Ron Paul: A Popular Libertarian Candidate in 2020 Is ‘Very Possible’

Via Ed Krayewski at reason.com (H/T George Dance):

The former 1988 Libertarian nominee and 2008 and 2012 Republican candidate for president(ial nomination -p) says Trump is just a temporary setback for the libertarian moment.

Distrust in America’s foreign and monetary policies, unrelieved by the election of Donald Trump, is going to be a “big opening” for libertarians in 2020, former Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul told the Washington Examiner.

Trump was able to co-opt much of the messaging [against -p] an establishment that has maintained a bipartisan consensus on these issues without offering much of substance to voters committed to the values of freedom.

“The appearance of the libertarian movement has been set back partially because of Trump, but intellectually we’ve been doing well,” Paul said. “We as libertarians have some work to do before [voters] are going to accept a true-blue libertarian, but I think moving in that direction and having a popular candidate is very possible” in 2020.

“We’re on the verge of something like what happened in ’89 when the Soviet system just collapsed,” Paul told the Examiner. “I’m just hoping our system comes apart as gracefully.”

The Examiner noted that Paul doesn’t think the U.S. will break up the way that the Soviet Union did, but rather that the U.S. will have to deal with its unsustainable foreign policy and the Fed-driven monetary policy that helps fuel it.

“I think our stature in the world and our empire will end, and that’s when, hopefully, the doors will be open and [people will] say, ‘Hey, maybe these libertarians have some answers to this’,” Paul told the Examiner. “If they only hear our message, I know they would choose liberty and sound money and freedom and peace over the mess we have today.”

“I think the foreign policy is a total disaster,” Paul told the Examiner.”Trump’s approach sounds good one day but the next day he’s antagonizing everyone in the world and thinks we should start a war here and there.”

Paul also said he’d be delighted if Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has been a disaster for civil liberties, although he’s not optimistic the replacement would be any better.

More from Steven Nelson’s interview with Ron Paul at the Washington Examiner:

“This time when we have a permanent war on terrorism there’s no backing off — and with the war on immigrants, and the borders,” he said. “Anybody who thinks we’re not doing too badly has not been flying on an airplane lately. That’s about as authoritarian-fascism as you can get.”

Paul said government policies that steer money to the wealthy create understandable anger among poorer Americans — pointing to the success of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont socialist, in his 2016 campaign for the Democratic nomination. Paul said a libertarian answer, halting inflation and “crony capitalism,” would result in more freedom.

….

IPR note: Steven Nelson’s article at the Examiner says that Ron Paul was referring to a prospective libertarian Republican primary challenge to President Trump, but Krayewski at reason uses uncapitalized libertarian throughout the article and capitalizes it in the title along with every other word. Nelson’s original headline is about a GOP primary challenge, but if Ron Paul actually told him whether he was referring to a libertarian Republican candidate or a Libertarian Party candidate in the general election, it was left out of anything actually put in quotes in the article.

It is possible, as far as we know at this time, that Paul just referred to “libertarian” verbally and Nelson assumed he meant libertarian Republican. However, it’s also possible that Ron Paul made the “Republican” part explicit and it was just left out of his quotes in the article. As Krayewski notes, Ron Paul took both approaches at various times in his political career. From what I have read elsewhere, he personally quit the GOP for a second time just after the end of their 2012 national convention.

40 thoughts on “Ron Paul: A Popular Libertarian Candidate in 2020 Is ‘Very Possible’

  1. Massimo

    I just watched the other post with the video of Stossel. Do anybody know if Stossel has ever considered to run in the primaries of the LP? Do you think he could be a good candidate?

  2. Andy

    I think that it would be fantastic to have a popular Libertarian candidate for President in 2020, but I just hope that if said candidate emerges, that whoever this person may be is actually plausibly libertarian, unlike the last three Libertarian Party presidential tickets. A Libertarian Party candidate that’s a LINO (Libertarian In Name Only) does not do the party or movement any good, even if they are “popular” or get a lot of publicity (by Libertarian Party standards), and is actually a negative for the party and movement.

  3. Massimo

    Should I infer that you consider Stossel a “LINO”? I agree he is not a Walter Block anarchist, but I do believe that he is libertarian, minarchist version. Plus, I believe he is passionate about it. And I would love to see him debate the usual empty-suits.

    Anyway, has the idea of him considering to run ever been floated in the past? Thanks.

  4. paulie Post author

    Of course. Anyone with any kind of name recognition, money or political office of even the most minor type who expresses any kind of affinity for libertarianism, partisan or not, gets harassed frequently about running for LPOTUS. Like being the hottest chick at a sausage party, it doesn’t take much…

  5. Andy

    “Massimo
    January 6, 2018 at 08:26
    I just watched the other post with the video of Stossel. Do anybody know if Stossel has ever considered to run in the primaries of the LP? Do you think he could be a good candidate?”

    I don’t think that John Stossel has ever indicated any interest in running for political office. Would he be a good candidate? He’s got a lot of pluses, and I think that he’d be better than Bob Barr or Gary Johnson, but he’s got some flaws as well that would cause me to have some concern. One of the issues that I’d have with him is that he came out in favor of the government engaging in warrantless domestic spying. He had a little friendly mini-debate with Andrew Napolitano over this issue, and I’m not aware of Stossel changing his stance.

    I’m not going to go so far as to say that I necessarily think that Stossel would be a bad candidate (even though I’m vehemently opposed to unconstitutional domestic spying), but I would much rather have Andrew Napolitano as a candidate than Stossel. I agree with Stossel more often than not, but he strikes me as being too much of a “beltway” Cato/Reason type of libertarian, while Napolitano is more of a Ludwig von Mises Institute guy, which is more along the lines of what I’d prefer (I could see Napolitano reigniting the Ron Paul r3VOLution). Stossel is a good public speaker, and I think that he handles himself well in interviews and debates, but I think that Napolitano is an even better public speaker, and Napolitano handles himself very well in interviews and debates.

  6. Andy

    “robert capozzi
    January 6, 2018 at 18:18
    My guess is RP1 was thinking about RP2 here.”

    I don’t know if Ron Paul is thinking about Rand Paul here or not. If he is, Libertarian was used with an upper case “L” which implies that this candidate would be a member of the Libertarian Party, and would be running as a Libertarian Party candidate, so Rand would have to join the LP, and if he does this, I’d hope that he’d grow a bigger set of balls and run a better campaign than he ran in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries.

  7. robert capozzi

    aj: If he is, Libertarian was used with an upper case “L” which implies that this candidate would be a member of the Libertarian Party,

    me: Where? The Examiner story used a lower-case L. The writer made that decision, I suspect, so you are confusing me/us. RP1 seems largely uninterested in the LP and has often said that 3rd-party politics is futile in effect.

  8. Andy

    “robert capozzi
    January 6, 2018 at 23:56
    ‘aj: If he is, Libertarian was used with an upper case “L” which implies that this candidate would be a member of the Libertarian Party,’

    me: Where? The Examiner story used a lower-case L. The writer made that decision, I suspect, so you are confusing me/us. RP1 seems largely uninterested in the LP and has often said that 3rd-party politics is futile in effect.”

    I was looking at the title of the article, which used a capitol L. Regardless of whether or not Ron Paul was specifically referring to a small “l” libertarian or a big “L” libertarian, or either way, I don’t think that Ron Paul has completely given up on the Libertarian Party, as if he had, I doubt that he’d have done that pre-recorded video message for the 2016 Libertarian National Convention (but of course since a majority of LP convention delegates ignored his advice at that convention, I would not blame him if he has given up on the LP since then). My educated guess would be that he knows that Donald Trump is going to run for re-election, and that nobody is going to be able to beat him in the Republican primaries, so since he is talking about the 2020 election, he is talking about somebody running under the Libertarian Party banner, or somebody running as a Libertarian or an independent.

    Is that somebody going to be Rand Paul? It could be, but I doubt it.

    If Rand does do it, I’d hope that he runs a campaign that is more bold than his 2016 presidential campaign was.

  9. robert capozzi

    AJ,

    The AP and Chicago Manual of Style both have this basic rule for writing headlines:

    “Capitalize the first word of every letter except articles, coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions of three letters or fewer. There’s one exception: Any word that is the first word in the headline or the last word should be capitalized, regardless of its part of speech.”

    Yes, I agree that RP1 is hedging his bets.

    I severely doubt he KNOWS that DJT will run for re-election, since no one KNOWS that, not even DJT. RP1 appears to want to be as relevant as his rationalizations will allow him to be. It took a lot of rationalization energy to support his son but not GJ.

  10. Anthony Dlugos

    rabidly anti-choice, from the moment of conception too, so h’s a misogynistic crazy person:

    http://reason.com/archives/2005/03/01/the-born-again-individualist/3

    Reason: You said abortion is murder. Should it be regulated by the state or should it be prohibited by the state?

    Napolitano: Absolutely it should be prohibited, just the way all unjust killings are prohibited.

    Reason: Should doctors go to prison as murderers?

    Napolitano: Yes.

    Reason: First-degree murder?

    Napolitano: Yes.

    Reason: Should they get the death penalty–

    Napolitano: I don’t believe that the state has the moral authority to execute, so I don’t believe in the death penalty.

    Reason: But you do think that doctors who perform abortions should be put in jail as murderers? Every bit as much as Scott Peterson?

    Napolitano: Yes. By a state government, not by the federal government, because the Constitution doesn’t authorize the federal government to prosecute murderers. Roe v. Wade is wrong because there’s isn’t a scintilla in the Constitution or its history to justify federal legislation on abortion. It would then be up to the state of Kansas to allow it and Pennsylvania not to allow it.

  11. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    January 9, 2018 at 12:32
    rabidly anti-choice, from the moment of conception too, so h’s a misogynistic crazy person:”

    I’d take Napolitano over Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, Bob Barr, and a bunch of other people any day, including John Stossel (and I’ve got more respect for Stossel than I do for Johnson, Weld, and Barr).

    If you consider abortion to be a definitional libertarian issue, or among the most important, pressing issues, then I’d say that you’ve got some pretty screwed up priorities.

    Even for those who disagree with Napolitano on abortion, would you rather have Stossel, who came out in favor of unconstitutional domestic spying. or Gary Johnson, who supports the Fair Tax (and note that as Governor or New Mexico, Gary Johnson signed a bill banning late term abortions, and he also favored parental notification if minors wanted to get abortions), or Bill Weld, who thinks that the government should appoint a task force to determine who can purchase a gun and who can’t, and that people who get placed on such list, which is done in secret, and without a trail, should be denied gun purchases, and who also thinks that the US government should flex its military might and “sabre rattle” sometimes, by using air strikes to attack countries that have not attacked, or even threatened, the USA?

    If Andrew Napolitano declared that he wanted the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination, I think that he’d almost certainly get it.

  12. Andy

    Also, if you want to talk about abortion, during last year’s presidential race, Gary Johnson and Bill Weld came out in favor of taxpayer funding for abortion. Taxpayer funding for abortion has been something that even the most rabidly pro-choice on abortion libertarians have traditionally opposed.

  13. Andy

    Here’s an example of why Andrew Napolitano would make a great presidential candidate (unfortunately, his show didn’t last long after this):

    Judge Napolitano What If

  14. Anthony Dlugos

    Stossel is no more qualified to be president than he is to be general manager of the Cleveland Browns.

    “If you consider abortion to be a definitional libertarian issue, or among the most important, pressing issues, then I’d say that you’ve got some pretty screwed up priorities.”

    lol. Coming from you, I take that as a compliment. Yes, it is among the most important issues when the potential candidate in question is taking about something as idiotic as banning all abortions starting from conception and imprisoning doctors as first degree-murderers, ( I imagine he is deluded enough to probably consider criminal penalties for the woman too. Its either that or he doesn’t understand the legal implications of paying for someone to perpetrate first degree murder).

    If you think he can land the libertarian nomination with that position (one that I doubt he would back down on given his Catholicism). you’re nuts.

  15. George Phillies

    Napolitano is an antiabortionist nutcake, not at all a libertarian.

    Better than Barr, Johnson, or Weld is a rather low bar. However, Weld amy do things this year to supprot our candidates, in which case my estimation of him goes up appreciably.

  16. RIck

    THe sentiment that if Napolitano declared he wanted the LP nomination he would probably get it warms my heart. I don’t agree with him on all issues but he is a man of unwavering principle and honesty. HE would destroy any GOP or Dem candidate in a debate. Most importantly, he would be a fantastic POTUS. I think he could win.

  17. Andy

    I agree with Rick’s sentiment. Andrew Napolitano would be an awesome candidate.

    Can you imagine what could have been if in 2012, Ron Paul had run for President as the Libertarian Party’s candidate, and, if Andrew Napolitano had been his VP running mate? That would have been amazing. I bet they could have gotten 10% or more of the vote, and that the Libertarian. Party would be a lot bigger than it is today from their run.

  18. wolfefan

    Has Napolitano spoken on whether or not women who seek abortions should be charged with murder? While Pres. Trump got grief for saying that, it really is the logical extension of Napolitano’s position expressed above. In fact, it’s probably more reasonable that the woman be punished than the doctor under his view. After all, the person who procures a murder is usually considered more culpable than the person they hire to do it.

  19. robert capozzi

    fwiw, I see AN as a potentially good VP. He’s articulate, and while I disagree with him on abortion, I like the optics of the prez candidate being pro-choice and the veep pro-life. I’m not sure if he’s “out” or not, but others on IPR have indicated he’s gay, which I kinda like for the veep, too. Balanced and progressive in tone.

    If no one with a Shiny Badge steps up, he’s not a bad choice compared with NAPist anarchists and fringe candidates, but he lacks charisma, in my judgment.

    Weld/Napolitano or Amash/Napolitano would be a “heavy” ticket.

    I wonder why AJ likes AN so much. Isn’t he a R? I thought you object to “retreads.”

  20. Andy

    Robert Capozzi said: “If no one with a Shiny Badge steps up, he’s not a bad choice compared with NAPist anarchists and fringe candidates, but he lacks charisma, in my judgment.”

    I think that Andrew Napolitano is charismatic. He’s an excellent speaker. Did you watch the video clips I posted of him above? if not, you ought to watch them.

    Napolitano is a “Shiny Badge” holder as he’s a former Judge in New Jersey. He’s also a well known political pundit.

    “Weld/Napolitano or Amash/Napolitano would be a ‘heavy’ ticket.”

    I don’t think that there’s any chance that Napolitano would want to run with Bill Weld on the same ticket as him. I don’t think that he likes Weld. He might run with Amash, but no way I could see him running with Weld.

    If Napolitano were to run, he should probably be the presidential candidate. The only people I could think of who I could even see as considering to run on the LP ticket that I could see a strong argument for putting above Napolitano on the ticket would be Ron Paul or Rand Paul, and since Ron Paul has retired from running for office, and is really too old at this point, that leaves Rand. and the only reason I’d consider putting Rand on top of the ticket is because he’s a sitting US Senator.

    “I wonder why AJ likes AN so much. Isn’t he a R? I thought you object to ‘retreads.'”

    I like Andrew Napolitano because I think that he’s really good on issues and philosophy, he’s very knowledgeable, and he’s an excellent speaker and writer. He also handles himself really well in interviews and debates. When Gary Johnson was running, I was actually worried about him getting into the debates with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and getting chewed up and spit out and making an ass out of himself. I’d have no such worries with Andrew Napolitano.

    I am not sure if Napolitano is currently with the Republican Party or not, but even if he has not, you are correct to point out that he has been, and he is therefore heavily identified with the Republican Party, even though he is widely identified as a small “l” libertarian. Him running on the LP’s presidential ticket would not break the cycle of the LP running Republican retreads, but at least in this case he’d be a Republican retread that’s actually a strong libertarian. and who’d be a great representative for the Libertarian Party and philosophy.

  21. Andy

    Here’s a video of Andrew Napolitano giving a lecture to students at Mises University. He appears to be a great teacher.

  22. Paul

    As usual, I have to agree with Phillies. AN is a bit on the nutty side, and not really that well known outside of “liberty conservative” circles.

  23. robert capozzi

    AJ,

    Again, our standards of what constitutes a Shiny Badge differs. AN lacks one for prez. He has one for guv, sen, House, etc.

    He’s not, subjectively, telegenic, but he IS articulate, especially for TV. He knows how to frame issues. His graveness and lawyerliness to me give him a low charisma rating.

    I know you’re a fan boy, but I’m not. Still, he’d be way better than a fringe candidate if no one with a Shiny Badge wants the gig.

    I would most likely vote RP2/AN, but with reservations. That is a far too right-wing in tone for my tastes.

  24. Anthony Dlugos

    How about we just remove Sarwark and make Pope Francis the Chair, and call ourselves the Paleoconservative Party. How about that?

  25. Andy

    Andrew Napolitano is not as conservative as you are making him out to be. He has called for calling off the entire War on Drugs (which goes a lot further than Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, who only called for taxing and regulating marijuana), and he has said that the government should not be in the marriage licensing business.

    Napolitano is far more libertarian than Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, and so is Rand Paul for that matter (i’d say that Napolitano is more libertarian than Rand).

  26. wredlich

    Personally I love Napolitano for president. While I disagree with him on abortion, by his own words he’d have no authority over that as president. He sees it as a state issue.

    I also love Rand Paul running for president in a primary against Trump in 2020. Since his next Senate election is not until 2022, he’s free to take a shot at it. I picture him talking about issues only, not taking any personal shots at Trump, and ignoring Trump’s shots at him.

  27. Anthony Dlugos

    If I showed up at the next LP Convention and argued that, until the epidemic of mass shootings in this country subsides, the LP platform ought to be changed to allow for state abrogation of 2nd amendment rights, I’d likely get tarred gun oil and feathered with business card sized version of the world’s smallest political quiz.

    Of course, we don’t have to wonder too much about this hypothetical, because one of the primary issues the hard right paleocons (with moral support given by the myopic No Particular Orderism purists/radicals/NAPists) hyperventilated about regarding Governor Weld was his PREVIOUS support YEARS prior to the convention for gun restrictions.

    Its truly ironic that some of the people most vocal about not nominating “republican retreads” like Weld and Johnson are Johnny-on-the-spot when the prospect of nominating a Paul, or Amash, or a virulent anti-abortionist like Napolitano is brought up. Politicians. mind you, who don’t walkback previous support for abortion restrictions at all; indeed they support them to this day, and likely would right up through the nominating process for the LP presidential ticket. Napolitano believes abortion should be prohibited. Prohibited. He believes the fetus’ right to protection by the state should begin at conception.

    Imagine a gun rights restrictionist actively taking an analogous position on guns and showing up at an LP Convention trying to land the presidential nomination.

    And we wonder why Libertarians are tagged with the label “Republicans who want to smoke pot.” Its not because of candidates like Johnson or Weld, that’s for sure. Note that the label, sadly, is not “Republicans who want to support a woman’s right to choose.” Nope. THAT right, we’ll gladly jettison.

    Yet another demonstration of why Ron Paul did more harm than good to the party and the movement.

  28. Andy

    Napolitano opposes abortion because he sees it as murder, which us a violation of the right to life. If a fetus is a person, he is correct. You may not see a fetus as a person, and therefore you do not think that abortion is murder, but I assume that you would agree that murder is wrong, as in that murder is a violation of libertarian principles, correct? If not, then you are in the wrong political party. So the point of contention here is not whether or not murder is wrong, but whether not aborting a fetus is murder. Andrew Napolitano says that it is murder, Anthony Dlgos claims that it is not. The principle that murder is wrong is not in dispute, the dispute is whether or not abortion should be considered to be murder. This is a question that has divided the liberty movement, and the American public, for several decades.

    Comparing this to whether or not people should have the right to keep and bear arms is not a valid comparison. Gun rights are an essential element to having a free society. If you have no right to keep and bear arms, you can’t defend life, liberty, or property. Political issues ought to be weighted, and on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most important category, I would weight the right to keep and bear arms with a 10.

    My problem with the LP running candidates like Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, and Bob Barr is not that they were former Republicans, but rather that they were lousey candidates for the LP. They were bad on multiple issues, and they ran uninspiring campaigns.

    I do with a point that has been brought up here multiple times by Tom Knapp, and that is that if the Libertarian Party frequently runs Republican retreads, particularly for high profile offices, it runs the risk of being known as the party for cast off Republicans. It would be healthier for the long term if the Libertarian Party created its own stars rather than relying on stars from another party. Having said this, I am not opposed to running former Republicans sometimes, or even a former Democrat for that matter, if the right person emerges, as in if they are strong on philosophy and issues, and if they do a good job spreading a libertarian message.

  29. Anthony Dlugos

    “Comparing this to whether or not people should have the right to keep and bear arms is not a valid comparison.”

    Its not a valid comparison for republicans, paleoconservatives, theocrats, the religious right, and people who should feel pretty uncomfortable in the Libertarian Party. Which one are you?

    “Gun rights are an essential element to having a free society.”

    Reproductive rights are essential elements to having a free society. They are at least as essential as gun rights, if not more so. Infringing on either would bring on a draconian police state. If you are making a distinction there, if you feel comfortable infringing on the privacy rights of women, you are probably better off in the Republican or Constitution parties. Don’t let the door hit your misogynist ass on the way out.

  30. Anthony Dlugos

    “I do with a point that has been brought up here multiple times by Tom Knapp, and that is that if the Libertarian Party frequently runs Republican retreads, particularly for high profile offices, it runs the risk of being known as the party for cast off Republicans. It would be healthier for the long term if the Libertarian Party created its own stars rather than relying on stars from another party. Having said this, I am not opposed to running former Republicans sometimes, or even a former Democrat for that matter, if the right person emerges, as in if they are strong on philosophy and issues, and if they do a good job spreading a libertarian message.”

    In other words, you’re a raging hypocrite. If the politician in question is a hard right paleoconservative, you are okay with a “republican retread.”

    What makes it ironic not your hypocrisy, but the fact that the sort of “republican retreads” that your hypocrisy filter would allow to pass through would most assuredly turn the LP into GOP 2.0

  31. Andy

    Anthony conveniently ignores is that as Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson signed a bill banning late term abortions, and he also supported parental notification if a minor want to get an abortion.

    So Johnson’s record is not as “pro-choice on abortion” as Anthony makes it out to be.

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