Ron Paul was and is an impractical Libertarian.
We need some practical libertarianism in the GOP, however. It was an original core component of the GOP and Ronald Reagan said so. Reagan interview from 1975 follows. GOP leaders and followers would do well getting back to basics and philosophy, instead of calling each other names.http://reason.com/archives/1975/07/01/inside-ronald-reagan
"REASON: Governor Reagan, you have been quoted in the press as saying that you’re doing a lot of speaking now on behalf of the philosophy of conservatism and libertarianism. Is there a difference between the two?
REAGAN: If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.
Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to insure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are travelling the same path.
REASON: Governor, could you give us some examples of what you would consider to be proper functions of government?
REAGAN: Well, the first and most important thing is that government exists to protect us from each other. Government exists, of course, for the defense of the nation, and for the defense of the rights of the individual. Maybe we don’t all agree on some of the other accepted functions of government, such as fire departments and police departments–again the protection of the people.
REASON: Are you suggesting that fire departments would be a necessary and proper function of government?
REAGAN: Yes. I know that there was a time back in history in which fire departments were private and you insured your house and then had an emblem on the front of your house which identified which company was responsible for protecting it against fire. I believe today, because of the manner in which we live, that, you can make a pretty good case for our public fire departments–because there are very few ways that you can handle fire in one particular structure today without it representing a threat to others.
REASON: How would you distinguish "socialized" fire departments and "socialized" fire insurance companies? Or would you be in favor of socialized fire insurance also?REAGAN: No. Nor am I in favor of socialized medicine.
But, there’s bound to be a grey area, an area in there in which you ask is this government protecting us from ourselves or is this government protecting us from each other."