What is the right foreign policy?

When the 2008 presidential race started earlier this year I was convinced that there probably wasn’t going to be anyone worth voting for in the Republican party (having a bad Republican beat Hillary is a compromise of fear and isn’t worth it). With the prospect of a pro-choice candidate like Rudy Giuliani getting the nomination of the Republican party the choice of voting third party in the general election seemed clear (probably Constitution Party).

In 2004 and before, I supported George Bush and the war. Because I supported the war and because Bush spoke conservatively on most issues I didn’t see any reason to vote third party. Three years later it is clear that Bush has not governed to the right. While he isn’t a Democrat, there isn’t a lot of difference (his pro-life stance and court appointments are exceptions). He also did a good thing in cutting taxes but he didn’t follow through by cutting spending.

While voting for Giuliani (pro-choice) is clearly a problem, the other options aren’t much better. Romney, McCain, Thompson, etc. are all variations on a theme that is very similar to Bush. They may talk conservative (they don’t even do that in half their positions) but are they going to stand up and do anything to change the current trend of big government compassionate conservatism?

A friend pointed out Ron Paul to me. I had heard the name and some good things but didn’t know much about him. I did a little research and figured he was probably someone I could vote for (pro-life, pro-gun, pro-freedom, etc.) but I still didn’t like his position on the Iraq war. It seemed that he wasn’t cut and run in the same way as the Democrats (most Democrats give that opinion out of the seeming political expediency of being against the Republicans). It did seem that he was going to immediately leave Iraq and maybe ignore the problems. I didn’t like the thought and the it still makes me a little nervous (doesn’t initially seem compassionate to the Iraqi people).

I then purchased Ron Paul’s book A Foreign Policy of Freedom so that I could better understand his position. Ron Paul’s desire to get out of Iraq didn’t seem much worse than everyone else’s idea of perpetual involvement in yet another nation. I wanted to understand Paul’s position to see if there was something more to it.

Lew Rockwell’s forward to the book made me understand the point of Ron Paul’s non-interventionism. I am continuing to read the book and see that Ron Paul while serving in congress has consistently practiced the beliefs that Lew Rockwell quickly made clear to me. Rockwell starts the forward with the following: “Ron Paul has always believed that foreign and domestic policy should be conducted according to the same principles.” I wasn’t sure what he meant and didn’t immediately understand how foreign and domestic policy could be the “same.” He goes on to point out that “Government should be restrained from intervening at home or abroad because its actions fail to achieve their stated aims, create more harm than good, shrink the liberty of the people, and violate rights.” The key to all this is that the government should be kept in check both at home (that is what the Constitution and Bill of Rights is all about) and abroad. As a conservative who believes we need a small government I would agree with Rockwell that “Under conditions of liberty, the result is prosperity and orderly civilization. Under government control, the result is relative poverty and unpredictable chaos.” The question becomes obvious. Why do we want to restrain the government at home but not abroad. Why do we get freedom, but not the rest of the world?

It is obvious that people like Saddam Hussein have major problems and that he did terrible things in his country. The problem is why do we believe that our government can “fix” the problem and “save” those people? Our government cannot solve the problems of poverty, health care, crime, etc. in our own nation. The government will make it all worse with taxes, minimum wage, price controls, regulation, inflation, and everything else that will eventually ruin our economy and our country. Why does anyone on the conservative side think the government can fix Iraq, the UN, China, Iran, North Korea, or anything else?

I am convinced that to support Ron Paul is to be a consistent conservative in every area including foreign policy. I am currently convinced that to vote for the rest of the Republicans is to vote for a variation of all the same old problems. To vote for any top tier Republican candidate just to beat Hillary (and oppose Giuliani for those who are pro-life) is a vote of fear that will do nothing but prepare us for the next Hillary (whoever they are).

It is time to vote for a consistently conservative Republican who will strengthen our nation in all the ways the founders intended. Ron Paul can win this election. A quick look at the funds he has raised and the news coverage he is getting proves it. He will lose if those who like his conservative ideals do not vote for him.

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