Diane Kreinbring's long slumber is finally over. A self-styled libertarian who bolted the party proper, she had an epiphany when she heard Congressman Ron Paul--the rebel GOP presidential candidate and recently anointed media darling--speak. Paul, who ran for the presidency in 1988 on the Libertarian Party ticket, says logical, thoughtful things most politicians--with the possible exception of Dennis Kucinich--don't, according to Kreinbring. (In fact, his unvarnished opinions provided ammo for fellow candidate Rudolph Giuliani to get all indignant on Paul's ass when Paul stated that America's foreign policy has unintended, terrorist-producing consequences.) To show her support, she's founded a group. For more information, visit the group's Web site.
Tell me how you first got turned on to Ron Paul. I saw somewhere that you heard him speak.
Well, it's funny, because I've always been a Libertarian. ... I kind of went into--oh, I don't know--political hibernation for a long time, because I was so discouraged with the Libertarian Party. They can't get anybody elected. ... You ask somebody what a Libertarian is, and if they're conservative, they think they're a bunch of pot-smoking old hippies. If you ask somebody who's liberal, they think they're über-conservative. We're not either.
What is a Libertarian, then?
A Libertarian is somebody whose basic life philosophy is: As long as what you're doing doesn't hurt me, fine. That's why they're against the "war on drugs," because those people (who use drugs) are making those choices and living their own lives, and they're not hurting anybody else. When we say that to people, then they go, "Well, yeah, but they break into our houses to get money to buy drugs." Well, they do that because the black market drives the prices sky high. They're not breaking into your house to buy other things they're addicted to. They're not breaking into your house to buy alcohol; they're not breaking into your house to buy cigarettes--although they might soon, the way they keep taxing them.
You were talking about political hibernation.
Yeah, I was so discouraged by that party's ability to even promote themselves. My boyfriend ... had chronic-fatigue syndrome, and he spent a lot of years where all he could do was sleep; the most active thing he could do was sit on the couch and watch TV. He used to watch C-SPAN all the time, and he used to see Ron Paul stand on the House floor and say things that made him say, "This is the one thing that could get me off the couch and standing up and hooting, 'Woo-hoo!' I can't believe a politician just said that!" I'd been hearing about it, but I didn't really have any other frame of reference. Then I went to the New Hampshire Liberty Forum in Concord, N.H., in February, and Ron Paul was a speaker at one of our dinners. I just couldn't believe it; I sat there and listened to this guy and thought, "He's real. He's a real human being."
A Republican human being.
He may be a Republican--and honest to God, I never dreamed in my life I would become a Republican, because I came to libertarianism from the liberal side and was a Democrat for years--but he spoke about how the government has grown so large and so corrupt. When you ask the government to do things for you, you give it power. No matter how good your intentions are, no matter how much you want to promote this program that's going to help people, or save people, or make things more even or level--every time you do that, you give the government more power. And when it gets power, it abuses it.
What did you think about Giuliani's reaction to Paul's assertions on American foreign policy at the GOP debate? Did you watch that?
I sure did.
What did you think? Paul was certainly ballsy to say what he said in front of all the Republican candidates. And then Giuliani laid into him.
I think that shows you how courageous and principled this man is, that he's not afraid of those guys. He's been standing up to those guys for years; it's just that they've been able to ignore him. Now they're forced to have to deal with him, because it's public. For Rudy Giuliani to say that he's never heard of that, that he's never heard of the concept that our foreign policy had something to do with the attacks ... to me, there are two options: He's either a liar, or he's really, really dumb and doesn't need to be president.