The VP Sweepstakes, Part II
by Walter Block and Steve Berger
Recently by Walter Block: Ron Paul and the Self-Hating u2018Libertarians'
Who should Ron Paul choose for Vice President, when he wins the republican nomination for President? The present authors have already taken one hack at this crucial question of the day, and are now back for round two. Again we mention several possibilities, so as to ease the way for the Ron Paul team on that day they must make this decision. Here are the additional possibilities, as we see them.
Herman Cain. Ron Paul would never in a million years choose this man because he is black, so as to defend against the charge that he is a racist. He need not do so. Dr. Paul is just about the most color blind man we know in U.S. politics, slurs to the contrary notwithstanding. In the view of the Congressman from Texas, "Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called u2018diversity' actually perpetuate racism. Their obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist. The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence, not skin color, gender, or ethnicity." So, what are the merits and demerits of placing Mr. Cain on the Ron Paul ticket? On the plus side, he is a successful businessman, very articulate, even charismatic. He is pretty good on economic issues, albeit a bit too soft on unions for our taste. Unfortunately, his foreign policy planks are not at all compatible with Ron Paul's emphasis on defense, not offense. Cain makes no such distinction on his web, and this is a crucial oversight.
Dennis Kucinich. He is a Democrat. Dr. Paul is a Republican. Have we lost our minds? No. (Well, at least not for this reason.) Congressman Kucinich is an ally of Congressman Paul's at least insofar as foreign policy is concerned, and that is no small achievement for a member of either party. However, unfortunately, while Kucinich is excellent on war and peace, and is not so bad on personal liberties, he is a big government liberal when it comes to economics. Thus, no sale, here. However, he does deserve mention on our compilation for his support of Dr. No on a very important public policy.
Karen Kwiatkowski. She is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and a regular contributor to LewRockwell.com. She is currently running for the 6th District of Virginia House seat. Her place on the ticket would underscore, ever the more, that of all Republican candidates for president, Ron Paul not only receives the most donations from members of the U.S. military, he garners more from this source than all of the others put together. If her presence on the ticket will not banish forever the calumny that Dr. Paul is "weak" on defense, then nothing will. If Hillary is Obama's VP choice in 2012, Colonel Kwiatkowski's presence on the Paul team will help counteract that perceived benefit. However, Congressman Paul will not choose her for that reason. He will do so, if he does, because he trusts Karen Kwiatkowski to promote liberty, freedom, and constitutionalism. Can you imagine the magnificent thrashing Karen will give Hillary in a Vice-Presidential debate!?!
Lewis Lehrman. He is co author with future president of the United States Ron Paul of the book The Case for Gold. Needless to say, Mr. Lehrman is sound as a bell on monetary questions, crucial for understanding the present plight of the American economy. In 1981 he ran for governor of New York State, losing by only a few percentage point to Mario Cuomo. He was a fellow member with Ron Paul of the U.S. gold commission; the two co authored its minority report. Ron knows and trusts Lewis. The two would make a great team.
Rick Perry. Rick Perry is a blowhard, doesn't have a freedom oriented bone in his body, was recently, ugh, a Democratic, and a strong supporter for, double ugh, Al Gore. However, fair is fair. No one who dumps on the Fed can be all bad. He characterized Ben Bernanke as "treasonous." While Ron Paul does not employ such language and prefers to criticize ideas, not people, Perry deserves inclusion on this list of possibles for his stalwart condemnation of the Fed. Of course, a Paul-Perry ticket would not be exactly "balanced," but that would not stop Dr. Paul from choosing Governor Perry as his running mate, if the latter were worthy. But, alas, he is not.
Peter Schiff. Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, is an esteemed investor and outspoken advocate for hard money, free markets and the end of crony capitalism. He is author of primers on investing and economics and is an accomplished Austrian economist (as is Ron Paul). Amidst great and raucous laughter, Schiff flashed early warning signs of the housing and subprime mortgage bubbles that brought America's financial system to its knees. Peter Schiff continues to sound the alarm bells on sovereign debt bubbles, the perils of central banking and Keynesian fiscal policies. In 2010, Peter ran for US Senate from the State of Connecticut. He was a formidable debater and continues to make frequent guest appearances on CNBC and Bloomberg. Peter didn't fall far from the tree. His heroic father Irwin Schiff is a noted tax protester, who challenged the constitutionality of the federal income tax and is serving a 13 year federal sentence for tax crimes. Bush the junior waged an unconstitutional, immoral war on Iraq to avenge the "failures" of Bush the Elder to trample Saddam. By contrast, Peter can be expected to wage a moral, constitutional war to validate the efforts of his father to unmask the illegitimacy of the IRS, yet another project of Ron Pauls'. For his extremely bearish views on the U.S. economy, Mr. Schiff has earned the title, Dr. Doom. Can you imagine the combination of Dr. No and Dr. Doom? This would give rise to the slogan: "No Doom with the Paul-Schiff team."
Jesse Ventura. He was elected Governor of Minnesota as an independent on a budget of only $300,000. He is a staunch Ron Paulite on economics, personal liberty, and, most important, foreign policy. He has been an outspoken critic of government propaganda and deception in war. His recent book is all about the government's biggest lies. Ventura, along with Ron Paul himself, is that rare breed of politician willing to be outspoken and candid regardless of political consequences. He would be like a breath of fresh air on the Ron Paul ticket.
Walter Williams. If we were considering the criteria of adherence to economic liberty and individual personal freedom, there are few people more qualified to be Ron Paul's running mate than Williams. A black man like his mentor and friend Thomas Sowell, Williams has taken quite a bit of unfair criticism for being a "traitor" to his race, since he favors laissez faire capitalism and private property rights. Again, like Sowell, he has done more than practically anyone else on the entire globe to expose the idiocy, immorality and inefficiency of our affirmative action industry. However, and this is a big however, Prof. Williams "parts company" with Ron Paul over foreign policy. Therefore, although he richly deserves mention in this compilation, we would reject him as a leading candidate for VP on the Ron Paul ticket. The lead author of this essay is particularly proud that Williams is one of his co-authors.
Tom Woods. He would be an excellent choice. An avid Catholic, he would "balance" Congressman Paul's Protestantism. More to the point, Woods is "solid" on every conceivable libertarian issue, likely even more so than Dr. Paul himself. Although a relatively young man, phenomenally productive Dr. Woods (Ph.D. from Columbia in history) has published 11 books (and is the editor of five others), enough, more than enough, for an illustrious entire career. We doubt that his parents gave him "Charisma" as a middle name, but in failing to do so, they missed a bet. Tom Woods is perhaps the most charismatic public speaker on the entire globe, putting Barack (teleprompter) Obama to shame. A dark horse candidate? Yes. But a worthy one. A very worthy one. The present authors would sleep a lot easier each night with Tom Woods in the position of Vice President.
There were numerous letters sent to us in response to our first attempt to shed light on this important decision. Many suggested names we had not included in our first go around, including some of the above. Also amongst them were almost all of the senior fellows of the Mises Institute. In addition, the following people were mentioned, and we pass them along in alphabetical order without comment, except for one case: Jim DeMint, William Grigg Richard Mack, Fred Reed, Paul Craig Roberts (not a supporter of full free trade and thus highly problematic), Lawrence Vance and Jack Wheeler. Certainly, these names should all be placed at least on the Ron Paul team's initial list.
Dr. Block [send him mail] is a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, and a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of Defending the Undefendable and Labor Economics From A Free Market Perspective. His latest book is The Privatization of Roads and Highways.