Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ron Paul and Texas Secession

Ron Paul
Joeff Davis

Last spring, it was Gov. Rick Perry slyly suggesting that Texas just might want to secede from the Union if the Tea Party didn't get its way.

This winter, secession is again being talked about, this time prompted by the associations of another Texas politician. After the jump, does Texas Congressman Ron Paul -- and possibly future senator -- also believe in secession?

With the Republican takeover of Congress, Ron Paul is now the Chairman of the House Subcommittee for Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology. Being chairman means he gets to invite the speakers to subcommittee hearings. Paul's first invitation went to Thomas J. DiLorenzo, a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. You might be familiar with Mises as one of the pillars of the so-called Austrian school of economics. This is the group of libertarians so dogmatic that they sneer at even conservative ideas like privatization of Social Security and vouchers for schools as being too socialist for them.

It's DiLorenzo that Chairman Paul wants to hear from, or rather, that Paul wants to give a platform to preach his radical ideas to Congress and the whole of America. DiLorenzo views the recently passed health care reform as "fascialistic," a word he coined meaning part fascist, part socialist. His recommendation:

"massive privatization of America's socialized hospitals, combined with deregulation of the medical professions to introduce more competition, and deregulation of the health-insurance industry."

DiLorenzo anticipates his Utopian state of unregulated health care (think 1800s with its quacks and snake-oil salesmen) coming about through the break-up of the Union:

"Once some states begin seceding from the new American fascialistic state, however, there will be opportunities to restore healthcare freedom within them."

You should know DiLorenzo doesn't use the word "seceding" lightly. He's also the author of a revisionist history of Abraham Lincoln. He considers Lincoln to be "a horrific tyrant." He denies that the Civil War was fought over the issue of slavery (see here for a timely look at what the Texans of 1861 thought about that). He accuses Lincoln of "orchestrating the murder of some 350,000 fellow American citizens." As for secession, DiLorenzo believes that "secession is not only possible but necessary if any part of America is ever to be considered 'the land of the free' in any meaningful sense."

Is DiLorenzo a secessionist? Given his own words, that's hard to deny. Is Paul? That's harder to prove. It's impossible to say for sure how much Paul knew about DiLorenzo's views on slavery and secession and the Civil War before he invited him to speak to Congress. But it's not like DiLorenzo kept his views a secret. He wrote two books on Lincoln in the last eight years, with titles that don't exactly mask his bias: "The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War" and "Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe." The author was the man Paul chose to feature in his first Congressional hearings. And Ron Paul himself is the kind of politician that voters in Texas's House District 14 chose to send to Washington, D.C., to represent them. Worse, Ron Paul is considering a run for the US Senate and he just might end up representing all of Texas in the United States Senate. At least as long as Texas is still part of the United States. With Ron Paul as Senator, secession might no longer be a preposterous proposition.

DiLorenzo also has connections to the present-day neo-Confederate group League of the South, which reportedly wants a breakaway nation led by "European-Americans." Todd J. Gillman has that story in The Dallas Morning News. Ron Paul is said to blame the whole fiasco surrounding his Congressional hearing on Democrats. Kind of like DiLorenzo blaming Lincoln for Southern secession.

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