Is Ron Paul A True Libertarian?08:18
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Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, tries to quiet the crowd at his caucus night rally, Tuesday in Ankeny, Iowa. (AP)
Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, tries to quiet the crowd at his caucus night rally, Tuesday in Ankeny, Iowa. (AP)

Texas Congressman Ron Paul has become the face of the Libertarian movement for many Americans. And that has some Libertarians worried.

Jeffrey Miron, author of "Libertarianism, From A to Z," told Here & Now's Robin Young, "I don't think he [Paul] presents a calm, thoughtful, rational face for libertarianism. I think he presents a relatively cranky, some people would go much further, suggesting a quirky, nutty, insane version, and I don't think that's the right view of Libertarians."

Miron describes a Libertarian as someone who wants the government to stay out of your pocketbook and your bedroom. And that's where he has a problem with Paul, who is against abortion rights and gay marriage.

And Miron says Paul takes many of his fiscal and small government views to the extreme.

For example, Paul opposes free trade agreements and is extremely isolationist even saying that he would not have ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Miron says Paul seems to think the Federal Reserve "is the source of all evil," but Mirron acknowledges that Paul's anti-Fed message resonates with many Libertarian voters.

"Ron Paul believes that anything bad that ever happened in the world had to do with the gold standard and that can't possibly be true," Miron said.

Add it all up, and Miron says he's worried that Paul's success may not be a good thing for Libertarians.

(this story was updated to address some editing errors)

Are you a Ron Paul supporter? Tell us why in the comments section.

Guest:

  • Jeffrey Miron, lecturer in economics at Harvard University and author of "Libertarianism, From A to Z."

This segment aired on January 4, 2012.

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