Tag Archives: Ron Paul

Opinion  /  November 28, 2012  / 

The Retirement of Ron Paul

Once in a generation, America encounters a non-traditional politician like Ron Paul. As a presidential candidate, Ron Paul was principled, but unelectable. Most of his ideas involved taking a sledgehammer to voters’ most cherished assumptions. Most of his political proposals, such as shuttering the Department of Education, were too radical for the average voter to contemplate. He offered a vision that was abstract, futuristic, and conditional on America pursuing a path far different from the one it has pursued for the past four decades. Ron Paul didn’t have the tools to appeal to most voters. Most voters do not have the inclination to develop complex or unorthodox political opinions, which require significant investments of time, energy, and intellectual effort. Rather, most people base their votes on instinct or emotion. In the process, they usually treat voting as an act of consumption—a way to signal one’s tastes, preferences, and identities. This … Continue reading

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Opinion  /  March 1, 2012  / 

HLS Alum Fails Con Law Exam

At one of the January presidential debates, moderator George Stephanopoulos posed the single best legal hypo of the entire Republican primary campaign to Willard M. Romney, Harvard Law Class of ’75: “Do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?” Before we see how the HLS alum did on this exam question, let’s establish a very basic idea that I think just about everyone agrees on: There are unconstitutional good ideas and constitutional bad ideas. To use non-partisan examples, the Smoot-Hawley tariff was a thoroughly constitutional bad idea. The line-item veto was a thoroughly unconstitutional good idea. The Constitution says nothing about contraception, making its proscription a constitutional bad idea. However, if you are a proponent of magical substantive due process, all bad ideas suddenly become unconstitutional. Thus, the entire purpose of the contraception question is to establish … Continue reading

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