Politically, I am a strange animal. Larry Elder once called himself a “Conservetarian,” a sort of hybrid between a Conservative and a Libertarian, or a right-leaning Libertarian, as it were. I don’t care for labels overmuch, but that is the closest fit I’ve been able to find. And so, individuals like Ron Paul produce mixed reactions from me. There is much to be said about his commitment, his economic and domestic values and his no-nonsense speaking style. Whatever his other faults, the man displays a minimum of hypocrisy and doesn’t waffle, a rarity for any modern political figure. Ron Paul would be perfectly correct in a world more like the one that existed prior to the 20th century. Even still, his ideas on economic and domestic policy are mostly sound, with few exceptions.
The problem is that he doesn’t understand the military situation, the nature of 4th Generation warfare and how to fight those battles. Even here, he has a few good ideas (the return of letters of marque and reprisal would actually be positive). But ignorance of the threat posed by radical Islam is a gargantuan black mark against him.
I see the logic of his positions, and if we were dealing with relatively civilized, reasonable enemies, he would be right. But that’s the whole point, they are AREN’T reasonable. He seems to think they would be if we left them alone, like a hornet’s nest: don’t disturb it and you’ll be fine. But in this case, the hornets are deliberately seeking to expand their territory and sting more people. The nest must be burned out, from time to time, to keep them from getting out of hand.
Western civilization used to have some idea of how to do this. Individuals like my esteemed colleague, KodeTen, definitely have notions on how this could be achieved. Islam does respect strength and threat of overwhelming force. It can be made to be (relatively) peaceful if they realize that the cost of waging war is too high. But their bar is set much higher than that of the Western World. Purchasing peace with them requires doing things that would, in any other scenario, be considered profoundly unethical and disturbing.
Ron Paul lives in a fantasy world where most nations of the world are civilized, Westernized and committed, underneath it all, to peace. He is a good man, nonetheless, his poor choice of words on Chris Kyle’s death non-withstanding. But I would not vote for him, especially not for the position of Commander-in-Chief. That position requires a modicum of understanding in matters of War. He has demonstrated that he possesses none.