Ron Paul

Ron Paul's Radical Vision

The libertarian Republican warns of impending disaster, reaches out to the left, and prepares for a presidential campaign.

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Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom, by Ron Paul, Grand Central Publishing, 328 pages, $24.99

Ron Paul by now is well-known for many things, yet he remains an underrated retail politician. Paul has the extraordinary distinction of having won a seat in Congress as a nonincumbent on three separate occasions. After fighting his own Republican Party to regain a House seat in 1996 (the GOP establishment preferred a turncoat Democrat in the primary), Dr. No has won re-election in the 14th Congressional District of Texas by progressively larger margins in every campaign but one. In 2004 and 2008 the Democratic Party didn't bother running a candidate against him. All this even though Paul eschews such fail-safe political gambits as co-sponsoring (or even voting for) spending bills that benefit his constituents and makes a point of directly challenging such modern Republican notions as an ever-expanding warfare state—all while representing what he characterizes as a Bible Belt conservative stronghold.

Paul's newsmaking 2008 presidential run emphasized a noninterventionist foreign policy that made him anathema to the rest of his party. But those views helped inspire a ragtag, young, and surprisingly large political movement that shows few signs of dissipating three years later. Animated by this unlikely coalition, Paul's career-long crusade to shed light on, rein in, and ultimately destroy the Federal Reserve became a mass populist cause. Provisions of his perennial "audit the Fed" bill were incorporated into a bill the House passed in 2009 (although it did not become law). To the surprise of many, after Republicans retook the House of Representatives in November 2010, he became chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy, which oversees the Federal Reserve. 

As I write, the man who earned the fourth-highest delegate count in the 2008 GOP presidential primaries seems to be preparing for another run in 2012. An official exploratory committee was launched in April, and Paul was on stage making his pitch at the first Republican presidential primary debate in South Carolina in early May 2011. His public profile and continued relevance were buoyed in 2010 when his son and (for the most part) ideological heir, Rand Paul, became the gadfly superstar of the anti-government side of the Tea Party movement by winning election as a U.S. senator from Kentucky.

In conventional political terms, Ron Paul has not done much to exploit his considerable fan base and reputational juice. He has a political action committee (LibertyPAC), which in a show of strength pulled off a $700,000 one-day fundraising "money bomb" in February for no particular reason. But befitting his very exacting political philosophy, Paul is a reticent endorser. In the 2010 campaign, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) figures gathered at OpenSecrets.org, LibertyPAC gave just $17,220 to eight federal candidates. (Year-end papers filed with the FEC for 2010 also show LibertyPAC giving to a handful of state candidates, most in the early-caucus state of Iowa.)

Since Paul first threw his hat in the GOP ring he has published three books. The first, The Revolution: A Manifesto, hit No. 1 on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list in May 2008. A slim but thorough map of Paul's political beliefs, The Revolution is suffused with that particularly Paulian mix of the frightening and the hopeful. Government has lost its way, the book argues, on everything from foreign policy to entitlements. Any way out of the mess is likely to wend through dark moments of economic and civil crisis. America can only be saved if enough good citizens get the message, understand the precipice to which reckless and unconstitutional fiscal and foreign policy have brought us, and demand that politicians hew to the proper path.

Paul's second post-campaign book, End the Fed, debuted in the Times top 10 in 2009. It is what it sounds like, explaining why giving a gang of unaccountable, secretive bureaucrats at the Federal Reserve the power to manipulate interest rates and the money supply is unconstitutional, inflationary, and responsible for both a murderously expansionist foreign policy and an economic crash.

Paul's newest book, Liberty Defined, issued at the dawn of what is looking like another presidential run, makes no mention of White House campaigns, past or future, except in its jacket bio. It's an "A to Z" exercise, a collection of 50 short essays on policy and philosophical issues arranged alphabetically. It is mercifully not titled thusly, or else we'd be talking about "50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom, From Abortion to Zionism." 

Those two bookends are among Paul's more controversial stances, even among many of his admirers, and thus worth discussing. Paul believes abortion is murder and as such a matter for states and localities to regulate. Paul would strip federal courts of jurisdiction over the question. He does not object to the morning-after pill, which undercuts his argument that it's impossible to draw a line on where life begins once sperm meets egg.

As for Zionism: While the movement has produced cultural gains for Jews, Paul argues, it also has sparked a wave of unjust land grabbing based on dubious historical precedent. Washington would do well for itself and its friends in Jerusalem by ceasing aid to Israel and everyone else in the Middle East.

Liberty Defined underscores one of the enduring peculiarities of Ron Paul. On one hand he is a Republican, an Air Force veteran, a family man, a culturally old-fashioned grandfather type. Prior to 2008, he was identified with the populist right wing of the larger libertarian coalition. When he ran for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination in 1988, Paul was the man of the right against the culturally and politically left-leaning Indian activist Russell Means, who fought the feds at Wounded Knee. 

On the other hand, the Ron Paul of Liberty Defined seems in many ways designed to antagonize the standard right wing while emphasizing areas of affinity with the progressive left. This is not some centrist "liberaltarian" project of selling liberty to pundits and intellectuals of the Democratic mainstream. Ever the rebel, Ron Paul sounds more like a "left-libertarian," reaching out to the far reaches of the progressive left and the downtrodden to challenge concentrations of statist power.

Paul consistently criticizes the welfare and corporatist state as privileging the privileged instead of helping the poor. He never talks like his own party is better than the other. When he attacks Barack Obama—which is not that often—it is almost always in the context of pointing out that the president is just as bad as George W. Bush on questions of civil liberties or foreign policy. When criticizing restrictions on commercial speech, he uses the Utne Reader–friendly example of nutritional supplements. When talking health care, he gives a shout-out to homeopathy.

These progressive-friendly trappings extend to issues of deadly force. In Liberty Defined, Paul admits to one of the very few policy changes of his political career: He is now against the federal death penalty, citing its disproportionate effect on the poor. He attacks the drug war on similar grounds. He adores civil disobedience, praising Martin Luther King for his peaceful fight against "state-enforced segregation," even while objecting to King's leftist economics.

Paul attacks the military draft and the CIA. In a discussion of why democracy can never be the highest political value, he is brave enough to defend a retarded man arrested for having child pornography on his computer. When it comes to foreign policy, he goes straight for empathy: Can't we understand why people in the Middle East might want to fight and kill us when we invade their countries, blow up their cities, support their dictators, and kill their families?

You would expect someone with presidential ambitions and Ron Paul's set of small-government views to co-opt the energies of the Tea Party movement, as his son Rand decidedly has. But Paul père mentions the movement only a few times, and he upbraids Tea Partiers for not understanding that being against tax-and-spend socialism entails embracing a noninterventionist, peaceful foreign policy. When he mentions the political party whose presidential nomination he seeks, it is often while criticizing the GOP for "despicable" demagoguery on issues like flag burning or the Pledge of Allegiance.

But while Liberty Defined has a leftish tinge, Paul is not afraid to send the typical liberal reader screaming for the exits by expressing skepticism about global warming, advocating the Second Amendment as a defense against tyranny, and insisting that there is no right to medical care. Paul believes a free market produces so much wealth that we need not choose between freedom and the amelioration of poverty. But he says he would be for freedom anyway.

Why? He is not the kind of political philosopher who wants to argue why. He believes in natural rights in the classic sense and thus thinks no one has a right to take our life or property. He likes the Constitution, pretty much, although he suggests we probably would have been better off sticking with the Articles of Confederation, that Lysander Spooner may have been right that no American owes the Constitution allegiance anyway, and that Texas might have done well to not even join our parlous, more perfect union.

For longtime students of the libertarian movement, Ron Paul and his followers represent something several libertarians have predicted but is still very hard to believe has actually arisen: an eager mass populist movement of almost-anarchist Middle Americans. (Paul never gets explicit about it, but you can easily glean from this book a complete opposition to any taxation on the grounds that it is essentially theft and a belief that a free market can meet every conceivable human social need.) While very different in polemical style and approach, in ideas Ron Paul is the successor to the controversial libertarian economist, philosopher, journalist, and activist Murray Rothbard, to whom he frequently tips his hat.

Given how radical Rothbard could be, it is surprising that the biggest sparkplug in the present or foreseeable future of libertarianism would be a politician pushing a largely Rothbardian vision. It's an exhilarating development. One need not agree with every polemic Paul writes, every argument he makes, or every example he uses to cheer his rise to prominence. He is a bizarre phenomenon, this politician who as he gets closer to mass influence sticks to his philosophical principles, seemingly untempted by any desire to grab the main chance on any terms other than saying what he believes.

Liberty Defined's chapter on "Slavery" reveals a lot about Paul's current self-image and intent. He praises abolitionist Wendell Phillips for showing "how one individual with determination and truth on his side can influence an entire nation," adding that "his unyielding efforts based on strong beliefs in pursuing justice are an example of character rarely found in today's society." Paul writes that Phillips "knew the importance of the agitator," and that "the purpose of the agitator is to change people's opinions so that great and significant social change can be achieved." He backhands the politician who "tinkers around the edges while the revolutionaries…work to change the fundamentals of the political structure once the agitators have prepared the way."

Ron Paul is a politician who has chosen to be an agitator and imagines his fans as potential revolutionaries. Although conditions have become considerably more favorable for his brand of libertarianism, Paul clearly and appropriately prefers agitating from the outside. It does not seem likely today that Ron Paul will take the GOP nomination in 2012, despite his rising influence.

In all three of his books and much of his public commentary, Paul has exuded a frequent and sometimes disturbing sense of impending apocalyptic doom. He comes by it honestly. Paul's understanding of politics and economics leads him to think that necessary changes are more likely to follow, rather than prevent, a terrible crisis. 

But the agitator isn't letting that get him down, no matter how despondent his fans might get contemplating his predicted economic chaos and collapse of the dollar. The task is hard, because "the idea of liberty is not a natural condition of mankind." Freedom's victory, Paul writes, "could happen in our time"; then again, "it might happen after we are gone from this earth." But he is sure it will happen, and both despite and because of Paul's peculiarities, his work is moving that victory closer.  

Senior Editor Brian Doherty (bdoherty@reason.com) is the author of This Is Burning Man (BenBella), Radicals for Capitalism (Public Affairs), and Gun Control on Trial (Cato).

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 Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

166 responses to “Ron Paul's Radical Vision

  1. Anyone else getting the “Comrades! Stop the Koch Brothers!” ad?

    Gotta love Google Ads.

    1. I’m getting an amazon “Holiday” add complete with holly and “New Deals Every Day”. Um, season fail!

      1. It feels like the New Deal every day.

    2. Firefox + Adblock = What ads?

      1. Seriously. Except for comments like these I forget that the internet even has ads.

    3. I’m just getting ads from Chase, AT&T and other damnable Capitalist Pigs. And an ad for this “Declaration of Independents” that I wish I had been told of before. Anyone heard of this?

      1. Apparently I must have been stoned and reading H&R, because I pre-ordered the fucking thing at amazon.

    4. Actually watch the video. It came up on mine yesterday and after watching it I realized it is a hilarious parody that actually defends the Koch Bros.

    5. I got Tea Party Patroits. Does that amount to anything?

  2. Ron Paul has no chance in hell of ever becoming president.

    STOP WRITING ABOUT HIM!

    Nobody cares, maybe his son Rand Paul has a chance, although he’s not interested in the job and unlike Obama, Rand wants to get experience.

    http://libertarians4freedom.blogspot.com/

    1. I like him. Please keep writing about him.

      1. Please write about ‘saving Cleveland’, and I really need another ad about that magnum opus book too

    2. GREGGGOOOOOOOOOO

      1. So who is the correct libertarian candidate again? Giuliani?

        1. Newcular Titties, naturally.

          1. Post-legal name change, I agree. Until then, Paul, Johnson, LP candidate.

        2. Benito Mussolini, because libertarians are all corporatists.

          1. I’m thinking Mr. Spock, or are we limiting the discussion to people who actually exist?

          2. One of the more ignorant memes of the left.

            1. Ignorant memes is all they are at this point. They get their marching orders from Rachel Maddow and art house documentaries, for fuck’s sake.

              1. We need to teach logic in elementary school. Something’s not right.

              2. As opposed to 1000 page novels written by a serial killer enthusiast?

                1. Hey, everybody! The useless dumbshit is back.

                  Please don’t feed him either.

                2. As opposed to 1000 page novels written by a serial killer enthusiast?

                  Yeah…she probably could have used an editor.

        3. I still like Giuliani, so piss off.

          1. As a libertarian candidate?

            1. No, I just like him in general, these are my feelings and you are making me feel weird,OK, OMG.

              1. Hey, you can like whoever you want. Just don’t be gay about it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

          2. This is a joke, right?

            1. Hey, be fair. Giuliani is the Mayor of 9/11?.

            2. To be fair, he is the first hardcore GOP crossdresser since J Edgar Hoover. That drives the “christfags” nuts.

        4. Mohammad Farrah Aidid

          C’mon man, it’s obvious. Elect Aidid posthumously.

        5. Ronald Reagan’s corpse…unfortunately.

        6. I like Hernan Cain.

          1. Herman Cain only likes bills shorter than 3 pages, and will not sign any bill longer than that, in his own words. He “would never appoint a muslim to his administration”. You read reason magazine, and value libertarian principles, but you want to vote for this man?

            1. Why should bills be longer than 3 pages? Don’t you know that 500 and 1000 page bills can hide a lot of crap? Life doesn’t have to be that complicated.

              Would I vote for him? That depends, if he’s the best choice I will. One thing is certain, anyone is better than Obama.

              1. Anyone?

                The Woman With One Eyebrow is somehow “better” than Barry Soebarkah?

                (Let’s all conscientiously use his real name. He never did legally restore the name given him at birth in Mombasa after he became an Indonesian citizen.)

    3. GREGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

      1. I love it when we get to see your “O” face.

      2. I like the way the zero’s just keep going right off the page.

    4. “libertarians4freedom” = authoritarian fucks.

      1. It ain’t a group, Grego is just a lonely freak.

        Yep, he’s aLONE, and Wacko.

        1. Ok. It just seems so much like Dondero that I thought there had to be at least two of them sucking each other off over there.

          1. Nope, he’s mastered contorting himself enough to stick his own cock in his own mouth.

        2. Ha! I got lots of people that support me privately. You’d be surprised.

          I am not alone, you liberals looking for a tax break.

      2. Seems like L4F and rather would be more comfortable at Stormfront and HuffPo, respectively.

        1. Why? they’re both socialists.

          13. We demand the nationalization of all businesses which have been formed into corporations (trusts).

          14. We demand profit-sharing in large industrial enterprises.

          15. We demand the extensive development of insurance for old age.

          “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.” –Adolf Hitler (Speech of May 1, 1927. Quoted by Toland, 1976, p. 306)

          So again, why would I like Stormfront? Besides, I’m not anti-semitic or racist, I’m only anti-political correctness.

          http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..tween.html

          1. I prefer Huffront.

  3. He does not object to the morning-after pill, which undercuts his argument that it’s impossible to draw a line on where life begins once sperm meets egg.

    Sentence fail. Undercut != highlight. Or do I just need more coffee?

    1. Also, the morning-after pill prevents fertilization, therefore it is perfectly consistent to be anti-abortion and pro-morning-after.

      The more you know…

      1. First thing I thought when reading this. I wonder if Paul has a stance on RU-486, which is the up to seven weeks “emergency” abortion pill. Brian is great, but he needs to realize that “contra-ception” literally means “prevents conception”

      2. It also prevents fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterine wall, which is why crazy Christians consider it an abortifacient.

        1. *sigh* Didn’t even read the first paragraph…

          Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs)?sometimes simply referred to as emergency contraceptives (ECs) or the “morning-after pill”?are drugs that act to disrupt ovulation or fertilization to prevent pregnancy (contraceptives). According to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, “EC is not an abortifacient because it has its effect prior to the earliest time of implantation.” EC was once thought to have a possible post-fertilization effect on implantation of a blastocyst, a type of contraception which is sometimes referred to as a contragestive.[1] However, the current scientific consensus is that this mechanism is extremely unlikely.[2][3] EC acts to prevent pregnancy, and is therefore distinct from medical abortion methods that act after implantation.[4]

          1. If he read things, he might not be such a useless anal polyp. He can’t risk it.

          2. Here’s what footnote [4] says:

            A minority in the medical community, and many pro-life advocates, argue for a different definition of pregnancy; see Controversy section for more detail.

            1. Are you suggesting that the moment a man ejaculates inside a woman, she is pregnant?

              1. I’m not suggesting anything of the sort. Conservative Christians however…

              2. She is if it’s me doing the ejaculating!

    2. The morning after pill prevents conception. The egg is only fertilized in the tube, it takes a while for the sperm to get there. He’s an OBGYN so he would know these facts.

  4. “Paul believes a free market produces so much wealth that we need not choose between freedom and the amelioration of poverty. But he says he would be for freedom anyway.”

    *******************

    Eh?

    Nobody’s advocating censorship of political billboards or issuing writs of assistance in order to fight poverty.

    “Freedom” and “fighting poverty” are in no conflict, unless you define any extra increment of taxation as an infringement on freedom. And, even on its terms, such a proposition would only obtain if the losses from acquiescing to continuing poverty were smaller than the losses from an extra increment of taxation to offset poverty.

    It’s not at all clear that, netting one against the other, fighting poverty is more costly for the public at large than surrendering to it.

    Of course, the losses from surrender might be unevenly distributed. Those of us who value the public amenities that tend to deteriorate in poverty-blighted environments might feel the losses more than those who spend their free time cocooned in the basements of exurban McMansions with Netflix on the XBOX. But no sound principle of civic affairs lets each individual opt out of contributing towards a solution of a shared problem just because that particular individual has an avoidance strategy.

    1. And, even on its terms, such a proposition would only obtain if the losses from acquiescing to continuing poverty were smaller than the losses from an extra increment of taxation to offset poverty.

      Fuck Utilitarianism.

      So, is Danny == Dan T?

      Im away for a few weeks and I feel I need to catch up on incif.

      1. So how do I know you’re the real robc?

        1. Because I say he is, comfirming it through my Kentuckalepathy.

          1. I accept this ruling.

            1. There is precedent.

          2. Kentuckalepathy

            fucking lexington perverts.

            Its lights on a loop road that leads to the mutations, you know.

            1. Have you ever seen Scanners?

              1. rob is Revok, dude!

          3. Is Kentuckalepathy a power granted only by the One True Aqua Buddha?

      2. Yes, he is. Feel free to super-ignore.

        1. SugarFree: never right, but never in doubt!

          1. Please don’t feed the troll.

            1. He’s too busy eating your mom.

              1. Yell louder Dan T., you’re all grey and dim.

      3. It’s just a troll, rob. The exact one which it is is irrelevant. Ignore.

        1. All trolls are the same troll.

          1. Ergo:

            Epi = Danny = robc = sevo

          2. Ergo:

            Epi = Danny = robc = sevo

            1. You do know that double posting means you’re a moron, right? Frenetically clicking “Submit” as you masturbate isn’t a positive trait.

              1. SugarFree said he wants you to yell louder.

                1. Good thing you obliged him.

                  1. Understood. Is it okay if I double-click while your mom is working it?

                    1. My god, you’re even less original than rectal. Congratulations, you’ve gone nuclear on being boring.

                      Next troll please.

                    2. What, pray, is more boring than the “troll” canard?

                      You are the cobalt bomb of boring.

                      Curtis Lemay would have used you to bore Viet Nam back into the stone age.

                      You would have been the Dr. Manhattan of boring.

            2. Actually Danny, Epi is every single H & R commenter, including myself. This entire blogosphere comment thread is one big schizophrenic conversation between Epi and his sundry and varied personalities.

              1. I’d dispute this, but I’m a solipsist. You’re all just sophistry and illusion.

              2. No human is evil enough to make up Rather.

      4. Danny is not Dan T.

    2. unless you define any extra increment of taxation as an infringement on freedom.

      Yes. Theft is an infringement on my freedom. Next question.

      1. So it’s back to the tired old trope of checkbox tax forms? You don’t pay for food stamps, I don’t pay for abortion police, Paul doesn’t pay for the Fed?

        That’s a joke. But it never seems to get tired around here.

        1. Trope and CHange!

          1. Delicious! Feed me more attention! More!

            Anything you say means that I win.

    3. ‘no sound principle of civic affairs lets each individual opt out’

      Disagreement: the current governmental system is unethical because it elementally forces payment at gunpoint (ex. IRS). Such derived ‘altruism’ is likewise inauthentic and can readily be corrupted or abused. Candidate Paul’s liberty oriented philosophy additionally accepts individuals on the virtue of their own merits to succeed and prosper

  5. the GOP establishment preferred a turncoat Democrat in the primary

    IIRC, this is the same thing that happened when he gave up his House seat to run for the Senate in the early 80s. Only that time, the GOP supported turncoat Dem Phil Gramm over Paul in the primary. And Gramm won.

  6. wRONg Paul must be stooped! He’ll ruin our greatness and international kick-assistude!

    What are we going to do with all those fucking aircraft carriers if he gets elected? Huh?

    1. I’ll buy one.

  7. Danny and L4F…nuked.

    1. can you nuke yourself? You bore the shit sugarfree out of me

      1. And this is why we don’t feed trolls. Trolls never leave a rich food supply of the attention they desperately need. Watch carefully, this troll will even get a full meal of this negative statement.

        Please don’t feed the trolls.

        1. Is it a troll or a mongoloid?

        2. Is this where I check in for the ‘feeding’ thread about Orlando, or is that the next window over?

      2. …and take sugarfree and the other members of the merry troop of masturbating munchkins? ? ? with you

        1. Whenever I make the mistake of coming here on my phone, I remember why i use incif. Jesus fucking christ, there is nothing good about you. Die soon, please, you retarded skank.

          1. did you say that on one knee?

    2. Yeah, thanks for making me as Spam, I’ll just keep changing my name.

      1. I’ll just keep ignoring you!

  8. That really makes a lot of sense dude.
    http://www.online-privacy.no.tc

    1. Oh Anon-Bot, if only Anthony Weiner had utilized your skills for privacy, he might still be sexting coeds today without Breitbart getting all the evidence.

  9. I like Paul, a lot. I think he’s been perhaps the greatest advocate of libertarian issues to the mainstream in my lifetime. And although I have no qualms with his left-libertarian leanings, I think he can be a pussy sometimes when it comes to really digging into the entitlement state.

    He is absolutely right that our empire is unconstitutional, unwise, and ill-advised. But he sometimes talks about things as though all w need to do is end the empire and things will be hunky-dory, budgets a-balanced, and the federal dollars can continue flowing into the ponzi schemes that are going broke right now. What I’d like to see is him really give a full-throated indictment of the entitlement state, explain the structural imbalances of SS/MC, and mention that we will descend further into the abyss of debt without substantial reform or altogether elimination of these boondoggles.

    1. While you may be right tactically about what Dr. Paul should say – although I’m not convinced of that – you’re wrong about what he says about entitlements. He’s up front about the fact that he thinks Social Security is unconstitutional, for example.

      But what he has also said is that we can’t precipitously end all our domestic welfare and social security programs – they would need to be wound down gradually, simply to give all the people who have learned and been encouraged to become dependent on them time to be weaned off of the dole with minimal harm or breakdown of social cohesion. After all, if we were somehow able to entirely shut down Welfare, Medicaid, and Social Security tomorrow, who could doubt there would be rioting in the streets? On the other hand, we can end our seemingly interminable attempts at nation-building, wars of occupation, and large, expensive foreign military garrisons quite quickly with relatively little harm to us as a nation.

      Therefore, he would cut foreign spending dramatically and quickly, and use the savings to help pay for our expensive domestic entitlements programs to keep them from collapsing for the decade or more it would take to gradually unwind and reduce them. It’s really a very sound strategy, and takes into the account the lessons of Burkean conservatism. It goes to show that Ron’s serious about effecting systemic change, and isn’t just issuing soundbites.

  10. So, how long until Reason brings up the racist newsletters again to torpedo his campaign? Anyone?

    Maybe you can bring in that ignorant slut KMW to do the dirty work. I mean that in the nicest way, of course.

    1. Nothing enrages me more in the US politics than baseless accusations of racism. Most of them are baseless. Ron Paul’s newsletters are an exception. They are indeed vile and racist. And Ron Paul is responsible for them.

      1. I guess my point is that Reason should pick a side in this: either support Ron Paul because he shares most of their agenda, or refuse to support him because he’s a racist. Don’t advance him and then at the last minute push the button to the trap door.

        1. If Reason “picks a side” then their reporting isn’t objective. They can simultaneously support his policy prescriptions and abhor his racist pandering in the past. If you don’t like stories that make your heroes look bad, click the big red X in the corner of your screen.

          1. You know, I don’t see how Paul could have been responsible for those newsletters. I mean, not in any direct sense (in the buck-stops-here sense, it may be a different story). I’ve observed enough racists in my lifetime to know that they can’t hide their racism over extended periods of time. Not if it’s at all central to their thinking. Where’s any indication that’s so with Paul? Any?

            1. I’m working on a photoshop of him at a Klan rally, just to use as a joke image everytime they run a RP story in the coming election cycle.

              Maybe also a faux newspaper headline that reads, “Ron Paul Says “Drop Dead” To N******”

          2. Amen, Decider.
            If you can’t criticize your own then you’re just another shill.

          3. What gave you the idea Reason is supposed to be objective? Aside from the folly of presupposing there is even such a thing as “objective reporting”, Reason is a news *commentary* organization, not a news reporting organization. They take stands on subjects in every single column and article.

            1. What part of “If you can’t criticize your own then you’re just another shill” don’t you understand?

              1. What makes you think I was responding to you? The fact that my post wasn’t a reply to yours? That would seem to contraindicate it.

                1. If reason does not comment on Paul’s racist past, they cannot credibly comment on the racism of other politicians, past, present, or future.

                  1. Find, then let’s get it over with now rather than ambushing him 2 weeks before the primary. They don’t even have to do any work: just pull out the hit pieces from 3 years ago and let ’em rip!

          4. since when has reason’s reporting been objective? do they even claim that?

            reason is no more objective than national review or mother jones.

            and that’s not necessarily a bad thing

      2. Those newsletters were not racist at all, but “culturist”. The only thing that was criticized was the specific prevailing culture of the american black people. If you think that culture is solely dependent on race and not other factors maybe you are the racist one.

  11. Given how radical Rothbard could be, it is surprising that the biggest sparkplug in the present or foreseeable future of libertarianism would be a politician pushing a largely Rothbardian vision.

    Why is Rothbardian libertarianism winning over the public? It’s because big-government, koch-bros libertarianism is a joke. Watching Freedom Watch’s episode on Reason libertarianism was a joke. Supporters of unconstitutional taxes, safety nets, federal humanitarianism… The Judge should do a REAL show on libertarianism… Have on Tom Woods, Lew Rockwell, and Jacob Hornberger. The lightweight, faux-libertarian guppies like [T]Reason and The Stato Institute only wish it had the impact of the Ron Paul Revolution.

    1. There’s the Popular People’s Front!

      1. Splitter!

    2. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE (true scotsman)

    3. Oh! Oh! Do a show on fleet-footed black boys!

      1. And, just for funzies, here’s something Ron Paul actually wrote:

        “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.”

    4. Thing is, I might still take a lightweight libertarian over a anarcho-douchebag like Rothbard. He doesn’t deserve the praise he gets at all.

  12. The lightweight, faux-libertarian guppies like [T]Reason and The Stato Institute

    Looks like it’ll be a three martini lunch, today.

    1. We’re so dysfunctional.

      1. What the fuck are you talking about, Pro L? We’re as functional as fuck.

        1. If all of you don’t start thinking exactly the way I do, I’m going to write some very stern letters!

  13. ….I love the headline,….”Radical Vision”,….I suppose in relative terms, especially to someone leaning towards the “liberal” or “progressive”
    end of the political spectrum,…. I suppose returning to a more constitutional government/monetary policy may seem “radical”,…but for millions of baby-boomers who have grown up within the corruption of the last 50 years (since they blew JFK’s head off),…we just want someone who actually behaves in the manner he/she claims to believe, and to back up those stated beliefs through their votes, speeches and behavior. Many of us believe Ron Paul is the one person in Congress who has lived his beliefs, and we trust him,…not so with most of the others….

    ..it is that simple..

    Regards,

    RJ O’Guillory

  14. Just a website comment,..wtf is all the need for filling in a URL address when commenting? I barely understand what a URL means, so surely, thousands do not participate once they get
    “stuck” on that part of the comment form? Half the time, I don’t know what they mean, which site they want me to fill in,…and, how do they expect a novice operator, or even a virgin commenter,…how do they expect you to know what a URL is,…or what is the proper one to fill in?

    ….seems unneccary and goofy to me,
    …we should be able to have that auto-filled if you are on the same site your commenting on,…or at least a small explanation of what a URL is and how to find/fill-in the one you need to comment?

    Regards,

    RJ O’Guillory

  15. I’m about half way throught the book. Liking it so far. Don’t agree with everything of course but still a good read.

  16. Can’t we understand why people in the Middle East might want to fight and kill us when we invade their countries, blow up their cities, support their dictators, and kill their families? allow foreign government to sponsor terrorist groups and indoctrinate their populaces with anti-western propaganda.

    FIFY. Pretty absurd that the people carrying signs like “free speech is western terrorism” are really concerned about geopolitical history, especially when invading and bombing other countries from Vietnam and Panama has produced no such blowback from those countries.

    1. This could be the stupidest fucking post I’ve ever read.

      [we ]allow foreign government to … indoctrinate their populaces with anti-western propaganda.

      So we’re supposed to be thought police now?

      And if we are, what is your solution to get them to stop indoctrinating? Killing more of them?

      1. I didn’t even say that. You’re the one leaping around to conclusions. I’m just stating that it’s not us it’s them.

        1. Sorry for the harsh language, I guess I missed the point of your post.

          It still makes little sense to deny that their hatred of us is not related our actions.

  17. If Ron Paul wins the presidential election, the population of San Francisco will drop dead on the spot of aneurysms, save for the one republican hiding in a cardboard box somewhere in a sewer to avoid the lynch mobs.

    1. Nah. I live in the cesspool known as the Bay Area. There are quite a number of libertarians out here, in SF, the East Bay, and Silicon Valley. They’re just surrounded by all these “progressives”.

      1. are you the guys selling happy meals in a back alley, with free coupons for circumcisions?

  18. by god, if paul can?t take the republican candidacy

    holy god damn you sons a bitches, he should gad damit sons of mother fucking bitches git the

    libertarian candidacy

    i am drunk but god dammit

    hell sons of bitches, he should get the libertarian candidacy one way or the othwer

    if the piece of shit republican don?t want him to get their candidacy
    he needs our support

    shit
    goddamnit
    god
    you
    sons
    if this man after expressing himself asi
    doesn
    ?t get our suppot
    we are pieces of shit
    he is it
    it is he
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????’

  19. i am going to state it calmly:
    don?t let the republicans kill him,
    he can be our candidate and maybe win as a libertarian if the republicans are so fubublican are so nenublican, are so hubublican, dudublican, are so dumpublican, bubulican, ???????????????
    I give up,i am going to enjoy my cheap rum

  20. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. why can?t he just get the libertarian candidacy one way or the other
    why?

  22. I just read the comments to this thread, I am so glad I called you all pieces of shit:

    so much pretension so little value

    Your all a bunch of pretentious cyber-shit

  23. If there is anything that Ron Paul is constant in is upholding his sacred oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution which happens to be our Supreme Rule of Law.
    Our Founding Fathers were revolutionist who laid everything on the line to garner our nation a Limited Republic/Limited Government and that is absolutely what Ron Paul stands for. Sadly, he is a novelty in D.C.
    As far as the issue on foreign entanglements – Ron Paul again adheres to the statements that both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington made on that issue. I’m not going to bother quoting them, because their statements/quotes are easily found on the internet. Look them up!
    By the way – I am not registered as a Libertarian. I am registered as an Independent, but consider myself a “Constitutionalist!”

    1. Jefferson knew when ass had to be kicked ie Barbary Bay Pirates. RP does not.

  24. Looking forward to vote Ron Paul in 2012!

  25. I am so hoping that the Texas Republicans gerrymander his district so much that he just leaves Congress and decides to run for president as an independent (if he doesn’t win the Republican nomination, of course.)

  26. Ron Paul is starting to sound like a Republican more and more these days. He states in his newest book nuclear energy is the safest way to go – energy wise, excuse me but if I happen to live on a earthquake fault line I don’t want to have three mile island as my neighbor, ok? Second he states that public commerce land should be free to discriminate against any customers they should personally judge against. Public and private land ownership are two different things. Once an individual sets foot on public commerce land discrimination should end immediately, and now I’m hearing him say he wants to regulate marriage with DOMA. What happened to getting government out of our personal lives?? Guess I will be voting for the real party of principle after all- Libertarian!

    1. Public Commerce Land? You mean private property that a person owns and has their own business on it. It is not public property that the government owns.

  27. But will he finally put an end to the NAFTA super highway? http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul349.html

  28. Second he states that public commerce land should be free to discriminate against any customers they should personally judge against.

  29. You should all check out this article I came across on Benzinga about Ron Paul.. It’s really interesting.

    http://www.benzinga.com/genera…..rs-tonight

  30. If my girlfriend needs treatment for a yeast infection, I might consider Ron Paul – I’ll save my vote for an economic and constitutional expert, should they come along.

  31. I am an aspiring architect and I am appalled

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