This is a difficult post to write. For most of my life, I have been a Ron Paul supporter but over the last year I have come to realize, through my extensive study of history, that, while Paul is right about the need to examine government agencies and eliminate useless agencies, his foreign policy is completely off the wall. His belief, and the belief of many of his libertarian followers, that we can get rid of every single regulation, including regulations dealing with civil rights for minorities is also wrong.
His thinking, along with the thinking of many libertarians is flawed. The basic flaw is that everyone is reasonable. That reasonable people will make reasonable decisions. That all government regulation is bad. That no regulations are needed at all. And that point of view is as wrong as the Socialist point of view that everything needs to be regulated. They are opposite sides of the same coin and both are wrong.
The fact of the matter is that while they make a good point, there are far too many regulations, the solution is not to get rid of all regulation. The solution is to look at these and get rid of many as possible. But Ron Paul and his son Rand actually go too far when it comes to this. Let's take Paul's position on discrimination. Both Rand and Ron believe that private companies, operating off of private land should be able to discriminate against black people since private industry should not be subject to controls by the government. Now of course this is wrong, since the private land is being defended by public resources. Government agencies are paving the roads that bring people to the business. They are being defended by the state and local government. Therefore they should be subject to a minimal level of regulation. Not over regulation. But they should have to serve me and not be able to refuse me service because I am black. The government has done a lot of bad things, but the civil rights act of 1964 was not one of those things.
Another area where Ron Paul is 100% wrong is foreign policy. And this is one of many reasons why I can't support Paul as President. His thinking, that if we leave other countries alone, they will leave us alone is just not true. Even a casual study of history shows that this is the case. We should minimize the number of wars we are in. War should definitely not be the first thing that we do in the face of a disagreement with another state. But the fact of the matter is, that there are valid cases for war. For example World War 2. In fact, a major problem with World War 2, is that we didn't enter the war soon enough. We waited until we were attacked and by the time we were attacked the Germans, Italian and Japanese had already built up their war machine. Germany should have been attacked right after they tried to invade Czechoslovakia. But we didn't. And 60 million died as a result.
Another thing he loves to talk about is the Islamic world. In his thinking and the thinking of people with similar points of view, the Islamic world would love us if we would simply desert Israel and all of our allies in the region. This is dangerous and highly flawed thinking. From the beginning of the Republic, America has faced attacks from Islamic extremists. For example, the Barbary pirates, who were controlled by the Islamic leader, the Caliphate, waged jihad against the United States starting shortly after we got independence from the United Kingdom. We had done absolutely nothing to deserve these attacks -- when these attacks started we didn't even have an effective Navy. We were definitely not occupying anything or posing any threats to Islamic countries. These attacks only ceased once the Muslims were soundly defeated in the early 19th century. So, Paul's assertion that the Islamic world would love us if we went back to being impotent is idiocy. This incident, and others throughout history show that we have faced attacks from Muslims because we are "infidels" pure and simple.