Saturday, October 1, 2011

Libertarians and the GOP

I'm sifting through my thoughts these days, challenged by the GOP debates and Ron Paul, the Republican.

A friend asked me a few years ago if I was a Libertarian, and I had to admit that I was leaning in that direction.  Their message of limiting government appealed to me.  I was tired of Washington telling me what kind of toilet to buy and my city telling me where I could park on my property.

Joining the Tea Party parade of less government and lower taxes was a natural mutation for Libertarians.

But here's the problem, and Ron Paul exhibits it perfectly.  Libertarians are incompatible with Republicans in these key areas:
1) A strong defense.  Paul would argue that he is in favor of a strong defense if our enemies were selected constitutionally.  We find common ground in the actions of Obama regarding Libya.  But he goes too far.  He says Iraq and Afghanistan are illegal wars as well.  How so?  Congress has approved and funded both wars.  Two presidents have chosen to fight there.  How are they not constitutional wars?

He gets away with that rhetoric because America is tired of both wars.  And we need to have that discussion, but it is simplistic on Paul's part to simply pull out because it doesn't pass the constitutionality test drawn up by Libertarians.

2) Legalizing street drugs.  That's a common saw of Libertarians.  It just doesn't sit well with conservatives.

3) Paul opposes the Real ID program.  On the surface, we're all tired of government tracking.  But at some point he's going to be looking in the mirror regarding immigration enforcement.  Like it or not, "Show me your papers," is the law for all non-citizens.  Come to think of it, we all must show our drivers license or ID to a police officer upon request.  Paul might say he supports Arizona, but that doesn't square with his liberty side.

4) The ACLU.  Most Republicans have a real problem with the ACLU.  We maybe side with their efforts 1% of the time.  Libertarianism is what the ACLU stands for.

5) Extreme application of concepts.  Be it the Federal Reserve, public education, health care or foreclosure, the Libertarians have taken an extreme view.  Conservatives want the Fed audited and better controlled; Paul wants it abolished.  Just how do you do that?

6) Lack of party standing.  When you want to get something done in Washington, you need votes.  It is a matter of those pesky checks and balances.  President Paul would have very few votes to work with.  He's too far out there.  How would he possibly get anything done, especially with his plan to reinvent government.  He has few Congressional votes behind him.

For me the Libertarians need to stay within their own party.  We've seen what happens when the far left creates a White House staff and tries to pull America to an extreme.  How would Ron Paul be any different?

No comments:

Post a Comment