Saturday, February 2, 2013

Why So Hard on Rand?

Yesterday, I received  an email mail from Ted Ladue. With permission, I reprint it in its entirety and then respond.
Subject: Why so hard on Rand?

from: Ted Ladue <>
to: Robert Wenzel <>
date: Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 11:48 PM
 Mr. Wenzel,

I am a long-time reader of your blog and frequent the site several times a day. I truly enjoy your perspectives on all things related to Austrian Economics and libertarian issues. And your speech at the NY Fed last year was a revelation to me... I still go back and read it at least once a month because I enjoyed it so much.

However, I have to take issue with the way you seem to go out of your way to attack Senator Rand Paul. You are constantly making the point that Rand Paul is not a libertarian, doesn't have libertarian principles, wants to increase the size of government, etc. As you have quoted on your website before, Rand Paul has stated several times that he is NOT a libertarian, that he is in fact a republican... so why do you have to keep publishing posts that ridicule him for not being a libertarian? Your constant posting of negative comments towards Rand seems childish to me... you're criticizing him for not being libertarian, but he's not trying to be a libertarian. Why should he care about your criticism? If he has offended you personally in some way, then I would suggest you make that known because blindly attacking him diminishes your credibility in other areas.

I'm not really here to defend Senator Paul because I agree with you that he has some very troubling neo-con tendencies, especially on foreign policy. But the seemingly mindless attacks on him are not helping your cause.

In liberty,

Ted Ladue
First, I have no personal animosity toward Rand Paul. I have never met him and have never had direct contact of any kind. If anything, my comments on Rand political positions are very difficult to make, since I have met his father Ron Paul, whom I admire greatly, and who has said kind things about me in public and in private emails. It's not fun going after his son.

That said, I believe it is important to point out when Rand holds positions that are inconsistent with libertarian views. While many regular EPJ readers may be aware of the many positions Rand holds that are non-libertarian that is not the case with the public at large.

Polymic carried this headline:

Rand Paul Scores Libertarian Victory, Proves He is One of Us

National Review had this headline:

Rand PaulLibertarians Are the Future of the GOP

Real Clear Politics had this headline:

Reason had this headline:

And, there is a comment from Morning Joe:

Thus, it is not difficult to see how many may view Rand as a libertarian.

Because of this, and his high profile, and the likelihood that he will seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, it is important that it is made clear that Rand is not a libertarian. Otherwise many who are just learning about libertarianism may get the mistaken belief that the positions Rand holds are libertarian positions. When people search for the name, "Rand Paul" or search for "Rand Paul libertarian," I want them to have the chance to come across posts, as opposed to the ones above, that make clear when Rand is holding non-libertarian positions. No one would mistake positions of Senator Barbara Boxer as being regularly libertarian. That would be different for many with Rand

Further, since it appears that Rand does want to be president, he is likely going to come out, as we get closer to 2016, with more non-libertarian positions. He is not going to get to 50% plus 1, running on hardcore libertarian talking points. There are just not that many people within the broader public at the present time that are willing to give up on the Entitlement-Crony Complex. Rand will have to move closer and closer to the ECC to pick up the votes he will need.

I believe his visit to Israel was a step in that direction, though the trip did expose in comical fashion the surface nature of some of his attempts to court various groups. I'm sure a lot of evangelicals on a bus ride in Israel raised eyebrows when Rand called for the bus driver to play Guns N Roses' Knocking On Heaven's Door--a Rand attempt at bonding with them.

That song is not likely in the top ten in most evangelical churches. In fact, I wonder if this part of the lyrics from the song has ever made it into the performance of any church chorus anywhere:

You just better start sniffin' your own
rank subjugation jack 'cause it's just you
against your tattered libido, the bank and
the mortician, forever man and it wouldn't
be luck if you could get out of life alive

I also wonder if Rand completely appreciates the nuances of liberty. His call for a program where "A passenger who has been verified by the Transportation Security Administration as a low-risk or frequent traveler has the right to be screened through a process that is more expeditious and less intrusive than the standard screening process," is quite shocking. The more and more government knows about each and every one of us, the more dangerous that government becomes to all of us. TSA "verified" travelers are the last thing that anyone who understands liberty would want. The less government knows about us the better. This is especially true as the government becomes more totalitarian. Why can't Rand just call for security to be handled by each and every airline in any manner they see fit?

After intrusions on freedom of the press and intrusions on the freedom for a person to say want he wants on private property where he is welcome (or "public" government property), data collection on individuals by government is a most serious evil.

And don't get me started about Rand's proposal to put at the front of the line, as must pays, interest and principle payments on Treasury securities. This proposal by Rand, if enacted, would help secure the government's borrowing ability and, thus, its ability to expand even further.

No, I think I will stay on Rand's butt. Many of the positions he is advocating are far from libertarian. They, in many cases, encourage the growth of the state. I would hate for even one person to associate his ideas with libertarianism.


  1. Replies
    1. It would be very bad for our liberty if the results of Rand Paul's neocon and anti-free-market proposals were blamed on the free market.

      I will NOT vote for Rand Paul; He is a sellout.

      And I hope enough libertarians have the sense to reject Rand like they rejected Romney.

  2. My view is to criticize Rand when he gets it wrong but praise him when he gets it right (which he often does). That said, though Rand Paul indeed has said several times he's not a libertarian (he prefers the label "constitutional conservative"), he's not consistent about it. For example, at a CATO event last year he stated "I was born a libertarian"

    True, it could possibly mean he was a libertarian in the past but no longer is now, such a statement does muddy up the waters

    1. using politics to advance principles is better than using politics to sabotage principles.

      Anyone who has studied psychology knows where Rand's heart is.

      The venomous neocons, the parasitic marxists, the hostile elite, hate the people and culture of West.

      these hostile elite control our banks, our media, our espionage agencies. they want to turn white america into a gulag.

      America and Europe must defend their homelands from hostile elite and break their stranglehold over our banks and media.

      Rand is on our side. But we need at least 500 more patriots.

      What a shame. America cannot even supply 500 men to take over senate and house, impeach obama, cut the empire, bury the federal reserve, stop 3rd world immigration and bring back freedom.

    2. "Anyone who has studied psychology knows where Rand's heart is."

      Too bad you haven't bothered to study POLITICS instead.

  3. In the summer of 2004 I spent 400 hours investigating the Neocon philosophy and it's authors Leo Strauss and Carl Schmitt. I came to realize that this philosophy was going to lead to the destruction of the American middle class, and be used to propagandize the public into meekly giving up its freedom for a crude security theatre. Was I wrong? Hell no.

    This cabal sought to destroy the rule of law, and precedent, and they were using lawlessness to destroy real estate law at the county, state, and federal level through the Mortgage Electronic Registration System. I knew from my understanding of this philosophy, boomer demographics, and the nature of the loans being used, that this country was facing the worst real estate crisis since the Great Depression. I realized this in mid-October 2004.

    The U.S. and European banking crisis were easy to spot years before they exploded because of the leverage, type of loans, and the Neocons stated goals of having a socially fragmented, propagandized, and destitute public too poor spiritually or fiscally to fight back.

    Fast forward 8 1/2 years and ask yourself, have any of the philosopher kings gone to jail? Hell, no. Things have only gotten worse, and the pace of destruction will soon accelerate.

    The Neocons have used a process I call disaggregation to make it easy to pick off the American public one at a time, so that their voice is dimmed and ultimately silenced by propaganda and fiscal realities beyond their control. Their philosophy is in opposition to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    Now that Rand Paul has joined the dark side and decided to become their latest dog-collared lackey, Libertarians like myself are supposed to give this Christian Zionist some slack because of his genetic heritage, and love of Ron Paul.

    First of all, I left the Liberty movement when Ron Paul decided to run as a Republican in 2012. In my book Ron Paul was a fraud, who had run a shoddy campaign in 2008, and I found Campaign for Liberty to be a sick joke, and could not stomach the people he had chosen to surround himself with.

    I applaud Economic Policy Journal for exposing what a Neocon tool Rand Paul is, and I have suspected him to be for over 3 years. Thank God someone has the guts to expose this cretin.

    1. Ron Paul is most certainly not a fraud.

    2. Perhaps Rand isn't entirely a fraud, but the legal concept is that 'fraud vitiates all that it comes in contact with'. That said, is there some level of "taintedness" that becomes unacceptable?

    3. Rand could be called a fraud, but not Ron. Please point out how Ron paul is a fraud!

    4. #1 Trygve Olson-Neocon
      #2 Doug Wead-Neocon
      #3 Jesse Benton-Neocon

      If you want to understand what a fraud Ron Paul has been for 6 years, then have the guts to watch the Adam Kokesh (Youtube) interview of former Ron Paul staffer Penny Freeman. According to Penny, Ron was running information campaigns only, and never had any intention of running to win.

      Why did Ron Paul allow the grassroots organizations to be treated with such total distain throughout the last 2 campaigns? Was it because he did not want to be too closely associated with people who were willing to do everything in their power to put him in the White House?

      Ask yourself why Ron went silent, when his most fervent followers were fighting fraud in the state conventions. Ron chose to act like a coward, and asked his followers to be respectful of the thieves who stole votes from him.

      Ron Paul now appears to have been nothing more than a source of employment for his extended family, and a launching pad for his Neocon offspring.

    5. "Ron was running information campaigns only, and never had any intention of running to win."

      Maybe because he knows how crooked the political and media complex really is and that even if he had received the most votes - as he really did in Iowa, Nevada, Maine, Alaska, and who knows how many other states - fraud would prevent him from winning. So the next best option is to educate and bring millions into the fold like never before, which is exactly what he did.

      I believe Paul accepted from the beginning that he was not going to win, no matter how "fair" this fact was, and no matter how well Paul did in the polls or no matter how many states suddenly ended up missing entire precincts in the third world voting style recount like Iowa.

      The only accurate criticism is that he is too nice to his family and allowed his granddaughter's husband and his son's political aspirations to be more important than his own.

      "Ask yourself why Ron went silent, when his most fervent followers were fighting fraud in the state conventions"

      As blatant and open as the cheating of the Paul voters was, what exactly would have stopped it? Ron did comment on it at his counter convention, and in some media interviews, btw. Had Paul brought it up over and over, he would have been accused of being a conspiracy theorist whiner and that would have detracted from the message of his campaign instead of anti-interventionism.

      The GOP cheated him with cameras rolling and broke their own rules in front of the media, so what change would have taken place? Reporters were openly cheering for Ron to be defeated and showed how little difference there was from the neo-cons to the liberal media types, so do you think they would have covered this?

      If Paul were doing as you said by treating the grass roots badly since he was a fraud, he would not have gone around at the GOP convention to all of his supporters and thanked them for continuing the fight and forced a floor vote. He would not have held a rival convention and then left before his own son and the RNC was finished. He would have endorsed Romney and asked them not to fight for the nomination and withdrawn his candidacy.

  4. Great post Mr. Wenzel!

  5. If Ted Ladue had paid attention, to both the articles and the comments, he should have known for quite some time already why so much focus is on Rand.

    Quite frankly, i don't think Wenzel's credibility is really the issue here, so much as some denied or unspoken respect and admiration for Rand Paul being challenged every time there is a critical article about him.

    No, there are some secretly held apologetics at work here, that makes it hard for Ted to take Rand being raked over the coals.
    This is betrayed by Ted calling these attacks "mindless".

    Has Ted ever complained about the "mindless" attacks on Paul Krugman, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?

  6. Any Rand Paul defenders should channel their efforts into something more useful than complaining about Wenzel like this:

    I imagine that Wenzel might agree that the superb Tom Woods changing minds in Iowa is a fine thing, and you get to help the Rand-friendly Iowa GOP look competent. I'm guessing this is laying the groundwork for Rand 2016.

    I'm not exactly thrilled about Rand 2016, but this Freedom On Tour project is very exciting.

  7. REASON ONE Wenzel should stay on top of Rand: Nobody else of his stature in the libertarian movement is doing the job (except, occasionally, Raimondo). The memo has gone out at LRC (not that I blame Lew).

    REASON TWO is suggested by these interesting hit counts from Google searches of

    Justin Raimondo: 2
    Wenzel: 2
    Lew Rockwell: 239
    Murray Rothbard: 247
    Ludwig von Mises: 249
    Tom Woods: 253
    Ron Paul: 955
    Rand Paul: 2,550

    Campaign for Liberty is gearing up to be Rand 2016 central. Not a libertarian? You can bet he’s counting on lots of libertarians supporting him, directly or indirectly.


    "I do see Iran as a threat to the stability of the Middle East... Recently, President Obama took nuclear weapons off the table in certain circumstances, and I think that's a mistake. I think it's reckless to take them out of the equation." –Rand Paul, 19 May 2010

    “Clearly, language threatening to wipe a nation or a group of people off the map is to be condemned by all civilized people. And I do condemn any such language. But why does threatening Iran with a pre-emptive nuclear strike, as many here have done, not also deserve the same kind of condemnation? Does anyone believe that dropping nuclear weapons on Iran will not wipe a people off the map? When it is said that nothing, including a nuclear strike, is off the table on Iran, are those who say it not also threatening genocide?” –Ron Paul, 22 May 2007

  8. Replies
    1. Agreed - 3 is all that needs to be said anytime someone asks, "Why are you being mean to Rand?"

  9. Rand deserves every criticism he gets from libertarians. He has no one to blame but himself, to go after Wenzel or Raimondo is deflection. One our advantages over liberalism, neoconservatism and paleoconservatism is that we stick to our principals. People like Rand want to have it both ways and for alot of fellow libertarians thats not acceptable. Recently Adam Kokesh attacked him and rightfully so

    1. kokesh is an FBI rat. You need to have good instincts, good nose to smell rats.

      Stop asking for "proof" like a child, as if Kokesh is a card carrying member of FBI.

      Notice how he came from Iraq and all of a sudden becomes a media, Youtube sensation. Quickly becomes an anchor for Globalist media channel "Russia" Today.

      Then he starts slamming Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Campaign for liberty, and claims "doing away" with romney has crossed his mind, clearly hinting at assassination.

      He also uses coded words, phrases, he is clearly a traitorous evildoer.

      And like a puppy you rush to Kokesh. woof woof.

    2. "kokesh is an FBI rat. You need to have good instincts, good nose to smell rats.
      Stop asking for "proof" like a child"

      "Anyone who has studied psychology knows where Rand's heart is. "

      You presume to know much without proof, which explains why you would attack those wanting it as "children".

    3. Someone needs to take his meds, and it ain't NY Cynic or "anonymous".

      I wonder what a nose looks like, that "smells" Rand Paul as a good guy, and Kokesh as an "FBI rat".

    4. @Patriot

      You Paleocons are always good for a laugh. I enjoyed your little rant

    5. at least we are not traitorous like you, NYCynic.

      You masquerade like a libertarian but hidden beneath this veneer lurks the infiltrator and saboteur against western civilization.

    6. You are an idiot, Patriot, just like your moniker clarifies.

      You have no clue what libertarianism means. You're one of those dummies who is a nationalist yet think he is also a libertarian, as if one has anything to do with the other.

      Love of country is a STATIST concept. Love for nation state was bred into people by the earliest state rulers to make them pay taxes out of "pride".

      "Stop asking for "proof" like a child, as if Kokesh is a card carrying member of FBI."

      I am going to make stupid rants, and you must believe me because proof is for children. I don't need to account for my stupid rants, because that will only make things complicated for me.

      "Notice how he came from Iraq and all of a sudden becomes a media, Youtube sensation."

      So what?

      "Then he starts slamming Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Campaign for liberty"

      SO WHAT? Rand Paul is a fraud and a statist. Campaign for liberty is run by John Tate. Another fraud.
      And he slammed Ron Paul when he dropped the ball in his campaign. People worship is for morons, not libertarians.

      "and claims "doing away" with romney has crossed his mind, clearly hinting at assassination. "

      Proof. Until then you're a ranting buffoon. By the way, the founding fathers would LONG have ignited a revolution against the current regime.

    7. "Love of country is a STATIST concept"

      You fool. Ron Paul is a patriot. He defends the constitution, he wants UN out of US and US out of UN, he wants national sovereignty.

      If you dont like that, get the hell out of my country. I love western peoples, western heritage, western civilization.

      You are obviously a traitorous infiltrator.

  10. Bob wrote: "And don't get me started about Rand's proposal to put at the front of the line as must pays interest and principle payments on Treasury securities."

    I don't understand this sentence. Are some words missing?

    1. Duh, click on the link.

    2. Read "must pays" as a noun---that is, as "things that must be paid."

    3. "Must pays" is being used as a noun in the sentence, which is probably why it doesn't seem to make sense at first blush. Might have been clearer if written as.....

      "And don't get me started about Rand's proposal to put at the front of the line as 'must-pays' interest and principle payments on Treasury securities."

    4. Kelvin: Read "must-pays", i.e., things that must be paid. Rand wants to put the idea of a gov't default of of consideration. Rothbard's position (correct, I believe) was that a gov't default is the only approach consistent with liberty and morality.

    5. Bob wants to default and start over. I don't think America is ready for bankruptcy yet though it's going to be an enforced bankruptcy sooner or later. I do have confidence that Rand Paul is the ONLY realistic candidate who would cut the Federal government to shreds and balance the budget. His comments on foreign policy are really secondary to all that and are designed to win over 'USA! USA! USA!' GOP voters.

  11. How do posts such as
    in any way help people understand that Rand is not a libertarian. Sure, go after him on the issues, but when you start making fun of his hair, it makes people think you do have a personal problem with him and that you do just enjoy going after him for fun.