On Celeste Katz’s DP blog, a reader left an interesting comment about GOP presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul’s visit with Jay Leno.
The reader gecannon wrote: “We can’t be serious in considering this man for POTUS.” I don’t support Rep. Paul’s candidacy but I think he is raising important issues about civil liberties, monetary and fiscal policies, and the power of the presidency. He criticizes Rep. Paul’s frequent citing of the 10th Amendment as an important check on federal power. [Gov. Perry’s use of the 10th Amendment to justify secession from the Union over policy disagreements – his side tried and lost – is far more dangerous.]
Unlike gecannon, I think that the 10th Amendment is an important check on the power of the federal government. It’s the one remaining element of the US Constitution that expressly recognizes that federal power emanates from the states, i.e., the people.
The direct of election of US Senators democratized their selection but greatly diminished the direct influence of the state legislatures and governors (i.e., the people) upon a branch of the federal government. Our US Senators have become individual actors concerned with their longevity in office, personal political ambitions, and the interests of their campaign donors.
Discussion of the 10th Amendment is a reminder that our federal government must be “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
Here are gecannon’s complete comments:
Jay Leno gave most of his show last night over to Ron Paul. Paul’s answers were simplistic, but earned repeated applause from the audience.
You don’t have to pay to get into Leno’s audience, and methinks Paul’s staff moved a large contingent of Paulites into the studio.
I do agree with many libertarian positions. We are deep into a state surveillance mode, with personal liberties in jeopardy.
But many of the good doctor’s positions are extreme.
Getting rid of the Fed. is extreme.
Elevating the 10th amendment to a divine commandment is extreme, and dangerous. Even Mississippians don’t want all that power.
Paul’s constitutionalism demands that Congress declare a war, before a POTUS can engage in this important decision.
This position has appeal, but seeems rather quaint.
The positive is that Paul is opposed to the neo-con barnacles that have attached themselves to the Romney/Gingrich campaigns.
Leno finished by asking Paul if he would run as an independent if the GOP does not give him the nomination.
Paul wavered, hedged in his answer.
If he does run on the Libertarian party line, it will guarantee Obama’s reelection.
Do you agree with gecannon’s assessment of Rep. Ron Paul’s libertarian views as ‘simplistic’? Leave your comment below.