Ron Paul The Racist? If You Believe The Negative Ads …

By: Joe Murray, The Bulletin

"We all can talk about changing the tone of politics and the direction and the way we elect our officials. And sometimes we talk about it and then we end up doing the same things, and at some point we have to decide, can we change the kind of politics and the level of discourse?" asked Mike Huckabee.

Assuming the role as a schoolmarm to her pupils, Mr. Huckabee retorted, "And so I’ve got to believe that we can, but it’s got to start somewhere, and so it might as well start here, and it might as well start with me."

There was only one problem: Soon thereafter Mr. Huckabee changed the tone and pulled an ad attacking Mr. Romney, but he previewed the same ad to the press in order to prove the ad was real. Slick.

History proves one thing: that elections bring out the worst in people. LBJ hit Goldwater with Daisy Girl, Bush 41 nailed Mike Dukakis with Willie Horton, and while not exactly negative, who can forget about Mr. Dukakis riding in that tank?

Linking patriotism to military service is the norm, as Bill Clinton became the draft dodger and George W. Bush the pampered rich kid. John Kerry got hit by the Swift Boat. But the antics displayed this election cycle are poised to make the Swift Boat resemble the Love Boat.

While Mr. Huckabee almost called Mr. Romney a liar, Mr. Romney called Mr. Huckabee a Democrat, and Rudy Giuliani is, well, Rudy Giuliani, none of these wallows in the mud can top the hair-brained, baseless slur claiming Ron Paul is a racist.

For quite some time left-wing blogs have been frothing at the mouth in their attempts to paint Dr. Paul as a radical extremist living on the fringe, and the media has been more than happy to entertain the notions.

Both political parties have reason to fear Dr. Paul, for he stands to derail the GOP gravy train and expose the political bankruptcy of a Democrat party unable to generate one success story when challenging the White House on the war.

So, how do you muzzle the man that can make you look like a fool? The dehumanization of dissent.

By labeling Dr. Paul a racist, such a label is automatically transferred to his ideas and followers, thus rendering the Texas congressman marginalized and neutralized.

The proof for such a charge? Dr. Paul’s willingness to question the wisdom of the Civil War in ending slavery in the states and casting doubt on the role civil rights legislation played in ending discrimination.

While appearing on "Meet the Press," Dr. Paul argued that Honest Abe made a monumental mistake by using military force to prevent the South from leaving the Union, a view the left claims is racist.

"No, he shouldn’t have gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic. I mean, it was that iron fist," stated Dr. Paul. And is not Dr. Paul correct in his assessment?

During the war, Mr. Lincoln shredded the Constitution by proclaiming a blockade (an act of war) without a congressional declaration, spending money without first obtaining congressional approval, suspending the writ of habeas corpus and imprisoning 18,000 citizens suspected of being Confederate sympathizers without the benefit of a trial. And liberals complain about Guantanamo.

When Dr. Paul criticizes Mr. Lincoln, he does so with the understanding that Mr. Lincoln used the crisis of war as an excuse to abandon the constitutional framework established by the founders. Slavery is not even part of the equation.

And anyone with a pulse is well aware of the fact that Dr. Paul’s campaign is built on the notion of individual liberty as protected by the Constitution. Where’s the racism?

Tim Russert, unable to tackle the history, responds, "We’d still have slavery." Really?

"Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world," Dr. Paul responded. "And the way I’m advising that it should have been done is do like the British Empire did. You buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans and where it lingered for 100 years?"

This debate isn’t about race; it’s about philosophy. Should we feel free to abandon the wisdom of the Constitution when it fails to quickly achieve our goals? Or do we trust the document that turned a colony into a superpower?

Because the left views the Constitution as a list of suggestions that can be ignored when their moral code is being violated, they have no problem expanding federal authority at the expense of civil liberty.

Those on the other side of the coin understand that the Constitution exists to protect civil liberties and when its protections are broken, no matter how just the cause, liberty is imperiled.

The road to hell, they say, is paved with the best intentions.

©The Evening Bulletin 2008

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