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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hardball vs. Ron Paul - an Analysis

Ron Paul appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews on Friday May the 13th, 2011.  I found some very interesting items in the interview.





Both Chris and Ron took wholly "one-view" positions.  Chris argued in favor of a Nanny State and Ron seemingly argued for, in effect, Anarchy.  (Which is not the case, Ron argues for Personal Liberty and Personal Responsibility, a smaller federal government, but not total anarchy.)
CM: If that came up for a vote, if you had to vote as a citizen supporting a candidate, do you think the state should legalize heroin and prostitution?

RP: I think under the right circumstances we should legalize freedom and that is part of it as long as people don't force things on other people i don't feel threatened by that. it's sort of like legalizing gambling. i don't gamble. i don't get involved but i'm not going to take that right away from you so all the things are things that you can do in a free society. but today i gave a long talk about this very issue and i emphasized the fact that the reason i argued for freedom of choice is i want people to decide what medications they can take and whether they want alternative medicine, whether they can drink raw milk, use marijuana when they're sick and shouldn't depend on the government for that guidance. if a law is the there to try to protect children, that's a different story but the concept of legalizing freedom, making choices by individuals and assuming responsibility for themselves. and even though that was a special statement about how many people would do it if it's legalized, you know, most people aren't going to use heroin. more people use it because it's illegal. making it illegal doesn't help that much. kids can get marijuana easier than beer so beer can be regulated in a way to prevent the kids from getting. most of the early history, there were no laws against this.

CM: I guess i have to get down to the question. you're saying -- i'm not sure what you're saying if a mother has children to be responsible for, a husband, a father, should they be allowed to be heroin addicts? because this is how far you're going with your libertarianism it seems even now.
Here is my response to Chris' question there : Of course, she should be allowed to be a Heroin Addict - and suffer the consequences of that choice.  If her addiction leads to her endangering, abusing or neglecting her children, she will loose custody and perhaps even visitation rights.  If it affects her husband, she may well be facing a divorce if her husband has enough.  But as long as you are not infringing upon the equal rights of others, you should be free to make your own choices and reap the consequences of your actions.

RP:  the whole thing is addictions are a disease. we don't put alcoholics in prison. i'm against the war on drugs the way it's happening. there's other ways to handle it. if you treat it like a crime and throw the kids like we have for decades in prison because they smoked a little bit of marijuana and they come out violent criminals, that war on drugs has failed and believe me the people know that and so I'm against the federal war on drugs. I'm not pro- drug usage. As a matter of fact, I'm very critical of the carelessness of doctors giving way too many pain pills. There are more people addicted to prescription drugs than they are to illegal drugs.
I believe that many of the "Drug laws" are in place because of big pharmaceutical companies.   They can not patent plants or plant resins, so they push to have them become illegal.  It is a kind of corporate welfare - making competition and alternatives illegal so that the company can reap profits they otherwise would not.  When that happens, when competition is make illegal, we do not have a Free Market, we have a Corporate Plutocracy.
CM: let me ask you about how far you would go in terms of the constitution because i understand libertarianism, most of us very much were enraptured it.

RP: why would you lose it?

CM: because the idea of total freedom doesn't seem to work.
Of course "Total Freedom" doesn't work.  A society where anyone is free to kill anyone else or steal from them will never work.  Thomas Jefferson said it best, for me :
"No man has a natural right to commit aggression upon the equal rights of another, and that is all from which the laws should restrain him." - Thomas Jefferson
Back to Chris Matthews and Ron Paul.
CM: a guy owns a bar, says no blacks, you say that's all right. what's the answer? what's your answer?

<snip>

RP: for you to imply a property rights person is endorsing that stuff, you don't understand that there would be zero signs up today saying something like that. and if they did, they would be an idiot and out of business so i think you're just getting overboard in order to try to --
This argument was interesting.  If I understand it correctly, the Jim Crowe laws made integration illegal.  So a business had to be "whites only" by law.  Chris Matthews argues, basically, that if you repealed all laws concerning civil rights, that the South would have "White Only" businesses before the ink was dry on the president's signature.  Ron Paul says that, sure, they have the right to do that, but they would be out of business real quick.  I think reality is somewhere in the middle.

My question would be, at which point do you cease to be a private citizen and become a public operation?  I would say that at the time you decide to sell products or services to the public, you loose a bit of the "private" label and therefore some private rights.

I would have to say that I am more on the side of Ron Paul here.  As long as you are not limiting the equal rights of another, you are free to do as you please.