Ron Paul: The Least Malleable Republican
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 presidentâ€”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, includingâ€”gaspâ€”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
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