The American media has discovered that Ron Paul has something to say, knows his facts, and is able to offer a cogent defense of his political positions. Most of the other candidates have had ample opportunities to respond to questions in an open interview format, but those have been rare and brief segments for Ron Paul. It seems that some media outlets have grown ears and are now ready to listen.ABC News’ John Stossel has always had libertarian inclinations – they’re evident in his 20/20 segments and specials. This week, he sat down with Ron Paul to discuss a host of issues ... and allowed him to offer complete responses to each question. The interview is posted on the web and will likely be broadcast at an opportune moment. The chat between “Two Libertarians”, is offered in six segments:
- Freedom of Choice
Stossel: You would legalize marijuana, cocaine, heroin?
Paul: I would get the government out of regulating all those substances and allow the states to deal with the problems: whether children should have them; whether children can buy cigarettes and alcohol, or hard drugs, marijuana, and different states would probably do different things.
… Governments can't protect individuals from themselves, it’s just impossible. Otherwise, they become a tyrannical state.
- The Role of Government
Stossel: What should government do?
Paul: Protect our freedoms; have a strong national defense; take care of our borders; have a sound currency.
… These problems can be solved with a lot less government.
- Foreign Policy
Stossel: You say ‘we should have no world policeman.’ The world doesn’t need a policeman?
Paul: It’s O.K. for us to have a responsibility personally to help other people. If we didn’t have an income tax, you would have more money, and you could help as many people as you wanted.
… In defense, I don’t think there’s every a moral justification to start the war.
Stossel: You want a 700-mile fence between our border and Mexico?
Paul: Not really. There was an immigration bill that had a fence in it – to attack amnesty. I don’t like amnesty, so I voted for that bill to stop the amnesty, but I didn’t think the fence can solve our problems.
… You subsidize illegal immigration, you’re going get more of it.
- Health Care
Stossel: Is the answer more government, more protection?
Paul: Some people are arguing that, and of course, I take the position that government interferes too often, we become complacent and depend on the government to protect us, and they fail, and they don’t provide the services they claim.
… I don't want to run your life. I don’t want to run the economy. I don’t want to police the world.
- Constitutional Freedoms
Stossel: You talk about freedom and tyranny. I seldom hear politicians use those words.
Paul: That’s right. I think those are our only two choices and we’ve had a grand experiment in this country, where we emphasize freedom. If you read the constitution, the constitution was designed to protect individual liberty, to restrain the government.
… Freedom is new. Tyranny is old … it’s ancient.
This is a fun interview. All of Stossel’s questions are “softballs” or tongue-in-cheek, but he leaves the time open for Paul to respond with full thoughts and explanations. That’s a welcome relief from the interviews that toss out spurious allegations or frivolous charges, giving Paul only a few meager seconds to answer. You get the impression that Ron Paul really is a serious candidate, who can win.Paul has more time to talk here than in all of the broadcast “debates” combined. Rarely has he been granted more than two minutes out of a frivolous two-hour exchange where “plain talk” had better be a thirty second sound bite.