Ron Paul’s quest to undo the party of Lincoln

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Trader666, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Ron Paul’s quest to undo the party of Lincoln
    By Michael Gerson, Published: January 1

    Let us count the ways in which the nomination of Ron Paul would be groundbreaking for the GOP.

    No other recent candidate hailing from the party of Lincoln has accused Abraham Lincoln of causing a “senseless” war and ruling with an “iron fist.” Or regarded Ronald Reagan’s presidency a “dramatic failure.” Or proposed the legalization of prostitution and heroin use. Or called America the most “aggressive, extended and expansionist” empire in world history. Or promised to abolish the CIA, depart NATO and withdraw military protection from South Korea. Or blamed terrorism on American militarism, since “they’re terrorists because we’re occupiers.” Or accused the American government of a Sept. 11 “coverup” and called for an investigation headed by Dennis Kucinich. Or described the killing of Osama bin Laden as “absolutely not necessary.” Or affirmed that he would not have sent American troops to Europe to end the Holocaust. Or excused Iranian nuclear ambitions as “natural,” while dismissing evidence of those ambitions as “war propaganda.” Or published a newsletter stating that the 1993 World Trade Center attack might have been “a setup by the Israeli Mossad,” and defending former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke and criticizing the “evil of forced integration.”

    Each of these is a disqualifying scandal. Taken together, a kind of grandeur creeps in. The ambition of Paul and his supporters is breathtaking. They wish to erase 158 years of Republican Party history in a single political season, substituting a platform that is isolationist, libertarian, conspiratorial and tinged with racism. It won’t happen. But some conservatives seem paradoxically drawn to the radicalism of Paul’s project. They prefer their poison pill covered in glass and washed down with battery acid. It proves their ideological manhood.

    In many ways, Paul is the ideal carrier of this message. His manner is vague and perplexed rather than angry — as though he is continually searching for lost car keys. Yet those who reject his isolationism are called “warmongers.” The George W. Bush administration, in his view, was filled with “glee” after the Sept. 11 attacks, having found an excuse for war. Paul is just like your grandfather — if your grandfather has a nasty habit of conspiratorial calumny.

    Recent criticism of Paul — in reaction to racist rants contained in the Ron Paul Political Report — has focused on the candidate’s view of civil rights. Associates have denied he is a racist, which is both reassuring and not particularly relevant. Whatever his personal views, Paul categorically opposes the legal construct that ended state-sanctioned racism. His libertarianism involves not only the abolition of the Department of Education but also a rejection of the federal role in civil rights from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    This is the reason Paul is among the most anti-Lincoln public officials since Jefferson Davis resigned from the United States Senate. According to Paul, Lincoln caused 600,000 Americans to die in order to “get rid of the original intent of the republic.” Likewise, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 diminished individual liberty because the “federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please.” A federal role in civil rights is an attack on a “free society.” According to Paul, it is like the federal government dictating that you can’t “smoke a cigar.”

    The comparison of civil rights to the enjoyment of a cigar is a sad symptom of ideological delirium. It also illustrates confusion at the heart of libertarianism. Government can be an enemy of liberty. But the achievement of a free society can also be the result of government action — the protection of individual liberty against corrupt state governments or corrupt business practices or corrupt local laws. In 1957, President Eisenhower sent 1,000 Army paratroopers to Arkansas to forcibly integrate Central High School in Little Rock. This reduced Gov. Orval Faubus’s freedom. It increased the liberty of Carlotta Walls LaNier, who was spat upon while trying to attend school. A choice between freedoms was necessary — and it was not a hard one.

    Paul’s conception of liberty is not the same as Lincoln’s — which is not a condemnation of Lincoln. Paul’s view would have freed African Americans from the statism of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Act. It would have freed the occupants of concentration camps from their dependency on liberating armies. And it would free the Republican Party from any claim to conscience or power.
  2. "Party of Lincoln"?

    Parties change their philosophies and names like I change my underwear... about once per month.

    There is no value, morality, principle in a "party name"... flip-flopping names/principles in an effort to capture votes.
  3. Mvector


  4. Ricter


    Thank you for reiterating a point I've made before. I'll happily cite this and give you credit, the next time I hear, "democrats supported slavery".
  5. Lucrum


    They DID of course. Now they support a different form of slavery, welfare dependance.
  6. Ricter


    *shrug* As I've said before, and as Scat just indirectly supported, the labels change but the type of person that would enslave another human being doesn't change.
  7. jem


    We agree...
    at their core one type of person believes the govt should be small and limited in accordance with real liberty and self determination and another type of person wants bigger oppressive govt, more rules, less freedom and less self determination.

    Its pretty easy to follow the people and the parties.
  8. Ricter


    It's not so clearcut. The type of person that you'd think wants smaller government, the entrepreneur, the "freemarketer", for example, wants more government when he's in trouble, as we've seen.

    All but the suicidal want more Life; Life seeks to grow. If they can get more individually, they do, but if they can't then they form groups to get more (we're animals, but social animals). The type who would enslave another man directly is more of a "sub-type".
  9. jem


    It is a spectrum... but it gets worse as you go to one side. Also the people who want more govt when they get in trouble are not really for limited govt. Big business pushes for big govt while paying lip service to liberty.

    For instance there is a party which showed no concern or respect for the constitution and liberty... it was willing to force you to give your money to a third party. They did this because their big insurance donors forced them to rule that way.
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    #10     Jan 3, 2012