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Ron Paul and the Libertarians


Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch of Reason have an essay in the Washington Post on the resurgence of libertarianism that Rep. Paul supposedly represents. They allow, with due sobriety, that “Ron Paul may lose next year’s battle” although they add that he won’t lose “without a memorable fight.”

What strikes me is what a throwback Paul is among libertarians. Hard money and anti-interventionism move him, but he seems utterly uninterested in the lifestyle questions that have taken up so much of Reason for the past decade.

(Gillespie and Welch understate the difference between his politics and theirs in one way. “A staunch opponent of abortion, he nonetheless believes that federal bans violate the more basic principle of delegating powers to the states.” That is indeed a concern of his, but he voted to ban partial-birth abortion. His pro-life libertarian principles moved him to oppose federal funding for embryo-destructive research. On that issue, writers for Reason haven’t exactly been cheering him on.)


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