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Scott Horton: Alright, welcome back to the show, this is anti war radio, I’m Scot Horton and our next guest on the show today is Dr. Ron Paul. He represents district 14 down on the Texas Gulf Coast, and he’s running for president of the United States. He’s tied for first place in Iowa, he’s doing really strong in second place in New Hampshire, at least the last time I saw. He’s got a great archive of articles and speeches at LewRockwell.com and at original.AntiWar.com/paul. There are a lot of great foreign policy pieces there going back to at least 2002, maybe before that. And his latest book is called “Liberty Defined”, which is excellent and I highly recommend it. Welcome back to the show, Dr. Paul, how are you?
Ron Paul: Thank you, Scott, I’m doing well, thank you.
Scott Horton: I’m very happy to hear that, and I really appreciate you making time for us on the show today. And I’ll try to make this quick, because it’s more of a statement than a question, but I wanted to explain why it is that your run for president is so important to me, and I know I speak to a lot of people about this as well. You may remember the old Right author, Garet Garrett.
Ron Paul: I do.
Scott Horton: I believe it is in “The People’s Pottage” where he complains that the American people have never had the opportunity to chose between Republic and Empire, it’s always either Wilkie versus FDR or Dewey versus Truman or, say, McCain versus Barack Obama. And the American people never really had a choice to choose our path here. And that’s what you represent to me, now for the second time, peace and liberty and a constitutional republic and a sound economy on a silver platter for the taking, if the American people will just take it. And I’m so appreciative of that.
Ron Paul: Well thank you, and, of course, that’s been our goal and I know the frustration by many by not having real choices. You know the old cliché, “We can’t vote for somebody that might offer this, because we have to vote for the lesser of the two evils”. But I always make the comment when they ask about this, that we send troops and money and we lose lives and we kill a lot of people spreading our goodness and our democracy. We want to teach people how to have fair elections, and then they have elections and we don’t like the elections results so we ignore them. But back here at home, not only philosophically is it hard to distinguish between the two parties in thinking that they’re really different, but competition is tough in this country because third parties aren’t welcome, it’s hard to get on the ballots and they write the rules. And if you’re in a third party or an alternative party, you don’t get into the debates. So it’s a shame that has been offered. But I’ve done my darnest to work in the Republican Party, as well as outside the party, and in education, to make sure that as many people as possible understand this distinction that it’s either/or. And you really can’t maintain the status quo, our status quo is always moving, as history shows, and it’s always moving in the direction of empire. And if you listen to the debates (one went on last night), it seems like there’s still a pretty strong consensus with the Republican candidates that that’s the direction they want to go in. But, Scott, I think the one thing that’s good news is, I do think there are a lot of people, especially the younger generation; they’re sick and tired of it. Even now, I’ve noticed in the last month or two, talking to the audiences that have mostly Social Security people on them, and talking about how their money was taken out of Social Security and spent overseas and how these wars are detrimental to them and how inflation is detrimental to them. They’re actually listening very carefully now, they’re a lot less at ease than they were 5 or 10 years ago.
Scott Horton: I think I figured out something about the media’s bafflement about your strength and all the recent polling and your steady growth compared to all the flash-in-the-pan competitors on the Republican side. I think I figured out this morning reading the “Winners and losers analysis” at the CNN website, where you’re in with the winners, but in their lack of understanding, they say, “Well, but the best he could do, though, even though he was really strong, would be to appeal to independents and Democrats who maybe might cross over and help support him”. And it’s really beyond their capacity to understand or believe that actually you can lead the Republican base to peace, its working.
Ron Paul: Yea. And Republicans in the past have campaigned on peace, like Bush did in the year 2000. His announced platform wasn’t all that bad: a humble foreign policy, and he said the words that sounded pretty good. But the other thing they’re not quite recognizing is, they see the Republican Party as being a fixed number of people and they all endorse these issues. But if you go to New Hampshire, the largest registrations are independents, and they’re allowed to vote in the Republican primary, and I think that’s where we’re making great inroads. We’re doing real well with traditional Republicans, but we’re also stirring it up with the independents that will decide the election. It’s the same thing in Iowa, you can even be a Democrat in Iowa and show up at the Republican caucus, and it’s sort of working in our benefit this year because there’s no democratic contest. And therefore if people want to make their vote count, they can come over and vote in the Republican primary. And because of the frustration and because they’re starting to look at what I’ve been saying for years, I think they’re looking more carefully now, and I think that’s good.
Scott Horton: Alright, now, very quickly, at the end of the debate you were asked a question very softly about Somalia and the Al-Shabab movement, and you went ahead and gave a great answer, and embarrassed Paul Wolfowitz and everything as the result. But I want to give you the opportunity to address Somalia and the situation with Al-Shabab, if you like.
Ron Paul: I didn’t hear the question very well, and I think she was trying to draw a corollary that the reason we have problems in Somalia is because we didn’t follow through, we met resistance and we lost a man so we left. And if we do that, that’s why we can’t leave Afghanistan. Obviously, the longer we stay, the more chaotic it gets and the more people die. But we never really left Somalia, we just transferred the responsibility. When they had the crisis in Mogadishu, that crisis occurred with American troops, but now we just use proxy armies; whether it’s Kenya or Ethiopia, we just buy their allegiance and send them in and stir up the trouble. But I think the real answer to that is why are we so worried about that, why don’t we allow people to have their self-determination? And our problems just get much worse when we think that we know what all these solutions are. So it would have been a perfect opening for me to emphasis the value of a non-interventionist foreign policy, and the argument she was making, as far as I’m concerned, she just wants to perpetuate this forever. If they want to have absolute control, they got to send hundreds of thousands of people into all these countries, and obviously it would bankrupt us. So I think she was talking about failed policy, and there’s no way that could solve the dilemmas that we face today, especially financially and the attack of our liberties here at home.
Scott Horton: Well, Representative Bachmann, I thought, made an interesting point anyway. Not necessarily do I concur with her conclusion, but she talked about how some Americans, Somali Americans – I think she mentioned this – have actually travelled to Somalia to participate in the war over there, which is a very worrying development, because obviously it doesn’t take much imagination for them to go ahead and stay here and commit some kind of terrorist act and that kind of thing. But her problem, of course, is she’s analyzing the whole thing in a vacuum, not as you’re talking about: years and years of war over there.
Ron Paul: Right, but you know, if you do have any Americans or American-Somalis here, and they have an interest and they’re not asking you to go or send your kids, that to me is a little bit different if they want to be involved. But it doesn’t seem to happen that way, because too often they’ll be prohibitions against that. If you go as a private citizen and start getting involved, to often our State Department will frown on that. But it’s the use of force, especially government force, that tells us that we have to use our money and our young people to go over and determine exactly what should evolve. And they’re argument always is, “Well, if we don’t do it, just think of the opposition, who else is going to come in there? The Chinese are going that come in, the Russians will come back in there”. But the whole irony of this is, we’re over there in these various countries, including Afghanistan and our foreign policy against Iran, and this is helping China, we’re driving people towards China. China doesn’t waste all their money and lives, they’re over there acting like capitalist, they’re investing in these countries. So this whole idea that it’s fearful that they would use their military to take over, I think they’ve learned a new trick and I think they learned it from us, and unfortunately, we have forgotten about how capitalism actually works.
Scott Horton: Yea, I’m afraid so. Well, we’re going to learn one way or the other, aren’t we?
Ron Paul: Right.
Scott Horton: Alright, well, we’re already a little bit over time, I want to thank you so much for giving us a little bit of time today, sir.
Ron Paul: Great to talk to you, Scott.
Scott Horton: Everybody, that is the heroic Dr. Ron Paul, author of “Liberty Defined” and a ton of great articles at www.AntiWar.com and www.LewRockwell.com. He’s running for president of United States right now.