Ron Paul is not a Goldwater Republican

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Look, there's a fair amount of Senator Barry Goldwater's track record that I don't agree with, even if his run for the Presidency in 1964 was standard for conservatism for a quarter century. But in the debate tonight, when Representative Ron Paul repudiated our fight in Vietnam, Ron Paul repudiated Barry Goldwater.

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Senator Goldwater is beloved by today's left and fringes for his distaste for southern conservatives, finding them too religious for his preferences. But if one looks at their chief issue, war, it's hard to see why they love him. Because if there's one thing Goldwater was clear about in his best-known address, his acceptance speech at the 1964 Republican National Convention, he favored victory against tyranny over gifts and appeasement:

And I needn't remind you - but I will - that it's been during Democratic years that our strength to deter war has stood still, and even gone into a planned decline. It has been during Democratic years that we have weakly stumbled into conflict, timidly refusing to draw our own lines against aggression, deceitfully refusing to tell even our people of our full participation, and tragically, letting our finest men die on battlefields (unmarked by purpose, unmarked by pride or the prospect of victory).

Yesterday it was Korea. Tonight it is Vietnam. Make no bones of this. Don't try to sweep this under the rug. We are at war in Vietnam. And yet the President, who is Commander-in-Chief of our forces, refuses to say - refuses to say, mind you, whether or not the objective over there is victory. And his Secretary of Defense continues to mislead and misinform the American people, and enough of it has gone by.

And I needn't remind you, but I will; it has been during Democratic years that a billion persons were cast into Communist captivity and their fate cynically sealed.

Yes, look at that: during a wartime election, Barry Goldwater did not criticize President Lyndon Johnson for escalating the war. No, he criticized Johnson for not fighting hard enough, and for not being a tough enough actor on the international stage to deter combat! He also predicted the claims of today's Democrats, that there is no war on terror, by mocking their unwillingness to call a war a war.

And what was his concern? Certainly not a worry over whether there was a Declaration of War with the right magic words suitable to his tastes, and definitely not a desire to issue letters of marque and reprisal over the Gulf of Tonkin affair or the aggressions of the North. No, he just wanted to fight as well as we could, and win. But wait, he goes on:

Today in our beloved country we have an administration which seems eager to deal with communism in every coin known - from gold to wheat, from consulates to confidence, and even human freedom itself.

The Republican cause demands that we brand communism as a principal disturber of peace in the world today. Indeed, we should brand it as the only significant disturber of the peace, and we must make clear that until its goals of conquest are absolutely renounced and its rejections with all nations tempered, communism and the governments it now controls are enemies of every man on earth who is or wants to be free.

We here in America can keep the peace only if we remain vigilant and only if we remain strong. Only if we keep our eyes open and keep our guard up can we prevent war. And I want to make this abundantly clear - I don't intend to let peace or freedom be torn from our grasp because of lack of strength or lack of will - and that I promise you Americans.

Yes, indeed, look: Senator Goldwater rejected the kind of diplomacy opponents of the war like Ron Paul would have us attempt. We aren't to try to win them over with trade, with foreign aid, or a withholding thereof, or any kind of meekness at all, if we're to be Goldwater Republican. Only through unsurpassed military might, and the willingness to project that force anywhere in the world it is needed, do we live up to his vision for America.

He also doesn't shy from making it clear that a hawk is no more "pro-war" than a dove. Barry Goldwater understood how "peace through strength" works, and certainly would never call the Bush Administration a group of "warmongers," merely because they see the necessity of fighting for freedom.

He even rejected the idea that Ron Paul would have us believe, that we were the aggressor in Vietnam. No, he brands the Communists, the tyrants, as the enemies of peace, just as Jihadis in Iraq and elsewhere are today seeking to bring horror anywhere there is tranquility.

Oh yes, and don't say that fighting for liberty is a Wilsonian, "neo-conservative" idea either, unless you want to call Barry Goldwater a neocon as well, because he's not done yet:

I know this freedom is not the fruit of every soil. I know that our own freedom was achieved through centuries, by unremitting efforts by brave and wise men. I know that the road to freedom is a long and a challenging road. I know also that some men may walk away from it, that some men resist challenge, accepting the false security of governmental paternalism.

And I pledge that the America I envision in the years ahead will extend its hand in health, in teaching and in cultivation, so that all new nations will be at least encouraged to go our way, so that they will not wander down the dark alleys of tyranny or to the dead-end streets of collectivism. My fellow Republicans, we do no man a service by hiding freedom's light under a bushel of mistaken humility.

What is it that Ron Paul and the left tell us? That some countries just aren't "ready" for freedom? That we must be humble and not try to do too much? Barry Goldwater rejected all of that.

By contrast with this sweeping rhetoric, pledging America to fight for freedom everywhere, never backing down and appeasing, what does Ron Paul, the supposed Goldwater Republican, say about our struggle in Vietnam?

So, let the people have their country back again. Just think of the cleaning up of the mess after we left Vietnam. Vietnam now is a friend of ours -- we trade with them, the president comes here.

What we achieved in peace was unachievable in 20 years of the French and the Americans being in Vietnam.

So it's time for us to take care of America first.

Never mind how scarily like the Nazi sympathizers of 1940 Ron Paul sounds with that last line. The entire spirit of his words directly contradicts the godfather of modern Republican conservatism. Goldwater wanted to engage the world, Paul would withdraw. Goldwater saw inspiring nobility in our willingness to spread liberty to other peoples, Paul wants us to leave them to twist in the wind. Goldwater would have us oppose and call out Communists like those in Vietnam, Paul praises them and desires good will for them.

Barry Goldwater, like Ronald Reagan and like George W. Bush, saw America as having the unique ability and opportunity to be the champion of freedom worldwide. Ron Paul, when he whitewashes the horrors of Communism or Jihad, is nothing like them, and has no legitimate claim to being the heir of conservatism in our party or our country.

Ron Paul is not a Goldwater Republican 35 Comments (0 topical, 35 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

but there are plenty of other issues on which Paul takes up the Goldwater mantle. I haven't heard to much from the other guys about how the government is too big and how people rely on it for far too many things.

That Goldwater is known first for liberty, not opposition to pork barrel politics, heh.

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and the bigger the government is, the more money that it spends, and the more that it prohibits, the less liberty there is. Porkbusters are going after pork, a noble goal and a worthwhile pursuit, but it's just the tip of the iceberg. Real reform entails shrinking the government by closing departments and shutting down programs. Mandatory spending is no better than discretionary.

and are willing to pay the price of your freedom and self respect.

“You cannot go to war without God." - Cormac McCarthy

So, let the people have their country back again. Just think of the cleaning up of the mess after we left Vietnam. Vietnam now is a friend of ours -- we trade with them, the president comes here.

Yes, the "mess" we left behind included the slaughter and torment visited on Cambodia by Khmer Rouge, some of the surviving leaders of which are about to go on trial. That Paul would imply that America is at fault for this, that we caused the "mess," is enough to earn him my undying contempt.

What we achieved in peace was unachievable in 20 years of the French and the Americans being in Vietnam.

"What we achieved" included perhaps the most concentrated massacre in all of history -- 2 million people dead out of a population of 8 million.

Truly despicable comments from Paul.

And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

The Paul campaign went off the rails last night. There isn't a shade of gray about the aftermath of Vietnam. It was wholesale slaughter.

Goldwater was right about Vietnam.

Paul is wrong.

The two men couldn't be more different, as Paul has thrown his lot with left-wingers and Democrats who dismiss genocide as nothing particularly important.

The threats posed by radical Islam and Communism are VASTLY different:

-Communists controlled at least 1/3 of the world's government's during the Cold War and posed enormous military capabilities; at worst, radical Islam is the dominant political theology of Iran and maybe Saudi Arabia (and we are friends with the latter)
-Communism was seen, by some at least, as a credible system of government (until its contradictions were exposed); again, it is hard to picture where radical Islam is seen as a credible system of government (except in the minds of fringe extremists)
-Communists had significant international clout and power, from spots on the UN Security council to the COMINTERN; radical Islam has no such international clout and primarily an underground phenomenon

Just b/c we are in a war doesn't mean the enemy and the threat are the same.

Ron Paul's the one who brought up Vietnam in the context of Iraq, not me.

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the comparison for a moment.

Ron Paul actually praised the "peace" achieved by the Communists after the American pull out. You know, the "peace" of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the reeducation camps in Vietnam; the "peace" that exceeded, in half the time, and by an order of magnitude, all the deaths of the war that came before it.

Ron Paul praised the "peace" of the killing fields.

And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

...if we didn't have troops in Iraq right now.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

The primaries are the perfect time to send a protest vote. RP is the perfect way to say you aren't happy with business as usual in the GOP.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Ron Paul is not a protest candidate. His biggest issue of protest is not the "constitutional government" crap he's peddling. His protest is over our foreign policy and our actions in Iraq. Casting a vote for Ron Paul is a vote to tell Republicans that you think we should surrender now.

You want to protest "big government" or your perception that none of the other candidates will do anything? Don't vote at all. Don't vote for a surrender monkey - who when you're not looking slips dozens of "unconstitutional" earmarks into spending bills to get his share of the pork.

Too bad all around.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

I mean its a good method of identifying Ronulans when they claim he is a Goldwater Republican.

Ron Pauls candidacy may be a very good thing long term, but RP the candidate is what he is. A loon with a few issues that resonate.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

our friends to slaughter and concentration camps because of a Democratic Party Fifth Column doing the Politburo's work for it. When we cut off funding to the South Vietnamese govt., it was as if we told Hanoi to get cracking and take over the south.

Ron Paul is an isolationist at best and a crypto-leftist as far as I am concerned.

Ron Paul is no Republican at all, much less a Goldwater Republican.
Defeat Paul this Spring in the primary, and show his mzdness for what it is.

I've tried to listen carefully to every Ron Paul supporter I could meet during the last few months. BTW, all have been under age 30 so I won't presume that they have the same concerns as RP's older supporters.

One and only one issue has brought them to their passion for Ron Paul and it isn't mere youthful enthusiasm for a return to the gold standard-- or a sudden awakening of interest in the role of the Federal Reserve.

IT'S IRAQ. PERIOD. Sure, they vaguely discuss dismantling the complexities of governmental bureaucracy but the light in their eyes only comes on when they conclude with "and that's why we need to get out of Iraq".

Ofcourse, Paul's 'Just Say NO to Everything' message, or Anarchy Lite, has the attraction of simplicity too. But it was fear of Iraq that brought in his converts.

With violence in Iraq waning and American soldiers returning, I suspect we'll see a weakening of Ron Paul zealotry.

I'm under 30 and I support Ron Paul. I'm also pro-Iraq war. I think it was justified and that Bush has run it a well as anyone could have. Maybe, for the same amount of money, we could have gotten more liberty for our buck, but hey, what's done is done. I wouldn't withdraw today or next year, if they still needed us.

I also know the gold standard is a bad idea for several reasons. Heck, I'm even pro-NAFTA.

At the end of the day, Paul is the most extreme-right candidate, which may not be everyone's preference, but I can't understand all the vitriol and calling him a leftist. He may be a "surrender monkey" (thanks for that bit of enlightened debate) but he's not the first dove in the GOP. He's not even as rabidly anti-war as people make him out to be. The truth is we can accomplish a lot through peaceful means, just as we can through military action. The GWOT won't be over until there's a McDonalds by every mosque.

Whatever, resume bashing. (Not talking to JDavid, but to other posters).

he may not be a leftist, but his campaign followers most definitely are (at least most of them) Why? Because the political spectrum isn't a line, it's a circle. When you are as far away from the center as you can get either way, you tend to support the same lame policies, only for different reasons.

I have to say the statements about Vietnam last night were just deplorable. To suggest everything was daisies in Vietnam after we left is just a blatant attempt to forget history.

I mean it takes a lot to actively suspend reality to arrive at the positions Paul supported yesterday. If he could build a coalition here and there in Congress, instead of being a "no" all the time, we could all benefit from his libertarian roots on spending, entitlement, and government reform.

...we've gotten to hold it in long enough. Your guys have a little problem with that, to put it mildly. Oh, relax: I am personally giving you permission to talk on about your precious man-god. Why? Because I'm nice that way.

Now run along and play.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

... to clear-up that condition?

...hold it in long enough. Your guys have a little problem with that, to put it mildly.

Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.

Did anybody here notice that Barry Goldwater Jr. publicly endorsed Ron Paul?

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!" - Barry Goldwater

Unless you're assuming that an endorsement by Ronald Reagan's children (or indeed, his wife) is indicative in any way of who he'd endorse.

Oh, yeah, almost forgot. Blam.

The Red Sox Republican: Burkeanism, Baseball, and Sundries.

I know that the antiwar movement believes in ritual magic, but trust me: it doesn't work.



The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

I'm referring to the father of the Barry Goldwater you refer to. You know, the one you quote in your signature?

Junior never said any standards for conservatism, sorry, so his endorsement does not make one a Goldwater Republican by any reasonable definition, any more than the endorsement of Michael Reagan makes one a Reaganite.

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that Jr. commands absolutely no respect with regard to his opinions in this state.
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Think about it Becker. On the war, which candidate of the field sounds most like '64 Goldwater? Which one is pro-victory but harsh in criticizing how it's been fought?

Dang. I still haven't come around as you have, since McCain certainly is no Goldwater in other ways, but it's funny how that works.

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A point of interest, there are comments by Goldwater where he denounces privately the war in Vietnam, saying he would not want to send his nephew there. However, I do agree that Paul's overly radical streak sets him more as an absolutist libertarian than a true Goldwater Republican, though the behavior of some Republicans recently may drive the Goldwater wing to the Libertarian Party.
Secondly on Vietnam, many historians today are very convincing in their arguments that the Nixon authorized bombings of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese supply lines and South Vietnamese incursions into Cambodia allowed the Khmer Rouge to rise to power by destabilizing the region. There are many influential historians who make these arguments. Goldwater would argue that history is something we should learn from, American intervention has had mixed effects, Max Boot makes a strong case for intervention while many others including Stephen Kinzer make convincing arguments against it. I guess history would show us that there are no absolutes and perhaps we should have a firm understanding of our enemy before we consider actions to be taken, now that would be a truly conservative foreign policy, one I think Goldwater would have more than welcomed.

before Nixon became president. There was little or no information about the Khmer Rouge insurgency in the international press because Prince Sihanouk was doing his best to keep the news secret.

Prince Sihanouk was the second most popular leader of the non-alligned nations (after Nehru)and knew that, if it became known that he was fighting Communist rebels in northern Cambodia, he would no longer have a leadership position with the non-alligned nations. As his government was fighting the Communists, he would have to publicly align himself with the anti-Communist forces.

For that reason, Prince Sihanouk and his government kept quiet about the Cambodian incursions and the bombings of Viet Cong incampments in Northern Cambodia.

The banned shill for the Communist lover thinks that Barry Goldwater would have done a 180 on the pinnacle of his career as a conservative Republican.

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