My response to this piece:
There are multiple problems with this writer’s claims. First, Rand Paul can hardly be taken at his word. If anything, he’s below average when compared with other politicians in terms of consistency. Second, presidents are largely figureheads who preside over the implementation of policies that have already been decided according to the prevailing consensus of elite opinion. The true power elite have their hands in both parties, all (or most) candidates, and all institutions. There is also no evidence that Rand Paul’s constitutionalism will be any more meaningful than Obama’s “hope and change” or George W. Bush’s promised eschewing of “nation-building.” While presidents can theoretically buck elite preference, there is no evidence Rand Paul has the desire, incentive, or testicular fortitude to do that. If anything, he will make even further compromises as he goes along. Nor is there any well-organized constituency outside the state that would be able to hold him to his word. Lacking any of these, Rand Paul is worthless. As I have said, President Rand Paul would be a Republican Bill Clinton. No need to waste time on that.
Long before Rand Paul formally declared his presidential campaign, purist libertarians fervently detested his realistic approach to political discourse. In their eyes, he’s a heretic of the philosophy for willing to compromise principle for politics. Chants of “Gary Johnson 2016” echo loudly within the libertarian and anarchist internet community. Dogmatic purists are completely disconnected from political reality and are outright damaging to the cause of liberty.
You don’t have to look hard to find an internet libertarian calling Rand a “neocon statist” for any variety of reasons. I personally have been berated and called all sorts of names from bootlicker to corporatist for voicing my support of Rand. Despite my views of individual liberty and limited government, my support for a candidate pursuing NET REDUCTIONS in the scope of our lawless government makes me a statist.
I am, apparently, a naïve pawn of the United States political system. Purist, however, seem to think a 1% voting base will secure Gary Johnson as president in my lifetime, let alone the next election. But I’m the naïve one.
In my mind, we are at a tipping point in which the path of our country will forever be decided – limited government or totalitarianism. Purist libertarians ignore this reality and bicker about “ending the state” and “a borderless world”.