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Ron Paul's Appalling World View

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But Paul's blaming "progressive" reforms of the last century for the nation's current economic mess lacks any logic, more a rhetorical trick than a rational argument, a sophistry that holds that because one thing happened and then some bad things happened, the first thing must have caused the other things.

The reality is much different. Without Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive Era and Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, the direction of America's capitalist system was toward disaster, not prosperity. Plus, the only meaningful "liberty" was that of a small number of oligarchs looting the nation's wealth. (It would make more sense to blame the current debt problem on the overreach of U.S. imperialism, the rush to "free trade" and the unwise relaxing of economic regulations.)

Besides his reactionary fondness for the Gilded Age, Paul also embraces an anti-historical attitude toward the Founding Era. He claimed that the Constitution failed not only because of the 20th Century's shift toward "pure democracy" but because of a loss of moral virtue among the populace.

"Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed," Paul said. "The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified."

However, there's no compelling evidence that people were more moral in 1787 or in 1912 than they are today. Indeed, one could argue that many slave-owning Founders were far less moral than Americans are now, a time when tolerance of racial, gender and other differences is much greater.

And as for the late 19th and early 20 th  centuries, the pious morality of the Robber Barons included the cruel exploitation of their workers, the flaunting of obscene wealth amid widespread poverty, and the routine bribery of politicians. How that measures up to moral superiority is a mystery.

In his speech, Paul declared that "a society that boos or ridicules the Golden Rule is not a moral society," but many of the Founders and the Robber Barons did not follow the Golden Rule either. They inflicted on others great pain and suffering that they would not want for themselves.

Misreading the Constitution

Paul's historical incoherence extends to what the Framers were doing with the Constitution. He argues that they were seeking "to limit government" in 1787 when they drafted the Constitution. But that was not their primary intent. The Framers were creating a strong and vibrant central government to replace the weak and ineffective one that existed under the Articles of Confederation.

Of course, by definition, all constitutions set limits on the power of governments. That's what constitutions do and the U.S. Constitution is no exception. However, if the Framers wanted a weak central government and strong states' rights, they would not have scrapped the Articles of Confederation, which governed the United States from 1777 to 1787. The Articles made the states "independent" and "sovereign" and left the federal government as a supplicant.

The key point, which Paul and other right-wingers seek to obscure about the Constitution, is that it granted broad powers to the central government along with the mandate to address the nation's "general Welfare."

The key Framers of the Constitution, particularly George Washington and James Madison, were pragmatists who understood that a strong and effective central government was necessary to protect the independence of a large and sprawling nation. For that reason, they recognized that the Articles had been a failure, preventing the 13 states from functioning as a cohesive nation. Indeed, the Articles didn't even recognize the United States as a government, but rather as a "league of friendship."

General Washington, in particular, hated the Articles because they had left his Continental Army begging individual states for supplies during the Revolutionary War. And after the hard-won independence, Washington saw European powers exploiting the divisions among the states and regions to whittle away that independence.

The whole American enterprise was threatened by the principle of states' rights because national coordination was made almost impossible. It was that recognition which led Madison, with Washington's firm support, to seek first to amend the Articles and ultimately to throw them out.

When Madison was trying to get Virginia's endorsement of an amendment to give the federal government power to regulate commerce, Washington wrote:

"...the proposition in my opinion is so self evident that I confess I am at a loss to discover wherein lies the weight of the objection to the measure.

"We are either a united people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all matters of a general concern act as a nation, which have national objects to promote, and a national character to support. If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending it to be." [For more on this background, see Robert Parry's America's Stolen Narrative.]

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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at more...)
 
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Pointed out the truth that you can't accept.... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 2:08:27 PM
Right on sister!... by gabe robles on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 4:11:08 PM
Its funny you take things Dr.Paul says out of cont... by gabe robles on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 2:05:51 PM
This is not a laissez faire confederacy and we hav... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 2:10:59 PM
Really?!? A "functioning government." REALLY?!?!... by Mitch Connor on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 3:53:40 PM
of the government don't you like?... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 5:58:17 PM
The part where they arrest me indefinitely with no... by Jamie Cornett on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:31:20 AM
For anyone you know?... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 12:34:39 PM
... by Michael Rose on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 8:21:46 PM
I should not.And I don't.It is, however, a great d... by BFalcon on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:28:03 AM
... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 2:31:28 AM
Nor am I unaware of the imperfections of the life ... by BFalcon on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:08:05 AM
 imperfections .... democracy....not as catas... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 6:35:25 AM
Who is both able and seriously committed to do som... by BFalcon on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 10:02:38 AM
... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:08:21 AM
I am trying to help a friend, a scientist, who wan... by BFalcon on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 1:11:39 PM
Al Gore tells US that the only good thing about CO... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 3:05:40 PM
or would it be much more productive to investigate... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 3:43:09 PM
Yes, plants thrive on CO2. But no, that has nothin... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:44:42 PM
Yes, plants thrive on CO2. But no, that has nothin... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 8:14:11 PM
You don't care about removing CO2 or do you?... by BFalcon on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:16:08 PM
... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:45:37 PM
Sorry about the gremlins bustin' our lynx.  W... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 10:33:57 PM
But I don't believe more than half of what you sai... by BFalcon on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:13:16 PM
why you believe even that much  I said "belie... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:22:41 PM
...thought I'd better make sure you've got the cor... by Michael Rose on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:34:09 PM
And I try not to hate the truth, even when unpleas... by BFalcon on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 6:28:54 AM
I have NEVER said not to reduce CO2... and YOU als... by Michael Rose on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:01:42 AM
I wanted real info about somebody who would help w... by BFalcon on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:24:10 AM
Maybe you don't see it happening because that cogn... by Ms Nan on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 5:30:13 PM
" Not one corporate media story has yet appeared e... by BFalcon on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 6:34:22 PM
"I never believed an axiom" - Al EinsteinThan... by Michael Rose on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 7:07:05 PM
And, if you can quote Al Einstein, even better.Jus... by BFalcon on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 8:22:17 PM
... by Michael Rose on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:29:18 PM
That there was no discussion about geoengineering.... by BFalcon on Saturday, Dec 1, 2012 at 6:12:03 PM
Suggest first do some original revision of the evi... by Michael Rose on Saturday, Dec 1, 2012 at 7:39:41 PM
Say something scintillating?Can't be sure what you... by BFalcon on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 5:29:20 AM
just ask any inhabitant of Venus. Their pine trees... by John Sanchez Jr. on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:20:19 AM
If it's not an irrelevant question (or even if it ... by Michael Rose on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 1:01:18 PM
And the part where they such wealth from the middl... by Wil Masisak on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:18:19 PM
to support their fantasy that libertarianism would... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 10:24:24 AM
in domestic policy we are pretty far apart.That's ... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:18:37 AM
But again, on social issues and government regulat... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 12:33:43 PM
You know that libertarians and greens have the sam... by Wil Masisak on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:26:59 PM
When everyone's perfectly informed and perfectly m... by Jim Arnold on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 7:12:51 AM
This government can only be regarded as a man-made... by Dan Mage on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 2:54:38 PM
Is very different from "this" Bush Jr administrati... by BFalcon on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:19:22 PM
The government I refer to is the present one; howe... by Dan Mage on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 9:36:21 PM
On your concerns about wars abroad and police beha... by BFalcon on Saturday, Dec 1, 2012 at 6:41:18 PM
... by Michael Rose on Saturday, Dec 1, 2012 at 7:25:53 PM
$16 Trillion Debt and raising and you say this is ... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 11:03:59 AM
This article has so many fallacies, generalization... by Censor Sin on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 2:08:03 PM
From a true believer.... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 2:11:24 PM
...is not going to add legitimacy to your point of... by Censor Sin on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 2:25:24 PM
The huge amount of misinformation that the believe... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 3:41:55 PM
why do opponents of Dr. Paul use one line explanat... by gabe robles on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 4:14:39 PM
Richard Girard's comment below... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 5:56:57 PM
Your complete and total misinterpretation of every... by Steven Beckham on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 3:35:48 PM
I've been buying precious metals as a hedge agains... by Mitch Connor on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 3:42:36 PM
Double Post... by Mitch Connor on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 3:51:29 PM
in a world that never was, and if it ever came int... by Richard Girard on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 4:23:29 PM
More putting words in Ron Paul's mouth. Dr. Paul d... by Censor Sin on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 6:27:19 PM
I dont think people disagree with Dr. Paul. I just... by Chris P on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 4:02:19 AM
But does not understand.And all this talk about "f... by BFalcon on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 8:33:49 AM
Oh so how can the Federal Govt be function if it c... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 11:18:33 AM
Dr Paul would have no problem with single payer?... by BFalcon on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 11:23:41 PM
I am not going to elaborate and waste my time on s... by Jamie Cornett on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:10:04 AM
Is obviously your idol.Blind beliefs have their pr... by BFalcon on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 8:37:22 AM
I would appreciate some clarification from the Ron... by Jim Arnold on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 6:06:59 PM
We know the purpose of the Constitutional Conventi... by Simon Profit on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 6:40:29 PM
"Liberty is not incompatible with workplace safety... by Jim Arnold on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 10:14:19 PM
Ask any owner what they would rather have; (A) reg... by Simon Profit on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:07:00 PM
You left out the third option, which many owners w... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:04:10 PM
until the libertarians' pet project of "tort refor... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 7:55:52 AM
If that's true, then why are we putting anyone in ... by Simon Profit on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:15:17 PM
"If that's true, then why are we putting anyone in... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:15:23 PM
yeah...... by Don Caldarazzo on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:46:13 PM
Even, if the purpose was to create a "stronger" Fe... by Censor Sin on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 6:43:57 PM
We can agree that the federal government has becom... by Jim Arnold on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 10:37:44 PM
Technology grows with industry. Any smart business... by gabe robles on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:26:22 AM
Business owners got smart at about the same time t... by Jim Arnold on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 12:28:50 PM
Had me until 4th paragraph " Before then, everythi... by Simon Profit on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 6:09:31 PM
Have you cashed your George Soros check yet?... by Batman Robin on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 11:31:10 PM
You all will turn to Ron Paul when everything he w... by Chris P on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 3:34:30 AM
Paul's positions aren't that hard to interpret and... by Jim Arnold on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 7:06:13 AM
Thanks for the article.   Libertarians of ... by Libertarian International on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 9:47:58 AM
was a farewell speech, so we shouldn't have to tro... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 10:28:22 AM
Yikes! Is about all I can say in response to this ... by gary roberts on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 4:29:28 PM
that DR. Paul is still under attack. Could it be h... by Ms Nan on Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 at 6:32:29 PM
Hey everybody, listen up: Parry is really stup... by Ned Lud on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 7:39:27 AM
Mr. Ned Lud for President.... by Don Caldarazzo on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:49:20 PM
Truth as metaphor, never better. Kids should get t... by Swamper Tom on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:25:56 PM
One should praise someone such as Ron Paul who has... by Seymour Patterson on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 8:11:05 AM
This article completely ignores the "War o... by Dan Mage on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 3:28:39 PM
Mage.... by Don Caldarazzo on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:59:39 PM
What? Huh? Who, whuh? Is this supposed to be ... by Don Caldarazzo on Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:51:24 PM
This article is moronic and one-sided.  Obvio... by Charles Charlbury on Friday, Nov 30, 2012 at 5:25:07 PM
Are not going away for those 2 issues stand right ... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 11:33:05 AM