Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ron Paul: Isolationist?

To be an isolationist is a political killer.  No one with political power wants to be called that, yet all of the media coverage on Ron Paul seems to mention isolationism as his core view on foreign politics.  It's no doubt Dr. Paul gets perturbed and disgruntled at the media's reluctance to change how they view his foreign policy; and by all means, the media's method is working.

Having read my last blog post about Dr. Paul, a family member often describes Ron Paul as an isolationist; but this also begs the question, what is an isolationist?  In laymen's terms, it's a political being that wants nothing to do with the outside world and everything to do with internal affairs.  So from a political standpoint, a political isolationist doesn't believe in foreign trade, alliances with other countries, or international agreements.  Day in and day out, Ron Paul's message is that we need to leave the middle east; we have no reason to be there, and should take note of the USSR's downfall after entering into Afghanistan (but I don't think he's implying that it would be the downfall of the US).  This isn't an isolationist viewpoint, it's simply a viewpoint of ending a meaningless war and not entering into future ones unless warranted (I'd also like to point out that Rick Santorum, while being interviewed, openly said he would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities if they didn't abide by the UN's policies).

So let's take this step by step-Ron Paul has said, and I quote, "An isolationist is a protectionist that builds walls around their country, they don’t like the trade, they don’t like to travel about the world, and they like to put sanctions on different countries."  Putting sanctions on other countries is something that could mostly be described as a democratic philosophy, so +1 for democratic isolationists! (I know, I kid!)  We aren't going to end up like Troy and be surrounded by a giant wall secluding all of us holier-than-thou Americans that want nothing to do with the outside world; and any economist, be it just getting out of econ101 or with a PHD can tell you without a doubt that that would ruin a country in the modern world.  Of course that's not Dr. Paul's philosophy.  Another quote from him, in an interview that you can see here on Paul's website, "we believe Nixon did the right thing by opening up trade doors with China, because that is when we quit killing each other and we are more at peace, which we better be, because they have become our banker. So non-intervention is quite a bit different since what the founders advised was to get along with people, trade with people, and to practice diplomacy, rather than having this militancy of telling people what to do and how to run the world and building walls around our own country. That is isolationism, it’s a far cry from what we believe in."

In regards to foreign alliances, Dr. Paul bases his philosophy on what the Founding Fathers viewed as theirs.  A quote from Thomas Jefferson, "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none."  And Washington similarly agreed by saying, "Act for ourselves and not for others," by forming an "American character wholly free of foreign attachments."  As I've mentioned in my previous blog post, Dr. Paul wants to get rid of all foreign monetary handouts, and bring all that money to be placed into our economy and improving our lives as Americans.  There's nothing wrong with that, and that's not an isolationist viewpoint-we're still trading with foreign countries, we're just not getting involved in their politics and keeping out of their business.

By definition, Dr. Paul's viewpoints should be considered as non-interventionist, values held highly by our Founding Fathers for the sake of the United States well-being for the future.

And to the anonymous family member, you're wrong =].

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