Ron Paul, pure libertarian, sorely missed in DC

Congress is a lesser place, and Washington is a lesser town, without the presence of one of my favorite members of Congress, the great libertarian of our generation, former Rep. Ron Paul (R) of Texas. I wrote about Ron Paul often, sometimes in agreement, often in disagreement, but always with respect for his pure-play libertarian philosophy.

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In some ways, but not all ways, we have begun to enter a libertarian generation with increasing common areas of agreement between conservative libertarians and progressive libertarians on matters such as limiting the abuses of National Security Agency (NSA) eavesdropping.

While Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) often digresses from the pure libertarianism of his father, Ron Paul, he does correctly stand against the most egregious NSA abuses against privacy, as do many liberals. For this I give him credit. What makes Ron Paul special, by comparison, is that he always advocates the libertarian view, without presidential politics watering down his position for purposes of expedience.

There is a special place in American politics for serious thinkers such as Ron Paul and, from a wholly different perspective, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who champions his version of socialism with the same intellectual honesty that Ron Paul champions his version of libertarian philosophy. It is refreshing to find issues where they sometimes agree, such as NSA abuses.

In an era where politicians almost always trim their sails and hedge their bets, Ron Paul is sorely missed in Washington. Whether we agree with him or not, Ron Paul always has something to say and he says it well. I still keep tabs on Ron Paul and encourage others to do so. He can be exasperating, he can be brilliant, he can be annoying, he can be profound, but he is always worth listening to and politics could use more like him.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at brentbbi@webtv.net.