The Real Ron Paul on Marriage and Drugs
(The New American) -- by Jack Kerwick, Ph.D. --
As of late, Ron Paul has once again been the subject of relentless criticism courtesy of Republican Party pundits.
It is his positions on marriage, “recreational” drugs, and current American foreign policy that invite, not just his detractors’ objections, but their ridicule and even their wrath. In all fairness, it is Paul’s statements in the Republican presidential primary debates — a venue, it must be admitted, that is not readily accommodating of the impassioned Texas congressman’s rather unorthodox beliefs — to which his critics speak. However, given that Paul has authored several reader-friendly books in which he elaborates on his views, if the GOP talking heads were really interested in what he thought, it is reasonable to expect that they would turn to these works.
So, what does Paul think about the aforementioned topics?
Let’s take marriage first.
When asked during the New Hampshire debate whether he would support a Constitutional amendment explicitly defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, Paul replied in the negative. He then followed up by insisting that “government” shouldn’t have anything at all to do with this institution. For this claim, he was excoriated by the likes of Ann Coulter and Michael Medved who exclaimed that Paul’s position would result in an anarchic situation in which property settlements, benefits claims, and the like would be rendered impossible.
The hysteria with which Coulter and Medved responded to Paul is in keeping with the hysteria that we have come to expect from his Republican opponents. Still, so defective is their reasoning on this score that it is hard to shake the suspicion that it is, at least in part, a function of bad faith.
Paul is not alone among his colleagues and competitors in the primaries in speaking of “government” interchangeably with the federal government. In fact, all of the candidates have a tendency to do this. And considering that they are all running for the presidency, it is to be expected that this should be so. That it is the federal government’s relationship to the institution of marriage with which Paul is principally concerned is born out by the following considerations.
First, it is the office of the presidency on which he sets his sights.
Second, being the constitutionalist that he is, there can be no doubt that if Paul were president, he would discharge only that narrow set of obligations that the Constitution specifies for holders of office at the federal level. How the individual states decided to treat marriage or any other issue that falls beyond the federal government’s constitutionally delineated jurisdiction is a matter respecting which a President Paul would be indifferent.
Third, again, the issue under question is an amendment to the Constitution that would supply a formal definition of marriage. Since it was immediately upon informing us that he would not endorse this amendment that Paul asserted his wish to see government remove itself from the marriage business altogether, anyone with any sensitivity to the context of this exchange should be able to recognize that “the government” to which he refers is the federal government...MORE...LINK