Tuesday, April 28, 2015
A much-needed critique of Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul
and his more enthusiastic supporters appears at the Huffington
Post in the form of an op-ed
by Peter Schwartz. Schwartz starts off by noting that Paul is
being criticized as being insufficiently libertarian on the grounds of
his "hawkish" foreign policy -- and by pointing out that this
criticism comes from an idea, "non-interventionism", that actually
contradicts the cause of individual rights. Not only that, the whole
idea of Paul as a "hawk" is outlandish:
Rand Paul has tried to moderate some of his views. Nonetheless, like his father, he believes in the code of "non-interventionism" and maintains that a nuclear-armed Iran, despite its demonstrable threat to America, should be acceptable to us. He is, as a Washington Post analyst accurately notes, "far, far outside the mainstream on this -- and far to the left of President Obama." [format edits]In addition to setting the factual record straight, the Schwartz piece clarifies the anti-freedom nature of the libertarian movement for the benefit of today's voter, summarizing as follows:
In other words, if one seeks to establish a system based on the principle of individual rights -- if one seeks to identify what rights mean and what constitutes an objective threat to them -- then one ends up with a political structure that genuinely defends freedom, in both the domestic and foreign realms. If, however, one starts with the emotionalist credo that everyone should be allowed "to do his own thing" -- if one believes that government has no right to tell any citizen that he can't make his own laws, or to tell any nation that it can't have its own nuclear bomb -- then one ends up with a policy that contradicts the requirements of freedom: "non-interventionism." [format edits]The cause of freedom is in great jeopardy today politically and culturally. Some of Rand Paul's words and stands on some issues might sound good or seem comforting, taken out of context. However, it is precisely for this reason that this candidate is, by my estimate, the worst of the field, from either party. Rand Paul will only worsen the mess Obama is making of our foreign policy. On top of that, thanks to the common perception that libertarianism is a pro-individual rights movement, Paul is in a unique position to thwart the cause of freedom by perpetuating (at best) confusion about the role of government in protecting individual rights.
I strongly recommend reading the entire piece and spreading the word about it, particularly to friends and acquaintances who might support the Paul candidacy.