This Sunday's Washington Post has a glowing profile of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the 1988 Libertarian Party presidential candidate and one of Reason's 35 Heroes of Freedom. As the Post points out, Paul–an ob-gyn by trade–has been nicknamed "Dr. No"
for his habit of voting against just about anything that he sees as government overreach or that interferes with the free market. No to the Iraq war. No to a federal ban on same-sex marriage. No to a congressional gold medal for Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan and Rosa Parks. He says the medals are an unconstitutional use of taxpayer money and once suggested each House member instead contribute 100 bucks from his or her own pocket.
Whole thing here.
A few years back, Reason interviewed Paul and summarized his voting philosophy thus:
What makes Paul especially unusual is this: He takes the Constitution's limits on federal power seriously. Before voting on a piece of legislation, he submits it to a two-part test. First, he asks if the program is actually authorized by the Constitution. If it is, he then consults his campaign promises, which include pledges to never raise taxes or increase spending. Suffice it to say that Paul votes nay on a regular basis.
Whole bit here.
No politician is perfect, of course; I don't share the congressman's restrictionist views on immigration, even as I agree with him that the welfare state exacerbates issues with illegals. But Congress–and America–would be a far, far better place if Ron Paul was the rule and not the exception.