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I have said throughout this presidential campaign that it doesn’t matter much which candidate wins. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are authoritarians and neither can be expected to roll back the leviathan state that destroys our civil liberties at home while destroying our economy and security with endless wars overseas. Candidates do not matter all that much, despite what the media would have us believe. Ideas do matter, however. And regardless of which of these candidates is elected, the battle of ideas now becomes critical.

The day after the election is our time to really focus our efforts on making the case for a peaceful foreign policy and the prosperity it will bring. While we may not have much to cheer in Tuesday’s successful candidate, we have learned a good deal about the state of the nation from the campaigns. From the surprising success of the insurgent Bernie Sanders to a Donald Trump campaign that broke all the mainstream Republican Party rules – and may have broken the Republican Party itself – what we now understand more clearly than ever is that the American people are fed up with politics as usual. And more importantly they are fed up with the same tired old policies.

Last month a fascinating poll was conducted by the Center for the National Interest and the Charles Koch Institute. A broad ranging 1,000 Americans were asked a series of questions about US foreign policy and the 15 year “war on terror.” You might think that after a decade and a half, trillions of dollars, and thousands of lives lost, Americans might take a more positive view of this massive effort to “rid the world of evil-doers,” as then-president George W. Bush promised. But the poll found that only 14 percent of Americans believe US foreign policy has made them more safe! More than 50 percent of those polled said the next US president should use less force overseas, and 80 percent said the president must get authorization from Congress before taking the country to war.

These results should make us very optimistic about our movement, as it shows that we are rapidly approaching the “critical mass” where new ideas will triumph over the armies of the status quo.

We know those in Washington with a vested interest in maintaining a US empire overseas will fight to the end to keep the financial gravy train flowing. The neocons and the liberal interventionists will continue to preach that we must run the world or everything will fall to ruin. But this election and many recent polls demonstrate that their time has passed. They may not know it yet, but their failures are too obvious and Americans are sick of paying for them.

What is to be done? We must continue to educate ourselves and others. We must resist those who are preaching “interventionism-lite” and calling it a real alternative. Claiming we must protect our “interests” overseas really means using the US military to benefit special interests. That is not what the military is for. We must stick to our non-interventionist guns. No more regime change. No more covert destabilization programs overseas. A solid defense budget, not an imperial military budget. US troops home now. End US military action in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and so on. Just come home.

Americans want change, no matter who wins. We need to be ready to provide that alternative.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: 2016 Election, American Military 
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  1. Totally agreed Ron! And to think I used to buy the canard that you were some sort of crank, without actually hearing your views in depth. Yeah, you’re somewhat homespun in your language and demeanor – and I like it. Kudos to Daniel Macadams too – it’s not you guys who aren’t mainstream, as far as most people would realize, if they’d tune into your Liberty Report YouTube daily videos.

  2. Mr bob says:

    It could be because I am in the south, or because I work around overpaid conservative whites, but…………virtually everybody I encounter is on their knees for the military, and believes profoundly and absolutely in the role of the military to beat up the world for any reason, or no reason, ‘Merica. Polls are one thing, and I hope they’re true, but day to day observation suggests otherwise, very extremely otherwise really.
    Despite the information being free and instantly available, white Americans remain furious when they see the enormous chunks of their paychecks going to the federal government, and will dutifully go into a bitch fit over blacks on welfare, every payday like clockwork. They have a point, but TANF is less than 1% of what the feds spend every year, even after food stamps you’re still at like 3 or 4 percent. HUD takes about 40 billion a year I think. So food stamps, HUD, and TANF, all combined, maybe eat up 5 or 6 percent of federal spending per year. I don’t say this because I want to defend welfare, but to compare to military spending. The military budget, when you count the VA and everything, takes up something like 25% of federal spending, and much more if you count all the interest that has to be paid to finance the debt we take on to pay for it now. However, I have never, ever, ever, ever heard a white person, or any person really, have a shit fit over how high their taxes are because of military spending. NEVER. And if they don’t know by now, they’re almost certainly never going to. They get their paycheck, get pissed off at how much is taken by the government, and blame lazy blacks. Every.Single.Time.

  3. I regret having supported and defended you when you were on the ballot. Trump is a large step in the right direction on foreign policy. And on domestic policy as well. But he is imperfect so you refused to endorse him. You choose to WAIT UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTION to lead your caravan to the promised land. It’s not going to be much of a caravan without the Trump supporters. You should have retired Ron. It’s not too late.

    • Replies: @Fran Macadam
  4. @Mr bob

    You don’t move in the circles I do. But then, we’re not fat and happy on the MIC payroll. It’s really hard to get someone to see the truth when their paycheck depends on not seeing it. An observation of a white guy who was in the Anti Imperialist League, name Sam Clemens if I recall.

  5. @WorkingClass

    Ron’s just making the honest observation, not telling you who to vote for. Eight years ago, a whole lot also bought into a phoney hope and change schtick. That failure’s contributed to Trump saying he supports real change, the only one who had a chance to say it and make it this far. People want to believe it and who can blame them? It’s what we need. But it’s not Ron’s fault he’s not a brash billionaire celebrity, which is the reason he couldn’t make it – money which is usually only available via the establishment donorist class. It’s not a slam dunk that even if The Donald won, that he’d really succeed in making the changes, by the fact that he surrounds himself with some of the same advocates of what we’re all mad about.

    • Replies: @WorkingClass
  6. Marcus says:

    So they don’t like how the “war on terror” has gone so far, but what evidence is there that they actually want to give up being world policeman and be a normal country instead?

    • Replies: @Mr bob
  7. @Fran Macadam

    I doubt there is anything you can tell me about Ron Paul that I don’t already know. His refusal to choose between Trump and Hillary tells me he sees no difference. I had thought he cared about the American people. Now I see he only cares about ideology.

    Candidates do not matter all that much, despite what the media would have us believe. Ideas do matter, however.

    No Ron. Candidates matter very much and the only ideas that matter to you are your own ideas.

    • Replies: @USAMNESIA
  8. USAMNESIA says:

    Most of our political reality now is almost beyond commentary. Its evident evil stands as stark as a naked body unearthed from a mass grave. Yet millions of people will be heatedly engaged over who will temporarily preside over the stinking slaughterhouse of our militarist empire. The mass hallucination — of a rational political system, of our national goodness, of the chance of “reform” if only the right murderer gets into power — will go on.

    • Agree: jtgw
  9. Mr Paul will always believe what he wants to believe, but here are Donald Trump’s actual words, speaking to Republicans at the primary debate:

    “We have done a tremendous disservice not only to the Middle East — we’ve done a tremendous disservice to humanity. The people that have been killed, the people that have been wiped away — and for what? It’s not like we had victory. It’s a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized, a total and complete mess. I wish we had the 4 trillion dollars or 5 trillion dollars. I wish it were spent right here in the United States on schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, and everything else that is all falling apart!”

  10. @Mr bob

    You paint with an incredibly broad brush, hence it’s hard to stay within the lines. Most of the ‘white people’ I know are strongly opposed to out-of-control military spending. I agree that this nation unreasonably worships its military, but I blame the MSM, not ‘white people’. It’s not a racial thing.

    • Replies: @Joe Franklin
  11. Well one dream came true last night so why not another one. Ron Paul as Secretary of State.

  12. @Kyle McKenna

    I agree that this nation unreasonably worships its military, but I blame the MSM, not ‘white people’. It’s not a racial thing.

    I blame neocons and other leftist for US militarism.

    Neocons are seditious Israel idol worshippers, and label themselves Judeo-Christians.

    Leftist in the US violently promote the same internationalist ideology that dominate politics in Israel, never ending entitlements for protected class people.

    The US constitution authorizes a civilian militia for national defense, and does not authorize a standing army.

    As for welfare, the US constitution says the people and their state governments decide what is a civil right or entitlement, not the federal government.

    The US behaves like Israel, both in domestic and foreign policy, and that’s the core reason behind aggressive US militarism.

  13. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Americans would have been safer, if, rather then go off on the fool’s errand of invading Iraq and fighting the “war on terror”, Muslim immigration had simply been ended to the USA (and probably the west in general). All of the 9/11 attackers were basically illegal aliens, or “visa over-stayers” as they are known in Washington-speak. A tighter border and a strict vetting of foreigners and immigrants would have been safer and less costly.

  14. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr bob

    There are plenty of white people who do not favor seeing the military being used all over the world. Most anti-war movements in American history were basically run by white people.

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