The confusion comes, I think, from his nominal advocacy of free markets, the Austrian School of Economics in particular, of which I myself am a proponent. But as we’ve seen, economics is not the proper foundation of any government, because private property – which is the crux of the free market – is not primarily rooted in economics but ethics:
Property (including money) is only an extension of person; thus, the right to property rests upon the more fundamental right to life.
Do you think that Paul supports individual freedom, unrestricted by law? He does not. Quoting his own words:
I also support overriding the Supreme Court case that overturned state laws prohibiting flag burning. Under the Constitutional principle of federalism, questions such as whether or not Texas should prohibit flag burning are strictly up to the people of Texas, not the United States Supreme Court. Thus, if this amendment simply restored the state’s authority to ban flag burning, I would enthusiastically support it.
Goodbye, free speech — if, that is, your state votes it down.
You see, on Planet Paul, big government is fine, provided that government operates at the state or local level, not federal.
In fact, Ron Paul only believes in freedom unrestricted by federal law. When it comes to state and local governments, he fully endorses those governments’ “right” to restrict any number of your freedoms.
It comes as no surprise to learn, therefore, that on a host of other issues, such as the banning of raw milk, marijuana, abortion, same-sex relations, and so on, Paul explicitly advocates majority rule at the state level.
Properly classified, Ron Paul is what’s called an anti-federalist.
He is more specifically an anti-federalist neo-confederate masquerading as a defender of a Constitution he doesn’t fully understand. To wit:
“The notion of a rigid separation between church and state,” says Paul, “has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writing of our Founding Fathers.”
From this provably false assertion, he arrives at a remarkable conclusion:
“Far from mandating strict secularism in schools, [the First Amendment] instead bars the federal government from prohibiting the Pledge of Allegiance, school prayer, or any other religious expression. The politicians and judges pushing the removal of religion from public life are violating the First Amendment, not upholding it.”
What this translates to where Ron Paul comes from is that the First Amendment was intended to sanction (rather than prohibit) state governments who wish to impose religion upon the people.
Accordingly, Paul rejects the Jeffersonian wall of separation between church and state, and you can read it in his own words on this website.
It’s important to note here a far-too-often forgotten fact: namely, the principle behind individual rights – and, indeed, the whole reason that the United States is not a democracy but a Constitutional Republic – is that the rights of every individual, including the rights of gay people, are inalienable and never subject to vote, not at the federal level, not at the state level, and not at the local level, much as Congressman Paul wishes they were.
A religious man, Ron Paul naturally rejects evolution in favor of creationism.
He believes also that the Ten Commandments should be posted in public institutions and that the word “God” should be included in the Pledge of Allegiance.
On the issue of abortion, he’s to the right of such notable figures as Pat Robertson. He thus seeks to repeal Roe v. Wade, and he supports legislation to eliminate any legal distinction between a zygote and a fully-formed human being.
On Planet Paul, abortion is tantamount to murder; yet despite this, neither “murder” (of this sort) nor “fetal rights” (so-called) fall within the jurisdiction of the federal government. “Murder” and “the rights of the unborn” devolve to the states, so that the state can then exercise its own brand of tyranny, via public vote. This is known as majority rule, which is also known as democracy, which is also known as tyranny of the masses, which is why our Constitutional framers distrusted democracy, as well they should have. And Ron Paul knows this.
Congressman Paul correctly votes against all spending bills – that is, until it comes to his own district, for which he’s won earmarks in the federal budget, to the tune of hundreds of millions. The above process, incidentally, is nowhere to be found in the Constitution, and yet Congressman Paul says he’s “never voted for anything not specifically authorized by the Constitution.” How, then, does he justify this?
“By getting the money into the budget but then voting against the budget on the floor of the House,” says Paul critic, libertarian Stephen Greene.
And who can forget the notorious Paul newsletter, which shocked so many, myself included, and which, it turns out, he didn’t write but did endorse for thirty years. (A more thorough explication of that bigoted bile can be viewed here.)
If you’re unfamiliar with this newsletter, please don’t despair: you’ve read it many times before from neo-Marxists like Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Howard Zinn, Norman Mailer, and an army of others: the standard anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, blame-America-first rhetoric.
The New Republic said this about it:
What [the newsletters] reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing – but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.
In the arena of foreign policy, one of Paul’s main gurus is a fellow named Robert Pape, who wrote a book called Dying to Win, which, in the last few years, has become Paul’s foreign policy Bible.
The premise of the book is that American occupation is what compels these otherwise gentle Islamofascists into their suicide missions. Marc Sageman, however, author of the more authoritative Understanding Terror Networks, says this about it:
“In terms of al Qaeda, [Robert Pape] is dead wrong.”
Osama bin Laden, incidentally, says the same thing as Marc Sageman. Still, Paul would have us believe Ron Paul and Robert Pape instead.
It’s this and a number of other hot topics (such as the peculiar about-face on immigration) that has made many erstwhile supporters distance themselves from Paul. To many, he’s become just another garden-variety, religious, conspiratorial “survivalist.”
Quoting libertarian lawyer Kip Esquire:
If you want to declare openly and loudly that you are a radical majoritarian anti-federalist, and that you support Ron Paul because he shares your worldview, then good for you. If you want to shrug and conclude that a radical majoritarian anti-federalist is better than the other candidates, that could be rational as well. But don’t dare proclaim that Paul is a libertarian or that his views reflect a commitment to individual liberty, regarding the war on drugs or anything else.
It’s crucial to remember here that the founders of this country didn’t create federalism so that the states could thus be empowered. On the contrary, along with the system of checks-and-balances, federalism was created to further protect individuals from government, at any and every level, including state.
Freedom is fundamentally the absence of coercion. It matters not at which level the coercion originates. Your right to life, liberty, and property are inalienable – which means: your rights literally cannot be transferred or made alien. Paul, however, doesn’t recognize the inalienability of rights but endorses overriding a great many of them, via majority rule, provided it occurs at the state or local levels.
Finally, if you’re still in doubt about Ron Paul, just look at whom he endorsed for the 2008 presidency.
That’s right: candidate Chuck Baldwin, of the Constitution Party, whose party Preamble reads, in part:
The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States. We hereby appeal to Him for mercy, aid, comfort, guidance and the protection of His Providence as we work to restore and preserve these United States.
This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been and are afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.
The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations …