Ron Paul: A Can­di­date with a New For­eign Pol­icy Mes­sage

The Diplomatic Insight - - Editor’s Desk -

At the time of the 2008 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in the United States, no­body in the Mus­lim world es­pe­cially in Pak­istan wanted to even con­sider a Re­pub­li­can win­ning the White House. Sim­i­lar was the sen­ti­ment even in coun­tries that are con­sid­ered long-term part­ners and al­lies of theU.S. Ge­orge W. Bush dam­aged the rep­u­ta­tion of the Re­pub­li­can Party to an ex­tent that the idea of an­other Re­pub­li­can pres­i­dent seemed like an im­pend­ing dis­as­ter for the world. Peo­ple from all walks of life were con­vinced, 2008 was not a good year to be a Re­pub­li­can in the United States and a Re­pub­li­can con­tender, no mat­ter whom, was des­tined to be de­feated by his Demo­cratic ri­val, re­gard­less of which can­di­date wins the nom­i­na­tion. As a result of this peo­ple around the world, with all the en­thu­si­asm started fol­low­ing the Demo­cratic pri­maries, not only in an­tic­i­pa­tion of Bush de­par­ture but also in the hope of begin­ning of a new era in theAmer­i­can for­eign pol­icy. It be­came the long­est pri­mary bat­tle in the Amer­i­can his­tory (and ev­ery­one knew the win­ner would be the Pres­i­dent of the United States). The di­ver­sity of can­di­dates made it all more ex­cit­ing: white, African-Amer­i­can, male, fe­male and from dif­fer­ent age groups. In­ter­est­ing is the fact that the Re­pub­li­can pri­maries, which are to take place next year, too are not go­ing to be te­dious and un­in­ter­est­ing, again ow­ing to the di­verse back­grounds of the can­di­dates. It is true that the Repub­li­cans do not have an Obama or a Hil­lary but they have can­di­dates of their own. Awoman (Michelle Bachman), an African- Amer­i­can (Her­man Cain), a Mor­mon (Mitt Rom­ney) and be­sides oth­ers they have Ron Paul a can­di­date about whom not much is known in Pak­istan and the Mus­lim world (prob­a­bly due to the fact that he can­not claim Mus­lim an­ces­try like Obama did) and a man who is anything but a sta­tus quo can­di­date. While the race for the Re­pub­li­can Party nom­i­na­tion de­serves same kind of me­dia at­ten­tion that the Democrats got dur­ing the pre­vi­ous elec­tion cy­cle, Peo­ple from theMus­lim world and Pak­ista­nis liv­ing in the U.S. in par­tic­u­lar must lis­ten to what Ron Paul, a con­gress­man from Texas, has to say. It has be­come even more im­por­tant now es­pe­cially for the ones, ea­ger for change and dis­gusted by the du­plic­ity of Bar­rack Obama to re­al­ize, party is not im­por­tant nor is the charisma or re­li­gious and racial di­ver­sity. The only im­por­tant thing to be kept in mind­while pulling the lever for a can­di­date is his/her prin­ci­ples. From Asia to Europe to the United States it­self Barack Obama, cap­ti­vated his au­di­ence by rhetoric of a new kind of pol­i­tics. He knew he needed sup­port from the left as well as the in­de­pen­dents to de­feat his archri­val, Hil­lary Clin­ton. This was some­thing he needed des­per­ately to get to the White House and for it he did ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to create an im­pres­sion of him­self as the per­fect can­di­date, Amer­ica needed. He por­trayed him­self as an anti-war, anti-Bush can­di­date who could do no wrong. When his au­di­ences were Mus­lims, he spoke to them about his Mus­lim ex­tended fam­ily to get their sym­pa­thies but a slight ref­er­ence to his Mus­lim past or any sug­ges­tion (by his ri­vals or the me­dia) that he was by any chance aMus­lim, threw the Obama camp into panic mode. His cam­paign even pre­vented two Mus­lim women with head­scarves, from sit­ting be­hind Obama dur­ing a rally in Detroit to dis­pel the ru­mors he was a se­cret Mus­lim, later he had to apol­o­gize as the me­dia broke the story. When it came to Iraq war, he kept brag­ging about an anti war speech, dur­ing his en­tire cam­paign, a speech he once made when he was not even a sen­a­tor. But on the other hand, as a pres­i­dent, he­was will­ing to or­der mil­i­tary strikes inside Pak­istan to root out ter­ror­ists (the only prom­ise he kept later on) as if it did not con­sti­tute

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