I’ve come to realize that Ron Paul’s rhetorical positioning is extremely clever, in that it allows him to appeal to both sides of many issues. To put it another way, he is able to take a theoretical stand against bad things while advocating policies that would lead directly to them.
Consider racism, for example. Ron Paul believes that the Civil Rights Act should never have been passed. He thinks that companies and individuals should be free to be as racist as they like. Want to post a “No blacks need apply” sign? He thinks you should have the freedom to do that. And yet, at the same time, Ron Paul states clearly that he personally thinks that racism is a bad thing. It’s very unfair, no doubt about it. It’s just that he feels that we should wait until everyone voluntarily decides to stop being racist, rather than passing laws. It’s regrettable that giving people the freedom to be racist would result in a lot of racism, but what are you going to do, eh? It’s just human nature.
So his liberal supporters get to point at his statements against racism; and his neo-Nazi supporters at Stormfront get to point at his statements against the Civil Rights Act and his desire to repeal laws against discrimination. And he gets to shrug, grin, and dodge the issue.
Well, I think this is an ingenious position. Why don’t we try it with some other laws?
Sure, theft is bad. But we shouldn’t have big government forcing people to stop thieving. Instead, we should patiently wait until everyone voluntarily decides to stop. In fact, it’s the statists who cause theft with their legislation, dividing people into “have” and “have not”, “owner” and “not owner”, and leading to people’s obsession with property, right? But you know, theft is really really bad. Making it legal shouldn’t in any way be seen as condoning it, OK?