Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Ron Paul Page-A-Day #2

Here's the 2nd installment of the Ron Paul Page-A-Day, in which I supply a section of Ron Paul's "The Revolution: A Manifesto" for your enlightenment and commentary. I hope to continue this until I've posted the entire book, or until Congressman Paul's publishers say "cease and desist".
In the previous installment, The Good Doctor lamented the fact that Republicans posture as small-government types but do little or nothing to shrink the size of government. (In fact, it's grown more under presidents named Reagan and Bush than any others.) The Democrats campaign as the anti-war candidates, but generally vote to authorize foreign adventures.

With no further ado, here's Ron Paul:

A substantial portion of the conservative movement has become a parody of its former self. Once home to distinguished intellectuals and men of letters, it now tolerates and even encourages anti-intellectualism and jingoism that would have embarrassed earlier generations of conservative thinkers. There are still some good and decent conservative leaders to be found, and a portion of the grass roots has remained uncorrupted by the transformation of conservatism into just another Big Government movement. But Big Government at home and abroad seems to suit many conservative spokesmen just fine. Once in a while they will latch on to phony but conservative-sounding causes like "tax reform" - almost always a shell game in which taxes are shuffled around rather than actually reduced overall - in order to pacify the conservative base, but that's about it.

When Republicans won a massive off-year election victory in 1994, neoconservative Bill Kristol immediately urged them not to do anything drastic but to wait until the Republicans took the White House in 1996. Well, the Republicans didn't take the White House in 1996, so nothing ever got done. Instead the Republican leadership urged these freshman congressmen to focus on a toothless soporific agenda called the Contract with America that was boldly touted as a major overhaul of the federal government. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The Contract with America was typical of what I have just described: no fundamental questions are ever raised, and even supposedly radical and revolutionary measures turn out to be modest and safe. In fact, the Brookings Institution in effect said that if this is what conservatives consider revolutionary, then they have basically conceded defeat.

Needless to say, I am also unimpressed by the liberal Left. Although they posture as critical thinkers, their confidence in government is inexcusably naive, based as it is on civics-textbook platitudes that bear absolutely zero resemblance to reality. Not even their position on unnecessary wars is consistent, as I noted above. Even Howard Dean was all in favor of Bill Clinton's intervention in Bosnia, going so far as to urge the president to take unilateral military action beyond the multilateral activity already taking place. Liberals at the grass roots, on the other hand, have been deeply alienated by the various betrayals by which a movement they once supported has made its peace with the establishment.

No wonder frustrated Americans have begun referring to our two parties as the Republicrats. And no wonder the news networks would rather focus on $400 haircuts than matters of substance. There are no matters of substance.

1 comment:

Suzette Watkins said...

Republicrats. :)