Arizona Libertarian Party Refutes Liberal Republican 'Hack' Job on Ron Paul and Libertarian Values
Ron Paul’s land of second-rate values
Contact: Barry Hess
Minister of Propaganda, Arizona Libertarian Party
Michael Gerson's recent attempt to taint the untaint-able philosophy that gave birth to this incredible nation, along with his complete misunderstanding and miss-characterization of the implications of Republican Presidential Front-runner, Dr. Ron Paul, M.D.'s, positions, gave rise to this letter. While we appreciate humor, whether intended or not, we are not amused by Mr. Gerson's rather sloppy miss-portrayal of the principles of the libertarian philosophy.
Gerson begins his shallow review by misleading the reader into thinking Dr. Paul actually 'encourages' or 'condones' recreational drug use--when nothing could be further from the truth...or from the subject he was addressing in debate. While Mr. Gerson fixated on "which drugs" to legalize, Dr. Paul sailed right past Michael's intellectual capacity by making his point; that when individuals are free to make decisions based on their own best interests, it is usually in the individual's best interest to shoulder their social responsibilities that come with their liberty.Dr. Paul was right, and it was a very libertarian response, but he could have shortened his answer by simply stating that libertarians aren't "pro" drugs, we're anti-prohibition. We aren't "pro" anything save individual liberty. No one, neither group nor individual can ever hold moral or legitimate authority to dictate what anyone else may do to, or put into their own body. "Our" government was designed to be our janitor, and not our jailer, but that is Mr. Gerson's only offering.
Politically involved Libertarians, and philosophical libertarians can easily point out specific distinctions where Dr. Paul's ideas vary to some degree from their own, but on the whole most of us are very proud that he carried our standard onto the presidential political battlefield in 1988. It is always 'the message', and never the 'man'.
The fundamental principle of liberty ('freedom', to the unwashed) on which all others rest is that each and every individual is born with an absolute right; to be left absolutely alone--unless or until they should harm another (specific) individual's person, property or rights. Does he really have a problem with that? One would hope that this simple concept was irrefutable, but Mr. Gerson seems to cognitively disconnect from it simply because 'he' doesn't want it that way.
He seems to think Every (free) American must be 'under' control--or they are 'out' of control. Libertarians believe in the inherent 'goodness' in people, Mr. Gerson, and people of his ilk, seem to so distrust themselves that they project their evil on everyone else. Libertarians believe people are free to enter the marketplace--to see what good they can bring and to take the risk(s) of failure. Mr. Gerson's social/political club (the republican/democrat/conservative/liberal/TeaParty--it's all one) believes that some governmonkey needs to decide 'who' can participate in the market at all, hence the economy-killing regulations and 'laws' are "necessary".
His 'Chicken Little' description of the "Mad Max" scenerio in D.C. is hilarious, but completely opposite the facts. The idea that laws stop anything is sheer fantasy. Does he really believe those age-old laws against theft, drugs, prostitution, rape and even murder have been preventing those things from happening since their enactments...uh, huh.
Gerson doesn't offer up any law, or any government program, that is effective at ‘pulling the plug’ on the propensities that turn the afflicted into addicts. Why? Because no such program exists. Legislation can never change certain individuals’ self-destructive capacities (it can only make it 'illegal'), and imagining this to be a ‘simple answer’ would be an intellectual mistake. Gerson just continues the "Repeat the ridiculous idea enough, and people will believe it" world of yesteryear's political marketers.
Paul's ideas don't "condemn" addicts 'to' anything. In fact, just the opposite. He's a medical doctor who has personally delivered over 4,000 babies into this world. He actually cares about people. He's done all the studies and witnessed first-hand that which Michael fails to grasp. Gerson should have noted that drugs became "de facto" legal in DC--because drug laws make them so profitable. The problems were in DC before the 'easing up' in enforcement. It wasn't an experiment, drug use was going way up, because of the laws. To infer law enforcement "eased up" in D.C.(as if it had a choice in the matter) is a gross misrepresentation. The 'authorities' didn't "ease up"--they were overwhelmed...precisely because of the prohibitive laws Gerson advocates for.
In our opinion, he's just another liberal squealing like he got his tail caught in the door. He fears the light of day and the ring of truth in Paul's positions. Good.
To top off thoughtless pablum, Michael had to get in the obligatory plug for the last Bush (hi singular claim to 'fame')...geeesh! By his twisted logic, given his attempt to extol the virtues of affinity with drug addicts--we need to put a crack head in the White House to end it's use in the streets. Mission accomplished!
This is the same G. W. who exchanged alcohol addiction for unfettered powers of the executive, government secrecy, overseas renditions, torture, three simultaneous foreign wars and a trillion dollar deficit, right?
We simply don't agree.
Persons interested in what Libertarianism really is, Gerson’s mischaracterizations aside, are graciously invited to explore our party platform, candidates, position statements, events and membership at www.lp.org (national), or www.azlp.org (Arizona).
This message is the fruit of collaboration among the entire State Committee of the Arizona Libertarian Party.
Warren Severin, Chair Michael Kielsky, Vice Chair
Joe Cobb, Treasurer Emily Goldberg, Secretary
(The writers are officers of the Arizona Libertarian Party).