Quote of the Day – Jamie Kirchick Edition
Paul’s following is closely linked with the peculiar attractions of the libertarian creed that he promotes. Libertarianism is an ideology rather than a philosophy of government—its main selling point is not its pragmatic usefulness, but its inviolable consistency. In that way, Paul’s indulgence of bigotry—he says he did not write the newsletters but rather allowed others to do so in his name—isn’t an incidental departure from his libertarianism, but a tidy expression of its priorities: First principles of market economics gain credence over all considerations of social empathy and historical acuity. His fans are guilty of donning the same ideological blinders, giving their support to a political candidate on account of the theories he declaims, rather than the judgment he shows in applying those theories, or the character he has evinced in living them. Voters for Ron Paul are privileging logical consistency at the expense of moral fitness.
But it’s not simply that Paul’s supporters are ignoring the manifest evidence of his moral failings. More fundamentally, their very awareness of such failings is crowded out by the atmosphere of outright fervor that pervades Paul’s candidacy. This is not the fervor of a healthy body politic—this is a less savory type of political devotion, one that escapes the bounds of sober reasoning. Indeed, Paul’s absolutist notion of libertarian rigor has always been coupled with an attraction to fantasies of political apocalypse.
Jamie Kirchick of The New Republic
There are many things that I like about Ron Paul’s stances. I most certainly have a streak of liberation in me. Sometimes that streak is bigger than at other times. But like the author, I view libertarianism not as a form of government, but a personal way of living your life and how you vote.
I despise and mock any politician that is surrounded by a cult of personality. We have had way too much of that in the past four years. Politicians are (thankfully) not gods, miracle workers, nor do they have a magic wand. The process back to a limited constitutional government will be long, slow and painstaking. It is up to us to continue to pay attention no matter who is in office.