The support for Ron Paul’s non-interventionist foreign policy has two groups of ardent supporters. The uber-hippies of Code Pink and a growing number of pure badass warriors who have deployed to various parts of the globe and returned with multiple unknown questions in their minds.
I’m admittedly and proudly among them. Though the questions for me started in 2004, I didn’t actually start looking for real answers until my education in criminal justice began delving into the deeper issues of the Patriot Act in the years immediately following my return. I came to several conclusions with minimal influence coming from either the press or my professors with University of Phoenix.
First, the Patriot Act was a political coup by the Bush Administration. They capitalized on the fear the people felt in the immediate aftermath of September 11 and they framed the bill as both patriotic (the title) and necessary (with veiled threats of future attacks). What galled me in particular about the act was the repeal-in-effect of the 4th Amendment.
I didn’t know much about the Constitution at the time but I knew the importance of the 4th, 5th and 6th as I was at various levels working in law enforcement for the Air Force in Security Forces my entire career. If I’m trained to ensure I never violate a suspect’s 4th, 5th or 6th Amendment protections, they must be important.
Unlike others in law enforcement who were thrilled with the carte blanche the Patriot Act offered for warrantless wiretaps and the like, I recognized something very serious had just changed in our society. When I eventually stumbled upon multiple quotes by James Madison directly relevant to the Patriot Act.
“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” The Patriot Act’s removal of 4th Amendment protections represented a definitive shift to tyranny and oppression as legal acts of government which the Supreme Court unbelievably upheld as Constitutional.
“It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.” Though the danger of 9/11 obviously was real, the sole obstacle to preventing future attacks was an arcane law that prevented the FBI and CIA from communicating directly. The solution to future attacks would have only necessitated removing that law or altering it in a way that would have allowed the two biggest agencies of their respective purposes on the planet to share information they both had.
Instead, we get a draconian law interfering in protecting citizens from government intrusions and a monstrosity of a bureaucracy which has not only become leviathan in both total employee numbers and cost, but has yet to prove competent to prevent even a single attack from taking place.
“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”
I really don’t think I need to say much more about that gem. It was as if he and Jefferson alone understood the nature of
men people in positions of political power. The Patriot Act and Obamacare the Affordable Healthcare Act in particular serve as reminders that the representatives we’ve elected to serve the best interests of the country are some combination of lazy, incompetent or corrupt.
I’ve had countless discussions with friends of both left and right persuasions, they tend to disagree with my views on corruption when it comes to their party and don’t seem to comprehend that when I say incompetent, I mean they don’t understand the law of unintended consequences. You do not get involved in wars unless you’re willing to bear the unintended fruits and poisons of those wars.
Dare I say the Bush Administration ignoring the generals who warned of the likelihood, nay unavoidable, long-term insurgency that was going to result from the invasion, demonstrated a total lack of concern for both the consequences of their actions and for the troops they were sending into harms way.
I can’t express how much it pleases me to see groups like Oathkeepers and Iraq (and Afghanistan) Veterans Against the War and others coming into focus as non-partisan groups of veterans who recognize at least some flaw in the foreign policy. Other groups such as the Combat Veterans for Ron Paul have a candidate in mind to at least provide an obstacle to future disasters in foreign policy.
This open letter to the president posted Friday, April 6 and represents many of the thoughts I’ve had myself. What I realized, because I have wondered on occasion if my affinity for Ron Paul is misguided, is that I was drawn to Ron Paul because I read his content and watched videos of his speeches. I support Ron Paul because as I dug deeper into the flaws of our federal government, I kept finding him staring back at me with logical and reasoned responses.
The establishment is pitted against him and the baby boomer generation of GOP voters participating in the primary caucus just doesn’t seem interested in seeing the flaws in our government, so they’re going with the same flawed plan that brought John McCain to the nomination in ’08, voting for who Republicans want to vote for rather than who the independent, unaffiliated and unregistered voters will choose.
And they are choosing poorly, don’t choose poorly, choose wisely.
Also posted at The Rocky Mountain Collegian here.