Paul Krugman: Most Libertarians Fail to Defend Liberty



I’m looking forward to the comments our Libertarian friends will have to this New York Times blog post by Paul Krugman. I’m sure there will be whining and complaining, and usually from the same people so quick to ill-define what Liberals stand for and support. I’ve said for years that these Ron/Rand Paul loving loyalists really define liberty in only one way — how much we pay in taxes.

Krugman’s post is in reaction to a Senator Rand Paul interview on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show where he suggests that people who merely attend certainl political speeches hosted by certain groups should be arrested and imprisoned.  I’m struggling to find how that adhere’s to Sen. Paul’s strict intrepretation of the Constitution’s right to assemble and right of free speech.  Perhaps Deborah Pauly can help me out here?

Here’s what Senator Paul had to say, according to the website ThinkProgress.

“I’m not for profiling people on the color of their skin, or on their religion, but I would take into account  where they’ve been traveling and perhaps, you might have to indirectly take into account whether or not they’ve been going to radical political speeches by religious leaders.  It wouldn’t be that they are Islamic.  But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.”

So does that mean those who attend those Tea Party rallies or Sarah Palin speeches or Glenn Beck rallies should be jailed?  Aren’t many of those people talking about a revolution? 

Those who have called for a second American revolution include: Rep. Ron Paul (Rand’s dad! How ironic), Chuck Norris, radio host Alex Jones, and Republic Magazine editor Gary Franchi, who wrote:

“…either you stand with America and fight to restore our Republic or you cower and hide in fear of retribution…join with us to expel the forces that have been working diligently to overthrow our sovereign Republic since the Founders conceived the first American Revolution…the enemies of freedom are on our soil, and it is time to take to the field of battle …”

Sure sounds like violent overthrow to me Senator Paul.

The shoe is not on the other foot Libertarians!

From Krugman’s post:  “Political figures who talk a lot about liberty and freedom invariably turn out to mean the freedom to not pay taxes and discriminate based on race; freedom to hold different ideas and express them, not so much.”

 Liberal radio talk show host Thom Hartmann once defined Libertarians as “conservatives who want the freedom to smoke pot and patronize prostitutes without getting arrested.” 

Is that unfair?  You tell me.

  2 comments for “Paul Krugman: Most Libertarians Fail to Defend Liberty

  1. demmother
    June 9, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I think that those who call themselves Libertarian do not really understand the term. I would love to see a Jeffersonian type revolution; unfortunately, most Americans have been bought, paid for and sedated.

  2. Adam
    June 21, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Yah, I agree that politicians that claim to support liberty don’t always mean liberty in the broadest sense. But if they did, then they would be anarchists and not run for office in the first place. Running for office and voting encourages the reduction of liberties for the most part. Those that are drawn to government (elected office, lobbying, suffrage) want more power, even if that is more power to do what they think is “right” and will ultimately “benefit society as a whole.” However, liberty to do anything people want that doesn’t physically harm another person seems like a fairly good goal. When these freedoms are something that you would never do, when you seek power to improve society, you have to ask yourself if you are willing to protect all freedoms out of principle? are you willing to protect all freedoms so that others will help protect yours? I know I am.

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