Dinesh The Gun Totin’ Libertarian Is At It Againby Doug Mataconis
Dinesh D’Souza has a post up responding to his earlier post claiming that Ron Paul isn’t really a libertarian because he doesn’t want to conquer the world.
In response to my argument, some Ron Paul supporters have noted that the American founders warned against foreign entanglements and that they generally kept American troops within the nation’s borders. So how can the ideological universalism of the founders be reconciled with their practical caution? Easy: the founders realized that America at the time had very big ideals but very little power. America in the late eighteenth century was what we would today call a “developing nation.” It was simply not in a position to promote freedom abroad. The founders had their hands full in trying to secure it at home.
This has got to be the most extreme example of historical revisionism I’ve seen in some time. D’Souza is effectively arguing that, notwithstanding clear examples to the contrary, the Founders would have been all for invading Europe and liberating the masses, if only they had the guns and the power to do it. Of course, D’Souza cites no evidence in favor of this argument and, while he is correct that protecting the young and relatively weak new Republic was a primary concern of Presidents such as Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison, his argument ignores the fact that they also spoke out against intervention because they knew the impact it would have on American liberty. And they were right.
D’Souza goes on to parrot the traditional neoconservative creed:
Today America is the world’s sole superpower, and that means that our ideals are backed up with wealth and power. True, we should use that power prudently, but we should not imagine ourselves constrained in the same way that the founders were. Might, it is sometimes said, does not make right. But neither does right by itself make might. Might is sometimes necessary to ensure that right prevails in the world.
Even if that means making the rest of the world accept our definition of what’s right at the point of a gun, right Dinesh ?