USA Today: "Rand Paul, libertarian? Not really..." by Rand PaulSubmitted by sailingaway on Mon, 08/09/2010 - 23:25
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....