Ron Paul

Michael Medved really lays it on to Ron Paul in his last column, referring to Paul as “The Mad Doctor”, “The Crotchety Candidate” and “Dr. Demento”, largely because of Ron Paul’s uncompromising Libertarian views.

How would you describe a perennial presidential candidate who insists in a televised debate that government has no more right to interfere with prostitution or heroin than it does to limit the right of the people to “practice their religion and say their prayers”?

The phrase “crackpot” comes immediately to mind—and in any contemporary political dictionary that term would appear alongside a photograph of Congressman Ron Paul.

The Mad Doctor, who proudly consorts with 9/11 Truthers and Holocaust denying neo-Nazis, announced his third race for the nation’s highest office on Friday the Thirteenth (appropriately enough) by declaring that, as President, he never would have authorized a lethal strike against Osama bin Laden. The firestorm over this remark distracted attention from previous controversial comments just eight days before, when he used the first debate of the 2012 race to stake out exclusive territory on the lunatic libertarian fringe.

It gets better, or worse, from there. Any person running for public office must choose a middle course between two extremes. On the one hand, a politician who has no convictions and just shifts with the wind, or the polls, is worthless. A leader ought to have some principles or convictions to guide the decisions he makes. On the other hand, there is such a thing as being consistent and principles to the point of idiocy. I think most would agree that legalizing heroin or prostitution is over that line. Not only do such stands make a candidate unelectable, but it shows a certain unwillingness to consider the real world consequences of political theories and policies, or to do what must be done even if it is against your particular ideology.

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2 Responses to “Ron Paul”

  1. Justin Lee Says:

    A leader ought to have some principles or convictions to guide the decisions he makes. On the other hand, there is such a thing as being consistent and principles to the point of idiocy.

    You seem to be, on principle, opposed to the strict adherence of political principles? Isn’t that self-refuting?

    Moreover, there is no inherent conflict between principles and practicality, assuming one’s principles are in accordance to the facts of reality.

    I think most would agree that legalizing heroin or prostitution is over that line. Not only do such stands make a candidate unelectable, but it shows a certain unwillingness to consider the real world consequences of political theories and policies, or to do what must be done even if it is against your particular ideology.

    The real-world consequence of the drug war are what Ron Paul is opposing: the invasions of privacy, expansion of police powers, the incredible expense, the added crime that occurs by increasing the costs of addiction (just as what happened during Prohibition), the largest prison population in the world, and the devastation and poverty done to inner cities and rural communities and families. Drug-related crimes exist predominately because of drug laws.

    If our goal is to decrease drug addiction, we should look to real-world examples of drug decriminalization, such as what has happened in Portugal, where drug use declined, teenage addiction dropped, drug-related deaths and crimes dropped in half, and people seeking therapy to end their addiction doubled.

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  2. David Hoffman Says:

    It’s a question of knowing when to hold out and when to settle for half a loaf. A leader who has no principles beyond getting reelected is contemptible. A leader who does not know when to compromise becomes ineffective. A politician who argues in favor of legalizing heroin is not going to be taken very seriously. I am sure Ron Paul is an honest man and right more often than not but he is also unelectable outside of Texas. Because some of his stands can be easily caricatured as “crackpot”, he does his causes more harm than good.

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