Support Our Troops: The Hypocrisy of So-Called Patriots

This article was also seen in The Political Spectrum and the Daily Paul.

Ron Paul received the most military donationsMany conservatives at this stage of the campaign cycle agree that they like the majority of Ron Paul’s platform, yet they disagree with him completely on foreign policy. Some of them periodically muster the courage to call his foreign policy naïve.  Those who dislike him completely will condescendingly call him a lunatic in the face of anyone they suspect to be a Ron Paul supporter.  These “enlightened” conservatives are so self-righteous and wrapped up in their elevated opinion of their star-spangled selves—and their preferred flip-flopping candidate—that their opinion on maintaining the militarist status quo, infallible as they see it, is so correct that it doesn’t even warrant an intellectual defense, least of all to those no-good dumb-dumb “Paulbots.”  Periodically however, there arise a few who have a sense of honor and decency that are willing to at least defend their ideas with a logical argument.  All of the above, though, are people who claim to “support the troops.”

In light of their claim, it is necessary to analyze who the troops themselves are supporting.  The easiest way to find out is not by straw polls, which can be faulty at times when considering the participating sample of the population, but rather by looking at the way the troops are literally putting their money where their mouth is. As of September 30, 2011 President Obama has received over $68,000 in monetary campaign donations from active duty troops.  The candidate trailing him is Mitt Romney with a distant $11,000, and for the rest of the candidates the numbers only go down from there.  All of their donations from the troops combined with Obama’s come out to $106,266.  Many of these Republican military donors would be content to vote for any Republican candidate in November 2012 just to get rid of our incumbent President.

And now for the pressing question: How much money has Congressman Paul raised from active duty troops?  $112,739, not counting the various money bombs that would come in October and November. The numbers clearly show that Ron Paul garnishes more support from America’s fighting sons and daughters—the true patriots who currently risk life and limb for the country—than all of the opposition combined.  No one is in a position to be more fully and painfully aware of the consequences of America’s militant foreign policy than those troops whose job it is to literally fight wars and terrorism, as well as “keep the peace” around the world.  The vast majority of troops—endangered enough by foolish civilian policy makers that they awoke and joined the political process—clearly wish to abide by the noninterventionist (not isolationist) foreign policy of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Yet the so-called “patriots” who disagree with and/or scorn Paul’s noninterventionist ideas are convinced that he is incorrect, naïve, or just plain crazy. These are the people who most ardently proclaim their support for the troops, yet by writing off Dr. Paul’s idea of bringing the troops home from around the world they also write off the opinions and experience-based beliefs of the very troops they claim to support. These warhawks all have one thing in common: their idea of “supporting our troops” rests with slapping a yellow bumper sticker on their car and occasionally sending a box of cookies to Kandahar Airfield rather than actually heeding the passionate cries from those who wear the uniform and bleed for the stars and stripes.  This is the ultimate form of hypocrisy for so-called patriots and it is unacceptable.  Every servicemember as well as discharged veterans from the decade-long war on terror ought to call these warhawks on their sickening hypocrisy.

Perhaps the most hardline warhawks will never be able to change their minds; they have already drunk the kool aid of staunch ultraconservatism and are long gone. However, this is not true for the majority of conservatives who are intelligent critical thinkers.  After all, they love Ron Paul’s non-socialist economic and domestic policies, yet they disagree with his foreign policies. They also claim that they support the troops, regardless of the overbearing contradiction in their words and logic.  The day these conservatives will truly demonstrate their support for America’s military heroes will be the day they honestly listen to them and vote for the man the troops overwhelmingly champion: Ron Paul.

Grass roots image courtesy of the Daily Paul.

The Privilege of Voting

Ballot boxAn anecdote by Zach Foster (originally published in March on the Political Spectrum blog)

 Today, March 8, 2011, is a day when many cities throughout the state of California hold municipal elections to elect their public officials and to pass ballot measures and propositions that will affect their communities.  My hometown had such an election and I was able to cast my vote for who I thought, based on research and an educated conclusion, were the best candidates for public office.

 What I find slightly discouraging is the fact that many people have not and will not participate in today’s elections.  Some may dismiss this as simply a municipal election that really doesn’t matter.  Unfortunately, this is an unrealistic mindset for those of us who are aware of how our elected officials govern, and how our elected officials use (or misuse) public funds.  Elections really do matter!  It is also most of the same people dismissing the municipal elections who will also dismiss the next statewide general elections and eventually the next Presidential election.

 Some statistics show that only have of America’s eligible voters actually go and vote.  It only takes fifty percent plus one to win an election, and most elections are not won by landslides.  Therefore, if half the eligible voters vote and barely more than half of them win the election, then roughly twenty-five percent of eligible voters are making the decisions that will control or impact the other seventy-five percent of eligible voters and the entire population.  This is what people call “minority rule.”  It is foolish how the privilege of voting is often taken for granted at home when many hundreds of thousands of American troops have died abroad to bring the right to vote freely and openly to oppressed countries.  After considering these things, does voting still seem unimportant?

 I was recently talking with a friend about political awareness and activism.  Those who willfully keep themselves ignorant or uninvolved in events that affect people and could potentially affect them are sheep that are only asking to be sheered.  Ignorance may be bliss, but it is a civic responsibility to take part in our democracy so that a select few cannot hijack it, or else the wolves will come over the ridge while the sheep are blissfully unaware.

 When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

–Pastor Martin Niemöller