Reason people have lost their minds - they're supporting Ron Paul! EDITORIAL + FOLLOWUP
By Peter Samuel
The people at Reason Foundation seem to have gone out of their minds. They're campaigning for Ron Paul for president! Their latest 'Reason Alert' (March 9) is straight Paul campaign propaganda: "The Ron Paul Moment." (see nearby)
This is sad. Paul may have some attraction for his uncompromising libertarianism on domestic policy issues, though his record of years in the Congress shows he is completely unable to persuade others or have any influence at all on legislation.
He's a loner and a loser politically.
More seriously Paul is completely beyond the pale for most people because of his lunatic and America-hating notion that somehow we, not Al Qaida and militant Islam, were responsible for 9/11.
That somehow if we hadn't been "over there" they'd leave us alone.
Paul spouts an extreme self-blame, disengagement and isolationism that would be hugely destructive of libertarian objectives internationally and suicidal nationally. Militant Islam strikes us, and schemes to strike us more, not because of what we do but because of what we are - democratic, inclusive, freewheeling, secular, tolerant, modern, innovative.
Reason has the admirable slogan "free minds and free markets."
We're up against an international movement that is committed to the polar opposite of that: militant Islam wants closed minds and to close markets. If we don't confront them over there, we'll confront them here. America can't withdraw from the world.
Ron Paul doesn't seem to understand that.
For years Paul published a newsletter that spewed snide racist commentaries and lunatic conspiracy theories. He has recently attempted to disown it saying he left the content to a hired writer and didn't even read it.
No one of any smarts, let alone integrity, lets their name be used so carelessly.
Paul as a Republican nominee for president is a bizarre and frightening notion.
It's result would be a deeply divided Republican Party, a crushing victory for President Obama and left-Democrats' dominance of both houses of the Congress. It would be a huge setback for "free minds and free markets."
The people at Reason are out of their minds - editor.
ADDITION: following publication of this Reason people tell us the Foundation has no official position on Ron Paul for president, and that what I see as pro-Paul propaganda is really just the PR people there promoting a book just published on the Paul movement by editor Brian Doherty.
Bob Poole the founder of Reason and their transportation analyst (and a very good and old friend) says he shares my criticisms of Paul on foreign policy and defense issues and also has concerns about some of Paul's domestic policy stances. But he does say: "the Ron Paul movement for the most part is a positive development that is greatly expanding mostly sensible libertarian ideas." Poole doesn't think Paul has any chance of being the Republican nominee, but is having an impact in shaping the Republican platform - editor. Mar 12 16:30
COMMENT FROM A READER: (Paul) is equal parts fraud and narcissist. He has never been serious about accomplishing anything in politics. In twenty years he's never repealed one bill, cut one tax, brought one soldier home or anything he claims to be for. All he's ever done is cashed a government paycheck and spent his contributors' money. Mar 12 18:00
ANOTHER REASON COMMENT:
Sam Staley: I concur with Bob (Poole). The opinions of the individual writers are their own and do not represent an institutional endorsement or those of other staff.
There is another positive element to the Ron Paul campaign however: he is energizing a free market base among college students. They don't necessarily agree with all Ron Paul's policy proposals, but they respond to Paul's secular vision of individual liberty and free markets in ways that neither Romney nor Santorum can tap. This effect is palpable at places like Florida State where Paul recently won a straw poll among students, even beating out Obama.
This is obviously unscientific and not respresentative, but it's a non-trivial event and I believe generally positive - with the caveats raised by Bob (Poole).
TOLLROADSnews ADDITION 2012-03-14