Isn’t the Internet something else? I don’t watch TV, but even so, I could still watch Jay Leno interviewing Republican Congressman Ron Paul on the Tonight Show. (In case you missed it, here’s the transcript.)
And what an interview it was. I heard nothing of the typical Republican Manichean view that divides the world into us and them, good and evil, black and white, and American and “other.” Just a simple, sound foreign policy. When it comes to the threat of U.S. hegemony, Paul isn’t afraid to sound unpatriotic, even left-leaning, though, as he reminded everyone, it wasn’t all that long ago that our president was talking about a non-interventionist, “humble” foreign policy. Kudos for Paul.
At the risk of stating the obvious, Ron Paul’s views on foreign policy are breathtakingly fresh, “American” (in the George Washington sense of the word), and – dare I day it? – sensible. While George W. Bush has been squandering our post-9/11 national unity and the good will of the world, Paul keeps reminding us that politics is all about liberty, the Constitution, and true patriotism. He has tirelessly reminded us that the U.S. effort from 1991 on has been one long war with no end in sight, and that when a nation goes to war for faulty reasons it undermines all the actions that follow. Far from maintaining a single-minded focus on bin Laden and al Qaeda, our national policy has created training grounds for new generations of jihadists. As Alex Potter recently put it, “I’m not going to even talk about the Republican candidates, besides Ron Paul, because they are all unabashedly for continuing the failed policy of trying to shape the Middle East to our whims, whether it is in Iran, Iraq, Israel or Saudi Arabia. Vote for any of those candidates if you want decades of military presence in Iraq at the cost of trillions of dollars, thousands more lives, more anti-American sentiment that leads to extremism and possibly an even wider regional war.”
Ron Paul, for one, is not afraid to tell us the bitter truth about all this, without belittling his critics or minimizing the problems that his fellow Republicans have helped create. The U.S has lost the moral high ground in the Middle East, he says, and all but the blindest supporters of the current administration understand how bad the situation is. Our nation’s arrogance and incompetence have proven poisonous beyond measure for our foreign policy. That seems to be the message I’m getting from the Paul campaign, and boy do I think they’re right.
It’ll be interesting to see how the race for the Republican nomination turns out next year now that Paul is no longer being ignored with a collective shrug, even by the mainstream media. Meanwhile, I’ll take watching Globetrotter Paul dribble behind his back, slam duck, and toss alley-oops to the American people over watching Giuliani and the Washington Generals trip all over each other.
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.
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