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Old 01-02-2012, 04:24 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: Kudos to Bob for setting the record straight on his hero, Ron Paul

I continue to think that having Paul plus a firm majority of the Republican field (the candidates with a chance to win) deciding to run to Obama's right on these issues basically means that we won't have the kind of non-marginal challenge to US policy that you'd like. Thus, I again think you ought to be pushing hard for the kinds of candidates (Johnson) that Paul is probably drowning out, but I also understand that for you this is a longer run strategy in which Paul's views become less marginal. Even though I don't actually agree with you (I do agree with your statement that we should stop trying to shove these into into the left/right framework), I do think we are all better off if the views that you have, that Paul has, etc. are expressed and given a more prominent place in the debate. Despite my critical view of Paul, I've been pleased about his role in doing this. It just doesn't prevent me from seeing his flaws or thinking it's valid to discuss them (and that some of the rhetoric used to declare him the most fabulous of all politicians is a bit sickening).
I am quite happy to also support Gary Johnson on foreign affairs and agree that he apparently doesn't have any of the negative baggage that Paul does.

I was even happier to support Dennis Kucinich for president (twice) and Ralph Nader before him, both of whom were LEFT-wing Paul-like critics of militarism and war.

The problem is that Democrats AND Republicans marginalize ALL peace candidates. It's Ron Paul today and not Johnson who is taking the heat mainly because Johnson has no national profile and no one cares about him yet. But in 2004 and 2008 it was Kucinich. You may recall Clinton and John Edwards literally huddling on stage to marginalize Kucinich and others from the debates:

At the end of a forum with the eight Democratic presidential contenders in Detroit on Thursday, Mr. Edwards walked up to Mrs. Clinton, leaned toward her and said: “We should try to have a more serious … smaller group.”

“We’ve got to cut the number…” Mrs. Clinton responded. “I think there was an effort by our campaigns to do that … it got somehow detoured. We’ve got to get back to it,” and added, “our guys should talk.”
Kucinich was ridiculed by Democrats for being naive, short, "pro-life," a UFO-believer and a vegan.

So it's frustrating for citizens who share Kucinich's, Nader's, Paul's and Johnson's views on militarism and foreign policy to be stifled, marginalized and even ridiculed every time around.

I think a lot of this by Dems. is done to find electable foreign policy candidates like Obama and both Clintons, with the predictable result being that Dem. presidents are nearly identical on militarism to the electable candidates in the other party.

Another thing that happens is that liberals and progressives give Obama (or the Dem. in office; it was almost as bad with Bill Clinton) a virtual pass on whatever foreign policy he pursues. Part of this is due to the conviction that Republicans would be even more bellicose; part is cult of personality, and of course a huge part is that most Americans probably agree with the President on American exceptionalism and militarism.
Seek Peace and Pursue it
בקש שלום ורדפהו
Busca la paz y síguela
--Psalm 34:15
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