Rand Paul in war and peace
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One of those strange men who fell to earth last century, physicist Niels Bohr, made the observation that matter in the universe is made up of particles and waves. Matter can be particle or wave, but it cannot be both at the same time. It might be understood in our political world as outward-looking or inward-looking; a politician can be outward-looking or inward-looking, but not both at the same time. And that is Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Democratic congressman calls for study of effects of sex-trafficking law McConnell says he's 'honored' to be WholeFoods Magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' MORE's (R-Ky.) problem. He wants it both ways.

We appear condemned to see only outward and there we see only enemies; China, Russia and radical Islam, rushing madly from one to the next, much like the frenetic federal agent Jack Bauer in the popular TV series "24." We are locked out of the path to grace marked for us in the old Book of Common Prayer: "In returning and rest we shall be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength."

Instead, we get this:

"As commander in chief, the world will know that our object is peace, but the world will not to mistake our desire for peace for passivity. The world should not mistake reluctance for inaction," [Paul] said at a rally near the aircraft carrier in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

"And if war should prove unavoidable, America will fight with overwhelming force and we will not relent until victory is ours," he said.

Is someone at the Trilateral Commission helping him out with this? But this is the way it has gone with the so-called Tea Party. The new batch is first off the mark to take up Jack Bauer's feverish, adolescent, global cudgel.

Paul's mistake was in running for president. A president in our times is locked into old, antiquated, irrelevant abstractions. It is impossible in 2016 to break out; thus we call in the old, antiquated, irrelevant families. He might instead have run for governor of Kentucky and sought to build a coalition of like-minded governors in the like-minded hill cultures throughout "greater Appalachia." He might then have formed a supercommittee of governors not unlike that which Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) effectively gathers today in opposition to the president's immigration policy; a group quite likely to hold fast on other issues.


Here are three gratuitous suggestions for Paul and any actual libertarian who doesn't want to grow up to be South Carolina Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham expects Horowitz investigation to show evidence was manipulated, withheld Trump's exceptionalism: No president has so disrespected our exceptional institutions Trump, GOP shift focus from alleged surveillance abuse to Durham Russia probe MORE (R).

Look to Israel: For more than 10 years now, a group of Israelis influenced by former Knesset member Moshe Feiglin have called on Israel to let go entirely of American influence. Sources say that moment approaches. Israel is the perfect base model for Austrian economics and regional autonomy worldwide, a primary libertarian and original Tea Party initiative.

Look to President Eisenhower: "Expediency says: 'We cannot allow our fine new ideas to be at the mercy of 51 separate state and territorial legislatures. It is so much quicker and easier to plan, finance and direct all major projects from Washington.' Principle says: 'Geographical balance of power is essential to our form of free society. If you take the centralization shortcut every time something is to be done, you will perhaps sometimes get quick action. But there is no perhaps about the price you will pay for your impatience: the growth of a swollen, bureaucratic, monster government in Washington, in whose shadow our state and local governments will ultimately wither and die.'"

Look to legendary Ambassador George Kennan: "I have often diverted myself, and puzzled my friends, by wondering how it would be if our country, while retaining certain of the rudiments of a federal government, were to be decentralized into something like a dozen constituent republics, absorbing not only the powers of the existing states but a considerable part of those of the present federal establishment. ... To these entities I would accord a larger part of the present federal powers than one might suspect — large enough, in fact, to make most people gasp." (From his book, Around the Cragged Hill.) 

Quigley is a prize-winning writer who has worked more than 35 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and reviewer. For 20 years he has been an amateur farmer, raising Tunis sheep and organic vegetables. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and four children. Contact him at quigley1985@gmail.com.