I like Ron Paul except for his foreign policy…

by | Ron Paul | 1 comment

What would be a good response when someone says “I like Ron Paul but don’t like his foreign policy.” Here are some of the responses from my good friends at Ron Paul Homeschoolers.

I like Ron Paul, except for the Constitution.

Ron Paul favors a strong national defense, not a strong national offense.

He just wants to bring the troops home from the border of Afghanistan and have them protect our borders in the U.S.A. What’s wrong with that? It would stop illegal immigration.

Do you realize that if we continue our current foreign policy of policing the world, we will not only incite more hate against us, but soon we will go broke and be unable to adequately defend our own country?

I say “oh you like to go to war, have fathers, brothers, husbands, daughters, mothers, and wives die in other countries because someone “might” someday make a ‘weapon of mass destruction’?” After all, don’t we go to our children’s schools and punch all the children in the face because someday they “might” bully our kid?” We have weapons of mass destruction and a government that is trigger happy!! The other countries should protect themselves from US!

Well, you’re entitled to your opinion but a large plurality of CIA analysts & agents, military veterans currently deployed as well as people in the area and Israel’s Prime Minister & Defense Minister do agree with him. What are your qualifications?

I would say that his foreign policy is really simple: 1) We must follow the Constitution, first and foremost. And that requires that congress approve wars in advance, and 2) Foreign aid is just a means for the US to exercise control over other countries. It’s wrong for us, and it’s wrong for them. We cannot afford to be the World Police and hand out all this money. We are going broke and can’t even protect our own borders, much less the borders of Afghanistan.

Most people are misinformed concerning his foreign policy as well as most other issues… thanks to the media. We always try to encourage people to check out what Ron Paul actually says.

It really takes more than a quick response to convert someone’s thought process out of something so ingrained and sub-conscious as neo-con foreign policy. I find I can usually sum it up in a couple minutes and explain the logic in a couple minutes, but I have to keep in mind it took me a while to snap out of the Limbaugh/Beck/Bush trance I was in.

Person: “I like Ron Paul, I just don’t like his foreign policy.”
Me: “If you do not like his foreign policy, it is because you do not understand good foreign policy. And you do not understand good foreign policy because the U.S. has not displayed it in 50 years.”

If another country sent a drone plane into USA that killed your child would you be pissed and want to retaliate? When they answer yes, you say then imagine how many tens of thousands of pissed parents there are in the middle east. We have more enemies than before all the invasions. We are less safe. And strategically we are doing exactly what Osama said he wanted to happen. We are bogged down in multiple wars and it is bankrupting America. “They” are winning now, but bringing the troops home and getting our budget under control means we again start to win, and we get to reunite soldiers with their families.

I’d remind them that 1) you don’t have to go too far back in history to see that conservatives traditionally favored Ron Paul’s foreign policy, 2) that foreign interventionism is subject to the same disastrous unintended consequences that conservatives recognize in domestic interventionism and for the same reasons, and 3) that Ron Paul’s foreign policy is in accord with foreign policy experts (including CIA counterterrorism experts). I’d then challenge their belief that the same government that mismanages Social Security, public education, and the economy can somehow be trusted to build up and tear down entire nations. If I’m talking to a conservative, I’d remind him that any power I hand to the government, the government keeps and gives to future politicians. I’d ask him why he would trust Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid or anyone else to kill people overseas in our names? I’d ask whether he’d trust Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, or Rick Santorum to do any better. I’d point to the founding fathers who advise against entangling alliances, to the Federalist Papers that warn that powerful executives inevitably take nations to war, and to the Constitution which insists that all wars must be declared. Together these arguments make a powerful case for Ron Paul and his foreign policy.

Ron Paul wants a very strong defense budget, but not a “military” budget, i.e. not paying $1 mil to have an embassy in Iraq or paying for the US to defend Japan. He has a very solid foreign policy: if we need to go to war, we will go, clean things up and come back. Not that tit for tat that lasts for years and make some corporations very rich.

I think it’s a huge disservice to our cause to argue. Instead use simple sales techniques like finding common ground TO agree on… emphasize the importance of those issues. AFTER that is done, THEN INQUIRE what it is about his foreign policy that concerns them… ONLY then can you SOFTLY attempt to sway opinion or even point out that the President is not all powerful and that he will likely be met with opposition. You want to leave them feeling GOOD about their opinions. This is part of what they talked about at a RP meeting I attended last week. You’ll never win a sale by arguing with a potential customer will you?

There are some great responses here… There are a lot of things I do already mentioned. One other thing is I try and make it personal. I assume that the threat is real (most people are not ready to let go of that assumption at first) and ask about a scenario like this: Let’s say you have a neighbor who has made threats on your life. You heard from a friend that he went and recently bought a gun. Do you, A. Sneak up on him in his house and shoot him on the spot, B. Hold him at gunpoint making threats and promising to kill his family, do all sorts of unmentionable things to him and place a guard over his house 24 hrs. or C. Go out and buy the very best security system you can, arm yourself, train yourself in the best of self defense, buy an attack dog etc. etc. all the while being as friendly as safely possible and trying to change their mind about you (or something to that effect). Which of these is legal? Which of these is Biblical? If it’s not ok for us a people to do, is it right for a country to do it? I try to be polite and listen to them, but also try to disengage or change the subject if the person refuses to listen and just wants to be a RP hater.

Our government is borrowing over 40% of it’s annual expenditures. Our children can’t afford us to be the world’s police force or fund the defense of nations who refuse to do it for themselves. We need to cut everything now while we can make choices in the matter rather than later when we will have no choice.

I don’t bother with the blowback, noneyer or golden rule aspects; either they get that or they don’t. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that borrowing almost 50% of what you spend will quickly dig a hole that can’t be escaped.

My normal response to this question is — I was a naval cryptologist for 4 years and was a 9/11 first responder and I support Ron Paul… Then ask if they want to talk about foreign policy any more. For some reason the conversation stops right there

The biggest obstacle is really one’s source of history. If someone is willing to look at the US/CIA involvement, usually they get it. Trying to offer that other point of view and get them to watch a good video

I’d say Paul’s policy is unambiguous in that he wants to properly defend American soil, and not worry at all about policing other governments. He does not want to pay other countries for political influence yet he is less of an isolationist than the others, because he would promote more free trade with some countries that we’re currently not trading with. Also, he does not want the military policing our borders, but says there should be more border patrol outposts. Consequently increasing border security and making OUR COUNTRY safer. With a big smile!

We met a missionary at our missions conference last October. He lives incognito among Muslims. He said that 7% of them are of the terrorist variety (memorize the Koran, believe in Jihad etc.), 20% teach/read the Koran but skip the violence, and the rest are just regular people living their lives who happen to have been born into Muslim families. They are Muslim like Americans are “Christian.” They bear no ill-will to us, but of course that will change the more America intervenes and bombs their countries. When Santorum and Co. talk of killing Muslims, I wonder if he even knows these percentages? Ron Paul had to clarify at a debate the difference between the Taliban and al Qaeda to educate them (one just wants us off their land, the other is the “terrorist”).

Osama Bin Ladens goal was to spread our military thin and in so doing bankrupt America. The transcripts to the speech where he declared this goal is easily found on CNNs website. The foreign policy of all the other candidates plays right into his plan and at the moment, we are on the brink of handing them victory.

Ron Paul’s foreign policy is the only one suggested that will both defend us from bankruptcy and defend our borders against terrorists.

Foreign policy must not be thought apart from the proper role of civil government. And once we define the proper role of government, we cannot have a double standard.

So if we say the proper role of civil government is to have an interventionist foreign policy, then we do not have justification to condemn other countries for having the same foreign policy. Naturally, we would shun such an idea and find offense that another country would intervene in the affairs of our nation.

But if we say the proper role of civil government is to have a non-interventionist foreign policy, then we rightfully can condemn other governments who want to intervene in our nation’s internal affairs and our natural inclination for such trespasses are justified.

Still, Ron Paul recognizes that such trespasses do occur and must be dealt with, but only within the confines of Constitutional law. This does not make him a pacifist, contrary to the popular misinformation espoused by the media and political pundits. If necessary, should the means of diplomacy fail, and if it is within our means to shed blood and treasure for such an endeavor, he will go to Congress and ask the representatives of the people to vote for a declaration/authorization for war.

I tell them you know I thought it was crazy the first time I heard him say that then I heard him the second time and really understood what he was saying and realized he is absolutely unbelievably soooo right that the people aren’t really listening to what he is saying!! It makes to much common sense to people so it dosn’t soak in right away. You might consider listening to him a couple more times cuz this biggest problem is they don’t give him enough air time to explain himself thouroughly but when you understand him it will hit you like a stone and you will realize how crazy the media is for saying things that are untrue about him!!

My response: “So you like the fact that the United States spends so much money and risks the lives of so many troops on wars that haven’t been declared, for the naive hope of being a hero and imposing democracy upon unready nations? You like that we are policing and pestering countries like Iran, and wonder why they are retaliating? Ron Paul would not have made the mistake we’ve made with the military the last decade, and will not let us repeat it in Iran. What’s not to like?”

Short answer? It’s not “his” foreign policy, it’s the constitution’s foreign policy. You don’t have to like it, you just have to respect it.

I know what you mean! I used to think that Paul’s foreign policy was radical and dangerous. But you know, after I did a lot of research and reading about what good foreign policy entails, and realizing that the military overwhelmingly supports Paul with contributions, I concluded that Paul is the only one whose vision for America will keep America safe. The greatest empires in the world have collapsed due to being spread too thin– Rome, British Empire, the Soviet Union– and we have more than 700 bases in almost every country on Earth. We would be a lot safer with those soldiers here at home, protecting our borders.

Paul believes we should spend Billions for defense, but not a penny for empire.

Paul would wipe off the earth any credible threat. Lots of people don’t get this message because of the spin, but he is the strongest candidate on national defense. We wouldn’t be in 10-year ‘conflicts’. If there is a threat, Paul would get a declaration of War, and annihilate the target.

Just an observation folks. You’ll do much better if you phrase many of these great points as a question. The Socratic method works. Telling someone they’re wrong for whatever reason is not as effective as leading them to that conclusion on their own.

You could try…”that’s funny because the troops who are actually expected to execute that policy favor him overwhelmingly” -one of said troops

I as recently as a week or two ago commented on this very thing. My response then was: Utilitarianism is a concept by which you measure the “goodness” and “badness” consequence(s) of some set of decisions, subtract the bad from the good, and make the decision based on the greatest value. For instance, say I have to decide whether or not to rob a bank. Obviously some good can come from that: I’ll have money (+10), I can pay all of my bills (+20), I can have new things (+5), etc. Then some bad can come from it: If caught, which is a likely outcome: Spend a long time in prison (-5000), Criminal record (-5000), Don’t get to keep the money (-35). Based on that likelihood, I can assume that the value of a Yes decision to rob a bank may be -10000. That’s a pretty serious assessment, and it’s kind of how most people make logical decisions anyways. For ANYONE who dareth to say to me, “well I like Ron Paul on everything EXCEPT his Foreign Policy ideas,” then I reply: have a look at the whole package, look at him and compare him to everyone else. If you take a serious utilitarian assessment of Ron Paul versus every other candidate, you will probably observe that Ron Paul is the best candidate in every other category, despite however many points he might lose in Foreign Policy. (Note: I actually agree with him on Foreign Policy. I love the debate he inspires–he is spot on.) It is a stupid offense against the good Doctor, and I will correct all those who say dare it anymore.

I guess you could always simplify it to say something more like “If you were to approach Ron Paul from a utilitarian perspective, despite a single value you may not agree with, we would still be better off.”

I would ask if they disagree with the Constitution? or Do you think the Constitution is a living document? The Constitution states we need a declaration of war from the Congress. Where in the Constitution does it say we must defend allies? or Where does it state that we must fund allies to sustain there well being.

The President of Isreal agrees with Ron Paul, the head of the CIA Osama bin Laden task group agree with Ron Paul, he gets more than twice as much funding as all the other candidates combined from our armed forces… He preaches that we must have a golden rule in our foreign policy, what part do you disagree with?

I usually end with “WWII was the last constitutionally declared war. Vietnam was horrible for everyone, including the troops who were spit upon when they came home. Ron Paul would never send our troops into harm’s way without approval of the people of the US, via their congressional representatives and a legal declaration of war. He would never send them without a clear mission. He would never send them without the weapons and equipment they need to accomplish the mission. We can’t afford to police the world, but we can afford to start protecting our own borders instead of everyone else’s”

I usually clarify what it is they don’t like. They usually say he’s not for israel or bringing our troops home would be unsafe. My answer depends on their concern. The standard two points I always make though are 1).We can’t afford to be at war anymore. Period. Unless we want to eat or have electricity somethings got to give! We can have military protection on our soul & cut military spending at the same time! 2). What does the constitution say about foreign policy? Our foreign policy should line up with the constitution serving the interests of this country & it’s people. We shouldn’t be nation building or meddling in other countries affairs. They should be allowed to function as a sovereign country & not depend on the US for guidance & financial support!

1 Comment

  1. Pamela

    I agree that the US military has been misused, but I still have a hard time respecting Paul’s apparently willful naivete about the motivations and aims of the Islamists.

    He’s right when he points out that they don’t hate us because we’re wealthy and free as the neo-cons would have it, but he is not right to believe they hate us simply because we’ve set up bases in or have invaded their lands. (How many different countries are host to an American military base, for instance, and how many of those countries are our sworn enemies and harbor anti-American terrorists?)

    The Islamists hate us because the Quran demands it, and they use any pretext they can find to escalate that hate. The Quran even encourages them to lie about their religious enemies, so even if we dry up all logical pretexts for their hatred, the hatred itself will never be dried up so long as Islam exists. I just wish Ron Paul would face this and articulate a more realistic strategy for dealing with the coalescing movement towards a worldwide Islamic calafate.

    Despite this, I respect his other views to the point where I am almost willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this issue. We’ll see.

    Love your passion, though! Blessings on you all!


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