Ron Paul Fundamentals: The Role Of Government

October 23rd, 2008 3:04 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, Constitution, Economics, Election, Free Market, government spending, Individual Responsibility, John McCain, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Obama, Philosophy, Politics, Polling, Ron Paul, Taxes  |  1

In May 2007 during the first primary Republican Presidential debate many were introduced to Ron Paul for the first time. One of the first answers he gave during that debate explained in a mere few sentences his philosophy regarding the role of government. It doesn’t really matter what the question was (it was a question about phasing out the IRS). It was his answer that was the springboard for understanding the more finer points of the quintessential Ron Paul.

“You can only do that [phase out the IRS] if you change our ideas about what the role of government ought to be. If you think that government has to take care of us from cradle to grave and if you think our government should police the world and spend hundreds of billions of dollars on a foreign policy that we cannot manage you can’t get rid of the IRS”. (see the video starting at the 1:45 mark)

There it is. It’s quite fundamental. If you truly want limited government the government can’t act as if there are no limits. This is an actual recipe for change in contrast to all of the new programs that Barack Obama and John McCain keep promoting from the campaign trail. Unfortunately, it seems the majority of Americans have answered the “role of government” question with “gimme more please!”

Many McCain supporters may take issue with my assertion that he is a big government lover only a few shades less blue than a Democrat. Yesterday John McCain was interviewed on CNN by Wolf Blitzer and one of his answers illustrates my point better than I could ever do with accusations.

BLITZER: But is that too much federal government involvement in the free market system?

MCCAIN: Of course it is. But we are in an extraordinary crisis. The homeowners are the innocent bystanders in a drive-by shooting by Washington and Wall Street: greed, excess and corruption. So why shouldn’t we help?

The first role of government is to help people who are in crisis or need. That’s why we have government. But if we had not done what we did to set this whole house of cards up, we wouldn’t be faced with these situations we have today.

I could have attributed this quote to Obama and no one would even flinch. Is this a conservative speaking? No it is not. It is John McCain, the chameleon. It’s almost like he notices the support Obama is now getting so he’s trying to mimic the Democratic talking points.

Imagine if Ron Paul were the GOP nominee continuing his mantra of limited government, sound money, and non-intervention. No doubt the Obama campaign would have many campaign attack targets. So many they wouldn’t know which to try first. However I suspect Ron Paul’s integrity and genuineness would have him doing no worse than McCain is doing in the polls today. In fact, with the economic crisis Ron Paul may be the front runner. Obama has trumped McCain on the economy which many credit for his front running status.

If the past month has been any indication there are not many in Washington who can trump Ron Paul on the economy. Any attack on the economics of Ron Paul is easily countered with a glance at his voting record and statements for over 30 years.

It would be a very different race if our dream of a Ron Paul candidacy were realized. Perhaps the polling would be worse or perhaps better, but one thing is for sure, it would be more interesting than this current travesty.


  1. RBurnett says:

    October 23rd, 2008 at 7:26 pm (#)

    I wonder what Ron Paul would say to James Madison. who said in the 51st Federalsit that the first duty of government is to control the governed and the second duty to control itself, that the primary control on the government is a dependence on the people, yet it is necessary to have resort to auxiliary precautions, which include but are not limited to the law and the Constitution? Indeed, there is as much said about popular folly as there is about popular or majority tyranny–indeed, the so-called libertarian J S Mill stated, after making the case for the sovereign individual, that this soverignity was not for the immature, indeed, that despotism is a legitimate mode of government when dealing with barbarians, if only to help them out of their barbarism. Aristotle also noted the need for the occasional intervention of the wise statesman, the so-called philosopher-king, to help the self-governing polity when it goes off track. The history of American politics is, from the beginning, full of actions by American politicians outside of the law and the Constitution for our own good–so said Jefferson himself in a letter to Breckenridge(Aug 1803) in defense of his illegal act in the Louisiana Purchase, defending the Purchase as while beyond the Constitution, yet for our own good. Sounds like McCain’s idea of helping.
    There’s also this: Despite those auxiliary precautions, the people will get whatever it is they want, if they want it long enough and elect representatives who will follow thier wishes. There need not be any Revolution, just a law or amendment passed that makes a new thing of the rest of the law or Constitution, indeed, simply a new way of thinking or a new tradition or set of habits.The 14th Amendment has been cited as one such amendment that altered a lot of things, the development of the political party (a thing not mentioned in the Constitution or in the Federalist, although alluded to in the discussion of the faction) and the extension to women and minorities of the right to vote. What exactly is Paul’s position on these three things? Eliminate political parties, repeal the 14th and take the vote away from those mentioned? That this would bring us back to the original Constitution is an irrelevant debate as to do any of these things is to provoke a real Revolution, and not the tepid thing that the Paul presents.