Saturday, August 29, 2015

Walter Block: When I Say I Support Rand Paul, I Mean...

The following exchange took place between Dr. Michael Edelstein and Dr. Walter Block:

From: Michael R. Edelstein []
Sent: Saturday, August 29, 2015 10:19 AM
To: Walter Block
Cc: Bob Wenzel
Subject: Rooting For Rand Paul


Your readers are confused about your position. When you state you support Rand Paul, they think you mean you plan to vote for Rand (see Rhett’s email below). Please clarify that by “support” you mean you’re rooting for him to win in the Republican Primary, not that you plan to go to the nearest voting booth to actually vote for him. 

What do you think?


Dear Michael:

“Support” to me, means anything from voting for him, to rooting for him to donating money to his campaign, to writing defenses of him, etc.. Support includes all three. If I weren’t so lazy, I would do all of the above. As it is, I only do everything except the first. I regard him as the most libertarian of all the Republican candidates. I don’t see why my support of Rand Paul is so controversial within the libertarian community. Murray Rothbard supported LBJ and Taft and other non libertarians, on the ground that they were more libertarian than their alternatives, mainly on foreign policy issues. I supported Obama versus McCain mainly on foreign policy issues. Hey, we all root for the home team in football, baseball, basketball, etc., since in some way they are “closest” to us. Well, isn’t the most libertarian politician “closest” to us libertarians?

I also “support” my old high school track team fellow member Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination, although I can’t actually bring myself to send his campaign any money. See on this:

Block, Walter E. 2015. “A Bernie Sanders-Michelle Obama Ticket” August 28;

Block, Walter E. 2015. “Senator Bernie Sanders, President?” April 29;;;

Wenzel, Robert. 2015. “Why Won't Bernie Sanders Debate Walter Block?” May 29;

July 27, 2015. Jas Chana []
Tablet Magazine Interview request: Growing up in Brooklyn with Bernie Sanders; 212-920-3680, cell no. is 347-325-3010.

July 28, 2015. Wenger, Daniel
New Yorker interview on Bernie Sanders; 

August 22, 2015. Allen Abel []. McLeans. Bernie Sanders; Allen Abel []

Best regards,


Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business                   
Loyola University New Orleans


  1. Block should always couch his support of anyone who isn't substantially libertarian(I know, subjective standard...) with the disclaimer that the person he's supporting is not libertarian or a "sellout" as he noted on Rand.

    I know he's big on not caring what the public thinks right now, but he should reconsider as he's a prominent libertarian getting MSM attention from time to time and his support for non-libertarians can easily confuse those who don't know what libertarianism is.(and there are a lot of those people...many of them THINK they know what libertarianism is...but really have no clue)

  2. Lew Rockwell has written that Murray Rothbard never voted. It’s hypocritical to endorse Presidential candidates when not voting yourself.

    1. "It's hypocritical to endorse Presidential candidates when not voting yourself."

      No, it's not. Check the logic of what you're saying.

      For example, I personally do not drink, smoke, etc. Does this mean I am being hypocritical to endorse/support a persons ability to chose to drink or smoke for themselves? I believe not.

    2. Endorsing a presidential candidate is advocating others vote for that candidate. Not that there should be a right to vote for him/her. Your analogy doesn’t fit.

    3. "Endorsing a presidential candidate is advocating others vote for that candidate."

      This is false. Endorsing and advocating others to endorse are not necessarily the same. They are not mutually exclusive. It is not necessarily an either/or proposition.

      My analogy stands.

    4. P.S.

      Jack, who said anything about rights? I believe you are missing the point.

      In my example, my supporting/endorsing does not negate others free moral agency.

  3. We need to vote, but first we need more Ron Paul types to actually vote for.

    The problem with Rand is that he presents himself as a libertarian option, which makes him a charlatan.