Category Archives: U.S. Politics

The Libertarian Debate: Rep. Ron Paul vs. Gov. Gary Johnson by Gregory Hilton

In a significant setback to his campaign, former Governor Gary Johnson (R-NM) was not included in this week’s CNN presidential debate in New Hampshire. Johnson did participate in the first debate in South Carolina which was organized by Fox News.
CNN policy is to exclude candidates who are not receiving at least 2% of the vote in national public opinion polls. In 2007, former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-AK) was also excluded by the same criteria, but his supporters were successful in organizing a protest campaign and CNN relented.
Johnson supporters also protested but CNN only received a few messages and the two-term Governor was not included. He told CNN he had been re-elected with 20% of the vote, while former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) was defeated by 18%. Santorum participated in the debate. Johnson’s plea fell on deaf ears at the network.
The former Governor is battling Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) for the support of libertarians, and the future direction of this movement. They agree on most issues, but there are some significant and interesting differences. Johnson is more of a mainstream libertarian, while Paul is far more popular with the movements rank and file.
Johnson was the most prominent Republican to endorse Paul in 2008, and said: “I am endorsing Ron Paul for the Republican nomination for President because of his commitment to less government, greater liberty, and lasting prosperity for America. We are at a point in this country where we need to reduce our dependency on government and regain control of our future. To this end, Ron Paul will bring back troops, end the War in Iraq, and will strengthen the U.S. dollar and the economy. For these reasons and more, Ron Paul has my support, respect, and vote”. Listed below are their positions on some of the major issues.
Defense: Both candidates advocate unilateral disarmament and the end of all readiness and modernization programs. Paul wants a minimum cut of $1 trillion out of the Pentagon over a decade. Johnson vows to cut the budget by $1.65 trillion in his first year which would require an immediate 25% reduction in defense spending.
Federal Reserve: Johnson supports for the Federal Reserve which Paul wants to abolish. In April, the Governor told Judge Andrew Napolitano it was not necessary to end the Federal Reserve, and the focus should instead be on balancing the budget. Johnson has since copied some of Paul’s anti-Fed rhetoric. However, as of today, he is still saying the Fed should not be abolished. He wants it to focus on price stability.
Earmarks: Johnson has taken the GOP pledge to abolish earmarks while Paul is in favor of them.
Guantanamo Detention Facility: Paul wants it shut immediately while Johnson says terrorists have to be put somewhere. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) also disagrees with his father on earmarks and Guantanamo.
Trade: Johnson supported NAFTA and other free trade agreements. When he became a presidential candidate, he changed his position on NAFTA and now calls it “corporatist.” Unlike Paul, Johnson will not rule out future free trade agreements. Paul claims to be a free trader but has opposed practically every free trade agreement since his first election in 1976.
Abortion: The former Governor is personally pro-choice while Paul is personally pro-life. Johnson’s pro-choice views have turned out to be his most controversial position at GOP gatherings. However, both candidates really have the same position.
They do not want abortion to be a federal matter and would turn it over to the states. This was the system which existed before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision where some states allowed abortion and others did not.
Foreign Aid: Paul wants the entire program abolished without exception. Johnson would not end humanitarian programs or the military assistance which is provided to Israel.
Foreign Policy: Both candidates oppose the U.S. role in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. At the Southern Republican Leadership Conference today in New Orleans, Johnson said “Let’s get out of Iraq and Afghanistan tomorrow.” He supports Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) bill to set a deadline for getting out. He also opposes the U.S. role in Libya.
In 2001, Rep. Paul did vote in favor of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan but quickly changed his mind. The difference is that Johnson supports interventions for humanitarian purposes and to prevent genocide. He was in favor of the U.S. role in Bosnia and Kosovo, which Paul opposed.
Paul wants to end America’s collective security system. Johnson says “If there’s a clear genocide somewhere, don’t we really want to positively impact that kind of a situation? Isn’t that what we’re all about? Isn’t that what we’ve always been about?” Paul’s policy is non-intervention everywhere, no matter how compelling the cause.
Osama bin Laden Raid: Johnson supported and Paul opposed the raid. The Congressman said “It was absolutely not necessary.” Paul says this should have been handled by Pakistan while Johnson says that would have allowed bin Laden to escape.
Budget: Johnson advocates a 43% cut in the federal budget and supports the GOP’s Ryan plan to cut the deficit by $6.2 trillion over a decade. Johnson says it is a good start, but Paul voted with the Democrats to kill the Ryan plan because he advocates larger reductions.
Cabinet: Johnson would not abolish cabinet departments for Agriculture and Commerce. He would abolish the Departments of Education and HUD. Paul would abolish all of them as well as the CIA, Labor and the Department of Homeland Security.
Immigration: Both Johnson and Paul oppose the border fence. Johnson wants to increase the number of work visas. Paul is against the E—Verify program and other initiatives to keep employers from hiring illegal aliens. Johnson is for E-Verify. Paul would allow the individual states to decide immigration policies.
Gold Standard: Paul has written four books advocating a return to the gold standard. Johnson has issued one twitter message which vaguely promises to link the dollar to gold.
Gay Civil Unions: Johnson is in favor but Paul says it should be decided by the states.
Patriot Act and Military Trials for Terrorists: They are both opposed.
War on Drugs: They both want to end the Drug War. Johnson, 58, has admitted smoking marijuana since he left the Governorship in 2002. Paul, 75, would allow all dangerous drugs to be legal if that policy was approved by a state government. Johnson calls the Drug War “an expensive bust.”
Conspiracy Theories: Johnson has not addressed some of Paul’s favorite topics, the fictitious North American Union, the alleged Amero currency to replace the dollar, or the non-existent NAFTA Superhighway. Johnson does not believe FEMA is building concentration camps for American citizens, and he is not calling for another investigation of the 9/11 attack. These differences were noted by Aaron Biterman who created the official 2008 Facebook page for the Ron Paul campaign, but has since shifted his support to Johnson. He is the past Vice Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus and said:

“At and, criticism of Israel and the Federal Reserve too often focuses on Jews as the problem rather than more substantive concerns. Such conspiracy theories and attacks are not productive for the liberty movement. . .Unfortunately, neither the Congressman nor his numerous organizations have ever put out a message to clearly distance themselves from these unappealing arguments.”

Conservatives Need to Stop The Bilderberg Conspiracy Theory Nonsense by Gregory Hilton

Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) spoke to the 2007 Bilderberg Conference about energy security and policies which resulted in his state being responsible for 37% of all private sector job growth in America. The Governor is not a traitor, he is not controlled by the Bilderbergers, and has done nothing to jeopardize America’s sovereignty.

The three day annual meeting of the Bilderberg Group is now being held in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Today’s Alex Jones radio program denounced the gathering for attempting to destroy America’s sovereignty and plotting to create a single global currency. Similar to most accusations made by Jones, the claims have no merit and there is no evidence to support them. Since 1945 the world has had a single reserve currency, and it is the American dollar. Continue reading

America’s Founders Were Not Isolationists by Gregory Hilton

Lafayette Square is directly across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, and contains four statues honoring foreigners who had key roles in the American Revolution.

Many isolationists use quotes from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to claim they represent the Founders’ viewpoint. This was also the tactic of the America First organization in its campaign to keep the nation neutral in World War II. At every large rally they displayed Washington’s portrait, and even though the Nazi’s controlled all of Europe, they claimed America would never be attacked by the “Axis of Steel.” They went out of business the day after Pearl Harbor. Continue reading

The Case Against Gold: Why Ron Paul is Wrong About The Gold Standard by Gregory Hilton

“The gold standard is to economics what the flat earth theory is to astronomy: something that may have seemed to make sense back when people didn’t know any better but is ridiculous to suggest today.” – Dr. Russ Anderson

“Ron Paul is saying: ‘Let’s make everything simple again. . . If we had a gold standard, we wouldn’t need complex monetary policy. But how do we get from here to there? There might not be a way. It is just nostalgia for a time that never really existed.– Dr. Vincent Reinhart, American Enterprise Institute Continue reading

What Happens Now: Senate Defeats Ryan’s $6.2 Trillion Deficit Cut by Gregory Hilton

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee, holds a copy of his “Path to Prosperity” budget proposal. The $6.2 trillion reduction was defeated in the Senate earlier today.

The Senate today defeated the Ryan budget on a 57 to 40 vote. The “Path to Prosperity” deficit reduction plan had earlier passed the House and it would have reduced the deficit by $6.2 trillion over a decade. The most controversial part of the Ryan plan involved Medicare. Continue reading

Conservatives Should Not Be Silent About The Dangers of The Ron Paul Revolution by Gregory Hilton

I am a conservative Republican who enthusiastically wants my party to win, but I am an American first. That is why I cannot ignore the clear and present danger the Ron Paul Revolution presents to our national security. Republicans made a mistake in 2008 by ignoring the Ron Paul challenge. Their response was understandable because everyone knew the Congressman would not win. He failed in every primary and did not carry one county. His own Congressional District rejected him. John McCain and Rudy Giuliani forcefully answered him in some of the debates, but the general policy was to smile at the Texan because the GOP did not want to alienate his libertarian supporters.
This attitude could be repeated in 2012, but it would be a mistake because over the past four years Ron Paul has been triumphant. Ron Paul will not win the 2012 GOP nomination. He knows that and we know that. The Ron Paul Revolution is not about the nomination. Its goal is fundamentally changing the Republican Party, and they have had considerable success.view Why am I focusing on Rep. Ron Paul Mike Chumbley of Salem, Oregon writes: “Is bashing Ron Paul in every post what I can expect in the future? Paul has no chance of election so why not move on to meatier issues?” You can expect far more Ron Paul criticism from me in the future. I have only just begun. I am a Republican and a conservative, but I am an American first. I want Republicans to win but I cannot ignore a clear and present danger to our national security. When confronted with such an obvious threat I cannot look the other way even if it results in a gain for my political party. Continue reading

The Inside Story: Why a Ron Paul Disciple Left His Ranks by Gregory Hilton

David Bahnsen of Newport Beach, California is a Senior Vice President of Morgan Stanley, and also serves on the Board of Advisors of the California Recovery Project with Dr. Arthur Laffer. Bahnsen has abandoned his earlier support of the Ron Paul crusade, and now describes himself as an “economically literate Republican.” He wrote the recent article “The Undiscerning and Dangerous Appreciation of Ron Paul.” Continue reading

Another Bad Idea From Ron Paul: Letters of Marque and Reprisal by Gregory Hilton

“The Constitution gives Congress the power to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal when a precise declaration of war is impossible due to the vagueness of the enemy. . . Pirates were the terrorists in the days of our founders and held no allegiance to any nation – the same as the terrorists of today. Our wise founders left us with the solution where mercenaries could be hired and given the authority to hunt down and bring terrorists to justice.” – Congressman Ron Paul

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) believes it was wrong to use Navy SEALs to kill Osama bin Laden. He says it was “absolutely not necessary,” and falsely claims it cost $1 trillion to kill the al-Qaeda leader. He arrived at that figure by adding up all military expenses related to terrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Paul says his plan would have accomplished the same goal for only $500 million.
The Congressman also does not approve of the war on terrorism and his solution is to stop using the U.S. military because it so expensive.
Paul believes we could capture or kill all of the terrorists by bringing back an ancient custom known as Letters of Marque and Reprisal.
They would offer a cash bounty for every terrorist killed or captured. There is nothing wrong with offering large rewards for prominent individuals such as Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Mullah Omar.
Rewards should continue to be offered, but no one has collected the bounty for bin Laden. That is not too surprising because private individuals do not have the resources of a government which allows the use of technology such as satellites and drones.
There are many problems with what Congressman Paul is proposing. Letters of Marque and Reprisal have not been used in the U.S. since 1815, and they were outlawed by the 1856 Treaty of Paris which ended the Crimean War.
No government uses these Letters today, but Paul foolishly says allowing their use would save taxpayers enormous amounts of money. Instead of using the U.S. military, he wants to outsource major portions of the war on terror to privateers. Since 2002, Paul has continually introduced legislation calling for the revival of these Letters, but no lawmaker has co-sponsored the legislation.
Were Letters of Marque and Reprisal Successful in Stopping the Pirate Problem?
No. Pirates were a problem during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. These letters authorized privateers but this only made the situation worse. Privateers such as “Captain” William Kidd ended up switching sides and becoming famous pirates. Ample evidence of this is provided in Mercenaries, Pirates and Sovereigns by Janice Thompson. The pirate problem was not solved until governments became involved.
Why Did The U.S. Government Use Letters of Marque and Reprisal?
The U.S. Navy lost 24 ships during the Revolutionary War and at one time it was reduced to just two vessels. When the Navy was restored following the war of 1812, the privateers were no longer necessary.
What Are The Problem Areas?

  • What would happen if American privateers were captured or killed by terrorists? Would the U.S. military have to rescue them or avenge their deaths?
  • The privateers would be paid only after they turned over evidence which would primarily be dead bodies. The detainees at Guantanamo have proven to be a major headache for the government. With dead bodies being turned over the possibility of innocent people being killed inorder to collect a bounty would be high.
  • Privateers backfired on the British in the War of 1812. The final engagement was the Battle of New Orleans. The British privateers switched sides and provided General Andrew Jackson’s forces with the intelligence they needed to secure a stunning victory.
  • That was a long time ago but problems remains today. The Blackwater security firm should not be described as privateers. They are civilians who had previously been part of the U.S. special forces. They were not paid a bounty for killing terrorists. They were a private security firm which proved to be an enormous embarrassment for the U.S. government when they were found guilty of killing 17 innocent civilians. The firm was permanently barred by the Iraqi government and the public relations damage for America was huge.
  • There are bounty hunters in the United States but they are looking for a specific individual. In the war on terror we do not know the identity of enemy combatants.

Ron Paul wants private citizens to operate as privateers in areas such as Somalia and Kandahar, Afghanistan. It would be similar to vigilantism. There are excellent reasons why the United States abandoned Letters of Marque and Reprisal in 1815, and you can always count on Ron Paul and the libertarians to come up with the worst possible solution to any problem.

Conservative vs. Libertarian – Gregory Hilton Debates John Grigsby of the Northern Virginia Tea Party

Editorial Note: John W. Grigsby of Hillsboro, Virginia is a self-described “long time libertarian activist, formerly a ‘liberal’ one.” He is founder of the Northern Virginia Tea Party and says his mission is to “replace the GOP establishment .” He is a vigorous supporter of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. Grigsby says the Texas Congressman “is imperfect, like all people, but Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are my two top choices, and I’m grateful for them.” Continue reading

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) is Retiring But GOP Needs Quality Candidates by Gregory Hilton

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) is announcing his retirement today, which means the awful Russ Feingold could come back to inflict more damage on our national security. Continue reading