When Ron Paul picked up an endorsement from a Nevada Brothel (“Hookers for Paul”) people were shocked, yet it fits perfectly with the Libertarian position (as do his strange foreign policy ideas). Why are people surprised Ron Paul would pick up such endorsements? Perhaps they don’t understand what Libertarians actually believe and the major flaws in the Libertarian position. Socialists (and many Democrats) have similar issues — both make major errors in understanding the human condition leading to major political problems.
Communism/Socialism believes man is basically good, that someone would be willing to go to school for many years, work long hours, study hard and sacrifice to be a doctor when the garbage man makes the same money. Why? “From every man according to his ability and to every man according to his need” simply doesn’t work as it lacks any incentive to work hard and outperform your fellow man for greater reward. Without an incentive, little reason exists to work harder than everyone else.
Libertarianism fails for similar reasons (even though it differs considerably from Communism). We don’t need laws regulating drugs, because everyone is free to do what they want. But when the drugged-up person runs into a school bus of kids, their liberty interferes with someone’s else’s. Here’s where Libertarians make their mistake — they believe people will basically do the right thing if left alone. Wrong. Sadly, many won’t unless grave consequences exist.
History of course, shows man is not basically good, thus both political philosophies fail (the only thing man learns from history is man learns nothing from history). Socialists, Communists and Libertarians all fail to learn from history — and are doomed to repeat it if and when they implement their policies upon election.
Man is greedy by nature; the only system which uses that basic nature (and does not deny it) is capitalism. Of course, unbridled capitalism leads to many problems by itself. But as a starting point it at least understands the human condition which the other philosophies seek to deny — man is a greedy self-serving creature who will almost always act in his own best self interests.
Libertarianism sounds good (and many conservatives fall for its siren song), but fails by making the basic assumption left alone man will make correct choices; history shows this is not the case. The modern Libertarian party has been overrun by the drug legalization crowd and other fringe groups, bearing little resemblance to the party of years ago. As such, it’s no surprise Ron Paul is endorsed by fringe groups seeking approval for their destructive behavior.
So what works? A foundation of capitalism, but restrained by moderate regulation, charity, and personal responsibility; what we call constitutional conservatism:
- Textual interpretation of the Constitution — The Constitution is not a “living document”. In order to have a consistent system, judicial activism must not happen. Judges must interpret laws, not create them.
- Fiscal responsibility — All levels of government must balance budgets each year. Republicans and Democrats alike both spend too much. It’s citizen’s money and they should exercise prudence.
- Charity — It is not the role of government to take care of people. Each citizen has a moral responsibility to help those less fortunate. While it would be immoral to end current programs to those who depend on them, the growth must be stopped.
- Personal responsibility — It’s time society stops allowing “victims” to shift the blame somewhere else — it’s not the twinkie’s fault.
- Understand man is basically greedy and self-serving, and use that knowledge when needed, and protect society when needed.
Many people make the mistake of equating Libertarianism with Conservatism. Yet while they have a few similarities, they are not otherwise equal; Ron Paul is not the savior of the Republican party. He’s not really a Republican, and is most definitely not a conservative. You may or may not like him, but understand the difference between Libertarians and Conservatives. Ron Paul is a Libertarian, not a conservative — a big difference exists between the two.
Looking for a candidate which doesn’t deny basic human nature, takes care of fellow man, is fiscally responsible while not endorsing theft (income redistribution) isn’t an easy task. Yet if the country is to move forward and not repeat the mistakes of the past, it’s vital — there aren’t many Southern Democrats left, and the Republicans ship of fiscal responsibility left the pier long ago (and is sinking).