Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Count me in as Number 4...

KipEsquire, Tim Sandefur and Shawn Klein are all libertarians (damn intelligent ones at that) and none of them support Ron Paul. On that note, count me in.

On my now defunct ConLawGeek blog, I had recently made a few comments to the extent that I didn't think he was a libertarian (on a cached page of ConLawGeek, a couple of sentences are devoted to that point on the third post down). Since others have put forth some very well-written posts (or series of posts) on this matter, I thought I'd toss my hat in the ring and make my declaration as well.

For me, it was his support of the putrid DOMA, his voting for the Federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban (despite being a constitutionalist, which, by definition, would never equate an in-state abortion procedure with interstate commerce), his constant overtures to the concept of states rights, which any libertarian should find offensive (although it may be that certain paleolibertarians are comfortable with it - a notion I am admittedly wrestling with a bit but for the time being I'll leave alone).

Now, courtesy of Mr. Sandefur, I just had my first experience with Ron Paul on the Establishment Clause. Needless to say, I'm not impressed. In fact, I would have surmised that a standard bearer for libertarian ideas would not come across as a crude version of a Bill O' Reilly-esque culture warrior of sorts.

I not only hold that one equal right of conscience stems from the natural right of one's self ownership, but also that the proper role of the state police power, which, at least from the classically liberal perspective, could accept legitimate regulations pertaining to public health, public safety and public welfare regulations so long as their application is equal in nature, has no room for any sort of law that would purport to favor one religion over another or religion over "non-religion" in general. To deviate from these principles would be completely anti-libertarian.

The analyses put forth by Kip, Tim and Shawn are far more indepth than mine so I would certainly check those posts out as well. The only complaint I have is that I think Shawn, perhaps a bit unfairly, mischaracterizes The Cato Institute's as, I suppose, isolationist by advancing the view that "if we only leave the Islamists alone, they would not attack us".

While The Cato Institute's position is generally one of non-intervention, as I review the Cato Handbook for the 108th Congress, I think the policy recommendations are nothing like the isolationist position some paleolibertarians have taken. In fairness, while the Handbook is four years old, it is my understanding that its position on this matter has not changed (I could be wrong on this). Granted, Cato's positions may not be as robust a policy as some may like it to be, but it does not logically follow that they advocate isolationism.

Aside from that, everything else I agree with.

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