Pretty much every time Ron Paul explains his views about foreign policy to mainstream Republican audiences, the response is grumbling at best and boos at worst. Other candidates talk about Paul’s “isolationist” views being naive. It turns out, though, that foreign policy experts say he’s right.
Being right rarely has anything to do with getting elected to office, of course, so Paul still has no chance of being elected. In fact, no libertarian has a chance of becoming president, because the vast majority of people simply don’t want individual liberty.
Still, it’s nice to see ABC News run an article over the weekend quoting foreign policy experts explaining why Paul is right about not invading other countries and leaving them alone to settle their own disputes. The real question is why it’s “controversial” — in the word’s of the story’s headline. The headline isn’t wrong. But why is it controversial to quit invading other countries and use our military purely to defend our own territory?
For those of you who still believe in the majoritarian political system and support Paul — thinking that he’s suddenly going to change people’s minds to see the truth as we see it — this is another piece of evidence that an electoral strategy isn’t going to work. We have a candidate who’s telling the truth, who’s making a case that’s both moral and pragmatic, and who was also warning about U.S. policy inviting terrorist attacks before 2001. You have experts on the subject who are willing to say that he’s right. You have news media people who are willing to quote him and quote those experts. Still, voters don’t hear. Why? Because people don’t want the same things you and I want.
Most U.S. voters want a muscular, jingoistic foreign policy — with American soldiers invading other countries and crowds waving the U.S. flag while they chant, “USA, USA, USA….” They see it as though it’s a sporting event. To them, as long as they believe their “team” is winning or is going to win, they’re happy. And if their “team” seems to be losing, well, it’s time to redouble efforts to win, even if the war was immoral or wrongheaded in the first place.
Now do you understand why electoral politics is a waste of time, money and effort? Other people aren’t going to suddenly wake up and view the world the way we do.