AMERICA HAS THE LARGEST DEFENSE BUDGET IN THE WORLD. WHY IS THERE A PROBLEM?
The problem is that the Obama administration has been actively dismantling the greatest military the world has ever known. We vigorously support the House Republican “Path to Prosperity” which reduces the deficit by $6.2 trillion while enhancing America’s national security posture. Republicans put defense first among government priorities.
The Obama administration has already cut almost $1 trillion ($920 billion) from defense spending over the next decade. If the sequestration goes into effect, the Obama cuts will be $1.4 trillion. The GOP plan achieves defense savings without jeopardizing preparedness or critical missions.
In his January 2012 strategic review, the President abandoned America’s capability to fight two major ground wars simultaneously, as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan. This was a major departure which has guided military planning and budgeting since the Korean War. The Obama strategy will restrict the military to fighting a single major campaign of 21 days while conducting a simultaneous irregular campaign limited to 50,000 troops.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) described Obama’s plan as “a lead from behind strategy for a left-behind America. In order to justify massive cuts, the President has revoked the guarantee that America will support our allies, defend our interests and defy our opponents.”
According to the Pentagon’s budget projections, defense spending will fall from today’s 3.5 percent of GDP to 2.5 percent of GDP in 2022. During the Cold War the United States spent an average of 6.3 percent of GDP on defense. The United States went through this before Bill Clinton’s “procurement holiday” which had to be corrected by the Bush Administration.
The 2010 cuts and the 2011 Budget Control Act reduced defense spending by almost half a trillion dollars ($487 billion), and reduced the Army and Marine Corps by 100,000. The White House has told the Pentagon to prepare for $1.1 trillion in cuts.
While the Obama plan is terrible, it becomes far worse if Congress does not act to stop the sequestration cuts, which slashes another $500 billion from the Pentagon. As Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has warned, it will result in the ‘hollowing’ out of America’s military, compromising our ability to maintain the peace and preserve our interests.
The General said if the cuts go into effect, the United States would no longer be a global power. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta calls it a “disaster” and a gun pointed at the head of the military. He predicts the result will be “smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest number of ships since 1915, and the smallest Air Force in its history.”
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) of the House Armed Services Committee says “We’re moving dangerously close to the point where I don’t think we’ll be able to guarantee the security of the United States of America.” The military is coping with decades-old aircraft, and they are fueled by tankers older than President Obama.
The United States now has the world’s premiere counter-insurgency force, which has a decade of combat experience in Afghanistan and Iraq. This force has confronted terrorists overseas so we do not have to confront them at home.
Unfortunately, it is now about to be dismantled, and the Army will be slashed almost to its pre-9/11 level of 490,000 soldiers. Combat forces are now half to two-thirds 1990 levels. Defense spending as a share of national income is headed toward its lowest level since 1940. The Navy today has just 286 ships and submarines, which is fewer than half the 600-ship fleet of the Reagan years.
DO YOU SUPPORT EVERY PENTAGON PROGRAM?
No. We vigorously support a strong national defense, military modernization and readiness programs. During the past few decades, most of the proposed new weapons systems have been essential, but not always. We do not advocate unnecessary Pentagon spending and we have expressed concerns about the Navy’s next-generation destroyer, the Army’s future troop carrier, the proposed joint replacement for the Humvee light tactical vehicle and most of the acquisition reform measures proposed during the Obama Administration.
ARE YOU DEFENSE HAWKS OR DEFICIT HAWKS?
We are both and that is a common GOP viewpoint. It is only recently that tensions have surfaced between the two groups. We agree with Newt Gingrich that “Nothing is more expensive than a defense that is too weak.”
Once again, we fully support the Ryan Plan to cut the deficit by $6.2 trillion over a decade and the Pentagon budget has already been cut by close to $1 trillion. Defense spending is not responsible for the deficit and the explosion of spending has been in entitlement programs.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, in 1975, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid represented 27 percent of non-interest federal spending. For the past decade, that increased to 46. And combined with ObamaCare they will reach 62 percent by 2022.
In 2022, defense spending will be down to 3 percent of gross domestic product, which would be the lowest share since before World War II. The outlook is even worse according to the Pentagon’s budget projections. They believe defense spending will fall from today’s 3.5 percent of GDP to 2.5 percent of GDP in 2022.
WHY DON’T WE ENDORSE PRIMARY CANDIDATES?
The Republican Security Council backs practically every GOP general election candidate, but we do not endorse candidates in contested primaries. For prominent groups such as Tea Party Express, FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth, the Senate Conservatives Fund and Citizens United, primary endorsements are a major focal point.
We are often tempted to make an endorsement. We remained neutral in the 2012 presidential primaries, but our editorial comments and analysis were clearly in opposition to Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. We were disappointed when the libertarian Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC) endorsed several candidates who were more liberal than President Obama on national security issues.
The RLC recommendations often demonstrate poor judgment. Nevertheless, we will remain neutral in primaries. Our membership spans the GOP spectrum and we are very careful in using the name of the Republican Security Council. Furthermore, primary endorsements have proven to be divisive in many organizations.
The moderate Republican Leadership Council lost considerable support after it endorsed a California gubernatorial candidate, the Club for Growth and Senator Jim DeMint’s (R-SC) ads backfired in the Nebraska Senate race, and the Iowa Family Leader was hit with accusations of endorsement selling when its head endorsed Rick Santorum for President.
RedState advocates the defeat of many GOP incumbents, but disappointed readers have noted these same lawmakers often have high conservative ratings. The Democratic Leadership Council was closely identified with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. When she lost, they went out of business.
Our goal is to unite the national security wing, and an endorsement implies we are speaking for our membership. In most primaries there is not a clear contrast. One conservative is often running against another conservative, and there is no need to deliver a very personal, don’t-vote-for-this-candidate slap to the “loser”.
There are times when a neo-liberal with the backing of Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty is opposing a conservative. Instead of an endorsement, we compile a National Security Candidate Profile, and we let members draw their own conclusions.
WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON ABORTION AND GAY MARRIAGE?
We support the Republican Platform the RSC has no official position on any social issues. Our focus is on defense and foreign policy as well as the principles and goals of the National Security Pledge. There are already many outstanding organizations devoted to social issues.
Our guess is that 90% of RSC members are pro-life and oppose gay marriage, but there has been some shift. Dick Cheney supports gay marriage and George W. Bush advocates civil unions. In March 2012, 119 Republicans in the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to keep same-sex marriage legal.
WHY IS THE RSC PARTISAN? HAS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHANGED?
National security policy should be bipartisan and Republicans supported President Obama’s troop surge in Afghanistan, his drone attacks in Pakistan and the Osama bin Laden raid. Unfortunately the vast majority of Democrats opposed Bush’s war on terror policies, the U.S. role in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his free trade agreements.
The Founding Fathers set up a system with checks and balances and an independent House, Senate and Executive Branch. There is nothing wrong in working together to find common ground, but it is becoming more difficult.
We are partisan because conservatives and moderates have largely disappeared from the Democratic Party, and their pro-defense/free trade wing is small. When Democrats advocate the goals of the national security pledge, we will be pleased to work with them.
The change was noted by Josh Kraushaar of “National Journal,” who noted “an unmistakable hostility toward the pro-business, free-trade, free-market philosophy that was in vogue during the second half of the Clinton administration. Former White House Chief of Staff William Daley, who tried to steer the Obama administration in a more centrist direction, is the subject of particular derision. Discussion of entitlement reforms, at the heart of the GOP governing agenda, is a nonstarter. The fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats are now nearly extinct on Capitol Hill.
“Moderate Democratic groups and officials, meanwhile, privately fret about the party’s leftward drift and the Obama campaign’s embrace of an aggressively populist message. They’re disappointed that the administration didn’t take the lead advancing the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction proposal, they wish the administration’s focus was on growth over fairness, and they are frustrated with the persistent congressional gridlock. Third Way, the centrist Democratic think tank, has been generating analyses underscoring the need for Democrats to appeal to middle-of-the-road voters, to no avail.”
There is no longer a conservative coalition of Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. The conservative coalition first emerged in 1937 to defeat President Franklin Roosevelt’s Supreme Court packing plan, which was the gravest constitutional crisis since the Civil War. The coalition maintained considerable power for the next six decades.
From 1954 to 1994, Democrats had complete control of the House. When Republicans took over in 1995, they still had to deal with a Democratic White House for the next six years. During the conservative coalition era, many legislative victories were achieved by a combination of Republicans and center/right Democrats.
The GOP viewpoint is the same, but unfortunately Democrats have changed significantly. Liberals are in complete control and conservatives and moderates now have little influence. Former Rep. Artur Davis (AL) switch parties and said “This isn’t Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party anymore.”
It is doubtful Cold War pro-defense Democrats such as Senators Henry Jackson (WA), Sam Nunn (GA), Lloyd Bentsen (TX) and Chuck Robb (VA) would be nominated today. Because of his support of the Iraq War, Sen. Joe Lieberman (CT) was defeated in the 2006 Democratic primary, and Blue Dog Reps. Jason Altmire (PA) and Tim Holden (PA) met the same fate in their 2012 primaries.
It is also unlikely Democrats would today nominate John F. Kennedy who in his Inaugural Address pledged to “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
From a highpoint of 54, there are now only 25 Blue Dog House Democrats left, and after the 2012 election, that number could well be 15. The Blue Dogs were formed in 1995 and their pro-defense and deficit reduction message is praise worthy. Unfortunately, they have little power in today’s Democratic Party.
The moderate Democrat with the highest profile in recent years, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), retired in 2010 after complaining about polarization and gridlock. In 2008, Bayh wanted to form a Blue Dog group in the Senate, but none of his colleagues were interested.
Another example is the moderate Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) which went out of business in 2011. The DLC was formed after Walter Mondale lost 49 states in 1984, and in their first press conference they warned of interest-group liberals. DLC President Al From promised to take their party back “from the tax and spend liberals”, and the group quickly became a real powerhouse.
The DLC was pro-defense and supported Operation Desert Storm, the U.S. military missions in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the Patriot Act. They advocated NAFTA, CAFTA , WTO, welfare reform, school-choice, and opposed a government-directed single-payer health-care plan. According to the Arizona Republic, the DLC “was viewed as enthusiastically pro-business. It dissolved in 2011 as the Democratic Party became increasingly infused with a view of business and free markets as malevolent and undertaxed.” Unfortunately for the DLC and the Blue Dogs, the American electorate also changed. Few voters now pick presidential and Congressional candidates from different parties, and Republicans and Democrats have become ideologically homogeneous.
To regain a majority, the liberal House Democratic leadership recognizes the need for more moderates, but they do not control primary voters. For example, freshman Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) was a surprise winner in 2010 when he knocked off a veteran Co-Chairman of the House Blue Dogs. Democrats then recruited Brigadier General Jonathan George (USAF Ret) who was doing well in the polls against the freshman lawmaker.
The General was an impressive candidate and had an MA from Harvard and received the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism. He commanded the first B-2 Stealth Bomber squadron and two Air Force wings with 12,000 personnel. This is not the type of candidate liberals want, and he received only 17% in the primary.
We hope moderates and conservatives will regain influence in the Democratic Party and that bipartisanship will return to national security policy, but the outlook is not promising. The “Supercommittee” and the “Gang of 6” to cut the deficit were complete failures, but progress might happen in a post-Obama era.
WHY DO WE OPPOSE THE RON PAUL REVOLUTION, THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY AND NEO-LIBERALS?
Our efforts are directed at liberal Democrats, but we also oppose a variety of isolationist and protectionist organizations associated with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). The news media often describes these groups as conservative or libertarian, but we call them neo-liberal.
They include Paul’s Campaign for Liberty, the Republican Liberty Caucus, the John Birch Society and Young Americans for Liberty, which now has chapters on over 600 campuses. They are neo-liberal because they are well to the left of the Obama Administration on defense, foreign policy, trade and war on terror issues. The best known neo-liberals are Dr. Paul and former Gov. Gary Johnson (NM), who has already left the GOP.
We support a border fence to stop illegal immigrants but Ron Paul opposes it because “it could be used to keep us in.” He blames the United States for 9/11 and his extreme isolationism would help terrorists. The GOP platform advocates serious reforms, but in Ron Paul’s America, there would be no public schools, Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare.
The Federal Aviation Authority and its air traffic controllers would be abolished along with the CIA, FBI, the Patriot Act, and the FDA, which ensures the safety of food and drugs. He would allow states to legalize dangerous drugs, and opposes all mandatory childhood vaccinations. When asked “If a dangerous disease was spreading like wildfire would you change your view and require immunization in a dire situation?,” Paul responded “No, I wouldn’t do it.”
Vaccinations save millions of lives every year. People no longer die of cholera, smallpox, scarlet fever, and dozens of other diseases which were once endemic to the United States. The benefits far outweigh the risks.
Paul would also do nothing to stop the development of nuclear weapons by the Islamic Republic of Iran. He wants to abolish sanctions on Iran and abandon Israel. He would do nothing if the Jewish State is attacked, and believes it is wrong to stop weapons shipments to Hamas. He also believes the Osama bin Laden raid was wrong. Ron Paul and the John Birch Society also attack “neo-cons,” but they are the real neo-cons, neo-confederates. They believe the South was right in the Civil War.
Paul is a moral monster who would have done nothing about the Holocaust, slavery or segregation. He is the only Republican in the House or Senate who opposes the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Six of the nine planks in the 1856 platform of the new Republican Party were about civil rights. The GOP started as a civil rights party while the 1856 Democratic platform is a racist document. Dr. Paul believes Abraham Lincoln was our worst President, and “destroyed the original intent of the republic.” The original intent of the republic was that all men are created equal.
The conservative movement has changed the debate successfully on taxing and spending, and the American people agree with its criticism of the liberal agenda. Conservatives are making progress but as the 111th Congress demonstrated, on the key legislative initiatives, Ron Paul voted with the liberals.
Dr. Paul’s supporters praise him for being consistent, but unfortunately he is consistently wrong. He was one of four Republicans to reject the Ryan budget to cut the deficit by $6.2 trillion. He was also one of four Republicans who continues to ask for earmarks in defiance of the GOP ban.
He then rejected $2.4 trillion in cuts and was one of nine Republicans to oppose the “Cut, Cap and Balance Act” to put the nation on a path towards a balanced budget. He voted against it even though a month earlier he had signed a pledge to vote for it.
In addition, he is against a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Rep. Paul claims these initiatives were not sufficient, but he would not accept them as a starting point. The defense budget is already being cut by $1.1 trillion over the next decade, but Ron Paul/Barney Frank bill would go further by gutting the Pentagon. They want to end all modernization and readiness programs.
We also oppose Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) legislation to immediately pull out of Afghanistan, and to repeal the 2002 Authorization of Military Force in Iraq. The Bush administration was not in “glee” about the 9/11 attack, and we believe GOP leaders should stand up in opposition when Ron Paul and other neo-liberal Republicans makes these outrageous claims. Focusing on national security concerns we developed a Republican Security Pledge.
Based on their public positions, we were able to rate many prominent GOP leaders. Some statesmen were omitted because we were unable to locate their positions on all these issues. The following statesmen were in agreement on all ten principles and goals of the pledge. They received perfect 100% scores: Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, John McCain, John Thune, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson. Two candidates had zero scores and are unacceptable from a national security viewpoint. They are Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.
RON PAUL DID NOT WIN A PRIMARY OR CAUCUS IN 2008/2012. ARE RADICAL LIBERTARIANS AND NEO-LIBERALS REALLY A PROBLEM?
It is easy to dismiss the Libertarian Party which received 0.3 percent of the vote in 2004 and 0.4 percent in 2008. Former Gov. Gary Johnson (NM) left the Republican Party in December 2011 and is now the Libertarian Party nominee. He is receiving 6 percent in some polls and is pulling far more support away from Romney than Obama.
Conservative libertarians are part of the board GOP coalition, but members of the Libertarian Party and radical activists in this movement have had a detrimental impact. They have already cost the GOP three U.S. Senate seats: Norm Coleman (MN), Gordon Smith (OR) and Slade Gorton (WA). We are not fans of third parties but George W. Bush won Florida and the presidency by just 537 votes in 2000. The 97,000 votes Ralph Nader received in Florida made the difference.
We hope conservatives will not be as foolish as the Nader supporters. The “Ron Paul Revolution” is a cause and it was never about the presidential campaign. Its goal is to fundamentally change the Republican Party from conservative to radical libertarian. It is a cause which has already had considerable success. He doubled his 2008 performance, including second-place finishes in twelve states in 2012 and captured the GOP youth vote. Dr . Paul raised over $100 million in the last five years, and organizations connected to the libertarian Koch brothers planned to spend about $400 million on the 2012 elections. John McCain’s entire 2008 presidential campaign spent $370 million.
The Ron Paul Revolution has elected GOP state chairmen in Iowa, Alaska and Nevada. They lost the Maine Caucus by 4% but received 21 of the 24 delegates. They elected a U.S. Senator in Kentucky (Rand Paul), and many give their movement credit for the victories of former Governors in Minnesota (Jesse Ventura) and New Mexico (Gary Johnson).They easily nominated a 2012 U.S. Senate candidate in Minnesota with 64% of the convention vote, and won 32 of the 40 delegates. Paul came in third in the Nevada caucus with 19% but won 22 of the states’ 25 delegates. Romney was left with 3 delegates after winning 50% of the vote.
Some estimates have over half of the registered precinct delegates in Michigan as Ron Paul supporters, and Vincent Burr of the “Michigan Standard” says “It appears unavoidable that the Michigan Republican Party will be firmly under the control of a more libertarian group starting in 2014.”
They also elected both the national committeeman and woman in Maine and Nevada. They lost the race for Republican National Committeeman in Oklahoma by only a narrow 52% to 48% margin.
Paul’s claims about the Patriot Act, NDAA, “900 military bases around the world,” “the warfare state,” the “North American Union,” an “Amero” currency, and Obama’s executive order concerning the White House grounds are all lies. The Federal Reserve is not owned or controlled by world bankers. No stock in any Federal Reserve Bank has ever been sold to foreigners. Paul’s claim that we are paying interest to the Fed is false.
His “End The Fed” book does not tell the truth. Unfortunately, far too many Republicans believe this nonsense. Despite the falsehoods, Republicans who dismiss the power of the radical libertarian movement are making a major mistake. They are similar to the 136 Dixiecrat Congressmen of 1956 who thought they would never lose their considerable power in the Democratic Party. They were then the largest bloc in their party but today not one elected conservative House Democrat remains in the cotton South.
Dr. Paul expressed his goal on February 8, 2008, “If I may quote Trotsky of all people, this Revolution is permanent. It will not end at the Republican convention. It will not end in November. It will not end until we have won the great battle on which we have embarked.”
The radical libertarians do not need a majority to provide the Democratic margin of victory. In 2001, Ron Paul was all alone in opposing the Patriot Act. In 2011, 31 misguided Republicans joined him.
In a major blow to the national security community, the House initially defeated the Patriot Act in March of 2011 before reversing itself. They are turning the GOP away from Ronald Reagan’s Freedom Agenda and George W. Bush’s War on Terror.
Libertarian activist Tess Simons of Orlando, Florida agrees with Paul’s analysis: “It’s not about Ron Paul. He just got the ball rolling and people off their couches. We are joining the county Republican Executive Committees, and in the long run we will take back the GOP, county by county.”
The Washington Post made the same observation in February 2012: “To ensure that they are heard — not just now but after Election Day, too — Paul and his followers are working to gain a permanent foothold in the Republican Party nationwide.
“One state at a time, Paul’s supporters are seating themselves at county committee meetings, and standing for election as state officers and convention delegates, to make sure their candidate’s libertarian vision is taken into account. The goal is a lasting voice for an army of outsiders.”
On February 2, 2012, The New York Times said “At stake for Mr. Paul in these caucuses and primaries is not the Republican nomination but whether his support structure will finally grow from what some establishment Republicans deem no more than a fringe effort driven by a handful of issues to a movement with the leverage to dictate policy and platform changes to the national Republican Party and its nominee.”
In discussing “what our party needs to be about,” Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) says the coming debate will be between conservatives and libertarians, “There’s no longer room for moderates and liberals because we don’t have any money to spend, so I don’t want to be debating with anyone who wants to grow government.”
PayPal CEO Peter Thiel contributed $1.7 million to the Endorse Liberty PAC, which is Paul SuperPac. He never met the Congressman and told Slate “The campaign really is for 2016. I think we’re just trying to build a libertarian base for the next cycle.”
WHY ARE YOU SO CONCERNED ABOUT YOUNG VOTERS?
Ron Paul mobilized a national army of young people which propelled him to victory in practically every on-line and straw poll. In many states he won close to 50% of the 18 to 29 year old age group. The crowds he turned out on college campuses (over 10,000 at UCLA) dwarfed every GOP candidate. Many of Dr. Paul’s accusations are lies and silly conspiracy theories, but once again, far too few GOP leaders are answering him.
As David Yepsen noted in the Wall Street Journal, “It is always wise to watch which candidate is attracting new people because they—or their message—are on to something. In this race, the one candidate attracting hordes of new people is Mr. Paul.
“Many of them are young—and while Mr. Paul is unlikely to become the GOP nominee, those young adults will mature into a political force, just as Mr. McGovern’s antiwar factions and Mr. Robertson’s religious conservatives have done.”
Obama won 68% of the youth vote in 2008, and they secured his victory. John McCain would have been elected if the voting age was above 35. Troy Tacke of the Illinois Libertarian Party says “The future of the GOP is walking out the door. I see Republicans lasting maybe a couple more election cycles.”
The revelations that old Paul newsletters contained racist and anti-Semitic comments did not have a significant impact on his supporters.
Their enthusiasm was not about the candidate but the message. They want simple, easy solutions that are immediate and involve no compromise. His position on drug legalization is highly popular. In a January 13, 2012 article in the Washington Post, Charles Krauthamer said:
“Paul admits he doesn’t see himself in the Oval Office. He is out there to build a movement that will long outlive this campaign. Paul is less a candidate than a ‘cause,’ . . . after a quarter-century in the wilderness, he’s within reach of putting his cherished cause on the map. Libertarianism will have gone from the fringes — those hopeless, pathetic third-party runs — to a position of prominence in a major party.
“His goal is to make himself leader of the opposition — within the Republican Party. . . For libertarianism it would be a historic moment: mainstream recognition at last. Paul is nurturing his movement toward visibility and legitimacy. Paul is 76. He knows he’ll never enter the promised land. But he’s clearing the path for son Rand, his better placed (Senate vs. House), more moderate, more articulate successor.
“And it matters not whether you find amusement in libertarians practicing dynastic succession. What Paul has already wrought is a signal achievement, the biggest story yet of this presidential campaign.”
We are never going to convert radical libertarians, the anti-war lobby and pacifists, but the battle of ideas for the hearts of minds should not be abandoned. In large part, the GOP has already lost its youth vote to the Ron Paul Revolution because they had the field to themselves for too long.
They need to be challenged, and this is an important part of RSC’s mission.
The opposition is well funded but our cause is just and we have faith in the good judgment of rank and file Republicans.
DOES THE RSC WANT TO REMOVE RON PAUL SUPPORTERS AND LIBERTARIANS FROM THE REPUBLICAN PARTY? WOULD THE RSC SUPPORT NEO-LIBERAL REPUBLICANS?
We support Ronald Reagan’s vision of a “Big Tent” for the Republican Party, and we want addition to GOP ranks, not subtraction. We want to broaden the base of support, and we do not advocate a GOP litmus test for candidates or party members.
While we hope they will be more responsible on a wide range of issues, the RSC does not advocate the removal of Ron Paul supporters or libertarians from the GOP coalition. They should not be tossed out, but they should not be leading the GOP. Their ideas should be respectfully considered but the GOP should not adopt a national security platform to the left of the Obama administration.
The RSC supports the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act, which put us at variance with Senate candidates Rand Paul (KY) in 2010 and Kurt Bills (MN) in 2012. Nevertheless, we supported both Paul and Bills who were far better than their liberal Democratic opponents.
We obviously disagree with the unilateral disarmament lobby and neo-liberals, but we are always civil and respectful. The libertarian supporters of Ron and Rand Paul will continue to be an important part of the GOP dialogue and its future.
Ron Paul should not have been excluded from the 2008 Fox News debate or the GOP state conventions that year in Nevada and Minnesota. The libertarians should be allowed to present their ideas and platform proposals. We want them to back Republican policies, but we will continue to oppose many aspects of the libertarian platform. The first GOP Platform was adopted in 1856 and concluded:
“Resolved, That we invite the affiliation and cooperation of the men of all parties, however differing from us in other respects, in support of the principles herein declared; and believing that the spirit of our institutions as well as the Constitution of our country, guarantees liberty of conscience and equality of rights among citizens, we oppose all legislation impairing their security.”
We know members of the GOP will not always be in agreement, and Republicans running in states such as Massachusetts and Hawaii have to cope with a huge Democratic registration edge and a liberal electorate.
We do not want to remove anyone from the Republican Party, but we understand the frustration with Ron Paul and the party’s anti-defense wing. “Weekly Standard” editor Bill Kristol says: “A lot of people when they criticize Ron Paul have to preface their comments by saying, ‘you know, he’s good guy, he brings a lot to the debate.’ I actually don’t buy that. I do not think he’s a particular good guy. I think it would be better if he left the Republican Party.”
It is also important to note that the Ron Paul Revolution is often in disagreement with the libertarian establishment.
For example, Dr. Paul has opposed practically every free trade agreement. The president of the Cato Institute, Edward Crane notes “Which is not to say that Mr. Paul is always in sync with mainstream libertarians.
“His seeming indifference to attempts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, his support for a constitutional amendment to deny birthright citizenship to children of illegal aliens, and his opposition to the NAFTA and CAFTA free trade agreements in the name of doctrinal purity are at odds with most libertarians.”
Megan McCardle, a prominent libertarian, is an associate editor of “Reason” the libertarian magazine. She says “Ron Paul is the first libertarian-identified candidate to receive serious media attention. As a result, many people assume other libertarians share all of his views.
“Many libertarians are wary of supporting Paul because they fear the public will assume all libertarians are anti-immigrant gold-bug conspiracy theorists (and possible closet racists).” In reacting to the “Ron Paul Report” newsletters, David Boaz of the Cato Institute said: “Libertarians should make it clear that the people who wrote those things are not our comrades, not part of our movement . . . Shame on them.”
CAN THE RSC MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
One person with conviction can be more powerful than an army, and we believe a small group of GOP leaders and activists can have a significant impact. There are numerous inspirational stories.
For example, the 26th amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted the right to vote to 18 year-olds. It took only 3 months and 8 days to be ratified in 1971. It happened so quickly because people demanded it, and that was before computers, e-mail and cell phones.
We are not planning to establish a political action committee, but because of the information age, the RSC has already proven to be effective. As many Tea Party groups have already demonstrated, influence is no longer based only on dollar figures.
The power of networks dramatically decreases the marginal cost of being effective. It costs almost nothing to post action items to key activists and opinion makers in the battleground states. We are working to energize volunteers and to provide them with the tools they need to get involved and make a difference.
WHAT GROUPS OPPOSE THE RSC AGENDA?
We face serious opposition from many left wing organizations. We also have to contend with the isolationism of the Republican Liberty Caucus, Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty, the John Birch Society and Young Americans for Liberty, which has chapters on over 600 college campuses.
These “Blame America First” groups are doing an excellent job, and if an election was held among 18 to 29 year old’s, Ron Paul would win in a landslide. We saw this before with Obama in 2008, Pat Robertson in 1988 and George McGovern in 1972.
Our goal is not to remove anyone from the GOP, but we urge caution in selecting people for leadership roles. We believe the American Conservative Union made a wise decision when they removed the John Birch Society (JBS) as a co-sponsor of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Their participation tarnished the cause. Among the major JBS projects are the promotion of Ron Paul and a campaign to discredit conservative icon William F. Buckley, Jr. The JBS founder accused President Eisenhower of being an active agent of the communist conspiracy.