Ron Paul is currently surging in the polls, especially in Iowa. So, let the dirt be dug up and the skeletons unearthed. The good folks over at Mediaite discovered this little Ron Paul gem from 2007. During an appearance on Meet The Press with the late Tim Russert, Paul said that he would have favored a federal slaveholder bailout over the Civil War. Such a bailout would have required the government to buy 4 million slaves and then set them free. Russert asked about Paul’s comments to The Washington Post regarding Abraham Lincoln, slavery, and the Civil War.
RUSSERT: “I was intrigued by your comments about Abe Lincoln. ‘According to Paul, Abe Lincoln should never have gone to war; there were better ways of getting rid of slavery.’”
PAUL: “Absolutely. Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war. No, he shouldn’t have gone to war. He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic. I mean, it was that iron fist…”
RUSSERT: “We’d still have slavery.”
PAUL: “Oh, come on. Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world. And the way I’m advising that it should have been done is do like the British empire did. You buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans and where the hatred lingered for 100 years? Every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war. I mean, that doesn’t sound too radical to me. That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach.”
Here’s the footage:
So, Ron Paul favored Abraham Lincoln bailing out the slave owners as a way to end slavery and prevent Civil War. The problem is that Paul is wrong. First, Abraham Lincoln didn’t start the Civil War. The South did by attacking Fort Sumter. Second, Paul is supporting slave owners as if they’re the victims. He should tell that to all the slaves that were brutally mistreated before, during, and after the Civil War. Third, Paul is advocating for a federal bailout for people who didn’t deserve one. That kinda goes against his opposition to the 2008 bailout of the banks.
Paul is also naïve if he really thinks slavery would’ve ended in America simply by purchasing all the slaves and freeing them. What stops slave owners from simply getting more slaves? Southerners used slaves to pick the crops and do all of the work around the plantations. Many Southerners were also very racist. It’s unlikely they would have agreed with selling their slaves only for them to be set free. That’s one of the reasons why the South wanted to secede in the first place. They also didn’t want government telling them what to do, so they certainly wouldn’t obey orders to not own slaves. Purchasing the slaves would have also been expensive. In Britain, the government bought the 40,000 slaves still in servitude and set them free. It cost £20 million. The United States government would have had to purchase 4 million slaves, which would have amounted to an impossible price tag to come up with. Unless of course Paul was advocating for borrowing money from other nations or printing exorbitant amounts of cash here in the states, which would cause inflation and huge debt. Either way, it contradicts Paul’s economic philosophy that he has been preaching for years now.
Honestly, it sounds to me like Paul wanted the government to pay off the South in exchange for not starting a war. That’s bribery, not to mention hostage taking. It also sounds to me like he wanted the South to have all the money and the Federal Treasury to have massive debt. Can you imagine the power the South would have possessed with all that cash? They could have had a better army, and more clothing, food, and weapons to equip them with. In other words, the South would have just started a civil war anyway and with the money from their bailout, the Confederacy could definitely have won the Civil War, which would have made all of Paul’s dreams of anarchy a reality. With the defeat of the Union, the South would have just brought slavery back. They’d have the power, the money, and their precious institution of slavery. The Civil Rights Act would’ve never happened. The 13th 14th, and 15th amendments would never have been added to the Constitution. And you just know that 150 years later, Ron Paul would have finally been elected President, of the Confederate States of America.