In a recent laughable screed published on the Fox News website in the Opinion section, a senior Reason magazine editor whose name I do not recall claimed that because Ron Paul has made supposedly large gains, the GOP will now have to reach out to his supporters, ask for their votes, and pay a price for these votes in the form of significant policy concessions on issues foreign and domestic.
What concessions does he demand?
Cutting down the US military to a force capable of defending only the US proper, withdrawing all troops from foreign countries, closing all overseas bases, terminating all defense commitments, and all aid programs, to all of America’s allies, never intervening militarily abroad, closing the Fed, legalizing drugs, and reinstating the gold standard.
He claims that these concessions would be “a small price to pay” for the votes of Ron Paul supporters.
But he’s completely wrong.
Other than closing the Fed and legalizing drugs, such concessions would amount to a HUGE, UNACCEPTABLE price to pay, as they would be detrimental for the Republic, for the conservative movement, and for the GOP.
Agreeing to cutting the US military down to a constabulary force capable of, at most, defending only US territory and nothing else would be the most disastrous concession of all, and the worst mistake that the GOP and the conservative movement could make. That, by itself, is a reason to reject the Reason magazine guy’s demands. It would mean cutting the US military down to a small size, cutting its modernization programs, and thus dramatically weakening it. But because the same kind of military capabilities useful for defending America’s allies (such air and naval superiority, missile defense, nuclear deterrence, ground superiority, tactical strike, long range strike, etc.) are also needed for defending America, there is no way to cut the military to make it unable or useless for defending allies while not making it incapable of defending America itself.
Cutting the military, especially deeply, will weaken it and make it unable to defend AMERICA as well as its allies.
There is no way that you can honestly propose to cut it and make it unable to defend America’s allies but capable of defending America itself.
Withdrawing US troops from all foreign countries where they are currently stationed, closing all (as opposed to some) overseas bases, and abandoning all defense commitments to all of America’s allies – including the most loyal ones – would be a great betrayal of them and a shot in the foot for America itself. It would leave America’s enemies (such as China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran) free to perpetrate aggression and conquer country after country, coming ever closer to the US itself, while dramatically reducing America’s influence in the world and the world’s, as well as America’s, security.
It would also dramatically cut America’s power projection capabilities, for which overseas bases and troops stationed in them are needed. If America ever again needs, for example, to punish terrorists for attacking the US, or to prevent terrorists or a rogue state from obtaining weapons of mass murder, it will not have any overseas bases to project power from, and will have to rely on an aging, shrinking fleet of carriers, amphib ships, and strategic airlifters, plus a tiny fleet of mostly nonstealthy bombers.
Cutting off aid to programs such as Egypt and Pakistan, which are not true allies of the US, makes sense. But cutting off aid to allies such as Israel would be unjust and would undermine their security.
Foreswearing ANY military interventions abroad, as opposed to only military interventions in irrelevant countries and where the US should not take sides, is also a foolish, suicidal policy. It’s one thing to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and avoid intervening in Syria. It’s one thing to say that the US should never intervene military abroad, anywhere, under any circumstances, even if, for example, North Korea invades the South or Iran is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons. Even libertarian columnist and AmSpec Associate Editor W. James Antle admits that neither a policy of intervening everywhere nor a rigid foreswearing of any interventions anywhere is a wise policy. Promising that America would never intervene anywhere, under any circumstances, would be as foolish and suicidal as abandoning all defense commitments to all of America’s allies – it would be a license for America’s enemies and for troublemakers and thugs around the world to perpetrate aggression, conquer America’s allies, harbor terrorist organizations unpunished, develop WMDs unpunished, and make America less secure.
Adopting the gold standard would be disastrous for the US economy. It would mean tying the dollar to gold, thus producing deflation and a recession (if not a depression) and making the dollar dependent on the very volatile price of gold. If its price dips, so will the value of the dollar.
No, that would not be “a small price to pay” for Ron Paul supporters’ votes.
Nor is it necessary. As poll after poll, and as the results of all primaries conducted this year, have irrefutably proven, Paul supporters are just a small band of rabid libertarians who worship Ron Paul. And as their statements, and those of Ron Paul (who, in 2008, refused to endorse John McCain and instead endorsed the Big Government socialist 9/11 truther Cynthia McKinney), irrefutably prove, they would never vote for a Republican presidential candidate (other than Ron Paul) anyway. The GOP doesn’t need them, shouldn’t appease them, and even if it tried to, it would fail to win their votes.
But if the GOP does try to appease paulbots and does accede to their demands of the policy concessions listed above, it will antagonize and disenfranchise tens of millions of conservative voters who believe in a strong national defense, a confident foreign policy, free market economics, traditional American values, and supporting Israel, and who don’t want the GOP to be turned into a radical libertarian party in Paul’s image. This would mean losing tens of millions of voters, and as a result, losing every future Presidential and Congressional election, even if all Ron Paul supporters started voting for the GOP (which they never will).
So thus, the GOP would be shooting itself in the foot: antagonizing people who would likely cast their ballots for the GOP while appeasing people who would never vote for it.
The GOP must not do this. It must not make ANY policy concessions to Ron Paul or his supporters, and neither should Mitt Romney. It, and Mitt Romney, should avoid Ron Paul voters like the lepers that they are.
My message to the paulbots is: Go away. The GOP doesn’t need you and doesn’t want you.