Does Rand Paul Deserve the Benefit of the Doubt?Submitted by Marc Clair on Mon, 04/29/2013 - 12:13
Let’s be clear. Rand Paul is almost certainly the best sitting United States Senator (well, perhaps second best, as the Senator from Washington D.C. doesn’t get a vote, and can therefore do the least harm). This of course isn’t saying much when talking about the psychopathic, ignorant control freaks that largely populate the U.S. Senate. In contrast, Rand seems to be more reasonable and often falls on the right side of many issues. We here at Lions of Liberty have not hesitated to highlight when he is right on an issue, such as his support for the legalization of industrial hemp or his attempt to ban F-16 and M1 tank sales to Egypt.
On the flip side, we do not hesitate to criticize him when he’s wrong. We’ve taken him to task on his TSA “privatization” bill and his stance on government default, among other issues. I find that we often get flak from other libertarians when we criticize Rand Paul. This flak is typically not about the substance of the issue or our specific criticisms, but more often about the fact that we criticize him at all! We’ll often hear things like “Well hey, he’s mostly libertarian and he’s the best we’ve got!” One of our fans on Facebook even recently commented that Rand Paul was just “tiptoeing the establishment line” because it “is the only way to trick these idiots into voting for him” (emphasis mine).
It’s a wonderful fantasy, isn’t it? Rand Paul spends years mixing libertarian and establishment rhetoric, just enough to “trick” mainstream voters into supporting him. He then becomes President of the United States, rips off his Neocon Suit to reveal his “Ron Paul R3volution” shirt, ends the War on Drugs, brings the troops home, shuts down the Federal Reserve and ushers in a new age of freedom and prosperity!
Unfortunately, this scenario is just that…a fantasy.
We will never achieve a more free society just by getting certain politicians to say the right things and get elected and then enact their policies. The people must change the way they view government; they must change the way they view the use of collective violence to achieve their goals, rather than through free markets and reasoned persuasion. This can only occur by communicating the ideals of liberty to the masses, and by doing so in a principled and consistent manner. Rand Paul does not always do this, and it is important for the purposes of education to point out when he does not even if his motives are sound and pure.