Ron Paul has more courage and integrity than any other person I know of . He argued against the War on Drugs when it was at its height of popularity. He challenged the Fed long before it became popular to do so; in fact, he almost singlehandedly made it popular to do so. He has fought against social security, the prescription drug subsidy, corn subsidies, and countless other popular statist boondoggles.
But, although he aggressively attacked Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich, he never really attacked uber-statist Mitt Romney.
Ron Paul understood how problematic the Fed was back when most of us thought it was essential for economic stability. I doubt he simply didn’t notice the similarities between Romneycare and Obamacare, or Romney’s Keynesian tax-and-spend policies. Nor do I think that Ron Paul, who is about to retire anyway, would have been particularly afraid of any backlash.
I can’t presume to know Ron Paul’s motivation. But I do know that there are certain pressures that a man of integrity won’t ignore. He won’t ignore pressures on his morality, his friends, or his family.
For months, the Republican establishment has been openly threatening his son, Rand Paul. In January, nationally syndicated conservative talk show host Mark Levin said, “If Ron Paul decides that he is going to go third-party…I will do everything in my power to defeat his son in Kentucky. I will do everything in my power to defeat his son Rand Paul in Kentucky.”
If that’s what the Republican establishment said on national radio, what were they saying behind closed doors?
I have no doubt that Rand Paul endorsed Mitt Romney after a discussion with his father, with his father’s encouragement, and with great reluctance. His choice was to swallow a disgusting pill and live to fight another day, or end his political career in the Republican Party.
Ever since I got involved in politics, I have gotten repeated requests to run as a Republican, and a few to run as a Democrat.. I have turned those offers down because I know that there is no future in it for me. I’m unwilling to attack gay marriage, to support corporate subsidies, or to pretend that abortion is the most important issue in American politics. (In order to be successful, Rand Paul has been forced to talk about abortion constantly, and propose various “Life Begins at Conception” bills.) And I’m certainly unwilling to back big-government statists like Mitt Romney.
That’s why we need a strong Libertarian Party. The notion of “working within” the Republican Party is ludicrous. If the Republican establishment can pressure Ron Paul into forgoing attacks on a super-statist like Mitt Romney, then what could they do to the rest of us?
Ron Paul ran as a Libertarian candidate for president in 1988. And if our party were better funded and had more clout, he probably would have joined us for future campaigns, including his many successful congressional campaigns. We need to make the Libertarian Party stronger, so that American statesmen will never need to choose between their principles and getting elected.
For that, we all have to work together. You can join the LP at https://www.lp.org/membership. Make sure to also join the LP facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/libertarians.
And join your state party (there is a list here: http://www.lp.org/states). We have great candidates this year, including Gary Johnson. Now let’s work together to get them elected.
Arvin Vohra currently serves as Representative At-Large on the Libertarian National Committee, and on the Executive Board of the Maryland Libertarian Party. He is the internationally published author of two books, including Lies, Damned Lies, and College Admissions.