hat tip boingboing


If you have been following this election cycle, you know that the MSM has no idea of what to make of Anti-War Libertarian Republican congressman Ron Paul. They alternate ignoring and/or mocking him, despite being the only intellectually consistent person in the race.

Mother Jones attempts a taxonomy of libertarian thought in order to figure out where Ron Paul fits into the political firmament in The Venn of Ron Paul and Other Mysteries of Libertarianism Explained.



Why is Fox News Trashing Ron Paul ? (February 17th, 2011)

Jon Stewart: Why is Media Ignoring Ron Paul ? (August 16th, 2011)

Ron Paul on Fed Transparency (September 24th, 2009)

Ron Paul: Audit the Fed, Then End It (May 19th, 2009)

Ron Paul’s What If ? ReMixed (October 7th, 2010)

Ron Paul: Über Bear ? (August 20th, 2011)

The Daily Show: Ron Paul Extended Interview (September 27th, 2011)

Armed Chinese Troops in Texas! January 3rd, 2012

Category: Digital Media, Politics

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

41 Responses to “The Venn of Paul”

  1. maddog2020 says:

    where’s the circle that says, “makes money on newsletter with profoundly racist rants, then claims doesn’t know who wrote that stuff”?

  2. Transor Z says:

    I love how covering the #2 finisher is considered optional. I am sure they rationalize it as a public service, protecting the American people from themselves. It’s not a position consistent with democracy but it keeps the corporate sponsors happy.

  3. Scott Teresi says:

    What’s been Ron Paul’s position on the bank bailouts vs. bank nationalization/organized restructuring? And Paul Volcker? He sounds like maybe he’s on the right side of those ideas, but I’m wondering if he’s never said anything concrete about it.

  4. dougc says:

    Ron paul is consistent and principled, he is saying the same things today that he said 5 years ago. He tells the farmers in Iowa, the voters in New Hampshire and the red necks in South Caroliona the same thing and if he was nominated , he would remain consistent. Unfortunately , for him, what he is saying isn’t what the sheeple want to hear, they prefer someone to tell them their problems will be solved by cutting taxes and deregulating the banksters. We deserve what we are going to get,

  5. This Graphic is Wrong..

    Libertarians, for the most part, are not Anarchists.

    They are not ‘anti-Government’, merely, in favor of ‘limited Government’..there’s a huge difference.

    nor would they be ‘pro-NAFTA’..NAFTA, hardly, = ‘Free Trade’

    on the rest, people may care to ‘hear’ it from the candidate, his ownself..


  6. Winston Munn says:

    It is difficult to figure out the oligarch’s definition of batshit crazy.

    Perry: I would send the troops back into Iraq.
    Santorum: I would bomb Iran.
    Bachmann: I would rid us of slavery like the founding fatherers did.
    Romney: Corporations are people, too.
    Cain: I didn’t touch that women except in her 9-9-9 place.
    Paul: Dissolve the Fed.
    Ding, ding, ding, ding! Winner!

  7. gariki says:

    I am not big on politics and never really cared much. But liked what Ron Paul was saying based on a couple of videos i saw on youtube; well.. until i see this picture above. So he is anti-immigration; great.

    I being an immigrant to the US (still waiting for the GC) will tell one thing. The whole immigration system is already so tough for someone wanting to come to US and live legally. I just cant think how anybody with a speck of common sense can be anti-immigration specially in the US – where literally every citizen living has his right for citizenship simply because his parents or grandparents came here more or less as refugees just a few decades ago (a very little time ago compared to the age of humanity) and were given a free pass. Its so damn hard now and unbelievable as to the length and number of hoops one has to cross.

    Common man.. have some common sense and think for a bit.


  8. gariki,

    care to read, from Sources, instead of drawing conclusions from Agitprop..

    “…Like most Americans, Ron Paul also understands just how valuable legal immigration is to our country.

    Immigrants who want to work hard, obey our laws, and live the American Dream have always been great assets…”

    [short for Russian Agitpropbyuro, from agit(atsiya) agitation + prop(aganda) propaganda]

  9. ottnott says:

    The anti-government brush is too broad for Ron Paul.

    He’s anti-Federal government and much less concerned about the degree to which state governments impinge on personal decisions – especially if those states desire to impose laws with a socially conservative leaning.

    For example:
    “It’s been a tough summer for social conservatives, thanks to our federal courts. From “gay rights” to affirmative action to Boy Scouts to the Ten Commandments, federal courts recently have issued rulings that conflict with both the Constitution and overwhelming public sentiment. Conservatives and libertarians who once viewed the judiciary as the final bulwark against government tyranny must now accept that no branch of government even remotely performs its constitutional role.

    The practice of judicial activism — legislating from the bench — is now standard for many federal judges. They dismiss the doctrine of strict construction as hopelessly outdated, instead treating the Constitution as fluid and malleable to create a desired outcome in any given case. For judges who see themselves as social activists, their vision of justice is more important than the letter of the laws they are sworn to interpret and uphold. With the federal judiciary focused more on promoting a social agenda than upholding the rule of law, Americans find themselves increasingly governed by men they did not elect and cannot remove from office.

    Consider the Lawrence case decided by the Supreme Court in June. The Court determined that Texas had no right to establish its own standards for private sexual conduct, because gay sodomy is somehow protected under the 14th amendment “right to privacy.” Ridiculous as sodomy laws may be, there clearly is no right to privacy nor sodomy found anywhere in the Constitution. There are, however, states’ rights — rights plainly affirmed in the Ninth and Tenth amendments. Under those amendments, the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards. But rather than applying the real Constitution and declining jurisdiction over a properly state matter, the Court decided to apply the imaginary Constitution and impose its vision on the people of Texas.”

  10. BTW, the post title is based on a film The Tao of Steve — but its way to obscure a movie for the pun to work much

  11. Grego says:

    dammit. Claiming Ron Paul is intellectually consistent is about the only thing that could make me break my new years resolution of no blog commenting. If Ron Paul was intellectually consistent, he would have admitted 30 years ago that he lives in a society where the majority of citizens believe that a woman has the right to remove a newly-fertilized zygote from her body, and as a Libertarian has no right to impose his minority ethics on that society, regardless of how strongly he believes it. He would instead have spend the last few decades working to encourage sex education, preconception birth control, adoption, and support of unwed mothers- those troublesome black welfare mothers included, of course. His recent shift to state laws and downplaying abortion is simply a strategic tack during his swan-song pseudo-candidacy. He is nothing more than a political reactionary with an ill-formed gimmick, in a society too lazy to look up the definition of the word “Libertarian” and think for 30 seconds.

  12. rootless says:

    Mark E Hoffer quotes in defense of Ron Paul against the claim to be anti-immigrant,

    “…Like most Americans, Ron Paul also understands just how valuable legal immigration is to our country.

    Immigrants who want to work hard, obey our laws, and live the American Dream have always been great assets…”

    This is a verbal declaration without practical consequences. One also could call it lip service. In contrast, following proposals by Ron Paul would have real practical consequences, if implemented:

    * No amnesty for so called “illegal” immigrants anymore

    * No free education and medical care for so called “illegal” immigrants from the states anymore.

    * Abolishment of birthright US citizenship

    * Making US borders even closer than they are already to make the entry of so called “illegal” immigrants into the country even more difficult.

    Not as “libertarian” here, Mr. Paul. The ideals of Paul’s “libertarianism” apparently don’t extend to all human beings.

    Yes, in summary, Paul is anti-immigrant, at least with respect to immigrants who are defined as “illegal”.

  13. [...] win either, but he makes a terrible symbol to oppose because his different views fall into the red or blue bins, variously.  But this is why he’s perfect for Jon Stewart, who himself stands in opposition [...]

  14. Transor Z says:

    I think the better question is not whether or not you agree/approve of Ron Paul’s policy positions, but whether you want the asshole media blacking them out.

  15. rootless,

    you’re a Troll.

    I was not using “quotes in defense”, but, merely, pointing that Individual to Ron Paul’s own explanation–on the Topic..

    “I think the better question is not whether or not you agree/approve of Ron Paul’s policy positions, but whether you want the asshole media blacking them out.”


    no kidding..

  16. decius says:

    @ottnott Thank you for posting that. I wish people wouldn’t refer to him as a Libertarian. His philosophy is something out of the early 1800′s. The venn diagram at least conveys the idea that points of alignment between Paul and libertarianism does not make Paul a libertarian. The trouble is that I don’t think most people know what a libertarian is, and Ron Paul is the most serious candidate they’ve ever heard of whose been called that – so for most people, Ron Paul IS libertarianism. If thats what libertarianism is to be in the minds of most people, perhaps a new name will be required for what is now thought of as libertarianism.

  17. ToNYC says:

    The Tao of Steve:
    3 lessons on maximizing reproductive choices:

    be not needy,
    be excellent,
    be gone.

    like the person in brown of UPS.

    the pun or the alliterative?

  18. huxrules says:

    My take on Ron Paul is this – he hooks people in with ideas that most have never heard of before. This is very healthy – as the Repubs and Democrats don’t have anything fresh. Unfortunatly most of his ideas are untested and don’t address any of the monster problems facing western society at the moment. Half of his soultions are for problems that would have been better addressed 50 years ago. How is going on the gold standard going to feed the hungry anyways?

  19. rootless says:

    Mark E Hoffer,

    I was not using “quotes in defense”, but, merely, pointing that Individual to Ron Paul’s own explanation–on the Topic..

    No, of course you weren’t. You just accidentally quoted the one verbal declaration by Paul that seemed to contradict the statement made before according to which Paul’s positions were anti-immigrant and, at the same time, calling the presentation where Paul’s views were called anti-immigrant as “Agitprop”.

    Definition of context:

    1: the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning.
    (Reference: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/context)

  20. RW says:

    Those who haven’t spent some time in and thinking about places like the southern US or South Africa will have trouble understanding folks like the Pauls. The parochial is a matter of identity but also a medium of power.

    The term racist has become so abused and conflated with bigotry that its original sense as a designation for a supporter and beneficiary of a discriminatory and oppressive social system is lost. And I’m not sure it would be an appropriate designator for the Pauls in any case.

    The Pauls and their kin are probably best analogized to S. African Boers, a tribe if you like, that felt it was losing power and so forged a state in which that power could not be lost; non-interventionist because that supplied the logic for setting policies to perpetuate a state in which separate-but-equal could exist; individualistic because that meant separate-but-equal was enforceable as a matter of personal preferences and local mores.

    That those belonging to ‘tribes’ who became less equal as a result of such policies, preferences and mores would feel deprived was a regretable consequence.

    Resistance to state intervention and approval of individualism are solid values but so also are justice, emancipation and mercy. The question is what kind of system will grow out of the way those values are applied; not the system that any politician says they desire but the one that will come to be.

    If humans were ethical and moral by nature a strongly non-interventionist society could be an interesting place to live; folks would be left alone to live as they wished unless they asked for help but no one would be compelled to answer if they didn’t want to or felt the price wasn’t right.

    If humans are not so wholesome then the outcome will most likely not be anarchy but a society of local bullies and vigilantism.

    IMHO American libertarianism will not mature as a guiding political philosophy until it is able to reliably distinguish between the concept of liberty (lack of constraint) and the concept of license (the ability to do whatever you want) and is able to resolve the tension between small government (AKA “minarchy”) vs big government into a model of a government that is ‘right sized;’ able to efficiently supply essential services but also able to effectively mobilize against local and regional abuses of power.

  21. Vilgrad says:

    Ron Paul will turn the 2012 election on its ear when he runs as a 3rd Party Candidate. 2012 will be a year to remember.


  22. jswap says:

    rootless, change your name to mindless pronto.

    Also, what does the Manhattan School of Music have against Ron Paul anyway?

  23. louiswi says:

    Winston Munn is definitely on to something here.

    Does anyone know what is coming out of the drug addled brain of Rush Limtard? He usually picks the GOP candidate so I’m told.

    It will be sad to see this political year end. Never before have we been witness to such hilarity. I do hope somebody figures out how to keep it alive in the off years. No sitcom has ever come close to these GOP debates. They definitely deserve a separate category at the Emmy awards for best comedy entertainment.

  24. teraflop says:

    I dislike labeling NPR as some mouthpiece (du cote gauche) but post-Iowa the following morning they recounted in detail each Republican candidate’s performance. Except Ron’s.

    Sometimes silence speaks volumes.

  25. boogabooga1114 says:

    I did not know and am surprised that Paul is anti-NAFTA. Anyone know why? His own “issues” page (and thanks to the commenter for the link) doesn’t mention trade at all that I can see.

    But he’s against birthright citizenship. To each their own, but I have to wonder how many people really understand their own ancestors’ immigration histories when they complain about birthright citizenship.

  26. philipat says:

    The MSM are controlled by the Corporatocracy and the Establishment is terrified of Ron Paul, who would damage the Military-Industrial complex and go after the corrupt system in Washington and repeal The Patriot Act/NDAA. Even Fox has either ignored or ridiculed Paul and consistently, together with the rest of the MSM, called him “Unelectible”. That is a subjective opinion, not jounalism.

    Go Ron Paul!!

  27. Great post!!

    I think the only way out of this mess is via smaller (much smaller) government. Like it or not, Ron Paul is the only such choice. Unfortunately, he probably stands no chance of winning…

  28. Futuredome says:

    Paul is a scam artist. Shameful posts on here. He wants to destroy the national government than have the capital owners dissolve the state governments. Period. Smaller government is a scam. Just leads to direct control by the plutocracy.

  29. oldbluejeans says:

    Sadly, the mainstream media in this country views this whole political process as basically a horse race, with a few controversial “sound bites” thrown in for shock value. The graphic, great insofar as it goes, leaves out many other issues, the environment being one. As to the Fed, yes, it gives us some latitude we otherwise wouldn’t have in order to extricate ourselves from economic disasters. But unfortunately “the Fed” is usually what gets us into the disasters in the first place. Are you listening Alan Greenspan?

    As to the Republican party, they ordered all the moderates out of the party when the evangelical Christians arrived. It’s their way or the highway. So – I’d say the Republicans should give Ron Paul some respect. Otherwise he might run as an independent, and I’d bet a lot of formerly moderate Republicans would vote for him, as well as a growing number of Democrats who are growing increasingly fed up with BO.

  30. gariki says:

    @Mark E Hoffer

    I see. I stand corrected; but like i said my comment above was based on only this one venn diagram and the other video posted here on ritholtz a week or so ago. And you’re right about knowing a lot more info.. but my interest and knowledge in politics is extremely passing. I would rather look at the markets :).

    I guess Mr. Ron Paul is not that horrible afterall; they need to change the picture above to say he is anti-illegal-immigration instead of saying anti-immigration though.


  31. Moopheus says:

    Paul isn’t intellectually consistent, he’s ideologically hidebound. There’s a difference. Intellectually consistent implies a thought-out, critically examined position. But there’s no sign of that in Paul. He gives no sign of ever having any kind of doubt about his own positions, ever having changed his mind about something, or been willing to consider actual facts. It’s true that he puts his ideology above compromise or political crowd-pleasing, but again, there’s a difference between being an ideologue and intellectually honest. He is, after all, a creationist, which by itself suggests a lack of critical thinking or ability to reconsider positions in the face of facts. His main appeal seems to be that he’s the only nonfascist in the race.

  32. @ gariki,

    no problem~

    as well, I, certainly, understand “…I would rather look at the markets :) ”

    though, We should remember, as Ritholtz has pointed out, again, recently, ~”Politics effects Markets..”

    and, as the ol’ adage goes..

    “You may not have an interest in government, but the Government has an interest in You..”

  33. realgm says:

    I think this diagram is misleading.

    I don’t think Ron Paul is anti-immigration. People should take care of themselves and not expecting the government to provide helps. Ron Paul wants limited government and less and less welfare. Without good welfare, people would have less incentive to “immigrate” to the US. This is not the same as anti-immigration.

    Ron Paul is also pro-choice. He personally is pro-life and not into abortion, but he wants state governments to decide on this issue. Allowing the state government to determine issues such as drug issues, abortion, etc is a pro-choice approach. Federal government should have limited laws on these issues. It allows people freedom to influence the state governments and if they don’t like the state laws, they can always move to another state.

    Obviously, for the people who can’t take care of themselves, it would not be good. Ron Paul suggested many times that there should be more individual freedom and people should take care of themselves. In the case of some people can’t take care of themselves, there are charity organizations. It is not supposed to be a government duty to take care of everybody. Greece and a few European countries are examples of when people relied too much on their government to provide everything and take care of everybody. These countries are essentially bankrupted.

  34. victor says:

    @gariki: I too am an immigrant, a LEGAL one as clearly you are as well. The graph is wrong in my opinion reg immigration. I know few people left right and center who are anti-immigration. I know MANY who are anti illegal immigration and few, very few who are pro-illegal immigration.

  35. DeDude says:

    “Greece and a few European countries are examples of when people relied too much on their government to provide everything and take care of everybody. These countries are essentially bankrupted.”

    Actually the countries where government takes care of most things for their people, are the scandinavian countries. Their governments are close to 50% of the economy (and we whine about big gobinment at 22%). Those countries are doing exceedingly well because they have kept tax-rates high enough to cover spending. Many things (like education, poverty insurance, and health care – to name a few) are provided much more cost effectively by the government than by letting people try to obtain them individually out in the jungle of swindling for-profit private corporations. Snake oils are all over the place and few individuals have the “chemistry lab” to identify them. But if a thing is better done by government you have to take in sufficient taxes and fees to cover the cost of it. The scandinavian countries did, so they are in good shape – other countries didn’t and are in deep sh…

  36. rootless says:


    If you don’t like it in United States with the existing laws you always can move to another country.

  37. rootless says:

    Anyone who wants to eliminate government welfare can’t be seriously concerned about the increasing wealth and income discrepancies in United States. Eliminating welfare will increase competition for low paying jobs even more, it will decrease lower incomes even more. In addition to that, there will be millions of people without any income at all, not even government transfer payments. Poverty on a massive scale on the streets, sky-rocking crime rates due to social break-down, social decline of neighborhoods sinking into gang wars, people are fighting for their survival,

    The ones who are really benefiting from this is the capital-owning and investing class, at least until social unrest and rebellion will catch up with them, the rest of the population will be more or less screwed. Except for the former, how can anyone who is in his/her right mind want this?

  38. drtomaso says:

    I also do not understand why one cannot be libertarian and pro ‘big government’- by which I mean pro-federalism. We had the scales tipped in the favor of states rights at one point in our history- remember? I really do not think liberty is well served by fractured government.

    Desiring to let the states “decide on an issue” is an acknowledgement that your cause has lost popular support at a national level, and perhaps you are on the wrong side of history.

  39. Rogue Medic says:

    I vote Libertarian, but I cannot vote for Ron Paul. We Libertarians are like all groups of non-conformists – we disagree on many things.

    Immigration needs to be dramatically reformed. Libeling all immigrants who do not want to go through a process that does not begin to resemble the immigration process of even a hundred years ago is a fraud. We depend on immigrants for progress. Those in favor of our severely limited immigration policies should not be surprised to see fewer PhD graduates staying in the US. We only want immigrants if we can live off of their knowledge the way we accuse immigrants of coming to the US to live off of welfare. Are we the pot? Or are we the kettle?

    We do not know who the geniuses will be. We should not use our messed up entitlement system to exclude people who are then discouraged from paying taxes, because it would allow the government to find them. We need to start welcoming immigrants the way we used to. We need to benefit from them and they need to benefit from being American.

    Being American should not be about political boundaries, but about the ideals of America. We blame immigrants for entitlements that they never created. We expect to collect from Social Security, but we discourage young immigrants from coming to America to pay into Social Security. Maybe we are that foolish. Of course, if Ron Paul eliminated entitlements, he would no longer have an excuse for excluding immigrants.

    States’ rights is a bogus issue. Almost all of the states have larger populations than the US had when there was all of this original concern about Federalism. States’ rights is just an excuse to engage in tyranny of the majority and claim that it is somehow virtuous because it is on a smaller scale than all of the states combined.

    Ron Paul has a dental degree, but thinks that the only problem with “alternative” medicine is that the FDA requires them to provide evidence that the quackery works.

    “Alternative Medicine”, I continue
    “Has either not been proved to work,
    Or been proved not to work.
    You know what they call alternative medicine
    That’s been proved to work?

    —Tim Minchin, Storm

    If Ron Paul had a clue about science, he would not be a co-conspirator with the frauds who push “alternative” medicine, or any other magical cure. Magic is not real.

    If Ron Paul had a clue about science, he would not propose his limited sectarian “alternative” to science that is Creationism. In order to believe in Creationism, you only need to be scientifically illiterate.

    Many of our ancestors left Europe to get away from state religions. There is a reason for that part of the First Amendment. It is not to ban religion, but to keep government out of religion and to keep religion out of government. Maybe you want your religion to be run like the IRS. I guess that is why we have to put God on our money. When you mix the two, both are harmed.


  40. philipat says:


    And survey after survey shows that the Scandinavians are the most happy and content people of all the major Western economies. Everybody pays the same high rate of tax but everyone gets quality services in return so there appears to be much greater social cohesion and the absence of envy/jealousy/resentment.

    But I resent having to pay 20 dollars for a beer when I visit!! Maybe visitors coould be exempted form “Mummy knows best” policies because we don’t know any better!!