With each passing day, the GOP nominee process does make a couple of things quite clear. Romney is the establishment choice as we all know and second, Ron Paul will likely have to run as an independent if he wants any chance at winning the Presidency.
More and more people each day are converting to Ron Paul with the same caveat. Everyone has reservations about his foreign policy. If they could just get past that, he would likely deny the establishment their candidate of choice.
That begs the question of just how ‘dangerous’ his foreign policy is to the security of the United States. Keep in mind, his belief is that our foreign policy of interventionism is a direct threat to our liberty as citizens. He believes that ‘potential’ threats from foreign sources is trumped by known threats to our liberty. Such as is the case with the PATRIOT Act. He’s been very consistent on this issue throughout the years. Most recently, he has been speaking out against the TSA actions in Tennessee.
First off, you need to decide which interpretation of ‘isolationism’ and ‘non-interventionism’ you wish to agree with. Depending upon your source, you can find differences or some that claim they are one and the same. I could write an entire novel examining just this issue alone. Suffice it to say his detractors tend to try to tag him with both labels.
We do know this for sure. Ron Paul believes in protecting the homeland first and foremost. No doubt because it’s what the Constitution declares a POTUS must do. Securing the borders would actually become a priority. In fact, here is his 6 point plan for doing just that.
Ron Paul’s six point plan puts a stop to illegal immigration:
- Physically secure our borders and coastlines. We must do whatever it takes to control entry into our country before we undertake complicated immigration reform proposals.
- Enforce visa rules. Immigration officials must track visa holders and deport anyone who overstays their visa or otherwise violates U.S. law. This is especially important when we recall that a number of 9/11 terrorists had expired visas.
- No amnesty. Estimates suggest that 10 to 20 million people are in our country illegally. That’s a lot of people to reward for breaking our laws.
- No welfare for illegal aliens. Americans have welcomed immigrants who seek opportunity, work hard, and play by the rules. But taxpayers should not pay for illegal immigrants who use hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, and social services.
- End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong.
- Pass true immigration reform. The current system is incoherent and unfair. But current reform proposals would allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the Heritage Foundation. This is insanity. Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and waiting periods.
I think this point gets lost on his supporters with reservations. He would enforce border security and illegal immigration more stringently than any other candidate out there. Including Mr. Border governor Rick Perry himself. Shouldn’t national defense job one start at our border? Name the candidate out there who you think would be tougher on the border and illegal immigration?
He has also been very clear of his intention to continue to hunt down terrorists. He doesn’t believe the way to do it is nation-occupying or nation-building. This is clearly the key area. I, like many others, don’t support his contention that 9-1-1 and other terrorists acts were a result of our meddling. One only need look at the stated beliefs of the various fanatical extremists operating around the globe to see that the entire Western way of life, not just our religious beliefs, are unacceptable to them and reason enough to attack us and our way of life.
One could make the case that the point is moot. Whether it is strictly their belief system or it has been incited by our presence, the end result is the same. In fact, if he were to see his policy through to fruition and withdraw the troops and close the bases, he would likely be forced to alter his stance when the attacks on America don’t subside. That gets to the crux of the issue.
Would America be substantially weakened by his policy? Would foreign countries that desire WMD’s now have carte blanche to obtain them? I don’t think anyone has any realistic fear of a ground attack on America. Not going to happen. In fact, even less likely under Ron Paul with a true secure border. The same goes for foreign terrorists entering America. Would home-grown terrorism rise?Would rogue nations enter new partnerships to conspire against us? Would a repeat of 9-1-1 or worse be a certainty?
All good questions. You could flip that on its head in search of an answer. Have our policies over the decades kept us safer? Clearly, we have been attacked despite our best efforts. I also believe many more would have been successful if not for using minor league terrorists to get the job done. Just look at the airline attacks that didn’t work. Usually due to ineptness, not an impenetrable defense. Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, was attempting to light his bomb. He was a success in my book merely by getting to that point. Same goes for the underwear bomber. He was igniting the bomb and would have succeeded with better planning and execution. The containment and subsequent arrest was after the fact.
The point is we spend a lot of money in foreign aid and military infrastructure overseas. Because our federal budget is so insanely large, supporters like to claim foreign aid is less than 1 percent. Sorry, but 1 percent of alot is alot.
Our military spending today virtually equals the entire output of the rest of the globe. During the Cold War, it ran at about 25%. Today, we spend around $700 billion annually on defense, far and away number one. We spend around $22-23 billion on foreign aid which actually doesn’t rank us very high based upon per capita spending.
If you’re looking at this issue entirely from a financial standpoint, we have spent many trillions of dollars in our history for foreign aid and overseas military conflicts. I don’t see this as black and white at all. To think that we could have been Switzerland-like for the last 235 years, remained neutral, and still have our world standing and liberty isn’t at all practical. But how do you place a value on how much is too much? If we had drawn the line at point X somewhere along the way, where would we be today?
Ron Paul doesn’t support isolationism or at least his interpretation of it. He clearly does support not intervening where our country or its citizens aren’t directly under threat. He also is Jeffersonian in his belief that entangling us in alliances is not in our best interests. Is the Bush doctrine more suited to todays geo-political atmosphere than the strict ideals of Thomas Jefferson over 200 hundred years ago? Would it have prevented 9-1-1? Would 9-1-1 have ever happened with a Ron Paul foreign policy in place previously? All arguable points either way.
The answer is there is no one size fits all answer. You, as a voter and as an American, must weigh out the pros and cons yourself when making this decision. This will always be an issue in which what is good for the goose may not be good for the gander. If you truly believe our country will be so weakened and vulnerable without the ability to defend ourselves by his policies, than you can’t vote for the guy. However, if you believe much of our foreign aid and military spending is all about the military-industrial complex, then you won’t think twice about it. Remember as well that our economy is far and away the world leader. They need us more than we need them. I can’t see cutting foreign aid across the board resulting in a large-scale rejection in all things America.
My hope would be that people will look past the rhetoric and soundbites to really delve into this issue. Reason being is that Ron Paul may represent the only real chance we have to enact economic Nyquil to our country. Hard choices require nasty medicine for a cure. It won’t be at all popular. It will be painful. It will require the full wrath of the establishment who resents the real solution even more than the average American.
I do know this. Nyquil is flat-out nasty going down, but I know the payoff is worth it.