A Friday Symposium

In something of a follow-up to Jeff’s piece below, I offer, without either endorsement or criticism, this excerpt from a piece by Senator Rand Paul in the Washington Times:

When the GOP examines itself to try to regain its mojo, I hope Republicans will look at the message of Ron Paul, because as it stands now, the GOP is a dinosaur that can’t compete on the West Coast, in New England or in the Great Lakes region. Before the powers that be call for abandoning our limited-government principles, maybe we should look at how Ron Paul adhered more consistently to the first principles of our founders and, in the process, found a unique and diverse coalition that actually could have competed in a world not controlled by a two-party system.

Discuss any and all aspects of Senator Paul’s assertions. Having kicked the hornet’s nest, I’ll step back and watch from an enclosed structure.

  1. Eeyore

    “ Having kicked the hornet’s nest, I’ll step back and watch from an enclosed structure.”

    You better make sure you’re not holed up in some silly little screened-in gazebo, because Alex Jones is casting Ron Paul to lead a second American Revolution that will turn any little hidey-hole into a Live-Free-Or-Die Zone. 

  2. Casey

    Interesting stuff.  Perhaps Ricochet should add the good Senator as a Contributor.

    In other words, I’d like to encourage Rob/Peter to pay Paul.

  3. Troy Senik, Ed.
    Casey: In other words, I’d like to encourage Rob/Peter to pay Paul. · 0 minutes ago

    That’s a walk-off!

  4. Douglas

    Fine, abandon social issues, become Libertarian-Max, and watch the California votes roll in. Oh wait, you mean that libertarian economics is a dead letter with voters on the coasts? Nevermind.

    Oh, and watch the middle and southern states votes go bye-bye as they fork into their own party.

    There is no great untapped libertarian majority. I say again, there is no great untapped libertarian majority. Most of the people on the coasts that identify themselves as libertarians are libertines, are libertarians on social issues only, and will be the first to kick and cry and scream WAR ON WOMEN!  and SAVE BIG BIRD! when we try to cut federal spending. In other words, Democrats in all but name. The GOP didn’t lose because they weren’t Libertarian enough. The GOP lost because 50+ percent of the population now wants government to be their daddy and mommy.

  5. Casey
    Troy Senik, Ed.

    Casey: In other words, I’d like to encourage Rob/Peter to pay Paul. · 0 minutes ago

    That’s a walk off! · 2 minutes ago

    See you Monday, everybody!

  6. Trace

    I agree with Douglas. Living out here in California most of the Libertarians are passionate about one issue only. More to the point, Rand Paul’s credibility I think drops several points reading that. He is either obtuse or insincere and either way, is not the person we need to be in charge of electoral strategy.  

  7. Cutlass

    I think there’s a lot to learn from examining how a cranky old white guy from Texas who hates government has been able to appeal to so many young people.

    One thing it shows is that the youth have not necessarily swallowed the progressive agenda. Still, why is a fiscal message generally to the right of the Tea Party accepted as respectable from a Paul supporter?

    It does show that the left has been extraordinarily successful at demonizing conservatives on the gay marriage issue. I’m not necessarily saying that social conservatives should cave (nor do I expect them to), but it must be acknowledged that the debate over this issue has severely damaged our brand. It has hurt us with the young and we haven’t even been able to win over anti-SSM Blacks and Latinos. Yelling the same things louder is not going to change this.

    That said, why is Ron Paul seemingly immune on social issues? Paul is fiercely pro-life and is most certainly opposed to paying for anyone’s contraception. Why are his college age supporters not run off campus?

    Is it his isolationism? if so, why does this issue resonate?

  8. Cutlass

    Oh, can we please, please, please not turn this into a 300 comment thread about the pros and cons of gay marriage?

  9. shelby_forthright
    Douglas: Fine, abandon social issues, become Libertarian-Max…

    Ron Paul is pro-life.

  10. shelby_forthright

    More to the point: in 1993 Newt Gingrich learned from Perot’s candidacy what needed to be ADDED to the GOP’s message in order to gain a majority. The next year the GOP won the House for the first time in my lifetime. A more (small l) libertarian message would be an excellent way to broaden the GOP’s appeal.

  11. BrentB67

    Ron Paul had many good domestic ideas and voted consistently on principle, but always fell apart when the foreign policy, CIA paranoia took over.

    I think Rand has his father’s strengths without the burden of weakness and republicans will ignore him, Ted Cruz, Jim Demint at their peril. The problem IS government. The problem is not that the government is growing too fast and just needs to grow slower. 
  12. Duane Oyen

    This should be a real winner in a center-left country.  Except to the isolationist stoners.

  13. Chris Johnson

    What do I know?  I voted for Anderson in my first election, thus diminishing Reagan’s victory over Carter.

    Well, I matured a bit.  I found this, today, which may be a fun and on-topic read for those that may have missed it.

  14. liberal jim

    Rand said something about “limited government principles” and consistently  adhering to the first principles of our founders.  He did not say his father talked about these things and then ignored them once in office.  

    I think Ron Paul’s appeal can be found in his message that the ruling elite of both parties are and have been corrupt for several decades and  are concerned primarily with their political power and that they will screw the average American if this means they can hold onto that power. 

    I can see why this message would not appeal to large numbers of the GOP.  

  15. jkumpire

    Libertarian economics and foreign policy are very tempting issues to support. However, there has to be some kind of social cohesion for a society like ours to function, and libertarians seem to say ‘let everybody do what they want just leave me alone’.

    They are asking for the impossible. Sure, let anyone do whatever they want, then please try to convince a majority of the country that people in misery are undeserving of government help, even if it’s totally their fault. 

    Or, let anyone abort a child anytime they want before birth for any reason. The adult has complete control over their own body without interference. Okay, who pays for the abortion if they can’t? Will doctors do the job gratis in perfect hospital conditions, also without charge?

    Of course not. Without some kind of law respecting life, like will not be respected, and the people who abuse their libertarian-type liberty will find someone to dip into our pockets to pay for it all.

    If libertarianism could work on a practical level, I’d be all for it. I just don;t see how it can be done with the liberals we have to deal with now.   

  16. jkumpire

    I apologize if I mischaracterized libertarian beliefs. In only 200 words it’s hard to characterize a well-defined political point of view fairly and completely.

  17. J. D. Fitzpatrick
    BrentB67: Ron Paul had many good domestic ideas and voted consistently on principle, but always fell apart when the foreign policy, CIA paranoia took over.

    I think Rand has his father’s strengths without the burden of weakness and republicans will ignore him, Ted Cruz, Jim Demint at their peril. The problem IS government. The problem is not that the government is growing too fast and just needs to grow slower.  · 4 hours ago

    Unfortunately, Rand Paul is aloof and abrasive. I like his ideas, but I don’t see him winning many hearts outside of Kentucky. 

  18. Keith
    jkumpire: I apologizeifImischaracterized libertarianbeliefs. In only 200 words it’s hard to characterize a well-defined political point of view fairly and completely. · 51 minutes ago

    It’s not about Libertarian beliefs, it’s about Ron Paul’s message.

    Limited Government (not No Government, limited, constitutional government)

    The Rule of Law (no one, even the Government is above the Law)

    Non-Agression (This does not mean you have to be a door mat or isolationist, it just means “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and follow the Constitution)

    Sound Money (from the Foundation: False weights are an abomination, to the Federal Reserve is inflating the money supply, and stealing from you and you think you’re so smart)

    Personal Property Rights (From the foundation: “thou shall not steal,” to the founding: We are endowed from our Creator with unalienable rights, among those being Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness)

    Equality of opportunity (not equality of outcome, sometimes you have to let people fail, stay out of the way and let family, church and community help if needed)

    States Rights (most social issues can be addressed at the state level)

    In under 200 words.

  19. Larry Koler

    I’m glad to get an extra percentage point from whatever part of the demographic world it can come. But, beware of the libertarian who also supports the Libertarian Party. These people can do more harm than good. They are not our friends and they are subject to emotional tantrums. (It’s funny that the prominent libertarian magazine is called “Reason” — it should be called “Sulking.”)

    I remain convinced that Ron Paul (and increasingly, Rand Paul) are agent provocateurs still wholly owned and committed to a weird cult. They are impervious to reason. 

  20. Lavaux

    Libertarian principles are sound but must be mated to policy in politically advantageous ways.

    Take the issue of gay marriage, for example. Historically, the state had nothing to do with marriage because it was a divinely decreed institution regulated by the Church (search “Henry VIII”). Not until the 17th Century did the state get involved in regulating marriage in the English-speaking world, and then only marginally.

    In the American tradition, marriage law is state (not federal!) law. More importantly, marriage is a social institution not subject to legislative manipulation to achieve state purposes or goals because most of the things people do and decide concern or relate to their families. If the state were to thoroughly regulate families, there would remain no realm for individual freedom for most Americans. This is why courts in my blue state of WA have vigorously protected parental rights from state intrusion under a well-developed privileges and immunities doctrine.

    From the foregoing emerges an honest and compelling position on gay marriage, namely, that it’s for the voters of each state to decide by plebiscite, never courts or Congress. Winsome libertarian policies must rely on America’s history, traditions and reason to prevail.

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