SCENE: Happy Hour at the Nomad, in the Five Corners area of Minneapolis’ West Bank. A group of Twin Cities Ron Paul supporters is having a happy hour before Rep. Paul’s speech at the U of M. Mitch BERG is enjoying a Jack and Coke.
Bill GUNKEL, chairman of the Inver Grove Heights chapter of Former Republicans for Ron Paul, notices Berg.
GUNKEL: I wish Doctor Paul were running for president.
BERG: Well, at least you have Rand.
GUNKEL: Pffft. Rand has become a RINO squish.
BERG: Well, there is the little matter of actually having to get something done in a Senate with 40+ members who actively do like big government.
GUNKEL: I’m surprised Doctor Paul hasn’t disowned him.
BERG: So why the animosity?
GUNKEL: He’s gone all Warvangelical on foreign policy.
BERG: Warvangelical? More like realistic. I mean, you have seen what Putin’s been doing, right? Returning Europe to the Cold War?
GUNKEL: Well, doy. We make client states of all their former Republics, and we surround them with bases. I daresay we’d be paranoid, too.
BERG: Wait – did you just call breakaway parts of the former Soviet Union “their former Republics?”
GUNKEL: Well, duh. That’s what they are.
BERG: Well, in a sense. But outside of Russia itself, the “former republics” were all either absorbed over history by the Czars, or forcibly annexed by the Soviets. Anyone that spoke for independence, or even autonomy, would wind up in the Gulag. And if the Soviets felt “their” republics were getting uppity, they’d turn the screws. The Soviets starved millions of Ukrainians to death in the thirties to enforce their land policy. They also deported entire ethnic groups from their ancestral homes, and replaced them with Russians – which is why Crimea “broke” from Ukraine last year.
GUNKEL: Doctor Paul never talked about this…
BERG: …I don’t imagine he did…
GUNKEL: …so I don’t believe it.
BERG: Of course you don’t. There’s a reason places like Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Georgia and many others revere Ronald Reagan; he gave them their chance at self-determination and getting out of the Russian orbit – in some cases for the first time since 1920, in others for the first time in hundreds of years. To ignore that is either ignorant or intellectually dishonest.
GUNKEL: Sort of like surrounding the Russians with military bases.
BERG: Yeah – you do know that from 1945 to the late eighties, the Soviets maintained an expressly offensive military posture toward Northern, Western and Southern Europe. Right? And those bases were put there to defend against that ? And honest people can debate whether and how much those bases are still needed against Putin – but they can’t deny the history.
Presuming they knew it in the first place.
GUNKEL: Hey – was that a shot at me?
BERG: Not as far as you know.