Television

Ron Paul Wins the Coveted Scarborough Vote (And Should Have Swept the Right in General)

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Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's Morning Joe says the unsayable: He voted for Ron Paul. Why? He reveals all in this Politico piece:

I… would never vote for a GOP candidate who was the godfather of Obamacare, or another who added $7 trillion to Medicare's debt or yet another who bashed Paul Ryan one week and venture capital the next. Faced with this truckload of big government Republicans, I cast my vote for the only candidate who spent his entire public career standing athwart history yelling "stop" to an ever-expanding centralized state.

While Romney was distancing himself from Ronald Reagan, Paul was fighting with Republicans to balance the budget for the first time in a generation. While Santorum was supporting an unprecedented expansion of entitlement spending, Paul was warning of a great recession that would be caused by government interference in the housing market. And while Gingrich was talking about how he would build up the federal government to push his conservative agenda, Congressman Paul spent all his waking hours focused on dismembering that big government beast.

It was the first "protest" vote I've ever cast, and it felt … well, it felt good…

Do I think a Ron Paul presidency is ever possible? No, I don't. But I do want some of the Pauline virtues of candor and non-poll-tested conviction to play a larger role in our politics.

Scarborough speaks a deep truth: pretty much any Republican or right-winger who actually takes any of the supposed core values of its party in terms of limited government or fiscal probity, or who respects some signs of a coherent philosophy and values and understanding of how and why we are in the fiscal and debt mess we are in, should have been for Paul by acclimation. A shame a dedication to herd thinking or managing the world through military force kept too many of them from doing the right thing, which Scarborough to his credit not only did, but told the world why. Good show, Mr. Scarborough.

As I wrote here at Reason last month, by most rights Paul should be sweeping the MSNBC vote, including Rachel Maddow, if the progressive vision of rights, liberty, respect for civil liberies, not killing people because the president says so or ruining people's lives because of their personal choices, ending war and government propping up of plutocrats, actually means anything to them.

Mostly, I find, the "make government give people stuff" is the only part they care about, so sorry Ron Paul (and American lives and liberties).

My book, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.