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USA Today: "Rand Paul, libertarian? Not really..." by Rand Paul

It's often repeated in stories about me or my race for U.S. Senate that I am a "libertarian." In my mind, the word "libertarian" has become an emotionally charged, and often misunderstood, word in our current political climate. But, I would argue very strongly that the vast coalition of Americans — including independents, moderates, Republicans, conservatives and "Tea Party" activists — share many libertarian points of view, as do I.

I choose to use a different phrase to describe my beliefs — I consider myself a constitutional conservative, which I take to mean a conservative who actually believes in smaller government and more individual freedom. The libertarian principles of limited government, self-reliance and respect for the Constitution are embedded within my constitutional conservatism, and in the views of countless Americans from across the political spectrum.

Our Founding Fathers were clearly libertarians, and constructed a Republic with strict limits on government power designed to protect the rights and freedom of the citizens above all else. Our deep respect for these principles of liberty and the laws that protected them are what allowed America to become the greatest, most prosperous nation in human history.

Other principles shared by libertarians and traditional conservatives will be familiar to most, because they are the story of our greatness....


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Apparently the hard copy title is: "Rand Paul, Libertarian? In a


Integrity means having to say things that people don't want to hear & especially to say things that the regime doesnt want to hear -RonPaul

Once a term is hijacked it is impossible to "re-hijack" it

Libertarian means "whack-a-doodle" and "atheist" (to the 97% of the nation that did not vote for Ron Paul)

Conservative means "Bush" or "Reagan" or "Bush Sr" or "Nixon" and religion

Democrat means "Fat Cat" and "for welfare"

This is why there is political apathy.

A movement must begin with "benefit" (as in more money and more time).

If you can give people more money and more time (solve their problems by directing their participation) then they will join you.

If you offer them "oaths" (which have never been kept) and "constitution" (that has never worked or been adhered too) and "voting / lobbying" (sacrifice and abdication) then can you really blame them for not sticking around long enough for you to "re-hijack" lost terms.

Start the "Ethics and Pocket" movement
---This will eliminate the big three lobbying parties and thus political apathy (if you can deliver)

He's just

putting a term out there that is easier for the masses to swallow than libertarian which is probably a good idea since most people either don't know what it means or think "cheap hippie with a gun".

"Endless money forms the sinews of war." - Cicero, www.freedomshift.blogspot.com

Libertarianism is an ideology

Libertarianism is an ideology not specifically based on adherence to the US Constitution at the time of the founding. The Founders did espouse many of the same principles, but little of the formalism of what is now considered "Libertarianism."

Rand, and even, if to a lesser extent, Ron, adhere more to a philosophy or returning to the Founders' conception of government, than to contemporary philosophical Libertarianism, which is really difficult, if even possible, to disentangle in workable form from anarchism.

The Founders may well have been at the cutting edge of Libertarianism at their time, but the philosophy has evolved greatly since then. Just look at Rand's specific mention of the Federal Government as a rightful monopolist on currency issue. Not particularly Libertarian, or even Ron like, by contemporary standards.

So, I think Constitutional Conservative (to disambiguate from those who seem to believe conservatism should be about restoring America to it's historical roots, where historical is understood to mean pre Obama), is a better description of his philosophy than Libertarian.

Currency and Money

"Just look at Rand's specific mention of the Federal Government as a rightful monopolist on currency issue. Not particularly Libertarian, or even Ron like, by contemporary standards."

I think there's a distinction to be made between the Constitutional terms for money and currency. Let me explain. The constitution states the following:

The Congress shall have Power...

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

and Also

No State shall... ...coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts...

How can a state be prohibited from coining money but in the same paragraph also be allowed to make gold a silver coins? What is meant is that only congress would have the power to coin money and "regulate the value thereof". Meaning only congress has the power to create legal tender. The states would be able to coin a 'currency' but never assign a value to it, the marketplace would establish those values. I think that was the distinction Rand P. was trying to make.

On a personal note, I would favor removing the phrase "regulate the value thereof" from the Constitution.

Glenn Beck calls himself a "libertarian".

Mystery solved.


He's more of a LiBECKtarian. Article discussing this with laser-precision is below:


In Liberty!

Anyone can call themselves "libertarian" or "constitutionalist".

Of course, it doesn't mean they are.

When the average misinformed person hears the word "Libertarian" they often think "Glenn Beck" or "Ayn Rand Institute".

Its the same story with the "Tea Party" movement. How many people associate the term with Sarah Palin neo-cons rather than Ron Paul?

And you have to be mindful

And you have to be mindful that 99% of the people out there are misinformed and gullible, and they will vote either republicans or democrats when they come to their voting booths. Being "independent" is absurd if your "independence" leads to only those two choices.
If people associate Ayn Rand with Glenn Beck, then the state education has really done its job well, and if they are both considered "libertarians", then we probably should get 0.00% of the vote in all elections to come as long as our name is dragged in the same mud with Beck's.
Debating libertarianism is not going to be accomplished in internet posts or sound bites (sadly, what our political debate has been reduced to). Libertarianism is an ideal...much like a society without a murder. We know it's not possible because of human nature, but we all strive for it. And as I witness many hacks being portrait as libertarians, and as I witness candidates from both left and right in love with libertarians until they grab their power, I can't help but feel ashamed, because the libertarians aren't the one "conservative" on the economics, and not the ones "liberal" on social issues and we keep failing in sending that message. The truth is that conservatives are more libertarians on the economic, and liberals are more libertarian on social issues. We are not here to divide. We are here as the common denominator and the only correct moral ideology on the nature of government. Having said that, I feel sorry for producing all the garbage of the candidates on both left and right that now portray themselves as champions of liberty, and even more sorry for the people that consider them the only choice they have, but in the end, we always get the candidates and the government we deserve.
To take it from M.N.Rothbard, perhaps it's the best if we always and forever remain the enemies of the state. That is the only intent us, libertarians must conserve. That doesn't make us conservatives, not for one bit.

In Liberty!

Read the comments after the article and weep

So much mischaracterization of libertarian/conservative ideas...so little time and energy to write responses to them all.

Sometimes it feels like I'm playing an endless game of "Whack A Mole."

Outstanding article.

Outstanding article.

and all the media

cares about is a "Noze" secret society and college pranks. Give me a break. Great article that all Americans and especially Republicans should read.

E Pluribus Unum

He Is Correct

A natural libertarian personality likes decentralized authority, freedom, etc. for individuals, in parenting, social life, business management, religion, and politics.

To join the Libertarian Party, one does not need to be libertarian by nature, one just needs to pledge not to use force for political or social change.

Thus, you can be a conservative like Rand and his father, or a liberal like many others, and still be a libertarian in politics.

In fact, if you prefer an authoritarian God, or want the authority over your child's education, or won't tolerate being told what to inhale, inject, inbibe, or ingest, or whom to marry, then you might want to look for libertarian (or Libertarian) candidates, even if you aren't one in your non-political life.

Being a libertarian, politically, whether from a conservative Constitutional desire for a rule of law, or from a liberal desire for fewer rules, doesn't matter. Freedom brings us together.

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/


Libertarianism is not a way of life, it's simply a political philosophy. It deals with what is the proper role for government.

As Rothbard said: "What a person does with his or her life is vital and important, but is simply irrelevant to libertarianism."

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

I am an aristocrat. I love liberty; I hate equality. - John Randolph of Roanoke


in order to join the LP you need to sign a pledge not to INITIATE force for political or social change. That pledge permits one to employ force defensively in reaction to force by others.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

Ron Paul 2012

Well written Rand, Senator Rand I mean.

Thank God Rand is NOT a Libertarian

If he were, he would be polling at 2-5% and not have a chance of winning.

Follow me on Twitter for breaking news from a libertarian perspective


Michael Nystrom's picture



He's the man.
Debbie's picture

Beautiful article!!

Beautiful article!!


Needs a few new comments

over there.

Wow...Big bump!

Wow...Big bump!

WONDERFUL article!

WONDERFUL article!

I like it too.

I also love the way the campaign takes advantage of a news cycle when the media is trying to pillary him, and thereby makes anything he wants to write something people want to print.

That article will circulate when the rest of the nonesense is a trivia question.

Integrity means having to say things that people don't want to hear & especially to say things that the regime doesnt want to hear -RonPaul

Big Rand Paul Bump!

Spreading this Far and Wide!

Exercise Your Rights. If You Don't Use Them, You Will Lose Them.
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