Ron Paul’s foreign policy is not only offensive to many, it is dangerous.
Paul never speaks of America as a “shining city upon a hill,” as Reagan did. Instead, he starts with a false premise – that the United States is a warmongering imperial power bent on conquest for fun and profit.
Listening to Paul, one gets the impression that all conservatives want to do is go to war for the sake of killing innocent people and building an American Empire.
In fact, his speeches are frequently littered with references to “empire” and imperial conquest.
In the Sioux City debate, for example, he falsely asserted that some want “to declare war on 1.2 billion Muslims and say all Muslims are the same.”
Of course, no one has asserted such a thing, and Paul has yet to provide proof that is the case.
According to Paul, anyone who wants to ensure a strong national defense in the face of stated threats is a “warmonger” and anyone concerned over Iran’s stated desire to acquire a nuclear device is engaging in “propaganda” for the sole purpose of going to war.
He has even blamed America’s foreign policy for the unrest that brought down the regime of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.
“We have isolated ourselves from the Egyptian people by propping up their government, as we isolate ourselves from Tunisians, Israelis, and other recipients of our foreign aid,” he wrote in an op-ed at The Hill.
Not only is his rhetoric offensive, it is beginning to wear thin with many mainstream conservatives.
After alleging the Bush administration was gleeful over the prospects of going to war in Iraq, Ari Fleischer tweeted, “the man is nuts…”
But assume, for the sake of argument, that Paul actually gets elected to the Presidency. What would his foreign policy mean for America?
He has stated that he wants to close all U.S. bases overseas and bring U.S. troops home. According to Paul, our national defense could be maintained with nothing more than submarines and ICBM’s.
But what would that say to America’s allies? And how would that impact America’s responsibilities to groups like NATO? Would Paul withdraw from NATO? Would he tell America’s allies to “jump in the lake” and forget any U.S. support?
If so, that would send a very strong signal to the world that the United States is not just a paper tiger, its word means nothing.
Additionally, a U.S. withdrawal from the world would signal weakness to America’s enemies.
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer said Paul “is living in the 20s,” and “thinks we can have a moat around the United States and if we ignore the world, the world will ignore us.”
But that is not reality.
The United States is a global superpower, whether Paul and his supporters like it or not, and the United States has global responsibilities. Some of those responsibilities include use of the military.
Paul told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that sanctions are “acts of war” and said America should treat the Iranian regime “differently.”
When pressed by Wallace, Paul said simply, “don’t put sanctions on them.”
“How are we going to persuade them not to pursue a nuclear weapon?” Wallace asked.
“Maybe by offering friendship to them,” Paul responded.
But how would he negotiate with a regime that has called for the extinction of the United States and Israel, America’s best ally in the region? Would he beg for our lives? Would he promise tribute or land in exchange for peace? Appeasement like that has never worked, and it never will.
He certainly would not negotiate from a position of strength, as he has repeatedly blamed America for the actions Iran has taken.
At the Sioux City debate, he told Fox News’ Bret Baier that he would basically do nothing even if he had solid, irrefutable proof of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
Clearly, there would be no Reykjavik Moment in a Ron Paul Administration.
Nevertheless, Paul’s supporters like to portray the Texas Congressman as the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan.
But where Reagan saw a bright shining city on a hill, Ron Paul sees a dark, corrupt, imperial regime.
While Reagan viewed America as the last best hope for freedom in the world, Paul views America as an evil warmongering empire spreading death and misery around the world.
Reagan believed in peace through strength; Paul believes peace can only be achieved by diplomats groveling at the feet of America’s enemies.
Of course, Paul’s most ardent supporters refuse to see any of this – for them, anyone who disagrees with Ron Paul is an unpatriotic “neo-con” bought and paid for by some vast, ethereal Jewish-Zionist-Bilderberger-Illuminati conspiracy.
Ron Paul is no Ronald Reagan, and his offensive, dangerous foreign policy should be soundly rejected by GOP voters.