Jon Stewart to Ron Paul: Can't you just be a typical Washington politician?
Jon Stewart urged Ron Paul to become a typical Washington politician during last night’s “Daily Show,” telling the presidential hopeful to flip-flop on more issues. Or gain weight to look more like Gov. Chris Christie.
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The GOP hopeful didn’t really answer the question on the “Daily Show,” either. He said that the problem with medical care in the US is 40 years of big government allowing corporations to run the show.Skip to next paragraph
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“The corporations run medicine today – the drug companies and the insurance companies. So all this good feeling doesn’t stop the problem,” said Paul.
Where’s the follow-up there, Mr. Stewart?
In general, Paul is a staunch defender of his vision of individual liberty, and that includes the liberty to make bad choices as well as good ones. He thinks illegal drugs are “horribly dangerous,” he said on the “Daily Show.” But he believes the government’s war on drugs is more dangerous.
“It violates our civil liberties. That is the real danger,” he said.
Stewart then asked whether Paul would let even heroin go unregulated. (Hmm, that’s a good question – maybe we’ll take that back about Stewart being too easy in the interview.)
Paul dodged a bit by replying that he’d sold codeine over the counter when he worked in a drug store as a youth.
“I don’t remember any of my friends drinking codeine just to get high,” said Paul.
“I should introduce you to some of my friends,” Stewart replied.
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Paul and Stewart then spent five minutes or so in the extended interview discussing an extended metaphor in which Paul compared the free speech context in which comedians operate to how he thinks government regulations should work.
Comedians and other public speakers face little prior restraint about what they can say in America, Paul pointed out. But if they say something truly libelous, they can be held to account.
Government regulation – or rather, non-regulation - should work the same way, with little prior restraint, said the libertarian. Companies should be free to make products the way they want. But if they cause harm to someone, or someone else’s property, there should be repercussions.
The linchpin of such a system would be strict property rights, Paul said.
For instance, “the environment would be better protected by strict property rights ... all you have to say is, ‘you have no right to pollute your neighbor’s property, water, air, or anything,” said Paul.
“The people I know in Washington aren’t capable of telling you what you ought to do,” Paul concluded.