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Intro: "The spat Kentucky's junior US Senator had with the TSA this week ignited a flurry of news coverage on his supposed refusal of a full pat-down and subsequent confrontation with law enforcement. ... The response has been an opportunity for Libertarians to score political points, cheerleading Senator Paul for standing up to that big, bad federal government for intruding on his privacy. ... The most ironic part of this whole story? The fact that Rand Paul was actually on his way to the March For Life, where he was scheduled to speak in favor of big-government regulation of women's bodies."

Rand Paul was detained 'indefinitely' after refusing a full body pat-down in Nashville. (photo: John Shinkle/POLITICO)
Rand Paul was detained 'indefinitely' after refusing a full body pat-down in Nashville. (photo: John Shinkle/POLITICO)



The Oppressive Nature of "Small Government"

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

26 January 12

Reader Supported News | Perspective

 

and Paul isn't a Libertarian, he just plays one on TV.

The spat Kentucky's junior US Senator had with the TSA this week ignited a flurry of news coverage on his supposed refusal of a full pat-down and subsequent confrontation with law enforcement. Paul's spokesperson said he was "detained." The TSA said he was escorted out by law enforcement. In any case, Paul booked another flight and got through security without incident.

The response has been an opportunity for Libertarians to score political points, cheerleading Senator Paul for standing up to that big, bad federal government for intruding on his privacy. And the whole debacle will undoubtedly make good stump-speech fodder for Ron Paul's campaign against big-government regulation.

The most ironic part of this whole story? The fact that Rand Paul was actually on his way to the March For Life, where he was scheduled to speak in favor of big-government regulation of women's bodies.

For two men who claim to love personal freedom and Libertarian values, it's incredibly hypocritical for those same two men to oppose a woman's right to do what she wants to with her own uterus. Especially for two men who campaigned on getting government out of the lives of private citizens.

Like most others on the left, I admire Ron Paul for his advocacy of tightly regulating the Fed, ending the wars and foreign occupations overseas, and ending the war on drugs in America. And on those three issues, Ron Paul is the best candidate by far.

But as a president, whose only real power is to sign and veto legislation put on his desk by Congress, Ron Paul wouldn't be able to accomplish any of those goals. However, the current Congress would undoubtedly approve of the rest of his platform, including privatization of education, the enabling of state-level extremism, cutting Social Security and Medicare, cutting food and drug inspection, rolling back workers' safety and wage protections, and repealing clean air and water regulations.

Ron and Rand Paul dislike big-government regulations that forbid logging companies from destroying national forests, laws that forbid oil companies from drilling in the habitats of protected wildlife, or statutes that keep coal companies from dumping waste in a community drinking-water supply. The small government the Paul family fantasizes about is one small enough to be incapable of regulating the private sector when it intrudes in the lives of private citizens. It's a government so small that any corporate accountability would be left up to the people - in the courtrooms. And anyone suing for pollution of drinking water, deadly prescription drugs, tainted food, unsafe working conditions, wage theft, or any other wrongdoing would lose every time in battles of attrition against corporate giants using lawyers paid for with bottomless profits.

Ron and Rand Paul won the hearts of voters with rhetoric about hearkening back to the days of the founding fathers, who were guided by the Constitution they had written. But the Paul family and their right-Libertarian following would do well to remember that the Constitution written by the founding fathers also viewed people as property, and didn't allow women the right to vote.

Politicians who claim the Libertarian mantle should not only oppose government intervention in Americans' lives, but should also push for policies that protect Americans from private-sector oppression. And they should be equipped with enough common sense to know that throwing out the rulebook won't make a habitual rule-breaker suddenly start playing fair.

 


Carl Gibson, 24, of Lexington, Kentucky, is a spokesman and organizer for US Uncut, a nonviolent, creative direct-action movement to stop budget cuts by getting corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. He graduated from Morehead State University in 2009 with a B.A. in Journalism before starting the first US Uncut group in Jackson, Mississippi, in February of 2011. Since then, over 20,000 US Uncut activists have carried out more than 300 actions in over 100 cities nationwide. You may contact Carl at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

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+24 # bugbuster 2012-01-26 09:15
Thank you. Now would all those RP nuts please go back to their video games?
 
 
+4 # cstern 2012-01-26 12:30
Hey, now. There's nothing wrong with video games. :)
 
 
-51 # infohiway 2012-01-26 10:17
The U$A has been 'in administration' since 1861 with the unconstitutiona l in imposition of Executive Orders. FIND: isDOTgd/VaGJPr and the Trading With the Enemy Acts to grasp the unlimited powers of the commander-in-ch ief.
Excluding rape, with all of the forms of birth control readily available, should an irresponsible woman be given the 'right' kill another human being at will ... on a mere whim for being out-of-control or just plain stupid?
 
 
+23 # cstern 2012-01-26 12:33
What a profoundly insensitive comment. Contraceptives sometimes fail, even when used correctly. There is nothing out-of-control or "stupid" about that.
 
 
+11 # Todd Williams 2012-01-26 13:52
Just what in the hell are you talking about? Anyway, Rand Paul is nothing but a whiner. Take your damn patdown like any regular citizen including Christians, Jews, Muslims, blacks, whites, Asians, etc. Nobody likes TSA screenings but they are apparently working. Even a JUNIOR senator has got to submit to a search if tagged. Sorry, dude.
 
 
+4 # RLF 2012-01-27 05:49
You do what you believe and leave me the hell alone, idiot!
 
 
+5 # David Starr 2012-01-28 13:47
disinfohiway,

Still flagellating yourself w/ your Reagan whip while crying, "This one's for the Gipper!"?

Now what? Abortion/procho ice? Killing another "human being" at will? What human being? You have some "divine knowledge" at when a human life fully begins? For a moment, take the disinfo out of your username & consider this: Years ago living in Hawai'i I read a letter in the University of Hawai'i's newspaper, "Ka Leo"(The Voice). It was called "In Search of the All-Elusive Soul." The author presented an interesting take on abortion & pondering when life could begin in regards to full development. He provided the following off-the-wall scenario: If he masterbated then climaxed, would it mean he killed 100s of 1000s of "souls"? I add the following: Or would they be half "souls" since it didn't involve fertilization? Can sperm be considered a living thing? If so, doesn't that mean that in the process of fertilization 100s of 1000s of sperm take their perilous journey to try & reach their final destination, the egg? But w/ that, there are 100s of 1000s of deaths of sperm or "souls/halfsoul s," sometimes w/ one only making it to the egg. So what do we have here? With life there's death & with death there's life, but w/ no fully developed human being? So, don't cop some Rightist "moral" ploy that you think endows you w/ "a high command" over women. Your "prolife" stance contrasts your Reagan worship a la Guatemala's massacres.
 
 
+29 # lin96 2012-01-26 10:41
“It's ironic. Rand Paul, the Libertaria­n and champion of freedon was on his way to the March For Life, where he was scheduled to speak in favor of big-govern­ment regulation of women's bodies. I wonder how he'd feel if he were a woman? Equal rights demands that men be subjected to the same government scrutiny. If a group was demanding men be subject to vasectomie­s if fathering children out of wedlock, my guess is that he'd be against that. I can't imagine any sane woman is going to be in favor of the government controllin­g their bodies. We are not cattle. We are living thinking human beings and demand we be treated as such. He wants freedom for himself but not women. That's a twisted convoluted attitude and should have a government warning on it...”
 
 
+5 # cstern 2012-01-26 10:43
"But as a president, whose only real power is to sign and veto legislation put on his desk by Congress, Ron Paul wouldn't be able to accomplish any of those goals."

This is highly inaccurate. Historically, it has been the executive branch that ends wars, either by negotiating treaties or unilaterally drawing down troops. After all, Congress has only the enumerated power to declare war, not the power to end it. (Recall how Congress could only try to end the Vietnam and Iraq wars indirectly by cutting off funding for them in appropriations.)

While we may not care for Ron Paul (I have mixed feelings about him myself), we should not spread the false notion that he would be somehow powerless to end our overseas conflicts as president when the reality is just the opposite.
 
 
+18 # hans 2012-01-26 10:57
This is a marvelous piece, succinct and spot on! Who can possibly protect us from unbridled capitalism, from the oppression of the private sector, if not government? We aren't devolving into feudalism, since history doesn't go backwards, but soon the vast majority will be in the position of the peasants and serfs of history; but this time around (history always going through the cycle of tragedy followed by farce!)--this time around, the extremely wealthy aren't patrons of the arts and families of distinction: they're the Walton family, and Mark Zuckerberg and their ilk.
Ah well, let's fight on... Thanks Carl!
 
 
+9 # hd70642 2012-01-26 12:31
These are folks that value belief over facts and symbolism over substance. In fact libertarianism avoids reality as extensively as repubilcan'ts avoid military service. They are idealist and elitist a combination like a poison ivy rash and itching powder
 
 
+7 # Dion Giles 2012-01-26 15:11
It has been said that small government is freedom for the pike but death for the minnow.

Paul rests on an old trick for keeping the federal government's hands off pregnant women and same-sex partners: chuck 'em to the States.

However Carl Gibson seems to be off beam in suggesting that Paul's programme against war would go nowhere because Congress controls the action. The warmongers wouldn't have had to fake the "election" of Bush, or assassinate President Kennedy, if the role of the President were not crucial to war and peace.
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-01-26 16:04
Dion Giles: Gibson was also off the mark about the role of the president in setting the agenda for congress. That is what he does, and a real leader will have the legislation he seeks, but that takes a real leader not a puppet.
 
 
-2 # Dion Giles 2012-01-26 17:54
Agree totally
 
 
+6 # John Locke 2012-01-26 16:07
I have a Idea, perhapos we need legislation that all men who serve in congress and want to control a woman and her decision with her body, must have a vasectomy. Then at least their wives will be free of the terror they want to force on other women
 
 
0 # mwd870 2012-01-29 05:35
This would bring the debate into context; great Idea.
 
 
+6 # RMDC 2012-01-26 16:57
It is interewting to read and hear the really hard right wing distancing itself from the libertarian views of Ron Paul. They say they do believe in intrusive big government when it comes to surveiling potential terrorists like all muslims, keeping all women from obtaining an abortion -- some want to register pregnant women to make sure they actually deliver the baby.

Rand Paul is not really a libertarian like this dad. Mabye Ron Paul is not really either. Rand Paul is a plain garden varitey fascist -- a big government right winger.
 
 
+9 # Rick Levy 2012-01-26 17:21
"It's a government so small that any corporate accountability would be left up to the people - in the courtrooms..."

Under a "small" government, corporations would likely pre-empt adverse legal action by getting laws passed to exempt them from such suits in the first place.
 
 
+3 # mwd870 2012-01-29 05:59
"Throwing out the rulebook won't make a habitual rule-breaker suddenly start playing fair."

There is no argument against this statement. Rules and regulations are necessary at all levels, whether "big" government, "small" government, or state government. Except in the few cases where elected/ appointed officials are ethical and act in the interests of the people, officials will work to further their own agendas and break the rules whenever they can get away with it. Some framework for accountability is necessary.
 
 
+1 # Bruce Gruber 2012-01-31 05:17
As Rowan & Martin's "Laugh In" used to expound, "VERRRY INTERESTING!!"
Government is US, you, me and all of them. It is the social and organizational mechanism human culture has advanced to establish order and priorities, policy and progress in the face of a non-rational universe (we think ...). As a compact for 'civilized' accommodation of differences among and between our differing perceptions, humans 'practice' governance between the extremes of despotic tyranny and democratic debate.
Our little "d" democratic GOVERNMENT is the mechanism by which we accomplish or execute the decisions most (or 'some') of the voting citizens of the United States of America determine to be in our (maybe!?!) best interests. "Smaller" government, like smaller minds or hand held calculators, can only consider the 'limited' role allowed them. Reducing the nature or influence we, as participants in the democratic 'experiment' that is the USA, may exercise through our government by limiting its (and therefor OUR) areas of interest and concern only empowers those outside that delimited sphere of influence. THEY are those among us who would benefit from denying our use of collective 'will' - participatory democracy, if you will, to limit their "individual freedom" to dominate and exploit the rest of us.
 

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