Speaking as an outsider (I'm British - as such I rarely venture into the US Politics forum
), I can understand the appeal of Ron Paul to many
American voters, especially given the shake-up that the US has received since 9/11 and the Bush Administration's response. Indeed, I think some of
his policies are interesting (and some of them I could support myself).
However, I want to throw an idea out there for you guys to look at - Ron Paul advocates what is essentially isolationism.
Whilst I think the page on his website dedicated to 'War and Foreign Policy
rather light on specifics, the general gist of what he's saying suggests that he would take America back to the position they were in between the two
world wars. I know there's a bit of a disclaimer at the bottom of the page saying that the US must not isolate itself. But once you start the ball
rolling, it's very hard to stop.
He hints at withdrawing from the ICC, NAFTA, the WTO, and I recall reading that withdrawing from the United Nations and NATO isn't out of the
question. The US did this after WWI - they didn't bother to get involved in the League of Nations, and without a superpower such as the United States
the whole thing basically failed to prevent World War II. Paul also says that the US shouldn't be involved militarily in other nations' affairs.
So what? Why should Americans care? It's none of your business if other nations want to fight each other, right? Wrong. Isolationism has come back to
bite America once before, just as the policy of appeasement (which is, I think, closely linked to isolationism - they are two faces of the same coin)
came back to bite Britain and France. At Pearl Harbour, many American service personnel lost their lives because isolationists believed the world
simply wasn't their problem - thinking something will go away if you ignore it is completely illogical. The world showed them that disengagement
meant paying an unacceptably high price. An America engaged in the world can counter potential threats to itself and its allies pre-emptively. And if
you stop something at an early stage, it rarely requires military action at all.
Like it or not, a nation as large and as powerful as the United States can't simply close its doors and ignore the world. It would be bad for every
single democratic nation on earth, and I'm sure there's nothing more that the Russians and Chinese want right now.
I think if the US adopted a foreign policy along the lines of that advocated by Ron Paul, it would ultimately be bad for America - economically,
politically, militarily and diplomatically. I'm sure in the short term there would be positive results... no more American soldiers coming home in
coffins. But in the long term, it could lead to many, many more lives lost because of disengagement (exactly like Pearl Harbour and the war that
Perhaps you disagree... maybe you think Ron Paul's foreign policy would be the best thing for America right now. I'd be interested to hear your
views on the subject within the framework of a civilised debate. But I stand by my view that an engaged and outward-looking America is better for
Americans and the rest of the world.