With GOP contenders battling it out for the chance to face President Barack Obama in 2012, the once “cult-following” of Texas Congressman Ron Paul has turned into a base large enough to consider him one of the frontrunners. Having a massive Facebook following, the second highest 2nd quarter funds raised after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and recent poll victories such as the Southern Republican Leadership Conference straw poll; Paul’s more than 30 year old message of individual liberty, sound money and free markets is resonating with an ever larger audience.
Of course with this popularity comes criticism. Too many Republican voters and self-described “Constitutional conservatives”—at least those I’ve come across—have been quick to describe the libertarian-minded congressman as “kooky” and a “crazy old man”. Their primary focus is on foreign policy but some on economics as well. Despite Paul’s fervent belief in Thomas Jefferson’s philosophy of avoiding “entangling alliances”, these conservatives often paint him as a “liberal”. Perhaps liberal in the classical sense like John Stuart Mill, but certainly not in the modern-day so-called liberalism of persons like President Obama, Ed Schultz, and Alan Colmes.
Many rumors are spread by the anti-Paul conservatives. Paul supporters are often referred to as “PaulBots”—ironically similar to author Jason Materra’s term “Obama Zombies” used in the book of the same name—although save for a few kooky and loud conspiracy theorists, Paul supporters tend to be better at justifying their support for the jolly old man than do the Obama Zombies. Paul is often mischaracterized as a bigot, even though there is no evidence to support this ad hominem attack.
But what the anti-Paul conservatives—usually of the interventionist line of foreign policy thinking that is commonly referred to as neoconservatism, though having its roots in Woodrow Wilson—fail to do is actually look at what Paul’s foreign policy positions are and have been and see if they have any connection to reality. Paul’s years of studying the Austrian School of Economics have had a surprising effect on his analytical skills when it comes to foreign policy.
Recently, Ron Paul supporters posted a video to Youtube entitled “Ron Paul the Master”. It shows a collection of speeches and interviews in which Ron Paul makes some stunning predictions about our current economic woes and even international conflicts of the present. And he does this as far back as 2002. Of course no one gave him the time of day.
Let’s analyze one of these speeches, which begins at 3 minutes into the video and was presented before congress on April 24, 2002.
“Our government intervention in the economy and in the private affairs of citizens, and the internal affairs of foreign countries, leads to uncertainty and many unintended consequences. Here are some of the consequences about which we should be concerned.
The United States, with Tony Blair as head cheerleader, will attack Iraq without proper authority, and a major war, the largest since World War II, will result.
Major moves will be made by China, India, Russia, and Pakistan in Central Asia to take advantage of the chaos for the purpose of grabbing land, resources, and strategic advantages sought after for years.”
This is absolutely true. The chaos gave us many unexpected problems. Al Qaeda’s presence in Iraq grew after the invasion. And the country is now under Shiite control, moving it dangerously close to Iran. In 2002, Iran’s president was the more philosophically minded Mohammed Khatami…but now we have an anti-Semitic loudmoth, Ahmedinejad. Russia has moved into Iran to build an energy alliance. Vladimir Putin, and his cronies in Gazprom and Lukoil would love to gain control of the natural resources in Iran and Russia has been helping the Islamic Republic develop nuclear technology which US intelligence believes is being developed for destructive purposes. Let’s hope and pray they are wrong.
China and Pakistan have certainly taken advantage of the chaos. Not only is their alliance stronger, but the oil contracts in Iraq are going to—guess who—China! Kind of debunks the whole left-wing moonbattery that Iraq was “blood for oil”.
You can find more detail in these articles:
“Current Israeli-United States policies will solidify Arab Muslim nations, this will include those Muslim nations that in the past have fought against each other.
Some of our moderate Arab allies will be overthrown by Islamic fundamentalists.”
What exactly do you think the “Arab Spring” is? Peaceful democratic people overthrowing dictators? Not quite. The Muslim Brotherhood, a precursor to Hamas, has founded its own political party in Egypt; it is possible these theocrats will gain significant power in the new government. Let’s not forget that Libyan and Yemeni rebels have been linked to Al Qaeda. Just the other day the new Al Qaeda cheif Ayman Al-Zawahiri was lauding the rioters in Syria.
And certainly the dictators—such as Gaddafi and Mubarak—aren’t moderate in the eyes of their own people, but often American politicians have viewed them as such. Useful when we need them, disposable when we don’t as Mobutu Sese Seko and Saddam Hussein once were.
“Many American military personnel and civilians will be killed in the coming conflict.
The leaders of whichever side loses the war will be hauled into and tried before the International Criminal Court for war crimes. The United States will not officially lose the war, but neither will we win. Our military and political leaders will not be tried by the International Criminal Court”
This wasn’t entirely true, Saddam was tried by his own people. But did we really “win” the war. We turned the country over to the Shiite theocrats instead of secularists and now those people are getting close to Iran.
“An international dollar crisis will dramatically boost interest rates in the United States.”
Price inflation, with a major economic downturn, will decimate U.S. Federal Government finances, and exploding deficits and uncontrolled spending.”
Ah yes, remember when that Burger King value meal was around $3.
“Federal Reserve policy will continue at an expanding rate, with massive credit expansion, which will make the dollar crisis worse. Gold will be seen as an alternative to paper money as it returns to its historic role as money.”
Though Bernanke has kept interest rates low, there is the prospect of T-Bill interest rates going up with the forthcoming debt crisis. There has been a dollar devaluation of 40% against the Euro since this 2002 speech, nearly 14% since June 2010 alone according to an article in The Washington Post.
Quantitative easing most definitely contributed to the high gas prices we see today. If you think it was all the fault of this “Arab Spring”, take a look at the Commodity Price Index some time. This freshly “recycled” dough being put in the hands of speculators causes them to artificially drive up the price of oil and other commodities, some of which are being bought as a hedge against the falling dollar; quite the vicious cycle.
As for gold, when Congressman Paul gave this speech gold was roughly $300 per ounce and today it stands at more than $1615 per ounce; you can check out the historical data on gold prices here.
That’s a whopping 438% increase.
“Erosion of civil liberties here at home will continue as our government responds to political fear in dealing with the terrorist threat by making generous use of the powers obtained with the Patriot Act.
The Congress and the President will shift radically toward expanding the size and scope of the Federal Government. This will satisfy both the liberals and the conservatives.
Military and police powers will grow, satisfying the conservatives. The welfare state, both domestic and international, will expand, satisfying the liberals. Both sides will endorse military adventurism overseas.”
The president today has the power to order the assassination American citizens, as in the case of Anwar Al-Awlaki—traitorous as he may be, this is wrong. The Constitution has rules for punishing those who commit treason. But President Obama has ignored this and has ordered him to be killed if possible with drone strikes in Yemen.
The welfare state has expanded significantly. A new, unaffordable addition to Medicare under Bush 43 was passed. We saw more than a trillion dollars of so called economic stimulus under Nancy Pelosi and the combined presidencies of Bush and Obama, and that’s not even including Obama’s wasteful and unpopular health care overhaul. Not to mention billions of foreign aid to countries, some of which—such as Pakistan—are less than trustworthy.
“This is the most important of my predictions: Policy changes could prevent all of the previous predictions from occurring. Unfortunately, that will not occur. In due course, the Constitution will continue to be steadily undermined and the American Republic further weakened
During the next decade, the American people will become poorer and less free, while they become more dependent on the government for economic security.
The war will prove to be divisive, with emotions and hatred growing between the various factions and special interests that drive our policies in the Middle East.”
The middle east is on fire right now. The Israelis are more concerned for their security than ever before. Meanwhile the Saudi lobby pushes us to deal with Iran, with the hopes that they can beat the Islamic Republic in terms of spheres of influence in this theocratic mess of a region.
“Agitation from more class warfare will succeed in dividing us domestically, and believe it or not, I expect lobbyists will thrive more than ever during the dangerous period of chaos.”
This one is self evident. Class warfare is a weapon of distraction used by those who wish to expand the size of government while fat cats at firms such as General Electric, Goldman Sachs, and BP fatten their wallets thanks to government’s policy of picking winners and losers via loopholes and subsidies. The administration may talk the talk, but just take a look at Obama’s campaign contributions and how cozy he is with Jeffrey Immelt; how GE almost got away with paying no taxes, and how a former Goldman Sachs legal adviser with no judicial experience now sits on the Supreme Court.
In addition, a piece was posted two days later, here, containing more words than in the video, which appears as if it may have been cropped to save time. Some of the predictions in that post, such as a reinstatement of the draft did not come true (thank God), but there is one of note that have somewhat come to fruition
“Some European countries will clandestinely support the Muslim countries and their anti-Israel pursuits.”
If you go on YouTube and read the comments sections on almost any video relating to middle eastern politics, you will find that it is a cesspool of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric, and many of the people making these comments are living in Europe. You can take my word for it as a person of Middle Eastern descent who keeps up with these things, or you can check it out yourself. The barbaric theocrats of Hamas are given the benefit of the doubt by many YouTube in the UK, France, Germany and Greece, while the Israelis are fallaciously smeared as “genocidal” and heartless.
Ron Paul’s predictions show a deep understanding of not just economics, but human emotions in the geopolitical world. Those who dismiss him as a “nut” and on the fringe would be wise to thoroughly read this article before making such a judgment. The facts are on his side, and he truly does seem to know what he is talking about.
Dr. Paul concludes with:
“I have no timetable for these predictions, but just in case, keep them around and look at them in 5 to 10 years. Let us hope and pray that I am wrong on all accounts. If so, I will be very pleased.”
Well, 2012 will be ten years in. You weren’t wrong on all accounts Ron, in fact, you were right on a great many of them. We should all be most displeased that these predictions came true.
Aaron Alghawi is finishing his B.S. in Economics at Texas A&M University; he is a board member and Director of Student Outreach for the Republican Liberty Caucus.
Photo of Presidential Candidate Ron Paul (R, TX) by: Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)”]
Published 7/29/11 on Examiner
The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect official positions of the RLC.