During the last few weeks, I’ve been looking at the indignant notes sent to me from Jews for Ron Paul, a high-spirited group to which I lent my radioactive name, about the crude behavior of the Republican Jewish Coalition and its National Chairman David Flaum. Ron Paul did not receive an invitation to appear with other Republican presidential hopefuls at the RJC’s Presidential Candidates’ Forum. Furthermore, a member of the RJC staff has suggested that Dr. Paul’s movement, which categorically opposes the dispersing of foreign aid and the waging of neo-Wilsonian crusades in the Middle East, had been infiltrated by nasty Nazi types. This particular accusation against Dr. Paul was never proved, although presumably those of us who question the aims of the RJC, e.g., a “US-Israeli alliance” to disseminate “democracy and liberty,” must be fans of Hitler and the Waffen-SS. Otherwise, we would be faithfully parroting the RJC, by calling for extensive US military adventures — and even bigger gifts of foreign aid to the “only democracy” in the Middle East.
My question to other Jews for Ron Paul is this: Why would you expect the RJC to behave any differently from the way it does? Like the NAACP, the Armenian Assembly of America, and La Raza, it is a group of ethnic whiners organized to influence foreign and domestic policies. The RJC is doing exactly what it was set up to accomplish, and the discussion of its purpose was put into the extensive treatment of AIPAC and the Republican Party in the Mearsheimer-Walt book on the American-Israeli lobby. The problem is not really the RJC, whose sinister designs are clear enough. The real culprit is the Republican Party, with its questionable efforts at outreach.
Every time the Republican Party, which has the look of a scared gang of WASP placeholders, tries to reach out, it continues to weaken our already eroded constitutional liberties. Unlike the Democrats, who are multicultural, big-government maniacs but who know what they are, the Republicans are merely greasy operators. They pretend to be interested in “getting government off our backs” but expand the welfare state and federal control over education while unleashing costly wars of choice. And they would sell their mothers into slavery to receive the endorsement of the NAACP or to elicit a compliment from Abe Foxman. Although I could not conceive of the Democrats courting Phyllis Schlafly or Burt Blumert, I could easily imagine the big-tent Republicans at Heritage groveling before the ADL. They did it last month.
In a decent small-government Republican Party, there would be Jews for Ron Paul but not the Zionist lobbyists organized around the RJC pushing us into foreign wars. There is in fact nothing anti-Israeli about Ron Paul’s campaign. It is simply raising a different point of view about this country’s relation to the rest of the world. Dr Paul wants neither to “bomb nor to subsidize foreign countries,” and his disinclination to subsidize Israel, which has been the most favored recipient of our public as well as private largess, used to be voiced repeatedly by Irving Kristol in the Wall Street Journal. I first encountered that view in the 1980s in Mr. Kristol’s columns, although that eventually-to-be-discarded opinion, just like Ron Paul’s reservations about foreign aid and entangling alliances, may have come from Nazi advisors. Undoubtedly the RJC will soon be discovering who they are.
Paul Gottfried [send him mail] is Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College and author of Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt, The Strange Death of Marxism, and Conservatism in America: Making Sense of the American Right.