Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Importance Of Shining A Light on Rand Paul

Dan Cotter emails:

I think the analysis you've been constantly giving on Rand Paul is essential. Obviously, there are a lot of people in the liberty movement who are missing the important nuances of your message about him. A lot of people like to point out that he is the only senator who is threatening to filibuster NDAA, that he tried to remove foreign aid to some countries, he wants to "privatize" the TSA, etc. If you only look on the surface these things sound good, but his approach is dangerous to the liberty movement when you look more closely.

The problem with Rand is he softens the libertarian message, even though there is no benefit for doing that. Take NDAA for example, he wants to filibuster it in order to get a vote on an amendment that would guarantee American citizens the right to a trial. I would also like to see Americans guaranteed this right (if the constitution meant anything it would be acknowledged we already have this right!), but the fact remains that even if the amendment is voted on it will go down to defeat. So the problem I have is if you are going to threaten to filibuster until you get a vote on an amendment that will be defeated anyways, why water down the libertarian position? Why not threaten to filibuster until you get a vote on an amendment that strips the NDAA of all it's power? He has been able to garner a good amount of press because of this filibuster threat, but instead of people hearing about an attempt to destroy this evil bill in its entirety, they are getting the message that if Rand got his way on this one bad aspect of the bill that the rest of it we could live with.

If I'm in a situation where a mugger is going to kill me no matter what I do, then I'm not going to just punch him in the arm. I'm going to try to do as much damage to him as I possibly can. Im going to try to poke his eyes out, rip his ears off, etc., so that maybe I can do enough damage that he can't do this again to someone else in the future. I think what Rand is doing is analogous to punching a mugger in the arm while he is in the midst of killing you. While he might be putting up a fight, it is so timid that the State isn't coming away with any serious wounds from it. There is a reason why Bill Kristol hates Ron Paul and tolerates Rand. It is because Rand is punching him in the arm while Ron is poking his eyes out.

If we are to win this struggle for freedom then we need more people who follow the libertarian philosophy. I didn't become a Rothbardian because Ron Paul was the best congressman. I became one because he offered a radical change that was moral, ethical, and logical. It was because he preached the libertarian philosophy without wavering, and without watering it down for political gain. Even when he offered half measures like Audit The Fed, he was clear that the real goal was to End The Fed. When Ron Paul gets a little press and attention, he has used it to spread a radically different message than most people have ever heard before. The effect of his consistent, principled, radical approach was to create more libertarians than anybody who has walked this planet. Yes, he never got any bills passed, but what freedom do I have today because of the activities of Rand Paul? What are his political success stories? With radical approaches coming from Ron Paul, LVMI, LRC, EPJ, Liberty Classroom, etc. I see an explosion in the number of libertarians in this country. With the watered down approach of Rand Paul, Reason, and Cato, I see stagnation.

People can apologize for Rand Paul all they want, but the fact remains his approach divides the liberty movement. His approach pleases Bill Kristol and Sean Hannity. It is the radical approach of Ron Paul that united the libertarian movement, and spread it to millions of people across the globe. It is his approach that elites from all stripes fear. They know they can defeat a man who wants to change DC. They can beat him down during the campaign and pull whatever dirty trick that is necessary to keep him away from the levers. But they can't handle the man that doesn't want control of the levers. They can't defeat a man who simply spreads an idea, and inspires people to educate themselves and others. The can't defeat a nation of people who no longer consent to their rule. We all must come to realize that we can't defeat the State through the apparatus they created. We can only defeat them from outside their system, and with the truth of our ideas. Ideas are bulletproof and that is why TPTB have always feared them.

Until Rand Paul and his followers understand this, I say keep shining a light on him.


  1. Rand Paul may be worse than just punching a mugger in the arms. He may be trying to pick pocket you, when muggers are punching you in the face.

  2. It is Wenzel's approach that divides the liberty movement. Have you ever heard the phrase "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"? Once we get to the point where Rand Paul, Reason and CATO are the biggest obstacles, then we can terminate the alliance.

    1. It is silly to say it is Wenzel's approach that is dividing the liberty movement. He had this same exact approach the whole time that Ron Paul was running for president and the movement was still lined up in almost complete unison behind Ron Paul. Even the hardcore Rothbardians tend to speak very positively about Ron, even though a lot of us don't believe in participating in the political sphere. We were all united behind Ron Paul because we all knew he was spreading the libertarian movement.

      Rand Paul is the one who divides the movement because he is the one deviating from libertarian positions. If he became more libertarian in his rhetoric and actions he would not lose any libertarian support he already has, and he would gain more support from those that don't trust him. The more hardcore libertarian he became, the more unified his support would be in the liberty movement. So clearly it is his approach that divides us. If Wenzel started apologizing for Rand it wouldn't change a thing. I wouldn't suddenly get on board. I would just become concerned that Wenzel was selling out, and I would stop associating with him.

      As for waiting for Rand Paul, Reason, and Cato to be the biggest obstacles to achieving liberty before attacking them, I think that is a huge mistake. The point that people like Wenzel, and myself, are trying to make is that we think the approach of these groups and Rand are what could hurt the libertarian movement. I do not believe that their approach will advance our cause. We've had a pretty good example of this in just looking at which groups are creating more libertarians, LVMI, LRC, Ron Paul, etc. or Cato, Reason, and Rand Paul. The answer is clear.

      I don't think that neocons and liberals are going to become libertarian by following Rand Paul. Not only will they not become libertarians, they will believe that a lot of the anti-libertarian positions that Rand holds are somehow libertarian because he is associated with us. If people think our philosophy would just give them a slightly smaller government than we have now then there is no reason for them to give us any thought. People become libertarians when they realize we are offering a radically different way to live our lives.

      It is perfectly fine to endorse Rand in the libertarian positions he happens to hold, but it is essential that we call him to task when he deviates. People need to know that the libertarian solutions are much more radical, ethical, moral, and logical than the tamed down version being offered by Reason.

      I believe that the only way to achieve liberty in my lifetime will be if we are able to greatly expand our numbers, and the only way I think that can be done is by presenting our views without concessions. I'm not afraid of people hearing the unvarnished truth of what we believe. I know that the truth is on our side and I have nothing to hide. I want people to know that I will not compromise my principles. I want people to know that in only the areas where they adhere to the NAP will I agree with them. If they have a problem with me voicing my dissent when they fail in this regard, then they should either adhere to the NAP, or learn to deal with it.

    2. Wenzel is dividing nothing.
      I and others don't need Wenzel to realize Rand Paul is not a libertarian, nor a good thing for the long term success of the libertarian philosophy.

      Rand Paul, however, is like the pied piper leading libertarians, if they truly are even libertarians to begin with, right back into the misguided belief that politics will help them gain freedom, like a priest infiltrating the mafia making people believe he will turn a gang of mobsters into the salvation army.

      The one thing that is on my mind about Rand-apologists is always this: do they even KNOW what libertarianism is. Do they know how to define it? Do they know the difference between small(er) government conservatism and libertarianism?
      Maybe they do, but seeing hope in someone like Rand Paul really makes me doubt it.
      Especially when they have no problem giving their vote to his worst in order to get some of his best.

  3. I couldn't agree more.

    At some point you need to realize that we can not win in the SHORT RUN. It is impossible! Get one Senator you like in there and cheer him on. At the end of the day you've got exactly nothing!

    Only the long run can take us where we need to go. No compromises are necessary for that. The long run is about educating and changing minds.

    Looking for a quick win here and there doesn't amount to Jack. It is a democracy, apparently, remember?

    La Boetie showed us the reasoning and the way. If NDAA is 1 one millionth less bad because a lone 'libertarian' sold out to the State, is that worth it? No, not really.

    Educate, Learn, Promote. And wait.... The time will come but it won't be tomorrow.

    Patience and principles. Our only hope.


  4. "I couldn't agree more."

    Oh yeah, I meant with the article!

  5. Look, Rand Paul is not going to change the world. He is one person out of 100 who have any say in the direction this country takes. His views will ultimately make no difference. Do we who read this blog not understand that the U.S. is already too far gone to save? Anyone with any sense of things economic and financial is aware that the government has promised far too much, and that those promises are very much impossible to honor. And anyone with any sense of the modern political philosophy in the western world knows that the U.S. government will continue to kick the can until the whole system collapses. Nothing will change until it is forced upon them by economic law. Why are we bickering about Rand? It makes no sense. He is a man trying to appear heroic by attempting to repair the hole in the Titanic after it has hit the iceberg. Newsflash: The ship is going down whether we like it or not. Do we not realize that balancing the budget, if it actually were accomplished, would result in nationwide chaos among the masses like we have never experienced before? The politicians will delay the day of reckoning. It is their nature. They have no other choice if they wish to delay their ultimate day of reckoning. And when it finally arrives someday, the changes that occur throughout the world will be of such epic proportion that a new era in humanity will be born.

    We have to ask ourselves, do we really believe Austrian economic theory? If so, then it is our view that the entire economy of western world, which is built upon a foundation of Keynesianism, will ultimately collapse in an enormous Misesian crack-up-boom, unless, of course, you are naive enough to believe that the politicians will all of a sudden find religion and become "responsible," thereby bringing about a voluntary default on the national debt and a denial of benefits and entitlements to the masses. Please, let us confine ourselves to the real world for a moment. The QE, and the year, after year, after year, after year of sub-0.25% FED funds rate will continue until the world's reserve currency is eventually destroyed in a hyperinflationary tsunami. They will not be able to stop it once it begins. The all consuming wave may be a hundred miles off shore, but it has already formed, and is growing larger by the day.

    If, somehow, this assessment is incorrect, and things forever continue as they are now, with a few glitches and recessions here and there, then we must consider reassessing our view of the Misesian theory of money. And, in that case, we must consider our view of Keynesian monetary theory as well, in that while it is perhaps a flawed and less desirable economic system, it may be ultimately workable in a society. Until proven otherwise, however, I continue to adhere to Misesian thought, and therefore anticipate very dark days ahead for all mankind. Rand Paul's view of tax reform seems quite a small matter now, does it not?

  6. I'd say the progression of humanity is a race between the productive, and the unproductive whom are led by government. The productive, through advancements in technology and science and process, increase quality of life. Government, through taxes, laws, and monetary policy, destroys quality of life.

    Sorta related to how Obama and Bush and all the presidents for the last 100 years get on TV and radio and imply that government has been responsible for improving quality of life since the dawn of the country, when in fact productive and intelligent people are the sole reason life is better now than it was in 1900 and 1800. Just listen to the congressmen in Peter Schiff's testimony video. They sanctify the federal government. They claim that government is the only reason more people have houses today. Because government made laws saying people have to have housing. Funny. What about the construction vehicles used to build those houses (made by companies) with materials (acquired by companies) with architectural patterns (made by smart people) and experienced workers (with skills built up through their life).

    Dark days may be ahead, but future calamity is mitigated every day by engineers and scientists. So be optimistic that we won't go back to the dark ages. Hopefully I'm right.

    1. Frank, I hope you're right. I pray you're right.

      But we've never dealt with a catastrophic worldwide collapse

  7. "He has been able to garner a good amount of press because of this filibuster threat" -

    And this a bad thing? The zombies need to be woken up and realize the tyranny that is at their doorstep.

    At least he is drawing attention to the issue.

    1. Did I say it was a bad thing? No. I made it clear that I believed he was wasting an opportunity, at best, and possibly making people think that without that one provision the liberty movement would live with the NDAA. I'm all for getting people to talk about the evils of the State, but I don't want them to think that the watered down, or sometimes outright non-libertarian positions Rand takes are what we believe.

  8. All of this Rand-hating lately has me wondering: Is Robert Wenzel just trolling us all? If so, I applaud his efforts. Well done, sir.

    1. Nope.
      The trolls are those who cannot deal with criticism of their cherished hero Rand Paul, and instead of offering logical counter-arguments to prove Wenzel wrong, are just committing ad hominem about either his actions or his motivations.

      The fact that instead of proving him wrong with valid counter-arguments, you instead just call him a "Rand-hater" that is "trolling" you, proves my point.