Monday, July 09, 2007

Why Ron Paul is an ass-clown

I have been asked why I hate Ron Paul.

First off, I don't "hate" him. The fact is he is the only person running in either major party who actually seems to genuinely respect the constitution as written. And I include Fred Thompson (who I support) in that assessment.

The reason that I mock Ron Paul is that while he has left the Libertarian Party he has not shed the Libertarian naivety about foreign policy and the use of military force. In the Libertarian mind (and I speak as a former card-carrying Libertarian) the greatest force for evil on the planet is the US government.

As far as the Libertarians are concerned Red Chinese slave labor is fine as long as that means that consumer goods in the US are 2% cheaper than they otherwise would be.

To the Libertarians the constitution IS a suicide pact. A terrorist 100 megaton hydrogen bomb blowing up Chicago and killing 15 million people is preferable to listening in to the phone calls of an American citizen whose number was found in Osama bin Laden's PDA.

When Ron Paul says that we should "listen to the terrorists" he doesn't mean that we should monitor their communications so that we can more easily kill them. What he means is that we should find out what they want us to do so that they will stop trying to kill us.

Another name for "the list of stuff you have to do to stop the enemy from killing you" is "TERMS OF SURRENDER". Congressman Paul's strategy for fighting the War on Terror is to ask al Qaeda for its terms of surrender and hope that we can negotiate to avoid the full implementation of sharia law (at least in the short term).

So to sum up. I mock Ron Paul because he is not serious. Libertarians are so afraid of anything which might grow the power of the state that their only response to outside aggression is preemptive surrender. And that renders them craven and worthless. To quote John Stuart Mill:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

Libertarians are free to piss and moan about the faults of the American government (and in English rather than German or Russian) only because better men have fought and died on foreign battlefields to secure that right for them.

So until they are willing to join the world of grownups where the perfect is not allowed to become the enemy of the good and the lesser evil is often the only realistic choice they will continue to be objects of derision.