A while ago, I wrote an article in which I spoke of “Paulophobia.” Paulophobia, I claimed, is a cognitive disorder. Like a parasite, it eats away at its victim’s intellect. Perhaps because of this, it also corrupts his moral character. To encounter a Paulophobe whose disorder has reached an advanced stage is to come face-to-face with Irrationality incarnate. At the mere mention of Ron Paul’s name, this sort of Paulophobe practically begins to foam at the mouth. Everything in which he previously claimed to believe—his ideals, his principles, his values—he abruptly throws to the wind as he frantically searches for every and any aspersion, no matter how incredible, that he can cast against Congressman Paul. The Paulophobe doesn’t just want to discredit Paul as a presidential candidate. He wants to discredit him as a human being.
Unfortunately, once Paulophobia has reached this stage, it is terminal, for it is now impervious to reason. There is no other conclusion to draw given the following facts.
Those suffering most acutely from Paulophobia are Republicans, self-styled “conservatives” (read: neoconservatives). Now, Republicans have always claimed to believe in smaller, more limited, decentralized government. In short, they pride their party on being the party of liberty, the party that is committed to preserving and protecting the United States Constitution.
Yet when they have the opportunity to nominate the only presidential candidate in their primary race who even they recognize is most committed to “limited government” and the Constitution, they call him a “kook” and “extremist.” Some Paulophobes like talk radio hosts Michael Medved and Mark Levin go further to imply that he is evil. Medved continually insinuates that Paul is a “racist” and a “neo-Nazi.” Levin has explicitly said of Paul that he is “poison.” Both adamantly deny that Paul is authentic.
Republicans, especially since they have been ejected from power, inexhaustibly complain about “out of control” spending. Our country is on the precipice of ruin, they note, because of the profound profligacy of the Democrats. This next election promises to be the most important of our lifetime, for this may be our very last chance to saveAmerica.
But when one Republican presidential candidate comes along and proposes one trillion dollars in spending cuts within the first year of his term as President, they either pretend that he doesn’t exist or they spare no occasion to marginalize him. This is like a man lost at sea who, in spite of longing for salvation and knowing that the ship in the distance is his last chance at it, refuses to be rescued. Moreover, he attempts to chop off the arm of the ship’s captain who reaches out to him.
Republicans, like professional Paulophobe Rush Limbaugh, repeatedly claim their party alone embodies the spirit of the Founding Fathers. The Founders, mind you, although a philosophically heterogeneous group, never so much as contemplated a federal government that would demand of all Americans that they refrain from using any product, however potentially self-destructive it may be.
However, when Ron Paul contends that it is unconstitutional and immoral for the federal government to criminalize drug usage, such Paulophobes accuse him of wanting to “legalize” drugs. Ron Paul, they shout hysterically, is in favor of legalizing heroin and cocaine! If these Paulophobes were capable of it, just the slightest bit of rudimentary logic would make plain to them the implication of this line of thought. If Paul can be convicted of wanting to “legalize” drugs because of his opposition to the federal government’s criminalization of them, then inasmuch as the Founders didn’t seek to criminalize drugs, they too can be said to have favored the same. Far from being a radical, much less a radical “leftist” (as Paulophobe Dick Morris recently described him), Paul’s position on drugs is but another example of his desire to restore the vision of our Founders.
Republicans have often (and quite pathetically, actually) taken to accusing their Democratic rivals of being “racist.” It is Democrats, they claim, who seek to keep blacks “dependent” upon the government by way of welfare and a massive assortment of race-based preferential treatment policies. Thus, Democrats are “racist” against blacks.
Because of his belief that we should eliminate foreign aid toIsrael, these same Paulophobic Republicans say of Ron Paul that he is “anti-Semitic.” Two observations are here in order.
First of all, Ron Paul does not single out Israel: he wants an end to all foreign aid. More importantly, though, these Paulophobes fail to recognize that if Democrats are “racist” because of their desire to keep blacks dependent upon the United States government, then inasmuch as these Republicans want to keep Israel dependent upon the United States government, it is they who are “anti-Semitic.”
To put the point another way, if it is the enemies of “racism” who oppose welfare dependency for blacks, then it is the enemies of “anti-Semitism” who should oppose welfare dependency—i.e. “foreign aid”—forIsrael. This means that it is the Republican Paulophobe who is the real “anti-Semite,” while it is Paul who is “pro-Semitic.”
In accordance with the 9/11 Commission Report as well as numerous reports that have been supplied by the Central Intelligence Agency, Ron Paul regularly observes that the attacks of September 11, 2001 specifically and Islamic hostilities toward the United States generally are in large measure the function of an interventionist American foreign policy. That is, the federal government’s actions in the Islamic world are causally related to the terrorism that we are now combating.
For this, Republicans accuse of him of “blamingAmerica.”
But if Paul can be said to be a member of “the blame America First” crowd because of his stance that the federal government has acted objectionably vis-à-vis the Islamic world, then his accusers who have made their careers railing against the federal government’s objectionable treatment of American citizens must be members of the same crowd. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and all self-avowed champions of “limited government” and “individual liberty,” it turns out, are in reality the most vociferous of American Haters, for they are tirelessly criticizing the federal government for something or other.
Republican Paulophobes imply that Ron Paul is a “racist” because of some articles from decades ago that were published in his newsletter. As was just noted, Republicans accuse Democrats of being “racist” because of their support of welfare entitlements and affirmative action for blacks. They have also leveled this charge against Democrats when the latter opposed the enterprise of spreading Democracy to the Islamic world, a world, Democrats suggested, that wasn’t yet ready for this ideal. So, from the Republican’s perspective, a (white) “racist” is one who either promotes policies that deleteriously impact non-whites, or resists those policies that allegedly promise to benefit them.
Sadly for Republicans, by this standard they are among the biggest “racists” of all. Their “War on Drugs” has devastated the black poor. As such black thinkers as Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams have long noted, this “war” has transformed black communities throughout the country into virtual combat zones and economic wastelands. And if their “War on Drugs” has ruined the lives of many blacks, their “War on Terror”—alternately and more euphemistically characterized as “the Freedom Agenda”—has been even worst for Muslims.
But if Republicans are the biggest “racists” by their own standard, then Ron Paul is the biggest “anti-racist” by the same. Paul wants to end both “wars” and, thus, spare the lives of countless numbers of non-whites.
Republicans say that Ron Paul’s foreign policy is “isolationist,” “naïve,” and “dangerous.” One Paulophobe, Newt Gingrich, has even gone so far as to suggest that whoever supports it is “indecent.” At the same time, Republicans have established for themselves a reputation of being pro-military.
Yet if Ron Paul is “isolationist,” “naïve,” and “dangerous” when it comes to foreign policy, then all of those veterans and active duty military personnel who endorse him are “isolationist,” “naïve,” and “dangerous.” Ron Paul, a veteran of the United States Air Force, receives more contributions from the members of our armed forces than all of the other candidates combined. He receives ten times the amount that Mitt Romney receives and one hundred times the amount received by Newt Gingrich!
Republicans know that they cannot win the presidential election of 2012 unless their candidate can get the independent vote and that of racial minorities. But polls show that Ron Paul beats Obama among independents and receives more of the non-white vote than every other Republican candidate.
Still, Republican Paulophobes can’t even bring themselves to conceive of the possibility that Paul could secure their party’s nomination. Like the very word “cancer” that those from earlier generations couldn’t bring themselves to utter, just the idea of a nominee Paul strikes terror into their hearts.
The Republican Paulophobe, I hoped to have shown, is a walking contradiction. There is, though, one final consideration that shouldn’t be lost upon us.
Republican Paulophobes know that should Ron Paul not get his party’s nomination and choose to run on a third party ticket, or should he encourage his devoted following to turn its back on the GOP, then President Obama is insured a second term. Hence, a little prudence dictates that Republicans refrain from treating him unjustly.
But they insist upon treating Paul to one injustice after the other.
The Paulophobe is impervious to reason. Maybe, though, another crushing loss, courtesy of Ron Paul and his followers, will cure him of his condition.
Jack Kerwick, Ph.D.
originally published at The New American