I am writing this to my libertarian brothers and sisters. If you are a devoted Democrat or Republican then you should go back to the status-quo-land from which you came from. Go away. No really. Go. This is inside baseball for libertarians.
Great, now that we libertarians are alone, we need to talk. Permit me to paint the word “libertarian” with a broad stroke today. I recognize we all may subscribe to different degrees of libertarianism. We can hash that out some other time.
I really really want to love Rand Paul. I really wish I could stake out a lawn sign at my home like I did for his father. I really wish I could always defend Rand Paul in my facebook feed. The truth is that Rand has disappointed me on several occasions. Remember when he endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012? Oy vey. That was a low point. People like us voted for neither Romney nor Obama. Those guys were both peddling the same big government shit sandwiches. And what about his lackluster position on the war on drugs? Yep, he knows that we need to decriminalize but only reaches for reduced sentences. Sometimes Rand Paul feels the need to play along with the status quo. I wish he wouldn’t.
Rand Paul’s performance at the first GOP debate was mediocre. Some good moments and some flat moments. At times he tried too hard. It is tough to make a splash in a boisterous field of 10 with limited time to speak.
People often accuse Rand of being whiny and smug. Although I disagree with the characterization, I can see how they get that impression.
So I don’t love Rand Paul.
But I do like Rand Paul.
I like Rand Paul enough to vote for him. This is a big deal for me. Libertarians who can’t stand Rand need to stand with Rand. Here is why.
List the 3 issues that matter most to you. Below are mine. These are transformational, world changing issues. Consider how Rand Paul aligns with the things that matter most to you.
1) End the Fed
This may surprise you, but stopping the Federal Reserve bank cartel is my top issue. Ending the Fed is also the furthest removed from being likely to happen. The unseen destruction caused by this institution is mind boggling. This is also the lynchpin for #2 and #3 below. The Federal Reserve not only causes massive market distortions (bubbles) but is also the rocket fuel behind big government spending & militarism. Fix our money and other problems will wilt organically. Monetary economics is complicated. As a group, we have failed to convey our message to the masses. Rand is a vocal critic of the Federal Reserve. He gets it. As president, he can be an ambassador for this cause. Keynesians out. Austrians in.
2) End Global Militarism
Next on my list is stopping our global militarism. The Republicans under Bush and Democrats under Obama have utterly failed in this space. Wars in Iraq, Libya, & Syria are teaching us lessons that Washington doesn’t seem to be learning. When will we stop getting militarily involved where our solution is worse than the original malady? We took out Saddam and handed Iraq to Iran. We took out Gadaffi and handed Libya to al Qaeda. Now we take aim at Assad to hand Syria over to ISIS. Stop the madness! Rand Paul gets it. In his book “Taking a Stand” Rand Paul devotes much attention to foreign policy.
He articulates his “Peace through Strength” position. Even more, he recognizes that the US will never defeat radical Islam with military might. Our military interventions have only strengthened radical Islam in the Middle East. Rand Paul professes that only Islam can destroy radical Islam. This is so important for us to understand. As outsiders, we can’t bomb an idea away. So long as America is enemy number one in that region of the world, good Islam will see radical Islam as an ally instead of an enemy.
Rand is not perfect in the foreign policy space, but he is a huge improvement.
3) End Crony Capitalism
This is a no brainer. I don’t need to explain this one. Rand Paul often rails against the yearly $20B of corporate welfare. I think tackling this is a natural fit for him.
4) Honorable Mentions
Obamacare: Rand Paul is against Obamacare.
War of Drugs: Rand Paul misses the mark here. He is for reduced sentencing for non-violent offenders. I am for legalizing drugs.
Police Militarization: Rand Paul is against police over-militarization and articulates it well in his aforementioned book.
Lower taxes / Simplify tax code: Rand Paul proposed 14.5% tax for all. No loopholes. We could go lower, but don’t scoff at this. This is a meaningful reduction.
2nd Amendment: Rand Paul supports it.
4th Amendment: Rand Paul stands up for it. Did you see his filibuster? Ask Chris Christie.
Department of Education: Rand Paul wants to end the Department of Education and end Common Core.
Term limits: Rand Paul supports term limits for the US Senate and Congress.
Marriage: Rand Paul wants to preserve traditional marriage – but adds that people should be free to choose. I’d prefer a stronger stance for getting government out of the marriage business. My take on marriage is here, and I don’t need to frame it with states’ rights.
Voting Rights for non-violent criminals: Rand Paul supports non-violent criminals reclaiming voting rights after serving their sentences.
We don’t have to love Rand Paul. But we need to get over ourselves and cast a vote for someone that is aligned with us on the major issues. Stop being the fickle, elite, purist libertarians that we are. Rand Paul’s presidency would be a meaningful step in the right direction for us. If you are holding out for someone MORE libertarian, then you may be holding out for a looooong time.
Stand with Rand. IT department attire and all.