Another Ron Paul Post

Posted on December 20, 2011 at 5.12 pm

Q. Hello, I’ve followed your blog for a while and I want to say that I admire your intelligence and your values. I’ve liked Ron Paul for a while, and this blog is partly responsible for that, but I’ve been seeing some talk from other places that troubles me. I wanted to ask, then, if you could tell me Mr. Paul’s stance and voting record on issues of marriage equality and abortion? As well as what you think of allegations of him being racist and sexist. Thanks! — butterfly-effect, from tumblr.

A. Thank you very much for your compliments — I really appreciate it.  Now, let’s dive right in.

Ron Paul on gay marriage:  His position here is that we should let the individual, not the government, decide if they’re married or not.  I don’t have to recognize your marriage, and you don’t have to recognize mine.

In practice, this would look like no marriage licenses from the government; instead, people who wanted to be married would take care of the matter themselves.  The ceremony could be performed by a church or other religious organization, or it could be entirely nonreligious.

It would be entirely up to the people getting married, and neither churches nor the gay community would be able to use the force of the law to impose their views on the other group.  See Dr. Paul discuss the issue hereSee longer arguments from me on this matter here.

Ron Paul on abortion:  As you no doubt know, Ron Paul is himself an OB-GYN, a fact which I would argue makes him more qualified to speak on this subject than the rest of the presidential candidates.  He is pro-life, and reached that conclusion while actually in med school [video here].  Though he has voted in favor of some federal abortion legislation, he has long said that this should be dealt with by the states.  Read an excerpt from his discussion of this matter in his book, Liberty Defined, here — but I’d really suggest just buying the whole book for full coverage of this and 49 other issues.

Charges of sexism and racism:  These are preposterous, and only make sense if you assume two things:

  1. Opposition to abortion is inherently sexist.
  2. To avoid being racist or sexist, you have to support the government forcing everyone to think the right things.

On the first count, this simply isn’t the case.  Being pro-life would be sexist only if someone wanted abortion to be illegal not because they thought it was morally wrong and a criminal act of aggression (as Ron Paul does), but because they just want to be able to control women and tell them what to do.

On the second count, most charges of Ron Paul’s supposed sexism and racism come not from his stance on abortion but from his opposition to certain types of civil rights legislation.  Take the matter of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as an example:  Ron Paul has said he would have opposed the bill had he been in Congress then.  Is this because he was happy with Jim Crow laws?  No — far from it.  He supported the repeal of those laws.  What he opposed was the new power the law gave the federal government over private business transactions.

In fact, both racism and sexism are incompatible with libertarianism, for these gross stereotypes function by viewing people as members groups with supposedly predefined attributes rather than as individuals.  Libertarianism is fundamentally about the rights and value of the individual.  As the risk of being accused of committing the “No True Scotsman” fallacy, show me a libertarian who is racist and I’ll show you someone who isn’t actually a libertarian.  I’ll close by linking you to this post covering those newsletters from back in the day, and by letting Ron Paul explain for himself why he isn’t, and couldn’t be, a racist:

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