On Fox News Sunday Ron Paul upped the ante on his opposition to sexual harassment laws by claiming that there should be no federal laws against sexual harassment.
Here is the video:
WALLACE: Let me just interrupt, I’m sorry but we have limited time and we want to get to the other two candidates as well. I want to ask you about one other thing that you wrote back in your book in 1987 about sexual harassment in the workplace.
You wrote this, “Why don’t” — this is about the victims of sexual harassment. “Why don’t they quit once the so-called harassment starts? Obviously, the morals of the harasser cannot be defended, but how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem?”
You said that sexual harassment should not be a violation of someone’s employment rights?
PAUL: Well, the whole thing is, is you have to get a better definition of sexual harassment. If it’s just because somebody told the joke and somebody was offended, they don’t have a right to go to the federal government and have a policeman to come in and put penalties on those individuals. I mean, they have to say, well, maybe this is not a very good environment, and they have the right to work there or not there.
But if sexual harassment involves violence as libertarians, we are very opposed to any violence. So, if there is any violence involved, you still don’t need a federal law against harassment. You just need to call the policeman and say there’s been an assault or there’s been attempted rape or something.
So, you have to separate those two out. But because people are insulted by, you know, rude behavior, I don’t think we should make a federal case out of it. I don’t think we need federal laws to deal with that and people should deal with that at home.
Paul has held these views on sexual harassment laws for decades, but it wasn’t until he went from a fringe player to top tier Iowa candidate that anyone bothered to do even the most basic vetting of this candidate.
What Ron Paul was saying here is that there should not be any federal laws against sexual harassment. There should not be any civil rights protections for women and some men in the workplace. In other words, sexual harassment should be legal. Rep. Paul’s statements today reflect his ideology taken to its logical conclusions. I have praised Ron Paul in the Republican debates for his consistency, but we should not mistake consistency for a rigid ideological inflexibility that promotes a decision making process where details and circumstances don’t matter. In the mind of Ron Paul, the ideology must be adhered to at all times.
There should be no federal laws against sexual harassment. This is what voters are getting if they vote for Ron Paul. Rep. Paul has been moving up in Iowa, because this extremist message appeals to the very very conservative caucus goers. Democrats who are tempted to support Paul need to realize that no matter how tempting his foreign policy is, Ron Paul makes George W. Bush look like an enlightened an open minded thinker.
In a year when many in the Republican base are desperately searching for an extremist candidate, Ron Paul represents a kind of ideological purity and simplicity that for them is as addictive as crack.
Paul’s position on sexual harassment in the work place could also extend to other forms of discrimination. If Paul doesn’t believe in sexual harassment laws, then he probably doesn’t believe in the other civil rights laws that prevent discrimination based on race, color, age, sex, creed, and disability. Ron Paul believes the market should be left alone at all times, and this includes allowing employers to freely discriminate.
A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for sexual harassment. Something tells me this isn’t the kind of bumper sticker that the Republican Party wants to see.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association