

    1. I’m convinced the hippies in the 60s weren’t actually anti-war, they were just upset because we were fighting against the communist instead of with them.

      1. No, they were upset about the draft. They have war boners like everybody else did until confronted with the idea that they might be the one to have to go carry a gun.

        1. They have war boners like everybody else did until confronted with the idea that they might be the one to have to go carry a gun get shot.

  13. It is an interesting question what the Left will do if Hilary wins the nomination. First, the left hates the Clintons. If she gets the nomination the butt hurt among the left will be epic. At the same time, how can a good leftist vote against the first woman to be nominated by a major party to be President? Isn’t it a woman’s turn? And the Republicans are evil and will probably have a death grip on the Congress in 2016. We can’t allow them to own the entire government can we?

    It is going to be fun watching them whine and cry and have to give up their virtue (again) and vote for her. If of course by some chance Hillary doesn’t get the nomination, the butt hurt and invective that her boomer hack following will spew is going to be equally epic and perhaps even more entertaining.

    1. The left doesn’t care about issues like others do.

      It’s all about posturing against their opponents.

      They’ll all fall in line. And if she does everything George W. Bush did, they’ll all support her for it–just like they did with Barack Obama.

      Same as it ever was.

      1. They didn’t fall in line for Gore. But, yes I think they will fall in line, but it is not guaranteed.

        The thing to remember about the Left is that you are right they don’t care about ‘issues’. The 21st Century Left isn’t even like the old left. The old left had an ideology and stuck to it. The current left is too insane even for that. For them politics and voting is about personal self actualization. I am not kidding. They don’t vote to accomplish anything. They vote to distinguish themselves from the “other” and as a form of personal self affirmation. It is not unthinkable that they could vote for a third party loser, if they convinced themselves that doing so was “the right thing to do”.

        1. in 2008 i heard people say they would vote for obama because the country needs a black president. which is exactly John’s point, it was really all about them.

    2. At the same time, how can a good leftist vote against the first woman to be nominated by a major party to be President?

      Rand could choose a black, lesbian woman as a running mate.

      1. Maybe Thomas Sowell could take one for the team and have a sex change.

        1. Transgender? How progressive. Even better!

    3. Yes, but you are forgetting turnout. Obama inspired people to come out and vote, and that is a major reason he won: because of the huge turn out. If enough liberals are turned off by the thought of a President Hillary, they don’t have to vote against her to change the election, all they have to do is stay at home.

  14. Well, of course Rand Paul is evil for providing free eye surgery to children in Guatemala. President Obama will say so too, right after his round of golf is over.

    1. Well yes – Rand Paul has to operate on them to cure them. Obama only has to touch them with the tip of his finger.

  15. So when Rand Paul does pro bono eye surgeries in Guatamala, it’s a cynical political ploy. When Harry Reid spends my money on cowboy poetry, it’s because he cares, he really cares.

    1. Real charity s done with other people’s money.

      1. Well, if we just let people go around ‘doing good’ with their own money, how can we ensure they are doing it for the right reasons?

        1. their “own money”…good one.

      2. Yep. If Paul had forced through a measure that appropriated federal funds towards helping Guatemalan children get eyes surgeries, that would be genuine work that he could be proud of.

        1. With a rider banning toys in happy meals in Guatemala.

        2. Even if corruptocrats in the Guatemalan government stole all of the money before even one child got a surgery, that’s still the proper way to do it, else anarchy like you libertarians want, and the end of civilization.

  16. Of course the libertarian Paul wants to restore sight to poor Guatemalan children. Do you think that blind children can polish a good monocle?

    And don’t be fooled by his ‘change the war on drugs’ rhetoric. What this crazed anarchist really means is END the war on drugs, because little Guatemalan orphans who can now see to polish a good monocle, can also walk across the TX border with 100 lbs of Opium strapped to their little backs.

    The only thing that can save us from something as evil as a Rand Paul is another Bush or Clinton as POTUS 2016, go Hillary, go Jeb! For the children!

  17. I don’t mind the reporter pointing out the photo-op aspect of Paul’s mission, but I know if he were a Dem this aspect of the trip would have ever so lightly been touched on then immediately abandoned. Instead a good 30% of the piece was about how opportunistic the filming was.

    1. Yeah, a politician engaging in politics. Can you imagine

    2. And even if it is a cynical ploy, how is it not a million times better than all of the normal, cynical, bullshit political campaign events that don’t also happen to help needy people in life changing ways?

  18. his recent charity trip to Guatemala, where he’s been doing free eye operations since 1996.


    RAND PAUL: I’ve been doing, you know, this kinda stuff for 20 years and so–

    CHRIS JANSING: But not in a foreign country.

    Is Jansing or Gillespie right?

    1. Paul says later that he first treated Guatemalans in 1996. I don’t think he’s been doing it annually since then, though.

    2. The kids would travel to the US before, now he’s the one doing the travelling.

  19. Rand Paul namedropping Keene? Is that an anarchist dog-whistle?

  20. “I’ve written elsewhere that I don’t consider Paul an isolationist (a tag that is pretty accurate regarding Ron Paul).”

    Please prove that Ron is ‘isolationist’ rather than ‘non-interventionist’. Ron has NEVER said the US should cut it self off from the world. Ron holds the same foreign policy as the US Founders. Were our Founders also isolationist?



    1. I’ll be contrarian enough to say that Rothbard and Old Right intellectuals used the word isolationist to mean what contemporaries mean when we say non-interventionist, namely opposing military adventurism while supporting unregulated trade with other nations. We shouldn’t let the hawks redefine the term as a pejorative without fighting for it.

      So if they want to call us isolationists, that’s historically accurate and acceptable, particularly since we get to call them bloodthirsty warmongers who want to see America’s soldiers die by the thousands while destroying the economy and inviting terrorist blowback against innocents.

    2. I think the Founders could be accurately called isolationist. But I doubt they would hold the same views today. In 1776 the US was weak compared to the major powers of the time. Our ability to win Independence owes a great deal to the fact that England had other places they needed their troops. The Napoleonic Wars were still the leading force of history.
      It was in the context of a European Great Game that Independence was won. The founders were wary of involving our young, vulnerable nation in the wars of Europe.
      At some point, we became strong enough to defend ourselves, and engage in wars of conquest.
      It wasn’t really until WWII that we became a major, indeed one of THE two major, players in the world. That was an accident. All of the other major industrial powers of the world had been devastated by the war. This is what led to both our incredible commercial dominance, as any other country who could have once produced consumer goods was a smoking ruin, as well as leading us to the position where we were now the ones responsible for ensuring the safety of shipping on the high seas, for instance. This job had once been that of the British Empire, but their naval and industrial capabilities had been decimated by the war.
      We were thrust into the position of Super Power by history, and I doubt the Founders would have been blind to that responsibility. But that does not mean that they would have been happy with the spirit of foreign adventurism we currently seem to display.

      1. So, Reason imposes a 1500 character limit on posts. I had written a more involved comment, but was denied the ability to post due to too much length. Therefore, I started going through and deleting whole sentences. I did poorly, no doubt due to good beer. Re-reading the post, I notice some historical inaccuracies, concerning the timeline of our founding and the Napoleonic Wars for instance.
        But the overall picture is, I believe, still accurate.

  21. For whatever reason Rand Paul goes to a place in need and does something, a democrat would try to pass a law requiring others to pay for someone to go and do something.

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