James Leroy Wilson's blog

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Your Issue Here

"When it’s all said and done, Ron Paul is working hard to change the focus of America’s political debate, and he’s doing a far better job of it than I or any of the other Libertarian Party candidates are. And when it comes to freedom, I’d rather follow success than lead failure."
- Steve Kubby

Steve Kubby has been running for the Presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party, but he's publicly endorsed a Republican, Ron Paul, for the Presidency. He may or may not be the first Libertarian candidate to do that; Christine Smith called into the DownsizeDC Conference Call radio show a few weeks ago stating that Rep. Paul was her second choice to be President, after herself. (Honesty is the most thrilling virtue and obvious political drawback of both Big-L and small-l libertarians.)

Why have Kubby and Smith done this? To a "left-libertarian" or otherwise anarchist-libertarian, Ron Paul is arguably wrong on the Constitution, immigration, abortion, and perhaps the environment. (To say he's wrong on "states' rights" is just another way of saying he's wrong on the Constitution.) He may also be wrong to the extent he's "socially conservative," but there's both a localist/decentralist side to that and a nationalist side, and he is with rare exceptions in the localist camp.

But to most libertarians, he is fundamentally right about the three chief issues of the day, which are:

1. War and foreign policy
2. Security and civil liberties
3. [Your issue here.]

What is your third issue? Spending cuts? Tax cuts? Balanced budgets? Ending fiat money? Abolishing unconstitutional cabinet departments? Ending the War on Drugs? Freedom of association? Internet freedom? Tax simplification? De-regulation of business? Ballot access for third parties? Freedom of speech in political campaigns? Openness in the political process?

By and large, if the "third issue" advances less government and more freedom, Ron Paul is probably for it, and if he's not, it is probably because the Constitution authorizes it and Rep. Paul seems more loyal to that than to your own version of anarchist/libertarian utopia. That might not be good enough for some, but it is good enough for those who want greater freedom in real life.

Because a Ron Paul Presidency would unquestionably be less worse than a Presidency of any other major party candidate, and would probably in many ways be "good," I agree with Mr. Kubby. It is best to back Ron Paul as long as he's viable, and if he fails to win the Republican nomination, take the next course by which we can be successful in advancing freedom.

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