By Alex Hammer
Is Ron Paul's foreign policy brilliant, or is it naive?
You'll have to read this piece to find out.
Ron Paul believes that our aggressiveness in the world could invite an aggressive response in return. There is some truth to this. Think about the people in your own lives. The ones that are nice to you engender warmer feelings than the ones who are harsh or wish you harm.
The law of reciprocity indicates that we wish to treat people as they treat us.
But what about "no good deed goes unpunished?"
Mitt Romney in the debate insightfully indicated that we can't have a foreign policy of "pretty please"
Ron Paul on Jay Leno recently indicated his belief that Michelle Bachmann hates Muslims.
She may or she may not.
Certainly she and Paul tussled onstage in regard to who is making the world safer and who is not.
What if they're each right?
But each wrong.
Life has a bit of paradox to it. Yes it is true that aggressive actions can elicit aggressive responses. And yes it is also true that weakness also invites attack.
If you doubt the latter think of the law of the jungle, predator versus prey.
And if you doubt the former then you would need to deny that humans are also social, and that cooperation has evolved as a critical tool for survival.
Think economic trade.
Man (and woman) has a Darwinistic nature but, alas, evolutionary forces are social as well as physical. Whether or not you believe in Darwin, or a force that operates beyond and allows evolutionary forces, you are likely to agree that we each have adaptive capabilities that allow us to navigate our way in the world and survive.
And we have instinct, including base instincts as well.
Ron Paul's policies may lay us on a course of appeasement that could make the horrors of World War II look like child's play. These same actions by President Paul might stop the economic bleeding from wars we cannot afford (in money and beyond) and strengthen our economy by shifting our resources to home.
Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul are similar in that they are polar opposites in their foreign policy views. They each represent the extremes.
Mitt Romney is probably closer to Bachman's foreign policy views because Ron Paul tends to stand alone.
Paul is an independent thinker who seems basically immune from common groupthink, and that allows Paul to have a consistency that certainly Romney and many others lack.
Consistency is far preferable to flip-floppers, especially in the position of leader of the free world (although in Paul's case that term would need to be amended)
But it is also famously said that "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds".
In politics there are idealogues and there are politicians. Idealogues are not necessarily principled if their idealogies are skewed but they are principled in that their views stem from core beliefs. Politicians also have a solid core, but it is not based upon ideas, it is based upon survival.
So they each are consistent in their own very different ways.
Is Ron Paul's foreign policy brilliant or naive?
Your answer to that may say as much about you as it does about candidate Paul.
By Alex Hammer