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Slap Ron Paul?

2007-07-25 18:32:30.843009+00 by Dan Lyke 15 comments

Yeah, I suppose I'm just trolling: Wendy McElroy: SlapHillary is back. Now SlapRonPaul?:

But this embarrassing gush over and financing of the man only means that a real libertarian position is unlikely to get aired during the election; it means the term "libertarian" will become further confused by being associated with Paul.

[ related topics: Politics Libertarian Current Events ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-25 20:03:53.638437+00 by: crasch [edit history]

Quick, name the other candidates who actively campaign to abolish the IRS, end the War on Drugs, and end the Iraq War?

Got your answer?

That's why people are excited about Ron Paul.

To speak of the "real" libertarian position is as absurd to speak of the "real" democratic position. The size and proper scope of government is by no means decided within libertarian circles, and positions range from market anarchists like McElroy, to minarchists like Ayn Rand, to free market Republicans like Ron Paul. (All agree, however, that government should be much smaller than it is currently.)

Now, I'm a market anarchist by inclination, but I recognize that, for better or for worse, government workers still control a large swath of our lives (and would control much more if they could). Therefore, it matters a great deal who controls the government. And therefore, it matters who you vote for. And until market anarchist institutions succeed in displacing government institutions, that will always be the case.

Yes, Paul isn't perfect. But he's much more likely to leave more of your life in your control than any of the other candidates.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-25 20:15:06.226847+00 by: BC

Wendy McElroy clearly knows nothing about Ron Paul. Ron Paul, though he ran as the libertarian candidate previously, has declared himself to be a constitutionalist. Why is it that people want to define someone by restricted views when typically candidates are much more nuanced and complex than that? The simple answer is, to discredit the candidate. Ron Paul has never been a strict libertarian. Being a pediatrician, he is opposed to abortion. This certainly violates the libertarian creed. The purpose of propaganda like this is to smear and discredit the person. Rather than say he is this or he is that why not examine his views in their entirety, free from any definitions and distortions.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-25 20:24:02.450472+00 by: jeff

One of my friends in northern Kentucky refers to himself as a "conservative democrat." I've never pressed him for an explicit definition of what that means.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-26 13:41:28.29206+00 by: Dan Lyke

Here's Wendy's follow-up and a look at Ron Paul's voting record that she linked to.

The guy is the best of the Republican candidates. I'll grant that. He may even be the best of the candidates, although I'm not convinced. But he's clearly no libertarian on privacy issues (not just abortion, see his stance on federal photo ID, for instance), separation of church and state (endorsing the 10 commandments at both the state and federal levels), immigration (which, I admit, I don't have any good answers to), or "Projects Of Regional Concern" (PORC). On that last point, he's no Robert Byrd or Ted Stevens, but he's still sucked down quite a bit of federal earmark money for silly Houston are projects.

And if you buy the "states rights" arguments he's been making... well... I sure see some parallels in his stance on modern issues to Brown v. Board of Ed., or Loving v. Virginia. Sometimes, reading his stuff, it kinda seems like he'd be okay with Myanmar if we made 'em the 51st. After all, those are all state issues, right?

Maybe he is a constitutionalist. But he's a constitutionalist filtered through a pretty hefty Evangelical Christian lens.

And, BC, I think the reason that Wendy McElroy is attacking his record as a libertarian is that a lot of people are looking at Ron Paul and seeing libertarian, and she's pointing out that he's not.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-26 14:54:16.261926+00 by: BC

I was just at a Ron Paul meetup meeting last night. There were over 50 people in attendance. They are all fired up over Ron Paul. Each one believes their man has a chance. The room was filled with well-educated, , motivated, intelligent people, people who still believe each citizen can make a difference. You don't see any Romney or Guiliani or McCain meetup groups in our area. So, how is it the polls show over and over again the same Big Three or Four? You know as well as I do. When the calls are being made for these polls, the question is, "So who do you think has the best chance at winning the Republican nomination; Romney, Guiliani, McCain or Thompson?" No mention of Ron Paul, you can bet on that. And that, folks, is how our media determines who OUR front runners are. And the vast majority of sheeple have absolutely no idea who Ron Paul is. This is how our process works.

What I would love to see a polling group do is, without disclosing who the candidates are, say, "This is what Candidate A espouses, this is what Candidate B espouses and this is what Candidate C espouses. Of the 3 candidates, which would you like to see win the nomination?" I guarantee Ron Paul would win in a landslide, and those who are paying attention already know this. The question is can you ween the sheeple from their steady diet of Fixed News and Blitzer BS? The odds are not good but it is possible. Let's not forget a governor from Arkansas was an unknown to the American public until he came in second in New Hampshire. Paul could do the same in capturing second or better in the Iowa Straw Poll, and then on to NH.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-26 20:30:18.231966+00 by: crasch

Paul's *opposed* to national ID and has spoken out against it frequently. (1) What he's for is requiring anyone who wants to vote to prove with a photo id that they are a U.S. Citizen. That too may not be very libertarian, but it's not support for a federal photo id.

As for earmarks, he passes along all earmark requests from his constituents. However, he then votes against the spending bills that contain those earmarks. His position is that he's against spending and earmarks, but if the spending and earmarks are going to happen anyway, then his constituents should get some of their tax money back and/or benefit from them.

On the issue of separation of church and state, this is what he's said:

"A: I think we should read the First Amendment, where it says, "Congress shall write no law." And we should write a lot less laws regarding this matter. It shouldn't be a matter of the president or the Congress. It should be local people, local officials--we just don't need more laws determining religious things or prayer in school. We should allow people at the local level. That's what the Constitution tells us. We don't need somebody in Washington telling us what we can do, because we don't have perfect knowledge. And that's the magnificence of our Constitution and our republic. We sort out the difficult problems at local levels and we don't have one case fit all. That's why we shouldn't have it at a central level."

Hi position is that the Federal government should not make laws that either prohibit or encourage religion. However, he believes that the states and local communities can do so. That's why he's sponsored legislation which would remove the authority of federal courts to review state and local laws concerning religion.

As an atheist, I'm of course against state sponsored religion. But as a federalist, I'm also strongly supportive of "laboratories of democracy", and allowing states broad leeway in determining their own laws. The more laws that are determined at the national level, the harder it becomes to escape them. Witness the recent DEA raids against medical marijuana clinics in California.

However, that means that states may also implement laws that I oppose. For example, California could pass laws legalizing marijuana (I support), but also pass laws banning handguns (virulently oppose). But if other states are free to set their own laws as well, I could move to a state that has laws more to my liking (say, New Hampshire).

If the law is made at the Federal level, however, it's much more difficult for me to avoid. I would have to move to a new country or try to change the law at the Federal level, which is much more difficult.

  1. http://www.antiwar.com/paul/?articleid=3512

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-26 22:22:55.817799+00 by: Dan Lyke

Hmmm... It's a little tough to read through the diffs to 42 U.S.C. 1973gg-3 introduced by HR4844, but you're right, even though that mandates a photo ID I think McElroy and her source are out of line in considering that a vote for federal identification.

Ron Paul's "yes" vote on HR2028 is pretty bad, and I think that's a symptom of his attitude about allowing the incorporation of religion into government. The writings of his I've read have been... well... they scare me, I guess no more so than any of the other Republicans, but this is yet another circumstance where I think the Federal government has a compelling interest in maintaining freedom for its citizens no matter the local climate. I believe that there are things the state of Alabama should just not be able to do.

As I said, I think he's a damned sight better than any of the other Republicans, but it sure looks to me that if he had his way Roy Moore would be making decisions based on the 10 commandments, Texas would be completely free to clamp down in dildos and homosexual activity, and Georgia would be free to bring back "separate but equal".

Say what you will about high taxes, but I'm willing to spend a little in concessions to those who want to tie the counter to that to assorted government services in order to work against that goal.

Yeah, I'd like the state of California to set its own drug policy (and, for that matter, its own clean air standards), but I'd like those things because I think California will set standards on those fronts that make me more free. I think it's also reasonable to make a distinction between legal matters that restrict behavior versus those that restrict government, and Ron Paul's giving too much to those who'd restrict behavior.

If it means paying a quarter of my income to make sure that we don't have stronger lobbies to roll back, say, Loving v. Virginia, I'm okay with that.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-27 05:02:21.419182+00 by: topspin

The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance. Throughout our nation's history, churches have done what no government can ever do, namely teach morality and civility. Moral and civil individuals are largely governed by their own sense of right and wrong, and hence have little need for external government. This is the real reason the collectivist Left hates religion: Churches as institutions compete with the state for the people's allegiance, and many devout people put their faith in God before their faith in the state. Knowing this, the secularists wage an ongoing war against religion, chipping away bit by bit at our nation's Christian heritage. Christmas itself may soon be a casualty of that war.

Ron Paul's vision of our ForeFather's America

Apparently Mr Paul's desire to return us to the vision of Founding Fathers is, in his mind, a "return" to a primarily Christian America which teaches Christian views of morality..... our "Christian heritage."

Is this what we're looking for in our political leadership?

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-27 10:13:34.812034+00 by: crasch [edit history]

I agree, I'm not happy about Paul's religiosity either.

However, clearly we differ in our estimations of the degree to which Paul poses a threat to liberty, versus the good he can do. Given a Democratic Congress, I don't see Paul getting much traction on reversing Roe v. Wade, or weakening church/state separation. However, I do think he could get traction on ending the Drug War (1/3rd of all black men will spend time in prison, largely as a result of our drug laws), ending the Iraq War (estimated to cost $1 - $2 trillion so far), and blocking spending boondoggles and nanny-state regulations from the Democrats. Hilary or Obama would probably end the Iraq war too, but are unlikely to stick their necks out over drugs, and are certain to try to further nationalize healthcare, ban guns, and increase taxes.

Giuliani's no friend of habeus corpus, and supports the drug war, torture, warrantless wiretapping, the Dept. of Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, and a continued Iraq war. Romney's as religious as Paul is, and is little different from Giuliani on other positions. I expect that both would hold the line on spending about as much as Bush did, i.e. not at all.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-27 11:14:15.511321+00 by: jeff [edit history]

In terse, succinct terms ... "I have never in my entire life seen a pool of poorer candidates."

In my opinion, we're truly facing a vacuum of effective leadership in this country. And that's pretty discouraging, both at the polls, and for our future. Most of the candidates of today simply "represent more of the same." More big spending, more illegal wars, less liberty, and more control by large corporations and special interest groups. Less safety, sovereignty, and solvency.

Although I agree with some of her stances on the issues outlined here, Hillary strikes me as one of the most disingenuous public figures I have ever witnessed. Do we really want someone who lies abjectly as much as Hillary as our Commander in Chief? She's nearly as scripted as Dubya (perhaps even more).

Unless we permute into a Taliban-style Christian theocracy, Roe vs. Wade is in pretty safe hands (IMHO). The SINGLE issue position which I find overwhelmingly attractive about Ron Paul is that he WILL get US out of Iraq, and will also make some sane choices with respect to foreign policy in the Middle East.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-27 12:12:49.091311+00 by: BC

The key with Paul compared to all other candidates I have followed is he is trustworthy and inclusive. When he says something, he means it. He doesn't sit in front of one group and say one thing and sit in front of another group and say something else. He is inclusive in that he tries to always make room and listen to the tiny minority. To him it is essential everyone is given their place at the table. For those of you who have taken the time to listen to Paul you know that he is very accepting and protective of all groups. So, for example, even though he personally opposes abortion I have not heard him suggest Roe v. Wade should be overturned.

It appears some want to pick and choose the personal liberties they would allow for the American people. Paul's message is, that's not how it works. The people, at a grassroots/local level should be allowed to decide how they want to live their lives. If you don't agree with it then you can always move to a locale that suits your desires. The national government needs to stay out of that process.

Frankly, I am amused by the careful scrutiny of Paul and the complete lack of it when it comes to some of the leading candidates. You can take what Paul says to the bank. What Clinton or Guiliani or Obama say varies from day to day, speech to speech.

There may be aspects of what Paul has to say that you do not agree with 100% but he would do so much more good for this country compared to any of the other candidates.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-27 13:58:23.410481+00 by: topspin [edit history]

In Congress, I have authored legislation that seeks to define life as beginning at conception, HR 1094. I am also the prime sponsor of HR 300, which would negate the effect of Roe v Wade by removing the ability of federal courts to interfere with state legislation to protect life. This is a practical, direct approach to ending federal court tyranny which threatens our constitutional republic and has caused the deaths of 45 million of the unborn.

Ron Paul is hardly Roe v Wade friendly

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-27 18:08:01.581477+00 by: jeff [edit history]

I understand Paul's views on this highly contentious issue. How does the Supreme Court turnover look like for the next 5-9 years?

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-30 13:14:44.784769+00 by: ebradway

Frankly, I am amused by the careful scrutiny of Paul and the complete lack of it when it comes to some of the leading candidates. You can take what Paul says to the bank. What Clinton or Guiliani or Obama say varies from day to day, speech to speech.

This thought ties in nicely with:

The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America...

The problem in politics and life in general with staying steadfast to a specific agend is that the world doesn't. It's constantly changing. The world today is very different from the world our "Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian" society. At the time, our Founding Fathers were concerned with religious persecution among Christians. Now, we have to deal with religious persecution among differing religions.

The problem with treating abortion as murder is that it denies the reality of the conditions of the world - things like rape and incest occur. There are also many countries where creating another mouth to feed is practically criminal. Our government's current policy is to deny funding for programs, like Planned Parenthood, because we feel our "robustly Christian" mores should be imposed universally:

"If these people in Africa or Southeast Asia keep getting pregnant, well, that's because they lack moral character. Maybe raising a 13th child in abject poverty will teach them a lesson."

So yeah, politicians change their minds and say different things. Do you really think, at the Presidential level, you are really getting to vote for a candidate's own positions? If elected President, it is their duty to enact the laws as created by Congress - not themselves - and within the framework laid down by the Supreme Court. What they do has very little to do with what their own position is.

Ever hear Jimmy Carter talk about being in the White House when Roe vs. Wade was first decided upon? Personally, he was and still is pro-life. But he understood it was his duty, as President, to follow the Supreme Court's decision.

What will go down in the history books as Bush's most vile action is his extreme use of "executive privilege" to do what he (and his cabinet) wants, regardless of those minor annoyances like "The Constitution" or "The Geneva Convention".

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-30 16:59:32.949396+00 by: BC

Paul has two things things going for him that other politicians lack; his decisions are based on principles rather than politics. If you look at his voting record he has not deviated to please a temporary mood in the country. Second, he has a deep understanding of how the economy works. No other candidate comes close to Paul in understanding the ramifications of how the Fed manipulates the currency via the printing press and artificially low interest rates.

Here is an article that will shed some light on our current state and how Paul views it.