Skip to comments.Missing The ‘Old Right’
Posted on 03/10/2009 9:27:56 PM PDT by rabscuttle385
President Obama on Friday announced he would be drawing down the troop level in Iraq. This was what we had all been waiting for, right? After all, it was dissatisfaction with Bushs war that kick-started the Democratic resurgence in 2006 and helped the Democrats win overwhelming victories in 2008. But aside from a little chattering here and there, most peoples response seemed to be, Oh yeah, that war, before changing the channel to see whats on The Tyra Banks Show.
True, Obama still plans to leave 50,000 troops in the country indefinitely. Thats roughly equivalent to the entire population of Bismark, N.D. only these North Dakotans are armed with guns and tanks and ominously told to maintain the peace. So Obamas plan really isnt that radical. Not to mention that a good portion of the approximately 100,000 troops brought out of Iraq will probably be sent to Afghanistan, because, as any Democrat knows, bringing democracy to Umm Qasr is hopelessly naïve, but democracy will come to Marwah any day now!
But even if Obama did promise to bring all of the troops home from Iraq, its doubtful that many people would really care. The focus of public opinion has shifted from foreign affairs to the collapsing economy. The greedy Wall Street capitalist has replaced the freedom-hating terrorist as the object of our fear and collective hatred.
That shift is misplaced but hardly unexpected. At least since World War II, Americans have believed in a fictitious dichotomy between economics and foreign policy. Conservatives now believe in using the government for military intervention abroad but not for economic intervention at home, while liberals oppose military intervention abroad but not economic interventions at home.
But the two types cannot be understood as separate. For all conservatives complaints about welfare queens and pork-barrel spending, the military is our most expensive government program. The Iraq War is expected to cost trillions of dollars, while in the last year alone the combined budget of the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security was $800 billion.
And although conservatives have historically held that centralized planning by a few government technocrats can never work, today conservatives think that all it takes is a new plan from David Petraeus to undo thousands of years of history and usher in Jeffersonian democracy to the Middle East. Gone are the days when conservatives heeded the wise, humble philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre, that only those who live within a certain tradition have enough knowledge to re-model and reform it.
So when it comes to war, conservatives have adopted the worst aspects of Leftism the ridiculous spending and authoritarian planning while simultaneously thinking they can support economic freedom at home. The neo-Reaganites, who think every year is 1981, wont start harping about the magically curative effects of tax cuts. But even when taxes were cut during the Bush administration, spending still grew and government became larger and more intrusive than ever.
The truth is that taxes are becoming increasingly meaningless for a government that can fund whatever it wants by selling more debt, and can sell as much debt as it wants because the debt bonds dont correspond to any resources of objective value, but only to little green slips of paper that they can print ad infinitum. The current national debt is $10.892 trillion much of which came from a party that once believed in personal responsibility, humility and restraint. When it comes time to pay that debt, the Carter era, which the Reaganites love to hate, will look rosy by comparison.
Of course, modern liberals are no better than modern conservatives. But trying to teach a Democrat the value of laissez-faire is like trying to convert the Pope to Islam. The progressive philosophy is based on a belief in the efficacy of centralized power. Its conservatives that must realize the interconnectedness of war and economics, and realize that, if they want to reduce the size of government, they will need to slash our governments biggest programs: the military and its wars.
If they believe that freedom cannot be centrally planned, they will oppose American plans to reshape the Middle East. The true, small government right must learn to become anti-imperialist again, to withdraw their international tentacles and re-commit the military to the limited function of protecting our own borders from invasion. This would be the patriotic thing to do: to stop wasting American lives and money on the other side of the world. The Old Right was able to sum up the whole of its foreign policy in two words: America First. And in a country soon to be wracked by inflation, Social Security insolvency and third-world lenders with checks to cash, its time we re-thought the wisdom of those words.
Kelse Moen is a College senior from Sharon, Mass. He is president and co-founder of Emorys Young Americans for Liberty.
Not quite Ron Paul, but relevant and interesting nonetheless.
Ad hominem sure is awesome when your position is weak, eh?
I find it interesting that your looney gif originates from a liberal website that supported John Edwards for President.
What caused you to come here?
Sometimes the greatest compliment comes from the quality of the person who hates you.
So which one of the returning WAnkers are you?
Jealous because Paul did better than your boy Rudy?
If you don't like the prospect of proponents of liberty prevailing in the next several election cycles, just say so.
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