Friday, August 28, 2015

Walter Block: Why I Support Rand Paul Even Though He is a Sell Out

The following email exchange took place between Dr. Walter Block and Rhett Lloyd:

From: rhett lloyd
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2015 11:50 AM
Subject: Position Change on Rand Paul

Dr. Block,
I have followed your blog posts and interviews where you have supported Rand Paul. I understand your position of him being the least bad of all the candidates (or maybe the only decent one). 

Just now I listened to your speech at the Capitalism and Morality Seminar from 2012. My question is has your view of him changed since that speech? At around the 59' mark you state you are not a fan of his and view him as a sellout. Link here

Has your views of him changed? Maybe it was frustration being vented over his endorsement of Romney. Or are you advocating support for Rand Paul as the least bad candidate of them all though still a sellout?

I waver back and forth on this and am still undecided if I will even bother going to a poll to vote for Rand. I see him as a sellout (or at least a panderer) on some issues as Scott Horton and Robert Wenzel have covered pretty well. But I have heard other points made by yourself and even Andrew Napolitano (on the Anarchast channel) has defended Rand as "one of us."

Just curious if your thoughts of Rand changed since that speech or if you view him the sameway but lend support as the least threatening candidate.

Thanks for your time,
Rhett Lloy


Dear Rhett:

I said I didn’t support him, then, and that he was a sell out. I still regard him as a sell out. I didn’t support him then, because he wasn’t running for anything then. I support him now, even though he is a sell out, because he’s better, way better, than the alterntives. I can see why you think I’ve changed my mind, but, I think my position is consistent. At least Rand is a sell out from libertarianism. Only if you use libertarianism as the criteria, is he a sell out, or guilty of watering down libertarian principles.

An economist was asked, “How’s your wife?” Came the answer: “Compared to what?” Yes, Rand is guilty of watering down libertarianism, but he never claimed he was a pure libertarian. He always modified it: libertianish, Republican libertarian, Constitutionalist libertarian, etc. In contrast, the other GOP candidates didn’t sell out libertarianism or water it down. Rather, they are all anti libertarian from the get go.
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


From: rhett lloyd
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2015 1:55 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Position Change on Rand Paul

Thanks for the quick reply. I had a feeling that was your position. Feel free to use this however you please. And thanks again for being a true champion for liberty.


  1. "Only if you use libertarianism as the criteria, is he a sell out..."

    Not to get into any debate about if Rand is less bad than any other candidate, but...I think it is fair to say that he is a sellout even to many of his earlier (libertarian or not) positions. He is not known as a flip-flopper for nothing.

    In any case, based on how he has totally mangled his campaign, my guess is we soon won't have Rand Paul to kick around anymore.

  2. "He always modified it: libertianish, Republican libertarian, Constitutionalist libertarian, etc." Rand, as even pointed out by EPJ, has said publicly multiple times that he is not a libertarian. He didn't say any of these other things that Walter is stating (to be fair, that I have ever seen). I have only heard him flat out say he is not a libertarian and that it is an albatross to him. He is statist and a pandering flip flop one at that.