Epistles of Paul
In the commendable piece on Ron Paul ["Ron Paul: Libertarian Apostle," Sept. 12] there was a statement objecting to Ron Paul's libertarian philosophy:
"I think his stance against sending troops to Darfur is perfectly in keeping with his libertarian philosophy about caring more about tax burdens than any burdens, including genocide, that actual people have to face."
Any decent and compassionate person wants murder and oppression of innocent people stopped, but consider how well government force accomplishes that. In that quote, replace "Darfur" with "Iraq"-- then with Bosnia, Kosovo, Waco, Vietnam, Cuba and Korea.
If you'd rather replace "troops" with "food," then try "food to Zimbabwe." Robert Mugabe replaced Zimbabwe's private farm system with systematic famine. When we sent "food to Zimbabwe," Mugabe channeled it to supportive tribes and regions, thus controlling or starving his opposition. Even intervening with food can backfire.
The problem with government intervention is that it becomes a government program developing hidden agendas overwhelming the original objective. Libertarians usually prefer private voluntary intervention because if things turn south an individual can immediately stop his support without an act of Congress.
At the dawn of the Iraq war, Ron Paul pleaded for non-intervention, but George Bush and Dick Cheney used "Iraq" in their version of the above quote. Conservatives and liberals today all sound so much alike.
-- Mark Crowley, Plum
Thank you for the great article on Ron Paul by Charlie Deitch. He obviously put a lot of time into it and talked with a lot of people to produce a well-balanced piece. I would like to point out a subtle distinction in Dr. Paul's reasoning for his Congressional votes that is apparently lost on most people. He is accused of being indifferent to human suffering because of his opposition to foreign aid, among other things. He is opposed to using tax dollars for charity, both at home and abroad. The distinction is this: If a person sends his own money to a charitable organization, that is considered a donation. If a person takes money from someone else and sends it to a charitable organization, that is theft, unless done by a politician, for which he is considered compassionate. It's easy to be generous with other people's money. However, government has no authority -- constitutional, moral or otherwise -- to operate as a charity. To force U.S. taxpayers, whether or not they have the inclination or the financial ability, to support relief efforts all over the world is immoral.
In addition, the abortion issue is one that is easy to confuse. I am against abortion but I am also pro-choice. Similarly, I am against skydiving and boxing, but I recognize that others may enjoy those activities and that I have no authority over them to prevent them from doing what I think is risky and dangerous behavior. It affects only themselves. For those who defend the right to abortion, however, do they believe that a mother has the right to kill her 2-year-old child? I hope not. Do they believe that a mother has the right to kill her 1-minute-old child? I hope not. Do they believe that a mother has the right to kill her child who is one minute from being born? I hope not. Now, keep backing up into pregnancy asking that question. My moral guideline is that no one has the right to kill any being who can feel pain or experience awareness. I don't know exactly when the central nervous system and the brain develop to that level, but that's the point after which abortion should be considered murder.
-- Nicholas Kyriazi, North Side
It was good to see coverage on Dr. Ron Paul, Pittsburgh native. The racist card was unneeded; right or wrong, Paul has attacked government-supported racism and the staffer that wrote said comments was promptly fired. Paul is a constitutionalist and therefore he is right to allow state's rights to be in control of some social issues we may have strong opinions on. We are to be set up under "We the People" and if the federal government can control our diverse country, we all lose.
When it is all said and done, Paul is the only candidate that actually follows his oath of office and can restore honor to our lost government.
-- Philip Haddad