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hobgoblin

Book of Ron Paul


hobgoblin
State Of The Republic
28 January 1998    1998 Ron Paul 2:87
After giving a short speech criticizing the inconsistency of our foreign policy, another Member quickly rose to his feet and used the Walter Emerson quote to criticize my efforts saying, ďA foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.Ē Criticizing another Member for following a consistent freedom philosophy and strict adherence to the Constitution is more of an attempt to reassure the critics themselves who are uneasy with their own position. Obviously, criticizing one for consistency either means that pragmatism and inconsistency is something to be proud of, or there is little respect for the philosophy that is consistently being defended, a truth the critics are not likely to admit.

hobgoblin
State Of The Republic
28 January 1998    1998 Ron Paul 2:121
As long as it is fashionable or humorous to refer to one who consistently defends individual liberty as a ďhobgoblin of little mindsĒ our liberties will be threatened. Accepting and rationalizing any inconsistency while rejecting the principal defenders of a free society as impractical represents a danger to the republic. A strict adherence to the Constitution is surely not something that should be encouraged or tolerated, according to these critics.

hobgoblin
A Wise Consistency
February 11, 2004    2004 Ron Paul 2:1
A wise consistency is the foundation of a free society. Yet everyone knows, or thinks they know, that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. How many times has Ralph Waldo Emerson been quoted to belittle a consistent philosophy defending freedom? Even on this floor I have been rebuked by colleagues with this quote, for pointing out the shortcomings of Congress in not consistently and precisely following our oath to uphold the Constitution.

hobgoblin
A Wise Consistency
February 11, 2004    2004 Ron Paul 2:4
Itís quite a distortion of Emersonís views to use them as justification for the incoherent and nonsensical policies coming out of Washington today. But, the political benefits of not needing to be consistent are so overwhelming that thereís no interest in being philosophically consistent in oneís votes. It is a welcome convenience to be able to support whatever seems best for the moment, the congressional district, or oneís political party. Therefore, itís quite advantageous to cling to the notion that consistency is a hobgoblin. For this reason, statesmanship in D.C. has come to mean oneís willingness to give up oneís own personal beliefs in order to serve the greater good ó whatever that is. But it is not possible to preserve the rule of law or individual liberty if our convictions are no stronger than this. Otherwise something will replace our republic that was so carefully designed by the Founders. That something is not known, but we can be certain it will be less desirable than what we have.

hobgoblin
A Wise Consistency
February 11, 2004    2004 Ron Paul 2:12
Following the ConstitutionóArbitrarily, Of Course : Following the Constitution is a convenience shared by both liberals and conservatives ó at times. Everyone takes the same oath of office, and most Members of Congress invoke the Constitution, at one time or another, to make some legislative point. The fact that the Constitution is used periodically to embarrass oneís opponents, when convenient, requires that no one feel embarrassed by an inconsistent voting record. Believing that any consistency, not just a foolish one, is a philosophic hobgoblin gives many Members welcome reassurance. This allows limited-government conservatives to massively increase the size and scope of government, while ignoring the deficit. Liberals, who also preach their own form of limited government in the areas of civil liberties and militarism, have no problem with a flexible pragmatic approach to all government expenditures and intrusions. The net result is that the oath of office to abide by all the constitutional restraints on government power is rarely followed.

Texas Straight Talk


hobgoblin
A Wise Consistency for Liberty
16 February 2004    Texas Straight Talk 16 February 2004 verse 4 ... Cached
Those who reject principle in favor of expediency often cite the famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: ďA foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.Ē My own colleagues have rebuked me with this quote for my refusal to vote for some seemingly innocuous yet unconstitutional bill. But Emerson didnít criticize consistency, he criticized foolish consistency. A wise consistency is the foundation of free society.

hobgoblin
A Wise Consistency for Liberty
16 February 2004    Texas Straight Talk 16 February 2004 verse 5 ... Cached
To Emerson, foolish consistency meant being unwilling to admit errors and consistently defending a mistaken idea, regardless of facts. His quote referred a character trait, not to sound logical thinking. So itís quite a distortion of Emersonís views to use them to justify the incoherent and nonsensical policies coming out of Washington today. The political benefits of not being philosophically consistent are so overwhelming that politicians scarcely need to explain their votes. Itís simply assumed that members of Congress will vote based on pure self-interest. They are free to support whatever seems best for the moment. Adherence to any guiding philosophy would hamper their ability to please the parties, donors, lobbyists, and special interests that keep them in office. Itís advantageous to cling to the false notion that consistency is a hobgoblin, so they can dismiss any uncomfortable criticism.

Texas Straight Talk from 20 December 1996 to 23 June 2008 (573 editions) are included in this Concordance. Texas Straight Talk after 23 June 2008 is in blog form on Rep. Paul’s Congressional website and is not included in this Concordance.

Remember, not everything in the concordance is Ron Paul’s words. Some things he quoted, and he added some newspaper and magazine articles to the Congressional Record. Check the original speech to see.



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