Ron Paul versus the Enemies of Reason
by Jack Kerwick
syndicated radio talk-show host Mark Levin is an outspoken critic
of Congressman Ron Paul. Levin labors tirelessly to convince the
members of his audience that Paul suffers from a condition of poverty
that has ravaged his intellect no less than his moral character.
Paul is no kind of conservative, the Great One informs
us: besides advocating a foreign policy that is supposedly as idiotic
in conception as it promises to be ruinous in effect, Ron Paul is
this column know that this isnt the first time that I have
addressed the Paul Derangement Syndrome that has overtaken the good
doctors Republican critics. It also isnt the first time
that I have singled out Levin as a textbook case of this disorder.
There is a
reason for this.
That both the
substance of Pauls thought as well as especially!
the manner in which he tends to articulate it should elicit objections
from his fellow partisans is an unremarkable phenomenon. Quite recently,
I wrote an article in which I showed the respects in which my own
political philosophical orientation conservatism is
fundamentally at odds with that of Paul. The difference,
though, between, say, Jack Kerwick and Mark Levin, is that Levin
cant resist the impulse to couch his criticisms of Paul within
a pile of abusive names that he reserves for the man; I, on the
other hand, feel no such compulsion.
In other words,
Levin is emblematic of the phenomenon to which I refer as the Paul
Derangement Syndrome, a craze that renders otherwise reasonably
sane (even if frequently misguided) Republicans into embodiments
of raw, undifferentiated irrationality at the very mention of Ron
It is this
phenomenon that succeeds in arresting so much of my attention as
the 18th-century philosopher Immanuel Kant alluded to misology,
it was the hatred of reason to which he referred. Well, if misology
is the hatred of reason, then the misologist is the
person who despises reason. Levin, I contend, represents a sizable
number of self-proclaimed conservatives who are pathological
misologists when it comes to Ron Paul.
and company insist that they favor limited government.
Levin in particular (to his credit) never misses a moment to show
that our current federal government is light years away from the
government envisioned and ratified by our countrys founders.
This is the same person, mind you, who authored an immensely successful
versus Tyranny, a work within which he conveys an impassioned
defense of the constitutional republic bequeathed to us from
our forbearers while launching an unrelenting attack against all
statists i.e. the advocates of Big government.
Any remotely reasonable person can only scratch his head and wonder
why an anti-Statist like Levin would become as enraged
as he does with, of all people, someone like Ron Paul, a person
who is even more vehemently anti-Statist than Levin
It is obvious
to anyone who knows anything at all about Levin and the neoconservative-dominated
Republican Party with which he identifies that above and beyond
anything else, it is Pauls resolute disavowal of Americas
foreign policy that so upsets them. Long before the war in Iraq
became as wildly unpopular with the country as it eventually did,
Paul was sounding the alarm against what he and many others call
interventionism, a doctrine that, presupposing as it
does the exceptional character of America, calls for
it to assert itself militarily into societies around the world for
the sake of transforming them into democracies. Paul
argues that not only is this project of exporting Democracy
financially unsustainable, it is as well immoral and unconstitutional.
is sufficient to make Paul persona non grata among establishment
Republicans like Levin. But when Paul then failed to treat the prospect
of a nuclear armed Iran with a degree of concern that Levin and
others think is insufficient, he may as well have painted a target
on his back for them.
if one disagrees with Ron Paul on these matters, even if one thinks
that he is as wrong headed as anyone can be, the reaction of the
Levins of the world to his position can only be judged unreasonable.
champions of limited government seem to forget this,
the military the Army, the Navy, the Marines, and the Air
Force is a feature of the federal government. All military
personnel, that is, are government employees. Moreover, the military
is as much an object of government spending as Social Security and
Medicare, and together these three government programs consume the
vast majority of our federal expenditures. So, that Ron Paul and
others of his ilk should talk about utilizing our military in a
more cost-efficient way even if this requires cuts
in defense spending is what we should expect
from anyone who values a strong, but more limited,
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© 2011 The New American