Tag Archives: Ron Paul
Before Gary Johnson, this is what Libertarians used to be about and used to do. What will it take to bring it back?
Ron Paul Insitute: Gary Johnson and Bill Weld Presidential Campaign Dragging Libertarianism Through the Mud
Written by the staff of the Ron Paul Institute, RonPaulInstitute.org, August 28th, 2016:
Ron Paul Institute Senior Fellow Adam Dick, in a Wake Up Call Podcast interview posted on Friday, argues that Libertarian Party presidential and vice-presidential nominees Gary Johnson and Bill Weld have drug the term “libertarian” through the mud with their advocacy of anti-libertarian positions on matters ranging from their choices for Supreme Court appointments to PATRIOT Act reauthorization to foreign intervention to the use of terror watch lists to outlaw people possessing guns.
Dick addresses the Libertarian presidential ticket during an in-depth discussion of his new book, A Tipping Point for Liberty: Exposing and Defeating Leviathan Government. During Dick’s interview with hosts Adam Camac and Daniel Laguros, the discussion is centered on topics examined in the book, including the development of a police state in America, the war on drugs, and United States wars abroad. It is when the conversation turns to the book’s section dealing with libertarianism that Dick presents an evaluation of the Libertarian presidential ticket.
Dick begins his discussion of Johnson and Weld by noting that Dick is “sure there are plenty of candidates running on the state and local level” under the party banner “who really are libertarian.” But, Dick continues, “when I saw Bill Weld get the vice presidential nomination, I knew that was trouble because the guy is not libertarian.”
Weld was Johnson’s choice for Vice President, and Johnson has said that Johnson and Weld, who are both former state governors, would pretty much serve as co-presidents if elected.
Discussing some of Weld’s activities prior to becoming the vice presidential nominee, Dick notes Weld “was one of a group of politicians who wrote a letter to members of Congress telling them that it was important to reauthorize the portions of the PATRIOT Act that were set to sunset.” Dick continues that “these are some of the worst sections of the PATRIOT Act, some of the sections that are most abusive of freedom, and that’s why they were the few provisions that had sunset provisions to begin with.”
Dick also discusses in the interview how Weld “praised George W. Bush’s foreign policy not too long after the 2003 Iraq invasion.” This puts Weld squarely at odds with libertarians’ support for a noninterventionist foreign policy.
Looking at domestic policy, Dick argues that Weld has shown extreme disrespect for the liberty at the core of the libertarian message by saying during a campaign interview that nobody on the US government’s terror watch lists should be able to buy a gun. Dick explains that bureaucrats arbitrarily add people’s names to the lists without the need to show any respect for due process rights.
Turning to the Libertarian ticket’s potential Supreme Court nominees, Dick discusses in the interview how Johnson has deferred to Weld on the picking of Supreme Court nominees, with Weld identifying as the kind of people Johnson would appoint to the court current Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and US appellate court Judge Merrick Garland, who President Barack Obama has nominated for appointment to the Supreme Court. Concludes Dick, “There’s no argument that either Justice Breyer or Judge Garland is a libertarian, but here we have the Libertarian presidential ticket saying that is the kind of people they want to put on the court.”
The end result of such significant anti-libertarian positions being advanced by the Libertarian presidential ticket is that, even if the ticket wins a high percentage on election day, it will, Dick says, be “an absolute failure” for advancing libertarianism. That is because “they’ve drug [the term ‘libertarian’] through the mud, made it difficult for people to understand what it even means.” But, Dick predicts that the ticket ultimately will not do as well as some current polling suggests. Instead, much of the early gauged support, Dick says, “will probably dry up” because Johnson and Weld “are being so wishy-washy that they are not giving people a good reason to really support them.”
Listen to Dick’s complete Wake Up Call Podcast interview here.
Dick’s discussion in the Wake Up Call Podcast interview of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld’s presidential ticket brings together separate critiques of the nominees’ stands concerning the PATRIOT Act, foreign policy, use of terror watch lists to outlaw gun possession, and Supreme Court justices that Dick has presented over the past few months at the Ron Paul Institute’s audio show Five Minutes Five Issues.
On August 8th, 2016, I published an article on American Third Party Report and Independent Political Report titled Ron Paul says “we don’t need a third party,” refuses to endorse any candidate for president this year. Unfortunately, while the very short article was not factually inaccurate, I was completely wrong in choosing its headline.
As it was pointed out by an individual named Austin Mulka in a message that was forwarded to the IPR Facebook group, Ron Paul DID NOT say that there was no need for a third party to exist in America; his full quote (which my post included), was:
“We don’t need a third party, we need at least a second party that will challenge [the] system.”
Dr. Paul was essentially saying that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two major duopoly parties, and that there is a need for an actual “second party” alternative to the unified Democratic/Republican Party (i.e. a third party).
My headline made no mention of this; and Austin Mulka is right; the quote I used in the headline of the article (which has just now been updated and fixed) was taken completely out of context and made it seem as though Dr. Paul is actively opposed to third parties. In actuality, Dr. Paul has a long history of being friendly to third parties, starting with his 1988 presidential campaign as the Libertarian Party nominee, up to his endorsement of Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin in 2008 and he has not said anything unfavorable about third parties in the present day, either.
My headline was sensationalist and was conceived with more of a clickbait-ish desire for views rather than to be devoted to complete and total accuracy. Because of this immaturity and lack of good judgement, several people who saw the headline said they were disappointed in Dr. Paul and would not be supporting him anymore, according to Austin Mulka. This turn of events shows the gravity words can have and the responsibility I have for making sure all of my posts are in accordance with the truth. As the author of the article, I take full responsibility for it. I would like to apologize to all the readers who viewed the article and formed the wrong impression of Dr. Paul’s attitude towards third parties. I would also like to apologize to Dr. Paul himself, a man for whom I have great respect for and who helped me first become truly interested in politics in 2007, during his second presidential campaign.
Once again, I apologize for using such a sensationalist, inaccurate headline and for causing confusion among those who saw the headline. I can assure everyone that something like this will not happen again. Thank you to Austin Mulka for calling me out on my moronic, clickbait hungry, pseudo-journalistic decision regarding the article’s headline, and I hope that every Ron Paul supporter who saw the article’s headline will see this apology and know that Ron Paul was, and will always be, a friend to third parties in the United States.
Founder, American Third Party Report
August 10th, 2016
Update 8/10/16: The previous title of this article took Dr. Ron Paul’s quote out of context, and caused confusion among some who viewed it thinking that Dr. Paul was speaking out against third parties, when nothing could be further from the truth. I regret this lapse in judgement, and I apologize to everyone who saw the sensationalist headline and formed the wrong idea about Dr. Paul and his views. I would also like to apologize to Dr. Paul as well. -Krzysztof Lesiak
Ron Paul, the 1988 Libertarian Party presidential nominee, 2008 and 2012 GOP presidential candidate and former twelve-term Texas congressman, spoke to 400 student activists at the Young Americans for Liberty conference in Washington, D.C. in late July. Interestingly, as DailyCaller.com and LewRockwell.com report, Ron Paul refused to endorse Gary Johnson for president, much less even mention the Libertarian Party throughout his 45-minute speech to a passionate audience. DailyCaller.com quotes Paul as saying:
“We don’t need a third party, we need at least a second party that will challenge [the] system.”
According to both websites, Ron Paul said that the two major parties were two sides of the same coin.
LewRockwell.com goes on to recommend an article titled “Libertarians for Gary Johnson? 5 reasons libertarians can’t support Johnson,” written by Andrew Moran and published on July 22nd, 2016.
Wikipedia continues, as of today, to erroneously list Ron Paul on its list of endorsements for Gary Johnson. (Update: Dr. Paul’s name has since been removed from the list).
From Ron Paul’s Facebook page, June 3rd, 2016 (video below is a little over 4 minutes long):
Libertarian activists appear to be split on the Johnson/Weld ticket. There was a strong objection to Bill Weld being picked as VP out of fear of watering down the libertarian message. My advice to the Libertarian Party remains the same: to convey a crisp and non-watered down message of liberty. At this point, I’m not ready to endorse the Libertarian ticket. I discuss below:
I’m not ready to endorse the Libertarian ticket