Ron Paul is not a libertarian. He
- rejects the Jeffersonian principle of a “wall of separation” between religion and government;
- is anti-immigration (“to the right of most Republicans” says Vodka Pundit Steve Green);
- is anti-abortion (Paul describes “the rights of unborn people” [sic] as “the greatest moral issue of our time,” and “abortion on demand” as “the ultimate State tyranny”);
- “plays footsie” with racists and kooks;
- is a hypocritical supporter of pork-barrel earmarks for his own congressional district;
- is opposed to free-trade agreements (like NAFTA); and
- is appallingly “blame-America-first” on foreign policy.
I don’t count his writings of 20 years ago too much against him, or even his foreign policy. I even understand his earmark rationale. And even libertarians disagree on abortion. The lack of commitment to religion and state being separate, the opposition to immigration and opposition to free trade agreements (he says note pure enough, but perfect is the enemy of good) is what I regard as the biggest marks against him.
In short, then, and to repeat, he is not a libertarian: he is a “states-rights” religious conservative, with all the intellectual confusion that implies …
That he can masquerade as a friend to freedom at all demonstrates how far the intellectual battle for freedom still needs to travel.
Because the harsh fact about Ron Paul is that on the few occasions he takes off the tinfoil hat and talks Austrian he’s damn good. But when he’s wearing the tinfoil headwear, as he does the rest of the time, he’s rotten.
He is damn good on most economic issues. He is not a viable candidate for President in 2012 though, at the age of 77. I think it is good he flies the flag on many issues.
I was chatting to someone today about how it would be fun if the Republicans had no one get a majority and it was a brokered convention!