Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ron Paul, I Respect You So Much, But You're Wrong On RonPaul Dot Com

DailyPaul.com has frontpaged another recent look at the RonPaul.com dispute. I hadn't mentioned it here before because it unfolded while I was still on my mostly silent hiatus. Here are my thoughts:

Dr. Paul, I can't respect you enough, but this is embarrassing.

Jonathan Goodwin writes at LewRockwell that Ron Paul isn't actually using aggression to take the domain from its current homesteaders, but a private arbitration that they agreed to voluntarily when they signed up for the domain. I think that's beyond the point. The real point is here in Goodwin's  article:

"[Ron Paul] is acting in good faith to attempt to recover something that he believes rightly belongs to him..."

Sorry. Whether the method is technically forceful or not, there's no way I can twist my brain to possibly understand the notion that this domain rightly belongs to Ron Paul.

Its current owners haven't just been squatting on it. They've properly homesteaded it. They've made it into a productive piece of online "real estate" with a steady stream of original content. What's more, they've used it to promote Ron Paul heavily and to help him raise money during his political campaigns.

The only reason why it's so unsettling to see how unsavvy Ron Paul's actions are in this instance, is that he's so preternaturally savvy otherwise.

I still deeply respect and support Ron Paul. Don't take this as me writing him off. I've highlighted plenty of things I like about Ron Paul over the years, and gone to bat hard to defend him from criticisms I thought were unfair. But I think a critical view of our Texas hero in this case is pretty fair, and a word of sympathy for his supporters at RonPaul.com is warranted.

For a more in depth look at the dispute and a good summary of my thoughts on it, I recommend this interview with Jeffrey Tucker on Stefan Molyneux's FreedomainRadio.