Foreign Policy

WSJ: Is Ron Paul the "Libertarian Standard-Bearer"?

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How many GOP candidates have more military service than RP?

The Wall Street Journal's Elizabeth Williamson has a piece out that looks at how (and a bit at whether) Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is the standard bearer for libertarianism. Some quotes from familiar mouths:

"His influence is far larger than the votes that he gets," says Nick Gillespie, the editor of Reason.com, the online edition of libertarian Reason magazine. "No politician has been more important in mainstreaming the libertarian idea that individuals should have more power and the government should have less[.]" […]

David Boaz of the libertarian Cato Institute calls Mr. Paul an "imperfect messenger," supported by only about half of the consistent U.S. libertarians identified in a recent Cato study. Take Mr. Paul's views on trade: he supports "free trade," but didn't vote for the South Korea, Colombia and Panama agreements passed by the House this week, having called such deals "managed trade."

Are we younger than that now?

"A nice idea in theory, but you can't let purism get in the way of legitimately freeing trade," says Mr. Boaz.

Yet, he says, "on the big issues—small government, less government spending, sound money and a non-interventionist foreign policy, he's a good standard-bearer." […]

"The ultimate end game is to see Rand Paul run in 2016," says Reason's Mr. Welch, referring to Mr. Paul's son, elected to the Senate from Kentucky in 2010. "Rand won't probably ever inspire the intense devotion and loyalty that Ron Paul does, but people like him, and he has won a general election."

Whole thing here. Williamson also has a companion piece out about how Paul's foreign policy stances are "foreign to GOP."

Reason on Ron Paul here, including his profile in our Presidential Dating Game.

NEXT: Upgrading the U.S.A.

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  1. Why does Welch think Ron cant win in 2012?

    1. Because not enough people will vote for him?

      1. “Because not enough people will vote for him?”

        Or because people think not enough people will vote for him?

        1. Or because people think people think not enough people will vote for him.

          1. Your brilliance is blinding.

            1. I think so.

  2. I don’t think he can’t win. But I also know that his campaign (and many of its supporters) are bullish on Rand for 2016.

    1. Reply fail, etc. (this was to robc’s of 2:36).

      1. Dude, don’t ask that alt-text question unless you have an answer…some of us are lazy.

    2. I figure VP Johnson will be running in 2016 & 2020.

      Assuming Ron only serves one term.

      So Rand has to wait for 2024.

      1. So Rand has to wait for 2024.

        At that point it’ll be Ron Paul’s ghost they’ll be voting for.

        1. Oops. Sorry. I thought you said Ron.

          I’mma better go to bed now.

    3. To be bullish on Rand for 2016 (rather than 2020) you have to be bullish on Obama in 2012, no?

      1. That was my thought, doesnt make much sense to me.

        I guess the secondary possibility is that Pres Romeny screws things so badly that you can beat him in a primary fight.

        1. or Ron wins and opts not to run in 4 years. cites age, endorses Rand

          1. Adams/Adams, Bush/Bush type situations make me queasy (Harrison/Roosevelt not so much).

            I would really prefer Rand stay in the Senate forever if his Dad does ever win.

          2. Yeah, the odds on that are roughly equal to those of Scarlett Johansson discovering she has a long-lost twin and then me having a threesome with them.

            1. If you agree to embrace anarcho-capitalism, I can make that happen for you.

              Just ask Epi.

              1. I should’ve held out!

            2. She has a not long lost twin. he’s a dude. Still, makes the odds a little better for you then, doesn’t it?

              1. See, hope springs eternal.

                but i agree with robc’s squeamishness with political dynasties.

              2. Sheesh. Way to harsh my buzz, dude.

            3. Dream big, Tulpa.

    4. Nobody that has pubic hair on his head will be president ever.

  3. supported by only about half of the consistent U.S. libertarians identified in a recent Cato study.

    ie, libertarians who also agree with Cato on the nonlibertarian issues of immigration and gay marriage and the unsettled-among-libertarians issue of abortion.

    1. Since about 1/3 of libertarians dont vote at all (based on 90s era Liberty magazine survey), 50% is pretty darn good support.

    2. Nonlibertarian issues = freedoms not approved by Tulpa and other paleos.

      1. At its heart, libertarianism is about coercion. Hence the NAP.

        Gay marriage has little to do with coercion, and nothing to do with coercion when civil unions are available. Immigration has nothing to do with coercion inside US territory.

        1. Actually, at it’s heart, libertarianism is about gamboling. Hence the NAP. Aggression interferes with the freedom to gambol.

        2. Redefining marriage has everything to do with coercion.
          It uses the power of government to force a definition of marriage onto society, and it leaves people open to lawsuits for the crime of disagreeing.

          The proper solution to the issue is to get the government out of the marriage business entirely.

          1. marriage isn’t a business. It is a holy covenant between a man, a woman, and their favorite imaginary friend.

        3. …to be discarded when libertarians need government aggression.

          And then they turn on the whitewash, full blast!

          Still, it takes big-government aggression to restrict the free movement of free families on the land to forage and hunt as was done for thousands of years here.

          Officer, am I free to gambol about plain and forest?

          1. Sure, now gtfo.

    3. Really? Free movement of people isn’t a libertarian issue? Freedom of people to enter into a consensual contract (i.e. marriage) is not a libertarian issue?

      1. State sponsored marriage is only a libertarian issue in that the state has no business being involved.

      2. Free movement of people inside US jurisdiction is a libertarian issue. Outside the US? No.

        Gay couples are free to enter into any contract they wish on their own. Indeed, gay groups of any number are free to do so. Gay marriage laws only prevent such contracts from being branded “marriages” by the state.

        1. Equal protection under the law is also a libertarian issue. Even laws we may not like we want evenly applied to all people, like all the tax and government benefits available to married people.

          Sure, the best thing would be to get the state out of marriage completely, but until that happens all people have to be given the same opportunity.

          1. Equal protection is not a libertarian issue.

            It would incredibly complicate libertarianism to try to shoehorn it in, since you have to decide which categories of people equal protection pertains to.

            For instance, does equal protection of the laws prohibit having DMV offices more sparsely located in rural areas vs. urban areas, thus discriminating against rural residents? Why is race or religion a protected class but not location of residence?

            I think it’s possible to make such a distinction, but it’s going to needlessly complicate libertarianism if you try to stick it in there.

            1. Re: Tulpa,

              Equal protection is not a libertarian issue.

              Such an assertion. Care to back it up?

              It would incredibly complicate libertarianism to try to shoehorn it in, since you have to decide which categories of people equal protection pertains to.

              That’s a non sequitur.

              For instance, does equal protection of the laws prohibit having DMV offices more sparsely located in rural areas vs. urban areas, thus discriminating against rural residents?
              Oh, I see – you cosntrue “equal protection” as “equal convenience”.

              Why is race or religion a protected class but not location of residence?

              Better question – why would any of that matter? “Equal protection” means that every individual is protected in their person and property regardless of your fancifull labels.

              I think it’s possible to make such a distinction, but it’s going to needlessly complicate libertarianism if you try to stick it in there.

              Or a better idea: NOT listen to your idiotic rhetoric about groups at all. How about that?

              1. Re: Tulpa,

                Equal protection is not a libertarian issue.

                Such an assertion. Care to back it up?

                It would incredibly complicate libertarianism to try to shoehorn it in, since you have to decide which categories of people equal protection pertains to.

                That’s a non sequitur.

                For instance, does equal protection of the laws prohibit having DMV offices more sparsely located in rural areas vs. urban areas, thus discriminating against rural residents?

                Oh, I see – you construe “equal protection” as “equal convenience”.

                Why is race or religion a protected class but not location of residence?

                Better question – why would any of that matter? “Equal protection” means that every individual is protected in their person and property regardless of your fancifull labels.

                I think it’s possible to make such a distinction, but it’s going to needlessly complicate libertarianism if you try to stick it in there.

                Or a better idea: NOT listen to your idiotic rhetoric about groups at all. How about that?

        2. Immigration most certainly is a libertarian issue. If I want Pepe the Mexican to come work for me and the government won’t let him in, there goes my right to contract.

          1. But I’ll still vote for Ron Paul.

          2. You are perfectly free to contract with Pepe if you want. The govt is under no obligation to assist him in fulfilling that contract by granting him passage over the border.

            If you sign a contract with Luigi’s Pizza to deliver pizza to your house within 5 minutes from your call, but the only way that’s possible is for the driver to go 90 MPH on residential streets, you can’t complain that the state is interfering with your freedom to contract by ticketing him for speeding.

            1. Granting passage is not assistance.

              1. When he has no right to pass it is.

        3. Gay marriage laws only prevent such contracts from being branded “marriages” by the state.

          Are you pretending to be naive or do you really not understand the legal framework “marraige” has around it. If it was just a goddamn word, this fight would have ended before it bagan. But to be “married” in the eyes of the law means a whole hell of alot. If christians want to keep the word “marraige” pure, they need to get the government out of their business and have the government recognize some other form such as “joint household” which can be some random legal document affirming what the old “marraige certificate” used to.

          1. Civil unions provide all the legal nuts and bolts of marriage, so there really is no argument whatsoever that the word “marriage” provides any legal benefit.

            The legal benefits unobtainable by contract which civil unions/marriage provide are pretty sparse anyway. I note that despite it meaning “a whole hell of a lot” you don’t mention any specific things that it means.

            1. I’ll note that Tulpa doesn’t bother to list how similar civil union and marraige are or that there is no federal legislation creating a civil union, while there was one preventing states from recognizing gay marraige.

              It may take more brainpower than Tulpa has to realize whats going on, but we shouldn’t hold it against him. He’s special.

          2. If christians want to keep the word “marraige” pure, they need to get the government out of their business

            Im fucking trying, but you fuckers wont listen to me.

            Ive been attempting to separate marriage and state for 20+ years.

          3. the government recognize some other form such as “joint household”

            I see no reason the state needs to replace marriage with this. Just stop licensing marriages. End Stop.

            1. Throw out the tax code and regulations that are directed at marraige and then we’ll be in business (child support laws, power of attorney decisions, etc). Then all you have left is contract language between two consenting adults which would probably look similar to small business partnerships.

              Good luck with all that though.

              1. You fuckers wasting time talking about civil unions and gay marriage have prevented it from happening. If all that energy had gone into throwing out the tax code and regulations, it would have been done by now.

                1. And really, it isnt that hard, just take 5 guys in black robes to say that state marriage licensing if a 1st amendment violation and bam!, problem solved.

                  The states will get the other laws off the books in the next session (or more likely, implement civil unions, ugh).

                2. haha, yeah, in the span of this thread, if only I had changed my argument we’d have knocked down the largest tax code in the world to something manageable…

    4. Ya, if they wanna call Paul an “imperfect messenger”, thats fine. He is imperfect. Boaz then makes it perfectly clear that “imperfect” means, doesn’t agree with 100% on everything. So he kind of ends up claiming that he is perfect and sounds like a doosh.

      1. Boaz sounds like a douche nearly every time he writes or says something.

        1. Actually, he’s a really nice guy from my experience.

        2. Your standards are awfully high. If he’s a douche, what do you call all the other talking heads on TV?

  4. I don’t think Paul can win nationally either. But he has done much to bring Libertarianism into the mainstream – and to pull the Republican Party towards him.

    I hope he has paved the way for Rand, Gary Johnson, and others. (Just like Barry Goldwater pulling the Republican party to the right and paving the way for Ronald Reagan)

    1. I dont see why he cant.

      If he wins in Iowa and finishes 2nd to Romney in NH, I think the race becomes his to lose.

      1. If he wins in Iowa, the newsletter scandal and his position on drug legalization will be dragged out of the closet, along with the campaign payments to family members which is what I’m most pissed at him over.

        He’ll sink faster than Perry did over the Gardasil fiasco.

        1. Which of those isnt well known at this point (okay, the last isnt that well known, but which candidate doesnt do that)?

          He is making drug legalization speeches in Iowa already.

          The newsletter thing is so 2008. Actually, it is so election of 1996? 98?, but whatever.

          1. None of them are well known to the general public or the general GOP voter. Yet.

            And yes, a subset of the newsletter thing blew up in 1996. Notice that it was still new to even regular Reason readers until TNR blew the whole thing open in 2008 because Paul was fairly obscure even among libertarians until then.

            1. Notice that it was still new to even regular Reason readers until TNR blew the whole thing open in 2008

              No it wasnt, as I pointed out at the time.

              1. The very fact that you had to point it out means it was new to us.

                1. No, I was pointing it out to the reason authors/editors and to the few clueless idiots (like you).

              2. Yes it was. Unless you had been paying close attention to Ron Paul for some time, you never would have heard about the newsletters until 2008.

                See, this is what I don’t get. Paul is a great candidate compared to just about any other major party candidate in my lifetime. But that doesn’t mean he is perfect or doesn’t have positions or skeletons in his closet that will really turn off your typical voter. I’m not going to pretend any candidate is perfect, no matter how great he is. And I will make my honest assessment of his chances in the election. I would expect no less from writers for magazines I subscribe to. It is in no way a bad thing to observe that 1. Paul will probably not be the next president (though I like to think that his chances are somewhat better than 0), 2. Paul has some views that are definitely not of the mainstream and 3. He has done things or associated with people in the past which can easily be used by political enemies to smear him as lots of things that he really isn’t.

                1. Unless you had been paying close attention to Ron Paul for some time

                  Which every regular reason reader had been, as there had been stories about him in reason for decades.

                  which can easily be used by political enemies to smear him

                  Except its already been tried TWICE and hasnt been successful either time.

                  1. I would question whether the spear campaigns really have been unsuccessful. A lot of people I talk to know about the newsletters and think that it either means that he is a racist, or that it should disqualify him anyway.

                  2. At what rate were the articles about Paul coming out between, say, 1989 and 2006? One article every five years or so?

                    I like how you state that Reason editors are clueless about something that Reason readers are familiar with from reading Reason.

                    Except its already been tried TWICE and hasnt been successful either time.

                    The first time was only an incomplete version and was in Paul’s home district where he was popular for unrelated reasons.

                    The second time he wasn’t a threat to anyone so the story never gained traction.

                    1. I’ll admit that the newsletters were new news for me in 2008. But they weren’t really that damning. His underwhelming and hemhawing response was though. If he prepares to take them on full bore this year and admit that mistakes were made and those who have made them have been sacked (someone please throw Lew Rockwell under a bus please) then they won’t cause any problem.

                    2. At what rate were the articles about Paul coming out between, say, 1989 and 2006? One article every five years or so?

                      I cant tell, the search function doesnt go back that far. Im sure he was mentioned at least once per year in the magazine from his reelection to congress on, and much, much, much more often on H&R.

                      I like how you state that Reason editors are clueless about something that Reason readers are familiar with from reading Reason.

                      The editors change much more often [insert Postrel drinking game reference here] than the readers.

                      the story never gained traction.

                      It gained traction. Nearly every site that did a story of Paul covered it.

                      Maybe Im better informed than the average reasonite, but it was old news to me when it came up in 2008 and I decried it as old news at the time. I remember it coming up in his congressional race — that subscription to Liberty I had thru most of the 90s probably kept me well informed on this kind of thing.

                      Either way, it was a boring, non-news story in 1996 and 2008 and will be again in 2012.

                    3. I agree that it won’t gain much traction in 2012, since Ron Paul will again pose a threat to no one but himself.

                    4. Lots of GOP insiders seemed scared shitless of him this time around.

                      They arent making jokes this time.

                      And, hey, the commercials look much better.

                    5. I agree that it won’t gain much traction in 2012

                      BTW, who are you agreeing with, I never said that. I said they gained traction in 2008.

      2. Key is winning in iowa but iowa took huckabee last time so it’s hardly a bellweather. If he finishes second to Romney on nh he doesn’t stand a chance. And if Romney wins, well have the “Kerry” of therepublican side.

        1. Romney is winning NH no matter what, so if that’s all that matters, he’s got it locked up. But I see Paul easily finishing second in NH (once Cain implodes, as he must) and strongly battling for first in Iowa. I don’t see how achieving both those goals wouldn’t leave him in an extremely strong position.

          1. Because Romney will win south Carolina (and maybe Nevada). If Paul loses 3 in a row after Iowa the media will declare it over and then momentum against Romney will be gone. The establishment will take the rest with romney

            1. No, Romney can’t win SC. I don’t care who you are, but if you’re a semi-conscious lump of flesh that can spout off conservative talking points, you’re beating Romney in SC.

    2. Gary Johnson is never going to garner significant support in the GOP. He’s pro-abortion and pro-gay-marriage. The sociocons aren’t as powerful as they once were but you can’t irk them to that degree and get the nom.

      Basically, unless libertarians start making inroads in the Democratic Party (cue laugh track) the only ones who are going to have any influence are going to be of the paleo variety.

      1. Thats why he needs to be running from VP.

      2. This is why there needs to be a real third party that functions as a viable alternative to both establishment parties without being the Libertarian Party.

  5. He may well do more good running for office than actually being in office as he does influence the debate. Several of his “crazy” ideas from the 2000 campaign (anti-nation building, anti-fed) are no longer considered as such and in fact have a wide support. How many of his “crazy” ideas this time around will gain traction by 2016. Yeah, he’s not going to pass any purity tests as I’m sure this thread will get to very quickly, but he’s pushing the debate in the right direction which is what this country desperately needs. Thanks Ron Paul!

    1. Like his “crazy” idea of cutting spending by a trillion dollars right away, and balancing the budget in his first term instead of waiting for someday?

  6. Rand threatened genocide against the Iranian people and signed a letter demanding more sanctions on them.

    1. I did both of those things, your people don’t seem to hold it against me.

      1. If the almighty can’t use commas correctly, what hope is left?

        1. Face it, commas are hard to, use.

          1. Comma, comma, down, doobie doo, down, down.

            1. Comma comma comma comma comma chameleon.

        2. It was an ancillary phrase that just happened to work as an independent sentence. I’m that good.

    2. …to be discarded when Libertarians need government.

  7. He’s stayed in the running. If he wins or places high early on, he could very well win the nomination. The dissatisfaction with the status quo is tremendous right now, and I, for one, expect Romney to not be in the picture once people start voting.

    1. I don’t think Romney can win a primary in which actual GOP voters show up. Yeah, he may poll well, but look at your 3,4, and 5 R voters (People who have voted in the last X republican primaries). They won’t vote for him.

      1. I agree completely.

      2. Just like McCain after he sponsored the immigration bill with Ted Kennedy right before the primary season.

        Oh wait.

        1. McCain was tasked with beating Romney. That was about it. Paul was too unknown then to present a challenge, and the rest of the cast sucked, like now. And they all had to operate with the Bush albatross around their necks.

          1. Paul was hardly unknown, he was that well-known as the anti-war nutjob. Also you forgot that McCain had also to beat Huckabee.

            It was indie voters in NH and especially FL who gave McCain the nom. Many Republicans hated him and nearly all the rest were tepid at best.

            1. Huckabee was a joke. Giuliani was a joke. Paul was pretty unknown and didn’t get better known until well into the race. Etc.

              McCain was and is disliked by many Republicans for being not conservative enough (and certainly no libertarian), but he was all that was left. It was a shitty field, almost as bad as the current one.

              1. I’d say it’s worse. It had more straight up phonies, if you count Giuliani and Huckabee along with McCain and Romney.

              2. You have a skewed memory of the 2008 GOP primaries. Several of the debates in 2007 featured a back-and-forth between him and a “frontrunner” which I have to think were plotted out in advance (to show the frontrunner beating up the crazy old antiwar uncle). Giuliani’s was probably an accident, but Huck’s, McCain’s, and Thompson’s stank of being rehearsed.

              3. Huckabee was no joke. If it hadn’t been for indies flocking to McCain he would have had the nom.

                1. you’re right you know, Huckabee was no joke. Nothing that scary could be a joke. Good thing republicans had some semblence of sense to not nominate him. Then they picked McCan’t…doh!!

                2. Huckabee was no joke. If it hadn’t been for indies flocking to McCain he would have had the nom.

                  If either Romney or Huckabee had dropped out early enough, the other would have defeated McCain.

  8. I caucused for Ron in 2008. His presence in Iowa was nearly non-existent. There were a handful of chaotic meetings to identify precinct captains and get at least a little presence at the caucuses. He still got almost 10% of the vote.

    This year, I have been receiving emails and phone calls since before the straw poll last summer. He’s taking in about 2 million bucks a month and spending about 2 million bucks on month on extremely well made advertisements in the early states (Ia, NH, Florida, Nevada). I expect Ron to do very well in Iowa on the 3rd of January.

    Cain is finally starting to get significant donations, but has absolutely no presence in the state of Iowa. He is completely ignoring the state, and the state-level leadership of party is getting pretty tweaked about it. If he does well in the caucuses without campaigning here, then he could destroy our “mystical” status as a proving ground for the nation. I expect the leadership to turn against him if he doesn’t show up strong in Iowa over the next nine weeks.

    Perry and Bachman are tanking. Only Romney has any real momentum in the state, and like Cain, he has not spent much effort in the state to do well. The SoCons that dominate the caucuses will punish Romney for being Mormon.

    Ron will be the only other guy left standing when the anybody-but-Romney movement gets going next spring.

    That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

    1. Me, too! I have never gave to any politician until now. I gave both to Johnson and Paul. Its good to see libertarian ideas in the mainstream.

    2. Call me crazy, but I can see Santorum becoming a force in the coming months.

      At this point in 2007 no one thought Huckabee had a chance.

      1. If Santorum wins the nomination, I am building a compound.

        1. you mean conducting inventory of your existing compound, right?

        2. I thought it was a mixture, not a compound.

      2. You’re crazy. So is bible study leader santorum

      3. Santorum is trying and failing to be the next Huckabee.

        Romney could win Iowa, but only because there is no one playing the role of Huckabee this year. So the SoCons could split over several candidates (Bachman, Santorum, Perry, and Cain are all chasing the same voters).

        1. Didnt some big SoCon convention just endorse Paul?

          1. I’m not aware, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Ron may speak to individual freedom (getting the government out of private life), but he clearly lives a SoCon life. I think this actually makes for a powerful story when a boring old fuddy duddy baby doctor says that government shouldn’t care if someone smokes dope.

          2. That was a straw poll thingy which the RP groupies always tend to dominate.

            1. Right, now I remember. Still, he dominated a poll targeted at SoCons. So far, his crazy libertarian beliefs aren’t hurting him with the SoCons.

              In Iowa, he will pull a huge portion of the shrink-the-government (aka Tea Party) voters and a solid share of the SoCons.

              Romney will get most of the crony-capitalist, big-money Republican voters (who are dwarfed by the SoCons who are very active in the caucuses).

              Cain is a real wild card. He thrilled a summer fund raiser I attended last summer. He seems to appeal well across the spectrum in the party activists.

              Perry and Bachmann appear to be dying as we creep towards the caucuses. Santorum will get a chunk of the SoCons, and nothing more.

              I actually expect Paul or Cain to win before I would Romney to carry the caucuses.

              1. The biggest issue I keep running in to vis-a-vis Paul in Iowa is that it feels like middle of the road voters are almost ashamed to admit they like Paul.

                I was at a dinner last week with several of the “young professionals” here in town and politics came up. Turns out that all of us were either registered republican or independent- and when the talk turned to Jan 3rd, nobody had anything positive to say about anyone.

                Paul came up, and everybody was like “well, yeah he’s crazy, but it’s nice to hear somebody saying those things” but nobody was all fired up to go and stand in his corner on primary night.

            2. That was a straw poll thingy which the RP groupies always tend to dominate.

              The 2007 Value Voters Summit straw poll was won by Romney.

              So this isnt like CPAC which Paul consistently wins (and had meaning until Paul started winning it, and then suddenly it didnt).

      4. You’re crazy. Santorum is a non-entity on the national scale. Besides, he has the Yummy Tears Thread, which will kill him when it goes public.

        1. My god, how long has Viking Moose been trapped in there?

          Somebody should let him out.

          1. He could leave whenever he wants. It’s his home now.

          2. You should drop in for a visit. Maybe bring a blog-warming gift.

          3. So is that like #occupyReason or something? Have more old threads been converted into personal blogs? I feel like I must be missing out on something.

        2. Ah the Yummy Tears Post… It will go down in the hearts and minds of the H&R commentariat as our finest hour.

    3. Sorry, replying in regards to your last two sentences.

      1. No problem

  9. Ron Paul is the best libertarians have right now, based on his ability to cross over into the mainstream, but far from perfect. I don’t consider Rand a libertarian. He’s too party-aligned. I’m with Paul on most things, except abortion. As gross as abortion is to me, I’m gonna say what’s in your body that you made through the marvels of nature on your own, is yours to determine the outcome of until it’s self sustaining. RP 2012

    1. Hasn’t Rand bucked the party on military spending at least?

  10. Ron Paul ain’t perfect, but I’ll take whatever I can. Regarding Libertarian ‘ideological purity and intermural fighting,’ that’s a sure way to lose.

    1. Yes, this.

    2. RP is my second choice, but I argue there’s a distinct difference between infighting between groups differing over the scale and speed of libertarianization (incrementalism vs. radicalism, anarchism vs. miniarchism) and criticizing those who believe state and local governments should not be checked by the Federal judiciary as a last resort (essentially granting states infinite power to violate individual rights). The latter may be a consistent constitutionalist position, but it certainly is nothing whatsoever of a libertarian position.

      Still I’d take my chances with bad local governments if it would kill off the Federal government, so I’d still prefer him to Federal authoritarians.

      1. Re: Proprietist,

        and criticizing those who believe state and local governments should not be checked by the Federal judiciary as a last resort (essentially granting states infinite power to violate individual rights).

        You seem not to think much before you write. States cannot have “infinate power” if people can move from one state to another. People vote with their feet.

        The latter may be a consistent constitutionalist position, but it certainly is nothing whatsoever of a libertarian position.

        Why would that be? Explain to me how can having a more powerful federal government ruling over all be any better for liberty than having 50 little States? You can’t say that being a federalist or a state-rights advocate is somehow anathema to liberty if the other choice is having one omnipotent government.

        1. “States cannot have “infinate power” if people can move from one state to another. People vote with their feet.”

          I don’t disagree, which is why I lean towards decentralism over centralism. “Laboratories of democracy” and the like. But nothing in Ron Paul’s perfect anti-federalist society would stop potentially every state from banning homosexual relations, re-enacting much of Jim Crow and outlawing home schooling. Either way it still results in unlibertarian will of the majority based on the 10th Amendment instead of a federal defense of natural rights for all based on the 9th Amendment. As a libertarian, I’d prefer the latter.

  11. Like you could be self sustaining living the White Idiot life. Fuck off.

    1. Were they evil?

      1. Had they continued following it, I would not exist.

  12. I don’t even think Ron Paul is libertarian – his stance is more anti-federalism and state’s rights than a genuine defense of liberty. The “We the People Act” is an abomination – he essentially wanted to bar the Supreme Court from overriding state laws on issues related to religion, sexual orientation, and marriage. This is extremely repressive when you consider the bill would have kept the Supreme Court from ruling on recent cases like Lawrence vs. Texas, where a man was prosecuted and imprisoned in Texas because he was caught in a consensual gay sex act. Unlike abortion, there’s no moral ambiguity in this sort of case – the state government overstepped it bounds, and the federal court offered a check to the state’s infringement on Lawrence’s civil liberties as it was originally intended. Paul only seems to care whether or not it’s Washington D.C. or your state government that throws you in prison for victimless acts.

    1. I don’t even think Ron Paul is libertarian

      He has a lifetime membership in the LP.

      1. I’m well aware of his membership in the LP and popular designation as a libertarian – but there’s a world of difference between one’s badge and one’s principles.

    2. ^^^ THIS.

      I’ll vote for Paul if Johnson’s not around anymore, but in no way will I confuse a constitutional anti-Federalist with a libertarian.

    3. Re: speakingmute,

      I don’t even think Ron Paul is libertarian – his stance is more anti-federalism and [for] state’s rights than a genuine defense of liberty.

      That would mean that in order to be pro-freedom, one would have to advocate for centralism and federal government powergrabs. You can’t have it both ways.

      The “We the People Act” is an abomination – he essentially wanted to bar the Supreme Court from overriding state laws on issues related to religion, sexual orientation, and marriage.

      This would do. It would be consistent with the 10th Amendment.

      This is extremely repressive when you consider the bill would have kept the Supreme Court from ruling on recent cases like Lawrence vs. Texas[…]

      “Repressive”? Why? It would only mean that the Supreme Court would not adjudicate on the basis of rights that do not exist, that’s all. Many cases adjudicated by the SCOTUS end up becoming encorachments on our rights more often than not, for instance Kelo.

      the federal court offered a check to the state’s infringement on Lawrence’s civil liberties as it was originally intended.

      That’s false. What was originally intended was for the SCOTUS to adjudicate on the Constitutionality of laws passed by Congress.

      1. “That would mean that in order to be pro-freedom, one would have to advocate for centralism and federal government powergrabs. You can’t have it both ways.”

        If the “centralism” and “federal government powergrabs” are doing things like ending slavery and overturning state sodomy laws I’m all for centralism and federal powergrabs.

        Don’t get me wrong – I’m generally pro-decentralism on most things, but decentralism itself is not inherently libertarian or anti-libertarian, it’s all a matter of implementation and context.

        “”Repressive”? Why? It would only mean that the Supreme Court would not adjudicate on the basis of rights that do not exist, that’s all.”

        I’d argue that freedom of privacy and freedom of consensual association fit under the Ninth Amendment, as they are natural rights that do not inherently involve the violation of the rights of others. They are retained explicitly by the people, which implies that the States and local governments are not empowered to take those rights away. And regardless of the imperfect document that is the Constitution, assuming the state governments have power to remove the people’s natural rights is still an anti-libertarian position.

        1. Re: Proprietist,

          If the “centralism” and “federal government powergrabs” are doing things like ending slavery and overturning state sodomy laws I’m all for centralism and federal powergrabs.

          But if they were not, then not – right?

          Don’t get me wrong[…]

          No, I believe I got you right.

          […]decentralism itself is not inherently libertarian or anti-libertarian, it’s all a matter of implementation and context.

          You mean, it depends on your pet peeves, no?

          I’d argue that freedom of privacy and freedom of consensual association fit under the Ninth Amendment, as they are natural rights that do not inherently involve the violation of the rights of others.

          That does not mean that limiting the scope of the adjudication by the Scotus is “repressive.” Besides, there’s no right to privacy, as such would place a burden on 3rd party to avoid listening or seeing something. That is entirely the responsibility of the person that alludes to such “right,” which is why a person raise a fence him or herself, not make others raise one to protect his or her privacy. As for other things, there’s no reason to believe that once the Federal Government acts in a few instances to settle civil rights issues that it would not then use that power to encroach on our other rights – remember Kelo???

          They are retained explicitly by the people, which implies that the States and local governments are not empowered to take those rights away.

          What the 9th Amendment means is that Congress is prohibited from encroaching on those rights.

          Leaving aside the Constitutional arguments, there’s no reason to believe that a more powerful central government is better for liberty than having 50 little State governments. You have your argument backwards.

          1. Your argument is that it’s one or the other. It isn’t. The Federal Government needs to be extremely limited and most of its powers should be devolved to States or privatized (ideally). But for a libertarian, both the State and the Federal governments must defend and may not violate individual natural rights. The State violating my rights is little better than the Federal Government doing so.

            If the Federal Government/SCOTUS is the entity that defends my natural rights when the State doesn’t, that’s superior to no one defending my rights. That doesn’t assume that by granting the Federal Government more judiciary checks against abusive acts by state legislatures that the Federal Government suddenly would be empowered to violate my rights.

            Decentralism is not inherently libertarianism, because its implementation can result in either libertarianism or pro-State-level authoritarianism. Would Vermont passing a Stalinist Constitution, seizing all property and outlawing anti-government speech or organization on pain of death be a libertarian outcome just because many Vermonters would escape to New Hampshire? After all, there’s no explicit right to “property” and supposedly all the SCOTUS-protected natural rights only apply to acts of Congress, right?

    4. There are libertarians who believe that the dangers of giving the federal government power to sort out state and local tyrannies outweigh the benefits. Just because you’re opposed to federal intervention doesn’t mean you believe that a state or locality has the right to tell people what to do, so long as they aren’t harming anybody or committing fraud.

  13. People like Rand Paul? Seems like your typical libertarian. Stupid but arrogant about what he thinks he knows.

    1. Stupid but arrogant about what he thinks he knows.

      Projecting again, Tony?

  14. Ron Paul isn’t interested in being president. It’s an ego trip.

    His domestic views are 100% correct.

    His foreign policy is silly, naive and will mostly likely result in more wars and more killing.

    And RP as well as much of the electorate believe this. RP is like your perpetual unemployed friend who goes on tons of job interviews, but (purposefully) ruins his chances and thus never gets hired.

    And that is why he has no chance of winning anything other than a bunch of meaningless and rigged straw polls.

    Yeah, the straw and internet polls in which Paul clobbers are stacked by his supporters.

    Finally, it’s all about Rand. RP and Rand keep at a safe distance so Rand won’t get tainted by the father’s laughable foreign policy ideas.

    Rand gets to see how a Prez campaign is run up close and personal, but reaps none of the negative press coverage.

    But get it through your thick heads: RP will not the nomination; NOR is RP even seeking the nomination, it’s a charade.

    And this has nothing to do with Libertarian ideas or anything ideological or political. It’s a mundane fact of life: sometimes people do or (pretend to do) things in order to:

    a) feed their ego
    b) up their speaking fee
    c) because they’re bored
    d) help keep a bunch of anti-military, anti-cop (ultimately anti-property rights) “Cosmotarians” off the streets for a few weeks.

    1. Re: Holy Cow,

      His foreign policy is silly, naive and will mostly likely result in more wars and more killing.

      You mean still more wars than the ones provoked by the foreign policy of the Unites States? Can that be topped??

      I seriously doubt it.

  15. Rand Paul is even more of a crackpot than his old man. The idiotic things Rand has said top fake eyebrows, oversize suits, and twenty years of racist newsletters, and that’s saying something. Anybody who thinks either of these clowns is a good standard bearer for libertarianism either wants to sink libertarianism or has hid head so far up his ass, the Kool-Aid is leaking out his ears with the shit.

    1. Re: Realist,

      The idiotic things Rand has said top fake eyebrows, oversize suits, and twenty years of racist newsletters, and that’s saying something.

      “Racist newsletters”? Sure, ok.

      It’s a good thing we have you to straighten everybody up, “Realist.”

    2. Ron Paul wouldn’t let me touch his penis!

  16. Ron Paul believes in our right to live, so if we could we would vote for him. Now, stop killing us, fuckers.

    1. Except that we can’t vote, and if we did we would be drowned out by the poor and ignorant who would breed en mass without acess to the abortions. Really, a lot of us are better off never alive.

  17. Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate I could vote for, but he has as much chance of winning the nomination as John has of doing even one of the hot actresses or newcaster babes he regularly salivates over.

    1. The joke’s on you. I know for a fact that John does most of the hot actresses or newcaster babes he regularly salivates over.

    2. I could never vote for anybody who really expects anybody to believe he didn’t know what was in a newsletters that came out under his name for twenty years. Either he’s a liar or really incompetent. Hey, wait…maybe he would make a good president.

      1. At this juncture there is more to worry about.

      2. Re: Realist,

        I could never vote for anybody who really expects anybody to believe he didn’t know what was in a newsletters that came out under his name for twenty years.

        You’re free to do as you wish… so far.

  18. Oh, and this bears repeating. Ready?

    The only reason that much of the media, which is the unofficial PR arm of the Left, plays nice with RP is because they know he has no electoral chance.

    McCain was the media’s “good” Republican until 2008. Even Hollywood leftist nitwits would throw in “McCain” along with Marx, Engels and Anthony Weiner in their “Faves” list. Then of course, the Obama election loomed and the Maverick suddenly became: old, doddering, stupid, a Big Oil panderer, clueless, secretive, weird, possibly racist and too old.

  19. Yea, let’s not support the only widely known libertarian candidate because he is an “imperfect” standard bearer. It fact, lets see if we can’t assist the main stream gate keepers by perpetuating the marginalization of the only candidate on the stage who supports liberty as a general principle because he is “imperfect”. Yea, that’s the ticket.

    1. I know, right? Let’s just count this guy out, until people who may well have given him a vote decide that it would be a waste. Way to boost what could finally be a chance at enacting some real liberty.

      1. Still will vote for him, but we do need a backup plan considering his polling is still pitiful.

        1. Backup plans:

          1. Gary Johnson (yeah, pretty much a useless backup plan)

          2. Whoever the LP nominates

          3. Realistically, since KY has one of the last primaries, I dont need a plan at all. He will either have won or not by May.

          1. just don’t get your hopes up

          2. So Paul has stated repeatedly that he won’t run for president unless it’s under the GOP banner. But, do we want to place bets on the possibility of him endorsing a third party such as the Libertarian or Constitution Party’s candidate?

        2. My backup plan is to write in Ron Paul. Again.

    2. The fucking old asshole has marginilaized himself. Jesus Christ, if libertarians can come up with somebody more attractive than that a crrepy old racist with fake eyebrows, liberarianism is a hopeless clown show.

      1. you are calling somebody else a hopeless clown show? good one, man! Well, good in that it is funny. As far as trolling technique goes, you probably want to shoot for a little more subtelty.

  20. Reason. Part of the effort to prevent Ron Paul from getting the nomination. Since they spewed the newsletter nonsense along with other back in 2008, they will probably do it again in 2012.

    Nice work, idiots. Glad I never subscribed.

    1. What nonsense, you fucking moron? Are you saying there weren’t any newsletters? You probably never subscribed because you’re too stupid to fill out the form.

      1. Of course there were newsletters, but they only had Ron Paul’s name on them and an occasional quote from him along the lines of “merry Christmas” or something.

        He wasn’t the editor and, if I recall correctly, he wasn’t even in politics when it was going on, having returned to private practice as an OB/GYN.

        reason jumped on it just like they jump on anything that can possibly be used to paint Paul in a bad light.

        1. Re: squishua,

          Also, this idea that the newsletters were particularly racist requires a good stretch of the imagination. A couple of essays had comments that seemed to point that way, but those were written during the LA riots. Another claim was that one essayist called MLK a child molester; if true, that may have been libelous in itself, but there’s no honest way of painting such a comment as “racist.”

          Now, Realist (or Max, the pet yorkie who soils the carpet) does not care about these inconvenient nuances; he simply wants to slander RP.

        2. RP was being paid (rather well I might add) for lending his name to the newsletters. And there were no bylines.

          It’s like a bank robbery where your car was seen driving away with the robbers inside. Yeah, it’s possible you weren’t driving but you better have a real specific idea of who was if you don’t want to go to jail.

    2. squishua,

      Reason reported on everything Paul back in ’08 and ’12, unlike the rest of the media. If Reason was Fox News big that would have tripled his press coverage. That they reported on the bad as well as the good just means they aren’t a cheerleader outfit like other papers or blogs. It was up to Paul to respond clearly to the newsletters. Instead he punted on it and came off looking like pretty much any other politician. I doubt it effected his vote total significantly, but it certainly broke a few hearts in the libertarian community.

      In the end though, I doubt many people noticed. This time around though, if he wins a state and they come out again, he’s going to have to explain them to a much bigger audience. Let’s hope he’s prepared to properly disown them and those who wrote them this time.

      1. I doubt it effected his vote total significantly, but it certainly broke a few hearts in the libertarian community.

        WTF? It was old news, no statistically significant number of hearts left to be broke on this issue in the libertarian community.

        Maybe if you were 18 and voting for the first time in 2008.

        1. dude, alot of his supporters were in college, so yeah, 18-25 and that demographic wouldn’t have see anything on the newsletters before the election

        2. It was my first presidential primary (though not vote, turned 18 just before ’04 genereal) and his response really bothered me. Still voted for him though. Nevertheless, stuff like that and the more obnoxious subset of his supporters mean that I am not actively participating like I did last time (but I will still vote for him).

    3. If Ron Paul doesn’t win, it’s all a big conspiracy and the tentacleprints of the Kochtopus are all over it.

      Reasonoids, bask in your infinite powers as political kingmakers! Your multitudes have been led astray by the silver tongue of Katherine Mangu-Ward and the like.

      Only a total transformation to Paulbotism and rebuke of your immoral cosmotarian values, apathy and Gary Johnson flirtations can restore the Republic. The Good Doctor really needs your .001% so he can win 9.001% of primary voters instead of 9%! Then he’ll stand a real chance at beating Romney, Cain and Perry.

      Surely as long as Reason doesn’t bring up Teh Newsletters now, the Team Blue media probably won’t bring them up later either. For shame!

      1. HURR DURR HURRRRR

        1. That was actually a perfect summary of my point. Much more succinct than I said it.

  21. David Boaz of the libertarian Cato Institute calls Mr. Paul an “imperfect messenger,” supported by only about half of the consistent U.S. libertarians identified in a recent Cato study.

    I can argue that Mr. Boaz is a very imperfect libertarian, more so than Paul is an “imperfect messenger.”

    “Take Mr. Paul’s views on trade: he supports ‘free trade,’ but didn’t vote for the South Korea, Colombia and Panama agreements passed by the House this week, having called such deals ‘managed trade.’

    A nice idea in theory, but you can’t let purism get in the way of legitimately freeing trade, says Mr. Boaz.

    “In theory”??? And people wonder why we call them “beltwarians”…

    1. What do people call you, asswiparian?

      1. Re: Realist,

        What do people call you, asswiparian?

        I don’t know, “Realist.” What do they call you? “Jailbait”?

  22. The ultimate end game is to see Rand Paul run in 2016,” says Reason’s Mr. Welch

    LOLZ

    It is funny that Matt thinks there will be a Republican “primary” in 2016.

    Anyway I hope for the chance to vote for Rand Paul in 2020 whatever party he is in at that time.

  23. Only three things are keeping Ron Paul from winning the nomination:

    1. Most Republican primary voters don’t want to abandon military interventionism around the world.

    2. A lot of Republican primary voters who like Ron Paul’s ideas and record don’t think he can win.

    3. A lot of Ron Paul supporters don’t vote in Republican primaries, or at all.

    Item 1 is less of a liability than it was four years ago, and becoming even less so as the economy dominates the campaign.

    Item 2 is also less of a liability than it was four ago, thanks to better name recognition, a better organized campaign, and voters who are more fed up with the status quo.

    Item 3 could move in Ron Paul’s favor this time around too, as Democrats and independents fed up with Obama cross the aisle to vote in open primaries.

    1. You forgot Item 4: Ron Paul is a zealous old crackpot who will never have much appeal beyond zealous crackpot circles. But this doesn’t bother zealous crackpot circles, of course.

    2. I’m hoping his supporters can get motivated and go vote. It seems like they’re the most energetic of any candidate’s supporters.

  24. Ron Paul is far more of a standard bearer of libertarianism than Koch sockpuppet David Boaz.

  25. Ron Paul is not the Libertarian standard-bearer for the simple reason that he is running for President under the banner of another party. The Libertarians will be nominating their standard-bearer next year.

    1. Being a libertarian standard bearer has nothing to do with being part of a Libertarian Party.

      1. Of course it has. He can’t be the standard bearer of a party he’s not running in.

  26. U.S. Presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul won the Republican Straw Poll in Ohio on Saturday by a landslide. The conservative-libertarian’s victory was one more in his attempt to reach the White House. Over 53% of the vote went to Paul, with Herman Cain a distant second with just over 25%. Mitt Romney was well back in third with just less than 9% of the vote

    1. So what? He wins every straw poll because those are a sign of intensity, not breadth. He could win every straw poll and it wouldn’t mean he hasn’t already hit his ceiling of support.

      Frankly, the only way Ron Paul will win the nomination is if Perry, Cain and Romney all get caught with underage male prostitutes, the Fed declares bankruptcy and neoconservatives everywhere suddenly endorse Obama. Even then maybe not.

  27. it seems like there are some pro government libertarians here, whatever that means in the end. some even suggest the supreme court taking a more active role in unifying this country’s moral standard by banning states from potentially doing controversial things, disregarding (most) people’s freedom to move as well as the whole notion of trusting states to experiment, and local people should have the wisdom and will to influence their government better than a federal bureaucracy. and let’s all disregard the recent failures of a federal government and how relying on supreme court is ultimately inefficient. they failed to rule obamacare unconstitutional, just in case you aren’t up to date. well, i’m not sure if that’s even bad, from reading some of the exchanges around here.

    i’ve also picked up this interesting self-describing term ‘socialist libertarians’ over the past few months talking to people as libertarianism became increasingly more discussed in the mainstream.

    it seems some of you have a genuine identity crisis. perhaps libertarians should further split into two, and one side should simply leave the other alone. whichever side to take the initiative.

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