We must “walk the walk” by participating in politics — but we’d better watch our step.

I emphatically agree with Murray Rothbard’s view that all libertarians, even anarcho-capitalists, should enthusiastically jump into the political forray. So long as we support candidates who will move this country in the direction of peace and liberty, working for even incremental change is far better than being political hermit who remains a “purist” while making far less of a difference in the real world.

Still, we must remember that there is inevitable temptation and intrinsic evil that exists at the coal-black heart of the anti-individual, crudely collectivist state. This evil flows through the parasitical state’s central hive in Washington D.C, where temptation of the sort few politicians can resist and none can completely avoid rules the day.

Setting politicians aside for a moment, think about your closest friends. Not the chicks and dudes you party with occasionally, but the individuals you truly care about and trust. They are flawed yet fundamentally good people. But even they give in to immoral temptations from time to time. An occasional moral failure is virtually impossible for non-saints to avoid.

But if the temptations regular folks face in day-to-day life are difficult enough to resist, imagine that which faces the power players of the state. Every selfish, sinful desire of humans is virtually at the fingertips of congressmen.

The most lethal of these, or the “ultimate aphrodisiac,”  comes in the form of power. Once a person is inevitably changed by such awesome and evil power, he will almost always violate virtually every principle he ran on in order to expand and maintain that power.

The one exception to this rule is Dr. Ron Paul. Ron Paul is a hero and in my view, the best congressman in at least two centuries. As Tucker Carlson put it, Paul is just about the only guy in Congress willing to put principle about self-interest.

The intent of Congress is for representatives to “serve” the people they represent. This is an almost impossible feat, because human nature is fundamentally self-interested. We aren’t apathetic about the world around us, but we tend to care far more about ourselves and our loved ones than strangers. Contrary to all the propaganda about “public servants,” those who seek power and control over others tend to be more — not less — self-interested than the average Joe.

Ron Paul is the extremely rare person  actually capable of being a “public servant.” For Paul, through his politics, has demonstrated that he cares about the interest of “constituents” far more than he cares about himself. He is willing to jeopardize his own well-being for that of strangers.

But even he has to compromise his principles from time to time. Despite the fact that Air Force Veteran Ron Paul has made his true views about serving in the US military known — in an unequivocal and incredibly brave manner — Paul still is bound by the congressional responsibility of enabling more “universal soldiers” through nominations of young people to service academies.

Dr. Paul also apparently has agreed to support the “Republican incumbents in Texas” regardless of their ideology. Accordingly, Paul has endorsed a pro-Iraq War, pro-bailout GOP incumbent in his home state. In the below clip, he  pragmatically explains this by saying (starting 2:45) that “I’m the most independent Republican, but there’s a limit to the level of independence you can get away with:”

The latter part of Paul’s answer tells us something about the aforementioned nature of his employer. There is only one Ron Paul, and even he is incapable of completely eschewing “politics as usual.” Paul’s imperfections demonstrate that no politician will ever completely reject the ugly practices of the establishment. It is simply impossible given the inevitable tendencies of the state.

Now, none of this is to say we aren’t right to jump into political fray. If I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t associate myself with YAL. But we’re deeply naive if we believe it’s going to be easy to emerge from the polluted cesspool that is American politics without getting at least a bit of muck stuck to our skin….

(Thanks to Karen DeCoster’s Facebook for the link to the Ron Paul video)

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