One of the criticisms I had of Ron Paul during the 2008 presidential campaign was that, when he referred to the causes of terrorism and that most recent terrorist acts against the U.S. were directly in response to U.S. foreign policy (according to the terrorists themselves), Dr. Paul would use the collective pronoun “we,” as in the terrorists are over here because “we’re over there,” because “we” have had hundreds of military bases on the lands of foreign peoples for decades, etc. Well, I’m not over there, and most Americans are not over there. And I’m not responsible for the government’s bureaucrats’ acting invasively and aggressively against foreigners especially since World War II.
I think that Dr. Paul’s use of “we” in his criticisms of a territorially invasive U.S. government foreign policy causes many people, particularly on the right, to perceive his criticism as being toward America, our country itself, because that is how I hear those conservative talk show hosts’ interpretations of Dr. Paul’s views.
For example, when I hear Sean Hannity take a call from a listener who is critical of what the bureaucrats and politicians of the U.S. government have been doing, Hannity is constantly responding with accusations that the caller is “blaming America,” and Hannity repeats that several times, “blame America, blame America,” as though Hannity is incapable of distinguishing between our country (America) and the U.S. government (a group of hacks, imbeciles, parasites and gangsters — except for Ron Paul, of course).
I know that Ron Paul is quite capable of distinguishing between the two, between our country and the government, because he knows they are two entirely different things. It would be helpful, if Dr. Paul is going to run for president in 2012, that he would be more careful in his communicating of his criticisms of U.S. government foreign policy. Because, already he has a lot of “staunch conservatives” agreeing with him in his criticisms of the overreach and intrusiveness of the U.S. government, such as with ObamaCare and other social programs and entitlements, and with Obama’s expanding executive powers and bureaus and “Czars,” etc, and his criticisms of the TSA, the Federal Reserve and bank bailouts.
It should be even easier this time around for Dr. Paul to win over many on the Left who are anti-war and who don’t like Obama’s warmongering and civil liberties violations. But Dr. Paul can win support of more conservatives if he clarifies his views on foreign policy, and that it is not our country of America that has been provoking foreigners to act against us in retaliation of trespasses on their lands, but, more accurately, it has been the U.S. government that has been acting intrusively against foreign peoples for many decades, and for reasons not having anything to do with our national security, but solely for political purposes, for control and hegemony on foreign lands.
Instead of referring to “we” have been on foreign lands and provoking, he needs to refer to “the U.S. government,” or “the federal government,” or “our government” has been… and so on. I think that clarifying things like that can be helpful to his listeners and viewers, prospective supporters and voters, in really understanding what Dr. Paul is trying to say.
Further, Dr. Paul should consider bringing up the oil aspect of the government’s hegemony and foreign intrusiveness. Why does our government force us to be dependent on foreign oil? We need to forbid our government from getting in the way of Americans’ right to explore for and use natural resources on their own lands, whether federal bureaucrats like it or not.