If U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul were running as a Libertarian, I would find at least a couple things to criticize in his message below. His statement that "We have to keep our promises to seniors and keep our country strong" sounds like an advance rationalization for failing to seek large cuts in unsustainable entitlements and military spending, and his defense of civil liberties lacks specificity.
Nevertheless for a Republican this is terrific stuff! I like that he lays out a number of concrete promises in plain, no-room-for-compromise language. If Rand is elected, either he will have to keep these promises, or he will be revealed as a politician who lacks integrity. I wish more candidates similarly denied themselves wiggle room.
In point of fact, and embarrassingly for the Libertarian Party, Rand Paul's message sounds more libertarian than that of some high-profile Libertarians I've heard. For example, he forgoes the use of the word "socialist" in favor of the more libertarian term "statist", and attacks "the Washington DC establishment" instead of acting like the problem lies exclusively or mainly with Obama or the Democrats.
I'm not necessarily supporting Rand Paul. I haven't looked to see whether there is an LP candidate running for the seat in question whose views are clearly more libertarian. If there is, that candidate should get our backing. But there is much to commend here. Rand Paul has a good shot at winning his race, and in such races the siren songs of those urging compromise and concealment are typically heard with more urgency. If he can resist them, we should certainly expect no less from Libertarians running in less winnable contests under the label of a more pro-freedom political party.
And so if nothing else, this message offers a useful benchmark for Libertarians seeking office -- any Libertarian candidate who sounds more conservative or more statist than Rand Paul does here should be told to go back to the drawing board and get it right before expecting libertarian support. If we can't do better than this, we might as well fold our party and join the Ron Paul Republicans.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))