Ron Paul vs. Freedom

The Irregular Times questions why Ron Paul would have voted against a measure to improve levees in New Orleans following Katrina. Paul has also voted against other aide to New Orleans. The answer, which even his supporters verify in the comments, is that Paul does not believe this is the role of the federal government. Paul has a strange view of the Constitution which would prevent virtually any action by the federal government, and he is being consistent with his beliefs in opposing these measures.

Paul’s view of the Constitution, as well as his equally strange definition for freedom, must be considered when Ron Paul is billed as being a pro-freedom candidate. Paul certainly deserves credit for challenging the Republican orthodoxy on the war, the Patriot Act, and on drug laws. This does not mean that his position is one of supporting freedom as most of us would define freedom.

To Paul and his supporters less government means freedom regardless of the government action. Opposing spending on post-Katrina aide is seen as supporting freedom. Unfortunately Paul’s view of freedom is selective. Not only does Paul find a lack of freedom in areas where most would not, he also fails to recognize important liberties we now possess. With his opposition to abortion rights Paul opposes individual liberty in an area where it has far more impact on the individual than whether the federal government spends money on projects such as post-Katrina Aide. His vote for a federal ban on so-called partial birth abortions undermines his claims to support both individual liberty as well as his support for state’s rights.

The consequences of Paul placing his often socially conservative beliefs ahead of libertarian principles is also seen in his views of separation of church and state and the extension of liberties from the federal government to state governments. Paul ignores both the secular nature of the original body of the Constitution as well as the First Amendment, which was intended to guarantee separation of church and state. He has incorrectly claimed that, “The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers.” He has also supported keeping “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, has co-sponsored the school prayer amendment, and supported keeping the Ten Commandments on a courthouse lawn. Paul has both criticized secularism and claimed that the Founding Fathers envisioned a Christian America.

The beliefs in religious freedom and separation of church and state were radical at the time of the writing of the Constitution and it took until the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified for Constitutional liberties to be extended to the states. Paul’s vision of state’s rights does not take this into account. Not only would the states be able to restrict the rights of a woman to control her own body, but state governments would be free to enact the rest of the platform of the religious right. This is why Paul has received those endorsements from far right extremist groups which see Paul’s platform as the best way in which to impose their views on local governments.

If he had the power, Ron Paul would greatly transform the nature of the federal government. Not only would the government be unable to spend money on projects such as post-Katrina assistance, it would also lose the ability to “impose” its views of Constitutional liberties upon the states. Contrary to the view of Paul and his supporters, such rights must be a matter of national policy and not be left for the local level. It is far easier for conservative groups to obtain a majority vote at a state or local level than on a national level to impose their agenda.

The Founding Fathers understood the need to protect the rights of the individual over the rights of the majority. The fight for liberty remains an ongoing battle, and extending Constitutional liberties to state governments was an important part of this battle. Whenever his supporters promote Ron Paul as the defender of freedom, keep in mind that their definition of freedom may be quite different from yours and what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

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27 Comments

  1. 1
    Joel S. Hirschhorn says:

    Ron Paul is a hypocrite on many issues. If you check his requests for earmarks you find many of them were aimed at getting the Army Corps of Engineers to spend money on projects in his district!!!!

  2. 2
    Joel S. Hirschhorn says:

    Ron Paul Reality Check

    Joel S. Hirschhorn

    As self-professed champion of the Constitution presidential candidate Ron Paul has missed a monumental opportunity to educate Americans about the criminal behavior of Congress in violating their oath of office. Even more important, he has not taken advantage of his 15 minutes of fame to promote the nation’s first-time use of what the Founders gave us in the Constitution in case the public lost confidence in the federal government – the Article V convention option.

    Paul clearly recognizes the many failures of the federal government. Maybe as a member of Congress he just does not have the courage to confess that he too has been part of a long-standing refusal by Congress to obey Article V of the Constitution. Why don’t passionate Paul supporters see his lack of integrity, guts and consistency?

    Support for using the Article V convention option should be a litmus test for any presidential candidate, which is reasonable considering that Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt supported it.

    First, let’s be clear that Paul has no problem in seeing the need for constitutional amendments. For example, he has been a proponent of an amendment that would not allow children born in the USA from illegal parents to become citizens. Second, he has maintained throughout his career his love and respect for our Constitution. Third, he has carefully refused to publicly state his views on the provision in Article V of the Constitution for the use of a convention of state delegates to make proposed amendments as the alternative to Congress proposing amendments (the only procedure used for 220 years). Fourth, he has made no attempt to pass any law that would modify, clarify or expand the single requirement now in Article V for a convention. How can a champion of the Constitution remain so silent on Congress’ refusal to honor over 500 applications from all 50 states for a convention that more than satisfies the one and only requirement in Article V?

    Anyone who studies the history of attempts to get the first Article V convention will learn that it has consistently been opposed by people and groups on the political left and right that are part of the nation’s elitist political status quo establishment. So here is Ron Paul, supposedly an honest non-elitist political maverick that does not fit into the political establishment, yet too cowardly to stand up to the political establishment by backing the use of the Article V convention option. Paul has had virtually no real impact on what Congress has done, yet he does not support the convention option that would circumvent the power of Congress. What does he have to lose?

    Of course, if all the passionate supporters of Paul would spend more time investigating all his congressional activities, they would find a lot more to seriously question. A chief example is that he has routinely inserted earmarks for pork spending to make constituents in his district happy. Then he hides behind his votes against the spending bills containing his earmark spending items. But those earmarks remain in those spending bills passed by Congress. Tell me, is that really virtuous behavior? His earmarks increase federal activities and spending. Many have been for projects by the Army Corps of Engineers, many to funnel money to the Texas Department of Transportation (including one for repairs to the Galveston Trolley system), and one for Texas A&M University/Galveston Campus to convert the Texas Clipper for educational purposes; maybe this was the $30 million for the Texas Maritime Academy to refurbish a ship. And then there was the $8 million for the marketing of wild American shrimp and $2.3 million to pay for research into shrimp fishing. This seems like pretty conventional Republican politics. This year Paul has requested about $400 million worth of federal spending for his district – not exactly consistent with Paul’s rhetoric on reducing federal spending and taxing. His duty is to inform his constituents about the wrongness of earmarks, not capitulate to their requests.

    There is still time for Paul to search his soul and find the courage to either to support use of the Article V convention as the route to achieving deep political reforms that Congress itself will never have the integrity to propose through constitutional amendments, or to step up and make the case for an amendment that would remove the never-used Article V convention option.

    Here is some irony: With our thoroughly corrupt and rigged political system Ron Paul has absolutely zero chance of becoming the Republican presidential nominee, regardless of his high level of grassroots support. Odd then that Paul has not supported the one and only route to profoundly changing this awful political system. It is the method our Founders gave us with the Article V convention option. Indeed, his lack of support for using the Article V convention option seems to makes him a part of the political establishment, which is consistent with his recent announcement that if he does not get the Republican nomination he will not run as a third party candidate.

    [Joel S. Hirschhorn can be reached through http://www.delusionaldemocracy.com and is a co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention at http://www.foavc.org.]

  3. 3
    Miranda says:

    “It is far easier for conservative groups to obtain a majority vote at a state or local level than on a national level to impose their agenda.”

    You know, you guys on the left like to bring this up without mentioning that it works the other way as well. That’s the great thing about the 10th amendment(one of those “bill of rights” things) it doesn’t make it easier for “conservative groups” or “liberal groups” but local groups, liberal or conservative or libertarian or green.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Miranda,

    That’s really irrelevant to the argument presented here. The point is that defending rights is a matter of national policy and not a matter which should be left purely to the states. This does not contradict the 10th Amendment.
    Joel,

    Check yesterday’s discussion on Paul. Some supporters are saying that Paul would introduce earmarks to assist his constituents, and then vote against them to supposedly remain true to his beliefs. It would be interesting to track down these actual votes. Even if true there is obvious hypocrisy in this, especially if things he introduced lead to increased government spending regardless of his final vote.

  5. 5
    Miranda says:

    “It would be interesting to track down these actual votes.” So bring it up, when have done so…

    I don’t care about national policy, i care about rule of law, you don’t liek the law then amend it, but we have gotten to used to ignoring it completey and then wonder why it’s so easy for others to dismiss for not so popular purposes. As far as i’m concerned there are only 2 issues in this race. Imperialism abroad and Fascism at home. First you stop the killing, then you restore the rule of law. Stopping the wars and occupations and taking a step back from the brink mean a lot more to me(and i’m guessing to the 40,000 people who donated to Paul on monday) than any entitlements or “social justice” programs. You can’t honestly expect to sway anyone with moral preaching about Katrina as an excuse to dismiss the most anti-war candidate running. i don’t bite. End the Wars, end the use of torture, end the rendition programs, end Patriot act and Military commisions act. Then lets talk about Social Security and Disaster relief.

  6. 6
    Texas Little El says:

    And the attacks begin….
    ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win’ Gandhi

    If you got off you cans, did the research and took the time to educate yourselves, you would find that we have spent over $70 Billion on Katrina victims already.

    My brother-in-law works for the Corp of Engineers, and lives in Metairie Louisiana. We talk about this prior to Katrina coming through and it graft that prevented the levee system from being built to withstand a category 5 hurricane. After Katrina had hit, we had talked about rebuilding New Orleans 7 months ago, and he said the exact same thing about rebuilding, that fraud and graft were preventing the levees from being rebuilt and improved.

    He also said that they have plenty of money in the works to rebuild the levees right now but there is a limit to the man power they can use in that the infrastructure of New Orleans and the surrounding parishes must be built up again first.

    They also need to condemn land in certain area’s so that pumping stations that help to drain New Orleans can be installed, but that the New Orleans government is dragging their feet when it comes to these decisions.

    Please, keep blaming Ron Paul for Katrina victims ills. It only shows how ignorant you are.

    Hopefully with a new Governor in the state of Louisiana, the graft and corruption will disappear and the levees will be rebuilt properly this time around.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    Texas,

    “Please, keep blaming Ron Paul for Katrina victims ills. It only shows how ignorant you are.”

    Read the post before you come up with inane comments. Nothing in the post blames Ron Paul for Katrina victims ills. Your comments do not pertain to the real subject of this post.

  8. 8
    Blanca DeBree says:

    Ron Paul is an evildoer, but he seems to understand we don’t need any more Negros, homos, or any other degenerates, which populate the Big Easy. I mean really, the nickname of NOLA is the Big Easy. That just sounds slutty.

    Usually I deplore Ron Paul. But in this instance I applaud him. No one wants to put up adequate levees, otherwise the Rapture won’t have a chance to drown all those evildoer Democrats.

  9. 9
    Damozel says:

    “You’re too stupid to vote for Ron Paul, you morons!”

    Paul supporters aren’t saddened that some of us reject his world view in favor of one that focuses on the individual’s obligation to the community that supports his—or her—existence. They’re just very, very angry.

    I love the way they think they are helping their candidate by insulting people who disagree with them. It’s such a brilliant way to win their hearts and minds! I’m sure the Ron Paul campaign is grateful.

    I don’t agree that Paul is a hypocrite except to the extent that all libertarians (unintentionally) are. They seem quite willing to accept the benefits of living in a community, but deny that there are reciprocal obligations.

    I consider it a fallacy to see the government as distinct from the governed. A lazy, disaffected citizenry begets a bad government…

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    Damozel,

    The moderation que is full of comments from Paul supporters with language like that and little more. I especially like the recent one where moron is misspelled. They certainly don’t realize how much harm they actually do to their cause.

    Libertarians tend to be consistent in their beliefs whether you agree or disagree with them so normally I wouldn’t call them hypocrites. The hypocrisy charge against Paul which someone raised above is for his support for pork projects in his own district. He is also being hypocritical when he violates his usual positions in support of states rights in backing the federal ban on “partial birth” abortions. But then the entire idea of libertarians failing to respect the rights of a woman to ownership of her own body is also quite hypocritical.

  11. 11
    jmklein says:

    The phrase separation of church and state is not mentioned in the constitution. The constitution merely bans establishment of religion, which means a national church ( as disestablishmentarianism refers to the movement against the english church)

    Open up the constitution and read it, alot of the things people tell you are there really arnt, and a lot of things they say are not there plainly are.

  12. 12
    Robert says:

    “defending rights is a matter of national policy”

    That may be your opinion, and the fact that you’re entitled to express it in a free society does NOT however give you the right to impose it on others.

    My opinion happens to be different. I see far too many variables in these issues.

    Rights to do what, exactly?
    Who is going to define these rigths for me, you? I think NOT.
    Who is going to define these rights for you, me? I think NOT.
    If we do agree in some rights, what, if any, are the limits to these rights?
    What are we to do if one right infringes on another?

    One can go on and on, but I think you can see the problem. One person’s holy grail may very well be someone else’s belly laugh.

    The bottom line? It is hard enough to get 100 people to agree on such issues, let alone 250 million or more. Look around you today. We have a monstrously large federal government, populated by millions of public “servants” who believe that it is their (God given?) right to enslave the rest of us and rule over everything we do.

    No my friend, far better to do away with the whole sorry mess and deal with such issues on the most local level possible. Do I have an opinion about abortion? Maybe, but the only right to abortion which I recognize is your right to have your own opinion. That, by the way, includes your right to seek out or establish a local community of like minded people. Just so long as that does not include forcing me to participate if I have different ideas.

    But the that’s just another opinion, isn’t it – even if it’s mine and I happen to like it.

    The oldest political error: Because it a lot of people want something, government should or must provide it.
    If this error is pervasive, the result is a society of a totally enslaved people.
    If it is uprooted, the result is a society of a totally free people.

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    jmklein,

    “The phrase separation of church and state is not mentioned in the constitution”

    This is a specious claim commonly used by opponents of this important liberty. The exact phrase is not used in the Constitution but both the secular nature of the Constitution, in contrast to writings of the era, makes this intention clear. This was also added in the First Amendment, which certainly does not have the narrow meaning you claim. This is further made clear in the writings of the Founding Fathers as well as in multiple court decisions.

  14. 14
    Ron Chusid says:

    Robert,

    “That may be your opinion, and the fact that you’re entitled to express it in a free society does NOT however give you the right to impose it on others.”

    You sure have a convoluted way of looking at this. Defending individual liberty is not the same as imposing ones views on others in terms of denying their rights.

    “Rights to do what, exactly?”

    The rights intended by the Founding Fathers in the formation of this government and written in the Bill of Rights.

    At least you verify my argument that Paul’s beliefs are ultimately anti-libertarian as they allow for a majority in an area to deny rights to the minority. What you offer is not a society of free people but a society of pockets of various forms of dictatorship, which is why Paul receives the support of so many extremists and neo-Nazis.

  15. 15
    DDP says:

    Ron,

    I think, and I’m only referring to my general knowledge, that libertarians tend to be pro-choice. Definitely the mainstream libertarians. Not to say that there isn’t any debate about the issue.

    Paul, I think, isn’t the typical libertarian on a whole host of issues, but hits on a good deal of the important libertarian talking points, hence the their embrace of his candidacy.

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:

    DDP,

    There are a number of possible supporters for Paul.

    Some are more mainstream libertarians who disagree with Paul in the areas where you acknowledge that Paul isn’t a typical libertarian. Some many realize this, but I also suspect that many others do not realize what Paul’s views actually are and the consequences of them. This is also of value for non-libertarians who would get a distorted view of libertarianism from Paul.

    There are also many people who have right wing, non-libertarian views as Paul does who are backing him. This is seen in those who spam the blogs defending his views and in the groups like Stormfront who have endorsed him. These people also give a distorted view of what libertarianism is.

  17. 17
    DDP says:

    Ron,

    Agreed. Support for Paul from the mainstream libertarians has to be carefully scrutinized based on his views on abortion, his views on church/state, immigration, and his under-the-radar earmarking. But I think, for mainstream libertarians, he is the best choice in a fairly limited field of idealogical compadres. Right now (and I think rightly so), the main libertarian issues in a rough order of importance are:

    1. Iraq
    2. American Imperialism
    3. Limits on Executive Power
    4. The Deficit
    5. Balance of Federal Power vs State/Local Power
    6. The Drug War

    For these issues, he really is the dream candidate. But it doesn’t mean that they won’t hold their nose voting for him, much like a Democrat would for…whomever. The question for libertarians has always been, “well, who the hell do we vote for?”. Badnarik? Paul is the best semi-serious choice that they have had for some time that addresses their core issues, hence their zeal.

    But as a very sweeping generality, I agree, I’m not sure that some of the recently converted legion of masses know what they could possibly be asking for with Paul. And if they new, some would be slightly aghast.

    As for the Stormfront crowd and such, I can’t go as far as to associate Paul with those types (not that you did). They endorse him simply because his idealogy is a convenient forum for them to espouse their dribble.

    As a libertarian myself, it’s not Paul or nothing. My second choice would be Richardson (no, really). And then Obama (no, really really).

  18. 18
    DDP says:

    Wait, is this a Michigan blog?

    Fantastic.

  19. 19
    Ron Chusid says:

    DDP,

    Regarding issues in order of importance, I would place the influence of the religious right much higher as these are the issues which impact people’s lives and where the next president will have an influence on which way we go. Therefore Paul’s views on separation of church and state exclude him from consideration for me.

    Regarding federal power vs state power, in a way this is overemphasized by Paul. While there are many arguments for keeping many functions more local, the ultimate issue is whether government at any level is infringing upon individual liberties. I don’t see it as an advantage if Paul would remove restrictions at a federal level but allow a state government to restrict freedoms.

    Richardson and Obama generally seem the most appealing on libertarian grounds. Dodd has also caught my attention lately for concentrating on civil liberties issues. With Obama I’m not certain yet to what degree he would be an improvement and to what degree he just uses rhetoric to allow people from a variety of viewpoints to see things they like. I’m waiting to see more detail from him. However, if limited to the three Democratic front runners, he certainly seems the best

    I would associate Paul with extremist groups like Stormfront in some ways other than their racism. Paul does seem to share many attitudes with such far right groups in many ways such as his conspiratorial views of the UN and conservative feelings on many social issues. His writings often sound far more like that of this sort of far right extremist (other than on race) than that of a libertarian. I’m sure they do find a lot of overlap between their views an Paul’s, considering that (hopefully) no candidate will advocate their most overt racist views.

    Yes, this blog is from Michigan–which means I’ll probably be voting for Dodd in the primaries assuming the present situation holds up where it is between Clinton and Dodd. Dodd has virtually no chance but he seems a worthwhile protest vote for the primary.

  20. 20
    Wayne says:

    Ron, you state:
    “Ron Chusid Says:
    November 8th, 2007 at 10:02 am
    jmklein,

    “The phrase separation of church and state is not mentioned in the constitution”

    This is a specious claim commonly used by opponents of this important liberty. The exact phrase is not used in the Constitution but both the secular nature of the Constitution, in contrast to writings of the era, makes this intention clear. This was also added in the First Amendment, which certainly does not have the narrow meaning you claim. This is further made clear in the writings of the Founding Fathers as well as in multiple court decisions. ”

    How is this a specious claim? Either the exact phrase is in the constitution (including the amendments), or it isn’t! You can’t have it both ways. On one hand, the 1st amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” the intent being to protect religion from government, not the other way around, yet liberals insist it says (not even means) “separation of church and state.”

    In addition, you make mention of how Ron Paul’s definiton of freedom, in particular his advocating that the federal government would lose the ability to “impose” its views of constitutional liberty on the states, is different from what was envisioned by the founding fathers. I disagree! If the founding fathers intended for the constitution to apply equally to the states as well as the federal government, the first amendment wouldn’t have started with “Congress shall make no law…” it would have started with “No legislative body within these United States shall make no law…” Also, it was the founding fathers who supported the 10th amendment, which clearly states that in their vision, the federal government is meant to be subservient to the states and the people.

  21. 21
    Ron Chusid says:

    Wayne,

    “Either the exact phrase is in the constitution (including the amendments), or it isn’t! You can’t have it both ways. ”

    I’m not trying to have it both ways. The writers of the Constitution could have intended for ideas to be included without using the exact phrase. There are multiple ways to say the same thing. Separation of church and state was intended by the secular nature of the Constitution. It was also intended in the writing of the First Amendment. This is demonstrated in the writings of the Founding Fathers which explain this point and is confirmed in numerous court decisions.

    “In addition, you make mention of how Ron Paul’s definiton of freedom, in particular his advocating that the federal government would lose the ability to “impose” its views of constitutional liberty on the states, is different from what was envisioned by the founding fathers.”

    No, that’s a distortion of what I was saying.

    “If the founding fathers intended for the constitution to apply equally to the states as well as the federal government, the first amendment wouldn’t have started with “Congress shall make no law…” it would have started with “No legislative body within these United States shall make no law…””

    The goal of many of the Founding Fathers was for their principles of liberty to apply to the states as well as the federal government. Differences of opinion, especially over slavery, made this impossible at the time the Constitution was ratified. The struggle for liberty has been an ongoing process. The Constitutional liberties were not extended to the states until the 16th Amendment.

    “Also, it was the founding fathers who supported the 10th amendment, which clearly states that in their vision, the federal government is meant to be subservient to the states and the people.”

    The goal of the 10th Amendment was to attempt to increase individual liberty. Extension of Constitutional liberties to the states is consistent with this goal.

  22. 22
    Wayne says:

    Ron,
    At the time the constitution was written, the founding fathers had just won freedom from England, a country with an absolute central government, and therefore the thing they feared the most was strong central governments. The main goal of the constitution was to restrict the ability of the federal government from enforcing it’s will on the people, often in the form of the state governments. The idea was that the states would have the power, not the central (federal) government. Over the years, this has been dramatically (and frightenly) been reversed, with the federal government now taking over control of many of the items that the founding fathers felt that they had no business getting involved in.

  23. 23
    Ron Chusid says:

    Wayne,

    The question is whether the priority is liberty or the priority is having power in the states as opposed to the federal government.

    I choose liberty. Paul chooses state’s rights, and in doing so the consequence is often less liberty.

    Sometimes it is definitely beneficial to leave things to a more local government. However when dealing with Constitutional rights this is best enforced nationally. Paul’s position which would allow states and local governments to ignore civil liberties if this is what is decided by the local government would lead to authoritarian regimes in much of the country, which is why so many neo-Nazis support Paul, realizing that the election of Ron Paul would be the easiest way to bring fascism to America, even if this is contrary to Paul’s goals. Paul’s naive and historically inaccurate interpretation of the Constitution would lead to results which are undesirable, and contrary to what he himself would want.

  24. 24
    Jim says:

    Speaking as a civil libertarian who believes that personal freedom and individualism are of paramount value, I nonetheless come down strongly on the side of State Rights. Here’s why:

    State autonomy is the only way in which individuals can be guaranteed the right of freedom in the long run. Power corrupts. Federal uniform guaratee of rights is guaranteed to foster abuses in the long run. For example, is uniform education a right? (the flip side of the same coin: the right to rob other parents to educate my kids); is healthcare a right? (flip side: the right to rob other taxpayers to pay for my medical expenses). Such differences in opinions have to be worked in real life by trial and errors. States have to be allowed to try different approahces, and people can vote with their feet! Think of government services as a market place, multiple competing states make for a competitive market place, whereas a uniform federal government is inevitably a monopoly infested with abuses. Yes, Jim Crow laws would be deplorable . . . and speaking as a member of an ethnic minority, I may indeed find some parts of the country off-limit to myself; I simply would not go there. The racists would just have to stew in their own venom without benefiting from my economic contribution. There are plenty parts of the world that I’m sure that none of us here would deign to spend our vacation dollars in. The bigots will just have to find the errors of their ways at their own expense. Enforcing enlightenment in the Jim Crow country through federal arms is fundamentally little different from trying to enforce democracy in Iraq: the local people will be turned off, and the administrators that federal government put in place to enforce enlightenment would inevitably be liable to corruption (power corrupts).

    The equal treatment clause in the Constitution already stipulates that no State shall treat citizens of other states residing within its borders differently from its own citizens. That’s all it takes to start the lively voting-with-feet process that made Europe develop modernity long before other centers of civilization that were mired in centralized governments.

    The only thing I’d suggest changing would be absolving individual States of the duty to extradite individuals who faces charges of having committed acts that are non-crimes in its own borders. Likewise, no obligation to return non-properties within its own borders. That would have avoided the deplorable Dred-Scott decision. Think about it, in this way, each state would be able to experiment on its drug policies, healthcare policies, education policies, immigration policies, etc. and find out what really works. IMHO, the egregiously heavy handed government approaches would be out-competed rapidly, and bringing much greater freedom to the individuals than we have today. When individuals can pick and choose from 50 different governments, that’s when personal freedom will really flourish.

  25. 25
    Ron Chusid says:

    Jim,

    What you advocate is far from a free country. One of the necessary characteristics of a free country is that there are limitations on the power of government. This must apply nation wide, not only to those areas which vote to respect Constitutional liberties. When you (and Ron Paul) deny this you are setting us up for dictatorship. This is why so many neo-Nazis support Paul. They realize that Paul’s ideas on states rights would be the easiest way for them to bring fascism to much of America.

    What you advocate is hardly what I, or most people, would see as a free society. We wish to have a free country, not a country such what you advocate which would turn into pockets of freedom along with many unfree areas. Most people do not want a country where we have to move just because a majority in an area votes to limit our Constitutional freedoms. While not perfect, enforcing the right to vote for all is working and is hardly analogous to the situation in Iraq. Regardless, we must support such basic liberties as the right to vote throughout the country. There is a huge difference between defending such rights in our own country as opposed to trying to impose a government upon a foreign country such as Iraq.

    Perhaps your attitude demonstrates why much of Paul’s support comes from students. Those of us who have established businesses, or are working, in the real world, realize what an absurd idea this is. It would hardly be a free country if we face the risk of having to give up our businesses, and homes, because of the results of a state or local election. Even most students will see how anti-freedom and undesirable such a situation is. Students looking at job offers upon graduation should be able to choose jobs without having to be concerned whether the job is in an area which respects Constitutional liberties. For freedom to really flourish, such basic liberties must be nation wide and not be placed at the whim of local voters.

  26. 26
    Jack LaRose says:

    I don’t understand how being robbed at gunpoint (taxed) makes anyone more free, regardless of how altruistic the stated intent.  You must be able to be honest with yourselves.  Acting as if you are justified in stealing because it “helps people” does not change the fact that you are, in fact, stealing. 
    Perhaps instead of threatening people with federal prison, one should start a “Katrina Telethon” or some such thing.  If it is a cause most people believe in, perhaps it will be a success.  If you think more still needs to be done, maybe you could “tighten the belt” a bit (you obviously all have computers, which is more than most of the wretches you claim to care about can say), downgrade your car, or house, or 401K to get some help for these people.
    Otherwise, you are just coming off as bossy.

  27. 27
    Ron Chusid says:

    That is one warped viewpoint. Payment of taxes is something which we must do to live in civilized society. Civilized societies take care of people who suffer catastrophes , and catastrophes the magnitude of Katrina can only be handled by government.

    You repeat the infantile argument of some on the far right that taxation is theft, however that argument hardly helps Paul since he does not oppose all taxation, even at the federal level. In a society organized under Paul’s ideas we very well could wind up with higher taxes if these are imposed by a state or local unit of government.

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