As we begin to edge closer to the midterm elections this fall, an obvious pattern is beginning to develop. Anti-incumbent sentiment is at an all-time high, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, it seems that when the people of our nation are dissatisfied with the party holding power, they tend to go to extremes in the other direction (see Barack Obama). The recent success of Ron Paul in Republican polling has me, at a minimum, raising an eyebrow.
Many of my fellow, alleged conservatives, have jumped on his bandwagon and I pray it is not the beginning of a trend. I know, I know, Ron Paul is the popular choice these days, but I cannot lend my support for many reasons. First and foremost would be the obvious...he is not a conservative. Ron Paul is a Libertarian and he can run under the guise of any party he wishes, his beliefs are still Libertarian. Don't get me wrong, I am firmly on board with many Libertarian beliefs and these days the line seems to be getting blurred between conservatism and libertarianism. I wrote an article earlier this year noting my concerns over this growing trend.
Quite simply, we cannot allow Ron Paul to be President for one huge reason. Ron Paul is an isolationist, as are many libertarians. As much as the majority of Americans want less government intrusion into their daily lives, we must not accomplish it by neglecting the safety and defense of our nation. Too many nations detest our way of life and would like nothing more than to bring it to a conclusion. Ron Paul does not believe in getting involved in the world's conflicts. It's an easy stand to take, and no doubt garners present day support from many Americans who have not the stomach for the ongoing “war on terrorism”. However, the easy decision is not always the correct decision. It would be easy to withdraw our troops back home and stay out of these affairs. Unfortunately, if this foreign policy were adopted it would be but a matter of time before this hatred for our nation hits us within our borders again.
It's actually quite amazing how short-term our memories are when it comes to our safety. After 9/11 everyone supported the strengthening of our defenses, the beefing up of our border security, and the war on terror. It took less than two years for the anti-war lobby to regain the voice of naivety they have been for the last forty years. Do we need to be involved in every conflict which takes place on this globe? No, but isolationism is a foolish recipe for disaster. We must protect our interests at home and abroad. The failure to accomplish this weakens our nation and emboldens our enemy; who, unlike our cowardly administration, I have no problem stating is Islam.
Al Qaeda and all of it's other radical muslim splinter groups have been quite vocal that their strategy involves ongoing, debilitating attacks. They proudly claim that they know Americans do not have the stomach to see such a conflict through, and so far they are correct. We, as a nation, having once again achieved a general feeling of security within our borders and have immediately gone back to our ways of taking it for granted.
In the book Endless War by Ralph Peters he described our conflict with radical muslims by claiming, “we're playing checkers, they're playing chess.” If you dig deeply into world history and the current exploding population of Islam throughout Europe you will see that this is not a time in our history that we can support isolationism. It would simply be suicide for our nation. As much as nobody likes the idea of it, war is often necessary to defend the freedoms which this great nation provides. That, quite simply, is why we must not abandon conservatism for libertarianism.
Take a trip to Arlington National Cemetary and you will see rows upon rows of men and women who knew that if we are to maintain liberty, war is an unfortunate requirement from time to time. This will always be true as long as there is evil in our world. Those who refuse to accept these cold hard facts had better be prepared to kneel on a cold hard floor. I, for one, prefer to die on my feet than live on my knees.