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Saturday, March 1, 2008

[cal-libs] Ron Paul critics again confusing jurisprudential fact with libertarian theory

Brian Miller wrote:
BM) The laws that oppress people like Steve Kubby, Starchild and Paul Jacob are all state laws -- and that's A-OK by "libertarian" Ron Paul.  (BM

As I told you at

You continue to conflate two distinct things: 1) Paul's belief that as a matter of jurisprudential fact under our system of government, states have the power to regulate the sex lives of consenting adults, and 2) Paul's alleged belief that states should use that power to regulate the sex lives of consenting adults.  What Paul believes is that as a matter of jurisprudential fact under our system of government, states have the power to regulate the sex lives of consenting adults. Statements of facts about the world are positive and not normative, and so can't be characterized as libertarian or not libertarian.  You cannot quote Paul saying that under an ideal system of government, states should have the power to regulate the sex lives of consenting adults.  There's nothing unlibertarian about judging that a strictly federalist interpretation of the existing Constitution is the position most likely to maximize liberty in America.   There's nothing unlibertarian about noting that centralizing authority in the federal government has led to serious damage to American civil liberties in the areas of substance use and campaign speech and warrantless monitoring and gun rights and "hate crimes" and reproductive technology and digital copying technology.

You've quoted precisely nothing to show that Paul believes that states should use the power to regulate private consensual conduct that they have under our current federal system of government. However , I can quote him saying (to the values voter audience, no less):

RP) A free country is designed for individuals to deal with the subject of virtue and excellence. Once we defer to the government to get involved in worrying about our own virtue and our excellence and perfect fair economies, it is done at the sacrifice of liberty. If we do that, and sacrifice that liberty, and the job of virtue and excellence is taken over by the government, you can only do that through tyranny. [...] If you want to change people, you change them through persuasion, through family values, through church values, but you can't do it through legislation, because force doesn't work. (RP

It remains untenable for you to claim that Paul "believes that government -- not individuals -- should be the final arbiters of your sex life and the sexual activities of consenting adults". 

David Friedman makes precisely my same point at:
You still have yet to offer any concrete evidence for your claims that
  • Ron Paul "declares he isn't a libertarian";
  • Ron Paul is "a statist on health care";
  • Ron Paul "voted for continued government spending on education";
  • Ron Paul "committed himself to pursuing increased government funding of abstinence education in the future" [a claim I've already documented to be confused]; and
  • Ron Paul "believes that a centrally controlled federal government immigration policy that would have banned the immigration of [my neighbor Intel CEO Andy Grove] is 'good for America'".