Rand Paul Expands the Political Dialectic – And That's a Good Thing
By Staff News & Analysis - December 02, 2014

Rand Paul dives back into Ferguson debate … Rand Paul wrote a column for TIME following the decision in Ferguson. He said that politicians are to blame in Ferguson and elsewhere … Individuals, he argued, are ultimately responsible for their own fate … His comments are part of his aggressive minority outreach. – CNN

Dominant Social Theme: This is a crazy conservative who doesn't fit the mold.

Free-Market Analysis: Rand Paul is back in the news with statements about the war on drugs creating a "culture of violence" that puts police into an impossible situation.

In the same editorial, he also said the criminal justice system targets more blacks than whites but that nonetheless, people ought to "take responsibility" for their own lives and actions and not wait for government help. Shocking, eh!

Let's delve further.

First, we believe that Paul, like his father – even more than his father – has the possibility of becoming president if he runs in upcoming elections. That immediately makes his statements significant.

Second, the statements themselves are not "conservative" in nature so much as libertarian – freedom oriented. This has not previously been a mainstream GOP message and thus represents an ideological break.

Third, Paul is making a reasoned case for specific kinds of government disengagement. In an era of overwhelming government activism in the West and specifically in the US, Paul's are valuable for their unusual content.

We remember during the 2008 GOP presidential debates how his father, Ron Paul, then a congressman from Texas, voiced views on international military engagements that put him at odds with the other candidates on stage.

When asked how the US could disengage, Paul said that the US could "march out" just the way it "marched in." This statement was seen as naïve by other candidates and even by those moderating the debate. One candidate even said that the "sacred honor" of the US was at stake.

Despite the overwhelming negativity greeting Paul's remarks, the results of that single debate resonated. Paul was seen by viewers to have won the debate and mainstream GOP officials were put in a position of having to defend wars that had gone on too long and probably should never have begun in the first place.

The remarks, in our view, ultimately helped generate a limited disengagement of the US in the Middle East. Perhaps more importantly, they illustrated a significant divide between US citizens, even GOP supporters, and the US military-industrial complex that thrives unfortunately in the shadows, unquestioned and often unengaged.

Words matter. The political system may indeed be ineffective and resistant to change, but when freedom-oriented ideas are voiced on the national or international stage they may well have an impact.

Here's more:

The so-called war on drugs has created a culture of violence and put police in a nearly impossible situation," Paul said in an op-ed published for TIME.

He acknowledged that the shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer wasn't related to drugs, but argued that outsized penalties for nonviolent drug crimes creates a "tension in some communities that too often results in tragedy."

The comments are another attempt by Paul, a Kentucky Republican and likely 2016 presidential contender, to seize on the violence in Ferguson as an opportunity to make inroads with minorities. He's blending his libertarian-leaning views about the war on drugs with a message that emphasizes the importance of individual responsibility.

And he's doing this while other possible GOP presidential prospects – like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – are largely silent on the turmoil unfolding in Ferguson.

Back in August, as violence first unfolded on the streets of Ferguson, Paul made a splash with an op-ed – also in TIME – blasting the government for over-militarizing local police forces. The piece made him one of the few political voices willing to weigh in on the issue at the time.

Paul didn't address police forces in Tuesday's op-ed … Rather, he focused his opinion piece on broader issues that cause what he frequently describes as an "undercurrent of unease" in poor communities. While he said criminal justice reform is a crucial need, he ultimately argued it's up to individuals themselves to improve their lives.

Saying he has "no intention to scold," Paul stressed that escaping the "poverty trap will require all of us to relearn that not only are we our brother's keeper, we are our own keeper."

This surely signals the return of the so-called Goldwater wing of the GOP to the Republican mainstream. Rand's father began the process and Rand himself is continuing it.

From a political standpoint, such rhetoric worries those who believe that government is always the answer. The CNN article quotes racial demagogue Al Sharpton as saying that "Paul may not necessarily generate a lot of support among black voters, but his outreach may stop them from voting against him if he becomes the GOP nominee."

Sharpton continued: "If he's able to neutralize his past image on civil rights, if he becomes the candidate … and if you don't get a huge black turnout saying 'We're afraid [of him],' " that could be a pitfall for Democrats." "I can't ignore him," he added. "He's openly dealing with issues that [politicians] including people in the Democratic Party, haven't done."

The bigger issue here is not one of politics, however. The bigger issue is that the concept of human action and individual responsibility is once again being advanced in a major publication, in this case Time magazine.

And this shows us once more how the West's elite leaders have lost control of the larger sociopolitical conversation. In the late 20th century and early 21st, the kind of views expressed by Paul would not have found much national purchase.

But the cultural conversation has expanded. Those who attempt to guide this conversation (toward an ever-expanded corporatism) have been forced to expand the rhetorical boundaries as well. That's part of the dialectical approach, which must encompass both sides of an issue to be an effective control mechanism.

Thus, Rand Paul now has gained a high-profile platform on which to express his views. No doubt he is well aware of certain limitations beyond which he cannot pass; but nonetheless, the conversation itself and Paul's presentation of the issues surely resonate.

It is easy to downplay the significance of all this, but the real impact is on individuals. As people understand more about what they face culturally, professionally and personally, they begin to make plans for themselves instead of trusting in others to do if for them.

Asset protection and the pursuit of an independent lifestyle may become ever-larger concerns. Homes, farms and other off-shore domiciles may become increasingly important. The accumulation of physical assets like gold and silver may come into play, as well.

The impact of people like Rand Paul and his father – whose column we publish – goes far beyond politics. It speaks to the heart of the US tradition of individualism and the "pioneer spirit."

Unfortunately, the impact is sometimes derided in the alternative media because politics itself is not seen as a viable method of reducing current sociopolitical and economic trends. But such sophisticated analyses disregard one issue: Freedom-oriented statements can make people think and goad people into taking individual human action.

After Thoughts

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  • Good article, clear thinking, accurate conclusion, thanks.

  • Jim Johnson

    I am here to dialogue out the issues we face. The Pauls are bringing that. Your commenters have become as interesting as the good works DB puts out. This is our way forward. Let this set the bar for upcoming elections. A sense of excitement is what we need- that we can make sense of the Hand we were dealt even unto the taboo’s. I will not sit still as Establishment again dictates what ‘we’ do not wish to discuss. Enough of Imagine. It is time to Build.

    • gabeh73

      Agreed…don’t vote….but do occasionally speak up…do ridicule…do point out the flaws in logic.

  • Harry Skip Robinson

    I have long been arguing within especially the libertarian community that political discourse and activism has not yielded, nor more importantly can yield, any significant political change. I fear that Rand will either be neutralized or demonized if he gains much more success. How perfect would it be for the oligarchs to crash the monetary system once he was elected, thus blaming free market ideology and policy, as the reason. Or worse yet another political assassination if he tries to become too powerful as the Kennedy’s did.
    I prefer judicial activism, attempting to quell judical corruption or incompetance that allows for the enforcement of bad laws. It appears historically, that the judiciary becomes a rubber stamp for the ruling oligarchy as they usurp greater and greater individual rights.
    Knowledge by the majority does seem to increase through political activism, more than judicial. People still seem to beleive that political activism can work and is a duty for good citizenship. Yet such things as jury nullification have played a vital role in obtraining greater liberties.
    The push for voter participation by the main stream media should give us a clue as to it being a control mechanism. Obviously Judicial activities are much less reported, except if it is a murder case or some other “Who Shot John” proceedings. The abrogation of the right to redress of grievance in 2008, most Citizens have no idea happened or even know it’s significance.
    I just think about how much time, money and effort we libertarians have spent on political activism and to what overall result.

  • RED

    The Pauls need to reemphasize another significant companion factor that has created and exacerbated the generalized “condition” or “plight” of the “black” citizens of this country. It is the Left Wing Socialist Democrat ‘Leadership’ that has created the socio-economoic conditions that have oppressed blacks and “kept them on the plantation” for many decades to the present. The “Left” needs and requires an oppressed class of people to “govern” in order to maintain power and control. If they do not have a sufficient oppressed class of ‘the masses’, they will create one! If most of the general populace was independent, free, self supporting, thriving and ‘upwardly mobile’, no one would need the Left Wing Oppressors; they would be out of business. The ‘Left” must continuously “create the false need”!.

    The Left wing government’s ill conceived “War on Poverty” under the Lyndon Johnson administration (follwed by endless similar left wing programs) has done more to destroy black families over the last several decades, particularly in the inner cities, since the time of the Democrat slave holders and Ku Klux Klan in the south. Government interference, incompetence and apparent malevolent intent consisting of failed social programs have created a dependency upon government that has been highly destructive. This is the real reason that there are a higher percentage of “blacks” in prison. It is no longer really due to the false and contrived perceptions of “racism”.

    To my knowledge, Rush Limbaugh has been the first to articulate this observation over the past several years, and Charles Payne frequently discusses and confirms these observations as well. There are many prominent ‘conservative’ “black” business men and leaders who have taken personal responsibility and do quite well in this country.

    As is almost always the case, the real problem is incompetent and oppressive government with ill conceived social programs and attempts at ‘social – engineering’.

  • cosmos110

    So you’re saying that Rand is trying to sneak into the Oval office.

    Sure I like his father but I’m also keenly aware of politicians adjusting their sails to catch the wind. The problem here is the word “Politician”. This may sound like a wrong key on the piano but I am firmly convicted that there has never been more than one way anyone could ever “throw their vote away” and that is by “voting for the lesser of two evils”.

    For the moment I wouldn’t vote for Rand Paul if George Washington crawled out of his grave and endorsed him.


    • Blank Reg

      Then you may as well not vote at all, because there is certainly no one better coming down the pike, regardless of party.

      • gabeh73

        pretty sure that is exactly what he is saying…stop voting it just encourages them.

    • The point of the article involved the Internet Reformation more than Rand Paul. He is a sympton a cause.

      • gabeh73

        I didn’t take the article as encouragement to actually vote for the guy. Everyone knows the guy is a politician now. We can still be happy to see that the arguments now have to be framed differently. The old propaganda was not serving it’s purpose any more…the new propaganda sets them up to have the lines shifted again later on(I hope).

      • Bruce C

        I think another point is the idea that ‘individuals are largely/ultimately responsible for their own fate’ is epiphantic – or at least intriguing – to many people, and so mass political/social changes may be donkey slow but are at least moving forward.

        After all, that has been true for as long as humans have existed but only now in AD 2014 is it getting any press. Hopefully the “Internet Reformation” will accelerate the progress.

      • cosmos110

        Outstanding ! ! !

        I have been a member of the John Birch Society for over 10 years now and I’ve asked them several times why won’t they do an article on Rand Paul.

        Now I’m asking you, the Daily Bell the same question.

        Rand has reached out and put his arms around such notable scum bags as Mitch McConnell, a man that worked hard to stop him from being a Kentucky Senator. Anyone who reads the Daily Bell knows Ron Paul and I very much feel that it’s past time for Rand’s day under the spot light.

        What say Ye?


  • NAPpy

    I remember watching the Ron Paul debates and getting angry at the smug, disbelieving looks on the faces of his debate opponents and moderators. It was surreal. Now, having finally abandoned the political process in favor of individual action, I can look back and laugh. By all means, continue to expand the dialectic!

  • Accepting responsibility for what cannot be escaped because it is ours, and releasing the usurping or taking on of that which is not our responsibility or even capacity, is recognizing freedom to be what we are and releasing the negatively reinforcing trap of trying to become free in terms of who we are not.
    But as far as I am concerned – everything pivots upon our self definition. Proceeding on the basis of a false and limiting self-definition sets up all the conflicted identity down the line.
    Painful and insoluble problems invite a yielding of self-certainties in willingness for fresh perspective. But they will in the meantime ratchet ever more pain, struggle and insanity of the attempt to force the old paradigm of coercion and control upon living relationships (aka ‘Life’).
    The old paradigm abuses the channels or mediums of communication where the new paradigm re-opens them at a deeper level than the old can imagine or recognize AS communication. It will not see it at all, or see meaninglessness or threat.
    Embracing the new paradigm grows increasingly unwilling and unable to tolerate the old way – which is seen as a way of dis-integrity of self.
    ‘Divide and rule’ is not merely the pattern of an elitist or powerful few upon the many – but a patterning within consciousness itself that operates a fear driven identity. A lack driven identity. A scarcity or poverty defined identity. Externals alone will not ‘heal’ such a compulsive disorder. But the extending of a true sense of worth does serve to undermine the basis of a sense of fear in unworthiness or inadequacy.
    When the systems meant to serve become corrupted as a method of ensuring scarcity, lack and fearful dependence, they teach that coercion is power and that getting for oneself alone – or only one’s own – is meaningful. The world that reflects such self-definition or core belief is merely a logical or lawful outcome of its predicates.
    Anything that opens communication allows the possibility of a shift in consciousness. Masking communication with complex presentations of no substance consolidates the same failure to relate in new sets of make-believe clothes.
    Underneath it all is a communication breakdown, a failure to relate that became a fearful defence against communication and the avoidance OF relationship. Compulsive thinking makes a sort of virtual screen upon which lies can seem true and truth can be feared as deception.
    It isn’t that we only use 10% of our capacities (or perhaps much less than that!) but that we use 100% of our capacity to emulate running as someone with only 10%. Self depreciation and impoverishment call forth the conditions that reinforce the beliefs one accepts by acting from them. As does a self divided unto itself. Whatever we may think or say we are teaching, we always actually communicate on a deeper level what we are actually believing ourselves to be. Acting out from a congruency of being is not an attempt to change others or change the world, it is an extension of an appreciation of existence that blesses the world.
    The withholding of one’s blessing is an obeisance to a god of judgement, that uses the energy given it to insinuate itself in deceits that corrupt and subvert true governance to serve as ITS defence against exposure and subsequent rejection for its lack of foundation – and its appalling cost.
    While the mind of blame is valued as currency, the political discussion will be about shifting blame around rather than shifting from the mindset of blame to a true responsibility as consciousness.

  • Libertarian Jerry

    All 10 Planks to the Communist Manifesto,albeit in modified form,have been ingrained into the American fabric. This process took place over a 100 plus year time scale. To be able to tear down this collectivist edifice overnight,whether by political or judicial means,is a near impossibility. The collectivist cause has as it’s base the almost complete ownership of the Dependency and Political Class. This voting Class consists mainly of government employees,retired government employees,people who benefit by government largess (Welfare,Medicare,Medicaid,Social Security,Food Stamp,Grant recipients,etc.,etc.) plus a large constituency of government contractors on one level or another. Lined up against this voting juggernaut is the shrinking Economic Class that produces the wealth of the nation. In essence the Progressive Revolution is complete. To the patriot and the libertarian,looking at this bleak scenario,all would seem hopeless. But history has a way of repeating itself. We know that collectivism has failed over and over again throughout history,from the Roman Empire to the fall of the Soviet Union. The elitist controlled America of today has bankrupted itself. It cannot fiscally go on. Something must change. In the past,libertarians and their ideas were either marginalized,ignored or belittled. Today libertarian ideas are becoming mainstream. Ron and Rand Paul have helped catapult these libertarian ideas into the main stream.This is a start. Not a perfect start but a start. In the end we can argue over the details or motives of a Rand Paul. But surely not only his presence but his ideas on the national stage is a large step in the right direction and a cause for cheer. Again,not perfect but a start. In the end,its going to take a long time to tear down what took over 100 years to build.

    • Bruce C

      It may not take that long to break down. Hopefully it will collapse quickly.

  • I am voting for Rand Paul for President of the united States of America in 2016 without any question — no matter what.

    Rand Paul for president of the united States of America is the best choice liberty lovers have had in a very, very, long time! My vote, in my mind, will be as bold as John Hancock’s signature was on the Declaration of Independence! What else can I do?

    I voted for Rand Paul’s father as a Republican primary candidate and when he didn’t win the Republican party nomination, I wrote Ron Paul in as the write-on candidate on the ballot because I firmly believe that Ron Paul would have been a great president of the united States of America. I was not voting for the lesser of two evils in 2012. I was voting for liberty!

    I was a delegate for Ron Paul in 2012, and I learned, at those conventions, that the people in charge wanted nothing to do with letting the people enjoy their voice, or their liberty. I went to bat for Ron Paul in my local district. Then, I learned, first hand exactly how corrupt the system really is — yet as Pericles said, “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you. – Pericles (495 BC-429 BC) .

    Politics matters even if you don’t want it to! Even if you “Hate the State”! Politics Matters. No matter what. Understanding that fundamental concept is vital to your liberty.

    I’ve read the libertarian papers Rand Paul wrote in college, ‘I suggest you do as well’ and I fully understand why he needs American Israel Public Affairs Committee {AIPAC} funding to win. Without support from Israel nobody wins the U.S. Presidency. Ever!

    ‘It doesn’t matter who votes, it matters who counts the votes.’ – Joseph Stalin

    Joseph, those days are over. Thanks to the Internet … those days are over. Now, votes CAN be accurately counted. 2016 elections can be the very first fair and true elections in the history of the World.

    All people have to do is implement it! My vote can count and so can yours.

    David Bismark: E-voting Without Fraud

  • James Clander

    I’m not a septic so I don’t vote over there – BUT Rand Paul would have to be a top choice if up against that war mongering devisive behatch Hillary C !

    • Pilgrim

      Please elaborate on “septic”. I have never heard the term in the context you used it.

  • davidnrobyn

    “The so-called war on drugs has created a culture of violence and put police in a nearly impossible situation,” Paul said in an op-ed published for TIME.
    Waaaall…maybe. But it’s also been a huge windfall for police departments because of confiscation laws. Frankly, I’m not too sympathetic with the law enforcement/penal establishment over this one. But I suppose his remarks, like any pol’s, were meant to resonate with Mr. and Mrs. Middle America (if there is such a place anymore).