I am going to highlight typical Paul critics, as I did below with Judson Phillips, when I run across them and have the time. I am on A LOT of e-mail lists. (If I ever don’t reply to your e-mail it is probably because it got buried under a bunch of e-mails before I got to it.) One site that sends me e-mails is Conservative Byte. Normally it is typical stuff, but yesterday I got one that caught my attention. The subject line read “The Conservative Case Against Ron Paul” so I clicked on it. The Conservative Byte’s story is an excerpt from a TownHall column by John Hawkins. The column looked familiar to me, which it was because it is from 2007, and I am sure I saw it at that time. My first question was why is Conservative Byte sending an e-mail touting a column from 2007? To me that suggests an agenda.
To be clear, Ron Paul is not above criticism. As a conservative of the paleo persuasion, I think there are a lot of problems with philosophical libertarianism, but I also recognize them as co-belligerents against a common enemy, the modern state. But it should be pointed out by fair critics that Paul’s brand of paleolibertarianism is more compatible with authentic conservatism than is other forms of often God rejecting libertarianism. And the political application of Paul’s paleolibertarianism, which is rigorous Constitutionalism, is entirely conservative in effect.
It would take considerable time to respond to Hawkins’ article point by point so here is what I wrote in the comments section. Some additional thoughts follow.
First of all, this article is from 2007. Why is Conservative Byte highlighting it now?
Second, Hawkins should be ashamed of himself. NO SELF-RESPECTING CONSERVATIVE should ever play grandstanding liberal Political Correctness thought enforcer as Hawkins does in #4. I expect that kind of Cultural Marxist nonsense from the SPLC, not from alleged “conservatives.”
Third, I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I have less use for grandstanding anti-conspiracy theorists than I do the most outrageous conspiracy theorists. This is a shameless mainstream establishment attempt to purge and shut down wayward thought. Heaven forbid somebody somewhere have a stray non-establishment approved thought. It is the same dynamic that motivates the PC grandstanding on race I mentioned above. And memo to Mr. Hawkins: the North American Union is not a conspiracy. It is a documented fact. This is easily discovered by this thing some of us call research.
Forth, interventionism IS NOT conservative. Non-interventionism is the foreign policy that flows from an authentic conservative mindset. Mr. Hawkins needs a lesson in political philosophy 101.
Even if I was a PC anti-racist ideologue and conspiracy phobic, I could never bring myself to publicly grandstand about it. Playing thought enforcer for the establishment just feels icky to me. I’m sure Hawkins is a decent guy. I’m sure we agree on much. He is even my Facebook friend. I just don’t see how anyone who imagines himself as against the establishment, as mainstream conservatives usually do, could think it is helpful to play thought policer for said establishment.
Also, I am not a philosophical libertarian so I do not agree with the idea that people have an inherent “right” to use drugs or utilize prostitutes. I think legalizing drugs would have disastrous consequences. But it is not enough for conservative critics of Paul to simply say he is a libertarian and wants to legalize drugs. The political application of Paul’s libertarianism, as I state above, is rigorous Constitutionalism. Therefore the effect of Paul’s politics would be to return drug laws to the state and local level where they should be. The Constitution nowhere authorizes drug laws at the federal level. This is why we had to amend the Constitution to ban alcohol. Any conservative who supports federal drug laws despite no Constitutional authority for them can not call themselves a Constitutionalist and has not right to object to the individual mandates in Obamacare, for example, on enumerated powers grounds.
My first recall of Hawkins, who runs Right Wing News, was a debate I had with him and others at Right Wing News about Lincoln, the War Between the States, and secession. I don’t recall the exact context, but I recall those topics being debated. Predictably Hawkins was pro-Union, pro-Lincoln and anti-secession. This centralist mindset goes along entirely with Hawkins’ interventionism. You see, how could the US play its “role” as global maintainer of order if it was divided into two or more parts? A Lincoln style central Union is essential to the interventionist enterprise. This mindset is consistent. It makes sense. It flows together. There is just one problem for Hawkins. It is NOT CONSERVATIVE. As I said, Hawkins needs a lesson in political philosophy 101. Non-interventionism is the foreign policy that naturally flows from an authentic conservative mindset. The idea that the US is uniquely responsible for maintaining global order is an ideological imposition that has more in common with Jacobins or global Marxist ideologues than it does with conservatives.
Also, at the time of this posting the Conservative Byte article is up to 458 comments. On course not all of them are supportive of Paul. Paul brings out the haters as well as his supporters. But many of them are supportive. This illustrates the dynamic I mentioned with Judson Phillips below. Mainstream conservatives who think they can brush aside Paul with simple-minded hit-pieces are mistaken. It is no longer 2007, and the conservative playing field has changed.