So why is Paul repeatedly called an isolationist?
Apparently in today’s political world, being an isolationist means opposing the U.S. government’s policing the rest of the world through invasion, occupation, and war—that is, militarism. The word “isolationist” has always suggested a fear of foreigners, and no doubt those who apply the word to Paul want to cash in on that sense. So we are left with the daffy conclusion that Ron Paul is a xenophobic, head-in-the-sand isolationist precisely because he prefers peaceful trade with foreigners rather than invasion, occupation, and demolition of their countries.
If that’s what it means to be an isolationist, count me as one too.
It’s easy to understand why this inappropriate label is stuck on Paul. Establishment conservatives and progressives are terrified by him and desperately want him to go away. They’re terrified because he has done the worst thing imaginable: he has held up a mirror and reminded them of what they are.
He has shown establishment conservatives and even so-called Republican moderates (such as Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman) that they are, and long have been, apologists for empire and therefore betrayers of the republican (small-r) ideals they say they embrace.
Which brings us to the progressives. If you think establishment conservatives are scared of Ron Paul, imagine how Obama and his supporters must feel. Can you imagine their having to run against a staunch antiwar, pro-Bill of Rights opponent? This is the same Obama who has maintained Guantanamo, launched more deadly drone attacks than George W. Bush, signed into law the authority to detain individuals indefinitely without charge or trial, claimed he may kill even American citizens without due process, cracked down harshly on whistle-blowers, protected torturers from legal consequences, invoked state secrets to quash lawsuits by torture victims, and on and on.
Voters are trying to maneuver through the political bull crap this election season. From extreme right wing evangelical endorsed candidates to candidates that flip flop on issues and those that have little integrity, I have found one candidate that has not wavered in his position: Ron Paul. He represents what I believe, that the government’s role is a limited one. We need a leader like Paul who has a vision to bring the United States back to it’s glory. We need a leader that understands fiscal responsibility and will protect personal rights.
The main reason Republicans and Democrats don’t like Ron Paul is because of his foreign policy. But our current foreign policy is what has brought on more animosity against us. Theodore Roosevelt said to “speak softly and carry a big stick”. That is the type of foreign policy we should have. But many on both sides of the political isle think we need to be aggressive and have an “in your face” foreign policy. This post from Reason.com explains isolationism and imperialism and why Ron Paul is right with his foreign policy.
I am not a foreign policy expert, but I think it’s fairly easy to see that our involvement in policing the world and nation building is seen as intrusive and unwelcoming. We can be the great power we are without “poking the bear”. We can support our allies when they need us. We can be ready at a moments notice to strike if ever necessary. But we do not need to be antagonizing our neighbors.
What are your thoughts?