To understand who Ron Paul really is, you first need to get to know who Murray Rothbard was and what political beliefs who propagated. Although Ron Paul claims he got his ideas from the Founding Fathers and is merely following their advice and the Constitution, he’s not. He actually couldn’t care less about the Founding Fathers, their admonitions, and the Constitution. He didn’t get his ideas from them. He got his ideas from Murray Rothbard (1916-1995) who, by Rep. Paul’s own admission, was his biggest intellectual influence.
Murray Rothbard was a rabid, fanatical, and loud anarcho-libertarian who, like Ron Paul and his minions insulted everyone who disagreed with him on any issue in the harshest of words, and who failed to make many converts to his cause. One of the few converts he did recruit were a young (in the 1950s and 1960s) man named Ronald Ernest Paul and another young man by the name of Lwellelyn “Lew” Rockwell.
Rothbard’s beliefs were so extreme that they were at odds with the beliefs of everyone else, including and especially the Founding Fathers. Rothbard believed that any form of government, even the smallest and most limited and restrained one, is inextricably bad and violating people’s liberties. He thought that no form of government was legitimate or acceptable, or had any business doing anything, not even protecting us from criminals or from foreign enemies. Consequently, he believed that all forms of government in the US (and other countries) should be abolished completely. He said that:
“The libertarian position, generally, is to minimize State power as much as possible, down to zero…”
This belief was contrary to the opinions of almost everyone else, including the Founding Fathers. All of them were skeptical of governments (especially of central governments) and believed their size and scope must be limited and restrained, but every Founding Father believed that some form of government was needed and legitimate, and there were some legitimate tasks that governments can and should do. Not one of them was an anarcho-libertarian. None of them desired to abolish governments completely. We know this from many sources, the most credible and accurate of them being America’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence:
“that in order to protect these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed…”
Consequently, the Founding Fathers devised their own form of government, known as the Articles of Confederation. Unfortunately, it proved itself to be entirely inadequate and ineffective, so the Founders gathered in Philadelphia again and wrote a new fundamental legal charter for the Country: the United States Constitution. Among the reasons why it was established were that there was no one to provide for the common defense and no one to quell violent mobs such as the Shays rebellion. The Constitution mandates both of these protections. Art. IV, Sec. 4 of the Constitution obliged the newly created federal government to protect each state against both invasion and (on the application of the state government) against domestic violence.
Thanks to this, for its entire history as a country, America has been a land of liberty where governments and their policies are changed by votes, not by violent overthrows like the French revolution or Napoleon’s 1799 coup d’etat.
But Rothbard disagreed, and so does Lew Rockwell. According to both of them, and presumably Ron Paul (since Rockwell is Paul’s ghostwriter and Rothbard was his intellectual father) the Constitution is a “Big Government document” which lead to a big, oppressive government. Thus, not only did they lie, they also proved how ignorant they were/are about the Constitution. If they knew anything about it, they wouldn’t have been spewing such garbage, because the Constitution – as explained by its Father, James Madison, in the Federalist Papers, authorizes only a limited federal government – limited in size, and scope. Limited in what it is allowed to do. Again, this goes back to the Founders’ unanimous basic belief that some government – but only a limited one, tasked with specific, defined missions – was needed.
To slander the Constitution itself. Rothbard and Rockwell badmouthed the decent men who authored and signed it, claiming that “the Constitution was written by a very different crew from the one that signed the Declaration of Independence, (…) mostly holdovers from the war. (…) Jefferson was out of the country when the Constitution was signed.”
Although most delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were not signatories of the Declaration, several of them were, including Roger Sherman (who sat on the 5-man committee that wrote the Declaration) and Benjamin Franklin. Not signing the Declaration does not make the Framers any less legitimate. And by calling them “holdovers from the war”, they insulted such decent men as George Washington, the Father of the Country, who led US troops to victory in the Revolutionary War.
And what of Thomas Jefferson? (That’s MR Jefferson for you, Lew Rockwell.) He supported the Constitution, believing that a legal instrument was needed to “restrain” politicians, and considered the 10th Amendment, ratified in December 1791, to be the cornerstone of the Constitution. He never denounced the Constitution or believed it illegitimate.
Because Rothbard believed that NO form of government was legitimate or needed, and had no business doing anything, he strongly opposed any kind of a national defense (not merely a strong defense) and considered it to be a threat to his liberty, even though he never had to serve with the military himself. He was opposed to any US military per se. He furthermore believed, and unceasingly claimed, that America was being governed and oppressed by a “military-industrial complex” which was supposedly impinging on even the most basic freedoms of Americans (does that sound familiar? which prominent politician is now claiming that these days?).
The truth, however, is that the US has never been a garrison state and has never been governed, or even unduly influenced by, a “military-industrial complex”. No liberties of the American people were infringed prior to the Dubya years, when Rothbard was long dead. The US military has never oppressed the American people (or anyone else, for that matter) and has always remained under civilian control (as required by the Constitution). Thanks to the US military and the investments made in it during Rothbard’s lifetime, he was able to enjoy a far larger extent of freedom than the citizens or subjects of any foreign country, freedoms that non-Americans can only dream about, including the freedom to badmouth his own country, its government, its Constitution, and its military, without any consequences whatsoever.
This did not, however, stop Rothbard from saying that America’s entry to World War II was a mistake because, according to him
“Our entry into World War II was the crucial act in foisting a permanent militarization upon the economy and society, in bringing to the country a permanent garrison state, an overweening military-industrial complex….”
Again, the US has never been a garrison state nor a country governed by a “military-industrial complex”, which is nothing more than a myth. No permanent militarization of the economy or the society ever occurred. No liberties were confiscated after World War II. The best evidence of this was that Rothbard was allowed and able to spout his garbage publicly without any consequences whatsoever. If the US were really a garrison state or a dictatorship run by the military-industrial complex”, he would’ve been immediately arrested and possibly executed, just like in the Soviet Union. But he never was. Because America remained, and still is, a free country.
Rothbard also believed the US was wrong to enter WW2 because he was utterly unable to make any distinction between good and evil under any circumstances. He didn’t even believe there was “good and evil”, or that some people were decent and some others (like the Nazis and the Japanese) were evil. Although he always blamed America and Israel for everything bad (again, does that sound familiar?), he didn’t believe anything or anyone was good or evil. All that he cared about was his own ass and his liberties, and he considered any form of a US government or a governmental action on any issue to be a threat to his personal freedoms. He was perfectly fine with Jews being gassed in extermination camps in Europe and with the Japanese slaughtering millions of Asians of many nationalities, and with Nazi Germany and imperial Japan extending their empires across the planet. He couldn’t care less. He was absolutely opposed to the US responding to this, or even to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
(As a side note, Ron Paul has privately told one of his former aides, Eric Dondero, that he believes that the US was wrong to enter WW2. Does that ring any bells?)
(And as another side note, in 2009 Paul was the only Congressman to vote against a resolution condemning the Iranian regime’s slaughter of its own people, claiming that internal affairs of other countries were none of America’s business and the Congress had no right to judge foreign governments. Again, does that ring any bells?)
Murray Rothbard also blamed the Cold War exclusively on the United States, claiming that “the United States was solely at fault in the Cold War, and Russia was the aggrieved party.”
This is a blatant lie (like everything else Rothbard claimed); the Soviet Union was actually responsible for the 46-year-long standoff, which started because of Stalin’s expansionist binge and his desire to impose Communism on as big part of the world as possible. Stalin therefore threatened Greece and Turkey, blockaded West Berlin and nearly starved Berliners to death, and, in 1950, authorized the North Korean invasion of South Korea in an attempt to impose a garrison state on the South. Today, American troops still stand on the Korean Peninsula to prevent the North from imposing a garrison state on the South. You see, unlike the America of WW2 or of today, North Korea is a REAL garrison state.
When Stalin’s successor (and executor of his genocidal policies in the Ukraine in the 1930s), Nikita Khrushchev, visited the United States in the 1950s, the vast majority of Americans opposed allowing Khrushchev to come to the US, and millions took to the streets to protest against the vist of the Butcher of Budapest. But Rothbard and a small group of CPUSA members hailed him and clapped hands as Khrushchev’s limousine was passing by, and viewed him as the moral superior of President Eisenhower.
Rothbard was the one who instilled isolationist beliefs in Paul and Rockwell. But unlike Ron Paul, who claims he’s not an isolationist and merely a “noninterventionist” (which is a mere euphemism meaning the same), Rothbard was an overt, self-admitted isolationist, and explained that isolationism is THE libertarian position on foreign affairs:
“The libertarian position, generally, is to minimize State power as much as possible, down to zero, and isolationism is the full expression [of that doctrine] in foreign affairs.”
And what of Ronald Reagan, the President who ended the Cold War? Well, Rothbard, Rockwell, and Paul had exceptionally harsh words for him. Rothbard, who opposed any form of government – no matter how limited – and a strong defense, said that Reagan was a “cretin” and his tenure was “eight dreary, miserable, mind-numbing years”. Rockwell accused Reagan of building “murder machines” such as the B-1 bomber and claims that Ron Paul is much better than the Gipper. Rothbard and Rockwell even accused Reagan of being a “warmonger” and called on the Congress to impeach him. Paul, for his part, denounced Reagan in the harshest terms in his 1987 farewell letter to the GOP (but he did come crawling back to the GOP in 1996 to get elected to the Washington gravy train), called him “a total failure”, and the next year said this about Reagan and his Administration:
The American people have never reached this point of disgust with politicians before. I want to totally disassociate myself from the Reagan Administration.
Rothbard, Rockwell, and Paul said this of the President who did more to advance liberty and free enterprise – at home and abroad – than they have ever done or will do (in the case of Rockwell and Paul). None of these three guys has ever accomplished anything, not even the smallest thing. Ronald Reagan has accomplished more than any other American politician except the Founding Fathers, Dwight Eisenhower, and James K. Polk. It is no coincidence that few Americans even know who Rothbard was, while everyone knows who Reagan was and, according to the most recent polls on the subject, the American people consider him to be the greatest US president ever.
But that’s also a problem: because few Americans know who Rothbard was and what he preached, they don’t know who Ron Paul really got his crazy ideas from and many are easily duped by this charlatan into believing it was the Founding Fathers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ron Paul got his ideas straight from Murray Rothbard, who, by his own admission, was his “biggest intellectual influence”. Paul couldn’t care less about the Founding Fathers and their beliefs.
It is the duty of us conservatives to expose Ron Paul for whom he really is – an anarcho-libertarian – and where he got his ideas from. And it ain’t the Founders. I hope this article will be distributed widely and that the people of Iowa read it before they make a mistake by voting for a Blame America First anarcho-libertarian isolationist.