Let’s ignore the substance of whether or not Ron Paul is a serious thinker. A short glance at any politician will make clear that being a serious thinker is not a prerequisite for holding public office. The cheap-shot of an article doesn’t even pretend to justify this standard or offer an alternative, libertarian candidate with a chance of winning more than 1% of the presidential vote.
Let’s ask the more interesting question of why a supposedly libertarian magazine would run a hit piece on the only (potential) presidential candidate that is actually libertarian. And a piss-poor hit-piece at that!
The only logical conclusion is that Reason does not want a Ron Paul presidency. The likely alternative candidates this year are Obama, Romney or Palin. If Reason doesn’t want a Ron Paul presidency, presumably it would prefer a presidency under one of these serious thinkers.
Reason takes marginally libertarian positions which still depend on statism. For example, privatizing social security or using school vouchers are Reason-esque libertarian positions. Note that both positions still depend on a big government that takes your money. Ron Paul supports a more radical libertarianism – the government wouldn’t take your money in the first place. Frankly, the guys at Reason have been working hard to be taken seriously by the DC establishment so that they can have some small percentage of federal taxes diverted in slightly more libertarian ways. This Paul guy is screwing it up for them, because Paul seems crazy to the establishment. If Paul keeps it up, the guys at Reason might not get invited to all the cool parties and panels, etc. Paul, therefore threatens Reasons’ position as court libertarian, which Reason cannot stand – hence the hit-piece.
Got a better reason why they would run such a crappy hit-piece?