Don't expect young Republicans to approve of crony capitalism
In an op-ed article in US News and World Report this week former Republican congressman and presidential candidate, and chairman of Campaign for Liberty, Ron Paul, slammed the Sheldon Adelson-inspired Restoration of America's Wire Act proposal currently in Congress, warning that young Republicans embrace the philosophy of liberty and limited government, and are unlikely to support crony capitalism.
"These younger voters expect Republicans to consistently defend individual liberty and limited government," Paul wrote. "Millennial voters also expect the GOP to oppose crony capitalism, even — and especially — when the cronies are GOP donors.
"Sadly, two presidential candidates, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida, are supporting legislation that combines an unconstitutional assault on individual liberty with cronyism," the former Congressman claims in a clear reference to the two politicians" promotion of RAWA.
Paul argues that RAWA would make it a federal crime to gamble online, and characterises it as a measure which if passed could be used to nullify legalisation laws in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, and pre-empt ongoing debates in several states which are considering the legalisation of online gambling.
The former congressman also attacks the RAWA supporters' argument that a nationwide ban on internet gambling is necessary to prevent such gambling by residents in states where the practice is not permitted, saying that it ignores the existence of technology which allows online casinos to accurately locate players and ensure their customers are legally allowed to gamble online.
"A national ban would not be justified even if state laws allowing online gambling led to widespread violations of other state laws prohibiting Internet gambling," Paul claims. "The 10th Amendment is supposed to restrain federal power, not justify creating new federal crimes."
Paul is also concerned that if RAWA passes it will give federal officials a "new excuse to spy on all of our online activities," and goes on to say that young people support his attacks on officials who use warrantless wiretapping and mass surveillance, implying that they will be unlikely to support politicians or parties that approve or allow government agencies to spy on their online activities to ensure they are not playing poker.
He points out that millennials are alienated by the hypocrisy shown by too many conservatives who claim to favour individual liberty, yet support legislation like RAWA because they disapprove of gambling.
"A 'conservative' nanny state is just as unconstitutional, and as dangerous to liberty, as a liberal one," he asserts, adding that politicians do not have the right to use government force and authority to stop people from engaging in activities, like gambling, that do not involve violence or fraud.
Near the close of the op-ed, Paul becomes more specific on his cronyism claims, saying that it is an open secret that one billionaire casino mogul who is also a major Republican Party donor is driving RAWA.
"This donor has chosen to not operate an online casino, and, rather than fairly compete with his online competitors, he is attempting to use his influence to outlaw Internet gambling," Paul alleges.
"Prior to waging his personal struggle against online gambling, this donor had earned the gratitude of neoconservatives in and out of Congress for using his money to promote a hawkish foreign policy. This may explain why some of the iGaming ban's biggest supporters, including [Sens.] Graham and Rubio, are also some of the biggest hawks in Congress," he speculates.
Paul concludes by again warning against antagonising millennial voters, commenting:
"It is hard to imagine a better way to alienate millennial voters than by supporting another unconstitutional infringement on their freedom in order to aid one billionaire neocon. Any politician who bets on the iGaming ban is bound to come up with lemons."
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