16 Feb The Sleight of Hand the Ron Paul Loonies are Trying to Pull on You
Since my title is as inflammatory as it is allow me to clarify right up front: I do not think all Ron Paul supporters are loonies; I just happen to be referring to the ones who are loonies in this article. And unfortunately, there are more than many of us want to believe. But here I am referring to the widespread and intentional effort by these folks in recent days to accuse those who believe differently than they do (in this case, the tea partyers, Sarah Palin, and any Congressman who actually has an impact on the hill as “selling their soul to the Republican establishment” if they believe in American exceptionalism, believe in finishing the job in Afghanistan, and believe in America’s role in the world.
It is a clever strategy. The Ron Paul isolationist loonies are extremeley late to this tea party rage. Rick Santelli’s shot heard round the world was a direct reply to the utterly insane directives of the Obama administration a year ago that people who were not making their housing payment be assisted by the federal government. It was part of a two-month period in which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had been taken over (officially) by the Federal government and reflated with hundreds of billions of taxpayer money. Santelli’s unintentional launch of the tea party momentum had everything to do with a rejection of Keynesian Obamanomics, and nothing whatsoever to do with America’s foreign policy.
The Ron Paul loonies, never ones to miss trying to take a media limelight that does not belong to them, have jumped in the fray, and decided not just to influence the wagon’s direction, but claim it is their wagon altogether. And since for the loonies of the Ron Paul world (which again, does not cover all of them), economics and national fiscal policy mean nothing, and a radical isolationist foreign policy means everything, you can imagine what kind of agenda they are wanting to set. If it were the same old boring argument they were flaunting around when Ron was launching his creepy candidacy for President (who could forget his claim that the 9/11 hijackers were nothing more than a few little thugs with box cutters?), I would not be writing about them right now. But now, they are pulling a true sleight of hand. They have announced to the world that you are either with them (and by “with them”, it means you advocate a sort of 18th century pacifism that (a) Did not exist in the 18th century either, and (b) Will result in the end of your life as you know it), or if you are not “with them”, it means you are just another Republican wonk, a member of the establishment, another George W. Bush, a socialist like Newt Gingrich, blah blah blah. I admit, a lot of their threats and name-calling are hard to intelligently deal with because they are so incoherent. But the cleverness of the sleight of hand is in this: It attempts to neuter the REAL anti-establishmentarians, the real Constitutionalists, the real principled activists, who are actually out there trying to change the world. Throwing a name tag like “Republican establishment wonks” on the millions of people who are out opposing the Federal government stimulus spending gone wild is a very bad idea. Dismissing the American patriots who are trying to unseat Republican incumbents if they have functioned like RINO’s as “sellouts” is offensively dishonest. Screaming that those who have almost completely derailed the greatest expansion of federal power in history via Obama care as “statist neocons” just because they wish our troops success in the battlefield is not only juvenille, it is dangerous.
Scott Brown was elected in Massachusetts behind a national surge in sentiment that was (a) Disgusted by Obamacare and federal spending, and (b) Sickened by the notion that we would try Al Qaida terrorists in civilian courts, refusing to treat them as the enemy combatants that they are. Do the Ron Paul loonies want to take credit for Scott Brown’s successful race too? Please.
I have no idea what will happen to the “tea party movement” in the coming year. I suspect it will be fractionalized, marginalized, and amateurized by a host of really insidious things that are likely to eat away at it. But I do know this: the vast majority of people who have been re-ignited into political rage over the last year are: (a) Not part of the “Republican establishment”, (b) Believe in defeating RINO candidates at the primaries every chance they can (I know I do), (c) Mortified by the growth of government and mortgaging of our kids’ futures via runaway spending, (d) Tired of the brazen ignoring of the Constitution so prevalent by Washington DC’s leaders, and yes, (e) Completely opposed to seeing America surrender its role as military superpower in the world. A city set on a hill has to be protected. And it has to be protected by men with guns.
The Ron Paul loonies are extremely gullible folks in nearly every ideological conversation you could engage them in. They do not understand the economic fight they say they are engaging (I dare you, just scratch a TINY bit beneath the surface on this one and find out what I mean). And they certainly do not understand the struggle that exists in the world between the forces of Islamo-fascism and the west. But they are not gullible about this: if they can try to pretend that the folks leading the charge towards change and restoration are as bad as the ones who got us here to begin with, they can torpedo the progress that is clearly underway. Don’t fall for it. It is utter dishonesty from a group of very fringe people who do not know what they want, or how to get it.