TLP: This Ron Paul Fellow Has Some Pretty Good Ideas After All
I'm still pretty sure Ron Paul doesn't have a chance in hell of riding his pony across the finish line in this presidential race, but he brings some common sense to a Republican field dominated by millionaire equivocators, lobbyist loudmouths, and an increasingly dimming dim bulb.
Paul had something sort of smart to say about a proposal the other day to prohibit drivers from using cell phones on the road.
The NYT has the background:
A federal agency on Tuesday called for a ban on all cellphone use by drivers — the most far-reaching such recommendation to date — saying its decision was based on a decade of investigations into distraction-related accidents, as well as growing concerns that powerful mobile devices are giving drivers even more reasons to look away from the road.In Paul's view, this is a little bit too much government busybodying. He was asked about the issue at a campaign appearance in New Hampshire.
As part of its recommendation, the National Transportation Safety Board is urging states to ban drivers from using hands-free devices, including wireless headsets. No state now outlaws such activity, but the board said that drivers faced serious risks from talking on wireless headsets, just as they do by taking a hand off the wheel to hold a phone to their ear.
And Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the N.T.S.B., an independent federal agency responsible for promoting traffic safety and investigating accidents, said the concern was heightened by increasingly powerful phones that people can use to e-mail, watch movies and play games.
“Every year, new devices are being released,” she said. “People are tempted to update their Facebook page, they are tempted to tweet, as if sitting at a desk. But they are driving a car.”
The Texas congressman, a self-proclaimed "constitutional conservative," staunchly promotes libertarian views. Among them: a dramatic scaling back of the role of federal government in the lives of Americans. True to that form, Paul said the NTSB proposal was another example of government overreach.Like I should be if, for instance, I happened to be using my BlackBerry to post this item and ran into somebody's campaign bus. Hahaha. Ahem. But really, I only use the device when I'm in the car if I need to engage in some lively comment commentary with WCV or to tap-tap-tap filthy BBMs to JDA.
"The federal government shouldn't be involved," Paul told the crowd.
The congressman acknowledged that talking and texting while driving is potentially dangerous. And he added that eating or "disciplining kids" could also cause driver distractions. Yet Paul asked: who should be responsible for preventing it?
"For the federal government – that means they have to enforce these laws. Does that mean we're going to have more federal policemen checking up on who is going to answer the phone?" Paul asked.
And as he frequently does, the congressman repeated an unyielding line used by those who support Libertarianism: in a push for more individual liberty, Americans should be responsible for themselves – even if it means endangering themselves.
"It's taking away the responsibility from you as the individual, that if you mess up and you do something wrong in a car you should be held responsible," Paul said.
I'd hate to disappoint either of them, so nobody tell the NTSB.