Liberty and Freedom
Ron Paul’s “Restore America” agenda is one side of an argument in the long history of the US’s internal conflict between the Federalists (Hamilton) and anti-federalists (Jefferson and George Mason). His agenda could be more aptly named “Restore the American Republic”. The phrase, “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none” comes from Jefferson’s first inaugural speech. The first five US Presidents warned that imperialism would lead to the internal destruction of the Republic by betraying the principles of liberty. Two of those principles were non-interventionism with foreign nations and the prevention of power centralized in a federal government. One opponent of these principles was Alexander Hamilton. Ron Paul is on the Jeffersonian side of this argument.
The argument is still alive. Ron Paul differs from other presidential candidates by advocating for a decrease in the scope of the Federal government. Despite their rhetoric, the other candidates favor using big government as a means of spreading the gospel of democracy at the point of a bayonet and the status of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
Alexander Hamilton’s argument was reinforced by the Protestant postmillennial conviction that a pervasive federal government be the vehicle for converting the world to democracy, eradicating the world’s ills, and preparing for the Second Coming. Further support was gleaned from the WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) notion that they were God’s chosen people to “regenerate, uplift, educate” the peoples of the earth from a state of sin and that these primitive pagan uncivilized savage sub-humans were incapable of self-governance. It was a WASP mandate from God, indeed the duty, of WASP’s to spread their Gospel, even to extermination according to General Sherman under President Grant as in the case of Native Americans. The culmination of this WASP ideology can be seen in the notion of Manifest Destiny. The vehicle is powered by borrowing and spending (fiat Federal Reserve Notes nowadays).
The price we pay is the loss of liberty at home as we join the imperial quest for world domination by manipulation and coercion. To garner popular support of this quest, national defense was/is featured by virtue of having enemies. Enemies are conjured as in Vietnam and Iraq, and sold to the public assuring blowback. As foreseen by our early Presidents and predicted by others, US citizens have become victims of coercion at the hand of the executive power of the presidency.
By historical standards the American Republic is virtually dead. Ron and Rand Paul are two politicians attempting to rejuvenate Jefferson’s argument for republicanism. The word "democracy" does not appear in either our Declaration of Independence nor the US Constitution. The Founders were wary of what Tocqueville later called the “tyranny of the majority”. The Electoral College supposedly filters the majority’s choice to prevent unsuitable candidates from election. In fact, we do not vote directly for presidential candidates. Our votes are represented by members of the electoral college.
The basis of the Hamilton/Jefferson issue can be used to place the positions of current presidential candidates into context. Most if not all of the candidate’s positions have a history. Awareness of that history can lead voters to make more informed choices.
The Costs of War, Denson
Chapter 3, Justin Raimondo
Chapter 8, Joseph Stromberg
Chapter 9, Murray Rothbard
As We Go Marching, John Flynn