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Do these folks really know what Ron Paul stands for? (with update)
Posted by: Billy Hollis on Saturday, May 26, 2007

There’s a segment of the anti-war contingent that has fallen for Ron Paul. They don’t seem to be that large in numbers, based on national polls, but they certainly are vocal.

I disagree with Ron Paul about the Iraq conflict. I don't think we need to debate that disagreement - Dale Franks has had plenty of posts about it in the last few days. But, as a lifelong libertarian, I understand quite a bit about Ron Paul's other positions, too.

That's where I'm confused about the Ron Paul phenomenon. On domestic issues, Ron Paul is as pure a libertarian as anyone in federal office in the last 100 years. Do the folks that are shouting “Ron Paul!” from the studio audience really understand what he believes in?

I’m pretty sure some of them are on the left politically. Maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe they’re all vocal libertarians. We should be so lucky – I’ve never seen that kind of libertarian presence on political issues before. Based on the number of libertarians I’ve seen expressing opinions about politics in the last few decades, I suspect that’s not the case. I suspect many are liberal or left, and cottoned onto Paul solely because of his anti-war position.

That means Ron Paul is diametrically opposed to many of their most fervent programs. Here are a few examples.

The left in general believes in taxing the rich, and deplores income inequality. Ron Paul supports abolition of the income tax.

The left is generally pro-abortion. Ron Paul is pro-life. He does not believe the Constitution grants the federal government the authority to legalize or ban abortion. (He squares that with libertarian philosophy because he considers abortion to be aggression against a person, i.e., he defines a fetus as a person.)

The left is generally in favor of open borders and lots of immigration, and has considerable sympathy with illegal immigrants. Ron Paul opposes illegal immigration, primarily because he believes the welfare state is a magnet for illegal aliens and therefore uncontrolled immigration enlarges the welfare state. He believes protecting the borders is a constitutional responsibility of the federal government, and that it’s been failing at it. He opposes the automatic citizenship of someone born on American soil of illegal immigrants.

Most of the left believes in gun control. Ron Paul is an ardent supporter of the 2nd Amendment.

The left is almost united around the need for nationalized healthcare of some sort. Ron Paul doesn’t even believe we ought to have Medicare and Medicaid. He considers them unconstitutional.

Most on the left support the minimum wage, apparently the higher the better. Robert Nozick famously began his journey from leftism to libertarianism when someone asked him why, if the minimum wage was a good thing and didn’t have any significant negative effects, then shouldn’t it be raised to $1000 an hour. Ron Paul similarly doesn’t believe in the minimum wage.

The left considers Social Security a hallmark program of our society. Ron Paul thinks it’s unconstitutional.

Many on the left strongly oppose free-trade based globalization. Ron Paul is philosophically in favor of free trade (though he thinks some free trade agreements are unconstitutional).

The left in general favors elimination of the Electoral College. Ron Paul strongly supports the Electoral College.

And so on.

I can understand why anti-war libertarians would be enthusiastic about Ron Paul. But why would anyone on the left be so enamored of him? Does Iraq overshadow everything else in their world? Or am I missing something?

*** Update Sunday 27 May, 10:00 AM CST ***

Well, I'm happy that a lot of Ron Paul supporters showed up to comment, but very few seemed to actually read the post. Most seemed to be here just to post an affirmation of how much they believe in Ron Paul, and try to get others excited about him too. That's OK, I guess, but it doesn't answer my main question. Which is - why do leftists as well as libertarians like him?

Only one responded directly to the topic, asserting that the mass of Ron Paul supporters are, in fact, libertarian. If true, I'd be ecstatic, but based on my past experience, I doubt it. Harry Browne, for example, agreed with Ron Paul's positions to several decimal places, and was arguably a better speaker and a tireless campaigner, but got only a fraction of one percent of the vote and never generated any major buzz. I still think it's his anti-war position, not his libertarian domestic policies, that are attracting the attention from people such as Bill Maher.

And for the Ron Paul supporters that are new to this site, it might be helpful for me to point something out. All the front-page posters on this site consider ourselves small-l libertarian. We, too, think the government has grown way beyond its bounds, and is restricting our freedom in various ways. However, we differ from Paul and such entities as the Libertarian Party by believing that our conflict with radical Islam has to be fought with something besides traditional libertarian isolationism.

 
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Comments
Ron Paul could be this elections ‘Ross Peroit’ With funding from the left, Paul could become the candidate for the Libertarian Party a thorn in Republican sides, drawing off votes. In a rational world his proposals would be examined, unfortunately Paul comes off like a nut. Some of his ideas propose theories that should be examined.

Nah! That would upset the status quo!
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://faroutfishfiles.blogspot.com/
That was a rhetorical question, right Billy? ;)
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Why have conservatives become so enamored of Joe Lieberman? At least if ’enamored’ means, "willing to cite with admiration at length and repeatedly?" Which is about all I’ve seen of liberal enamorment for Ron Paul.

I don’t think this phoenomenon is specific to liberals, leftists, or Ron Paul. People who think the Iraq war is wrong will love to hear someone get in the midst of an otherwise unanimous declaration of support for it and tear that down.

I have a feeling, were Joe Lieberman invited to a Democratic debate of unanimous anti-war positions, and made a stirring defense of the surge and declaration of support for George Bush, he’d see a similar groundswell of support in the fever swamps of, oh, the National Review.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
I was going to do the Lieberman comparison, but glasnost beat me to it. I don’t agree with all of Paul’s positions, but having a libertarian voice in Congress is a good thing. And, of course Paul’s position on Iraq is directly in line with fundamental libertarian beliefs. I respect him even when I disagree with him because, unlike many politicians, I’m convinced he truly believes what he says and he doesn’t seem to play political games. There are Democrats and Republicans who avoid games too, but that’s becoming increasingly rare.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Why have conservatives become so enamored of Joe Lieberman?
I think you’re missing the point. Are there conservatives who enthusiastically supported Lieberman when he ran for President? They may have thought he was better than Kerry, but would they have voted for him?

It’s one thing to note someone on the other side of the ideological divide who holds a position that one agrees with, or even to praise him for that. It’s a completely different level of support to push someone as a presidential candidate.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Who IS Ron Paul? They (the left AND the right)still need to know!!
NOBODY explains Ron Paul BETTER than Ron Paul himself!

Here is an interactive audio archive of
Ron Paul speeches and interviews in chronological
order. Worth a look!

www.ronpaulaudio.com
 
Written By: Randy
URL: http://
I am one of those liberals who has cottoned on to Dr. Paul. I fully understand his social issues that are contradictory to mine. I think the antiwar (or call them anti-imperialist, or anti-intervention) crowd senses that our ever growing fascistic, police state mentality must be dealt with. Or maybe people cannot be categorized as liberal or conservative as easily in the present circumstances. Maybe even our overbearing government has actually produced a generation or libertarians. I do not agree with his pro life stance but i also know his respect for privacy and individual liberty far outwreighs the thret of Roe v. Wade being overturned. Or maybe liberals sense that large government has not created freedom but rather the war on drugs, the patriot act, s.w.a.t. teams busting down your family’s front door, terry schiavo, internet regulation, and IRAQ just to name a couple of Puals pet peeves. Anyway I hope not everyone is myopic as the author of this article. Peace out.
 
Written By: joshua
URL: http://
Anyway I hope not everyone is myopic as the author of this article.
So I agree with almost all of Ron’s domestic positions, and a Ron Paul supporter says I’m myopic. Hmm...
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
I am a Ron Paul Supporter mostly for his stance on our money system. Our government has had a limitless credit card for years...our dept cant go up forever.
The Federal reserve is a private bank...and not in our nations interest..and never has been. Israel should fight its own battle..afterall...they are an "independent country" and should be able to defend themselves.
Birthright citizenship should be stopped..as a nurse in Texas I can tell you first hand..last night for example..26 deleveries...19 illegal aliens..Most came cross country just to deliver...I could go on for hours, but this man speaks truth...and there is NOTHING ever nutty about the constitution, our entire civilization is based on it.
 
Written By: Brandon McBride
URL: http://
My problem with Ron Paul is his apparent desire to work with Dennis K. to again investigate what he apparently thinks was Govt involvement in 9/11 (namely the Rosie-view of ’they blew up those buildings’)...

I love his positions, but he’s a lil on the whacky side there, ya know?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Ron paul is a true consevitive.Im not sure who the rest of the Gop candidates are.
Keith Thomas US Marine
 
Written By: Keith
URL: http://
Trouble is, NH lost to the Democrats after 80 years of Republican rule, even though our local reps do NOT go to DC to vote on WAR.
They were punished by straight-ticket voting just the same.

So why not take advantage of this? If Democrats want to vote for Paul so what?

A pro-war candidate is NOT going to win the presidency against any anti-war Democrat with public sentiment being 70% anti-war.
 
Written By: NH
URL: http://
Really Ray? I think you might have missed this then...

syaing there a bunch of cover-ups suggests he has views divergent from reality...

And his "we caused 9/11" debate answer was... bad.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Perhaps some people like Ron Paul because he is not a standard Republican or Democrat.

In the world we live in, the two party system dominates politics. Politicians are towing the party line EXCEPT when the issue will present problems for them being re-elected.

Ron Paul represents an alternative to consider even if 20% of his positions are opposite your own. Some of us just plain want alternatives to the two party system.
 
Written By: kindlingman
URL: http://
Do the folks that are shouting "Ron Paul!" from the studio audience really understand what he believes in?
Yes, because most of them are hardcore libertarians, too. Or at least, Republicans who agreed with the smaller government, personal responsibility, up-by-your own bootstraps ideas. That used to be a big part of party dogma. Paul is just one of the few politicians who actually believes it.

Most of his fans aren’t liberals. They’re "what the hell happened to my party" Republicans.
 
Written By: Jinchi
URL: http://jinchi.blogspot.com
Please send Ron Paul $100.00. If you are living in a homeless shelter, and can’t afford it, do what you can. If a million people send Ron Paul $100.00 dollars, that will mean $100,000,000! If Ron Paul has that much money, it will mean we can be proud to be Americans again.
 
Written By: Rich Turner
URL: http://
RE: Scott Jacobs

Here is an interview with Paul on the subject specifically so there’s no need to try and guess his beliefs....

http://www.reason.com/blog/show/120338.html

And here’s an interview with Michael Scheuer, 22 year veteran of the CIA where he was head analyst for the Bin Laden unit. He is also very conservative and would know as much about the subject as anyone. He resigned because of the 9/11 Commission report. If you’ve never heard of politicians protecting their a$$es then you’re probably too naive to be using the internet by yourself.

http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_05_18_scheuer.mp3
 
Written By: ND
URL: http://
I believe the majority of Ron Paul supporters understand exactly what he is advocating and support it 100%.
 
Written By: KineticReaction
URL: http://kineticreaction.blogspot.com/
Wow, so many commentors whose names I dont recognize. More evidence supporting Howard Mortman’s theory.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
If everyone gave $100 AND voted 100 times for Dr. Paul he’d have $100 Million and about 100,000 votes..... Dream on l(L)ibertarian boyz and girls. Someone wrote that even though Socialism ALWAYS fails, many in Latin America, are EMOTIONALLY attached to the concept, it is Romantic Ideal and that though they may know it will fail they continue to attempt it.

Libertarians remind me of those people. When Ron Paul garners NO delegates and less than 5% of the vote and when the LP candidate gets his usual LESS than .3% of the vote, will libertarians go, "Man obviously we are losers and need to rethink our positions?" No, like the supporters of Morales and Chavez, there and on US campuses, they will merely blame the external world (Those D@mn Repug’s and Democrats rig the system)and the fickle consumer and continue on believing that they represent some shining moment or vector of human development and only a blind public mislead by false gods rejects them.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Anyone who really understands economics will support Ron Paul. His economic policies would benefit the poor more than any other group.
Note that the biggest thing hurting the poor today is the inflation that is caused by the expansion of the currency by the Federal Reserve. The "inflation tax" is a regressive tax that tranfers wealth from the poor to the rich. Paul wants to stop inflation.
Another obstacle faced by the poor is the progressive income tax. As people begin to improve their income, they are punished by the IRS which imposes higher rates on them. Ron Paul would END the income tax altogether.
Yes, he’s "pro=life" but dig a little deeper. He does NOT favor a Federal law prohibiting abortion. He says it is a state issue, so as President, he won’t do anything to restrict abortion.
Anyone concerned with Civil Liberties should be 100% behind Ron Paul as he is the ONLY candidate of either party who would actively seek the repeal of the PATRIOT act, the military commissions act and all the other restrictions on civil liberties enacted by the Bush administration. He’s the only candidate who supports the right of Haneas Corpus. He’s the only candidate opposed to the national ID card.
Libertarian ideas cut across the traditional Left-Right spectrum. Ron Paul should appeal to ALL real Americans.
Ron Paul 2008 - the last hope to save America.
 
Written By: Michael Wagner
URL: http://
Ron Paul should appeal to ALL real Americans.
Ron Paul 2008 - the last hope to save America.

HYPERBOLE ALERT
HYPERBOLE ALERT!

Daggone, who knoew that I wasn’t a REAL Mehri’cun! And the last hope, REALLY? I’m a "Broken Glass" Republican, when it comes to Shillary and I don’t think that t0 eHildebeast will DOOM ’Mehrica and that only the election of Candidate "X" will save America...

And his foreign affairs/National Security policy will only embolden our enemies, simply look at the 1930’s but you guyz and galz keep dreamin’ on about how stopping’em at the 12 Mile Limit and Lettres of Marque will make us safer and less of a target...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I’ll say this for Ron’s supporters... They are a dedicated bunch...

As I said... His response to that one question specifically, and several in general, bother me greatly. At least the other guys can put together a sentence that doesn’t sound like they believe the EAXCT opposide of what they believe, and when asked about the answer and given time to clarify it, digs his hole deeper by using the word "caused" like 7 times in the span of 13 seconds...

So I’m not a real american, eh?

Come closer, and hold still while you say that again...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
People like Ron Paul confuse "Excuse" with "Reason." Yeah I got drunk because I drank the beer, but that’s really just an excuse. I got drunk because I’m an alcoholic and that’s what I do. And if it’s not beer, it’s wine, or Scotch, or Hootch....I get drunk because I’m an alcoholic.

Usama SAYS it’s US troops in Saudi Arabia, well they’re mostly gone, he SAYS a lot of things, but ultimately he has to destroy the US because we’re the strongest bulwark against the Caliphate. It does it because that’s what he does. Today it may be troops hither dither or yon, but if you bring the troops home the attacks won’t stop, because sooner or later we’ve got to go.

People on the Left, and Right, and Libertarian Front don’t like that unpleasant truth, so they want to ignore it. It’s not our interventionism or imperialism, it’s our existence as a secular nation driving the world’s culture and economy.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Americans are at the point of not giving a f*** what the party line is.

Tell us what good it did to know what Bush ’stood for’ before the 2000 primary??

You’ve gotta be jokin’.

I’m stunned to know that there are still stupid enough people in this country to believe the war in Iraq is a war against ’our enemies’.

Ron Paul isn’t a liar.
He isn’t in politics to improve his status.
He isn’t running to get rich.
He isn’t a liar.
He won’t send the CIA to overthrow Chavez because Exxon told him to, and then call it ’fighting our enemies’.
He won’t allow Halliburton to move to Dubai to avoid paying taxes on the billions they overcharged the US Taxpayers.
He’ll insist that the Federeal Reserve Board crawl out from under that rock they meet under to decide Ameican’s fates.
He isn’t a liar.
He’ll get rid of those slimy bastards at IRS, once and for all.
He’ll bring some respect to the Office for a long overdue change.

Who gives a f*** what he thinks about fervent ’policies’ when thugs are steering our country into bankruptcy? Or, do you actually think $9 Trillion is AOK? That a debt-to-GDP ratio of 70% with a trade deficit of a trillion dollars is just fine?

Knowing that we have to borrow every red cent to ’fight the enemy’ in Iraq must be somehow comforting to an imbicile, but it’s simply embarrassing to me. The ’we can borrow more than you can borrow’ national defense plan...what next?

People like Ron Paul because he won’t steal our wallets while we’re sleeping and then arrest us for vagrancy when we wake up...you numbskull.

 
Written By: Dave
URL: http://
The thing with socialism is not that it’s romantic ideal, it’s because it’s been hailed as "moral", and people will do anything, even kill, go to war and steal if someone in authority tells them it’s the "moral" thing to do.
 
Written By: CorrosionX
URL: http://
In following all the links in the original post, I don’t see anything that indicates support for Rep. Paul from "the left." There’s a Gallup Poll on general support, an LGF thread (!!!), and an exerpt from Bill Maher’s show (we know that Maher self-identifies as a libertarian, right?).

You say you’re "pretty sure" that "some of them" are "on the left, politically." This is truly a Joe Klein level of journamalism.

Let’s assume that Maher’s audience is overwhelmingly made up of self identified liberals and/or libertarians. Assume even that the former dominate the latter 3- or 4- to 1. Is it really so surprising that an audience that’s overwhelmingly anti-war vigorously cheers an unabashedly anti-war member of an unabashedly pro-war party?
 
Written By: Rick
URL: http://
He won’t allow Halliburton to move to Dubai to avoid paying taxes on the billions they overcharged the US Taxpayers.
Ron Paul may not be a liar, but whoever told you this is one.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
A couple of weeks ago I drove down to Boise just to look around. As I drove by the capitol building I was met with a swarm of purple-haired, probable Boise State students just leaving the scene carrying their "Support Ron Paul" and "legalize marijuana" signs. I suspect that much of his support, especially the poll bombing, is coming from this sector. And I think the remainder are coming from the anti-war groups.
 
Written By: Tom Scott
URL: http://
"we differ from Paul and such entities as the Libertarian Party by believing that our conflict with radical Islam has to be fought"

- Great. So, why are you pecking on a keyboard in an air conditioned room when you could be in Iraq taking on "radical Islam"? Put your money where your mouth is and go fight.
 
Written By: Cindy
URL: http://
Great. So, why are you pecking on a keyboard in an air conditioned room when you could be in Iraq taking on "radical Islam"? Put your money where your mouth is and go fight.
Wow.

The "chickenhawk" argument.

I’m impressed.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Wow, Cindy read the blog from time-to-time, just not when some one sens an Immediate Action Alert, and has you fire up the ole’ PC in the basement....

As the update says, many aren’t reading the posting, and many kdon’t really grasp Ron Paul.

And Mr. Won’t Let Haliburton Move to Dubai...if you’d put down the bong you’d realize that libertarians ahve absolutely NO qualms about companies moving overseas, and would in fact reduce Haliburton’s taxes...Please note, he’s a LIBERTARIAN, "google" it, Check out a Wiki on it, it’s not just no war and Legal Pot.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
In following all the links in the original post, I don’t see anything that indicates support for Rep. Paul from "the left."
Read for comprehension, please. There is no claim in the post that those links argue for support from the left - merely that he has vocal supporters. I said in the post that there are two possibilities:

1. Almost all of his supporters are all libertarians, or

2. A significant number of anti-war leftists support him along with his libertarian base.

My argument for #2 is that I’ve been around a long time and never seen libertarians able to generate a significant buzz for anyone. Therefore, it is my opinion that he gets a lot of support from the anti-war left. (I even say in the post that I could be wrong about that.)

You said it yourself, in fact:
Let’s assume that Maher’s audience is overwhelmingly made up of self identified liberals and/or libertarians. Assume even that the former dominate the latter 3- or 4- to 1. Is it really so surprising that an audience that’s overwhelmingly anti-war vigorously cheers an unabashedly anti-war member of an unabashedly pro-war party?
If you’re right, then that is completely in line with my own opinion on where his support is coming from, is it not?

By the way, I realize Maher is indeed a self declared libertarian. But then George Bush calls himself a conservative, too. Such self-labeling doesn’t mean much to me. By noting what Maher supports, I consider him well to the left.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Joe,

I meant that he wouldn’t let a criminal corporation abscond with taxpayers money. In fact, they would never have had the chance to rob our treasury in the first place.

I guess this is just another pseudo-intellectual discussion of stereotypes where nothing of substance ever gets put on the table.

If you’d put down the brie and white wine long enough to check his platform, you’d see that the posting is simply not accurate.

Now, which is it? Purple haired, probable Boise state students, leftist anti-war groups, chickenhawks, bong owners or Libertarians?

It’s because you insist that every American has a political pigeonhole that you’re confused as to who RP’s supporters really are.
 
Written By: Dave
URL: http://
Serious question: what is a libertarian. I’ve called myself a left-libertarian, which you often find in use these days (a review of Rush’s great new CD "Snakes and Arrows" — an attack on religious extremism of all kinds — claimed that Neil Peart has described himself as left-libertarian). This blog uses the term "neo-libertarian," but embraces a foreign policy that would be anathema to traditional libertarians. Are there core beliefs that all libertarians — left, neo, traditional, and no doubt others — share? Individualism, distrust of government power, belief in inherent liberal notions of human rights — life, liberty and property? How much dissent is possible within the libertarian ideal? I don’t know if I’d call myself left-libertarian any more; I was quite a ways left back around the turn of the century but now I’d say I’m more a pragmatic libertarian. I’ve grown to dislike ideologies that claim to have the "right" approach.

Ultimately I think people will tire of a two party system with religious fundamentalists dominating one side and big government special interests the other.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I meant that he wouldn’t let a criminal corporation abscond with taxpayers money. In fact, they would never have had the chance to rob our treasury in the first place.
Sure he would, what about Lettres of Marque? And what would he do to prevent the "escape" after all he’s a capitalist. Capital goes where it needs or desires to go....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Great. So, why are you pecking on a keyboard in an air conditioned room when you could be in Iraq taking on "radical Islam"? Put your money where your mouth is and go fight.
Do you believe fires should be fought? Then why aren’t you down at the fire station ready to go and fight one?

Do you believe disease should be fought? Then why don’t you get your medical degree and get down to the clinic, stat?

Do you believe New Orleans should be rebuilt? Then why aren’t you down there on a construction crew?

Do you believe idiocy should be fought? Then get started. You won’t even have to leave the house for that one.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Serious question: what is a libertarian.
Scott, that’s a post in and of itself. And even then I don’t think there’s a one size fits all definition.

The core concepts - the ideas that are common to all flavors of libertarianism - are freedom and individual responsibility. Freedom in the libertarian sense includes the principle that you can’t initiate force or fraud against others, because that infringes on their freedom (you are allowed self-defense if others initiate such aggressive actions again you).

I believe that these core principles eliminate many ideas that the left believes in, such as government-run healthcare. How can the government telling you what doctor to use or what treatment you may have fail to infringe on your freedom? And certainly such a system shifts responsibility away from the individual. So, in my mind, anyone who supports government run healthcare is not a libertarian, period.

Ron Paul (to get back to the subject of the post) is pretty close to the libertarian ideal on domestic policy. I think most libertarians, except for the anarcho-capitalists, would agree with most of his positions on domestic issues. (And many woul distinguish anarcho-capitalism from libertarianism anyway.)

On foreign policy, things are not as clear from the core philosophy. There was a raging debate in the Libertarian Party newsletter about the first Gulf War. A majority was against it, on the principle of strict isolationism (to oversimplify a bit). But a substantial minority believed it to be a perfectly appropropriate exercise of self-defense, believing that some foreign dangers must be dealt with before they can grow to be a catastrophic threat to the nation. (The experience of WWII is relevant to that position.)

And of course we now have folks such as us at QandO and Bill Quick who consider ourselves libertarian, but who back a serious effort against violent Islamic fundamentalism. The isolationist libertarians really, really don’t like that position, and believe it to be fundamentally opposed to libertarian principles. Obviously, we don’t agree.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Well, I did read the article. It is very possible that many on the "left" are disgusted enough with a powerful central government that they have decided it’s better to provide private charity than to be burdened by the baggage of the enabled Fed.Gov.

Much the way that voters on the "right" could be so disgusted with the loss of their particular pet things in the name of "security", that they’re willing to put up with less centralized military power in order to get out from under the tax and regulation load of the enabled Fed.Gov.

I think the error is in falling for the deliberate trap that "left" and "right" are so different that they cannot coexist. Yet the Libertarian "Nolan Chart" shows that not only is there "left" and "right", but also "authoritarian" and "libertarian".

The "authoritarians" want to keep "left" and "right" away from each other. Opposed, divided, _controlled_. The biggest cheer I have seen for Ron Paul was on the "leftist" Bill Maher show, when he talked about securing civil liberties here at home. That is supposedly a "left" issue, yet here is someone defined as "ultra-conservative" talking about it.
 
Written By: Bob_Robertson
URL: http://
"You won’t even have to leave the house for that one."
LOL. Great set-up and flawless execution, although Cindy is a living set-up. One would suspect a sockpuppet if one didn’t read letters to the editor in the local liberal rag.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
It is very possible that many on the "left" are disgusted enough with a powerful central government that they have decided it’s better to provide private charity than to be burdened by the baggage of the enabled Fed.Gov.
Nobody would be happier than I would to see that happen. But seeing the left disgusted with powerful central government seems a contradiction in terms. The left has always been about government having more power over the economic aspects of people’s lives.

If many of the left get that disgusted and actually start to think in terms of a less-powerful central government, I’d say they would no longer be considered to be on the left.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Left-libertarians tend to split with market libertarians by adopting a leftist conception of how markets create classes, and lower classes lack the freedom to do things, especially if denied education and health care. Government action on those fronts is meant to give them equal opportunity and expand their liberty. Taxes to pay for that do not deny liberty to the wealthy, but remove some of the unwarranted benefits created by the way markets work. The goal remains individual responsibility and liberty, but big business is seen as akin to government has having power it can abuse. Governments can, if functioning correctly, counter balance thath power.

I would have made that argument as recently as five years ago. Now I’ve come to agree that big money’s power is in large part due to its ties to big government. In that sense the optimal solution is to try to decrease the scope of government spending, especially in its links to big money — I’ve come towards a more traditional libertarian view. I remain pragmatic though because too many libertarians are idealist — no matter what the situation confronting people now and the practical problems, one goes to try to create the right system which is limited government in accord with specific ideological boundaries. I think that given the depth of the problem (ties between government and business won’t get broken soon, and the market isn’t perfect) one can support government action if the net effect is to expand liberty and opportunity, and not create dependency that is anti-libertarian in that it denies the need for personal responsibility (most government handouts fail that test due to the tendency to create dependency). A national health system would be too inefficient (I re-read Hayek, which altered my perspective a lot as I reflected on his argument), but aid to help children in need, intervene in dysfunctional families (where abuse, neglect, etc. are evident) and other governmental actions enhance freedom more than they limit it.

I understand the foreign policy argument, but Iraq shows the fact that you can always inflate a threat (WMD fears, etc.) to rationalize war. I think a true libertarian position would be to make sure the threat is imminent and real, and not to engage in the kind of efforts to create a particular political system for other people. I know you disagree, but at least consider that Iraq might be an example of the why the more traditional libertarian view on foreign policy makes sense. Going in with governmental force to intervene in the affairs of others is risky business, with possibilities of blow back, unanticipated consequences, and ultimately the risk of creating the kind of dependencies that libertarians want to avoid. Also, look at the increase of power this has given the central government in the US, and the emphasis of the Executive branch on being able to act unilaterally. It’s not as bad as some paint it to be, but it is a dangerous trend. The power of the central government started to grow as the US took over superpower "responsibilities" after the passage of the National Security Act in 1947. I don’t think that’s a pure coincidence.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Serious question: what is a libertarian. I’ve called myself a left-libertarian, which you often find in use these days (a review of Rush’s great new CD "Snakes and Arrows" — an attack on religious extremism of all kinds — claimed that Neil Peart has described himself as left-libertarian).
First, using terms like "left-libertarian" or "right-libertarian" are misnomers, left and right are historical decriptions of the two branches of statist socialism. They have no meaning whatsoever in libertarian philosophy. To me the easiest way to tell whether somebody is really a libertarian or not is whether they put a prefix on the word.

Being anti-religion doesn’t make you a libertarian, pure libertarianism has very little to say about religion per se, just that it shouldn’t be used as a basis for the government to take people’s liberties. Libertarianism in its purest form has equal distaste for any reason to forcefully, through government sponsored violence, take away the liberty of the individual. The most arch-libertarian of them all, Murray Rothbard, was no atheist, in fact his wife was a devout Christian. I seem to remember a story about the rift between Ayn Rand and Rothbard starting with the fact that his wife was deeply offended by Rand’s caustic aetheism and her intollerance for anybody who practiced any religion.

I’m not sure where Neal Peart is today philosophically, but in the 70’s he wrote numerous songs based on the writings of Ayn Rand, including a 20 minute epic, 2112. Ayn Rand was not a "leftist" in any way, shape or form, nor do I think she could ever be mistaken for one. She was however an aetheist and a quite vocal and beligerant one, but that in itself has absolutely nothing to with the "left".

Being an aetheist doesn’t make you a libertarian, one has nothing to do with the other.

Most on the left aren’t so much anti-war as they are anti - THIS - war. Remember, the leftist Democratic party started every major war of the 20th century. Most leftists in this country still believe that we should poke our nose into the rest of world’s business, try to manipulate things to our advantage, and be the world’s policeman. They just believe it should be done through diplomacy not military force. To me that’s a pretty subtle difference, one that leads to the same place regardless.

The libertarian non-interventionist anti-war position is that government is the root of all war and if you hate war and want peace, smaller, less powerfull, less intrusive governments are the only path. A government that is powerful enough to tax the rich, regulate corporations and provide for all of our wants and needs, is a govenment strong enough to go to war, take our civil liberties and freedom at any time. You can’t have a government that is interventionist at home and peaceful internationally, and you can’t have a government that is interventionist overseas and laissez fair at home.

Believing only half of that equation is foolish in my opinion.
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
I remain pragmatic though because too many libertarians are idealist
Most libertarians are not idealistic at all in this sense: They don’t believe in the perfectability of man, they aren’t searching for "perfect" systems or optimal outcomes. They pragmatically understand that attempts to design perfect systems and reach optimal outcomes are futile in complex human systems, and most are willing to live with the imperfect outcomes that sometimes result from free markets and individuals living by their own free will. This compromise is the result of understanding that attempts at perfecting society have historically ended with much worse outcomes than the compromises inherent in a free society.

I think you are mistaking a constancy of purpose and an unwillingness to compromise basic principals for "idealism".
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
Most libertarians are not idealistic at all in this sense: They don’t believe in the perfectability of man, they aren’t searching for "perfect" systems or optimal outcomes. They pragmatically understand that attempts to design perfect systems and reach optimal outcomes are futile in complex human systems, and most are willing to live with the imperfect outcomes that sometimes result from free markets and individuals living by their own free will. This compromise is the result of understanding that attempts at perfecting society have historically ended with much worse outcomes than the compromises inherent in a free society.
But your statement has the idealism built in: that free markets are possible. Consider: we have free will in the sense that we have freedom within our circumstances, but government action, market outcomes, individual force or persausion, etc., all cause us to have circumstances changed or limited. In a market situation people with power are tempted to use that to circumvent pure market sources, creating governments or organized crime syndicates (the difference between them is slight in most of the world). And, of course, if markets render an outcome that is culturally reprehensible we intervene (e.g., human trafficking may be a market driven phenomenon, but it violates fundamental human rights). What are the limits and boundaries of that intervention, and how are they set? Do we tolerate reprehensible human actions if markets are unable to counter them for various reasons?

In short, markets are neither natural nor perfect. When they exist, there are always efforts to intervene by people who want to avoid the consequences. The ones with the most power (wealth, etc.) are the most likely to want to intervene and be able to effectively counter market mechanisms. Efforts of the poor to get income redistribution are in many ways a reaction to how the powerful have used government and other aspects of their wealth/power to solidify their position in society.

So given that markets are not natural or perfect, and in fact it is idealistic to think you could have a true free market running on its own mechanisms, the result is necessary pragmatic compromises.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
DS: Left or right libertarianism (or neo- or whatever) are legitimate because there are disagreements about what libertarianism means. No one, not even you, gets to assert what the pure, correct form is all about.

On religion: I agree, and actually am personally spiritual even though I dislike organized religion (I tend to dislike organized anything!) I try to be respectful of peoples’ beliefs though, I’ve often defended theists from dogmatic atheists. Peart’s thinking evolved as do most since he read Rand in the seventies. Rush’s musical career is amazing, the new album is worth a listen.

On war: I agree with just about everything you said. The Democrats were certainly gung ho on Kosovo (I was as critical of Clinton then as I am of Bush now), and I agree that increased governmental power creates a greater likelihood of war. Of course, non-governmental organizations like al qaeda are changing the equation now in the era of high tech globalization. That is probably why McQ and Dale have moved to what they call neo-libertarianism: how do you handle NGOs who can do major damage without having a state?

Still, I think Ron Paul’s point is accurate that big power policies have aided the development of these groups (al qaeda and the Taliban emerged from a big government — the US — funding their battle against another big government — the USSR). However, size matters. The Swedish government taxes at a high rate and is very involved in society, but the Swedes aren’t getting in to wars. I think the reason is that in especially Scandinavia they have more of a communitarian culture and people identify with the government as a reflection of that culture/society. And that raises another question: is libertarianism or a belief in maximum individual liberty and limited government the best approach, or is it an approach that reflects individual preferences or cultural beliefs. Because, ultimately, I think the problems I listed in the last post — things that cause free markets to be unachievable — could only be overcome if you had a culture where people wanted markets to succeed and had built in norms that would work against those who would try to unduly circumvent markets.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Do we tolerate reprehensible human actions if markets are unable to counter them for various reasons?
Who ever said that markets were supposed to counter "reprehensible human actions"? That would be incredibly idealistic indeed, but that is certainly not anything I would ever claim.

Markets are spontaneous, voluntary arrangements to trade goods and services, no more, no less. To try and give them heroic or sinister motives or purposes, or any motives at all, is a mis-understanding of what they are (and what they are not).

But yes, it would be quite idealistic to believe that the efficient allocation of goods and services through free markets could create perfect outcomes for everybody. I’m not aware of any libertarian claiming that, although I’m sure they exist.
Left or right libertarianism (or neo- or whatever) are legitimate because there are disagreements about what libertarianism means. No one, not even you, gets to assert what the pure, correct form is all about.


I have no claim on the definition of libertarianism, nor does anybody else. But the application of the terms "left" and "right" just isn’t transferrable, it has no meaning in the libertarian concept. It would be like a wine expert looking at the many varieties of beer and asking which ones are red and which ones are white? It’s not a transferrable distinction.
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
Blog PI provides an interesting quasi-scientific analysis of Ron Paul’s alleged support (or lack thereof), among Republicans or right leaning citizens.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
But yes, it would be quite idealistic to believe that the efficient allocation of goods and services through free markets could create perfect outcomes for everybody. I’m not aware of any libertarian claiming that, although I’m sure they exist.
My claim was more fundamental: free markets are not self-sustaining as the most powerful seek ways to subvert them.

As for left and right, well, those terms are also really vague and poorly defined. Putting labels on ideas just helps categorize, but the reality is always more complex.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
My claim was more fundamental: free markets are not self-sustaining as the most powerful seek ways to subvert them.
Only when they are afforded the means to do so. Afforded by goverments that is.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
My claim was more fundamental: free markets are not self-sustaining as the most powerful seek ways to subvert them.

Only when they are afforded the means to do so. Afforded by goverments that is.
But one reason governments come about because powerful people want to enhance their position and circumvent markets. Free markets are not self-sustaining because powerful people want to circumvent markets, and they are able to create governments to afford them that means.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Free markets are not self-sustaining because powerful people want to circumvent markets, and they are able to create governments to afford them that means.
Correct. Which is why government needs to be structurally restricted to a minimum set of responsibilities. If government is able to establish rule of law, prevent force and fraud, and have a system of courts to enforce contracts, then the rest will pretty much take care of itself.

If, on the other hand, the government has a lot of responsibilities and wide latitude in carrying them out, then powerful people inevitably subvert that government to benefit themselves. There is too much incentive (money flowing through the system) to resist, especially for the unethical. Thus we get representatives that are constantly exposed as providing special favors for various special interests. Sound familiar?

In essense, if the government is controlling a sizable fraction of the economy, then there will be no shortage of those attempting to steer government into giving them a share. The only way to prevent that is to keep government small and within specific bounds so that there is not enough money to attract the parasites and not enough power in government to reward them.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
But one reason governments come about because powerful people want to enhance their position and circumvent markets
And Scott, is that not the definition of an unfree market?
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
I can tell you why Libertarians, Liberals, and Conservatives like Ron Paul.The Libertarians love Ron Paul because he believes in restoring the Constitution and Libertarians above all believe in the Constitution. Liberals believe in Ron Paul because he is genuine. He isn’t like every other politician out there. Almost all politicians will say what ever they need to in order to get and stay elected. Ron Paul is and has always been a straight shooter. His votes in Congress align directly with his beliefs. I also think that even though Ron Paul isn’t classically liberal, the liberals want something done and done the right way. People in the country have very little confidence that the people they elect will do anything useful even if it doesn’t align with their beliefs. For example, I am aligned with 78% of what Ron Paul believes and wants to accomplish (I took a test online), but I believe that the other 22% that I don’t align with will actually get done if he becomes President and I would rather something happen then nothing at all. Some Conservatives believe in Ron Paul because of the same reasons as above, but also they should believe in him because Ron Paul is the only one that has a chance to beat whomever the Democratic candidate will be. If you think that the top three Republican candidates have a shot at beating Edwards/Clinton/Obama when they are still supporting the war, you are hiding under a rock. The only chance to keep a Republican in office is to elect Ron Paul.
 
Written By: Chris
URL: None
Chris, God bless your optimism, naive as it may be... and irrespective of my atheism.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Correct. Which is why government needs to be structurally restricted to a minimum set of responsibilities. If government is able to establish rule of law, prevent force and fraud, and have a system of courts to enforce contracts, then the rest will pretty much take care of itself.
Preventing force and fraud is only part of the story. Powerful actors need not resort to overt force and fraud to try to structure the game to their advantage. The reason is: a) lack of pure flexibility in the market (time lags, initial capital costs high for changing production, etc.); b) unequal information about market conditions (powerful actors have more and better information); and c) use of rule of law to protect the ability to profit, everything from patent law to regulations and protections that serve to keep businesses profitable. So no, I don’t think one can say the rest will take care of itself — I think powerful actors can easily circumvent market forces even if fraud and overt force are prevented; rule of law can even allow them to do this with full legal cover.

I see the point of the rest of your post, but I would argue that you put too much emphasis on structure and form of government, and not the culture of a given polity. You will not get the structure/form of government you prefer if society doesn’t have a culture that wants that, or values that role for government. If a truly limited government can work, it has to be supported by a society that believes in that kind of limitation, otherwise government will inevitably grow and expand.

Moreover, I would argue that limited and small government is not a sufficient condition to protect free markets, even if they have rule of law and are able to prevent fraud and force. Without a culture whereby the market’s mechanisms are truly valued, powerful actors will still be able to find ways around market forces. The idealism of the libertarian position is this sense that if only government was small, then the market would be able to be free and proper functioning. I’m not convinced; I know that one can take economic theory in the abstract and make an argument to why it should, but that theoretical argument is built on simplifications and neglect of numerous political and social processes that complicate the matter.

Bottom line: the kind of culture you have goes a long way in determining the kind of government you have, and how well a market can function. The problem is less the structure of government and more the shared/contested values and beliefs of a society.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Several ill-defined terms are being used here:

What is a "Powerful Actor", what do you mean by "power", and how does such an entity obtain this "power" to subvert markets? Why, in a market that is otherwise free of coercion, would anybody have to deal with such an entity at all? Are these "powerful actors" businesses or are they something else? Can’t such a "powerful actor" simply be ignored? The beauty of free markets is that the consumer has the choice not to deal with those it does not want to.

What exactly is your fear about these "powerful actors"? Are they going to start putting people in concentration camps or starting wars?
So no, I don’t think one can say the rest will take care of itself — I think powerful actors can easily circumvent market forces even if fraud and overt force are prevented
How? By what mechanism?
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
If in a market someone ’wins’ initially due to skill and hard work, they then have more wealth and ability to try to structure their advantage through manipulation of the market, government or in many cases by creating organized criminal units. This shouldn’t be hard to understand, at some level that’s how modern states operate. There is no inherent mechanism in the market to prevent that, and choice is always limited by circumstances — the amount of wealth and ability to act you have determines what kind of choice you face (e.g., someone might have a choice to work for very low wages or let his family starve, but what kind of choice is that?)

So look at the world around you — free markets don’t operate for the reasons I’ve stated, you can see it in just about every state, ranging from organized criminal thugs in third world states like Zimbabwe to a more sophisiticated business control in Europe and the US.

There is no deus ex macchina. You can’t just say "eliminate government intrusion and this will stop," since soon without a culture shift you’d just see these kinds of things rising up again. Markets are permeated with culture, politics, and social factors not covered by economic theory. Economic theory thus cannot provide a pure perspective.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
The answer to your question is that even leftists have finally come around to the understanding that in more cases than not the federal government is the cause of the problem rather than a solution. Leftists are understanding that if they really want to achieve whatever charity goal they have in mind they are better off organizing their own civic group rather than depending on state welfare with all the requisite strings attached. The Red Cross does a HELL of a lot better job than FEMA and look at the differences in their budgets.
 
Written By: dbassam
URL: http://
Dr Erb, you still haven’t defined your terms, so you are still arguing in free space using ill-defined terms.
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
DS - have you defined your terms? I haven’t seen anybody define terms here. Could you let me know what terms you would like defined?

dbassam — I think you have a good point. A lot of people are waking up to the fact that while there are numerous problems created outside of government, expecting government to solve them hasn’t worked out well. The result is a group looking for new answers and not being satisfied with the Democratic or Republican parties. Hard core capitalist libertarians (ones who believe letting the market do everything is the best possible outcome) aren’t appealing because they embrace a theory built on the error of over-determination (looking at just the economic side of human life) and ignore the complexities of culture, politics, and conflicting values which will do as much to shape outcomes as market factors.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
The only way to prevent that is to keep government small and within specific bounds so that there is not enough money to attract the parasites and not enough power in government to reward them.

There is no government small enough to avoid attracting the parasites. Your options are absolutely unlimited fraud with no consequences except what the market can muster - which is often very little if information is limited and market participants offer similarly fraudulent tactics -
or else government attempts to prevent fraud. Which will always be flooded with corporate attempts to avoid, buy off, or dodge those government preventions.

Just one reason why the libertarian answer to the problems free markets have in sustaining themselves is not a good enough answer. Not an effective enough answer. That’s why there are no governments in the world that implement libertarian systems.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Just one reason why the libertarian answer to the problems free markets have in sustaining themselves is not a good enough answer. Not an effective enough answer. That’s why there are no governments in the world that implement libertarian systems.
What libertarians don’t always understand is that they are often making the same mistakes as Marxists — they believe that if the right system was in place (in their case free markets and minimal government) then things would work well. Marxists thought it was the elimination of private property and communal decision making and ownership. But neither work in the real world because they do not mesh with the culture and values of the people. A libertarian government would quickly turn into something like what we have.

What a libertarian really should say, IMO, is that he or she believes in individualism, markets and freedom, and that he or she wants to try to do things to promote values that will cause people to choose such a system and have the cultural values to make it work. Ironically, one of those values would need to be a strong sense of community — people wanting to help people so there is no need for big government programs.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Billy,

I like how your article laid out Ron Paul’s positions. You definitely know what you are talking about in that respect. (Except, you are aware that Ron Paul is pro-life and thinks the Constitution does not provide for abortion, BUT at the same time thinks that each state should make their own decision on whether or not to allow abortion, right? It is a minor distinction, but I think it is worth pointing out). However, I do think you are missing something here. Maybe some people from the left have gravitated towards Ron Paul merely because of his opposition to the Iraq war.

However, for the reasons you pointed out, both you and I know that anyone who has done that might be misguided. That is why I find it hard to believe that the explanation for this outpouring of support for Ron Paul is just a bunch of crazy Democrats who want out of the war so badly as to overlook every other issue they care about.

I myself have always refused to register as either a Democrat or a Republican because I did not want to be associated with the extremists in either party. Thus, I always remained an independent, and then voted whoever was the most in line with my views.

Now, all of the sudden, here comes Ron Paul, a candidate I could not have dreamt even existed. This makes me excited. Instead of voting for the lessor of two evils, now I have the choice to vote for someone who really represents my views. And because he is a Republican, instead of a non-recognized third party Libertarian (I think that is crap too, but its the truth), he actually has a shot of getting elected!!

THIS is what people are so excited about, and THIS is what has so many people waking up! That is my take on it anyway!
 
Written By: MG
URL: http://
Yes, MG, I understood Paul’s position on abortion (which is close to my own), but I was mostly concentrating on highlighting his differences with the left.

You make an intriguing hypothesis. Are there really that many independents who sympathize with libertarian positions but are turned off by the political process? That won’t get involved in third party efforts, but will back a major party candidate whose libertarian-leaning positions appeal to them? I’d like to think you’re right, and I’ve seen some people like that, but I would never have expected the numbers to be there to explain Paul’s appeal. Perhaps I just don’t understand the magnitude of the group.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
I suppose to answer your update regarding no one responding to your article, I’ll step up for a second.

Ron Paul is what most non-voters have been looking for in a candidate. Yes you heard me, NON-voters. I’m 22, and I’ve never voted, and not because I’m stupid. I’ve just understood that it’s pointless; the Democrats will always fight for their "base," and the Republicans for theirs - all the while, trying to make themselves popular like a prom king or queen.

The issues we squabble over though, never seem to go anywhere. We’ve had immigration problems forever; same with Social Security, Medicare, VA Hospitals, Abortion, Gay Marriage. And while we quibble over these issues that only divide us as people, there are REAL problems that go unnoticed.

We have an unconstitutional federal reserve system in charge of our currency (and we lose purchasing power, among other things, because of it). We spend outrageous amounts maintaining an EMPIRE, not a republic. To me, it seems like smoke & mirrors to divide the people - keep us arguing over gay marriage, rights of unborn people, gun control...

And forget that unborn fetuses aside, there are living children & people suffering and dying. Forget that we’re spending almost a trillion dollars a year upkeeping foreign military bases. Forget that we’re largely responsible for Islamic fundamentalism (or at least the fact that they hate us so very much). Forget that we borrow money that is printed out of thin air which (a) grows our debt (which we have to pay back later in taxes) and (b) devalues the money we currently have/save. Forget that the world is beginning to hate us as well (notice how Bush visits abroad are becoming more and more hated. It’s been this way for a while

I hate sounding like some fanatical conspiracy theorist, but what I’ve written here is all fact. I don’t believe we blew up our own buildings on 9/11 or anything outrageous - but what I wrote is *fact* - it’s just not very popular to say, but Ron Paul says it anyway.

Given all of this, I vote for Ron Paul because of his principle & character, not because of his stance on any one issue. I suspect my sentiment is shared by many others.

PS: My favorite issue that Ron Paul brings up is that so many "federal issues" should be addressed at the STATE level. Blanket solutions don’t work because we all have a different OPINION, but as you go further and further into local communities, those "controversial" issues become more agreed upon don’t they...
 
Written By: Shaun
URL: http://
A pro-war candidate is NOT going to win the presidency against any anti-war Democrat with public sentiment being 70% anti-war
This is the bottom line for me. I’ve always thought of myself as a Hawkish Republican leaning Libertarian. In the past elections, I have probably voted Republican more out of loathe for Democrats then out of love for Republicans.

I voted for Bush in both elections and have up to this point supported what I saw as courageous leadership and a willingness to take action against a new enemy.

As much as I wanted Bush’s foreign policy to succeed... It has not. His term has come to an end, and the reality is that America will not vote in "pro-war" Republican as president this time around. There is no way given the current field of Democrats that I could even consider voting for any of them.

I will support Dr. Ron Paul!





 
Written By: TheBrigand
URL: http://
Perhaps the reason that some leftists are interested in Ron Paul is that some of them are near the neighborhood of left libertarianism or civil libertarianism, south-west on the "political compass," and the Democratic candidates are not offering strong enough of support for personal freedoms nor candidates who seem honest.
 
Written By: Connelly Barnes
URL: http://www.connellybarnes.com/
Perhaps the reason that some leftists are interested in Ron Paul is that some of them are near the neighborhood of left libertarianism or civil libertarianism, south-west on the "political compass," and the Democratic candidates are not offering strong enough of support for personal freedoms nor candidates who seem honest.
Perhaps some, but I suspect most Liberals support Ron Paul because he is an "Anti-War" Republican and they are trying to influence the Republican primaries, and in the end will vote for their own guy or gal. This does not bother me in the least.

I’ve given myself as an example because I reject the premise of the author’s article (which I interpret to mean that Ron Paul’s message and candidacy is mostly being propped up by the left) and truly believe this is the time to support a strict Constitutionalist/Free Market candidate. Unlike many on the left, his Anti-war stance is based on sound principals and not on just trying to be an obstructionist or politicizing the war in order to make the President look bad.

Most of his views are very much in-line with mine as a Republican:

Taxes - I believe he supports the Fair Tax
Immigration - No welfare for illegals, wants to abolish automatic citizenship by birth.
Health Care - A more free-market approach, less national government control/regulation.
States Rights - On most social issues he would leave it up to the states, Same Sex Marriage, Abortion... ect.

These are issues I would think most of the authors on this site would support. It seems strange to me that on a "Libertarian" site, he would be faulted for being too Libertarian without actually analyzing his real positions on the issues.
 
Written By: TheBrigand
URL: http://
It seems strange to me that on a "Libertarian" site, he would be faulted for being too Libertarian without actually analyzing his real positions on the issues.
Well, at least in the original post, he’s not being "faulted". As I indicated, I’m libertarian and agree with most of Paul’s positions, with the notable exception of his foreign policy. I’m just pointing out that if he has leftist supporters, which I believe he does, I don’t understand how they can accept him with so many of his positions being diametrically opposed to theirs.
I reject the premise of the author’s article (which I interpret to mean that Ron Paul’s message and candidacy is mostly being propped up by the left)
I didn’t say that, either; I said that I believe he has a fair number of leftist supporters. I know there are a lot of libertarians supporting him too, and I understand why.

I do think the supporters on the left are some of the most vocal, though, and I still think it’s simply because he’s the only Republican candidate that slams the party on Iraq.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Thanks for clarifying... I guess I lumped in some of the comments in with what was said in the with the original article, I see where you’re coming from now.
 
Written By: TheBrigand
URL: http://

 
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