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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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No, he's trying to SELL it...

...to a populace that doesn't have the stomach for the real thing (yet).

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

Rand Who is a near total sell out.


It's funny....

...how you constantly smear Rand for compromising, when not long ago you were calling for us to unite with the socialist "Occupy" movement.


Looking through your threads, I see lots about kumbaya between the progressive left and libertarians, and lots of anti-war and pro civil liberties talk, and some raw milk mother-earthery, but I see almost nothing about *economics* (what divides libertarian and progressives). And, gee whiz, you're always criticizing Rand for his foreign policy. You never say anything about his very libertarian budget proposals. Are you even a libertarian Ragnad? Do you believe in laissez faire? Or maybe you're a leftist imposter?

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

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me thinks we are all

mongrels when it comes to purity of the various factions
I for one like lemon with mine!

OP needs to give Rand a break

OP needs to give Rand a break on this. Rand self identifies as "libertarian leaning". Maybe that distinction will be lost on the masses, but that's not Rand's fault.

(BTW my defense of Rand on this point is not partisan. Unlike Rand, I'm 100%, solid gold libertarian and proud as fuck of it!)

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

Whether or not

Whether or not Rand deserves a "break" (I'd say he doesn't, as he is the one that decided to 'play the game' and attempt to grab the Brass Ring of Power), that is irrelevant to the conversation.

The point is that he is *perceived* as libertarian, portrayed as such, and when he makes decidedly non-libertarian statements, it is the task of libertarians to make a distinction. If we don't, who will? Joe Scarborough?

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Good post

I agree that Rand is not a libertarian but I'm not sure if he's hurting that cause more than helping out. Definitely something to think about though.

Senator Rand Paul is

Senator Rand Paul is "Trans-Republican" or Trans-Democrat", whichever you prefer.

I'm going to take Rand's stance

and say "I just don't get" transies.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

SteveMT's picture

The Tea Party is not libertarian. They like preemptive war.

The Tea Party was coopted years ago, and they have been essentially neutralized from those things libertarian. Rand Paul is not libertarian either. He strategically has endorsed both the neocons who like big government and a pro-Israel foreign policy to get himself further down the political road than his father could achieve. Ron Paul is also not libertarian for he is pro-life. Although none are true libertarians, Ron and Rand Paul have done more for the Liberty Movement than any other people elected to Congress in recent history. I don't believe that even the Liberty Movement is 100% libertarian.

Being Pro-Life does not mean...

You are not libertarian.

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

No kidding.

Just like Rand, who favors preemptive war in the form of sanctions.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Denise B's picture

Well said Steve,

thank you and I couldn't agree more!

the teaming and swarming on these types of threads

leads me to believe this is a concerted effort to garner clicks, views and gain a false credibility.

which one of you 3 responsible for lionsofliberty promotion would like to address my concern?

This is why conspiracies have a bad name

There is very little that is more reprehensible than falsely accusing someone of something extremely reprehensible. It is one thing to question things and have a realistic take on the world, but those people get a bad name because of people like you. You assholes, who go around all day telling anyone they disagree with that they are a shill. They must be paid or be getting some benefit because otherwise no one could possibly disagree with you. Who needs evidence or even any single thing that is remotely suspicious. Obviously, if they disagree with you, they must be lying.

I'm not sure

Where you're coming from here...of course there is a "concerted effort to garner clicks". Why would I start a website if I didn't want people to click on it and read it?

What you seem to be implying is that we are, I'm not sure, writing in a disingenuous fashion in order to falsely draw people into our site and make massive profits off them? Not sure what your grand conspiracy is here.

I'd encourage you to click through our site to see that we've been pretty damn consistent on issues like this and on Rand - and have even often praised him when he does right - but then you would just accuse me of a "concerted effort to garner clicks".

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*


Troy, anything Rand related blows up. We write about a ton of topics, in the effort to spread libertarianism and some of them happen to be Rand related. Does that make them invalid to discuss? Should we not share them because of that? I spent a lot of time writing and researching to create this (and all of our) content. I don't appreciate you dismissing it as trolling for clicks.

I don't think Rand's cause is libertarianism

He is here to promote and defend liberty and win a presidential election.


Those two ends may be at direct odds with one another.

So, when push comes to shove, which will Rand prioritize?

Let's hope for the former, but early returns aren't looking good.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

I think you have those priorities reversed.

He's here to win an election and if some libertarian principles make it in along the way, that's would be nice too. If he wins, maybe he'll switch back, pull off the neocon mask and yell "GOTCHA!" If so, I will be the happiest kid in candy land. But I don't think that's his agenda.

Good way to put it.

Good way to put it.

libertarian is a word

Rand is helping this country. screw what ever word association games we're playing

so in your opinion ...

imprecise use of words or language would have absolutely nothing to do with the dumbing down of American posterity in public schools? After all, those text books just contain a bunch of words which are mere strings of symbols and it really doesn't matter what the words mean as long as the pupil understands how to obey instruction?

Sorry, that's too loaded for

Sorry, that's too loaded for a response.

Intentionally loaded.

Let not anyone think it is loaded by miracle or mere coincidence.

Well thought out post...

But I disagree 100%. Rand Paul is the greatest Lion of Liberty we've seen in the Senate in more than 50 years.



Denise B's picture

So tell us please,

who do you support, and if Rand were to leave the senate since he's doing so much harm, which fine individual do you recommend should step in to take his place (besides Justin Amash who currently has a position)? And what else, besides the one statement that you referenced, has Rand Paul done to betray the principles of liberty? Which unconstitutional bills or laws has he supported? You took the time to write an entire article declaring how bad Rand Paul is for liberty, so please do cite some examples for us so we can better understand where you're coming from? Personally, I can think of 99 other senators who's record is far worse than Rands when it comes to upholding their oath of office and defending liberty, but clearly you feel that Rand is so bad for the movement that you felt the need to single him out in an attempt to discredit him, so surely you must have a whole list of things he's done to violate his oath of office, so please, do share so we can be up to speed.

This rests on a false assumption

That the pathway to liberty for all is "electing Republicans who carry the liberty better, and are marginally better than their colleagues".

Now some may see politics as the answer, as it seems you do, but many of us believe politics is part of the problem. It can certainly be used for good, as a platform to spread a message. But when it becomes nothing more than a rhetoric-twisting quest for power, it becomes very, very dangerous.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*