Ron Paul’s contribution

Few of us would want libertarians running things in this country, but Ron Paul has demonstrated that they offer very important principles to our political discourse. Even a liberal like Michael Kinsley can appreciate that:

The libertarian perspective is useful, and undervalued. Why does the government pay farmers not to grow food? Why are medications for fatal diseases sometimes held off the market in case they aren’t safe? (Compared to death?) Legislators and regulators should ask themselves far more often than they do whether some government activity or other expands freedom or contracts it.

Republicans used to be for smaller government, but over the past 25 years, with the emergence of the religious right, they have become more and more willing to use federal power to advance their agenda and therefore restrict our freedoms. We now have a Republican administration telling the states that they can’t enact medical marijuana laws and limiting federal research on stem cells. We had a Republican congress telling state and federal judges that their rulings on a woman’s right to die should not be enforced. They even passed a law making it more difficult to play poker online. When will they leave us alone?

The Terry Schiavo case was a wake-up call. Americans will draw lines on the limits of government power over their lives. Republicans seem to have forgotten these principles.


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