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Friday, July 19, 2024
HomeOpinionIf You Side With Neocons Against Rand Paul, Then You Are Not Conservative

If You Side With Neocons Against Rand Paul, Then You Are Not Conservative

The fight has been there all along, brewing underneath the surface just destined to boil over during the 2016 presidential primary, or sooner yet in the inevitable instance that the Liberty Movement stood in the way of the neoconservative agenda.

When the GOP establishment attempts to inconspicuously smear up and coming party stars like Senator Rand Paul by subtlety pushing a story that makes him look like a racist, you know they are scared.

As well they should be. Ron Paul put the “crusty old” members of the Republican Party in the oven years ago, and now, his son Rand Paul will soon stick a fork in them, because they are done and they know it.

If you side with the neoconservatives against Rand Paul and the Liberty Movement, then I have news for you; you are not a conservative. You may not want to hear that, but it is the truth, and so it is also true that it is the interventionist wing of the Republican Party that populates the party with hypocrite RINOs. Many conservatives, or rather self-professed conservatives, do not know or understand that conservatism does not translate into a hawkish ideology, nor does the “dovish” tendency of libertarian-leaning Republicans translate into a weakness on national defense.

Rand Paul scares the establishment neocons in a way that his father did not, precisely because he strikes that balance. Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the military hero of World War II, warned us of the very real danger from the military-industrial complex, and reminded us of our duty to strike that very Paulian balance. In his farewell address, he warned:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

But in case the NSA scandal was not enough to scare Republicans back to true conservatism, and reawaken them to the fact that they are supporting the same big government philosophy that progressives support, let’s reexamine our ideology and history.

The neoconservative wing of the Republican Party is very used to getting its way. When Democrats wouldn’t stay on board with their interventionist agenda after Vietnam, they jumped ship to the Republican Party. It is apparently a forgotten truth that Democrats started that war, as well as World War I, World War II and Korea. In fact, Democrats started all of the wars in the 20th century, but Republicans are never credited for cleaning up the mess.

Since Jeane Kirkpatrick served as President Reagan’s National Security Advisor, big government Republicans have been a permanent fixture in a party that used to be overwhelmingly dominated with “America-firsters,” who favored neoisolationist policies. However, even Reagan himself, advocated in favor of a military buildup in order to collapse the Soviet Union, not because he believed in monstrous standing armies, and his own diaries say as much.


Does any one of these faces exude “future” to you?

George W. Bush, although looking at the “Bush Doctrine” you would never know it, was against nation-building until terrorist decided to fly planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. But it is still a truth that Donald Rumsfeld, a neoconservative, did give the Army the order not to aid the CIA during “Operation Anaconda,” because he didn’t want George Tenet to get the credit for catching Bin Laden. Only after Bin Laden slipped into Tora Bora did Bush take Rumsfeld’s side, which resulted in a war that had nothing to do with Bin Laden. Of course, President Bush did not know Rumsfeld intentionally sabotaged the entire mission.

You cannot cherry-pick which founding principles you want to honor or ignore, well at least, not if you want to consider yourself a conservative. Our Founder Fathers did not believe in ANY standing army. Of course, you might want to sound like a progressive and say, “times have changed, the threats are greater now.” Sure you could, and I might want to call you a Democrat, then I will point to Benjamin Franklin who said:

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

There will always be threats to liberty-loving people, always, and that includes from your own government. The only question is whether or not we are willing to let John McCain and others scare us into thinking the threat from them is any less real than so-called “Islamofacism.” Robert Schadler, a foreign policy official in the Reagan and George H.R. Bush administrations, summed up the balance perfectly:

The neoconservatives, especially after 9/11, have replaced an expansionist Nazi regime of WWII and the Soviet Union with a concocted concept, often dubbed ‘Islamo-fascism’ or just ‘Islamism. Unlike Nazis and Soviets, Islamic terrorists and extremists are not a disciplined coherent phalanx but badly fragmented, often hating and fighting each other. Thus, it’s a problem that requires vigilance but does not constitute an equivalent threat to our very existence.

Jack Snyder wrote the book “Myths of Empire,” in which he argued the classic defensive realist position that held over-expansion leads to the demise of great powers. I have heard Rand Paul quote Snyder’s logic several times, and it is not the indefensible suicide mission that his father often argued. Even offensive realist John Mearsheimer, who disagrees with Snyder on the claim that offense does not pay dividends as often as it baits and bleeds national wealth, would agree with Rand Paul and our Founding Fathers as well. They believed that America’s isolation was a gift from God, a rare opportunity to invest the nation’s energy and wealth toward the building of our domestic strength. Mearsheimer’s theory of “the stopping power of water” is a modern-day scholastic manifestation of our founders’ wisdom.

rand paul

Instead of expanding the empire, the GOP establishment should be taking cues from Paul and make an effort to expand their electoral appeal. In Iowa, Rand Paul met with nearly 40 black and Hispanic evangelical ministers and business owners to learn from them how the GOP can connect more effectively with their communities. The black and Hispanic evangelical leaders said afterward that if Paul sought the 2016 nomination, they would support him with an enthusiasm that they had not been able to generate for previous GOP presidential candidates.

And why were they so enthusiastic about the “white” Senator from Kentucky? Because of the 13-hour anti-drone program filibuster, which the neoconservatives support, and his sponsorship of a federal “Life Begins at Conception” bill.

And what have the neoconservatives been doing to appeal to minority voters? They are supporting amnesty, supporting the unconstitutional funding of the military junta in Egypt, supporting the murder of U.S. citizens with drones, and oh yes, supporting amnesty.

Forget whether or not the GOP is a “white man’s party” – if Rand Paul loses this internal fight, then it will be a dead man’s party – because no one wants to vote for rich people who use their tax dollars to make their rich friends even richer. Sure the Democrats do the same thing, but they throw people a social welfare bone to hide their intentions. Nevertheless, big government is big government. It hardly matters what crony it is going to benefit, but what does matter, is that it is not true conservatism.

Written by

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

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