Monday, June 11, 2012

Is Rand Paul Taunting 'Internet Libertarians'?

By far, I think the most damaging thing Rand Paul did last week was attempt to link the Mitt Romney views on the Fed as being the same as those of his father.

In second place, I don't put Rand's endorsement of Romney (I put that in third place). In second place, I put these words said by Rand during the same Sean Hannity Show where he endorsed Romney:
My dad has a legion of young followers who are on the internet, and they think they rule the internet. Maybe they do and maybe they don't.
Perhaps he was just talking out loud about his calculations as to how damaging his endorsement of Romney will be to him  among internet followers of his father. But there also seems to be a cockiness to his words. It's as if he has made the calculation and dismissed the internet followers of his father. He sounds as though he has calculated his internet support is stronger (or will be) than that of principled libertarians on the internet. He's almost taunting the internet libertarians who follow his father.

Even Business Insider gets how dangerous a move this is:
Hindsight may show that these remarks underscored some serious political hubris. Rand Paul's political clout depends, in part, on his ability to rally these grassroots internet activists, and get them to make noise and moneybombs.
Does Rand have an internet following that is larger than his father's?At this point, I don't think so. The only way he could grow such, as far as I can see, is through more sellouts, perhaps to the warmongering evangelicals. Is that Rand's plan, to diss his father's base and carefully choose what libertarian principles he will sell out?

It's one thing to build coalitions on top of a libertarian base, but Rand's comment suggests that this is not his plan. It sure sounds like he is throwing the followers of his father overboard, in a grab for power via sellout.

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19 comments:

  1. *reaches for the popcorn*

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  2. The best metric to show disapproval is to unsubscribe emails you receive from them.

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    1. Already done. Anything with the name Rand Paul attached to it is anathema to me.

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  3. During the campaign Ron Paul came under heavy criticism for being too ridgid, too ideological, and too dogmatic in his rhetoric and for failing to pitch his message to a wider audience. Now Rand Paul is doing exactly that, and he's coming under criticism for that. I can't imagine that Rand Paul would want to shove his internet supporters under a bus. The point is to broaden the base, not ditch it.

    I don't have a crystal ball. I can't claim that Rand Paul will not sell-out. I don't know the guy. But I don't think we should hang on every nuance of his statements looking for signs of it. Ambiguity is a big part of politics. It is how you appeal to one group without alienating another. It is how you put off taking a firm position until you are forced to.

    Ron Paul didn't play those games and some people loved him for it while others saw it as a losing strategy. The critics proved to be right. Perhaps Rand Paul can play the game and make it work. Perhaps he will be taken over by it. Only time will tell. But I think we need to realize that fuzziness is a part of that game and not be surprised when Rand Paul utilizes it.

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    1. "Ron Paul didn't play those games and some people loved him for it while others saw it as a losing strategy. The critics proved to be right."

      Sorry Robb, you're stuck in the wrong paradigm.
      It's his "rigidity" that makes him what he is. One of a kind. We don't need an "electable" guy. We need a standard bearer. One who's WORTHY to be there.
      The real deal for me, brother, or none at all.
      BTW, the critics were WRONG.

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    2. "Ron Paul didn't play those games and some people loved him for it while others saw it as a losing strategy. The critics proved to be right."

      The critics proved to be mistaken on their whole outlook regarding the libertarian movement. Ron Paul won. Millions of youngsters have been taught about libertarianism and Austrian economics.

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    3. Without Ron Paul's rigidity, there is no liberty movement of millions. Period. There wouldn't be the people taking Rand to task in large numbers without Ron's history.

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  4. Perhaps you're reading too much into the Internet comment, RW. Perhaps not.

    But someone should ask Rand how he felt when he looked into the mirror the morning after his dumb endorsement.

    "When you're sleeping with someone who doesn't get you
    You're gonna hate yourself in the morning"

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  5. The Rand Paul sellout is a perfect illustration about why there should be no monopoly of government, no monopoly on violence, and why anarchy is the best and only permanent solution.

    Imagine Ron/Rand were a business. They have a superior product. They have many supporters. They have a better model, smarter employees, innovation. In a non-monopoly marketplace - nobody would care what the competition does. If the "GOP" product sucks, you don't buy. If the Ron/Rand "Libertarian" product is better, you choose them. The competition "gets better" or dies out. Competition is good.

    With a system of monopoly government, you don't have that option. Therefore, the only way the the "ron/rand" organization can continue to offer their product to the public is make a deal with the monopoly producer. The monopoly producer might give lip service to the new trend, but like any monopoly organization, it is sclerotic and lazy - not eager to change.

    Until we break the federal government's monopoly over violence, we will continue to see politicians "get along to get ahead" with the very legitimate rationalization that politicians have used forever "we don't help anyone if we lose".

    Imagine you have button inside your head. The "red button" - the nuclear option. If you press that button, you sever any connection of legitimacy with the government. It no longer is "yours". You no longer meet it half way. Every excuse it offers will be rejected. Every statement it makes a suspected lie. Every action its representatives make, the act of the enemy.

    Press the button. The first and most important step to change the world is to escape from the labyrinth they have implanted in your own mind. You will be unmanageable to them if you escape - Free.

    You don't have to play their game. That is the lie that must be overcome.

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  6. I feel like a "Don't Vote" money bomb is in order. Make some simple points: nothing will change, a vote is not a mandate, the system is broken, the country is headed toward a bankruptcy that can't be prevented, voting will never solve your personal problems, a political party affliction (affiliation) is not a self-identity. Raise money for billboards, tshirts, bumper stickers, maybe even a tv or radio spot. Make sure you have a distinct color associated with the brand.

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  7. Somehow I think this ends with airport or a govt building being named after Rand.

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  8. R Dale FitzgeraldJune 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Best assessment yet. Romney knows he needs Paul's supporters, and Rand is identified with is father, so he's the most logical choice for VP, period. No other "name brand" - Palin, Christie, whoever- has the clout Rand does.

    When he ran for senate he "moved to the middle" only to become a champion of our constitutional civil liberties. He's doing the same here, and doing it brilliantly. He's boxed Ro-money in on the FED, raised his profile, caused some interest in the controversy and sparked interest by the MSM about his prospects as VP.

    It is a win- win for us.

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    1. He has boxed in the guy who has flip flopped on every single possible issue? Really? No, all Rand did was give Romney credibility. Believe me, this will come up in debate after debate in the future about whether Romney is really a limited government candidate or not. "Even Rand Paul endorsed him, so he can't be too bad..."

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    2. He didn't box Romney in on shit. If you think Romney would ever go against the Fed if he were president then you are deluding yourself. All Rand did was prove he is a typical politician.

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  9. Obama will probably win now. Doesn't matter: it's either Obama (aka Stalin) or Romney (aka Hitler).

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  10. As a Ron Paul supporter who has endured the blackouts, smears, and dirty tricks by the political and media establishment for two election cycles against the RP campaign, I understand the frustration with Rand's endorsement of Romney, and the tendency to want to lash out. Yet, the uproar is overdone. Micro-analyzing Rand's comments on Hannity is a perfect example of how this getting to be too much. Who knows exactly what Rand meant in those quoted sentences, and, more importantly, who really cares? An endorsement is not nothing, but it isn't the biggest deal either. Rand speaks only for himself. No one has to follow him in supporting Romney. We should also not lose sight of the fact that Rand is a Republican Senator and there is the presumption that if you are representing a party you should try to work with and support fellow members of the party. I would also add that, as Jack Hunter pointed out yesterday, Murray Rothbard endorsed George Herbert Walker Bush in 1992 over Clinton and even wrote about it in an article the LA Times. Did anyone then or now lose any sleep over this? As a movement, we need to concentrate on actually accomplishing things that matter in the real world, instead of all these histrionics over nothing.

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    1. It's perfectly fine if you don't think Rand endorsing the sociopath Romney is a big deal, but don't compare his endorsement of Bush to Rand's endorsement. He made it clear that the only reason he was supporting Bush was because he thought Bill, Hillary, and Gore would be much worse including on militarism in the middle east. He made sure to qualify his endorsement and explain that he didn't like Bush at all and just dislike Clinton more. He never tried to convince people that Bush actually supported things like going after the Fed like Rand has done with Romney. Let me put it this way, if Rand had endorsed Romney in the same manner that Murray endorsed Bush, the establishment GOP would've been in up in arms. They wouldn't have even wanted Rand's endorsement if it was given in that manner. Murray didn't pull punches and people knew full well that he hated Bush even though he would rather have him over Clinton.

      Now, that said, I don't agree with Murray when it comes to his view of voting for the lesser of two evils, but he didn't try to pull the wool over anyone's eyes. He told it like it was. Just like Ron Paul has done his whole career. Rand is taking a different path by playing BS political games. People are upset because they hoped he would carry on the tradition of being the one truth teller in Washington DC but now they see he is just another politician. It borthers me that Rand has chosen this path but I'm not losing sleep over it. We don't need him to carry on our intellectual revolution, but it would've been nice to have another in the same mold as his father. It's too bad but he is one man and we have millions better than him anyways.

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  11. Even if Rand has disappointed you in this instance, don't you think it is a little early to give up on the man? Rand's voting record so far is following in his father's footsteps and he already shown in numerous instances that he isn't afraid of generating controversy to advance key legislative objectives. And I think as time goes you'll see even more of the anti-establishment style of politics his father is famous for.

    As for Rand's comments comparing Romney's and his father's stance on the FED, I think it is indeed true that Romney has indeed moved closer to RP's views specifically regarding an audit of the FED (which has been a major policy objective of the campaign) and the need generally to rein in the FED from it's nonstop money printing. I think Rand could have said things better, but I don't see he was trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes. Obviously, it would be a fool's errand to try to convince people that Ron Paul's and Romney's views on the FED are identical.

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    1. No, I don't feel it is too soon to give up on Rand. He has voted for sanctions, an act of war, on Iran and now endorsed and is campaigning for the antithesis of everything I believe in. When I have options to put my time, energy, and money into supporting EPJ, The Mises Institue, The Mises Academy, Tom Woods's Liberty Classroom, LRC, and on and on why should I put him above any of these other options? They have been much more effective at getting people to study Austrian Economics and libertarianism than Rand will ever be. I don't ever hear Rand Paul inspiring people to educate themselves on these matters. The only thing I hear him talk about is politics. His dad has inspired millions to read Murray Rothbard and Ludwig Von Mises, but Rand is more concerned with pandering for votes. I'll support Rand when he stands up for libertarian principles but I couldn't care less about his political ambitions.

      Also, if you believe Romney is moving towards us on the Fed then Wenzel has this fog machine he's been looking to sell. I guess I'm supposed to just trust that the Romney that was supporting Bernanke and the Fed for the entire election has finally seen the light. My God, has this guy ever not flip flopped on an issue. Anybody who believes a lying snake oil salesman like Romney deserves exactly what they get.

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