I am a big fan of Ron Paul and have great appreciation for what he has done over the last several decades. I don’t think highly of many politicians, and Ron Paul is often the one exception.
I generally believe that libertarians should stay away from politics. You really aren’t going to change things politically by being politically involved. The power runs too deep. The only way to change things politically is by shifting public opinion.
The only reason Ron Paul was a success was because he used his platform as a congressman to spread his message. He used it as an educational tool. Even in his presidential runs, particularly the last two, he used these as a platform to tell people about his libertarian message. He had little hope of actually winning in the primary.
If you are a libertarian going into politics, I hope it is for the purpose of spreading the message of liberty. If it is to seek political change through your office, you will be really disappointed, or else really corrupted.
Ron Paul’s son, Rand Paul, is more of a politician. I don’t know what his full intentions are at this point, but he is trying to play the political game. He is certainly more knowledgable about the subject of liberty than the other 99 senators or any of the other major presidential candidates.
But this, in a way, just makes it that much more disappointing. I think of Alan Greenspan who actually understands economics and central banking. He sold out to the establishment as Fed chair. I think of Colin Powell who sat there and lied in front of the U.N. about weapons of mass destruction. He sold out in a major way. In a sense, I am more mad at Colin Powell about the Iraq war than I am at Bush.
Rand Paul understands liberty, yet he is selling out. Sure, he has done some positive things, including his latest stunt of opposing the NSA’s bulk collection of data.
However, he also stated recently that Edward Snowden should be in a jail cell. Paul said, “Snowden and (James) Clapper should be in the same cell, talking about liberty and security.”
If Rand Paul truly believes that Snowden should be in jail for what he did, then Rand Paul is no friend to liberty. If he is pandering to his audience, then he is dishonest and can’t be trusted.
I don’t know of anybody who has gotten into office and acted more libertarian than what they stated in their campaign. It is usually the opposite. Most candidates will talk a game about liberty and then be a proponent for big government policies as soon as in office. George W. Bush campaigned on fiscal conservatism and a humble foreign policy in 2000, and we all know how that turned out for 8 years.
If you think Rand Paul will bring us in the right direction as president, you will be really disappointed. He will be more in bed with the establishment if he actually gets the nomination, let alone the presidency.
I consider the issue of the Snowden leaks as something of a litmus test. If someone thinks he should go to jail, then that person is generally anti-liberty.
I could ask someone two questions and get a pretty good idea of where they stand politically. Should Edward Snowden go to jail for his actions? Should the government get more involved in healthcare?
If you answer “no” to both, then you are libertarian or libertarian leaning. A conservative will typically answer “yes” to the first one and “no” to the second. A modern-day liberal will typically answer “no” to the first (but not always) and “yes” to the second.
An authoritarian will answer “yes” to both.
So Rand Paul is supposedly against the NSA spying, yet he thinks Snowden should go to jail for exposing the NSA’s criminality. Does this make any sense? Were there Germans in the 1940s who opposed the concentration camps but thought it was treasonous if anyone tried to expose what was happening?
If you are a libertarian, don’t waste your time on politics. And don’t waste any time or money supporting Rand Paul. He is not his father.
If Rand Paul were smart and actually wanted to play politics, he would be speaking a more libertarian message than what he is. He is trying to play both sides, pleasing a libertarian element and pleasing the establishment. Instead, he is displeasing both.
Right now, it seems that Republican candidates are entering the race by the boatload. I can’t even keep up. The only way Rand Paul can win is by differentiating himself. This would mean giving a libertarian message. Instead he is giving a lot of mixed messages. If someone wants an establishment candidate, they can go to Jeb Bush or Scott Walker.
I originally thought about a year ago that Rand Paul might have a shot at the nomination. I no longer think it is likely. He is trying to play a political game and he is doing so horribly. Don’t waste your time with Rand Paul. He won’t win. Even if he could win, you probably don’t want him there. People would just blame all of the problems on his “libertarian politics”, even though his policies wouldn’t be libertarian at all.
I hope Rand Paul’s candidacy falls flat on its face. I also hope the Libertarian Party puts up a real libertarian next year so that people will have some kind of a choice in the general election, if they want to vote at all.