Rand Paul is becoming less like his father every day, it seems. His obvious desire for higher office is technically not a problem, if he goes about it the right way. Unfortunately, he is moving toward the middle instead of trying to move the middle toward him. This undermines his effectiveness, and at some point he becomes no better than any other Republican. I don’t think we are there yet, but it’s frightening that we seem headed in that direction.
This Washington Post article highlights Rand’s latest moves. He is meeting with evangelical leaders, who are often very confused about liberty, as are most Republicans and Democrats. One that he met with stated “Straight libertarianism has nothing Christian about it.” Such ignorance is palpable. Libertarianism is non-aggression, a key teaching in the Bible. Rand Paul has the opportunity to explain this and how it relates to government. He also has the chance to explain how the Constitution does not provide for federal power over many issues evangelicals are concerned about, including marriage and the drug war. These are very reasonable, moderate, and consistent arguments that would do the cause of liberty much good.
But what is Rand advocating? To his credit, he still thinks marriage is a state issue, but I don’t see him laying out the Constitutional reasons for this. Unfortunately, on the drug war, he wants to continue it but try and reduce some of the penalties. That’s nice, but that is not a defense of liberty. It’s support for a failed, rights-violating, unconstitutional, and moronic drug prohibition.
We are going to need people who actually support liberty to make the changes we want. Rand Paul is not laying the foundation for a Presidential run based on liberty. He is more likely, as Bob Wenzel points out, to end up being the next Ronald Reagan, one who often talks nice but doesn't stop or reverse the growth of the state.