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Ron Paul's Appalling World View

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Founding Pragmatism

The Framers also understood that the country would not remain locked in a late 18 th  Century world. Though they could not anticipate all the changes that would arise over more than two centuries, they incorporated broad powers in the Constitution so the country through its elected representatives could adapt to those times.

The true genius of the Framers was their pragmatism, both for good and ill, in the cause of protecting American independence and unity. On the for-ill side, many representatives in Philadelphia recognized the evils of slavery but accepted a compromise allowing the states to count African-American slaves as three-fifths of a person for the purpose of representation in Congress.

On the for-good side, the Framers recognized that the American system could not work without a strong central government with the power to enforce national standards, so they created one. They transferred national sovereignty from the 13 "independent" states to "We the people." And they gave the central government the authority to provide for the "general Welfare."

Yet, the fight over America's founding principles didn't end with the Constitution's ratification in 1788. Faced with a growing emancipation movement -- and losing ground to the industrial North -- the Southern slave states challenged the power of the federal government to impose its laws on the states. President Andrew Jackson fought back against Southern "nullification" of federal law in 1832 and the issue of federal supremacy was fought out in blood during the Civil War from 1861-65.

Even after the Civil War, powerful regional and economic forces resisted the imposition of federal law, whether intended to benefit freed slaves or to regulate industry. In the latter third of the 19 th  Century, as Jim Crow laws turned blacks into second-class citizens, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan created industrial monopolies that rode roughshod over working-class Americans.

For different reasons, the South's agrarian oligarchs and the North's industrial oligarchs wanted the federal government to stay out of their affairs -- and they largely succeeded by wielding immense political power until the 20th Century.

Then, in the face of widespread abuses, President Theodore Roosevelt went after the "trusts," President Franklin Roosevelt responded to the Great Depression with the New Deal, and post-World War II presidents and federal courts began the process of overturning racial segregation.

The Right's Emergence

In reaction to those changes -- federal regulation of the economy and rejection of overt racial discrimination -- the modern American Right emerged as a sometimes uneasy coalition between the "free-marketeers" and the neo-Confederates, sharing a mutual hatred of modern liberalism.

Those two groups also drew in other constituencies harboring resentments against liberals, such as the Christian Right -- angered over Supreme Court prohibitions on compulsory prayers in public schools and abortion rights for women -- and war hawks, drawn from the ranks of military contractors and neoconservative ideologues.

These right-wing movements recognized the importance of propaganda and thus -- in the 1970s -- began investing heavily in an infrastructure of think tanks and ideological media that would develop supportive narratives and disseminate those storylines to the American people.

It was especially important to convince Americans that the New Deal and federal interference in "states' rights" were a violation of the Founders' core principles. Thus, the Right could pretend that it was standing up for the U.S. Constitution and the Left was out of step with American "liberty."

So, right-wing "scholars" transformed the purpose of the Constitutional Convention and recreated James Madison in particular. Under the Right's revisionist history, the Constitution was drafted to constrain the power of the federal government and to ensure the supremacy of states' rights. A few Madison quotes were cherry-picked from the Federalist Papers and the significance of the Tenth Amendment was exaggerated.

The success of the pseudo-history can't be overstated. From the Tea Party, which arose in angry determination to "take back our country" from the first African-American president, to the hip libertarians who turned the quirky Ron Paul into a cult figure, there was a certainty that they were channeling the true vision of the American Founders.

A large segment of the American Left also embraced Ron Paul because his ideology included a rejection of imperial military adventures and a disdain for government intrusion into personal lives (although he is a devout "right-to-lifer" who would deny women the right to have an abortion).

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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 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