Friday, 23 December 2011

A Letter to Michael Medved

Written by 

Dear Michael,

I have been a longtime listener of your nationally syndicated radio talk show. You are, without question, among the most talented, entertaining, and intelligent of hosts. Many a day, in spite of what disagreements I may have had with you, I have been provoked by, and delighted in, your exchanges with guests and callers. Although I obviously do not know you personally, you also strike me as a genuinely decent human being, a loving husband, devoted father, and a good citizen who really does have his country’s best interests at heart.

Sadly, I pay you these compliments here not for their own sake, but in the way of prefacing the less flattering remarks that are to follow.

It is clear, Michael, that you do not like Dr. Paul. I admit, given the countless hours that you spend arguing for a vastly smaller, less intrusive federal government than what we currently have, I find this puzzling. As I am sure you yourself will acknowledge, Dr. Paul is nothing if not a champion of just the “limited” or “constitutional government” to which the Republican Party routinely pays lip service. Yet talk is one thing; action another. Inasmuch as proud Republicans and self-avowed conservatives such as you spare no occasion to ridicule, mock, and criticize the one person in contemporary national politics who is genuinely, passionately committed to restoring the vision of our Founding Fathers, they risk exposing themselves as frauds.

But it isn’t just that you dislike Paul, Michael. You seem to disdain him. If your dislike for the man is perplexing, your hatred of him is that much more baffling. Still, both feelings, though morally confused, are nevertheless morally tolerable.  

Such cannot be said for the dishonesty to which you resort in sustaining your fear of Dr. Paul. 

Your obsession with Dr. Paul is prevailing over the better angels of your nature, Michael. Some of the dishonesty of which you are guilty is intellectual in character. An ever growing portion of it, however, is born of sheer malice. 

In 2008, in spite of the concerns many a voter had with John McCain’s age, you supported the Arizona Senator enthusiastically. You dismissed such concerns regarding your candidate’s age on the grounds that, in spite of his years, McCain was full of energy. Now, Paul’s age is one of the grounds on which you object to his candidacy. Granted, McCain is younger than Paul, but can there be any question that Paul presently looks better than McCain, and that he also did three years ago? That Paul is physically more agile than McCain doubtless has something to do with the injuries that McCain sustained during the Vietnam War. That Paul is intellectually more adroit than McCain owes to the simple fact that he is a more serious, more informed, and much more impassioned thinker.

In short, when you argue against Ron Paul from his age, you sound patently disingenuous.

This, however, is far from an unpardonable offense. It is the outright lies — the most malicious of lies — that you have told about Ron Paul that could fail to offend the sensibilities of only the most hardened of Washington cynics. 

On multiple occasions now, and for years, you have done your best to convict Ron Paul of sympathizing with Nazis. Nazis! Michael, this is pathetic. It is reprehensible. And it is, as I have already remarked and as I must believe even you yourself know well enough, a lie. No, it is more than a lie. It is a bold-faced lie. Only someone who is either wholly unaware of Paul’s background or an intellectual misfit could so much as remotely entertain this idea, much less endorse it.

Please Michael, take the advice you urge daily upon your audience and focus like the proverbial laser beam. “Nazism,” let us never forget, is a short-hand term for “National Socialism.” Now, who among Washington politicians generally and the GOP presidential candidates specifically would you say is most opposed to socialism in any of its forms? Has Ron Paul, by way of the same sorts of domestic and foreign policies of which he has been a tireless advocate for decades, ever even hinted at the slightest sympathy for anything that could credibly be described as “socialism,” whether of the nationalistic variety or any other kind? Did the National Socialists seek to reduce the size and scope of government? Did the National Socialists campaign inexhaustibly for the civil liberties of all citizens? Did the National Socialists adopt a foreign policy designed to avoid war and the invasion of other lands — i.e. the kind of “isolationist” foreign policy that you constantly, and erroneously, attribute to Ron Paul?

Let’s get serious, Michael. It would appear that you haven’t succeeded in shedding the vestiges of your leftist roots, for given the indiscriminateness with which you throw the “Nazi” label at figures as disparate as Ron Paul and that “Islamo-Nazi,” Osama bin Laden, it becomes painfully obvious that, like the stereotypical leftist, you seek to demonize your opponents while you avoid having to argue with them.

Ron Paul is no kind of socialist, Michael, and you know it. Insofar as your neoconservative Republican ideology is closer on the political spectrum to socialism than is the libertarian vision of Paul, you are more of a socialist than he. Even The Daily Beast for which you write once had to excise from one of your tirades against Ron Paul your allegation that he was closely tied to “neo-Nazis.”

It isn’t just “Nazism” in which you have tried to implicate Ron Paul. You have tried as well to depict him as an “extremist” and a “crackpot.” It is usually in connection with his “isolationist” foreign policy that you level this charge of “extremism.” Michael, ad hominem attacks are the last refuge, if not of the scoundrel, than certainly of the man who is losing, or has lost, the argument. Paul is not an “isolationist.” He simply opposes the neo-imperial foreign policy favored by you and your fellow ideologues. Paul is a stalwart defender of national defense. It is from his desire to keep our country safe that he resists with every fiber of his being the policy — embraced by the Republican and Democratic Parties alike — of prosecuting one offensive war after the other for the ostensible sake of “Democracy.”

If Paul is a “crackpot” and an “extremist,” if he is “naïve” and an “isolationist,” because of his foreign policy, than the millions of Americans who count themselves Paul supporters — Tea Partiers and Occupiers of Wall Street; conservatives, liberals, and moderates; Republicans, Democrats, and Independents; housewives, college students, and more active military personnel than support all of the other candidates combined — are extremist crackpot isolationists as well. 

Michael, I beseech you: If you have problems with Dr. Paul’s positions, don't assassinate his character, but invite him on your show. If this, for some reason, can’t be managed, then the good doctor has several able defenders who, I am sure, would be more than willing to come in his stead. And if they cannot make it, I would be happy to come onto your program to discuss his views.

Remember, Michael, there is one person in the country right now who holds the outcome of next year's election in his hands. That person is Ron Paul. If Ron Paul chooses to run as a third party candidate, President Obama will sail to reelection. I, personally, hope that this doesn't happen.  This being said, it wouldn't be hard to sympathize with him if he did make such a decision. After all, his fellow partisans — like you, Michael — have treated him far worse than they would dream of ever treating a Democrat. With friends like all of you, who needs enemies?

 

Sincerely,

Jack Kerwick, Ph.D.