Rand Paul Is Hurting Libertarianism More Than Helping ItSubmitted by McWilly on Tue, 08/20/2013 - 16:53
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