Ron Paul Explores the 2012 Presidential Race

An interview with the libertarian congressman on the cusp of another GOP presidential run


It has been a good week for Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas.) His announcement of an official presidential campaign exploratory committee has gotten a great deal of attention, and despite how outlandish most media find Paul's close hewing to libertarian constitutionalist views, it has not all been dismissive. His new book Liberty Defined will be debuting at #3 on The New York Times bestseller list this weekend as well. Reason Senior Editor Brian Doherty interviewed Paul by phone yesterday.

Reason: Is there anything about the political landscape since your 2008 run that makes you more confident you'll do better in 2012?

Ron Paul: The one thing I've already noticed is the numbers of people supporting these views [of mine] have grown by leaps and bounds. When I visit college campuses the crowds are getting bigger and more enthusiastic. What's also great is that other politicians are using lots of our language, though they still wouldn't address subjects in the exact same manner. But you now hear others talking about printing press money; more people are now wondering why we are still in those wars overseas, now up to 70 percent want us home from Afghanistan.

The economy is a much bigger issue now than when I started [my 2008 run] in 2007. When we started talking about the economy and the housing bubble people didn't believe it at first, but now everyone believes it was a problem. Unemployment is a bigger problem. And probably the most significant change [that's a positive for me] is the Federal Reserve is not getting a free ride anymore. This very day it's holding its first press conference, which is symbolic of them in a defensive mode rather than in the secretive mode they've always been in.

Reason: I saw you on The View the other day, and it was interesting seeing them concerned with the question of how basic human misery will be dealt with in a more libertarian world. How do you expect to handle that issue as a candidate this time?

Paul: Government makes misery! The problem is, you can't really answer that question in one minute. You have to look at history: The more socialized a country, the less the people have, the smaller the middle class, and the more discrepancy between people and the elite. Even in third world poor countries there are some rich people; even in a communist system some thrive while others suffer.

Even on The View when that came up they didn't want to contest me that things are difficult now and we don't know if we can pay for everyone's medical care in five years. But everyone wants to just think about right now and that's more difficult [to debate]. The biggest challenge for conservatives and libertarians is to convince people who think being libertarian means you have no compassion, and in politics you better have compassion. We need to show that if you really want to help people, give them free markets! We agreed on The View, and afterwards we had a discussion, that you can reach the left through the idea of corporatism. I mean, the idea that you can blame free markets for bad medical care is ridiculous—there are so many areas of government interference with licensing and drug and insurance companies…our position is reasonable but you can't explain it in a quick soundbite.

Reason: Elements in your new book Liberty Defined, which I'll be reviewing in the July issue of Reason, struck me as possibly deliberately intended to appeal to a left audience—peace, civil liberties, anti-corporatism, pro-some progressive concerns like nutritional supplements and homeopathy. Was an appeal to the left conscious, something you were thinking of in terms of how to succeed in 2012 as a candidate?

Paul: Well, it couldn't be deliberate, because if I was thinking about how to deliberately aim that book to help me run for president, I'd have to write a book that would have to appeal to the right and have to appeal to Republican primary voters. But it was written not for that reason, but just written because I believe in what I wrote! It's just the way I've presented my political ideas all along.

But I know it's a coalition of people that will bring about change, it can't just be Republican or Democrats. With progressives, I had Ralph Nader join me on going after the Federal Reserve, which delighted me. I use the word "corporatism" [to explain the alliance between big government and big business]. I believe no matter which group you talk to, sophisticated or the general population that might not know much [about the issues] you have the same story. Eventually you win by being consistent.

Reason: You've publicly criticized the Paul Ryan budget plan, which for its flaws is the best sign of semi-serious thinking on budget specifics so far from your own party. As a candidate, do you think you need to present such a detailed and specific plan on how to cut spending and the deficit?

Paul: I probably won't [issue a detailed budget plan]. I plan to change people's attitudes about foreign policy and ideas about entitlements and ideas about monetary policy. Also, although the criticisms have been made public with Paul's budget, I've never volunteered it. I don't write press releases blasting it. I was just asked and told the truth, that I don't think it will do much good, but I'd as soon not even talk about [specific budget plans] and just talk positively about my theories on government.

My big point talking about Bernanke and the Federal Reserve is if we didn't have the Fed buying debt then interest rates would go up and Congress would quit taking money out of the economy and slow down spending, it would become a self-regulating force. If the Fed enhances the appetite and ability for politicians to spend, then [without it] we'd have to be much tighter with our budget and entitlements.

Reason: What do you think of Gary Johnson's announcing his candidacy? Is it good for your cause to have another candidate with very similar ideas in the race?

Paul: The other side has dominated for years. Everyone represented their views as modified Keynesianism, and they don't present an alternative on foreign policy. But the Republican Party had a history where we had less interventionist foreign policy and sound money and personal liberties [were valued], so having two, three, or four candidates who believe in them is good.

My goal in life is getting those ideas out, not even having it be a partisan thing. Like Nixon when he said we are all Keynesians now—Keynesian ideas infiltrated the Republicans and the Democrats so if we want to change the country and change our economy it's not going to be by the Republicans alone or a few politicians in Washington. We have to change the ideas of many who teach economics, who write, who make movies, all the people who contribute to serious thinking. Then politicians will flow along. This is a grand opening because the Keynesian model has run its full course. We are seeing the collapse of that system which has been going on for a good many years. Like the communist system, it has failed. And they had to pull back and we are in that process now. People are not willing to admit we have to pull back on empire and do something about the commitments made on entitlements.

Reason: Do you think the full dollar crisis breakdown you foresee is likely to happen before the government straightens out and does a severe policy change? And do you think that kind of economic apocalyptic message will be a hard sell as a presidential candidate now?

Paul: I work on that assumption that [a worse dollar crisis] is probably what is going to happen. I also work on the possibility that if we do the right thing, changes can be made. When the British rejected mercantilism and repealed the Corn Laws, it was a big change but significant positive things happened and there was no breakdown of law and order. So we can do it. I work on the assumption that it's probably not going to happen [before a crisis hits]. I think it's more likely we'll bring the troops home when people realize we can't afford it then when people start listening to my speeches.

But during the campaign, I'll say what I've been saying, that things will get very dangerous [with the economy] and yet the proper ideas are available to us. To me the most interesting thing and amazing thing is when I talk to young people I describe how terrible the situation is, but most of them come out very optimistic. Even though I dwell on problems I always leave them with the idea that it doesn't have to be this way, even though it may get worse; that it's up to you [as the American people] to decide, do you want to be policeman of the world, do you want to continue this militarism and corporatism, all the problems?

If you don't all you have to do is look to the Constitution for guidance. It doesn't give direct authority to do all these things. At least the answer is out there, we can work on spreading the good ideas. I think we may see a major crisis but I think with the growth of the freedom movement going on and how it has become a pervasive thing [there's hope].

Reason: Any other specific people on the political scene give you that kind of hope?

Paul: There is one in the Senate who I know is attuned to what we're talking about. [laughs] Also, Mike Lee [from Utah] is one of those as well. In the House Justin Amash [from Michigan] is principled and dedicated to doing the right thing and making arguments for free markets.

Reason: Some media implied that your son, Sen. Rand Paul, might run for president instead of you. Was that something you two seriously discussed?

Paul: I think the media pumped that up. He and I never even had a conversation about it, it was not high on the agenda but the media liked it. Even yesterday at the press conference it came up, and again this morning on one of the business shows, whether he would maybe run as vice president. I guess it's entertainment for people, some way to finish an interview on a light note. But we never had a serious discussion about it.

Reason: Last time, your noninterventionist foreign policy was the hardest sell to the GOP primary constituency, I think. Do you think that can be overcome this time?

Paul: The continued failure of our foreign policy is pushing lots of people in our direction. But yes, the right-wing Republican primary voter might be the toughest group on that. We get the greatest number of supporters from military people, retirees and people still in the military, and that's heartening to know. I think attitudes are changing and so I think the vets will help me stick to the message that we've been there [in the Middle East] a long time [and it's not working].

Another big thing that will help now is it's not George Bush's war. Now it's Obama's war. Even though there have been some Republican leaders saying we need to do more in Libya or we didn't act fast enough, other Republicans are now all of a sudden noticing that we did that without congressional approval and no declaration of war. And that will help in the primaries. The last go-round people were sensitive to the idea that party comes first rather than principle and no one liked it if you criticized their party.

Reason: Are there things that have to happen now that you've launched the exploratory committee in order to make a full run for president?

Paul: There are a couple of things we'll be watching. The potential for raising money is important, and my belief is it's going to be there. I've been to quite a few universities, I'll be up in Reno at the University of Nevada tomorrow, [and the reception at] all those events have influence. But I really wasn't going to do much campaigning until I made a final decision but because of the debate [in South Carolina] coming up [on May 5] there was a technical requirement that I had to at least have applied for an exploratory committee.

So I complied with that although I'm not ready for a final decision. An exploratory committee means more bookkeeping, if you collect money people who donate there if they go to the legal maximum that counts against other committees [as the election goes on]. You have to transfer records over [to a later official committee].

But I do want to be in that debate. It would help if there was less booing. That might influence my decision [to really run or not].

Senior Editor Brian Doherty is author of This is Burning Man (BenBella), Radicals for Capitalism (PublicAffairs) and Gun Control on Trial (Cato Institute).

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

179 responses to “Ron Paul Explores the 2012 Presidential Race

  1. Doesn’t he have some horrible racist skeleton in the closet or was that just hype?

    1. If only Max were here to shed some light on that question.

    2. That was a lot of hype.
      Do your own research on the Man
      and you might be surprised.

    3. “Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans only as members of groups and never as individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike; as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups.”

      -Ron Paul

      1. Which is pretty much word-for-word Ayn Rand’s definition – who, it’s interesting to note, though anyone outside Europe or North America was just a dumb nigger who depended on the white man for everything. Come on, her dialogs about India or Southeast Asia in AS could have come right from “Birth of a Nation”.

        1. What does that have to do with anything related to Paul’s comments about racism?

          1. That he’s just regurgitating without thinking (very libertarian, btw) and, thanks to the views he endorsed in his newsletter, he’s just as big of a hypocrite.

            1. I don’t see why you feel the need to specify that as “very libertarian” when actually it is an extremely common human trait not regulated to any individual groups.

          2. Guilt by Association

            Do try to keep up.

            1. Association? He OWNED his newsletter. And he wrote for it himself.

              1. Shit happens. People who run the U.S. government have let all kinds of innocents get killed because of their direct actions, let alone due to their negligence. Ron’s inattention to his newsletter’s quality/content didn’t kill anyone, while Obama is actively responsible for all sorts of death and injustice right now (As Fuckhole Bush was before him…and let us not forget Clinton’s secretary of bullshit Madeline Albright who thought the U.S. caused deaths of 100,000 innocent Iraqi children was “justifiable” you fucking fucks!). Maybe some perspective is in order.

                Regardless, this incident will kill his chances if he gets within 4000 light years of the nomination. That’s just the way things go. Some people forgive others for doing drugs(Marion Barry) or raping children (Roman Polanski), but one can never be forgiven for taking a nap while some disgusting words got attached to your name. Oh well.

              2. Follow the thread please. He doesn’t own Ayn Rand’s “dialogs about India or Southeast Asia”.

                1. WTF? why didn’t my reply insert below mud barker’s comment? The ways of Reason-land are strange indeed.

        2. Agree. Paul is weird and pretty old. I voted for him in 2008 because it was about the only libertarianish thing going, but Johnson is a better candidate all around and ever so slightly more realistic.

    4. Oh yes, Eric Dondero, who was “let go” by Congressman Paul years ago (why was that, Eric?) and his sour grapes are back with the “racist newsletter” allegation.

      This claim is not true, no matter how many times you clowns bring it up to distract. Anyone who can use a search engine knows the truth.

      Besides, no one cares any more about that term “racist,” as it’s been proven to be a deliberate Alinsky method for distraction.

  2. Somebody should ask the boring old fuck if he thinks Eisenhower was a commie agent.

    1. Good idea Max. And you are elected that ‘somebody’ to ask the smart questions. Now that you are somebody, go ahead and ask.

      1. And please video the answers and post them on YouTube.

    2. God you are a dipshit. What do you hope to accomplish by pointing this out in every thread, whether related to Paul or not?
      Is every liberal politician you support pure goodness and light?

      1. Stick your head a little further up our ass so we can hear what you’re saying.

        1. Talking to yourself again, Max?

    3. The standard answer is that Ike was a tool of the internationalist Jews who were secretly working with COMINTERN, The Freemasons, Skull and Bones and Water Fluoridation foundation.

  3. We all like Johnson more.

    No, really…focus on him.

    1. Agree. Paul is weird and pretty old. I voted for him in 2008 because it was about the only libertarianish thing going, but Johnson is a better candidate all around and ever so slightly more realistic.

      1. Holding people in prison indefinitely without charges is “realistic”?

        Go look up what Johnson said about the prison at Guantanamo.


        1. Oh and so it begins.

          Is building a fence at the Mexican border realistic?

        2. I meant realistic in terms of getting elected.

          And no, there is no perfect candidate (until I am made dictator for life, of course). I’m not thrilled by all of Johnson’s positions, but he is running for the job that exists, not our fantasy ideal of it.

          In any case, I see government at best as a necessary evil. No president can ever be all good.

          1. The fantasy ideal is that liberty will be achieved by playing the statist’s game.

            1. Yeah, play into their hands by ignoring a potentially viable candidate who is running on 75-80% of what we would believe in. Then, when another Obama or his Republican equivalent gets elected, you can bitch about what a clusterfuck he is. That’ll fucking help liberty.

              1. The worse it gets, the more it helps liberty. Seriously, how the fuck does faith in statism help liberty?

            2. 50% rule, dude, 50% rule.


    The Reckoning Over Ron Paul
    By James Kirchick

    Ron Paul is a deeply paranoid man, who has allowed all manner of racists and lunatics to join him under the general rubric of “libertarianism.” These supporters did not come out of nowhere; as the newsletters and other evidence reveal, Ron Paul has consciously been courting bigots, conspiracy theorists and anti-government militants for decades. These associations were hardly a secret before last week, and it was long past time for decent libertarians to disassociate themselves from Paul. It is a healthy development for both the libertarian movement and American politics that they have begun to do so, however belatedly.

    1. Yay! Max is back! I missed your hyperventilation and blindly reactionary horse crap. You are one of the most entertaining trolls that come to these parts. Welcome back!

        1. See now you went and hurt my feelings… Oh, now I’m over it.

        2. And one of the most erudite trolls.

        3. Tony is misguided but means well, MNG is generally pretty smart but holds some bad beliefs, Max is simply evil. If Max was in charge Mao, Stalin, and Pol Pot would blush at the number of people Max would kill or work to death in slave labor camps. Max is a monster.

        4. No Max, fuck you.

          1. I would like to second JT’s motion.

        5. Paul is weird and pretty old. I voted for him in 2008 because it was about the only libertarianish thing going, but candidate Johnson is a better all around and ever so slightly more realistic.

    2. Today I learned that some asswipe named “James Kirchick” is a lying douchebag. Thanks for letting us know that, Max!


    3. James Kirchick? The dweeb who thinks RP speaks in racist code… right! Let me get my racist decoder ring. lmao!

  5. Interesting headline. I had no idea Doherty was likely to run for President.

    1. And why is Ron Paul interested enough to be interviewed about Doherty’s run?

      Maybe Ron Paul should focus more on his own campaign than Doherty’s.


    Matt has more examples of Paul’s non-denials in 1996. Twelve years later, Paul wants people to believe that not only did he not write any of his newsletters, he never read them either. His role in the single most effective piece of outreach of his organization, he explained to Wolf Blitzer last night, was as a publisher — one who didn’t bother to read his own publication. These 1996 quotes put lie to his CNN interview answers.

    Not only does this show dishonesty, but it indicates that Paul had a lot more involvement in the publication of the despicable statements found in his own newsletter than Paul or his less-rational apologists want to admit. The supremacists and conspiracy theorists surrounding his campaign apparently got attracted by more than just Paul’s views on the Constitution; they read the newsletters and determined that Paul was one of them. His refusal to recant in 1996 and his explanation that he can’t recall ever reading the newsletters today signal to them that he still wants their support.

    People wonder why this matters, given Paul’s fringe appeal. It matters because we can’t allow this kind of hatred to get legitimized in mainstream politics again. This kind of rhetoric used to be mainstream, and not just in the South, either. Republicans cannot allow the party to get tainted by the stench of racism and conspiracy mongering. If enough of us don’t step up and denounce it, strongly and repeatedly, we will not be able to avoid it.

    Matt Welch and the people at Reason have reached that same conclusion in regards to libertarianism and their magazine. Good for them, even if it came a little late.

    1. come on boy, go fetch this stick

    2. I saw Ron Paul on the View, and Whoopie Goldslut said she would rather the government fund planned parenthood and have numerous wars of choice, rather than no wars and no funding for planned parenthood. I guess RP has his priorities a little backwards. That’s why he is a fringe candidate full of hatred, right Maxie boy?

    3. MAx is right, Ron Paul is basically a secret KKK member. OK Max now we know. So shut the fuck up already.

      1. you mean like how obama is a secret muslim?

  7. Why does Doherty want to associate Reason with a Birch Society wingnut? Oh…

    1. Allright, I’ll bite. Assuming he is one, why?

    2. Slow down there Nancy Drew, your deductive logic is way too complex for us to understand.

  8. RP needs to take a junket to Afghanistan and preferably not to one of the giant FOBs. Speak to some of the officers at or near the front. Why? Legitimacy.

  9. More Ron Paul, please. I love seeing Edward foam.

  10. In all seriousness, there is a Republican candidate who is better on illegal immigration, better on abortion, and does not have as much baggage as Paul…so why the focus on Paul?

    1. It’s possible to have more than one good candidate. It’s even good. Why is this difficult for some people?

      1. Plus, another two or three Ron Paul posts and Max’s head will explode. That alone is worth it.

      2. Knowing what you know about the Left’s out-and-out lies about the Tea Party and racism, do you still really want Ron Paul as the Presidential candidate?

        In 2008, Paul was light-years better than John “Bomb Iran” McCain, Giuliani, Mittens, and Huckadizzle. Johnson is viable in the current political atmosphere; Paul is not.

        Paul should throw his full energy behind Johnson; another vanity run on his part just gets everybody’s hopes up for no reason whatsoever.

        1. Stop concern trolling, please.

          Ron Paul has kick-started a libertarian revival in this country. Johnson has come no where close. Hence, the differences in coverage.

          1. RyanXXX:

            Here is how it is going to go down. Paul will have a very poor showing in Iowa, and Johnson will take NH with about 30%. At this point, Paul will drop out and endorse Johnson.

          2. Get a grip on your panties, Sissy Mary. I am not “concern trolling”, which would be pretending to care about libertarianism while working to undermine it. I do not like Ron Paul and want him to go away; that is called actual concern.

            1. Fuck you, then. If it weren’t for Ron Paul half the people commenting on articles like this wouldn’t be here.

              He’s made libertarianism somewhat mainstream, something we haven’t seen since Goldwater. Has Johnson done that?

              1. AuH2O kick started conservatism, but Reagan got elected.

    2. I am starting to think that they post these articles just to fuck with max.

      Imagine how many computers max has drowned in spittle since last week.

      Seriously, I would like to see some more Gary Johnson articles.

    3. How does Gary Johnson feel about our foreign policy? His website doesn’t say anything about it and I’m wondering what he has said.


        He leaves the door open for military intervention.

  11. Does anybody else have the suspicion that max actually is Ron Paul?

    1. Nah, Max is Gary Johnson!

      1. Max is actually Jonathan Bydlak.

  12. “The more socialized a country, the less the people have, the smaller the middle class, and the more discrepancy between people and the elite.”

    Take your pills, old man. You’re going senile.

    Sweden 48,875 USA 47,284

    Income inequality (gini coefficient)
    Sweden .25 USA .46

    We must emulate Sweden’s free-market capitalism, immediately!

    1. Yeah, Sweden’s great, unless you’re a minority.

      Fucking racist scum.

      1. So Sweden is pretty much like the U.S.?

    2. A better tax code, lower corporate taxes?

      1. not to mention very free trade

      2. corporate taxes are not necessarily good. Remember a corporation is basically a legal convenience that exists to strip personal responsibility away from individuals participating in group endeavors (profit-making or not). Someone’s gotta pay for the mess that will inevitably get made there and there.

        A good formula for it all would be:

        – no income taxes except to pay for defensive wars
        – moderate corporate taxes on corporate profits only
        – uniform import tariff (no MFNs, no product-based exemptions) at a rate just a smidge lower than the corporate taxes

    3. you’re going to need a link for those GDP #s… its more like US $47,280, Sweden $38,000.…..es_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

      1. A link? Next you will expect the poor thing to actually make sense. Please don’t make fun of the mentally ill.

    4. AMERICA: Protecting Europe since 1916

    5. It makes perfect sense if you assume that middle class income is the result of being a middle class person, rather than the definition of it.

    6. A graph needs more than one data point.

    7. Sweden is actually moving rapidly away from socialist the last few decades, it’s more free-market than the USA.

      But don’t let facts get in your way.

    8. The wonders of Nazi Gold.

    9. GDP includes government spending, which takes from the productive sector of the economy. If we spent trillions on government dollars building solid gold dildos we’d have a higher GDP as well. And standard of living is more important, and different from, than income inequality.

  13. Umm.. so we got Trump and this one. What has happened with presidential candidates in the States? Do we not have any decent human beings left to run anymore? Like seriously.

    1. well there was that one guy, but then he went and hid in a valley in Colorado.

  14. In all seriousness, there is a Republican candidate who is better on illegal immigration, better on abortion, and does not have as much baggage as Paul…so why the focus on Paul?

    Weigel’s playing “Max” today and needs something to do.

    1. That was a damn good article. I couldn’t decide which quote to copy and paste, but this one seemed good:

      Put another, even less charitable way: Democratic partisans ? liberals ? are willing to trade the lives of a couple thousand poor Pakistani tribesman in exchange for a few liberal catnip-filled speeches and NPR tote bags for the underprivileged.

      1. the underprivileged have lots of things to tote.

      2. Better:

        All that aside, though, it seems to me that if you’re going to style yourself a progressive, liberal humanitarian, your first priority really ought to be stopping your government from killing poor people. Second on that list? Stopping your government from putting hundreds of thousands of your fellow citizens in cages for decades at a time over non-violent “crimes” committed by consenting adults. Seriously: what the fuck? Social Security’s great and all I guess, but not exploding little children with cluster bombs ? shouldn’t that be at the top of the Liberal Agenda?

    2. Counterpunch isn’t exactly The Nation, though.

      1. Not quite so monomaniachal.

        1. Okay. Look. We both said a lot of things that you’re going to regret. But I think we can put our differences behind us. For science.

    3. Above I noted a Paul article by a leftist; here’s a just-posted one from a neocon.

  15. That exploration must have fairly quick.

    1. Look at potential field of Republican candidates.
    2. Discover Donald Trump has a serious shot at the nomination because Boss Hogg dropped out from the race.
    3. Fuck it, why not? Goddamn anyone could be the Republican contender, why not me?

  16. The Libertarian merger with the Bircher idiots has guaranteed the irrelevance of both in the future.

    The Joos! The Rothschilds! The Bilderbergs! The Joo Fed is ripping us slope-headed dumb Christians off!

    1. You act like this is a lie….

    2. True, I’m not sure why the Birchers are upset. The current crop of progressives strike as more fascist, economically, than communist. Though they work out about the same in the end.

    3. Wrong site. You’re looking for

    4. Are you Max’s alt or do you just get your trolling orders from the same commander?

  17. the Paul Ryan budget plan, which for its flaws is the best sign of semi-serious thinking on budget specifics so far from your own party.

    Bryan, that’s a completely ridiculous claim. Rand Paul’s budget plan is the only serious one on the table. Did you not actually know that?


    1. It depends on how you look at it — if he means “from any politician in your party”, that’s true. If he means the party as an organization, though, he’s right — Ryan’s plan has some moderate traction, unlike Paul2’s.

      1. J.C.—Your point is taken, but my language there did mean, the budget that the party seems to be presenting as its best foot forward…as near as I can tell Rand’s has been just Rand’s idea for now.

        1. The best way to get the Rand plan forward is to make sure that the Ryan one is buried.

          If there were marginal differences, different stories, but the Ryan plan, as documented here, doesnt even pretend to get to balanced in the future.

  18. Yes there is an expanded base for conservative and often Libertarian views. But, it won’t win an election on its own. My state had several tea party courting candidates. After they split things up, the center elected a hack — Dan Coates. I have yet to see a viable candidate representing my views that stands a snowballs chance.

    It’d be nice if Reason sought some reason.

    1. I was saying the other day that, since the goal of the primary is to pick the candidate that will do best in the general election, parties should let voters give a yes/no/meh to every candidate instead of making them pick one and only one.

      That applies for the mainstream candidates as much as for the long shots, if not moreso.

      1. I think the youth vote would go through the roof if “meh” was one of your options on each candidate.

  19. Jodie Emery is a Paul supporter, which is all I need to know. nsfw

    1. Pretty damn cute, for a raaacist.

  20. Secularism is enshrined in the US Constitution yet that very concept is under attack by the Wahabbi Christians (all Republicans) like Ron Paul.

    If you support state nullification of Constitutional law you are a Bircher whackjob like Ron Paul.

    “States rights” is a Bircher term for “Fuck the Bill of Rights” – thus the importance of the 14th Amendment and Incorporation – which defanged Barron v. Baltimore (1833), in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Bill of Rights did not apply to the states.

    1. “Secularism is enshrined in the US Constitution”

      Neutrality would be a better word, I think. There’s a reason it’s beside freedom of speech — standing up in principle for other people’s freedom to have and express thoughts with which you disagree doesn’t mean you think thoughts are worthless, it means you think thoughts are valuable. The establishment clause is an indication of how seriously religious belief was (and is) taken.

      1. It was a radical expression of rationality hundreds of years prior to today’s still-thriving superstition industry. Religion is bad when it is codified as law and the founders knew that. We are secular, not neutral. We reject religious influence on law, by law.

        1. You are and you might, but they weren’t and they didn’t. Rejecting the concept of an official U.S. sect of Christianity (and the attendant civil war) is not synonymous with rejecting religious influence on law.

          In fact, the concept is ridiculous. Religion does and did fill the role of ideology for many adherents. It provides an overarching moral worldview, just like progressivism or libertarianism or whatever. But if you said “I reject ideological influence on law”, you would sound like a total moron.

          And even if you said “I think laws should be decided on the basis of reason, not superstition”, you would sound as ridiculously naive as if you said “I think laws should be made by good people, not bad ones”. People are irrational and stupid by nature (religious superstition is the result, not the cause), and lawmakers are probably dumber than the average person, because elections ensure that they have to intuitively cater to all of us, which none of us is as dumb as.

  21. shrike, come on, you know that, even for you, that there is a lot to like about Ron Paul.

    First and foremost, he has been steadfast in his denunciation of empire building and state mass murder as perpetrated by socialist amerika.

    First and foremost, he has been steadfast in his denunciation of the mass incarceration of peaceful cannibus consumin’ cats by socialist amerika.

    1. Two big scores for him – and two where he makes Obama and everyone else look bad.

      I cannot deny the obvious.

    2. In fact, those two weight high with me — as in the top three. That is why I like libertarians. If they just respected capital rules I would call myself one.

      Capital rules are #1 with me. You can’t flourish financially without protecting capital.

  22. Awesome, he referred to the anti-Corn Law movement.

  23. You libertoid assholes are so fucked.

    1. I wonder who this is?

  24. I would be happy to vote Ron Paul in 2012

  25. The crazies have really come out in force in this thread

  26. The subject of this thread is a fucking crazy. You can’t get any crazier than a racist, homophobic batshit john bircher.

    1. Max I heard if you say that Ron Paul is a racist, homophobic batshit bircher before blowing out the candles of your birthday cake, it’ll become true the next day.

      1. What the fuck is that supposed to mean, you moronic dimwit? The old fuck has been the featured speaker at Bircher meetings and praised the society as a great patriotic organization. He published a racist, homophobic newsletter for twenty fucking years. What’s your standard for truth, you simple-minded piece of shit?

        1. Ron Paul did none of those things, and you can’t prove that he did.

          1. Rarely defend Max, but I dunno cap.


            And the newsletter bearing his name authorized by him did have racist, homophobic stuff in it for a good while. That’s been pretty well documented on H&R and other places.

            1. Jesus fucking Christ minge your shit is getting old.

              I goddamn know that stuff is true, I just like fucking with max. But nooooo!

              Minge’s can’t help his dumb pedantic self can he? Can he?

              Max is a big boy, and he ain’t gonna be trading sexual favors(maybe he will though! keep hope alive, minge) for putting up videos for him.

              I don’t know, maybe you should defend max more often. You guys are cut from the same ‘might makes right’ authority-boner cloth.

        2. Gods damn it. It doesn’t work that way. You have to say his name while looking in a mirror at midnight for that to happen.

          1. You have to say his name thrice, dumbass.

    2. Yet none of the crazy has been racist or bircherism in its content, only crazy anti-Paul crap.

  27. lol, no way dude, not in a million year lol.

  28. It would help if there was less booing. That might influence my decision…

    Uh oh — if all the South Carolina neocons are reading Reason, they will increase the booing to try to get him out of the race.

    Seriously, though, the booers should listen to the things they are booing, at CPAC for instance:

    Ron Paul: there’s nothing conservative about going to war without a declaration, and wasting hundreds of billions of dollars.

    Neocons: boooooo! The Constitution is just a piece of paper, and no amount of money or lives lost is too much to track down bin Laden, or whatever it is we’re doing in Libya now.

    RP: The US gave Egypt 50 billion dollars, and Mubarak walked off with 50 billion dollars. We should stop propping up crooked dictators.

    Neocons: booooo! We like spending tens of billions propping up crooked dictators.

  29. I used to like RP. You can look at my past comments on him for years. I still think he is the rare pol with actual principles and a fairly consistent ideology. I was a bit troubled with his seeming departures from libertarianism in directions that would play to the conservatives in his district (abortion, immigration [though I agree with him largely on the latter]). But on a thread the other day someone, I forget who, laid out some devastating comments from Paul about things like Lawrence v. Texas, flag-burning, etc., where he seems to come off much more as an ardent state’s right supporter rather than some consistent libertarian. Sorry, but libertarians who get all hot and bothered over federal restrictions on liberty but are fine and dandy with state restrictions strike me as goofballs at best, crypto-conservatives at worst.

  30. Not so much booing this year a CPAC. Remember FAUX played the wrong footage on their report. “accidently” yeah right. I was there along with all of us batshit crazies that ruled the thing. Trump, Chaney,and Rumsfeld got booed pretty hard and walked out on. The tide is changing. Time for reality. Some need to face it and stop dragging the rest of us down with you. Try actually listening to What Ron Paul says and read his books if you listening skills aren’t good. Stop letting the boob tube rot your brains. Please? I want to save this country so my grandkids can know what liberty is. Thank you for your consideration.

  31. The Pauls are creepy.

    1. I think Aqua Buddha is a pretty cool guy. eh talks shit about pols and doesn’t afraid of anything

    2. Yeah, the old man’s a Bircher fascist, and the son’s an idiot.

      1. Max I think you should confront Ron with these sexual urges you’re having. Otherwise you’ll just sit at your computer all day violently masturbating in frustration, which really can only lead to slitting your own wrists. Seek help.

  32. Ron Paul is not a libertarian:…..arian.html

  33. “The more socialized a country, the less the people have, the smaller the middle class, and the more discrepancy between people and the elite.”

    Obvious falsehood. There is no direct causal link between “socialization” and social mobility.

  34. I like how Ron Paul is focusing on crony capitalism. I have always felt that a relentless attack on crony capitalism is the best way for a libertarian candidate to gain populist appeal. I believe most Americans still respect wealth created through offering a desirable good or service. However, there is almost universal loathing for those who lobby for special tax breaks, cushy government contracts, and subsidies.

  35. Libertarian tools are hardly odd. For perspectives on those using Libertarianism worldwide, please see the Libertarian International Organization

  36. Above I noted a Paul article by a leftist; here’s a just-posted one from a neocon.

    1. I just love neocons because they’re even more deluded than libertarians. When it comes time to score points the “I hate the homos” crowd actually condemns it when they’re enemies voice those same thoughts.

  37. In my opinion it’s just one step short of the “one party democracies” many dictators and so-called communist countries employ.

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