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Rand Paul Is Hurting Libertarianism More Than Helping It

I was reading and participating in a recent discussion on “libertarian qualifiers” wherein "Lions of Liberty" Editor Marc Clair had encountered a man who described himself as a “Libertarian-Democrat,” stating that he hated the drug laws. Then, immediately afterwards, he distanced himself from the “libertarian” part by backtracking and saying mainly he was a Democrat.

This led me to notice a trend that I have seen time and time again – namely that the phrase “libertarian” is widely looked down upon in broader politics, and anyone with libertarian leanings who happens to run with the two party crowd makes an extreme effort to seclude themselves from being identified with libertarian thought, even while admitting their fondness for it.

Why is this? The primary reason (in my opinion) is because talking heads in the ill-informed and two-party-biased media like to label people and concepts as “libertarian” when they are not, and typically when they do use the term libertarian, it is always in conjunction with a negative act.

For instance, the Tea Party was often positioned as libertarian during it’s brutally unfair coverage in the mainstream media, wherein they were decried as racists, sexists, and everything else, despite this not factually being the case. Naturally, they also were not libertarian for the most part, but in the main were a fiscally conservative party that happened to have certain principles that were lifted from libertarian thought. But if you ask the man on the street, 7 of 10 times you will hear that the Tea Party is libertarian, and he will say it with a negative connotation. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of what libertarianism is, its impact on society and who or what is actually libertarian.

Rand Paul is also not a libertarian. He himself has admitted this (though it’s been blatantly obvious to those of us keeping track of his words and actions). However, most of the population has been told he is a libertarian, due to the media tagging him as such, his relation to Ron Paul and his once-in-a-while libertarian politics. For example, his filibustering on drone attacks against U.S. citizens was libertarian. What he said and did after that? Not so much.

Rand took a stand against us arming the Taliban in Syria – libertarian. And against selling arms to Egypt – libertarian. Of course, Rand also says that we have to support Israel at all costs and that an attack on Israel is an attack on the U.S. – that’s NEOCON. Not to mention his support of sanctions on Iran. Continue Reading



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tasmlab's picture

If Rand gets the presidency

If Rand gets the presidency and the debt still overcomes us and the war persists and the economy continues to puke etc., as would likely be the case because it is just one office he's occupying...

I could see 'libertarianism' being set back 100 years or more.

It's probably still idea and education time, not time to hitch our cart to a few messianic individuals.

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

Well if that happens, so will this:

"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul

tasmlab's picture

Wonderful

Did this ever get posted as a main thread? It's pretty good.

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

Jeez

Here we go again...blah blah blah

Just putting it out there

but Rand doesn't identify as a libertarian, does he? I think I heard him call himself a 'libertarian Republican' once, but I might be getting him confused with the other million people who say that.

Point is, 'libertarian', like liberal and conservative or any other political label, can be stretched to fit popular opinion. Political labels are for convenience, nothing more...and anyone who disagrees is clearly a this/that/whatveerist and not a *true* mypersonalidealsist!

Either way, most of the self-described libertarian acquaintances I know stay far, FAR away from politics beyond reading about it, and I think that hurts them more *politically* than Rand ever could. (not that I'm saying to go out and join a political party, again just throwing a 'Devil's Advocate' POV out there)

A signature used to be here!

.

I can't vote for him since he voted for sanctions on Iran. But knock yourselves out I won't disparage him. Good luck to you all.

I am in the voting doesn't matter bloc.

Reply to reply

Me too. Too bad he isn't what I hoped he would be,

Naton

I see it as the bigger

tent. People we cannot take over with out the brain washed joining in. There has to be some compromise to allow control. This is how the opposition has kept control. They talk the good points in the elections. Then turn back to their original agendas. Your NOT going to win with a pure libertarian. The masses are not on board. We need to as they have done. Run for the whole vote and then rule with our agenda. Yes as another commented on here you need to get on board and stop the squabbling.

It's time! Rand Paul 2016!

"Truth, Justice, and the American Way!"

egapele's picture

Time for Libertarians to either get on board

or jump ship.

It's one or the other.

Find another suitable candidate to represent your ideals and stop picking Rand apart for not being Libertarian enough.

Rand's duplicity, i.e.

Rand's duplicity, i.e. playing politics, is increasingly alienating more and more potential supporters. Ron's direct approach is far superior to Rand's coy approach any day. The difference between father and son seems to be conviction which is an indicator of future behavior on the part of Rand. I suspect if Rand were to run for POTUS and eventually become elected, history will eventually show him to be another disappointing POTUS. I will agree that our federal government has far worse problems than electing Rand as POTUS, though. Just don't expect Rand to live up to some of your expectations. Personally, I'd prefer either Ron Paul or Justin Amash as POTUS...

Really?

"is increasingly alienating more and more potential supporters."

Really?

This is what I call the liberty echo chamber syndrome. Have you noticed Sen. Paul leading in most of the polls? Winning the CPAC straw poll?

Anarchists don't vote. Statistically, they just don't. Rand Paul is doing very well with likely Republican voters--something Ron Paul never did well with. Sure, the purists are up in arms here on the Daily Paul. Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham and McCain are calling for the end of foreign aid to Egypt. And Sen. Paul is making headlines with quotes like this, "Rand Paul: NSA Spying 'Unconstitutional,' Can't Be Saved By More Oversight"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/18/rand-paul-nsa_n_377...

The dirty little secret is--having the purist anarchists and libertarians here attacking Rand Paul for not being worthy of a mises.org or LewRockwell blog post, is ultimately going to help him with the normal voters...ouch, I know...

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

"The dirty little secret

"The dirty little secret is--having the purist anarchists and libertarians here attacking Rand Paul for not being worthy of a mises.org or LewRockwell blog post, is ultimately going to help him with the normal voters...ouch, I know..."

See, THIS is why, as much as I would really like to like Rand Paul, in the end, I hate his guts, because he takes otherwise intelligent and idealistic lovers of liberty and turns them into sniveling, compromising, retards that sound no different from Obamanoids. "Win, win, win!! Even if it means we throw the Iranian children into the furnace, bwahaha, we're gonna win. To Hell with all those "purists" at LRC and Mises, hell, to hell with Dr Ron Paul himself if he can't get on board the winner train..."

It's fucking depressing.

Ok...Ok...

Then who will you support? Instead of bashing Rand and your fellow DP'ers, how about you support someone and talk us into it?

Enonesoch

Great!

Then everyone should be happy! We get to criticize him for not being libertarian, and we "help" your guy at the same time! Everyone wins!

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

I disagree

I've been a Libertarian since 1980 and "libertarian" was a word that the MSM barely uttered for 30 years or so. And though it has been misrepresented and many are attempting to dilute or hijack the movement, at least the word has been bantered about of late.

That is a good thing.

egapele's picture

Reality check

Libertarians would be nowhere without Rand.

No...

Rand would be nowhere without REAL libertarians like his father. True libertarians want little to do with Rand "starve the Iranians" Paul. He's had moments of brilliance but is generally nothing more than a puke-warm CATO type repub at best.

egapele's picture

REAL Libertarians

should stop coming here bashing a Republican that has a strong Libertarian streak.

Ron Paul is a Republican that left the party temporarily in the 80's in disgust.

Awwww, poor wibertarianism...

If Libertarianism had a clue they would have taken over the Tea Party movement.
But you know what they say about herding cats...

Don't get me wrong, cats are really cool...

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

I would like to WIN in 2016

Rand Paul is the best thing we can hope for right now.

Do you want to win?

You see, the MSM has already turned the word "libertarian" into a dirty word and it will only get worse. I think Rand does have to walk a tightrope.

Did Bush tell us he was a fascist? NO

Did Obummer tell us he was a Marxist? NO

Why not? Because they would have lost.

So if Rand has to distance himself from the word libertarian to WIN then I understand that.

What do you want friend? Tuna with good taste? Or tuna that taste good?

No.7's picture

I agree with most of what you're saying

I think that many people are misinformed about what exactly the word libertarian means.

However, Rand Paul isn't the problem. Rand Paul has done and is doing more to advance the cause of liberty than many of us ever will. There are better people to smear in politics than one of the most libertarian politicians that exists.

Stand with Rand or prepare to be downvoted lol

The individual who refuses to defend his rights when called by his Government, deserves to be a slave, and must be punished as an enemy of his country and friend to her foe. - Andrew Jackson

Well then...

"I think that many people are misinformed about what exactly the word libertarian means."

Yes, and Rand is not helping. He should take Granger's suggestion and stop using the word.

"However, Rand Paul isn't the problem. Rand Paul has done and is doing more to advance the cause of liberty than many of us ever will. There are better people to smear in politics than one of the most libertarian politicians that exists."

Rand is not "the problem" in the grand sense, no. Society not understanding liberty is the problem, and again, Rand is not helping.

"Stand with Rand or prepare to be downvoted "

No kidding on that one!

It is the blind support I see in many here that worries me, and I see rhetoric that is almost identical to that used by Obama supporters.

"He's better than Bush!" - "He's better than the 99 other Senators!"

It seems many are falling into a Rand Paul cult of personality, where any criticism is met with anger and disdain, and not by civil dialogue. The OP's post was civil, and straightforward. Many of the responses have been the opposite.

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

No.7's picture

I don't like 'Libertarians' slandering other libertarians

Politics is a team sport. That means that I'm going to be angry when you attack your fellow teammate because it hurts the entire team.

Libertarians talking BS about how Rand Paul is a 'neocon' or 'sellout' isn't much different than watching people build a house then hacking at it with a saw because you don't think it's good enough.

Any self proclaimed libertarian trying to discredit Rand Paul is going to piss me off and be met with anger. This is because he has a real chance to become POTUS if his own people don't completely discredit him before the MSM even has a chance. I can't understand why someone who wishes to advance the cause of liberty would use their time to discredit the most liberty friendly politician there is.

I'll gladly trade Bob Corker for Rand Paul to represent me any day and that's a fact Jack.

The individual who refuses to defend his rights when called by his Government, deserves to be a slave, and must be punished as an enemy of his country and friend to her foe. - Andrew Jackson

Baa go baa Rand.

Lets not talk about Rand support for the establishment. Let not talk Iran.
Lets not talk about what he said about Manning.
Lets not talk about Rand's comments on gay marriage.
Lets not talk about how Rand votes with Linsey Gramm.
Lets not talk how Rand is endorsing Mitch.
Lets not talk about how he screwed his father and his delegates by endorsing Mitt

Lets just bi,tch about others that point out that Rand is a GOP HACK.
LETS ALL BE LIKE YOU AND BE A RAND SHEEPLE.
I have MORE principles than blindly voting for Rand I'm Libertarian!

Baa go baa Rand.

Lets not talk about Rand support for the establishment. Let not talk Iran.
Lets not talk about what he said about Manning.
Lets not talk about Ryan's comments on gay marriage.
Lets not talk about how Rand votes with Linsey Gramm.
Lets not talk how Rand is endorsing Mitch.
Lets not talk about how he screwed his father and his delegates by endorsing Most.

Lets just bi,tch about others that point out that Rand is a GOP HACK.
LETS ALL BE LIKE YOU AND BE A RAND SHEEPLE.
I have MORE principles than blindly voting for Rand I'm Libertarian!

I am not on a "team"

And I'm not "slandering other libertarians" , I'm "critiquing" a stated *non-libertarian*.

I am interested in the advancement of ideas, not one man's political gain.

Proceed with your anger.

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

This is BS

This article is BS, Rand Paul is a Constitutional Conservative and a Libertarian. He is politically smart and understands the atmosphere of the Republican party. Although I must agree that he is not espousing Libertarianism to the degree Dr. Ron Paul does, he is speaking in a way that allows 'Republicans' that are close minded, fearful and thus repelled by the Libertarian philosophy to listen. He is presenting a warm touch to those who are willing to test the water with the tip of there toe. He is cracking the door a bit so the neoconservatives can peek inside and not be immediately repelled by the light. There will be few 'politicians' as openly principled and philosophically grounded as Dr. Ron Paul, we all know that, but finding that ground takes more time for some than others (Dr. Ron Paul himself has evolved on some issues over time). Rand Paul's philosophy is Libertarian, he believes in and defends Liberty, but he knows our society has been pulled so far away from this country's foundation that it needs some coaxing, people from all walks of life need to feel safe that Rand has their best interests in mind. Dr. Ron Paul lit the fire that is now the continuation of the revolution, but he could not bend his words to let those that oppose his philosophy eager to learn more about it, and that is good and appropriate and principled. Now that there is a true and spreading Libertarian base, we need someone with a soft edge, someone that includes all philosophies as legitimate so others will be curious and wonder and learn about the Libertarian philosophy, if we can get them in the door I'm sure they'll want to stay awhile. Rand is not his father, nor should he be, but just because he has a different approach doesn't mean he doesn't share the same ends as Ron. They agree on the outcome, they just have a different idea of how to get there.

Enonesoch

Yep and

You're on drugs. At least you're not a serious, thinking, liberty minded person. And tell me oh great soothsayer from the east.... how have you gleaned all of this information about the heart and mind of Rand? The serious (and not anal) libertarians I know and read wouldn't want most of their thoughts within a thousand miles of Rand Paul's.

He's a really bad excuse for a libertarian... or a constitutional conservative or whatever other malarkey you try to couch him in. He is a dead set political opportunist. He is a Chameleon. He will be whatever he has to be to fulfill his fucked up power trip.

Hahahaha!

And tell me oh great soothsayer.... how have you gleaned all of this information about the heart and mind of Rand? He is a dead set political opportunist. He is a Chameleon. 'He will be whatever he has to be to fulfill his fucked up power trip'...you've couched him in pretty good yourself there Skipper. Oh yeah, and 'at least you're not a serious, thinking, liberty minded person', you're a professional coucher.

Enonesoch

He's trying to

DILUTE it. No better than Glenn Beck. Lost me kissing the "Blarney Stone" (for the cameras) in Jerusalem.