‘Ron Paul: The GOP’s Henry Wallace’

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New Zeal

I’ve always admired Texas congressman Ron Paul as an American patriot and the best mind in the House of Representatives when it comes to financial and constitutional issues.

However, the first responsibility of any government is to protect the security of its citizenry and it is here that I have issues with Rep. Paul.

 

Ron Paul

That is why I decided to run this article b y Spyridon Mitsotakis from Big Peace.

I don’t agree with all of it, including the gratuitous attack on the John Birch Society, but it makes some important points that Mr. Paul’s highly honorable supporters should stop to consider.

The conspiracy-minded John Birch Society, long ago expelled from the conservative movement by Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley, Jr., is abuzz over Congressman Ron Paul’s “Blame America First” performance at Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate.

Oddly, it was Paul’s bizarre assessment of a nuclear Iran that impressed Birchers—and his many devoted supporters. “Just think of how many nuclear weapons surround Iran,” said Paul. “The Chinese are there. The Indians are there. The Pakistanis are there. The Israelis are there. The United States is there. All these countries … Why wouldn’t it be natural if they might want a weapon? Internationally, they might be given more respect. Why should we write people off?”

After arguing for Iran—the world’s leading terror state for 30 years and counting—to have nukes, Paul next implored America to negotiate with these terrorists, citing examples from the Cold War, invoking Eisenhower in the 1950s and Reagan in the 1980s: “In the fifties, we at least talked to them [the Soviets]. At least our leaders and Reagan talked to the Soviets. What’s so terribly bad about this? And countries you put sanctions on you are more likely to fight them. I say a policy of peace is free trade, stay out of their internal business, don’t get involved in these wars and just bring our troops home.”

This distain for strong action against America’s enemies is nothing new for Ron Paul. A few months ago, he was asked his reaction to the elimination of Osama Bin Laden. His response? He stated that the Navy SEAL raid on Bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan “was absolutely not necessary.” Why? Because of the violation (alleged) of Pakistani sovereignty. Paul asked rhetorically ”What if he [Osama] had been in a hotel in London?”

Of course, Thursday was hardly the first time the libertarian congressman went out of his way to make excuses for America’s enemies, or blame America first. In 2007, when asked by Tim Russert, “How have we, the United States, provoked al-Qaeda?” Paul responded: “Well, read what the lead—the ringleader says. Read what Osama bin Laden said. We had, we had a base, you know, in Saudi Arabia that was an affront to their religion, that was blasphemy as far as they were concerned.”

Funny that Congressman Paul fancies himself a new Ronald Reagan, because it was Reagan’s pro-military investments which made the Bin Laden raid possible, plus much more. In fact, when Russert asked Dr. Paul about a 1988 statement made by Paul against Reagan, when Paul had proclaimed, “I want to totally disassociate myself from the Reagan administration,” the congressman didn’t back off. Paul declared Reagan had been “a failure.”

It is distressing to see such silliness having an appeal, especially among many college students, but, alas, it does.

And yet, in an ironic twist of fate, what we as Republicans are experiencing has happened before, but it happened to Democrats. The Democrats of the post-war 1940s had to deal with their own version of Ron Paul: Henry Wallace.

 

Henry Wallace

 

Like Dr. Paul, Wallace was a man of many great ideas. He was, in the words of Cold War historian Ronald Radosh, “an agricultural genius—a man who believed in the concept of scientific agriculture, and in the diligent agronomic use of statistical research; and in the diligent agronomic use of statistical research; and a scientist whose own research led him to develop and spread the process of hybrid corn—a process that revolutionized the yield of corn and led to an agricultural revolution.” In short, agriculture was to Wallace what monetary policy is to Paul.

Wallace served as secretary of agriculture and later vice president in the Roosevelt administration; that is, he did so until his weirdness and remarkable reverence for Stalin’s Soviet Union prompted FDR to switch him with Harry Truman in the 1944 election, making Wallace his secretary of commerce.

After FDR died, the new president, Truman, kept Wallace as secretary of commerce. With the war over, however, Wallace found himself in a tough spot. Troubled by the onset of the Cold War, he was driven to speak out on September 1946, and denounce the new threat to world peace: that is, the threat posed by America and Truman to that amiable peacenik Joe Stalin. Shortly thereafter, Wallace was removed from his position.

Importantly, Wallace was far from finished. Like Ron Paul, Wallace steadily denounced American foreign policy, as pursued by both Democrats and Republicans—and he pursued the presidency. Like Ron Paul, Wallace would not let those World War III seeking “Imperialists” working in the interests of “British Colonialism” get off easy. (For Paul today, replace the words “Imperialists” with “Neo-cons” and “British Colonialism” with “Israel.”) And when Stalin would do something unpleasant, such as take over Czechoslovakia in February of 1948, Wallace would explain that it was Truman’s fault. Wallace blamed America first, in spite of the blatantly aggressive actions of an obvious external enemy.

Thus, Wallace and some of his old friends from the Department of Agriculture started their own version of Paul’s “Campaign for Liberty.” They called themselves “Progressive Citizens of America.” Wallace’s supporters believed that the U.S. government was behind a conspiracy to create worldwide crises in order to subvert and dominate other nations for American imperial purposes. They insisted that “innocent” people, like Alger Hiss, were being unjustly persecuted. This group later morphed into the Progressive Party, from which Wallace would challange Truman for the presidency in 1948.

In 1948, presidential candidate Wallace proclaimed: “There is no real fight between a Truman and a Republican. Both stand for a policy which opens the door to war in our lifetime and makes war certain for our children. … The American people read of the fantastic appropriations that are being made for military adventures in Greece, Turkey, China—and billions for armaments here at home. … Two years ago I denounced those who were talking up World War III as criminals. Of course, the bulk of our people are not criminals, but it is possible for a little handful of warmongers to stampede them.”

And with his comrades, men like Harry Magdoff, Victor Perlo, and Charles Kramer, Wallace set out to win the presidency in 1948. His comrades failed to disclose to Wallace their other names, to wit: KANT (Magdoff), RAIDER (Perlo), and PLUMB (Kramer)—their code names as Soviet agents.

If it isn’t obvious by now, what had happened was that Wallace had been duped, and much to most of his party was controlled or influenced by the Communist Party. It took Wallace two more years after suffering a humiliating defeat in that election, and watching as the so-called Progressive Party backed the communists against American troops in Korea, for him to realize what was going on, whereby he denounced his own party and resigned.

But the impact of that campaign went far beyond its time. In a review on the back cover of a first edition copy of Curtis Macdougall’s ”Gideon’s Army,” a KGB-published book (1965) about the Progressive Party, radical left-wing academic Staughton Lynd wrote: “There might have been no Bay of Pigs, no Vietnam, no Santo Domingo if the ideas of the third party of 1948 had prevailed … those ideas of 1948 are alive today.” Just as Ron Paul, when asked by Tim Russert, “Under President Paul, if North Korea invaded South Korea, would we respond?” Paul promised he would not have. “Why should we unless the Congress declared war?” responded Paul. “I mean, why are we there? South Korea, they’re begging and pleading to unify their country, and we get in their way. They want to build bridges and go back and forth. Vietnam, we left under the worst of circumstances. The country is unified. They have become Westernized. We trade with them. Their president comes here. And Korea, we stayed there and look at the mess.”

Needless to say, Ron Paul’s commendable embrace of free-market principles in no way makes him sympathetic to Soviet communism, as was the case for Henry Wallace. Ron Paul is obviously not pro-Soviet or pro-communist—quite the contrary. The commonality is each man’s breathtakingly bad positions on foreign policy and America’s enemies. And unfortunately for Ron Paul, it will be that twisted view of foreign policy that forever keeps him from his party’s nomination and the White House—just as it did Henry Wallace.

What good is sound money and an honored constitution, if your country is a smoking rubble?

To survive and prosper America needs sound money, a return to Constitutional disciplines and the best defense systems and military the country can afford.

Two out of three just ain’t enough.

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Comments

  1. May I ask you some questions?
    For sure, every country needs the best defense that it can afford, but is the U.S. military being used to defend the U.S. , or is it being used to colonize and terrorize the peoples of other countries? Is it being used in the interests of the American people, or is it being used to promote the agenda of bankers and transnational corporations? Ron Paul knows that the U.S. military is not being used in the interests of the American people, but for the agenda of the bankers.
    Think about it.

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