The End of the Fat Libertarian

In 2012, I wrote an article entitled “The End of the Fat Libertarian,” in which I pointed to the fact that the science behind eating low-carb had become spread far and wide among constitutional conservatives and libertarians thanks to the Ron Paul campaign of that year.

Candidates give what is called “a stump speech.” It is their spiel about why to vote for them, that they give over and over again for months, at the rate of dozens of times some days.

Ron Paul’s stump speech sometimes appeared in the midst of his campaign speeches. His speeches were more like university lectures. In every new speech, he would throw in some new detail or series of details about history or economics or philosophy that was totally lost on many of us.

It was a very challenging campaign, because you either came to dislike the candidate or to be willing to do the homework he gave you each night when he spoke. One speech he would bring up a shocking detail of how the Fed was started, the next speech he would quote a thinker from the 1960s on why the state doesn’t like homeschools, the next speech he would tell the story of a broken promise made to military veterans in 1904.

Donald Trump does something similar in his campaign speeches — being the counter-voice to the media. He tells you to watch out for some of the lies you are seeing in the news. His public appearances can be a very powerful source of perspective on contemporary information and happenings.

Ron Paul’s speeches were similar, only about timeless truths that will still likely be useful a century from now.

Always quite mind-blowing stuff.

Consequently, the two Ron Paul presidential campaigns that I participated in had a way of bringing together these edgy activists obsessed with learning. They would come from many states, focussed on winning that state, and at the end of the state campaign each would go home to where they came from.

They mixed ideas together and circulated them. This may have been one of the most important functions of the campaign.

One idea that caught on was the science behind eating low carb. This didn’t come from Ron Paul’s speeches but circulated around his campaign at the time — a campaign that is very much about ideas and learning ends up with lots of ideas circulating around it.

A segment of libertarians were notoriously lacking in their concern for health and other measures of personal care. Before long, it was increasingly hard to find a fat one. It became a sort of trend among libertarians to lose weight — especially among those involved in the Paul campaign. And it fit the philosophy that Paul was espousing — following the government food pyramid, with its carbohydrate-heavy bottom, was sure to give you a fat bottom, or worse.

He never said those words that I can recall, but he said in thousands of other words each night a dozen other reasons not to trust the government.

Then the latest or Mises Institute articles would begin circulating as campaign staff and volunteer both would share what they knew and debate it over.

The government was either so inept that it came up with that food pyramid that had the opposite effect of what was intended, or the government was so sinister that it provided this awful nutrition advice that led the country to be obese while thinking they were following good nutritional principles. What a messy situation they had caused, pushing that low-quality thinking on nutrition into people for decades.

Well, such a view as low-carb eating hit on the truth not only of human biochemistry, but also the truth behind how government operates. It had a natural constituency among libertarians.

While the trend toward healthy eating has subsided somewhat among libertarians and the acceptance of obesity has returned, taking care of one’s health remains a pillar among many. This added pillar came out of the realization that

1.) socialized medicine was warned of in the middle of two key parts of the process by Ron Paul in his 2008 campaign. It was made the law of the land by Bush 2 in his Medicare part D legislation and then by Obama in his Obamacare legislation — Ron Paul ran as a Republican against both ideas,

2.) government was too inept, too disincentivized, or too sinister to do the job right,

3.) you have to take care of yourself — which means especially being aware of the food you put in your body, how you exercise, and how to avoid the worst depredations of the medical system.

This was further made clear in 2020 and beyond as the medical system and the private-public medical establishment undeniably became an enemy to science, freedom, and good health with the Covid lockdowns and health mandates.

How powerfully we have been reminded that our responsibility for ourselves must not end at the door of the doctor’s office, but must be carried through all areas of life if we are to live a truly free life.

What a painful wake-up call the last 3 years have been, and what a necessary one.

How good it feels to see the evil of the last three years for what it is, and how good it feels to see the many, many individual approaches that exist to free each one of us from that evil — if we will put in the work to identify the methods of liberation and to implement them.

Will you put in the work?

Will you put in the work to make yourself even more resilient from the machinations of the brute force, big government, medical system?

So much of it has to do with what you put in your body.

Robert Kennedy has been fighting the childhood vaccine safety battle for 18 years. In 2020 he became a voice for many more people than just children. My latest book The Case for Robert Kennedy, in a very quick, half-hour read, argues why Kennedy is the Democrat nominee that every American should want to have face off with the President Trump next November. LRC readers can get an electronic copy here for FREE for a limited time.