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Rand Paul Reminds Us He's Not a Libertarian

In a Washington Post article titled “Sen. Rand Paul aggressively courting evangelicals to win over GOP establishment”, we are reminded once again that the Senator from Kentucky is not a libertarian. In fact, he says so himself. From the article:

For the past few months, though, Paul has aggressively courted evangelicals, not only with the CBN special but also with a trip to Israel, numerous events with pastors and a handful of appearances in Iowa this weekend.

Paul’s play for evangelical support is part of a broader effort by the rookie senator to court the Republican establishment — much of which views him with suspicion — and become a mainstream political player in a way his father never was. The younger Paul, for instance, does not call himself a libertarian, but rather a “libertarian Republican.”

A-ha! Not a “libertarian”, just a “libertarian Republican”! I’ve heard this phrased used quite a bit, and I’m curious as to what exactly it means. It seems on the surface that it is meant to mean different things to different audiences. To libertarians, it is meant to assure them that Paul is indeed libertarian, while to the establishment and evangelicals he is attempting to pander to it is meant to assuage them that the he is merely “libertarian-leaning” and still a good Republican at heart.

As we’ve pointed out before, as Rand Paul gears up to run for president in 2016, he attempts to mix libertarian and establishment rhetoric, which tends to confuse the issues and upset many of those he is attempting to please.

The article goes on to describe Rand’s attempts to “clarify” his position on drug legalization (emphasis mine):

In an interview a day before his Iowa trip, Paul, 50, also tried to make clear just what kind of politician he is. “To some, ‘libertarian’ scares people,” he said. “Some of them come up to me and they say, ‘I kind of like you, but I don’t like legalizing heroin.’ And I say, ‘Well, that’s not my position.’ ”

Paul said he believes in freedom and wants a “virtuous society” where people practice “self-restraint.” Yet he believes in laws and limits as well. Instead of advocating for legalized drugs, for example, he pushes for reduced penalties for many drug offenses.

“I’m not advocating everyone go out and run around with no clothes on and smoke pot,” he said. “I’m not a libertarian. I’m a libertarian Republican. I’m a constitutional conservative.”

Here Paul not only seems to support the concept of the war on drugs, but even goes out of his way to smear not only libertarians but those who use marijuana for medicinal purposes as well. Paul plays into the notion often espoused by those in favor of the War on Drugs that anyone who advocates that people be free to put what they choose into their bodies are clearly in favor of the drug use itself, along with any other activity that may or may not be associated with it.

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Debbie's picture

Rand is our best hope.

He wants the job and he would give us a fighting chance to restore the Republic!!



well intended americans don't realise the ship has sailed.
when diversity accounts for 35% (and growing) of the population and out of the 65% remaining 10% are homosexuals and at least 15% are brainwashed feminazis you don't really stand a chance anymore.

the time when voting could solve something is gone. the US has been successfully subverted and the violent repression is coming.
now go and prepare.


We seem to be operating under the mistaken belief that Rand...

...is his father.

Sadly, there is only one Ron Paul and he's out now.

I doubt Rand would have ever energized me to become politically active like his dad did and it's even unfair to expect so much out of him.

As John Lennon said, "the dream is over."

We failed. But we had an adventure trying to get Ron elected.

I'm slowly returning to political apathy - especially knowing all so much more than I did before discovering Dr. Paul. And understanding how corrupt and rotten both major political parties are.

I have no time for either of them.

The empire of lies we live in is too far gone to accept any truth.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

Apathy is the best weapon--atleast its my weapon of choice

Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces

Etienne de la Boetie

La Boétie concludes his exhortation by assuring the masses that to overthrow the tyrant they need not act, nor shed their blood. They can do so "merely by willing to be free."

Murray N. Rothbard

But I am sure this nothing new to you. This physiology people have for politics does fascinate me. Its a really bad show and the get it good and hard. But they come back for more. I think psychiatrists say you never really want a thing, you want the wanting of the thing.

I guess that puts it into perspective. True libertarians don't want anything politically really. No power/authority, no goodies or hand outs, and certainly no lying politicians. But on the other hand there seems to be a lot of people that actually like politicians and big government just fine, they just want a certain brand...little do they know they just want the wanting!

Gary Johnson Slams War on Drugs

keep fighting for the ideas...they will spread...

Oh boo hoo

There are millions of 20 somethings that are just entering the work force. It is pretty hard to get Ron Paul elected when many/most of his supporters were college kids with little influence or political power. That is a temporary problem.

Hey see ya later though. You were a big help. /s

I don't think there are as many youth entering the work force as

You want to believe.


Maybe Welfare?

It ain't gonna get any better anytime soon for the youth employment either...Its near 50% in Italy, Spain, and Greece that's where we are headed too. The problem isn't so temporary.

I'm still going to vote for him

honestly, other issues are much more important to me than having the right to smoke cocaine. And, as other commenters have noted, he's trying to win.
Don't get me wrong, I support ending the drug war. It's a failure and only causes more harm and violence.
It's hard to find a candidate who's *100% good*, but with principled conservatives like Rand Paul we can make progress!
I mean really, wouldn't you rather have this guy as president than our current one? I'll take him any day.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Anonymous

Can't you

see? Rand Paul is not the person to convert America into libertarians. He doesn't have to. His dad has already done (and continues to do) a fantastic job spreading the message.

Promoting the position and arguments AND GOVERNING LAWS for liberty is the PEOPLE's job, not Rand Paul's.

Stop expecting an easy and quick fix, a one stop shop for liberty which is electing a single person to the Oval Office. The PEOPLE (as in US) have work to do. Rand Paul is playing his role as well and effective as he can. He is no enemy to liberty, of that I'm convinced.

Rand is trying to actually

Rand is trying to actually win. Don't you get it? Look who he is talking to.

Would he have been elected as a Senator if he ran on the Libertarian ticket? Would you prefer if he were not a Senator as well?

Win?? What is he gonna win?

A seat at King Arthur's Round Table?
A life time of body guard protection?
The most powerful executive position in the history of the world?
Or the throne of an empire, the largest empire in the history of the world, arguably the most evil empire?
--Would that mean he won the right to be an evil emperor?

Do you believe in fairy tales? Is Rand gonna Take the seat of power at the head of the worst corporate state and change it even ever so moderately for justice or the little people? Will he live to tell his grand kids about it?

The bigger problem is

how people get upset over an article that barely contains any direct quotes from Rand.

We were always skeptical of msm reporting on Ron's views and yet we just take all reports of Rand as fact, which is odd...

Here's the original article and judge for yourself. Read Rand's direct quotes and see if you can obtain any information on Rand's views on drugs other than he doesn't support legalizing heroin.


Except for the part

Where my criticism was over his direct quote...

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

I agreed with you earlier

where you criticized Rand for not wanting to legalize heroin because that's what he said.

Your problem is exaggerating Rand's quotes and implying that Rand supports the war on drugs and smears medical marijuana users.

How do you infer that Rand is smearing medical marijuana users?


This is not a smear? I think it is, playing into stereotypes about marijuana users often referenced to support the drug war:

“I’m not advocating everyone go out and run around with no clothes on and smoke pot,” he said. “I’m not a libertarian. I’m a libertarian Republican. I’m a constitutional conservative.”

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

No, not a smear

You have it backwards.

I would be more offended if he said it the other way around(said "smoke pot" 1st).

You're trying to interpret it this way:
"I'm not advocating everyone to smoke pot and go out and run around with no clothes on."
Implicating the plant as the 'active ingredient' to make people run wild. That would be detrimental to decriminalization, IF he said that but he didn't.

You do have to understand he has to get the media to like his positions, in order to get more constituents to hear him, a 'slow libertarian'(as Foodforfreedom said).

Again you are not putting it

Again you are not putting it in to context. LOOK WHO HE IS TALKING TO. You basically want a politician who is not a politician. You want Ron Paul. Fine. He didn't win, he will never win. He wasn't trying to win. If you can't see that you are blind. If you want someone to act like Ron Paul and run for President, why don't you go out and do it?

Rand wants to win. And every thing he says and does is aimed at that end. It is the definition of politics.

Let me ask you this, which scenario is more likely to happen:
a) The DEA is suddenly abolished and all drugs are made legal by a single politician's say-so.
b) Mandatory sentencing is reformed, some states legalize MJ and hemp and they flourish, the rest of the country takes notice, attitudes change, most prohibition of substances ends.

You seem to be in the camp of "A" while the rest of us in the real world are going with "B".

By the way, have you written any articles on Rand's legislation of reforming mandatory drug sentences or legalizing hemp?

B camp

Not A nor do I know why you'd presume that.


*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

We see things differently on this

I just hope articles like yours are written after Rand gives a lengthy interview or a speech where Rand actually espouses his views.

When people criticize Rand after talking about defending Israel, I can respect that because Rand has said it over and over and there's context to what he said.

Here, I just don't see the context and would have hoped that people wanted to see the full remarks before jumping to conclusions.

Again, I agreed with you criticizing him for saying his position isn't to legalize heroin but I can't agree with you where you think he supports the war on drugs. Rand's made plenty of remarks where he says he doesn't want to throw people in jail for smoking pot and says states should be allowed to legalize pot.

Did you do any research into Rand's views?

From your article:

"Here Paul not only seems to support the concept of the war on drugs, but even goes out of his way to smear not only libertarians but those who use marijuana for medicinal purposes as well."

Here's Rand talking about medical marijuana from December:


I'm surprised there's so much ruckus over the Washington Post article that contains THREE sentences of actual quotes from Rand.

If you want to understand his position, would you rather base it off his actual words or some reporter's write up of what he heard and thinks Rand meant?

I am basing it on Rand's words

and yes, I've noted his position in the past, that is EXACTLY the problem, the lack of consisting, the confusion, the pandering to different groups.

I criticize his direct quote of framing marijuana users as crazy people running around naked, totally demeaning libertarians and marijuana users on the way.

I have seen enough of Rand's words to know that his political speeches are confusing, disjointed, and inconsistent.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Have you thought that maybe

Rand was consistent but you just couldn't get that from an article without a full transcript or video of the questions asked and Rand's remarks?

I don't know if Rand has been consistent because there's not enough information in the article. I don't understand how anyone can come to a conclusion based on a reporter's account of what happened. I've learned to not trust reporters during Ron's campaign.

I thought people who considered themselves libertarian saw

others as "individuals" and not grouped into a collective category. Why the labels and the measuring sticks?

still caught in the us vs them are ya?


I love

All of these comments that don't actually read the article.

Still caught in judging a book by its cover, are we?

It's quite clear that I am criticizing Rand's specific position, and not his label. But all terms have meaning, and it is important for those that see themselves as libertarian to hold principled libertarian positions.

Rand doesn't, so that's fine, but someone somewhere has to point out when people so many libertarians look up to take decidedly NON-libertaran positions.

There is a great danger in a cult of personality and fear of criticizing one's own "leaders" (as if libertarians needs leaders)

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Wow, you mean a guy that was

Wow, you mean a guy that was never a member of the Libertarian party, has always run as a Republican isn't a Libertarian. AMAZING! Who would have thought.

You are stuck in party talk

I am talking "libertarian" the philosophy that theoretically brought all of us together here.

I don't care about Libertarian, Republican, or what have you, I care about principle.

It seems to be harder and harder to find other people here who do.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

winning position

I like Paul's stance. Libertarians should be the staunchest fighters for personal virtue because without that, liberty cannot thrive.

Rand Paul calls for allowing

Rand Paul calls for allowing states to make their own drug laws. He doesn't want federal "LEGALIZATION"\

The liberty position is to not fight for LEGALIZATION on the federal level because that implies a law being passed to make it legal, which the constitution does not grant congress to do. He wants to decriminalize and ultimately eliminate all laws regarding drugs.

Think of this issue as foreign aid. Rand wants all foreign aid to be gone. Israel is like Meth. If Rand advocates making meth not illegal federally and campaigns on it, it would be more politically suicidal than stumping on cutting aid to Israel. However, Egypt is like marijuana. There is more pressure to end foreign aid to egypt. There is more pressure to eliminate marijuana laws.

When evaluating positions, we need to find guys who want to move the government in our direction (that is less government). If the shift is minute v. Drastic.... who cares as long as the government gets smaller. If the political will is only their for Marijuana, we should fight for marijuana and get it done. Who cares if we go one drug at a time. Real change takes a long time.

Rand Paul is taking the pragmatic position. He knows advocating for eliminating all drug laws will make him lose so he advocates small changes and keeps pushing to slowly eliminate drug laws. He's a slow libertarian. He wants to slowly move the government our way. He is on our side.


Couldn't have said it better. You should make that it's own post.

Andrew Napolitano for President 2016!

"Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping Graven images." - ironman77

I just wanted to point out

I just wanted to point out that no laws have to passed to legalize drugs. A few have to be repealed/unenforced.

"I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."