Why Ron Paul is Not a Libertarian


Question: How can you be a libertarian in favor of the defense of marriage act and overturning roe v wade?
Answer: You can’t.

If you feel the government should control some of the most intimate aspects of its citizens’ lives, you are not a libertarian. Libertarians believe in liberty. Personal, social, economic freedom. The government stays out of your life. This means more than lower taxes and privatization. If this is as far as your liberties go, you are not libertarian, you are a republican. The misuse of this word by a candidate who’s erroneously trying to distinguish himself from the pack is particularly vexing because this is the first time that the principals of libertarianism are even part of the mainstream presidential campaign – and they’re being misconstrued.

Want to know where you stand? Take this quiz. Or this one. Or this.

Click the box to the right for my results on the Politopia Quiz. (I’m the red star.)

Paul’s site divides the issues into categories such as “personal liberty” and “life and liberty”. A quick look makes it clear that on certain issues, Paul needs a dictionary, because like too many others, Paul defines liberty as the freedom to live your life the way he thinks you should live it.

Here’s the libertarian stance from the party site (these are just excepts of issues relevant to this election):

On Sexuality and Gender Issues:

Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not have legitimate authority to define or license personal relationships. Sexuality or gender should have no impact on the rights of individuals.

Recommended actions…

♦ Repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act and state laws and amendments
defining marriage.

♦ Oppose any new laws or Constitutional amendments defining terms for personal, private relationships.

♦ Repeal any state or federal laws denying same-sex partners rights enjoyed by others, such as adoption of children and spousal immigration.

♦ End the Defense Department practice of discharging armed forces personnel for sexual orientation.

On Reproductive Rights:

The tragedies caused by unplanned, unwanted pregnancies are aggravated and sometimes created by government policies of censorship, restriction, regulation and prohibition. Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on both sides, we
believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

  • We oppose government laws and policies that restrict the opportunity to choose alternatives to abortion.
  • We support an end to all subsidies for childbearing or child prevention built into our present laws.

Paul is a self-described “unshakable foe” of abortion rights and in 2005 he introduced “the sanctity of life act” that would legally declare that life begins at conception. He is for overturning roe v wade and putting abortion laws in the hands of the states, and a proponent of a federal ban on late-term abortion.

He is for the Defense of Marriage Act, against adoption by gay couples, and thinks the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” is “a decent policy.”

This is yet another case where someone will fervently believe in the virtues of freedom…except in the few cases where they personally feel people are doing something that needs to be controlled….

So stop using the word libertarian!


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