-9 votes

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.

Continue Reading

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Remind me how many Libertarians

are in high office? Many of you forget that Ron Paul wasn't afraid to use religious language in his campaign material either and in his own speeches. As far as the Reason article goes, they weren't exactly friends of Ron Paul either. Many of us still haven't learned who a likely voter is in a Republican primary.

Check out http://iroots.org/
"If you’re into political activism, at least for Ron Paul if not for anyone else, I strongly recommend spending some time with iroots.org." - Tom Woods


but it makes no sense. I am a Christian & I live near a retreat. Every one there agrees that people have the freedom to make their own choices. Including drugs. So this whole route is foolish. A very bad move.

I'm not considered about "L"ibertarians

My concern is with the philosophy of liberty, not big L libertarians or Big R Republicans.

Ron Paul used religious language that was consistent with his libertarian principles; Rand is using establishment language that is inconsistent with libertarian principles to appeal to evangelicals.

There is a huge difference.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Not long ago Ron Paul

Not long ago Ron Paul stated his son Rand & he were 99% in agreement on issues. So what exactly is it that you know about Rand that his father doesn't?

Rand is getting along to stay relevant. Not doing so would bring on the media blackouts his father knows so well.

I know nothing

I only know that Rand Paul STATES HIMSELF. That is the only thing I criticize. I don' t waste time pondering what he might *really* mean, or what he secretly believes behind the scenes. That is the stuff for political analysts and mind readers.

I am interested in the ideas of liberty, and it's important to point out, especially when libertarianism is becoming more well known, when prominent "liberty" leaders taken *anti-liberty* positions.

For Rand to be against legalizing drugs, while may be a more politically palatable position, it is not in any way a *liberty* position.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

another article...


The slogan press on has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.

- Calvin Coolidge

deacon's picture

so now we are going to argue

over what another uses for a title to describe themselves?
would it be better if he didn't pick a title?
or is because he said republican after libertarian?
reads like a distraction at best

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence


this is not about the "title" as much as it is the ideas being expressed. To many, a "libertarian" is one who believes in the non- aggression principle. To us, it's not about a title, it's simply a definition.

If you read the full article my main criticism is on Rand's putzing around on the drug issue, using a typical "potheads running around naked" snarky to smear libertarians and peaceful pot users, and to distance himself from the true liberty position, that any man or woman should be free to put any substance into his or her own body without the threat of State violence hanging over them, ready to lock them away like animals.

Rand is better than many on this, but less wrong is still wrong.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*


Rand is not a libertarian at all. You cannot be an advocate for the drug war in any capacity and favor liberty. Does he believe that the State owns each individual's body? He's slimply pandering for votes and distorting the libertarian message.

when did rand advocate for the drug war?

my thoughts were he was against federal laws on drugs, that it was a state's rights issue and is against incarceration for non-violent drug uses.


advocated for the drug war by stating that he is in favor of a penalty of any kind for the victimless crime of using drugs. He should be against a State government or the Federal government putting people in jail for crimes without victims. I understand as a Senator he has no control over how indivdidual states handle their business, but if he believed in liberty he would at least make statments that favor defending invididuals from invasive government force.


Why does it make a difference if the "war" is conducted at a Federal or State level? In the article quoted he details that he is *not* for the legalization of heroin, he makes no distinction between the federal and state level. If he is not for the legalization, then he is for illegalization...meaning he is for punishing people for putting something into their body.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

ah nevermind

i just realized you are only out to get hits to your website.


I'd love to get as many "hits" as possible, that means more people are reading our ideas, and more people being delivered a solid message of liberty. You say this as if it's some terrible thing to want people to read our work. Of course we do - that's why we write.

Are you implying I somehow only am criticizing Rand to "get hits", and not because I actually believe my own criticism? That I just go around making shit up to suck poor Daily Paulers into "clicking" on my site? As if a "click" gets me some specific gain?

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*


telling the media and the establishment he's not a libertarian. Big difference.

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


That a risk you are willing to take? What if he is not. What if he is lying to us? It seems to me that he is trying to convince every one else except Ron Paul Supporters. I find this odd. I am still watching Rand, but I am not happy with this one at all.

So you're saying he really is a libertarian,

and he's lying? Haven't we already had enough of Liars in Chief?


you agree that he's not a libertarian? And this is good for advancing liberty? How is having the most recognizable politician associated with liberatarian ideals denounce advocating liberty a good thing? How is this good for liberty?
Sure Rand might win the Presidency, but if he's comprised all of his libertarian priciples, what is the point?
Ron Paul inspired millions to stand up to the establishment because he stood against the initiation of force by the State consistently in all aspects. I noticed Ron Paul when he bravely stood up to Rudy Guilliani during a Presidential debate in 2007 by pointing out that the US Government's meddling in the Midddle East motivated those responsible for 9/11. He was not deterred by an uneducated audience that showered him with boos. Would Rand say the same thing? Or would Rand stand with Guilliani.
"Truth is treason in the empire of lies"
-Ron Paul


Rand's a politician. Politicians are not going to make us free.