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Monday, September 22, 2008

Ron Paul endorses Chuck Baldwin and the Constitution Party. Will he be voting for Bob Barr anyways?

From Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty Blog:

The Libertarian Party Candidate admonished me for “remaining neutral” in the presidential race and not stating whom I will vote for in November.   It’s true; I have done exactly that due to my respect and friendship and support from both the Constitution and Libertarian Party members.  I remain a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and I’m a ten-term Republican Congressman.  It is not against the law to participate in more then one political party.  Chuck Baldwin has been a friend and was an active supporter in the presidential campaign.

I continue to wish the Libertarian and Constitution Parties well. The more votes they get, the better.  I have attended Libertarian Party conventions frequently over the years.

In some states, one can be on the ballots of two parties, as they can in New York.  This is good and attacks the monopoly control of politics by Republicans and Democrats.  We need more states to permit this option.  This will be a good project for the Campaign for Liberty, along with the alliance we are building to change the process.

I’ve thought about the unsolicited advice from the Libertarian Party candidate, and he has convinced me to reject my neutral stance in the November election.  I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.

Readers of The Shotgun will recall that on Sept 10th, the Texas Republican Congressman held a press conference to encourage his supporters to vote for any one of the 4 third-party candidates who agreed to a 4-part policy statement in the Presidential election instead of Obama or McCain. However, the big news from the event was that one of those four candidates, Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party presidential candidate and a former Republican congressman from Georgia, whose principles and platform are very closely aligned with Paul canceled his appearance right before the press conference was supposed to begin. This move angered many Libertarians and Ron Paul supporters, who had fervently supported Paul in his failed bid to win the Republican nomination.

Read more coverage on what is now being called "Snubgate" here, here, and here.

While Ron Paul is supporting Chuck Baldwin, there is only one third-party candidate on the Texas ballot (in fact, at present, there may be only one candidate on the ballot at all) and that's Bob Barr. Does this mean that Ron Paul will still be voting for the Libertarian Party when he heads to the polls in November? The evidence seems to suggest he might.

Update: Apologies. My speculation was premature, it seems that despite not appearing on the ballot, Chuck Baldwin is a qualified write-in candidate in Texas. That should clear up any questions about who Ron Paul will be voting for.

(h/t IPR)

Posted by Kalim Kassam on September 22, 2008 | Permalink


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Remind me again why a Canadian blog site should care about the detailed goings on of the U.S. libertarian party?

I may be wrong, but aren't we having an election at the moment?

Posted by: Craig | 2008-09-22 6:54:20 PM


We are a Canadian news organization, but we also have a libertarian perspective. Ron Paul is an important figure in libertarian politics and has a lot of support among Canadian libertarians and antiwar conservatives. Please take a look at our feature article from January where we looked into the huge support that Ron Paul has in Canada: http://www.westernstandard.ca/website/article.php?id=2702

We *are* in the middle of a Canadian election, and we do give it plenty of coverage. Although many of our readers are interested in what's going on South of the border, most of them probably visit us for our perspective on Canadian issues. That said, we blog what we like, we follow our interests. I've been following Ron Paul and Bob Barr's 2008 campaigns pretty closely, and have shared my thoughts with readers of The Shotgun many times. I happen to like Ron Paul quite a lot and I think that he is one of the most important and cogent voices for liberty today, not all of our writers and bloggers agree.

If you're not interested in a post, tune out - but I hope that there's enough other coverage here to keep you engaged.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-09-22 7:16:20 PM

Of course, you are free to post what you want.
I was a print subscriber way back when and don't much like this constant inside baseball stuff about American libertarianism.
Just my two cents.
BTW, if you like Paul a lot you should maybe take a look at those noxious newsletters which were published under his name in the 80s.
Not exactly my idea of libertarianism.

Posted by: Craig | 2008-09-22 8:34:15 PM

BTW, if you like Paul a lot you should maybe take a look at those noxious newsletters which were published under his name in the 80s.
Not exactly my idea of libertarianism.
Posted by: Craig | 22-Sep-08 8:34:15 PM

I've heard this mentioned occasionally.
Is it proven that Ron Paul wrote them? And can you provide any sort of link to them?

Posted by: JC | 2008-09-22 9:28:01 PM

I like Ron Paul as well, but I'm a little surprised by this endorsement. He and Baldwin share some common ground and it seems that they are personal friends, which is fine, but isn't Baldwin just a little over the top?

He seems to be obsessed with the "North American Union," and is a little too close to the 9/11 truthers, in my opinion. Also, he opposes free trade, which makes me wonder if he puts weird conspiracy theories over his commitment to the free market. And what about gambling and the war on drugs... two more issues where he's about as far from libertarianism as one could be.

On the other hand, he's consistently opposed bank bailouts (unlike Barr), and seems to be stringently faithful to the U.S. Constitution.

Is Baldwin the best candidate for libertarians? It's hard to say at this point. I just hope Dr. Paul made this endorsement for the right reasons and not because of some personal feud with Barr.

Posted by: Jeremy Maddock | 2008-09-22 10:02:48 PM


I'll point you to the sources:

Here's the original TNR article exposing the newsletters: http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=e2f15397-a3c7-4720-ac15-4532a7da84ca .

There are also links to primary source documents.

Throughout the 90s Ron Paul published a series of political, investing, and survivalist newsletters which he sold to subscribers. They bore the name "Ron Paul" in the title, were sometimes written in the 1st person, but were largely, if not entirely, ghost-written. While Paul was making money selling expensive newsletters to his fan-club, he was busy with his own medical practice in between his stints in Congress.

There is some genuinely nasty, racist, and damning stuff in there, but I don't find all the things that Kirchick does particularly offensive (or that far out of mainstream conservative opinion), especially when read in context - so take a look a the documents directly and judge for yourself.

Here's Ron Paul on Wolf Blitzer with his vigorously denying authorship and brandishing his anti-racist credentials: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKBlk1Vpeuw

I don't think that Paul authored the articles, since they seem contradictory to everything he's ever written and said. They were published in his newsletters, under his name, and he should be held responsible. I find the claim that he doesn't know who authored them, or couldn't at least find out implausible. I suspect he's protecting a friend.

People supposedly 'in the know' have suggested that Lew Rockwell (President) or Jeffrey Tucker (Editorial Vice President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute) was the author. I'm also dubious of these claims. I've read a lot of the writings of these two men, including Rockwell's stuff from the same period of time, and it doesn't seem in their character or style at all.

If there's a blot on Ron Paul's record, its undoubtedly these newsletters. I don't think that he has adequately accounted for them.

I don't intend to equivocate, but there are sitting Congressmen and Senators who have themselves verifiably said very racist things (noone has been able to link the newsletters' words to Ron Paul himself), and they retain their seats. It does seem like RP is being held to a different standard, especially by those who disagree with his views on foreign policy.

For a very different perspective (from Kirchick's), here's a full-throated and total defense of Ron Paul (and even the contents of the newsletters, which RP himself denounces) by Justin Raimondo in Takimag: http://www.takimag.com/site/article/why_the_beltway_libertarians_are_trying_to_smear_ron_paul

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-09-22 10:06:14 PM

JC - The New Republic broke the story (sorry, don't have the link but I think it was within the last year). And Reason covered it (I think Julian Sanchez wrote the article for them). Try googling it.
I think Paul and Rockwell and the whole Mises crowd are not advocates of liberty and threaten to discredit the rest of us.

Posted by: Craig | 2008-09-22 10:07:42 PM

Kalim & Craig,
Thanks for the input. I have some homework to do on someone I donated several grand to....

Posted by: JC | 2008-09-22 10:21:10 PM

The Constitution Party are populist hacks who actually oppose free trade - which doesn't make much sense since the founders were largely free traders.

Posted by: Faramir | 2008-09-22 10:34:36 PM

If you're interested in WHY Lew Rockwell might have pushed a racist agenda through RP's newsletters -- and what he thought he had to gain from it -- there is an old post on my blog that covers it pretty well.


The gist is this: late in his life, Murray Rothbard began to think that the best way to bring about libertarian utopia was to ferment a low-level race war between middle class whites and poor blacks.

(Yeah, I don't understand the logic behind that plan, either.)

According to some, Lew Rockwell inherited that vision. The newsletters can be seen as another way of revving up hatred that some libertarians thought could be directed against the state.



Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-09-23 12:27:29 AM

The Constitution Party are populist hacks who actually oppose free trade - which doesn't make much sense since the founders were largely free traders.

Posted by: Faramir | 22-Sep-08 10:34:36 PM

They oppose free trade? Or they oppose NAFTA?
I think there's an important distinction to be made there.

Posted by: JC | 2008-09-23 6:12:10 AM


Free trade is a globalist scheme. When our nation was most prosperous, we had a 40% tariff. Wake up. So-called free trade is destroying America.

Posted by: LibertyinLaw | 2008-10-04 12:30:10 PM

Terrence: Libertarianism is not utopian, it is about responsibility and consequences.

LinL: Real free trade would be between individuals and leave the state poor and destitute. Boo hoo. Your nation was most prosperous DESPITE protectionism, not because of it. Big government is destroying America. Fannie and Freddy (incompetent GSEs) are just one nail in the coffin. Obama/McCain will drive the rest in. You gotta have faith that idiots will prevail and fuck everything up.

Posted by: attitude | 2008-10-04 1:55:35 PM

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