Paul’s challenges: hostility by media, GOP gone astray

Apparently Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) opponent for his congressional seat was not so formidable as described in David Hill’s column last year (“Ron Paul: trouble back home,” Nov. 14). It will be interesting to read his follow-up. As one who has voted Republican since Nixon in 1968, waiting patiently if foolishly for the promises of smaller and more responsible government, I was encouraged by Dr. Paul’s candidacy for president. It was especially heartening to see him energize the instinct for liberty in young people.

Agree with him or not, Paul brought issues of real importance to a dialogue otherwise devoid of much beyond a beauty contest. His characterization by most of the media as a “crackpot” (Bill Kristol), “quirky” (David Hill in November), and any number of epithets to marginalize him as fringe were especially interesting. Certainly it was more telling about the media than Dr. Paul, who seems to be honestly intent on honoring the Constitution.

David Hill’s final dismissal of Dr. Paul as “Good riddance” did a service for me. I can now invite the Republican Party to say to me, “Good riddance.” It can continue on its path of big government, growing regulation, restricted liberties and fiscal irresponsibility while promising the opposite every two years without my vote. And from conversations with others, it seems I am far from alone.

Bush’s demagoguery on South America

From Brian D. Bigbie

President Bush’s stunning verbiage regarding the situation in South America involving Venezuela, Ecuador and Columbia desperately needs to be qualified. In Klaus Marre’s article “Bush decries Chavez’s ‘provocative maneuvers’” (March 4), President Bush makes a very rudimentary argument for the advocacy of his free trade agreement with Colombia by stating, “If we fail to approve this agreement, we will let down our close ally, we will damage our credibility in the region, and we will embolden the demagogues in our hemisphere” — and further stating that this FTA is a “matter of national security.”

What Mr. Bush fails to notice is that his own actions are demagogic. He fails to understand that national security is not achieved through free trade but rather through the state itself. With this in mind, one would have to ask Mr. Bush, what is the national security threat toward the United States if this FTA is not passed? Does Mr. Bush really feel that Venezuela has the potential to threaten U.S. hegemony in the Western Hemisphere? Or, is Mr. Bush just resorting to his all-too-familiar tactics of fear mongering due to his lack of understanding of his own liberalist policies?

Since ignorance is bliss, the latter explanation has allowed Mr. Bush to have his cake and eat it too for eight years. His espousal of national security threats have all too often worked and until someone addresses Mr. Bush with the questions posed above we will have an interesting conclusion to this presidency. Our — that is, the American people’s — stupefaction continues as Bush himself demagogues his way into history.

Edmond, Okla.