The Party of Ron Paul?

Now that Ron Paul's presidential campaign is winding down many of his supporters are looking for a place to turn. Both the Libertarian Party and the Constitution party share similar beliefs.

In response to members of the Constitution party claiming Ron Paul supporters should join them I've put together a matrix of many of those beliefs in comparison to Ron Paul's stances.

Both the Constitution party and the Libertarian party are committed to smaller government. However they differ from each other in several ways. This matrix illustrates those differences.

Items in green are in agreement with Ron Paul, red is in disagreement, and items in yellow are either unable to determine or could be argued either way.

Economic Principles

 Principle

Ron Paul

Libertarian Party

Constitution Party

Free Market Economy
 Pro Pro Pro w/exceptions1
Federal Reserve
Against Against Against

  Laws against Consensual Activities2

 Principle

Ron Paul

Libertarian Party

Constitution Party

Drug Prohibition
Against Against For
Gambling Laws
Against Against For
Pornography Bans and Regulations
Against Against For

 Other

 Principle

Ron Paul

Libertarian Party

Constitution Party

Illegal Immigration
Against Against Against
Legal Immigration
Your Call3 For Against
Foreign Empire
Against Against Against
Federal jurisdiction on Education
Against Against  Against
2nd Amendment Rights
For For For
Federal Jurisdiction on Abortion
Varies4 Varies For
State Jurisdiction on Abortion
For Varies For

 Size and Effectiveness of Each Party

Category

Libertarian Party

Constitution Party

2008 Ballot Access States
45
37
2004 Presidential Votes
397,256 143,630
2006 House Votes
650,614 133,065
2006 Senate Votes
624,258 128,855

1 - In almost all cases the Constitution Party supports a free market economy. However they support protectionist tariffs:

In no event will the U.S. tariff on any foreign import be less than the difference between the foreign item's cost of production and the cost of production of a similar item produced in the United States. The cost of production of a U.S. product shall include, but not be limited to, all compensation, including fringe benefits, paid to American workers, and environmental costs of doing business imposed on business by federal, state, and local governments.

They also do not support a free market economy with respect to labor:

We oppose the abuse of the H-1B and L-1 visa provisions of the immigration act which are displacing American workers with foreign.

2 - The stance of the role of government in regulating the activities between consenting adults is the main area that the Constitution party drastically differs from Ron Paul and the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian party has consistently placed civil rights, and the concept of self-ownership at the front of its platform.

The Constitution Party's stance on free speech is truly bizarre:

We call on our local, state and federal governments to uphold our cherished First Amendment right to free speech by vigorously enforcing our laws against obscenity to maintain a degree of separation between that which is truly speech and that which only seeks to distort and destroy.

3 - Ron Paul has in most instances been for legal immigration. Ron Paul is for ending subsidies that encourage immigration and does not support amnesty. During an interview with John Stossel, Paul remarked in response to how the hospitals should handle immigrants:

Be charitable, but have no mandates by the federal government. Catholics want to help a lot of these people. I'm not for (punishing anyone who wants to help voluntarily). But we wouldn't have so many (illegals) if they didn't know they were going to get amnesty. If you promise them amnesty -- medical care, free education, automatic citizenship, food stamps, and Social Security -- you're going to get more (illegal immigration). I think we could be much more generous with our immigration. (But) we don't need to reward people who get in front of the line.

In my opinion, Ron Paul and the Libertarian Party agree on the issue of legal immigration. However I have noted that many of his supporters don't understand this. Many of his supporters do not believe that legal immigration is a good thing. During the NJ straw poll in Woodbridge many of them booed when another candidate stated that legal immigration is not the problem. I shall leave the legal immigration box yellow and leave it up to you to decide.

4 - Ron Paul has many times stated that the federal government has no role and that it should be left up to the states.  See Federalizing Social Policy. Yet he has offered a bill that has the federal government define when life begins (effectively giving the federal government jurisdiction). It could be argued that his bill removes existing federal jurisdiction (i.e. Roe v. Wade). Also see his platform page on the issue.

The official LP position is here.  Nationwide, Libertarian candidates have been on both sides of this contentious issue. Libertarians are split on this issue. In truth the issue is much more complicated than is suggested by the labels "pro-life" and "pro-choice" so I shall leave these boxes mostly yellow.

Given the government's record with the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs, we can assume that a War on Abortion would lead within five years to men having abortions. - Harry Browne