Ron Paul: The Least Malleable Republican

George Will has an interesting, generally positive, profile of Texas Congressman and Presidential Candidate Ron Paul in this week’s Newsweek:

Most congressional offices are decorated with photos of representatives gripping and grinning with presidents and other eminences. Paul, who thinks the presidency has swollen to anticonstitutional proportions, has photos of two Austrian School economists, Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, who warned against what Hayek called “the fatal conceit” of governments thinking they can allocate wealth and opportunity more reasonably than can markets. Paul’s office has a picture of one president—Grover Cleveland, the conservative Democrat who asked, “What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?”

Paul thinks everyone is born an instinctive libertarian, “wanting to be let alone.” Unfortunately, “the school system beats it out of you.” Paul voted both for the ban on partial-birth abortion (a fetus is alive, leave it alone) and against the ban on same-sex marriage (none of the federal government’s business). He refused to allow any of his five children (three of whom are doctors) to accept federal student loans, and he will not accept his congressional pension. He voted against campaign-finance regulation in 2002 and the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act in 2006, denouncing the former as the left’s attack on free speech and the latter as the right’s attack. Because they are “not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution,” he regularly votes against awarding gold medals to distinguished figures, including—gasp—the Gipper.

Will, ever the political realist, clearly considers Ron Paul, and by extension it seems the Founding Fathers, something of an anachronism, but he doesn’t deny that, for the most part, Ron Paul is the only Member of Congress that get’s it right most of the time.

H/T: Lew Rockwell Blog

Related Posts:

Ron Paul For President !
Ron Paul’s Presidential Chances
Ron Paul Votes For Price Fixing Prescription Drugs
A Moment of Hubris On the Ron Paul For President Campaign
Further Thoughts On The Ron Paul For President Campaign
The Ron Paul Interview

  • jf

    Great post, and it’s wonderful to have a libertarian site I wasn’t aware of before added to my bookmarks.

  • Bryan Orr

    Ron Paul is the only real choice for liberty in 2008 as far as I see it. What we really need to make this work is a grassroots campaign to get freedom loving people to change their party affiliation temporarily to Republican. This is our only hope of getting him through the closed Republican primaries.

    Laziness must not win in 2008!

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  • Brad Warbiany

    Welcome, JF. Glad you found us! We hope to see you again.

  • Eric Dondero

    Umm, no. Ron Paul is NOT the only choice for Liberty in 2008. Many of us Libertarians are enthusiastically backing Rudy Giuliani for President. Rudy is fiscally conservative and socially tolerant. But more importantly he’s a hero in the fight against Islamo-Fascism. Radical Islam represents the greatest threat to our individual liberties in our lifetimes. Did you all not see the news last week of that Young Muslim who gunned down 10 at the Salt Lake City shopping mall?

    Rudy gets it. Ron Paul does not.

    Eric Dondero, CEO

    PS – Already here in Ron Paul’s Congressional District his constituents are furious with him over his recent vote with the Democrats against funding the War on Terror. Two Republicans have already declared for his seat. One women wrote to a local paper that “Ron Paul no longer represents the views of his District.”

  • Doug Mataconis


    I respect Rudy Giuliani but there’s no way he’s anything close to a libertarian. He’s a big government Republican just like every other Northeastern Republican. He supports the War on Drugs.

    And, unlike Rudy Giuliani, Ron Paul recognizes the threat to civil liberties posed by many of the laws passed in the name of the War on Terror (i.e., the PATRIOT Act)

  • Alan

    I am a constituent of Dr. Ron Paul in Lake Jackson, TX. I also work in a small retail store here in town, and Dr. Paul is one of our customers. I haven’t noticed any hostility toward him at all. Anytime there are people in the store when he comes in, they seem to love chatting with him. And I’ve mentioned him to some people here and there, and no one has said anything bad. So, I’m not sure how furious people are about his choices.

    Eric, I haven’t personally looked into Giuliani’s record, but the things I’ve heard about him from libertarian websites does not indicate much of a libertarian leaning at all.

  • Wild Pegasus

    The state can enslave us. Radical Islam can only kill us. Putting a dyed-in-the-wool authoritarian like Giuliani in the Big Chair during a time of authoritarian fervor is basically saying, “Prussia was right.”

    – Josh

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  • Kevin


    Rudy is fiscally conservative and socially tolerant.

    Rudy’s fiscal conservatism nearly doubled the size of New York City’s budget. Plus the reduction in welfare rolls were going on across the country as result of Newt Gingrich and President Clinton’s welfare reform. Plus, Rudy was and still is an unrepentant gun-grabber.

    While Rudy would be tougher than Paul on the war against Islamofascism overseas, but Paul would be better in mitigating the loss of civil liberties here at home in the name of that war.

    As it stands now, there is no way in hell I’ll ever support Guiliani.

  • Kevin


    The state can enslave us. Radical Islam can only kill us.

    Google something called dhimmitude.

  • Wes

    Don’t listen to Dondero.

    He supposedly used to work for Ron Paul, but if he was the sort of backstabber then that he is now, I’m sure he didn’t last.

    Paul isn’t perfect (who is?) but he’s the best chance the liberty movement has of getting serious attention this go-round.

    btw, “War is the health of the State” — i.e. the mother of tyranny.

  • KyleG

    After seeing Ron Paul exploring a campaign, I might have to change my afiliation to give him a vote in the primaries. As far as I have seen so far, he is teh best hope for the reestablishment of liberty in this nation.

  • Eric Dondero

    To the poster from Lake Jackson:

    I live in Angleton. Love to come by your store for a chat. (Call me at 979-799-7077).

    You need to check out the Friendswood newspaper. There was a particular letter to the Editor from some woman utterly embarrassed that Ron Paul voted that way and that she lived in his District.

    Plus, 7 or so letters endorsing some City Councilman named Peden for Ron’s seat.

    If CD-14 is so behind RP, than why is it that two prominent Republicans have already declared to challenge him in the primaries and a third is waiting in the wings?

    Ron has NEVER had that sort of primary opposition before.

  • Eric Dondero

    My record of employment with Ron Paul:

    1987/88 – Travel Aide, Ron Paul Libertarian for President

    1991/92 – Ron Paul for President, Exploratory Committee, Campaign Coordinator

    1995/96 – Ron Paul for Congress Campaign Coordinator

    1997 – 2003 – Senior District Aide and Personal Travel Assistant, US Congressman Ron Paul.

  • Eric Dondero

    Some say Rudy “isn’t really a libertarian.”

    That’s explains why the National Review, LA Times, London Herald in the last few weeks have called him “essentially libertarian.”

    The NY Times even said of Rudy: “He’s a budget slashing, privatizing Ayn Randian.”

    Giuliani cut taxes in NYC 26 times.

    Yes, Rudy is vulnerable on the Legalization of Prostitution issue. And as a Libertarian supporter of Giuliani, I fully admit his position on Prostitution troubles me. However, I believe it’s better to win him over to the Legalization stance from within his campaign, than from without bashing him on this one single issue.

  • Wild Pegasus

    Google something called dhimmitude.

    It’ll never happen here. Fascism in the name of the security is ten thousand times more likely.

    – Josh

  • Kevin

    It’ll never happen here. Fascism in the name of the security is ten thousand times more likely.

    Never said it would it implied it would. I was argueing that radical Islam does enslave people as well, just as the state also kills you.

  • Kevin

    Yes, Rudy is vulnerable on the Legalization of Prostitution issue. And as a Libertarian supporter of Giuliani, I fully admit his position on Prostitution troubles me. However, I believe it’s better to win him over to the Legalization stance from within his campaign, than from without bashing him on this one single issue.

    Who was arguing about prostitution? It’s not even a Federal issue.

    Is Guiliani an unrepentant gun-grabber, yes or no? Is Guiliani a big spender, yes or no? Does Guiliani believe we need to trade liberty for security against terrorism (which are more likely to die from a lightening strike than be killed by one), yes or no?

    Face it Eric, there’s nothing libertarian about Guiliani; no matter what National Review, the LA Times, and the London Herald say. He’s just a typical Northeastern moderate Republican.

  • Trent Hill

    Eric Dondero is a former-staffer of Ron Paul’s who is now disgruntled. The fact is, Ron Paul has a VERY safe seat. The other Republican’s can declare against him, but he’s a lock.
    As for Rudy Guliani being a libertarian. Ya right. He is a moderate republican, not a libertarian.
    Eric Dondero says that Rudy Guliani is a libertarian because he is “fiscally conservative and socially tolerant”. However, he is also a gun grabbing, big government supporter.

  • Sneakz

    What everyone forgets is that on September 10, 2001, Rudy was seen as a tragic joke, and people were ready to toss him aside without another thought. His crime-fighting verged on authoritarian, he unthinkingly backed the police whether right or wrong, and he totally failed to fix the schools. I know that only crime fighting nominally falls under the proper purview of the feds, but the fact is that he was loathed.

  • uhm

    So let me get this straight. A “Mainstream Libertarian” is basically a less totalitarian and more tolerant neocon? So far statist have destroyed the meanings of the words “liberal and conservative.” Now they are after the word libertarian.

    I’ll always be a classical liberal and I’m voting for Ron Paul ;)

  • Dmitri

    Eric seems to be pasting all over these Ron Paul threads and libertarian sites attempting to convert them over to Giuliani supporters.

    Giuliani is a neo-con, with some socially Democrat values, NOT socially libertarian values. He enforces the things he agrees with like gun control , abortion subsidies, the patriot act, the Iraq war, etc.

    Vote Ron Paul.