Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Interesting interviews with Ron Paul

In this interview with Bill Steigerwald, Rep. Ron Paul demonstrates again why so many people identify with him.

Q: For those who don't know the difference between a “classical liberal” and (the late) liberal New York Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan, can you tell us the difference?
A: Well, the classical liberal, or the libertarian, or the constitutionalist, believes that government is designed to protect our liberties and to allow people to solve their own problems. It is not designed to regulate the economy, nor our personal lives.
Under the classical liberal viewpoint, government was there to restrain force and to allow people to use their own creative energy to solve their problems. Today, the modern liberal -- and many conservatives -- believes government has a much bigger role in telling us what to do, how to live and involvement in our personal lives, as well as regulating the economy.

Q: Who are your favorite classical liberals?
A: In the economic sense, and for the 20th century, my favorite is Ludwig von Mises, because he has done the best job in explaining how a free-market economy can work if we allow it to work.

Of course, I also like John Locke. And of course, the one who in a very simplistic way influenced a lot of the modern day libertarians was Frederic Bastiat. He wrote the book "The Law," which simplifies the whole debate so succinctly. It's easy for everybody to read and understand, the principle being that government should never do anything that you, yourself, can't do. And if it's illegal for you to steal from your neighbor, it should never be permissible for you to send the government to steal from your neighbor in order for you to have some material benefit.

Q: What kind of Republican are you?
A: I call myself a constitutional Republican. Some others call me a libertarian Republican., which is OK too, because I believe the Founders were very libertarian. They wanted a very limited government and they emphasized individual liberty. In many ways to me that’s a traditional Republican, because there was a time when Republicans stood for smaller government and actually they stood for nonintervention overseas. They argued always against the Democrats starting wars. They argued in the past for sound money and civil liberties. It’s just that they’ve lost their way and Republicans and Democrats are pretty much the same these days.

John Stossel also has a series of columns on the candidate:

My Interview with Ron Paul
Ron Paul on War
Dr. No, R-Texas
Ron Paul on Immigration
Live and Let Live, Says One Candidate

From the last column:

"Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul opposes things like prostitution and drug use, but he says the federal government has no business trying to stop adults from engaging in them. Freedom of choice, he says, shouldn't just be restricted to choices he approves of. It's the job of the federal government, says the congressman, to protect us from external threats, but it should not try to protect us from ourselves." ~ Stossel
"I think when you defend freedom, you defend freedom of choice. You can't be picking and choosing how people use those freedoms. I don't believe government can legislate virtue. I can reject (vice) personally and preach against it, whether it's drugs or prostitution, but my solution comes from my personal behavior and how I raise my children. Whether it's personal behavior or economic behavior, I want people to have freedom of choice." ~ Ron Paul


Hooda Thunkit said...


That all sounds well and good however...

We are like little children in that we need some level of discipline/limits/bounds; otherwise, just like little children, we tend to behave badly in social situations.

Otherwise, I could easily adopt the Libertarian's principles...

So, how do we get there from here?

Maggie Thurber said...

Hooda - perhaps you've misunderstood. The issues I see are WHO is responsible for making the rules...not should/should not rules be made...

In the case of Ron Paul - and many conservatives - the issue is that such rules/laws should not be done at the federal level, as that government is limited by the Constitution.

This approach, however, does leave states free to legislate as they - and their residents - see fit.

I think that's a big distinction between 'lawlessness' and proper exercise of authority...

Hooda Thunkit said...


True, uniformity across the states would be a desirable outcome but the states themselves SHOULD be the ones to set the rules/guidelines/limits.

The Fed should stick with their Constitutional mandates and let the states govern as they see fit.

Sorry about not making that clear right off.

maildad said...

sounds good, but prostitution and drugs affect neighborhoods and families. It is not safe for our kids to be raised around these vices.
People are already fleeing metropolitan areas because of these things.
So we do need locals governments' help to regulate these .

Maggie Thurber said...

Well, maildad, if there are going to be regulations about those things, the local government would be the place for it.

To be quite honest, I go back and forth on these two issues between outlawing them or allowing them while taxing them to high heaven...

Tim Higgins said...


The argument that you make here is pretty simple and easily understood:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
- 10th Amendment to the Constitution

As for the rest, including what maildad is justifiably concerned with ...
Prohibiting things has never seemed to work in society(Prohibition), instead, it usually creates a criminal element to serve the desires for such things. Protection must come from providing information to and the proper upbringing of children by families first. Beyond this, we should look to the community, and finally to the state to assist, but not supplant that family.

Ultimately however, we must always keep in mind that less government is more.

kateb said...

Less is more, indeed. Nice post Maggie - thank you for the resources. I'm going to do some reading on this fellow.

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