It's not so difficult to distinguish between libertarians and statists. Let us say that there are some things which one must believe in to be libertarian: private property, competition, the free market, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to secede, and so on.
It's not common to meet a libertarian on the street, much less in congress. Despite this fact, Ron Paul is one of us. He was a Libertarian candidate for president in 1988, and later a Republican congressman. He has written several books, including The Case for Gold, and has served as an advisor to the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Ron Paul is more than a mere politician.
Dr. Paul, you were a US presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party during the 1988 campaign. You are currently a Republican congressman. Why did you choose to run under the banner of the GOP?
I have always maintained the same basic view of the proper role of government, and I have patterned that view along the lines of the views of the framers of our U.S. Constitution. This to me is a much more critical thing than the political party in which one enrolls for the purpose of furthering one's views.
Do you think the deaths of 75 persons in the burning compound in Waco, Texas, on April 19, 1993 were a direct consequence of the federal siege?
I'm not sure that I would say the deaths were a consequence of the siege, because that implies they were somehow separate from the siege. In fact, the deaths were part and parcel of the siege and indeed the only logical outcome that could have been expected.
Why did Clinton order the siege and, before it, the BATF raid?
I am not sure why the raid was ordered. It has been suggested that the ATF felt they needed a public relations victory and that may be true. At any rate, the evidence has clearly suggested that Koresh could have very easily been brought in for questioning by local police, instead of the carnage that was brought about by federal involvement.
Some time ago you spoke about religious liberty. In your opinion, did the Feds infringe the First Amendment?
I'm not sure that the purpose behind the siege was the somewhat strange religious beliefs of the group, although certain official pronouncements have led many to believe that it was. I do not share the beliefs of the Davidians, but I certainly believe they have a right to peacefully hold their beliefs.
Attorney General Janet Reno has had a wonderful career after the Waco massacre. Why was she never punished?
I'm not sure "who knew what and when" about the Waco siege. In The Rules of Engagement it seemed that the indicted Clinton political hack, Webster Hubbell, had much more influence than did Reno. I would think that in light of this massacre, Reno would have had the good sense to resign; but alas there seems to be no sense of shame at all within this current crew.