Schwartz on Rand Paul

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.

-- CAV


Steve D said...

'However, it is precisely for this reason that this candidate is, by my estimate, the worst of the field, from either party.'

This is a particularly important point Gus, because unlike mistaken domestic policy where we could at least in theory regain our lost freedoms, the consequences of bad foreign policy could be irreversible.

Gus Van Horn said...


Not only that, but a big enough crisis could conceivably result in our country having less lime that it otherwise might to self-correct.

So Paul would effectively get us more lost and get us less time to set ourselves straight.