Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ron Paul

Jonah Goldberg’s column today is on Ron Paul.  Goldberg’s angle is that what gets overlooked because of his extreme foreign policy views is that Paul’s domestic agenda is entirely unrealistic.  Paul and his supporters ignore the fact that a President can’t do whatever he wants, he actually has to convince congress to go along with his policy views.  And in all his time in Congress Paul hasn’t been able to convince anyone of anything.

I almost always see eye to eye with Jonah, but we disagree slightly on Paul.  Goldberg views him as being a positive for Republicans because he brings a libertarian voice to the party.  I think he’s a negative viewing him as being almost entirely a crank and believing that extreme views on the right are far more damaging than the equivalent views on the left. 

And with Paul, it isn’t just foreign policy or the racism published in his newsletters but also his views on the Federal Reserve that I find beyond the pale.  I’ve actually heard the get rid of the Fed spiel before.  In 2006 a friend was asked to interview Aaron Russo about his documentary film America: Freedom to Fascism.  Russo was another libertarian and the film, while purportedly about the income tax being unconstitutional, was equally about the Federal Reserve and call for it to be abolished.  Just like Ron Paul, Russo’s argument was naïve, a historical, and conspiratorial (the financial system was controlled by the Rothschilds); in short the full paranoid school of politics.

In truth Paul is only slightly better on domestic policy than he is on foreign policy.  He tends to bring everything back to the Federal Reserve and the need to get rid of it--“audit it and then end it” in Paul’s words.  This is nuts and even if it weren’t it’s an absurd political point to be making because it isn’t going to happen.  Paul has the advantage of consistency, but as Rousseau pointed out that can be the attribute of a little mind.

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