Ron Paul, Anti-Imperialist
- One of the charming things about watching him in action is his penchant for going off on a riff about the costs of war in Afghanistan when he’s asked how we solve the debt crisis. Paul’s answer is invariably: get rid of the Empire! It’s fun to watch the Washington pundits look nonplussed whenever he refers to "the Empire." Yes, you can hear the capitalization in his ironic tone of voice.
Paul has made an important concession for a libertarian, and that is his pledge to refrain from cutting domestic welfare programs on which the most vulnerable members of our society have come to depend. His budget proposal – cutting $1 trillion in the first year – depends heavily on cuts in the military, "foreign aid," and other instruments of our hegemonic foreign policy.
The reason is not just tactical: it is ideological. Because Paul — like his friend and mentor Murray Rothbard, the libertarian economist and theorist who died in 1995 — understands that war is the motor that runs the turbine of growing government power. It is in wartime that the power of the State takes a "great leap forward," and, in the holy name of "national security," overpowers the private sector and the realm of freedom.