Saturday, March 14, 2015

Blowback, Muddying of the Libertarian Message and Rand Paul

By Robert Wenzel

The blowback to Rand Paul's facebook page "quiz," which takes a belligerent stance against Iran and implies that Hillary Clinton would better serve as the third  Lady Mujtahideh than US president, is receiving deserved outrage from libertarian Rand followers.

The intensity of the blowback though is simply stunning.

It should be noted that Rand's latest intensified positioning as a neocon seems to coincide quite closely with his last meeting with super money bags neocon Sheldon Adelson. After that meeting, Rand seemed awfully confident that the rumored attack by Adelson against Rand was not going to occur. One wonders just exactly what deal Rand cut with the devil Adelson. But full blame can not be placed on Adelson. It has been seen here at Target Liberty, for a very long time, that Rand has never taken the principled stands of his father. Rand wants the 8 year throne very badly and will do and say anything to get it. 

This latest Rand neocon warmongering position should, thus, not come as a surprise. It is a typical Rand attempt to advance toward the throne and as predicted here, long ago, the closer we get to the primaries the more Rand's positions will flip-flop, and otherwise move, away from libertarian principle.

Indeed, if the Libertarian Party is clever, next year at CPAC they should rent a booth to catch whatever libertarians may actually still  be supporting Rand and offer a contrast to the "Stand with Rand" booth:

With a "Flip Flop with Rand" booth:

But, there is an even greater problem with the focus that Rand is getting in the mainstream press, beyond his flip flops, as he flirts with a presidential run, and that is his continued muddying of libertarian issues.

Consider his latest call for a separate Kurdistan country. HuffPo reported it this way:
"Nation-builder" probably isn't a term Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) would use to describe himself. The libertarian-leaning senator has built a reputation on his reluctance to intervene abroad, a point he emphasizes as he travels the country ahead of a likely White House bid in 2016.
But on Wednesday, two weeks after telling a crowd of conservatives that Republicans should give up the concept of nation building abroad, Paul called on the United States to ship arms to the Kurds with a promise to build them a nation: Kurdistan.
To be sure, the U.S. shoudn't be meddling anywhere around the globe, and the U.S. government shouldn't be shipping arms anywhere, but the idea of a separate Kurdistan state is not something that flies against libertarian principle. Libertarians should pretty much always be in favor of secession.

As Mises Institute president Jeff Deist recently stated:
The same principles of self-ownership, self-determination, and decentralization apply universally — whether we’re considering Texas independence or dozens of active breakaway movements in places like Venice, Catalonia, Scotland, and Belgium.
I truly believe secession movements represent the last best hope for reclaiming our birthright: the great classical liberal tradition and the civilization it made possible. In a world gone mad with state power, secession offers hope that truly liberal societies, organized around civil society and markets rather than central governments, can still exist.
The problem with Rand's advocacy of a separate Kurdistan (aside from the major problem of his wanting to support it with U.S. military supplies)  is that it is clear that he is not coming at it from a principled perspective. As I have already pointed out, if he was truly taking a principled stand on favor of separation, he would be supporting the breakaway regions of Ukraine and not the Kiev-based nationalist Ukraine government.

Indeed, one suspects that Rand's position on the Kurds is not coincidentally one that dovetails nicely with the desires of  Adeslosn and the 51st state.

Thus,the entire message that a separate Kurdistan state, from a libertarian perspective is a good thing, is lost in mainstream coverage of Rand and the correct suspicion that his advocacy of Kurdistan state is mere opportunism.

It is Rand muddying up one more thing for principled libertarians.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher at and at Target Liberty. He is also author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics


  1. Hey RW,

    Rand is 'reluctant' in is warmongering. Doesn't that count for something? Does this make him 'libertarian leaning'?

  2. If I didn't know anything about all the presidential candidates' backgrounds and had to judge based solely on their character the past few months, Rand would be the worst of the bunch. He reminds me of John Kerry.

  3. Principled libertarians call themselves abolitionists, voluntaryists, or anarchists.

  4. screw best he is a Judas goat.