For a long time, I have considered Ron Paul to be among a small handful of principled members of the U.S. Congress.
I respect the fact that he reveres the Constitution and takes it seriously.
He and I were virtually alone on the national stage in calling on Congress to debate a declaration of war before invading Iraq. Had we done so back then, it would be a little more difficult for people like John Edwards and Hillary Clinton to dismiss so cavalierly their previous votes to authorize combat.
If I were in Congress, my voting record would be closest to the voting record of Ron Paul – no question about it.
But I want to be clear about why I oppose Ron Paul’s bid to become president.
The main reason is this: He is clueless about the nature of the threat we face from Islamo-fascism. He is clueless about the nature of the conflict in the Middle East, a subject I have studied intensely for 30 years.
Paul actually blames American interventionism in the Middle East for our problems with Islamo-fascism and the attacks of Sept. 11. In the May 15 Republican debate in South Carolina, Paul said it was America’s history of interventionism in the Middle East that sparked our problems with terrorism.
“They attack us because we’ve been over there,” he said. “We’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We’ve been in the Middle East [for years]. I think [Ronald] Reagan was right. We don’t understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics.”
Paul called this “blowback.” He illustrated his point by blaming the 1979 Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini revolution on CIA involvement in installing the shah 26 years earlier, not on U.S. undermining of the shah in his last days in power.
While I am not a defender of the way the war in Iraq has been waged by President Bush, Paul essentially calls for running up the white flag of surrender to an enemy that seeks America’s destruction. It is a wholly untenable position he shares with people like Rosie O’Donnell and Bill Maher.
He also flirts with many of those who believe 9-11 wasn’t really an attack by Islamo-fascists at all but an inside job by the U.S. government. While I take a backseat to no one in my distrust of government, these conspiracy theorists Paul courts are, quite simply, doing the propaganda work of America’s fiercest enemies.
America has made many foreign policy mistakes in my lifetime. We have indeed intervened militarily too often. I have preached non-interventionism many times. However, America is under siege from Islamo-fascist enemies. We’ve been attacked – the worst ever in our history. This is no time to back down or even to appear to be weak.
It would be disastrous if we cut and run now as Ron Paul suggests.
Let me tell you something else that disturbed me about Paul’s position on amnesty for illegal aliens.
In the most recent debate, he implied amnesty wouldn’t be such a bad idea if we could stop attracting illegal aliens with welfare-state programs.
This demonstrates, again, a fundamental misunderstanding of why illegal immigration is so threatening to our country.
Hardened criminals come to the U.S. illegally.
Terrorists come to the U.S. illegally.
Drunk drivers come to the U.S. illegally.
Millions of low-skilled workers come to the U.S. illegally and transform our culture.
Yes, I would like to dismantle the welfare state, too. But it would still be no substitute for securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws.
The defense of the country is a paramount issue in a presidential election. It is the most important responsibility of the executive branch of government. Yet, Paul’s positions on the key defense and security issues of the day are closer to those of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry than Ronald Reagan.
That’s why, for me, he’s disqualified – even if he had the support necessary to win, which he doesn’t and never will.
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