Saturday, December 24, 2011

Is Constitutional Libertarian Ron Paul An Ideologue?

Since the campaign #RonPaul2012 has risen in the polls his political ennemies are trying a new strategy to fight this phenomenon. Instead of attacking him, his fiercest critics start articles by praising part of his message. Jeffrey Kuhner tries it here. Conor Friedersdorf has employed a similar strategy for sometime.

Paradoxically in the end for Jeffrey Kuhner Ron Paul is too libertarian, for Conor Friedersdorf he is not libertarian enough. This probably depends on the definition of the word "libertarian". As I understand it Ron Paul is a constitutional libertarian  Many beltway libertarians confuse liberalism rooted in the French revolution with constitutional libertarianism. It's clear Ron Paul wants to stay away from that source. He explained that very well in an interview on his foreign policy views:
"They feel that America is exceptional and that we are very special, in some ways I agree with that, but their conclusion is because we are exceptional and so special that we have this neojacobinism that we have this moral obligation to spread our goodness even if we have to use force, and that is what the french revolution was about . See the difference with me is I believe there is a lot of good traits and a lot of good qualities about America's belief in liberty, markets, freedom and sound money, but we should spread our goodness by setting an example, that's the difference, the idea that somebody would use force to make other countries to act like we do or make individuals act like we think they should rejects the whole notion of liberty, because we reject the notion of using force to mold peoples lives and change the world. So that's where the separation is on big government conservatives and more libertarian constitutionalists. Because we believe we can persuade people rather then forcing people to except our views and act as we do."
An argument which reminds me of Dutch Abraham Kuyper and his Anti-Revolutionary party. Ron Paul obviously doesn't found his foreign policy views on some leftist dream.Views that obviously have the potential of resonating with large segments of the Christian right:
"Paul’s anti-establishment policies resonate with a deep well of grassroots supporters who include a vocal segment of the Christian right here in Iowa who do not believe in nation building at the point of a sword" 
Ron Paul, just as Donald Tusk in Poland, is a political innovator, a Pat Buchanan 2.0 . He combines antirevolutionary thought with austrian economics, appeals to libertarian democrats and Christian coalition folks alike. Jim DeMint has defined freedom in his book the great American awakening. Worthwhile to take a look at his ideas.  Also good coverage of the attempt by communitarians across the board to limit the impact of Ron Paul's possible victory in the Iowa Caucuses.

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