In every political campaign, there are issues of the moment, as well as defining issues that relate to the course--even the existence--of a people and their culture. Often those defining issues remain beneath the surface; often no one wants to talk about the unpleasant realities that call the future of a Nation into question. Indeed, like the courtiers in the "Emperor's New Clothes," politicians tend to avoid what is awkward, what calls for difficult decisions; decisions, which may offend some of those from whom they hope or expect support. The 2008 Presidential campaign might have been a classic example of such avoidance but for one man: Texas Congressman Ron Paul. And predictably, the response in both the mainstream media and among Dr. Paul's political rivals has been to continue to evade & avoid those issues; to respond to Ron Paul by ridiculing him as unelectable, as somehow too impracticable to be considered: The age old ruse of the political or academic mountebank.
This, then, calls for a decision! Are Dr. Paul's issues impracticable, unimportant? Are his stands wise or foolish? Have we, rather, entered an era where George Washington's admonition, "that honesty is always the best policy," no longer applies; where the completely honest and honorable man is obsolete? Yet, if Ron Paul's issues are, in fact, the essential issues, dare we vote for anyone else; dare we vote for those in denial of those issues that will determine the future of America and the Americans. Dare we vote for anyone, whose response to a real problem is the equivalent of a foppish courtier, praising the naked Emperor's "New Clothes?"
Rationalizers for arbitrary Government have suggested to three generations of American College students that the Constitution, as written and intended, might be outdated; that without "liberal" or a "living" interpretation, the Constitution would be a barrier to a sound economic policy, needed to meet the problems of the day. This, of course, is a plea for us to abandon the concept of the "Rule of Law" in favor of Rule By Whim; rule according to the prevailing notions of whatever group of theorists control the Government at any given moment in time. Yet even to the cynic, to one who does not care about our Liberty--our rights not to have Government appropriate our freedom of action or the fruits of our labor and ingenuity;--one who wants to enable Government to move in new unauthorized directions; there is the most compelling evidence--evidence as immediate as the present panic at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue in the District Of Columbia--that the Constitution is both more timely and relevant than anything being prattled by its foes and disdainers. This is as clear today, as at any time in our history:
Those who remember their American History, may recall that the major precipitant to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was economic instability, resulting from conditions not unlike those at present undermining economic stability in America. There was fiat money inflation in some of the States, and general uncertainty as to trade practices and the sanctity of agreements in the face of post war conditions and the historic unreliability of politicians and office holders.
Thus the Constitution did not address any of the social questions loved by Leftist demagogues; leaving those wholly to State and local Governments. Instead, it focused on producing predictable conditions for a genuine market economy; to enable free men to operate with uniform weights & measures--including that most important measure in any economy, the value of the monetary unit (the American Dollar). It sought to protect our contractual obligations from political interference; sought to safeguard the people in the fruits of their labor and in their plans for the future, prohibiting the States from making anything but gold or silver a medium for the discharge of debt. It prohibited ex post facto laws, which could alter the commitments that free men had made to one another in reliance on a non-intrusive Government. In addition, Article I, Sec. 8, of the Constitution gave the Congress power to deal with those who would restrain the free flow of American commerce.
Nothing in the Fathers' approach was intended only for an age or era. Their formula, drawn from the experience of the ages, was to prove the basis for an ongoing American success. By that formula, they secured the very essence of a free market; the type of free market, which even Socialist theorists in Europe now generally admit will out perform any other. And, yet, from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, today, we have a hue and cry for gimmicks that have no purpose, whatsoever, but to alter that fair and neutral "playing field"; that which made possible what once mystified the world as an "American Miracle." Why? Why, indeed! We are letting men, who cater not to the long-term interests of America, but to the immediate interests of their favored constituencies, as seen through distorted eyes, warp the working of that once free market at every possible opportunity. Thus we careen back towards that very instability, from which our written Constitution was intended as a safeguard.
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson designed an American foreign policy, which treated others with respect but "punished the first insult." We did not set out to change anyone, unless by setting an honorable example. We sought trade and good will with all mankind; but as we would not suffer them to tell us how we should live--to define our freedom for us;--we did not seek to define freedom or virtue for any other nation. We recognized, as a major element of that policy, the long-standing principle of the Law of Nations, that each nation must be the sole judge of its own internal affairs.
In 1961, Dean Rusk, a Leftwing ideologue, appointed as Secretary of State for the Democratic Kennedy/Johnson Administration, articulated the foreign policy, which President Bush has adopted: We were going to push an egalitarian revolution---"our revolution," as Dean Rusk would define it--throughout the Third World, before the Communists could sell theirs. And, of course, Dean Rusk defined his idea of "our revolution" as, basically, "one man/one vote." While it may have escaped notice in Washington, that this fantasy revolution of Mr. Rusk's has led to genocide in several lands--including the infamous slaughter of the one time Tutsi leaders in Rwanda;--it is incredible that almost no one will even point out the manifest injustice of any nation trying to change the culture of any other.
We have, of course, no moral authority, whatsoever, to tell anyone else how they shall select their Government. And until the recent revival of the Dean Rusk policy, many of us had hoped that we had abandoned the idea of trying to define "freedom" for other peoples in terms of the priorities of Leftwing American theorists. It was something of a jolt, then, when we saw the President and Congress applauding a woman with a finger dyed blue, as though it were a major achievement that people in conquered Iraq had gone to the polls, and had their fingers dyed, in order to vote for lists of candidates whom their local mullahs had told them to support. No where in the speech that attended that Congressional moment, was there a claim that even 10% of those voting understood the job descriptions of those being elected--much less the actual merits of the candidates. There was certainly nothing suggested by the "video op" projected, that conjured up any image, in anyway comparable to the growth of free institutions in America.
Yet it was not that farce, which should most bother us. It is the potential for lasting anti-American bitterness, when President & Congress embark on a policy to change the culture of another people. The British experiment in Ireland, for over three centuries, should come immediately to mind. The British and Irish are genetic cousins; but that did not make cultural humiliation palatable. We hear now that the surge in Iraq is "working." We are sure that it is, from a military perspective. But does not the ultimate significance depend upon what your real objective may be? Certainly, it is only common sense, that putting more soldiers in the field will better tend to overcome those arrayed against you. It is what follows that is the issue.
There were long periods in which the British occupation and social engineering in Ireland proceeded in relative peace. Yet, at the end of the day, the bitterness was still there. Go into an Irish pub in Boston--three thousand miles away--and tell us that even three generations after Irish independence, that bitterness is over!
When all is said, Iraq is 2% of the Islamic world. Even if every Iraqi suddenly decided to love America and Americans, the proclaimed policy of trying to change Islamic culture would remain an insult; would aid--and materially aid--the recruiting of future terrorists at every major Islamic University on earth. And unless someone sends a very clear message to those inside the D.C. beltway, that Americans have had enough of such folly, the drama queens--those politicians to whom everything is a crisis in the quest for always trying to make themselves sound more important--will draw us into a senseless war with Iran; a war, which based on the costs of our continued occupation of Iraq--almost five years after we actually won that war--would likely finish the job of sending our economy into total chaos.
No one can tell you, in a Constitutional Republic, that what the Constitution permits or does not permit, does not matter; that it does not matter, whether men honor their oaths of office or not; that freedom can ever be secure, once the Rule of Law is totally ignored. And what about the economy, in an America dominated by an Enron type morality?
No one who understands the rudiments of economics can tell you that the value of the currency unit does not matter. Certainly no one who measures anything in dollars, whether it is an insurance policy, the price of goods being produced, a cash credit, debit or what have you, can tell you that the value of the Dollar does not matter.
Yet, only Ron Paul will discuss both the specific language of the Constitution and what threatens the Dollar. None of the other candidates has shown any willingness to debate whether the political proposals they favor, in other contexts, are or are not in fact Constitutional. None of the other candidates has been willing to discuss the actual effect of their proposals on the long term value of the Dollar.
Dare we elect an ostrich as President? Or a fatuous man or woman, who struts around intellectually naked, expecting to be praised for his or her wonderful new ideological garments, because those who fawn over them have assured everyone that they are indeed "magnificent?"
We cannot tell you that Ron Paul will win the Presidency in November. While we certainly work & hope for the best, it remains a mountain to climb. What we do know is this: Those who seek to push through programs without critical analysis, will note how many votes Ron Paul does receive; will note those numbers, because they will understand that they reflect an awakening demand that our elected office holders finally face the real issues. The higher the Paul vote--win or lose--the more powerful the message, the greater the deterrent to a continuation of the reckless abandon of basic principle, which has so characterized political initiatives in the Clinton/Bush era. Win or lose, the Paul vote will be the sturdy base for a more positive future!