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Friday, December 30, 2011

Ron Paul and the Killing Machine

Mike Whitney asks this very interesting question in regards to Ron Paul: Is doing away with the social entitlements worth it if Ron Paul, if elected president, would do away with the U.S. killing machine around the world?

My question to Mike is, how would you feel if we saw our own people dying more rapidly through the euthanasia of the elderly, sick and disabled as a result of this choice you have hypothetically proposed? 

What would be the interesting question if Paul were to become president is: would he actually stick to his ideals or would he be read the "riot act" by the nation's most powerful corporate elite, as was Obama? Would he dismantle foreign bases, and end occupations, wars, and secret covet missions; or, would be suddenly believe in "national security" and continue to engage in the business-as-usual at the Pentagon, CIA, and the rest in order to continue the economic gravy train that many of these powerful corporate elite have benefitted from as war machine contractors?

Would he have stayed away from offering support to citizen protesters working to topple dictators? Would Paul decide to stop selling our own oil, natural gas, and coal to foreign countries in order to be less dependent on foreign producing countries which he feels hate us? Or, would he continue the selling of our own natural gas resource?

Ron Paul does not strike me as an FDR or Truman-type who would stand up against the massive push-back by the powerful corporate elite.

Mike, do actually believe that Ron Paul has the strength to actually walk the walk, or is it just talking the talk.

Ron Paul is the only antiwar candidate who has a (microscopic) chance of winning in 2012. He’s also the only candidate who will make an effort to restore the Bill of Rights and reverse Congress’s decision to allow the president to “indefinitely” imprison American citizens without due process. For these reasons alone, Paul should garner the support of leftists, liberals, and progressives. But he won’t, because liberals are convinced that Paul will try to dismantle the social programs upon which the elderly, the infirm, and the vulnerable depend.

These concerns are not without foundation. Paul opposes government meddling in the market and sees Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as steps towards socialism. That means, there’s a good chance that these programs will come under fire if Paul is elected. The question is: How should we balance our concerns about Social Security with our opposition to the war(s)?
To answer that question, we need to create a “hypothetical”.
Let’s say, Paul surprises his critics and wins the presidency in a landslide victory in November
2012. Then–in his first public appearance as president–he issues an executive order to stop all Social Security payments immediately, thus cutting off the meager revenue-stream that millions of the nation’s elderly need to scrape-by.
Isn’t this the worst-case scenario? Isn’t this what liberals are really worried about?
Okay, so let’s say it all goes-down just as we said. Let’s say Paul tries to strangle Social Security from Day 1. Isn’t that still infinitely better than another Falluja, another Haditha, another Abu Ghraib, another bombed-out wedding party?
Yes, it’s wrong to deprive the sick and elderly of some pittance so they can eek by, but is it as wrong as blowing women and children to bits in their own country, in their own cities, in their own homes?
It’s a question of priorities, right? So, what’s more important; ending the bloodletting or some potential threat to Social Security?
Paul will stop the killing. We should use our vote to do the same.
MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press. He can be reached at

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