Saturday, April 18, 2015

What a Rand Paul World Would Look Like

David Atkins writes:
Many young people and progressives who are wary of a Clinton presidency are seeking potential alternatives, even outside the Democratic Party. Unfortunately, much of the attention of voters seeking an alternative to mainstream candidates of both parties has focused on Rand Paul. This is no accident: Rand Paul has carefully positioned himself as "the most interesting man in Washington" for supposedly being a different kind of Republican, hip and able to connect with younger voters. Paul has made it his mission to bring more of the increasingly progressive youth vote back to the GOP fold, and polling shows that Paul does have greater support among younger voters than older ones. Paul has also mounted the most aggressive social media campaign of the GOP hopefuls for president, again partly in an effort to reach younger voters.
But Paul's delicately crafted maverick image is far from the reality.
Among other points, he also singles out these points which should be of concern to every libertarian:
 Rand Paul wants more military spending and more war in the Middle East. Rand Paul has grown a reputation for anti-interventionism over the years partly by association with his stridently anti-interventionist father Ron Paul, and partly on account of statements he made during his early years as a senator. To be fair, he has staked out a slightly less rabid position on Iran than some other GOP presidential hopefuls, though that's not saying much. As with all politicians, the key is not to watch what they say but what they actually propose and vote for.

On March 25, Rand Paul introduced a budget amendment calling for a whopping $190 billion increase to military spending. The United States already spends more on war and military expenses than almost the entire rest of the world combined. Paul hasn't yet clarified what he thinks that $190 billion would be spent on, if not to facilitate more wars abroad. To pay for it, he calls for drastic cuts to climate change research, education, housing assistance, and foreign aid.

Rand Paul was even more hawkish than his Republican colleagues on dealing with ISIS, proposing a full-scale military assault that would almost certainly have demanded a resurgence of American troops on the ground in Iraq. No matter what one thinks of Hillary Clinton's foreign policy, it's difficult to argue that Rand Paul would be any kind of improvement from an anti-interventionist perspective
Rand Paul does not support decriminalizing drugs.As we've seen, Rand Paul often pretends to be something he is not on many issues, not least of which is drug policy. While his father, Ron Paul, is a strong advocate of drug decriminalization, the son has not followed in his father's footsteps. In fact, he has gone out of his way to distance himself from his father on the issue to reassure the GOP base. He has publicly assured conservative evangelicals that he disagrees with drug decriminalization, and that his father's views on the subject should not be attributed to him. Paul's stance even on marijuana, much less harder drugs, isn't "live and let live," but rather just more of the same "just say no."


  1. Incidentally I saw that article just before opening Target Liberty. It is truly nothing more than brain-dead leftist rubbish, with only a few legitimate points in the areas you salvaged here. The piece as a whole was so repulsive I just don't see a point to highlighting it, there have got to be better sources criticizing Rand than an evil, ignorant Keynesian-socialist author such as David Atkins.

    1. I have been following Wenzel for awhile and it seems like he publishes truth wherever he finds it. We are not going to advance liberty by not highlighting to non-libertarians where they have made a solid point.

  2. In other words, a Rand Paul world would look a lot like a Dick Cheney world.

  3. "Rand Paul has carefully positioned himself as "the most interesting man in Washington" "

    And somehow he's just as boring as he ever was, just another typical GOP politician.