TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein: Ron Paul and the Nazi Century

Even as Texas Rep. Ron Paul
rises in the polls and positions himself as a serious contender to win the Iowa caucuses, it is important to remember this: He has absolutely no chance to win the Republican nomination for president.

This is largely, though not entirely, due to his foreign policy views. Without question, Paul is attracting many Republicans who are tired of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After ten years of war, the siren song of “come home America” strongly resonates. But what Paul is actually calling for is something far more absolutist than merely ending America’s presence in Afghanistan.

Paul wants to cut the military budget drastically and close America’s bases around the world. He has in the past called for the abolition of the CIA and FBI.

“I am opposed to any covert military actions by the U.S. government,” he once declared on the House floor. “Such actions have no place in a free society. Any action the government takes must be open to examination by all.”

Essentially, Paul wants to end Pax Americana, full stop. America’s military might would no longer be preeminent in the world — and with its decline, America’s influence will undeniably wane.

To put his foreign policy in perspective, it might be worthwhile to imagine what our foreign policy might have looked like had Paul been at the helm during key historical moments. Admittedly the congressman’s foreign policy prescriptions may have helped America avert certain overseas debacles, but overall they would have produced catastrophe.

What would a President Paul have done during the lead-up to World War II? In October, he told me in Las Vegas that he would not provide financial aid to an ally even if it were in “mortal danger.”

“I would let the banks make their own decisions, I wouldn’t prohibit them. But I wouldn’t take money from these people to give it,” he said, referring to repurposing tax money from the assembled crowd.

This fits philosophically with his previous calls for “armed neutrality,” which would turn America into Switzerland.

If Paul had been president in 1941, such a policy would have precluded America from aiding Britain and the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease. Both countries would likely have fallen to Nazi Germany, or been forced into some type of accommodation with Hitler. And with Great Britain and the Soviet Union out of the fight, the Germans would have been free to consolidate control over Europe — and perhaps next the Middle East — with all the utter evilness that would have entailed.

Then again, a Paul presidency would probably have averted the Pearl Harbor attacks since his foreign policy philosophy would have been opposed to an oil embargo on Japan. But without American involvement in World War II, there would also likely have been no Manhattan project, meaning Germany would have have had an open playing field to develop atomic capabilities first — and then global nuclear dominance.

Could American fealty have followed? However you look at it, if Ron Paul were president during the late 1930s and early 1940s, the 20th Century would not be remembered as the American Century. It would have been the Nazi Century.