Ron Paul has now spoken out in opposition to the latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). He criticizes the legislation way beyond the most controversial portion that allows the president and military to detain people.
Ironically, I was recently critical of Rand Paul (Ron’s son) for supporting the initial version that was passed unanimously by the Senate. Rand tried to justify his vote, but it was all empty political rhetoric to me. In fact, if I did enough research on the legislation, I could probably write a long term paper on the corruption and anti-liberty elements of the latest NDAA (the 2013 version that Rand has initially supported). At this point, I don’t care what Rand’s vote is on the final NDAA bill. He has already shown his true colors.
While Ron didn’t specifically mention his son (as he shouldn’t), there is no doubt that they are in opposite positions from each other. Ron is anti-establishment. Rand goes along to get along.
In fact, I would venture to say that Ron and Rand are virtually complete opposites; perhaps as much, or even more so, than Ron is with many Democrats. At least some Democrats vote at least part of the time on principle. You may not like everything they stand for, but at least they are somewhat consistent. (I do understand that most Democrats in DC will go with whichever way the wind is blowing also).
I really don’t like being so hard on Rand. I’m sure Ron and Rand love each other very much. And I have no idea what is going on in Rand’s head. But I feel the need to criticize Rand because I fear he will do great damage to the cause of liberty. There are many Ron Paul supporters who are looking for someone else to take the torch, so to speak, especially since Ron is retiring from Congress.
Real leaders, like Ron Paul, do not jump into a parade when it is already moving. They lead the parade. They don’t vote a certain way because they are scared of the backlash and public opinion. They help mold public opinion by articulately explaining their position.
Meanwhile, Rand is showing that he is not a real leader and he is not a good representative of the liberty movement. Even if he votes against the final version of the NDAA, it will be because of people like me inflicting political pain on him. He will jump into the already moving parade and act like he was a part of it the whole time. In other words, he is a typical politician. Even Bill Clinton could be convinced to support somewhat pro-liberty legislation if public opinion were strong enough. Rand Paul and Bill Clinton; what’s the difference?
This is another reason that the liberty movement should not rely on electing the “right” people into office. The better goal is to educate others on the benefits and morality of a more libertarian society. We cannot count on a conservative (and a pretty bad one at that) like Rand Paul. He is leading us in the wrong direction. He is representing everything that is bad about politics and Washington DC. His votes, just in the matter of a couple of years, has shown that he cannot be trusted by libertarians.
At the risk of sounding similar to a vice-presidential debate a long time ago: I’ve met Ron Paul. Rand Paul is no Ron Paul.
Ron Paul is closing his congressional career the same way he started it. He is standing on principle and on the side of liberty.