Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ron Paul On Foreign Policy

Since I'm a "Walk softly and carry a big stick." kind of guy I have to admit this has a certain appeal to me.

From the Union Leader:

It is not we non-interventionists who are isolationsists. The real isolationists are those who impose sanctions and embargoes on countries and peoples across the globe because they disagree with the internal and foreign policies of their leaders. The real isolationists are those who choose to use force overseas to promote democracy, rather than seek change through diplomacy, engagement, and by setting a positive example.

I do not believe that ideas have an expiration date, or that their value can be gauged by their novelty. The test for new and old is that of wisdom and experience, or as the editors wrote "historical reality," which argues passionately now against the course of anti-Constitutional interventionism.

A Paul administration would see Americans engaged overseas like never before, in business and cultural activities. But a Paul administration would never attempt to export democracy or other values at the barrel of a gun, as we have seen over and over again that this is a counterproductive approach that actually leads the United States to be resented and more isolated in the world.

I think Ron Paul missed an important factor here. Because while we have enough economic and technological prowess due to the current handling of the war on terror we are currently lacking (in the realm of public opinion) the moral authority to make the American model enviable. Additionally we are losing ground as in regards to being an educational powerhouse. Ultimately having students from other countries come here to learn and then export our ideas / values / model will be a winning strategy for combating numerous ills. However given his rather idealistic stance stance on the role of the federal government I doubt he would deal with the latter, ever.

After all from a strictly constitutional point of view education is an issue for the states. It may well be his staunch idealism that defeats him. Neither the GOP or your average American citizen are constitutional purists. Ultimately people are interested in legislation that produces results. To many Mr. Paul's most common answer of "That should be an issue for the states to decide." will seem like a lack of an answer. Additionally should he become president the number of idealistic changes he'll be able to make given the current situation in D.C. will make him about as effective of a leader as Jimmy Carter. Politics is about doing the possible rather than the ideal and that truth will prove to be Mr. Paul's unmaking.