17 Feb 2011

TNR Anoints the Next Ron Paul

Religious, Ron Paul 13 Comments

As I write this post, I feel the same way as I do on the 4th of July when I light a bottle rocket and then run away…

How do you kids like this? Scott Sumner is touting Gary Johnson, and The New Republic says he is the next Ron Paul. If the article is accurate, he really does sound cool. But by all means let’s have another brawl:

Like Ron Paul, whom he endorsed in 2008, Johnson is an unabashed libertarian-and, in some ways, a purer one (he’s pro-choice, pro-free trade, and pro-immigration). So, while he’s no culture warrior or foreign policy hawk—he opposed the war in Iraq and the troop surge in Afghanistan—he outflanks any Republican on fiscal issues, proposing an immediate, across-the-board 43 percent spending cut. “We’re on the precipice,” he says, of the country’s finances. To illustrate what lies in the abyss, at times he flashes his favorite prop: a $100 trillion bill from Zimbabwe that he keeps in his wallet.

Hmm, abortion, One World trade pacts, immigration… All we’re lacking is a discussion of religion. Oh wait:

There are certain shibboleths in presidential politics that even the most forthright candidates feel obliged to repeat, certain topics they feel compelled to avoid. Yet talk to former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, the unorthodox 2012 GOP hopeful, and those rules go out the window. Ask about church, and he says he doesn’t go. “Do you believe in Jesus?” I ask. “I believe he lived,” he replies with a smile.

I believe He lives.

13 Responses to “TNR Anoints the Next Ron Paul”

  1. Randy Bobandy says:

    Ron Paul apparently supports him too:

    “Asked to name other potential presidential candidates he could support, Paul replied, “I guess the best one would be Johnson from New Mexico — Gary Johnson.””


  2. Dan says:

    Do they think that Ron Paul supporters are about to swap out their Ron Paul 2012 shirts for Gary Johnson shirts? I don’t have a problem with the guy and like a lot of his views but he’s no Ron Paul. Maybe he can pull some votes away from the other candidates, which would be nice, but I’m either voting for Ron Paul or staying home if he’s not on the ballot.

  3. Menschenfreund says:

    “I don’t have a problem with the guy and like a lot of his views but he’s no Ron Paul. ”

    Without further elaboration this just sounds stu … bborn.

    • Dan says:

      Well for one I don’t think he has as good a grasp on economics. I also don’t like quotes like this from him

      “If there’s a clear genocide somewhere, don’t we really want to positively impact that kind of a situation?” he says. “Isn’t that what we’re all about? Isn’t that what we’ve always been about? But just this notion of nation building—I think the current policy is making us more enemies than more friends.”

      I don’t think he is bad on foreign policy but I don’t support war unless it is in defense after we’ve been attacked. I don’t like the idea of going and trying to bring peace to the world. Again, I don’t think he is bad on war just not as good as Ron Paul.

      He also says he differs from Ron Paul when it comes to the Federal Reserve. Saying he would like them to be scrutinized and audited but not abolished.

      I like the guy and think he is the second best option but like I said he is no Ron Paul.

  4. Leo says:

    The thing about Johnson is he comes off as being very arrogant. To me he just seems like another dirtbag politician. One of the things I have always liked about Ron Paul is his humility. He can be right about EVERYTHING and yet be nice to the people who are so so wrong. I think that Paul honestly doesn’t want to be wielding power, which is more than I can say for the ambitious Johnson.

    Just my two cents.

    This politico interview is an example of what I mean:


  5. Joe Scannura says:

    Only one person touched an important point: Ron Paul clearly understands economics, in particular the Austrian tradition. You can be a libertarian and pro markets without that, so i really don’t know just from these quotes why the guy is pro market.

    secondly, it’s interesting that if your for abortion, your “more” of a libertarian. So allowing the murder of potential human beings and denying them any sort of rights is somehow “true” libertarianism. That makes zero sense to me.

    • Casual reader says:

      A pontential human being is NOT a human being. By your logic I could be a pontential millionare so the state could treat me as one and steal from me the corresponding bigger amount of money out of my paycheck.

      I go by the notion that brain activity in a fetus begins at approximately 25-26 weeks of gestation, this is aprox. the begining of the third trimester. And this is Thalamus activity: sensory and spatial imput. Not even close to cognitive activity: the ability of processing information.

    • Jess says:

      Look, you don’t get to call yourself a libertarian and pick and choose what’s libertarian. If you believe in restricting abortion rights; ie want to govern what a person does with their own body, you are not a libertarian but are instead a social conservative.

      Sheesh, governing other people off of a notion like “potential”… you might as well go all the way and become a theocrat democrat.

      • Xon Hostetter says:

        Jess, two things, if I may.

        1. Remember that Ron Paul’s position on abortion is that it is Constitutionally something that should be left up to the states, and not given a one-size-fits-all solution by the feds. So, if he has his way and Roe v. Wade was repealed, he would then simply sit back and allow the various states to do whatever they thought best on the topic. He’s not exactly crusading for a universal ban.

        2. The compatibility of abortion with libertarianism is logically dependent on what you think the status of the unborn person is. If I walk up to a libertarian and ask, “Hey, can I kill this?”, the official libertarian answer is not “Sure, you own your body, so go ahead.”

        We’re talking about KILLING something here, about taking something that is alive and making it no longer alive, so presumably the rights of that THING itself have to be taken into account. If I’m talking about killing a fish I caught, then OK, I can kill it. Perfectly libertarian. But, if we’re talking about my grandmother who is about to write me out of her will, not so much.

        The libertarian concern for self-ownership doesn’t give permission to kill granny. Because, obviously, granny owns HERSELF, too. Granny owns granny, not me. Thus, I don’t get to kill her. Because I’m a libertarian, murder is wrong. Right?

        So, the question regarding abortion is: what IS the fetus? is it a living human being, or not? WHO owns the body of the fetus? Does the pregnant woman own it? Or does it own itself? If it is a living human being (not merely a potential human being, which is not how I would formulate things for sure), then it has the same rights of self-ownership as any other person. At least, presumably that is the case, unless there is some other over-riding factor to take into account.

        (And, by way of anticipation, I don’t think that analyzing brain wave activity is going to be a good over-riding factor. That will de-humanize a lot of individuals besides the fetus. It actually turns out to be pretty darn difficult to come up with a non-special-pleading criterion that makes the fetus NOT count as a living human being with rights, without bringing in a lot of collateral damage by excluding other living human beings, too. I think that’s a dangerous game to play, and would rather err on the side of life, as far as the moral principle goes.)

        (There is also a Rothbardian wrinkle here that is harder to answer, but put that aside for now. 🙂 )

  6. Menschenfreund says:

    “Only one person touched an important point: Ron Paul clearly understands economics, in particular the Austrian tradition.”
    OK, I always forget that the vast majority of LvMI austrians are actually adherent of a gold standard…

  7. robyn bunting says:

    Hey Bob. “You believe He Lives”.

    Why do you believe this?

  8. Bob Roddis says:

    The MSM, the neo-con media and the liberal niche media are never going to want to grapple with the Austrian School so they are always going to prefer a non-Austrian “libertarian”. Among other things, they don’t want to be reduced to tears in public.

  9. Brian Shelley says:

    Gary Johnson is a randian and much more an agent of the Cato Institute/GMU traditions. People of that stripe have absolutely no chance of getting elected in modern America. Christian conservatives will never vote for him, but they are flocking en masse to the Mises/Austrian camp.