Rand Paul: Pros And Cons

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On Tuesday of this week, Rand Paul made it official that he is a candidate for the office of President of the United States. As I did with Ted Cruz a few weeks ago when he announced his candidacy for President, I want to give readers a preliminary assessment of Senator Paul’s pros and cons. Be mindful, again, that this is a preliminary assessment and is subject to change as more information becomes available.

For those who may not know, Rand’s father, former congressman Ron Paul, and I have been friends for many years. I campaigned heavily for Ron’s presidential campaign in 2008, and again in 2012. I even represented Ron in some notable Republican campaign events during that time. And I also spoke on the same platform with Ron and introduced him in several large rallies. And, after Ron dropped out of the Republican primary in 2008, I was approached by many of his supporters to carry the liberty message into the general election as the Constitution Party’s candidate for President. This I did; and when I did, Ron publicly endorsed my candidacy. Through my friendship with Ron, I had the privilege to meet Rand; and, as with his father, I like Rand a lot. Readers need to know that up front.

That said, this preliminary assessment of Rand’s candidacy will be intellectually honest and objective. Readers need to know that, too.

Pros:

*He is his father’s son

In my opinion, Ron Paul is the greatest U.S. congressman in our country’s history. While we have had several outstanding U.S. House members, no one can match Ron’s incredible record. Without a doubt, Ron Paul is the U.S. House of Representatives’ most preeminent champion of liberty. And you know the old saying: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I believe that is certainly true with Ron’s son, Rand.

And you can believe that establishment Republicans in Washington, D.C., believe that, too. As soon as Rand announced his candidacy, neocons such as Senator Lindsey Graham began their attacks against him. Graham went so far as to say that Rand Paul’s foreign policy is worse than Hillary Clinton’s. (That’s because Graham and Clinton are both warmongers, and Rand isn’t.) Rest assured, the GOP establishment will spend the entire primary season trying to make sure that Rand Paul does not receive the Republican nomination.

*Rand’s foreign policy

This is where Rand Paul shines. Like his dad, Rand believes in a constitutional foreign policy. He is opposed to America’s foreign wars of aggression. He is opposed to America’s preemptive war doctrine instituted by G.W. Bush. He is opposed to the Warfare State and all of the entangling alliances that go along with it. In fact, Rand Paul is the ONLY candidate for President from either the Republican or Democrat party who would probably make any significant change in America’s foreign policy.

And quite frankly, the office of President is mostly defined by foreign policy; and in this regard, Rand is probably the only candidate that would be willing to defy the war-mad neocons and bring America’s founding principles back to our State Department and DOD. Ted Cruz won’t do it; Ben Carson won’t do it; Scott Walker won’t do it; Marco Rubio won’t do it; Mike Huckabee won’t do it; Mike Pence won’t do it; Rick Santorum won’t do it; Chris Christie won’t do it; Jeb Bush won’t do it; Hillary Clinton won’t do it; and neither will Martin O’Malley. In reality, when it comes to foreign policy, there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the Republicans and Democrats. Except for Rand Paul, that is. Rand is the ONLY presidential candidate who would potentially restore a constitutional foreign policy to the United States.

*Rand Paul is solid on the Bill of Rights and the right to life

Rand Paul is solid on the right to life and the Second Amendment. But unlike the rest of the presidential candidates, Rand is also solid on the rest of the Bill of Rights. In the name of the “war on terror,” politicians from both parties in Washington, D.C., have mostly eviscerated the Bill of Rights. For all intents and purposes, the Fourth through Tenth Amendments are mere words on paper. Both Republican and Democrat congresses have gutted them to the point that they are unrecognizable from their original intent. Rand Paul is the only presidential candidate who gives more than lip service to the Bill of Rights.

Accordingly, Rand Paul is the only presidential candidate who would probably use the power of the office to alleviate, or perhaps even dismantle, the burgeoning Police State in this country. This is another reason why Lindsey Graham and other neocons in Washington, D.C., hate Rand Paul.

*Rand is the Republican who has the best chance of winning the general election in 2016

Rand’s popularity will come from just about every quarter, except the Washington establishment. He will pull support from not only conservative, Tea Party, and patriot groups, but also from libertarians, independents, college-age and young Americans, and anti-war Democrats.

An MSN report notes, “Paul’s speeches and media coverage have helped him break out of the Republican field. In very early trial heats of the presidential race, Paul regularly gets closer to Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, than his so-called establishment rivals. In a March poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, Paul tied Clinton in Pennsylvania, a state no Democratic candidate for president has lost since 1988.”

See the report at:

Rand Paul Begins 2016 Presidential Campaign, Aiming at ‘Washington Machine’

Rand’s challenge will be winning the Republican nomination. The GOP establishment will go all out to defeat him. But, if he can prevail in the Republican primary, he would undoubtedly be the strongest GOP candidate in the general election. But, remember, the Republican establishment would rather lose with neocons like John McCain and Mitt Romney than win with a principled freedomist like Rand Paul. So, Rand has his work cut out for him.

Cons:

*Illegal immigration and amnesty

So far, Rand has been soft on his stance against illegal immigration and Barack Obama’s executive amnesty for illegals. Rand’s principal opponent in the GOP race will be Ted Cruz; and Cruz’s tough stance against illegal immigration and amnesty is very popular with most Republican voters. If Rand continues to take a soft position on illegal immigration, it will give Cruz a leg up with many of the GOP electorate.

*His support for Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell

The decision to support Mitt Romney for President in 2012 cost Rand a lot of popular support. Romney was a Democrat in Republican clothing. Romney’s socialized medicine program in liberal Massachusetts was the blueprint for Obamacare. Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. And Mitt Romney flipped-flopped on so many issues (including the life issue) that he more resembled Silly Putty than he did a serious presidential contender. There was no telling which way Romney was going to bounce next. And Mitch McConnell is the consummate establishment politician. No genuine conservative respects McConnell.

I understand why Rand endorsed Romney and McConnell. He was trying to show the Republican Party that he was willing to work with the GOP leadership. Plus, as the freshman senator from Kentucky, he didn’t want to make a political enemy out of Kentucky’s senior senator (and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader). But endorsing Republican candidates that were fundamentally flawed positionally and constitutionally was something Ron Paul was never willing to do. And that uncompromising commitment of Ron Paul was one of his most endearing qualities. As such, I am extremely honored to be the only candidate for President since Ronald Reagan that Ron Paul endorsed. In my opinion, that says more about Ron than it does me.

When Rand endorsed Romney, it angered untold numbers of principled conservatives. That anger still exists. These folks are worried that Rand will be too willing to work with unprincipled Republicans in the future. This fear is something Rand MUST successfully assuage if he is to unify the base that he needs to win the Republican nomination.

*Rand’s recent homage to Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli lobby

This is another area where Rand’s father, Ron, was never willing to compromise. Ron had a constitutionally-correct understanding of America’s relationship with Israel and other Middle Eastern nations. And due to the constitutional ignorance (and scriptural misinterpretation regarding the modern state of Israel, thanks mostly to preachers such as John Hagee) of most Christian conservatives, it was this issue that most alienated many of them from Ron’s presidential campaigns. Doubtless, Rand is trying to circumvent that potential opposition from within the conservative Christian community by showing them, “See, I am not my father.”

Noted political researcher and analyst Joel Skousen put this in perspective recently, saying, “Rand Paul has the same problem [as Ted Cruz]. He’s decided that he can’t get ahead in politics without being a yes-man to the Israeli lobby, and so he takes his pilgrimage to Israel, meets with Netanyahu and other politically connected Israelis and pledges to stand with Israel. The problem with that position, as I’ve explained many times in the WAB [World Affairs Brief], is that Israel’s leaders are all compromised globalists (especially Netanyahu) so Christians have to learn to separate their allegiance to God’s promises of restoring the house of Israel to their homeland and the aggressive globalist policies of the Israeli government.” Amen!

What most Christian conservatives don’t seem to understand is that Ron Paul’s position on Israel (and other foreign nations) is actually the best policy to help the people of the Middle East (including Israelis) that the United States could possibly have. The neocon, pro-war, New World Order (NWO) policies that began under George H.W. Bush, and that continue to the present, are the most destructive policies in the entire world at present. The entire world (including the United States and Israel) are suffering (and will suffer) incalculable tragedy at the hands of these wicked globalists if they are not soon deterred. How tragic that Christian conservatives–who sincerely believe they are being a blessing to Israel by supporting a neocon foreign policy agenda–are actually assisting Israel and America’s worst enemies. And, once again, no other presidential candidate from either party will potentially do anything to challenge the neocon, NWO agenda. If Rand Paul doesn’t do it, no other Republican or Democrat presidential candidate will.

Obviously, it is too early for me to actually endorse a presidential candidate. I am willing to say that, at this juncture, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are the two men who seem to stand out. But, since Ted Cruz’s foreign policy is in lockstep with the neocon agenda, and IF Rand Paul can continue to demonstrate a genuine commitment to oppose a neocon foreign policy, he would definitely have a leg up in my book.

And unlike many conservatives, I am NOT impressed with Dr. Ben Carson. His support of government-forced vaccinations is anathema to any person who truly understands the principles of constitutional government and liberty. Anyone who could claim to be opposed to Obamacare and then support government-forced vaccinations is truly confused and directionless.

See the report at:

Carson: No Exemptions On Immunizations

Plus, Dr. Carson talks out of both sides of his mouth regarding gun control. He says he supports the Second Amendment, but then he turns around and says that “It depends on where you live.”

“Appearing on Glenn Beck’s radio show this past week, Carson took a vastly different stance from most conservatives on the issue of gun control, claiming you shouldn’t be able to own semi-automatic weapons in large cities.

“Asked by Beck for his thoughts on the Second Amendment, Carson gave the popular pro-gun argument: ‘There’s a reason for the Second Amendment; people do have the right to have weapons.’

“But when asked whether people should be allowed to own ‘semi-automatic weapons,’ the doctor replied: ‘It depends on where you live. I think if you live in the midst of a lot of people, and I’m afraid that that semi-automatic weapon is going to fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it,’ Carson elaborated. However, if you live ‘out in the country somewhere by yourself’ and want to own a semi-automatic weapon, he added, ‘I’ve no problem with that.’”

See the report here:

Ben Carson On Gun Control

I’m sorry; the Second Amendment is an issue I will NOT compromise on. And Dr. Carson’s statements demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding regarding the liberty principles behind the Second Amendment. It is those people who live in the most populous–and, therefore, the most dangerous–areas that most require a semi-automatic weapon (rifle or pistol) with which to defend themselves. What good does a firearm do if one is “out in the country somewhere by yourself”? Dr. Carson demonstrates vast ignorance regarding the God-given duty of self-defense. So, I can say with a certain amount of confidence that I will NOT be supporting Ben Carson for President.

So, again, this is my preliminary assessment of Rand Paul’s candidacy. And as I said in my column assessing Ted Cruz’s candidacy, I reserve the right to adjust my thinking one way or another as more information becomes available.

© Chuck Baldwin

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Ted Cruz: Pros And Cons

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

Texas Senator Ted Cruz made his candidacy for President of the United States official this past week. He is the first Republican to officially jump into the presidential race. He chose my alma mater, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, to make the announcement. Readers immediately inundated me with requests for my thoughts on his candidacy. Today’s column will attempt to answer those requests. Mind you, these are preliminary thoughts, subject to change one way or the other as I learn more about Senator Cruz.

Before I list what seem to me to be more obvious pros and cons of his candidacy, let me say that it is extremely obvious that Mr. Cruz is wanting to “corner the market” on the Christian conservative vote and make them the ideological and political base of his campaign. The fact that he chose Liberty University, the largest evangelical Christian university in the country, to make his announcement makes it crystal clear. And if some of the early reactions to the senator’s strategy are any indication of whether Senator Cruz succeeded or not, it may seem that he has taken a big step in that regard.

While the politically potent Religious Right of the Reagan/Bush era is only a shell of its former self, it is a stark reality that no Republican since Richard Nixon has won a presidential race without the enthusiastic support of Christian conservatives. Republican presidential candidates must at least APPEAR “conservative” enough to attract the base of religious conservatives or face a thumping in the general election. If you don’t believe that, just ask John McCain and Mitt Romney. And even though G.W. Bush was no conservative, Karl Rove and Company did a stellar job of packaging him that way. And as we know, more often than not, image garners more votes than reality. Sad but true. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry attempted the same thing in his presidential campaign in 2012, but was never able to make it stick.

By casting himself as the “Christian” candidate, Ted Cruz is trying to follow the campaign script of fellow Texan (and the last Republican to actually win the White House) G.W. Bush. And, of course, Cruz actually worked in the Bush campaign, so he has first-hand experience with it. And this is not something that Cruz feels uncomfortable doing. He is the son of an evangelical pastor and graduated from a Baptist high school. Accordingly, Cruz can naturally talk the language.

Since Jerry Falwell passed away, there is no evangelical leader with the ability and clout to coalesce, lead, and speak on behalf of enough Christian voters to make a lot of difference in Republican politics today. Plus, as a whole, the Religious Right has compromised its principles (and showed itself very ignorant of New World Order issues) so many times, and has disenfranchised so many religious conservatives that, as a movement, the Religious Right really doesn’t even exist today.

However, if one wants to get an idea of what the remnant of the old Religious Right is thinking today, read what my friend Richard Viguerie has to say. Richard is one of the original founders of what became known as the Moral Majority and then the Religious Right. He is still very influential with those who would identify themselves as part of the Religious Right. And Richard has glowing words for Mr. Cruz:

“Today’s official announcement that Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is running for president changes everything in the 2016 presidential campaign.

“Ted Cruz isn’t running for Vice President or Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Jeb Bush administration.

“Every Republican candidate for president will have to move to significantly to the right, starting with Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, and define their position on amnesty for illegal aliens, on fighting and winning the war radical Islam has declared on America, on spending, the deficit and the debt, and on repealing Obamacare, against the positions Ted Cruz will talk about and campaign on in the coming months.

“They will all have to move right to respond to Cruz, or be left behind by a grassroots conservative electorate fed-up with Republican candidates who are merely principle-free messengers for an out of touch Washington elite.

“Ted Cruz’s base is the conservative movement, and although other Republican presidential candidates since Ronald Reagan, such as Gary Bauer and Michelle Bachmann, looked to movement conservatives for their support, they were never able to expand beyond their starting base of support into the top-tier of candidates.

“Ted Cruz is the first top-tier movement conservative candidate since Reagan.”

See Richard Viguerie’s complete statement here:

Cruz is the First Top-Tier Movement Conservative Candidate Since Reagan

I don’t remember Richard making such a statement about Rick Perry in 2012, so the above remarks regarding Senator Cruz from someone of the stature of Richard Viguerie mean that Ted has succeeded (at least initially) in establishing himself as the “Christian” candidate in the 2016 presidential race.

Before leaving this section of the column, let me say that I believe MUCH has changed from 2000, when G.W. Bush was first elected. The compromise and demise of the Religious Right as a political movement means that pseudo-conservatives, such as G.W. Bush, are going to have a much tougher time winning the support of principled freedomists–many of whom are Christians who are fed up with the compromise of professing “Christian” candidates–and many who would not even identify themselves as Christians, but who were once attracted to the political principles of the Religious Right–and who now have lost all respect for the old Religious Right in general and the Republican Party in particular.

Too, the candidacy of Ron Paul in 2008–and especially in 2012–has FOREVER changed the political landscape of America (for the better). The defection of the “Paul Revolutionaries” from the Republican Party has been massive. Yes, many of Ron’s supporters are still very much involved in the GOP; but they are NOT LOYAL to the GOP. Meaning, any Republican candidate for President will have to EARN the vote of these people. They will not receive their vote simply because they wear the Republican label. Again, ask McCain and Romney if you don’t believe that.

Therefore, while it is still good strategy for a Republican presidential candidate to court the evangelical vote, it will not, by itself, carry the same momentum throughout the primary and general election seasons like it did with G.W. Bush in 2000. And as far as Cruz pulling the rest of the GOP field to the right, most every Republican candidate attempts to characterize him or herself as a “conservative” during the primaries, a Ted Cruz candidacy notwithstanding. Of course, Jeb Bush is counting on the big dollars of country club, NWO elites to buy him the nomination. Big-Government globalists everywhere must be salivating over another potential Bush vs. Clinton (not that Hillary has the Democrat nomination sewed up, because she doesn’t) presidential election. It would mean the Crime Family (no matter which one would win) would be back in the White House.

At any rate, here are some of my preliminary assessments of Ted Cruz.

Pros

*The “Christian” candidate

His ability to cast himself early on as “the” Christian candidate will definitely be a plus as he approaches the primary season.

On a personal note, I would rather vote for an unbeliever who would preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States than a believer who would NOT preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. In my opinion, Christians on the whole are very naïve to vote for political candidates based on his or her “Christian” profession alone. Just about every politician in the country claims to be a Christian. That, by itself, means very little to the actual performance of most elected officials. It SHOULD, but it doesn’t. But for the purpose of this column, I’m saying that Mr. Cruz’s decision to not shy away from a Christian testimony should not be regarded as a negative–especially in light of all of the anti-Christian bias in the establishment media.

*His voting record in general

He has a cumulative voting record of 89% by The Freedom Index of The New American magazine. The Freedom Index is one of the best barometers of a congressman or senator’s constitutional voting record that I know of. That Cruz is right at 90% on The Freedom Index is nothing but a positive.

See his rating on The Freedom Index here:

Ted Cruz’s Profile-The Freedom Index

*His leadership against illegal immigration and executive amnesty

Senator Cruz must be regarded as one of the Senate’s most outspoken opponents of Barack Obama’s executive amnesty order in particular and illegal immigration in general.

*As far as I can tell, Mr. Cruz is solid on the Second Amendment and pro-life issues

For me, these two issues are deal breakers. I will not vote for ANY candidate that compromises either one of these two issues. In this regard, potential GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson is going to have problems, as he is on record as strongly advocating additional gun control.

Cons

*His place of birth

Much was made in the Republican Party over Barack Obama’s birthplace. In my personal opinion, those concerns were very legitimate. I’ll say it outright: I believe Obama’s U.S. birth certificate is a forgery. In all likelihood, Obama is indeed the first President of the United States to not be born in the U.S. But, unfortunately, he won’t be the last.

The Republicans nominated John McCain for President in 2008, and McCain was not born in the United States either. Yes, he was born on a U.S. military installation overseas, and his parents were both Americans. So, in the minds of everyone in the Republican Party, McCain met the “natural born Citizen” requirement of the U.S. Constitution. But with Senator Cruz, there is no question regarding his place of birth. The man was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His father was a native-born Cuban who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005, and his mother was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware.

This fact will probably not hurt Ted during the GOP primaries; but should he win the nomination, you can bet that Democrats will make it a huge issue in the general election, especially after all of the controversy that Obama endured over the subject.

Plus, if Ted Cruz should win the White House next year, it would doubtless open the door for just about anyone to run for President no matter their place of birth. Remember, this was the issue that stopped Arnold Schwarzenegger from running for President not too many years ago.

Obviously, many take the position that as long as a person is born to a U.S. citizen, he or she automatically becomes a U.S. citizen, regardless of the location of his or her birth. But there is no question that Democrats will make Ted’s birthplace an issue in the general election, should he win the Republican nomination.

*His pro-war foreign policy

In my opinion, this is where the establishment Republican Party in Washington, D.C., is at its WORST. G.W. Bush’s preemptive war doctrine turned the national GOP into a pro-war leviathan. Like most every Republican in Washington, D.C., (except Rand Paul), Cruz has bought into the global “war on terror” apparition that is spawning the New World Order abroad and a Police State at home. There is nothing about Ted Cruz that leads me to believe that he would do anything to stop America’s militarism and hegemony that is wreaking havoc around the world and that is leading our country toward nuclear war.

And one further note on this point: though it is going to be difficult for Rand Paul to win the Republican nomination, as he is the establishment elite’s most dreaded candidate, Dr. Paul would in all actuality be the most formidable Republican presidential candidate in the general election.

More people than ever are not voting. More people than ever are claiming to be political independents. More people than ever have developed strong opinions against both major parties in Washington, D.C. And one of the biggest reasons for this phenomenon is the Warfare State that both parties in D.C. have created. In reality, Rand Paul’s foreign policy is in sync with more Americans across the board than any other potential candidate from either the Republican or Democrat party. Again, pro-war Republicans might look askance at Rand Paul; but in a general election, his appeal would be massive. Look at how popular Dr. Paul is becoming on the college campuses of America. But if the national GOP follows suit, they would rather lose with a candidate like John McCain or Mitt Romney–or any other pro-war candidate–than win with a constitutional foreign policy candidate such as Ron or Rand Paul. But we’ll see. Rand is not officially in the race yet.

*His wife

Ted Cruz is married to Heidi Nelson Cruz. Heidi will be lauded by everyone in the establishment media as very smart, educated (she is), and nothing but an asset to Ted’s presidential efforts. But Heidi gives me nothing but red flags.

Heidi worked in the White House for Condoleezza Rice. Heidi is head of the Southwest Region in the investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs & Co and was also an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Heidi is an international investment banker who was invited to be part of a working group at the CFR that reviewed a notorious 2005 paper called “Building a North American Community.” This project was headed by longtime CFR member Robert Pastor and is universally regarded by constitutionalists as the prototype for a North American Union. Of course, Condoleezza Rice herself is a longtime CFR member.

In my opinion, there is no more nefarious organization in the country than the CFR. Without a doubt, it has been the most influential organization over America’s foreign policy affairs of any organization to ever exist. It is the CFR that has long pushed the United States into regionalization and globalism. It is the CFR that is most responsible for pushing America into a New World Order. CFR members litter the presidential administrations of both Republicans and Democrats, which is why no matter which party assumes the White House, nothing changes in the direction of America’s foreign policy. And, of course, Goldman Sachs is, by far, the largest and most influential international banking system in the country. Everything that is harmful to the economic independence of America is spearheaded by Goldman Sachs.

Yes, I realize that there are good people who have been part of the CFR (Admiral Chester Ward, for example), and doubtless there must be a few good folks who work for a company as large as Goldman; but Heidi’s longstanding connections with these two organizations do give me pause. Mind you, at this point, I am not condemning, just pointing out red flags.

*His infatuation with Israel

Ted Cruz recently spoke before the non-partisan group “In Defense of Christians” (IDC). In so doing, he began to laud, not the Christians who are suffering in the Middle East (which the organization is designed to help), but the modern state of Israel. When he did this, he was booed by the audience. Cruz became very angry and walked off the stage, saying, “If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you.”

But that was not the point. The IDC is all about helping persecuted Christians in the Middle East. And, yes, sometimes it is Israel that does the persecuting. Senator Cruz apparently has no cognizance of the fact that Christians are often persecuted by both Muslims and Jews. Either Mr. Cruz didn’t understand the purpose of the IDC and the plight of Christians in the Middle East, or, for the sake of a publicity stunt, he deliberately chose to throw the Jewish factor in the face of those folks knowing the sensitivity of their feelings of Christians sometimes being persecuted by Jews. No one but Ted Cruz knows his heart in the matter.

See the IDC website here:

In Defense Of Christians

As he is trying to establish himself as “the” Christian candidate, it is understandable that Cruz would try to ingratiate himself to conservative Christians. And, unfortunately, most evangelical Christians and pastors have the same basic approach to Israel that they have to civil government. The misinterpretation of Romans 13 causes them to say, “Obey government no matter what.” And the misinterpretation of Genesis 12 causes them to say, “Support Israel no matter what.” Both of these positions are not only unscriptural; they are very dangerous to America.

Instead of demanding that Middle Eastern Christians “stand with Israel,” Senator Cruz should have encouraged them to stand faithful to Christ, which is the message that those folks needed and were looking for. And given Senator Cruz’s outspoken Christian profession, this is the message they thought they would hear him give. After all, why else would such a group invite him to speak in the first place?

When the day comes that an American Christian senator (and maybe President) will lend credence to suffering Christians in the Middle East being more loyal to the political policies of a foreign country (in this case, the United States) than to them being faithful to their Savior, Jesus Christ, this will demonstrate that something is VERY, VERY wrong with the religion of American Christianity.

There you have it. These are my preliminary thoughts on the presidential candidacy of Senator Ted Cruz. I reserve the right to adjust these thoughts, one way or the other, as I learn more.

© Chuck Baldwin

If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Rand Paul And Other Republicans Are Preparing To Hold The Fed Accountable

randpaul1

Republican lawmakers in both the House and Senate will soon be pushing for the “Audit the Fed” bill to pass. Representative Thomas Massie (R.-Ky.) will introduce the bill in the House, and Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will introduce the bill in the Senate. Paul said in an interview this week that he intends to introduce the bill in January.

With Mitch McConnell’s ascent to the majority leader position in the Senate, there is a stronger chance for the bill to be passed by both houses of Congress.

Represenative Massie said:

“I think our odds keep improving. His [Rand Paul’s] profile will be raised as he runs for president, which bodes well for this bill, and his relationship with Sen. McConnell I think bodes well for this bill in the Senate.”

The bill was originally designed by Ron Paul, Rand Paul’s father. It passed the House 333-92 in September.

McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said in an email that McConnel “supports the bill, he’s a co-sponsor.”

Fed chairman Janet Yellen strongly opposes the bill and thinks it would threaten the central bank’s independence and make it subject to “political pressures.”

Paul Broun, who introduced the bill in the last Congress, takes a dramatically different position:

“It’s absolutely imperative that we get a transparent, full audit of the Fed so the American public can know what is going on with this entity. Members of Congress are more and more beginning to see how critical it is.”

What do you think? Should “Audit the Fed” be passed? Does it expose a little-known-about public-private institution? Or does it threaten the Fed’s ability to conduct monetary policy? Let us hear your thoughts.

 

h/t Politico

Photo Credit: paul.senate.gov

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Devolution Trumps Secession

Photo credit: Jordi Escuer (Flickr)

The 1996 Salzburg Seminar was a prestigious international gabfest organized to discuss “cross-cultural perspectives on conservatism.” Worldwide political parties and movements designated “conservative” at home or considered as such by Westerners were invited to explain their views on conservatism, to discuss what they held in common. With representatives from across Europe to Turkey, and even from China, obviously there was little commonality.

Playing by the rules, this U.S. representative suggested that localism and community could be a unifying ideal for the right, at which the French representative nearly swooned, furiously insisting that conservatism was precisely the opposite. It was love of the patria and of its representative the national state, whose point was seconded immediately by the Turkish representative. The Spanish, Italian, Belgian, and several Eastern European national representatives actually denounced local nationalistic movements as threats. But when I suggested that sub-national movements were alive even in Britain, the idea was so preposterous the room immediately broke into laughter, with the Englishmen questioning my very sanity.

Two decades later, Scotland massed 45 percent of its population willing to break 300 years of ties to become independent of England. Inspired, a million Catalans went to the street to demand independence; and its regional legislature voted to hold a (non-binding) referendum. Basques threatened the same. Flanders nationalists in Belgium promised that if Scotland received European Union representation, so would they. The Italian Northern League, organized around the ideal of separation, cheered Scotland on. Even Bavaria every so often threatens splitting from Germany. Norway and Sweden did separate in 1905, as did the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.

All Europe was centralized under divine right kings and nationalisms at great cost in blood and treasure throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, forcing previously independent nations and peoples into the larger units we know today. Germany and Italy were not unified until the 1870s. Hundreds of independent states were dissolved over the period, but most of the successors retained local customs and institutions, many nursing old and developing new grievances against an often remote and unresponsive state. Even France still has restive Basques, Bretons, Savoyans, and others demanding local rights or independence.

Americans certainly have not been immune to the secession impulse, of course, including a great civil war costing millions of lives. While that war presumably settled the matter, even today a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 23.9 percent of Americans would like to see their state pull away from the union, up from 18 percent in 2008. In the previous year under George W. Bush, 32 percent of liberals thought breaking away would be a good idea, compared to 17 percent of conservatives. Today under Barack Obama, 30 percent of Republicans and even 20 percent of Democrats would have their state secede.

Former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul even claimed a recent “growth of support for secession” inspired by Scotland and demonstrated by the one million Californians who supported dividing the state into six entities, saying this “should cheer all supporters of freedom.” He was congratulated for raising the issue by Daniel McCarthy of The American Conservative, but McCarthy responded that secession is not a principle of liberty. Not only does secession often trade one master for another—as Scotland would do under the European Union and NATO—but there is no guarantee the new state would foster internal liberty. McCarthy argues persuasively that for Scotland and America, secession and union are questions of security and power, which undergird prosperity, self-government, and individual freedom. For much of the rest of the world, poisoned by ethnic and sectarian hatreds, secession means nationalism and civil strife. In both cases, breaking up existing states to create new ones is a revolutionary and dangerous act, one more apt to imperil liberty than advance it.

Indeed, Paul’s own original article on the matter viewed secession sentiments mostly as pressure on a national government to limit its power over local units as opposed to being valuable in itself. He specifically urged “devolution of power to smaller levels of government,” which can be a very different thing from secession. While secession is problematical as McCarthy argues, devolution of power within a national government is essential to liberty.

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Secessionists Movements All Over The World Could Be Drawing The Support Of Ron Paul

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Ron Paul recently wrote an article entitled “Scottish Referendum Gives Reason to be Hopeful” in which he discussed the reasons why secessionist movements are good politically.

As he wrote:

“Americans who embrace secession are acting in a grand American tradition. The Declaration of Independence was written to justify secession from Britain. Supporters of liberty should cheer the growth in support for secession, as it is the ultimate rejection of centralized government and the ideologies of Keynesianism, welfarism, and militarism.”

Paul was then interviewed on the topic by the National Journal.  Paul did not realize that, prior to the Scottish independence movement, there were more than a handful of secessionist movements in the U.S. He said:

“I was real pleased with that, and a bit surprised. But then, on second thought, you think, ‘Why not? Why not more?’”

Paul pointed to the worsening condition of the U.S. as one of the primary motivations for people to seek secession. He said that the “failure of the federal government is going to get much worse.” Also:

“When the bankruptcy evolves, and maybe some of these pension funds are confiscated, and the wars never end, and bankruptcy comes forth, people [will say], ‘Hey, we’re getting a bad deal from this. Why don’t we leave?’”

If Paul thinks that US secessionist movements contribute to US political discourse, he does not see any of them as being ultimately successful. He told the National Journal if the secessionist movements were successful, the “heavy hand of government would come down,” and “they’d probably shoot them.”

Paul thinks there should be a “concrete right to secede.”

“Even if we never had any secession, or any state declare independence, we would be so much better off, because there would always be this threat. Once the threat of a state leaving was removed, it was just open-door policy for the federal government to expand itself and run roughshod out over the states because the states couldn’t do much.”

Paul’s belief in the value of secessionist movements runs in union with his beliefs in a more limited government.

What do you think? Are seccessionist movements harmful or beneficial to freedom in the US?

 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom