Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nicholas Lemann On Ron Paul's Vision For America

Nicholas Lemann (left) writes that Ron Paul “speaks most directly to one of his party’s deepest emotions: hostility to government.” Paul may be more purely libertarian than his fellow Republican candidates, but he indeed represents a pervasive strain in the GOP. Those attracted to Paul’s anti-war and civil liberties stands should also pay attention to the rest of his program. His lack of compassion and common sense would end up hurting the 99 percent even more. From “Enemy of the State”:

...the truth is that Paul’s vision reveals—with candor and specificity—what the G.O.P.’s rhetorical hostility to government would mean if it were rigorously put into practice. A minimal state, without welfare provisions for the unemployed. A quarter of a million federal workers—as a first installment—joining those unemployed. Foreign policy and national defense reduced to a few ballistic-missile submarines. The civil-rights legislation of the nineteen-sixties repealed as so much unwarranted government intrusion. As for the financial crisis, Paul would have countenanced no regulation that might have prevented it, no government stabilization of the financial system after it happened, and no special help for working people hurt by it. This is where the logic of government-shrinking leads.

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