Why Ron Paul Lost Me

Q: Dr. Hurd. I understand your view on Iran. And the arguments made against Ron Paul’s stance. But Ron Paul has one point his opposition always ignores that I agree with. War should be properly declared through the Congress. President Obama used U.S force against Libya without consulting Congress. This is wrong. I suspect you agree this is wrong. I wish people like yourself would frame your foreign policy arguments in a manner that shows consistency with the Constitution. That’s how Ron Paul has drawn so much support.

Dr. Hurd’s reply:

I don’t see Ron Paul’s support. Do you? Where is that support, beyond a small minority following? He couldn’t defeat, or even put a dent in, Mitt Romney’s candidacy. Romney stands for both everything and nothing at the same time, just like most politicians. Everybody knows it, and that’s why nobody on the ‘non-left’ is at all enthused with Mitt Romney, other than as a possible way to throw Obama out of office. That doesn’t say much about Ron Paul’s support.

Ron Paul is not merely against a President declaring war without consulting or getting permission from Congress. Ron Paul is against war — any war, from what I can tell — in the first place. It’s disingenuous to say, ‘I’m against the Iraq War or intervention in Libya because the President didn’t ask permission,’ when Ron Paul himself would never give that permission, in the first place.

He has to justify why, as a member of Congress, he never would give that permission in the first place.

Your question distracts us from the most important issue: When should the United States defend itself, and why? The greatest threat facing the United States is no longer Iraq, and never was Libya. It’s Iran. Ron Paul’s answer (in one of the debates) to the Iran threat is to practice the philosophy of Jesus Christ, the “Golden Rule” of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Excuse me? This is foreign policy? This is how we defend ourselves? It’s beyond idiotic to suggest that if we treat an aggressive bully the same as a peaceful person, it will lead to peace. And by the way, we already treat Iran that way. It hasn’t stopped them from escalating. In fact, they’re getting even more belligerent. The same thing happened with Hitler in the years leading up to World War II.

A President unwilling to consult Congress before using military force is bothersome and serious, I agree. But having a Commander-in-Chief who passively evades a real threat is worse.

As I’ve said, it would do us no good to rescue the fiscal solvency of the government and the private economy through Ron Paul’s economic program (which I largely support) if the military were completely gutted in the process. Without a proper defense, a thriving economy is meaningless because it will all be gone tomorrow.

As for Obama’s foreign policy, the main reason for opposing it is NOT that it costs money, or that he didn’t get enough consent from Congress. The main reason for opposing it is that it’s simply a joke. Obama makes friendly gestures towards the Muslim Brotherhood and publicly pleads with terrorist-sponsoring Iran to please, please come to the bargaining table so we can make concessions. These are far bigger problems than Obama’s questionable use of force in Libya.

Obama is like a little boy playing with toy soldiers. He has no idea what he’s doing, nor why he’s doing it. This is in no way a denigration of the military. Thanks to our military, we made better progress in Iraq than we deserved to, given the incoherence of the Bush foreign policy. And we managed to ultimately capture and kill Osama bin Laden, despite the fact that both the Bush and Obama administrations routinely pacify and appease dictatorial governments who have absolutely no moral right to exist.

Thank goodness for our military. They deserve a much better Commander-in-Chief than what they’ve had.

During his most recent run for President, Ron Paul did not do one thing to convince me he’d be an acceptable Commander-in-Chief. He has made it clear that he opposes almost all military spending, and that he’s possibly against war on principle. He cloaks his pacifism in an anti-Big Government stance. I’m as anti-Big Government as anyone. But I want government to be big and strong when it comes to protecting us from violent thugs. This is the whole point of having a Constitution in the first place.

I do not understand the unholy alliance of limited government and pacifism. This makes about as much sense to me as religious conservatives claiming to be for limited government. Ron Paul and libertarians like him claim, or at least strongly imply, that government should not do anything to protect our interests abroad, and that the sole purpose of a military is to defend ourselves once attacked—and only then. Are we to wait until North Korea launches a missile to strike the West Coast until we strike back? Are we to wait until Iran obliterates Israel before we take any action against them? Do we have no interests at all, other than our own territory, and only after we have been attacked or even destroyed?

Ron Paul completely lost me after his comments about applying the “Golden Rule” to the Middle East. Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama are two of the worst Commanders-in-Chief we’ve ever had. Ron Paul would have been just as bad, and maybe even worse. I didn’t think it was possible to say that about anybody. The truth I always suspected to be there came out when he said this. I have a hunch he lost a lot of other people, too. That’s why he’s nothing more than an also-ran who could not even give Mitt Romney a run for his money.