Ron Paul is the most intelligent, articulate and courageous spokesman of foreign policy realism in the US. Though for most of his career he has been an outsider his views on foreign policy are gaining a wider audience.
If one were to believe the western narrative, a political dissident is someone standing up against a political regime which has fallen out of favour with NATO. For example one could point to Ahmed Chalabi, the thieving Iraqi con-artist who authored many of the lies which were repeated by George Bush and Tony Blair in the run up to the disastrous war on Iraq.
But for those with a more expansive and honest lexicon, a political dissident is someone who stands against the status quo and fights for a totally new method of government against great odds. Ron Paul is a man who fits this definition and as such, he has become one of the most admirable political dissidents of the 21st century.
Initially trained as a medical doctor, Paul entered the US Congress first in 1977. Although he had two periods of absence from Congress first between 1977 and 1979 and then between 1985 and 1987, he is generally considered to have a long and notable Congressional career. However, his fame on an international level came during his two attempts at securing the presidential nomination of the Republican party, first in 2008 and then in 2012.
His attempts at becoming president introduced Paul as the only anti-war candidate of the two major American parties. This led to frequent clashes with the establishment of both parties which were and remain pro-war, so much so they are looking to start new wars before even contemplating how to end ongoing wars.
Although Donald Trump has brought a generally anti-interventionist and NATO-sceptic view to mainstream politics due to his personal profile, Ron Paul’s consistency in opposing US military action is long standing and based on clearly defined principles.
First of all, Paul has challenged the legality of recent wars under US law, deeming them to be unconstitutional abuses of power.
Secondly, Ron Paul challenges the pragmatism of war, questions the hidden motives for war and highlights the plethora of double standards which are rife in Washington and much of Europe.