Should libertarians consider Chuck Baldwin?

Following the nomination of former Republican congressman Bob Barr, many Libertarians are struggling with whether they’ll be able to support their party’s candidate.

Bob Barr’s positives are obvious to all. The 46% of LP delegates who rejected him on the final ballot were well aware of Barr’s pros, and decided they were outweighed by his cons. Many felt they could support the LP ticket if it were given balance by Steve Kubby’s nomination as VP, but the plan fell short by a few votes.

Still, the majority of Ruwart backers were begrudgingly willing to support Barr. This cohort was increased, no doubt, by Dr. Ruwart’s LNC election victory, and that of her campaign manager, Lee Wrights. But there remain many Mary supporters — as evidenced by the comments on this blog — who range from unsure to outright unwilling to support Barr. The question: Is Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin a suitable alternative?

To most radicals, the answer is a firm no. Baldwin, a Baptist minister, is not shy about his religion. He is fervently pro-life and somewhat hostile to pro-choicers. His views on homosexuality will not win over many radicals, and his stances on immigration (seal the border, protect American jobs, protect American culture) and free trade (he’s for “fair” trade) are most troubling of all.

But now for the positive: Chuck Baldwin will be the only candidate on the ballot (where the CP has access) who is against fiat money and the Fed. After the educational gains Ron Paul made in this libertarian area, many radicals are disappointed that their candidates appear unconcerned by monetary reform. Secondly, Baldwin is a committed constitutionalist. He does not advocate unconstitutional measures to further his socially conservative agenda. He has opposed DOMA and the federal-marriage amendment, and also opposes a national abortion ban.

Finally, in contrasting to Bob Barr, Baldwin does not support the Fair Tax, and is not a former CIA operative. He is a firm non-interventionist and opposed the PATRIOT Act from day one. He’s against foreign aid, both military and monetary. And he has been unwavering in his political convictions for many years.

Many radicals have said they could never support Baldwin or any Constitution Party candidate. However, a subset of the radical caucus — call them the “Rockwellian tendency” — can overlook personal views they disagree with in deference to philosophy of governing. To this distinct minority of libertarians, Baldwin’s pro-life and anti-gay views are of little concern, but his anti-immigration and anti-free trade positions are and will be troubling. It will be a matter of weighing the pros and cons.

Murray Rothbard, hero to the radicals, supported Pat Buchanan with many of the same views that Baldwin now advocates. Will the radicals, at least those of a Rockwellian bent, throw their support behind Baldwin? Or will they be won over by Bob Barr? Only time will tell.

63 thoughts on “Should libertarians consider Chuck Baldwin?

  1. neuralnoise

    Bah. A principled stand for a third party is one thing, but if one is to abandon principle for the least evil on the ballot —

    the least evil can actually win this time, and his name is Obama.

  2. G.E. Post author

    Knowing that either “Bom-Bom-Bom, Bom-Bomb Iran” McCain or Obama is going to win, I will be rooting for Obama. But I will not be voting for him.

  3. Lance Brown

    If libertarians are going to vote for a flawed libertarian, they should vote for the Libertarian one. (Bob Barr.) The Constitution Party is a distraction; the LP remains and will remain the best vehicle for electoral advances toward liberty.

  4. Mike Theodore

    Constitution Party just seems like a party for old pastors that like liberty, but can’t stomach the social freedom of the LP. I wouldn’t vote for these guys.

  5. Kris Overstreet

    I personally can’t consider Chuck Baldwin as a candidate without first thinking of him as the standard-bearer of a theocratic political movement. The enforcement of Biblical standards of conduct and social mores with the power of government is so utterly abhorrent to me that it overrides all other considerations.

    When the Constitution Party adopts secularism and abandons, once and for all, its naked Christian fundamentalist agenda, then maybe I’ll reconsider.

  6. MattSwartz

    It’s easy for me to support Baldwin because I’m already fairly socially conservative for a libertarian (you can say that for this reason I’m not a libertarian, but I didn’t ask you).

    The war, federalism, sound money, abortion, fiscal responsibility, and shrinking the size of the Federal Government are my issues, and Baldwin represents me perfectly on all of them. I wish he were less pushy about Christianity, because I think that’s unbecoming, and I accept that he arrives at his positions using a different rationale than I do, but for me, Baldwin’s the best candidate on the ballot.

  7. MattSwartz

    I care about it, yes, but not as much as I care about the things I mentioned.

    Protectionism is a bad idea, and if it were our main trade philosophy, things would get ugly, but it doesn’t rise to the level of life-taking policies (war, abortion) or fraudulent policies (FedGov domination, inflation money) in my calculus of disapproval.

  8. G.E. Post author

    Protectionism has killed more human beings than abortion has. I’ll bet you that.

  9. MattSwartz

    If you count in war dead, then you’re probably right, but I don’t see what that has to do with a non-interventionist candidate in a country where protectionism, while unwise, won’t lead to starvation.

  10. G.E. Post author

    Protectionism has, throughout history, led to economic stagnation and poverty. This has held back increases in the standards of living, most notably in health and medicine. The feudalist and mercantilist systems, of which protectionism was the foundation, murdered virtually every human being who ever lived under them before their time.

    But going forward, I still would bet that protectionism would have greater effect on human life than abortion. Not to mention that protectionism promotes war. Protectionism probably also promotes abortion!

  11. bsharitt

    Being a Christian wack job and formerly working for the moral majority is just as bad as being a former drug warrior in my book, maybe even worse. I could never vote for a candidate from the bible thumping constitution party.

  12. Simon Girty

    I see two reasons to remain hopeful in the future of the LP. One, Barr’s conversion to libertarianism might be real. Two, the LP can be rescued and put back on the right track in the future. Baldwin is what he is and will never change and the Constitution Party will never replace the LP.

  13. Bill Woolsey

    I read Baldwin’s take on the Fed and I found it troubling.

    Paul, of course, is a critic of the Fed and favors a return to the gold standard. However, his actual monetary reform program is to end legal restrictions that interfere with the use of gold as a parallel currency.

    Badlwin doesn’t say anything about gold or even fiat currency. He calls for a nondebt, noninterest currency. In other contexts, he is complaining about the bankers.

    Well, I read this as Baldwin believing the false conspiracy theory that the private owners of the Federal Reserve are making large profits from interest on the issue of “debt-based” federal reserse notes. And, further, the currency he is proposing is a straight fiat currency issued by the Treasury.

    Paul’s position on fiat currency was always one version or other of sound, free market economics. Paul explains that the polticians
    are spening newly created money and that this leads to inflation. He also emphasizes (to much,
    in my opinion) the distortions in production
    caused by excessively _low_ interest rates
    during the inflationary process.

    As an aside, many, if not most, libertarian economists today, favor having all money issued by private competing banks. With
    many favoring a tie to gold through redemption.

    Having all fiat money issued directly by the
    Treasury is a step in the wrong direction.
    Especially if the noition is that you are somehow
    saving money by cutting out the “profits” made
    by the owners of the Fed.

  14. Peter Orvetti

    The CP says on the homepage of its website that it wants to “restore our government to its Constitutional limits and our law to its Biblical foundations .” Not for me, thanks — and I’m not an atheist, for those who might ask.

  15. bsharitt

    That was my first thought, Peter. After hearing someone say that the Constitution Party was libertarian leaning, I went to check it out, and as soon as I saw that, stopped right there and knew there was no reason to go on anymore.

  16. brmiller1976

    Voting for Chuck Baldwin over Bob Barr doesn’t make sense. While I am far from a Barr enthusiast, Baldwin hasn’t evolved *at all* on a host of key issues, and Barr appears to be at least rhetorically moving in the Libertarian direction.

  17. aynrkey

    Lance, good argument except for one point. Barr isn’t a libertarian, and his running mate is far from being “closest to libertarian and therefore least of evils.” The ticket needs to do a lot of outreach work to mend the rift between the Reform Caucus and the Libertarian Caucus. They could have done this with the VP slot going to the other side but the Reform Caucus was adamant about showing us how libertarians aren’t wanted in the Libertarian Party.

    I may simply write in an actual libertarian.

  18. G.E. Post author

    Bill Woolsey – Where did you read this, about a “non-debt” currency? I couldn’t find it on Baldwin’s Web site.

    The CP platform is for gold or silver. Not government-issued greenbacks, which is what you seem to be indicating Baldwin’s for.

    “Having all fiat money issued directly by the
    Treasury is a step in the wrong direction.”

    YES.

    “Especially if the noition is that you are somehow saving money by cutting out the “profits” made by the owners of the Fed.”

    YES. The profits don’t exist and are dumped to the Treasury. This is FACT, and yet (check my Ron Paul review on Amazon, the comments, it is a featured review) there are people who will just deny this FACT like denying the sky is blue.

  19. G.E. Post author

    Peter – I am an atheist, and while the CP overemphasizes it, I do think there is some truth to the “Biblical foundations” thing. U.S. law is based on English common law, which is based largely on Biblical law.

  20. Peter Orvetti

    G.E.,

    You are indeed correct, but I doubt that is the meaning in which most in the CP view the phrase. It’s like “intelligent design” to me — on the surface, the phrase makes sense. If you believe in evolution but also in an active deity, that would be a form of “intelligent design”. But that’s not the whole of what it means to its proponents. Ditto “Biblical principles”.

  21. G.E. Post author

    Chuck Baldwin offered the olive branch to atheists when he announced his candidacy. I have two big problems with Baldwin, and neither of them are religious or even social, but economic: Trade and immigration. I know the immigration thing is not going to change, but in the interests of attracting Rockwellians, I wish he could bend and adopt Ron Paul’s position on free trade.

  22. MattSwartz

    GE,
    I would be pleased if he did that, too. Ron Paul proved that a right-wing populist can attract voters without protectionism, and if Baldwin is politically smart, he’ll go in the same direction, unless protectionism is actually an issue of conscience for him, which would just be disappointing.

    Peter,
    In my own life, I’ve found that ascribing motives to groups I disagree with based on the most sinister possible definitions of the words they use to be counterproductive. Everyone in politics has a right to be judged on their actions and their character, not upon the presupposition that they’re using “code words” to mask their secretly held hate.

  23. Fred Church Ortiz

    Speaking from my admittedly limited experience on the paleocon right, I’d really be surprised if Baldwin cooled on protectionism. “Fair trade” is a very big deal to disciples of Buchanan and, along with gold, a bulwark of their economic platform and major selling point in outreach. I’d certainly be pleased if this year saw the CP move closer to Ron Paul’s constitutionalism and away from Pat Buchanan’s nationalism, but as long as Baldwin has his own base to think about too, I don’t see it happening.

  24. G.E. Post author

    Fred – The idiotic thing is that protectionist measures seek to redress the dislocation CAUSED by fiat currency. With gold as currency, there is no need for protectionism. The only goal it serves is consolidated political power and limited individual autonomy.

  25. G.E. Post author

    BTW: I’ve heard a rumor that two very prominent hard-core free traders are going to endorse Baldwin.

  26. Fred Church Ortiz

    “The only goal it serves is consolidated political power and limited individual autonomy.”

    I think that’s the major part of the problem, the rhetoric lends itself a “We’re #1, stick with your own” mentality. It’s quite possible that there are folks in the CP decent on trade, maybe even some that have dug deeply into Austrian economics – but I’ll need to watch Baldwin for a while before I decide if he’s one of them, or one of the “stealing our jobs” boobs.

  27. Fred Church Ortiz

    I look forward to seeing what those two people have to say, I’m sure you or Trent will fill us in when it happens ;)

  28. G.E. Post author

    There’s no doubt that there are SOME CPers who are Austrians. Trent, for example. I also knew a homeschool dad r3VOLutionary who taught Mises to local homseschool kids.

    Oh, and I should add: The two “hard-core free-traders” who are rumored to endorse Baldwin are definitely Austrians.

  29. RedPhillips

    What is protectionism and what is free trade? Baldwin is against supra-national trade deals that sacrifice American sovereignty. All constitutionalists and conservatives should be. As should right thinking libertarians who are not globalists. This is in part Ron Paul’s position.

    Baldwin also supports a revenue tariff to pay for the few constitutional functions of government in the context of no income tax. The objection I saw in another thread that tariffs raise prices is a bit of a no-duh. Of course they do. But unless you are an anarchist or a radical minarchist who believes only in all voluntary taxation, then you have to realize the government has to raise some money somehow.

    Just what Baldwin believes beyond that is not clear to me. Protectionism should mean what it implies. An attempt to protect or promote certain American industries through the use of specific tariff rates. It is not at all clear that Chuck Baldwin or the CP in general supports that.

    The concept of “mirror trade,” matching our tariff rates to the rates of the country of origin of the incoming goods, isn’t even necessarily “protectionist,” and could be viewed as a form of international tit-for-tat. An attempt to have the tariff offset whatever the country of origin’s perceived advantages might be (such as labor rates, lack of regulation, etc.) would be, IMO, a form of protectionism and impossible to properly administer.

    I get the feeling that some supporters of free-trade think that means no tariffs at all. But if that is the case, do you prefer income taxes to fund the government. (Assuming you aren’t an anarchist.)

  30. G.E. Post author

    Red – Come on, now. None of us are for NAFTA. You’re not speaking to the Club for Growth.

    The government should raise its money via a proportional head tax. This leaves power with the states. What is wrong with that?

    “Mirror trade” is a discredited pre-capitalist ideology. Tariffs hurt the country that issues them. Just ask Adam Smith. Or is he too “liberal” for you?

    What is free trade? The idea that you don’t need our government’s permission to buy or sell from/to people who happen to live in other parts of the world.

    What is protectionism? Anything else.

  31. G.E. Post author

    A revenue tariff is by definition not protectionist, but having faith in the government to use tariffs strictly for revenue and not to the benefit of special interests is extremely naive.

  32. Lance Brown

    aynrkey:

    First, I think Barr is a libertarian. He would score in the top quadrant on the WSPQ. Not on one of the border lines either – clearly in the upper quadrant. Old Barr is a different story; he probably wouldn’t have made it into that quadrant at all. But old Barr is not our nominee (and wouldn’t have become so).

    People can change. The LP doesn’t stand much of a chance if that’s not the case. It took me a long time and considerable thinking for me to realize my full libertarian, especially to the point where I could believe in and argue for the more radical edges of the philosophy. But I was already a libertarian, even before I saw Harry Browne on C-Span in 1996. I just didn’t know that’s what it was.

    Prior to 2003, Bob Barr was in Congress – a horrible place to cleanly identify one’s political self. Since he has been liberated from that context, he has shown very serious libertarian strains. Is he done reforming himself? Clearly, no. Is he a libertarian? He sure seems like one to me. And Rob Kampia. And the ACLU. And a majority of the Libertarians he’s had a chance to make his case to.

    Regarding Kubby as VP, all the reports I’ve heard indicate that the folks who could have made Kubby VP left of their own free will. Blaming reformers for Steve not getting 30 more votes seems to have no basis in reality. some 80 or so delegates (I think that’s right) did not participate in the VP vote. Kubby as VP would have been the better choice, and I think the convention delegates would have agreed, had they bothered to stick together.

    Kubby lost VP because of “boo hoo I’m out of here” thinking. (Not on his part, of course. It sounds like Steve did exactly the right things.) Radicals shot themselves in the foot, and let down the party by giving up. That’s what it looks like from here. If anyone knows differently, I’d like to hear the real story.

  33. G.E. Post author

    Lance – First of all, if all the radicals said “boo hoo” and didn’t vote, Kubby would have lost by a lot more than 30 votes.

    Secondly, a lot of people left just because they didn’t care, or were tired. These were more likely to have been Barr backers who thought their job was done.

  34. redgar

    No.

    “Pornography, at best, is a distortion of the true nature of sex created by God for the procreative union between one man and one woman in the holy bonds of matrimony, and at worst, is a destructive element of society resulting in significant and real emotional, physical, spiritual and financial costs to individuals, families and communities. We call on our local, state and federal governments to uphold our cherished First Amendment right to free speech by vigorously enforcing our laws against obscenity to maintain a degree of separation between that which is truly speech and that which only seeks to distort and destroy.” – CP Platform

    I like my porn too much!

  35. Lance Brown

    RE: the Constitution Party. Since there is already a smaller-government party, one has to look at what distinguishes the CP from the pre-existing smaller-gov third party option. And what distinguishes them seems to be religion, xenophobia, and social intolerance. At least two of those things are going the way of the dodo…making the CP very strategically questionable. There’s a following for those issues, but not a future.

  36. Lance Brown

    GE,

    I wasn’t saying all the radicals ditched. But there was word of some 20-25 who did just that. Enough to have turned the vote the other way.

    Your point about the overall drift being as likely to be pro-Barr folks is a good one, except I would think they’d want to make sure Root rounded out the ticket. Hard to say in the end.

    It’s very likely that among those 80 delegates were 16 who could have elected Steve to VP, and their absence from the floor, more than any other factor, is what put Root on our ticket.

  37. G.E. Post author

    It’s not a vice to believe in letting people live their own lives, Red. It’s a virtue. The CP is a nannystate party.

  38. G.E. Post author

    I do not do drugs. I do enjoy alcoholic beverages. Porn is a private matter. And my physique is evidence of my affair with fatty foods.

    Red knows better than us, though, Peter. And he wants the government to make us behave.

  39. RedPhillips

    G.E., doesn’t basic decency and self-respect dictate that if one is going to be against the regulation of porn that he does so on the basis that he himself thinks porn is disgusting, but he is fighting for the rights of degenerate porn watchers. (As the argument goes with drugs.) Isn’t it tacky to argue against porn regulation on the basis that one actually likes to watch it, the same way it would be tacky for absolutist hard drug legalization proponent to argue that he supports drug legalization because he actually wants to do them?

    Of course this has long been the case, but a conscious effort was made to conceal it for the sake of appearances. Are we now just celebrating vice? :-)

  40. Lance Brown

    Red,

    I don’t think it’s tacky for the politically persecuted to speak out against being persecuted. People have the right to do drugs and watch porn, whether those are vices or not. They are justified in complaining when someone interferes with that right. It’s not a celebration of vice, it’s a celebration of liberty.

  41. G.E. Post author

    Must one be a teetotaler to be against alcohol prohibition? Must one be an atheist, like me, to be for your religious freedom, as I am? I think porn is a personal choice, and my own conservative personality dictates that I choose to keep things of that nature private, and think they should be kept private. If others choose to make them public, then that’s fine by me. Regardless, there are all kinds of things I don’t like and don’t want any part of that I don’t think should be illegal; and there are plenty of things I DO like (i.e. breathing, bathing, drinking water) that I also think should not be illegal. That doesn’t make it “tacky.”

    The LP celebrates individualism and individual rights, which includes the right to engage in vice. You were the one lecherously asking for pictures of the “busty” alternate. That is against my personal morality, which appears to be more conservative than yours.

  42. Lance Brown

    That said, I almost never argue for liberties based on my personal desire to exercise them. I’m far more concerned about making sure that you can do drugs and watch porn than making sure I can. I would gladly trade my right to all “vices” if it meant that everyone else would be left alone.

  43. Trent Hill

    Red,

    It is not “conservative” in the slightest to want to pry into the lives of people via drug and pronography prohibition. It recquires the monitering of one’s body in private time and space.

  44. RedPhillips

    My comment above was mainly in jest (poking fun), and not an attempt at serious commentary, (hence the smiley face) as was the call for pictures. I didn’t think that needed clarification.

    I have never bought the distinction that the LP is not a party that celebrates vice. Not all elements, mind you, but some. Ron Paul does not celebrate vice, which is why many conservatives could support him, but there are substantial elements of your party that do and the “suits” are constantly trying to moderate that perception. Murray Rothbard even recognized this and it is one reason he left the Party.

    The LP is the party of Satan in the Garden of Eden when he asks Eve “Hath God said?” Well yes indeed God hath said, and the LP is in perpetual rebellion against that. All in the name of “liberty,” of course.

  45. Fred Church Ortiz

    I think the LP is more like the party of God in that situation, for letting Adam and Eve make up their own mind. Free people are free to make mistakes – God could have just as easily skipped that tree.

    Pfizer would be a better fit for Satan, in that scenario.

  46. RedPhillips

    Trent, conservatism is not libertarianism and the two should never be confused. Conservatives of good faith could disagree with the wisdom and effectiveness of various forms of porn regulation or prohibition. They could also disagree, I guess, on the propriety of including that plank in the CP Platform. Constitutionally, most would agree that it is not a federal issue. But conservatives would be stretching the definition of conservative to believe there is some inherent, God given, inalienable, natural or Constitutional right to look at porn.

    There is a very early court decision where the display of nude paintings for lascivious purposes was ruled not to be protected by the First Amendment. Porn was regulated in this country quite vigorously until relatively recently. Porn prohibitions do not necessarily require snooping on individuals. They could be aimed at prohibiting the sale and distribution.

    Let’s say I lived in Conservative Christian Smallville, USA, and some libertine, godless interloper from the city came to town and wanted to set up his Porn Mega Store. It would most certainly be conservative for the residents of CCS to attempt to prevent that from happening. Conservatives conserve. They don’t elevate philosophical abstractions to the point of ideology. Let’s let our libertarian dogmatist friends deal in ideological abstractions. They have just about cornered the market on them anyway.

  47. Bill Woolsey

    http://baldwin2008.com/issues/economy/

    “No system of “debt money” should ever again be imposed on the people of the United States. We will work to restore a debt free, interest free money system that works for the people of this country and not for the benefit of the international banking cartel.”

    I suppose a 100% reserve gold standard would be consistent with being “debt free” and “interest free.” A gold standard with free banking would almost certainly not be debt and intererest free. (I am looking forward to earning interest on the currency I use.)

    In doing research on the conspiracy theory, I saw this language in many contexts were the goal was “greenbacks.” It is’t clear to me why he didn’t say “gold standard,” if that is what he meant. Perhaps he is just pandering to those who understand the code words. (Russo believed the conspiracy theory and supported a gold standard.)

    “A tariff on foreign imports, based on the difference between the foreign item’s cost of production abroad and the cost of production of a similar item produced in the United States, would be a Constitutional step toward a fair trade policy that would protect American jobs and, at the same time, raise revenue for our national government.”

    _Fair trade_ aimed to _protect American jobs._ And, as I said, the tariffs is based upon destroying any cost advantage for foreign goods. It is destroying the rationale of free trade and the international division of labor.

    http://baldwin2008.com/issues/independenc/

    “I oppose all international trade agreements which have the effect of diminishing America’s economic self-sufficiency and of exporting jobs, the loss of which impoverishes American families, undermines American communities, and diminishes America’s capacity for economic self-reliance, and the provision of national defense.’”

    “economic self-sufficincy” and “capacity for economic self-reliance.”

    “A Chuck Baldwin Presidency would signal the end to the stranglehold that the modern day moneychangers have over our economy and and provide the opportunity for a rebirth of the American dream.”

    This bothers me. There is an article below.

    http://www.newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin431.htm

  48. Brian Miller

    I have never bought the distinction that the LP is not a party that celebrates vice. Not all elements, mind you, but some. Ron Paul does not celebrate vice, which is why many conservatives could support him, but there are substantial elements of your party that do

    What the hell is “celebrating vice?”

    Seems to me that the real distinction between the LP and other parties is that the LP recognizes reality and the human experience, while other parties (like the CP) cling to a set of medieval superstitions that they themselves don’t live.

    For example, many Libertarians recognize that there are drug users out there. We don’t “celebrate” it, but we do recognize it — and defend their natural right to do so.

    While at the same time, there are plenty of thrice-divorced CP “activists” who are willing to talk about the “sanctity of marriage” — celebrating a value that they clearly don’t live themselves.

  49. Trent Hill

    “to believe there is some inherent, God given, inalienable, natural or Constitutional right to look at porn.”

    There most certainly is. The Right to privacy covers such a right,until it tramples upon the various rigths of others.

  50. G.E. Post author

    Woolsey – Yeah. I don’t like that first quote. The interest-bearing aspect of “debt money” is virtually irrelevant. Check out my Ron Paul review. In the comments, some guy refuses to believe that the Fed dumps its profits to the Treasury. The perniciousness of fiat money is that it exists to provide carte blanche to the government, not profit “international bankers.” This is not a matter of opinion but fact.

    As for the second paragraph: A gold standard as “interest free”? That needs to be elaborated. Gold standard = asset-backed money vs. fiat debt-based money. New money would be created in a 100% gold-standard economy through the mining and coining of new gold, not through creation of debt with interest. So… I’ll give him a pass on paragraph 2.

    Yes, Baldwin is flat-out wrong on trade. It is a matter, not of ideology, but of intellect and education, and one of the other is limited if he opposes free trade.

  51. G.E. Post author

    Red – Let’s say there’ s not a right to look at porn. Okay. But there’s also no right for the federal government to STOP me from looking at porn. And you have no right to band together with your fellow collectivists and pass laws to stop me, either. Where do you get that right?

  52. RedPhillips

    “There most certainly is. The Right to privacy covers such a right, until it tramples upon the various rights of others.”

    Trent, to be honest, conservatives should not use rights talk. Such talk is inherently liberal. The concept of legal rights is perfectly consistent with conservatism, but not natural rights. Natural rights thinking is leftist. Conservatives have historically opposed such formulations.

    Is there a natural right to “privacy?” No. Is there a legal right to “privacy?” No, but there certainly are jurisdictional and other limits on just what the government can do.

    Whatever we do, we should not put Enlightenment liberal platitudes into the mouth of God. There is certainly no “God given” right to look at porn. That is hopelessly bad theology.

  53. G.E. Post author

    I admire Red’s consistent conservatism. There is certainly no mistaking it for classical liberalism.

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