I have many friends, relatives, and work acquaintances who subscribe to the Ron Paul libertarian wing of the Republican party. If you ask them, they will say, “Republicans and Democrats are totally corrupt and they don’t want to have anything to do with either party. No labels [conservative, liberal, etc.] apply to us, thank you very much.” I’m always one who likes to find out other beliefs. I enjoy a good discussion—even though many times it ends up with, “We will just have to agree to disagree.”
There are a few things Ron Paul Libertarians and I see eye to eye on. I think Ron Paul is correct concerning civil liberties, wars, and censorship issues. However, out of respect to many of my friends and relatives (those who can't understand why I don't jump on the libertarian/Ron Paul bandwagon), I want to point out my main disagreements with Ron Paul and his brand of libertarianism.
My main criticisms that I have are these:
I don’t buy into the New World Order Conspiracy Theory concerning the Federal Reserve. The theory and branches of it go like this:
Back in the Progressive Era a bunch of elites and politicians got together at Jekyll Island, Georgia and concocted the Federal Reserve. The goal of the group headed by Nelson Aldrich, was to prevent economic depressions that had plagued America during the 19th Century. The basis of the theory is that all Americans have been duped. We are all slaves to this secret band of elite billionaires and politicians who have stolen away freedom and liberty from us ignorant and brainwashed American People. To read more about what Ron Paul and libertarians believe concerning the Federal Reserve try reading Ron Paul’s book titled End the Fed. The conspiracy theory concerning the Fed isn’t new. It’s been around since Father Coughlin. In fact, I’m curious to know how much Ron Paul, Cleon Skousen, and the John Birch Society were influenced by Father Coughlin--not to mention a certain hierarchical LDS church leader who lived during the same time as Coughlin.
Watch this—does it sound familiar?
I do believe that there is better information available concerning the Federal Reserve. For instance, I’m impressed with this book. I’m not keen on suggesting articles by Salon, but I think this writer has got it right—or left in our case.
- Ron Paul constantly proposes that we go back to the gold standard which Richard Nixon took us off of in the 1970’s. When the Great Recession hit, the price of gold skyrocketed, thanks in part to those who believe that the dollar will crash and become as worthless as Weimar Deutche Marks. Yet, how do Paul and libertarians explain the fact that the U.S. has been the economic leader for the past forty years with “unsound money?” Just today, I watched this piece. There are plenty of good reasons why our money isn't tied to the gold standard. How do libertarians explain that the dollar hasn’t crashed and is still the “go to” currency by most countries in the world? I will tell you how they respond. They will point out that all of the information and numbers given to the stock markets are made up. They will point back to the theory and tell you that you are duped. They have absolutely no facts to stand on. So far, the dollar has not crashed. The price of gold has started to fall. When you confront libertarians with the problems of their Utopian fantasy, they start to sound like Rick Santelli:
- Ron Paul has constantly told the American people that we are in a long-term economic depression and the worst is yet to come. Since 2008, I've heard, "Keynesian economics, printing money, and driving up inflation (which hasn’t happened by the way) will lead us into economic catastrophe. And if it doesn't crash then the Feds lying about the numbers will. Thanks Obama!"I will admit, times are difficult and the Great Recession has devastated many families—but in no way do our times mirror the Great Depression. Weren't you listening to the stories your grandparents told you? Of course, when I bring this up, the response is always, “Oh, you just wait and see! We haven’t even seen the worst yet.”By the way, one of my hero’s is Mormon Federal Reserve Chairman Marriner Eccles. Make sure that you learn about his story.
- Libertarians ignore the fact that the Great Recession was caused by the deregulation of the Glass-Stegall Act. This was after repeated warnings by Democratic Senators. What did they replace it with? The Gramm-Leach-Biley Act, which implemented a laissez faire approach to banks and removed barriers between banks and security companies (ala Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers). What did it lead to? The U.S. subprime mortgage crisis. The bill was championed by former Ayn Rand disciple and Libertarian Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. (Of course, when you mention the connection between Greenspan, Ayn Rand, libertarian philosophy, deregulation, and the Great Recession, libertarians always revert back to the Grand Libertarian Conspiracy. By the way, I realize Ron Paul was absent during the Gramm-Leach-Biley Act. It doesn’t ignore the fact, that every single GOP Senator supported it—not to mention, the support of Bill Clinton, Wall Street, and many libertarian economists and philosophers.If deregulation and a totally free market is so wonderful, why did it lead to worst economic crisis since the Great Depression? If the libertarians point to politicians getting involved in the market, my response will be, "Sure, the only reason Glass-Steagall was stripped down was because of bizarre politicians and ideas from the libertarian wing of the Republican idea. The only reason the banks became involved with security companies is because of the Gramm-Leach-Biley Act. Man up, and take responsibility for it."
- I’m against secession. Yep, do you think I’m kidding? I will let Ron Paul try to explain it:
and the response by Robert Schlesinger:
I sympathize with many of our Brothers and Sisters. Sure, a third party might be essential for a healthy political system. Politics can leave anyone disappointed. I just question whether delving into libertarian politics is a good idea. As a Mormon, I'm a seeker of truth, not conspiracy theories, secession, and false rumors. I'm not quite sure Ron Paul provides ideas and beliefs worth my time. If Ron's son Rand is the GOP nominee for the next Presidential election (as I predict), heaven help our two party system.