States' Rights: Gay Marriage, Abortion and SlaverySubmitted by msalomon on Sun, 12/18/2011 - 17:38
The other day, a couple of us Paulites did a sign wave. While we were out there a civil libertarian walked up to us and wanted to ask some questions about RP and his consistency on civil liberties. He said he's always liked RP, but he is very frustrated that he has taken a states' right stance on abortion and gay marriage, a stance that this man believes is not consistence with RP's record on civil liberties. So of course the guy posed the ridiculous question, "What if a state wanted to re-institute slavery, would that be acceptable under a Ron Paul administration?"
Now, I'm not very well versed in the defense of the states' rights position. I've been meaning to read Tom Woods' 'Nullification' (please suggest other books), but haven't got around to it yet. However, I did try to defend it to the best of my knowledge. First off, I told the man that slavery would never rear its ugly head again in this culture. Secondly, that it was best to leave controversial culture war issues like gay marriage and abortion for the states to decided, rather than a one size fits all federal law. He did not want to accept this answer, he simply just argued for federal supremacy over states on civil liberty issues.
At this point I was kind of stumped. I did have one other point to make, but unfortunately I couldn't because one of the guys that was with us was getting a bit combative with him, and scared him off. The man got flustered and said he wouldn't vote for RP now. The idiom, "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" might be the topic of another post later, some of us Paulites need to remember that. The other point that I would've liked to make was that if we were to decentralize power and cut huge swathes through the federal budget, states would have to be more competitive for accumulating more tax payers. They would lose many taxpayers if they alienated them with laws that violated their civil liberties. Of course the rebuttal to this is, "how can you vote with your feet and leave an oppressive state if you're poor?"
Are these arguments valid? What other points can I make if this question is posed to me again?