Thursday, November 15, 2007

Comfy in My Neo-Con Skin



One good thing about the Ron Paul campaign is that I've faced up to my political niche.

I'm not just basing it on the fact his views are archaic and his remedies, like reverting to the 'Gold Standard', impossible to enact in the real world. Or that his support is drawn primarily from various fringe groups most of which seem to have anti-semitic ties. Or that Pat Buchanan, a 'classic, Big C' Conservative is less odious in his world and domestic views.

I guess it goes back decades to my reflections on how the US might have done better in Indo-China. I shocked a lot of people I know when I said, then, that I believed that emerging countries indeed would work better under socialist-style central planning, while encouraging private enterprise on the personal and local level. I would qualify that, of course, that this should be accomplished under the guidance and advice of some super-national body.

Like the UN.. Yeah, I know. The UN has devolved into the LAST international body you'd want supervising any nation. But it COULD have been an amalgam of the IMF and WTO, couldn't it? Unfortunately there's corruption problems within those groups as well.... but I digress.

At any rate, OTHER than how I feel about the above anomaly to anyone who considers himself basically conservative, I dont think it is me that has changed so much as the Republican Party and the libertarian and Conservative segments of the party.

I believe in social safety nets but not in entitlements.. like S-CHIP expansion.

I believe the US should avoid ANY international agreements that restrict its global influence, differing with SOME Neo-Cons on Law of the Sea Treaty.
But if we did what Ron Paul advocates, the result of that withdrawal to isolationism would only result in some other power, most likely China or Russia stepping in to fill the void. Does ANYONE want that?

And I believe in 'Nation-Building'. Which has been disparaged by the left as the US attempting to build hegemony by installing governments in its likeness. Of course they KNOW that's not the case from practical review of actual events.
Even the original vision of a 'new Iraq' built on their existing power bases.

REAL politics insists that we have to work closely with governments such as Saudi Arabia which has an absolutely odious human rights record.

REAL politics has us keeping former -and possibly future- enemies, like China, close with trade ties when possible.

And you know what? If our foreign interventions really resulted in hatred in those subject states, then the average guy in Viet Nam would hate us.

And, as many returning GI's and folks like Megan McArdle have found, that is simply not the case.

But the interesting conundrum on why it is the citizenry of our former and current allies seem to 'hate us' more than those of our former and current enemies is grist for a whole other post.

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