As Ron Paul graciously waves goodbye to public service and prepares to enjoy the delights of retirement, his ideas, in most cases thankfully, remain at the center of today’s political debate. If God is no longer mentioned in the Democratic Party platform, the Constitution, thanks to Paul, has finally made it into the Republican platform, as has a plank calling for the much-needed auditing of the Federal Reserve Bank.
Ron Paul deserves credit for beginning to rescue a drifting Republican Party—one that in all too many cases wants to use government to attain certain ends—back to its federalist roots. Forget foreign policy for a moment; Paul’s positions in that arena are disastrous and have nothing to do with libertarianism.
By definition, to be a libertarian is to be an advocate of free will. Absent anarchy, which, where practiced, is bound to rob some of their free will, our republic, and our Constitution, seem most conducive to libertarianism. As long as I’m not hurting you, nor you me, and as long as we aren’t violating the Constitution, what’s the problem?
Take gay marriage, for example. Ron Paul personally believes that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, but since the Constitution doesn’t mention it, it is a states’ rights issue. On this, he and President Obama hold the same view.
So then, gay marriage can’t be the crucible of one’s libertarianism, as it’s safe to say that Obama will never be accused of being a libertarian.
There were other issues that Paul championed, such as allowing states—and not the federal government—to decide how to deal with marijuana, which caught the attention of many in the drug legalization crowd. But William F. Buckley favored marijuana legalization, and it’s a safe bet that this generation of libertarians would find a lot about Buckley not to like, particularly with regard to foreign policy.
Here’s an interesting hypothetical for libertarians. Two men, who happen to be homosexual, find a beautiful condo on a picturesque lake for rent, and they decide that it has their name written all over it. The landlord, a retired minister who recently lost his wife and is looking to keep the condo as long as he can afford to, runs a credit check on the two. No problems there. They’re both employed, involved in the community and regularly attend church.
The minister, with a good amount of regret, informs the couple that his answer is no. Homosexuality, he explains, is simply unacceptable to him, and out of respect for his deceased wife—and of allegiance to his religious principles, he won’t sanction the practice of their lifestyle under his roof. The two men, outraged, sue, the ACLU gets involved, and the gay couple wins.
Has libertarianism triumphed? If you answered yes, go back and read the definition of what a libertarian is: an advocate of free will. Genuine libertarians, irrespective of their views about homosexuality are on the side of the landlord.
By: Will Anderson