Ron Paul does not Speak for all Libertarians

It’s great he’s [Ron Paul] anti-war. And for legalizing drugs. I’d be tempted to vote for him just based on those two things except…he’s a hypocrite. And he wants to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Let’s forget about that though and just get back to the hypocrisy. All I hear from him is “personal freedom!” all day long. “Personal freedom” unless you want, or need, to have an abortion. I just heard him being interviewed by Piers Morgan two minutes ago on CNN and he wants to ban it yesterday. That’s not up for debate so please don’t tell me it’s not true; he said it himself. He’d ban it even in cases of rape or incest. So that’s strike one for the Libertarian crowd, right?

And considering this country’s history of abusing “State’s Rights”, his desire to leave gay people to their fate in places like Mississippi by having no federal protections for us is just a wee bit troublesome too; we’re either one country or fifty different ones. You can’t have one State treating minorities as equals while another treats them like dirt. I’m sure you’re also aware of his stance on the Voting Rights and Civil Rights acts of the sixties; he would have left African Americans to their fate in Southern States back then as well: pure Libertarianism Does. Not. Work!! – james_from_cambridge

I found this interesting comment on a Gawker article about why the mainstream media is ignoring Ron Paul. Libertarians who run for office unsettle me because there is a risk that people will conflate that individual’s foibles as somehow representative of libertarianism in general.


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And here is a great example.

Ron Paul doesn’t like abortion. But many, if not most, libertarians recognize that, in the final analysis, abortion is the woman’s decision. It’s her body. Abortion is offensive to me. But so are a lot of other things that aren’t my business. And I used to be very much pro-life.

Ron Paul doesn’t like the idea of open borders. He wants the government to control immigration. But many, if not most, libertarians recognize that national borders are a fiction, a made-up line in the sand to separate people from each other. All borders should be open. I should be able to work and travel freely and so should you.

At the same time, james_from_cambridge doesn’t really get the big liberty picture.

Ron Paul probably wants to end Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I’m not really up on where Ron Paul differs from a standard libertarian position. James_from_cambridge might think that these are great programs which help the poor, the injured, the old and the weak. And that is true. But, they’re also unsustainable programs. The government can’t afford them. No matter who is president or who controls the congress, these programs will soon be hobbled to the point of uselessness. This is due to the national debt and the fact that entitlements like these have been over-promised and under-funded.

Sure, Social Security has a $4 or $5 trillion trust fund. But the government already spent that! It’s imaginary. And it doesn’t have the funds to repay that. The bottom line is that these programs are important but that the government can not be trusted with them. Personally, I want to establish tens of thousands of these programs in the form of local co-ops across the country. Put these critical programs in the hands of those who fund and benefit from them. They are the ones who are fit to safeguard them.

Ron Paul doesn’t think the federal government should get involved in civil rights protection for gays and blacks, according to james_from_cambridge. For someone who is convinced that the federal government is the  final authority, a bulwark of security and freedom, that’s outrageous. In reality, I suspect the government does just as much, or more, harm to minorities as it does good.

As with the social safety net, it would be more effective and consistent for the protection of minorities to be handled by those who care directly, instead of subjecting it to the whims of a corrupt political body whose membership changes every two years. Mutual aid societies can be formed. Funds can be pooled. Direct action from the bottom-up is more effective anyway.

In conclusion, I’d like to say to james_from_cambridge that Ron Paul is a libertarian only in a very loose sense. He doesn’t speak for all of us. You, who speak up for mistreatment of minorities, should know better than to generalize about a group of people. The idea of individual liberty and individual rights connected with innate human empathy and collective action has a lot to offer the world. It speaks quite poignantly to our most pressing problems. Keep listening.

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