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In the last few days, Ron Paul has made a couple of appearances on Sean Hannity's shows, first his radio show and then his TV show. On both occasions he brought up a statement where Ron Paul was asked a leading question about the popularization of Paul's beliefs making statists like Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin obsolete. Paul was quoted in response to that question saying that they aren't really limited-government people, but instead make a living fooling people into believing so. Hannity, naturally, took exception to this while Paul politely redirected the question to comment on his colleagues who label themselves "conservative".
Sean further went on and on about how he deplored the rise in government run medicine, the rise in George W. Bush's deficits in his latter years and misappropriated money as evidence of his very un-statist-like nature.
However, Ron Paul did tell Hannity at the end of a radio interview last fall, "That proves you’re not owned by the establishment part of the Republican Party." (link) Sounds rather complimentary to me. I'm not quite so lenient.
The reality is that Sean Hannity is indeed a statist. He believes in using centralized force to achieve purely political goals. He makes no bones about being very interventionist in his foreign policy in countries that pose no imminent danger to our country. Hannity backed W's venture into Iraq. In fact, he went as far as to say, "You know, we have every right to go in there and frankly take all their oil and make them pay for the liberation." (YouTube Link) Does that sound like limited-government?
Never mind his thinking process is outrageous to invade a country, kill hundreds of thousands of their citizens, and then demand payment for it. That's not too far removed from breaking into an abused kid's home, killing the parents and saying, "Now pay me for freeing you of your tormentors," shortly after camping on his couch while he screams for you to leave.
"Well, that's military," you might say, "he has a point on killing those who may someday, somehow, without any resources, want to kill us." Okay, then surely he's limited-government in his social views.
Well, Hannity does not seem to favor the legalization of gay marriage, which is just another way of saying that the government has an obligation to prevent two consenting adults from taking advantage of the same legal rights that others have solely because of the group society places them in (I come from the view that they're individuals, not two people in a group). Mr "Conservative" also favors the use of force on individuals who choose to use particular drugs, namely those the state forbids. (YouTube link)
That's essentially what statism is. According to Google, it's a "political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs". You see, Hannity is a conservative, limited-government fanatic so long as those limits favor his personal ideologies such as drug use and marriage. He favors government profiling in airports, which is another way of saying the government should be allowed to collect information on each of us and then say which US citizens can and cannot travel. If that's not what he means then the program he suggests makes absolutely no sense. Of course, he flip-flops on whether he supports wiretapping on citizens, the Patriot Act and such other things that limited-government advocates need not think twice about.
Apparently, Sean also favors government forcing a health care savings account. (YouTube link) To be fair, I'm not entirely sure if he's recommending that Americans *should* have one, or if he wants the government to replace the current medicaid/care programs with savings accounts. The former is simply advice, the latter is more statism, and frankly, he's already over his limit. Not that statists care about such things.