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« I Have Egg on My Face! (by Norman Costa) | Main | Madhavi Mudgal: Dancer, Teacher, Friend »

December 10, 2010


Why are you surprised? Ron Paul is pretty consistent in his libertarian beliefs....certainly NOT a typical Republican demagogue.

OK. You are right.

"Be Happy! Ron Paul Stands Up for the First Amendment!"

I'd say his libertarian views don't extend to abortion, on which he has a mixed record. Good to see that at least he hews to them on First Amendment issues.

I'm pleasantly surprised by Ron Paul's recent comments on net neutrality and now this statement has me wondering who this guy really is. It's apparently my failure in looking more into his positions then his for expressing them, I find. Interesting fellow. Too bad his son didn't inherit some of his dad's insights.


He has also been very consistent about opposing overseas military adventures...

I'd still go with "Surprise!," given Paul's trouble with the First Amendment's establishment of religion clause and the separation between church and state (also the source of his anti-abortion views):

His problematic history with respect to bigotry-- whether by close and continued association with avowed racists or personal belief, choose your pick-- is harder to categorize with respect to any particular Bill of Rights provision:

Anna and Sujatha are right. Ron Paul is a more complicated man than he appears to be. He stood up for Assange and the Wikileaks because the Iraq war is one area where he has been consistently opposed. As for Anna's allusion to racism and bigotry, too many libertarians show the same seemingly contradictory attitude. Perhaps, libertarianism is a cover for rights of businesses, schools and other establishments to keep out the "un-desirables" under the pretext of property rights. Government sanctioned "equality" doesn't sit well with those who see voluntary segregation as a state or individual right.

The flip side of the urge to "keep out the undesirables," of course, is exercising one's right of association (see p.37 and following of the PDF, 1056 of the publication). There's the tension, although it's ironic that the development of the doctrine involved the prohibition of racist efforts to undermine organizations actively working to improve the status and treatment of minorities.

I'd say his libertarian views don't extend to abortion, on which he has a mixed record.

can't you people take the perspective of others? (omar being an exception as usual) seriously. ron paul is a conservative xtian who thinks that life begins at conception. therefore, his adherence to the 'non-aggression axiom' entails that he be pro-life. this is a simple uncomplicated view. it is a minority view among self-identified libertarians, but it is not totally aberrant (the president of libertarians for life btw is an atheist, and she has the same interpretation of the non-aggression axiom).

no offense a lot of the political threads on your weblog strike me as too much echo-chamber talk because you can't even see the perspective of those who disagree. though perhaps that's fine by you guys. but you seem to be bright enough folks that you could do with more than just refining what you already know you believe by talking to just like minded people.

Ah, Razib. You do have us pegged for what we are - unreconstructed liberals for the most part, and we do tend to agree with each other on many, many things although you should see some of the arguments that Dean and I have from time to time.

I have little problem with Ron Paul's religious and principled stance on abortion. I understood long ago where he is coming from. My quibble is with his strange association with the John Birch Society and certain disturbing opinions he has previously made known on racial matters. Some opposing opinions are sometimes offensive and occasionally so kooky that it is not worth trying to see the other person's perspective, even when one agrees with the person on matters of war and aggression.
But it is not true that we don't talk to people who are not like minded. After all, I talk to you all the time! I should add that I rather love and admire you although I know your politics, somewhat :-)

Razib, the salient question regarding Paul's views on abortion with respect to this post is whether his pro-life stance reflects a belief in a narrow, proper target of a limited government, or instead a general extension of biblical law into the civil sphere. The first impulse in no way runs afoul of the First Amendment; the second does. The second link that I posted above offers support for the second interpretation (while not discussing abortion), by looking at Paul's connection to Christian Reconstructionists. I think the driving force of this non-libertarian, Christianist impulse in Paul's politics is underappreciated, particularly by otherwise left libertarian or left liberal populists who appreciate his stance on isolated issues such as the Iraq War.

It's off-topic, but as someone who works in the disability rights movement, I am certainly familiar with non-religious, pro-life arguments, and have complicated and shifting thoughts on the issue, though I feel unambivalent in my belief against a return to the pre-Roe regime of criminalization.

Also, although engaging with the ad hominem aspects of your post does not strike me as particularly helpful, I will also point out that as a civil rights litigator, I engage in plenty of discussions with people who don't agree with me. They're called "pleadings."

Really, I don't know Ron Paul from Ronald McDonald, Razib, but what were the first three words of my brief comment? I explicitly invoked an affirmative basis for a non-pretextual exercise of bigotry. I was trying to take his hypothetical perspective.

What's with all the unqualified recourse to "pro-life," by the way? And yeah, Ruchira, when we goin' mano-a-mano again? Soon, I hope.

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