STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Rand Paul Disappoints?
By Staff News & Analysis - May 22, 2010

"His [Rand Paul's] success so far has the GOP establishment fighting back. In his ads, Grayson is attempting to paint Paul as a kook whose beliefs are outside the mainstream. Which may explain why on several issues, Paul is edging toward the center: Pure libertarians, he says, believe the market should dictate policy on nearly everything from the environment to health care. Paul has lately said he would not leave abortion to the states, he doesn't believe in legalizing drugs like marijuana and cocaine, he'd support federal drug laws, he'd vote to support Kentucky's coal interests and he'd be tough on national security. "They thought all along that they could call me a libertarian and hang that label around my neck like an albatross, but I'm not a libertarian," Paul says between Lasik surgeries at his medical office, where his campaign is headquartered, with a few desks crammed between treatment rooms. "Frankly, I'd rather be coming from the right than from the left like Grayson, who not too long ago was a Democrat and Bill Clinton supporter." (Grayson voted for Clinton in 1992 before switching parties and entering politics in the mid-1990s.) – Time Magazine

Dominant Social Theme: Rand Paul is becoming more sensible and less like his kooky father.

Free-Market Analysis: Yesterday, when all 1,000 of us – the writers, editors and coffee go-fers of the Daily Bell staff – gathered around a conference table the length of a football field in our Pentagon-sized editorial office to decide on today's Bell article, it didn't take us long. "Does Rand Paul disappoint?" we asked in unison. Well, almost in unison. The few that disagreed were taken to a nearby Swiss alp and dropped from the summit. That's what libertarian ideologues do, isn't it? As usual, we have job openings.

In any event, having decided on our topic, we went looking for more information about Rand Paul's various political positions, only to discover that estimable feedbacker Lila Rajiva had beat us to it. After quoting the Time article (excerpted above) she writes the following on her mindbodypolitic.blog:

Oops. Which is why, gentle readers, it is ever so much better to trade your account, tend your own garden, and forget about politics and politicians, even when they seem to agree with some of your own positions. Politics and the law aren't going to save us. Which is why I haven't paid too much attention to the financial reform bull..er..bill that just got through the Senate on Thursday night. (- Rajiva)

Now perhaps we have a smidgen of disagreement with the above statement – though we noticed, as well, that she has softened her perspective slightly with an update via an interview with Rand Paul's father, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex). (Anyway, maybe Ms. Rajiva will grant us our point.) From our perspective, politics in the United States can be seen, within limits, as something of an educational venture, no matter what Voltaire wrote about tending to one's own garden in Candide.

Ron Paul has proven to be an educator for free-market thinking, in our opinion. We hope Rand Paul will prove the same. Rand Paul has not yet traveled around the world that we know of like Candide, but he has taken on some hacks of late (in many senses of the word) and obviously resents it and has fought back. Thus while the Time article is from March, its observations may yet apply (are they accurate?) to the current dialogue in which Rand Paul is engaged.

Like his father – the congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul – Rand Paul is being attacked by the mainstream media because of what he knows and the economics he understands. Again, we can't see it's going to make any difference in the long run, as we've written recently. The elite's dominant social theme as regards Western democracy is increasingly in tatters. We doubt it can be resuscitated anytime soon. Rand Paul is evidence of this trend; so is the Tea Party, and political enlightenment is growing in the United States and throughout the world.

What exactly is the Western political promotion as presented by the power elite? It is one that separates the authoritarian right from the fascistic left and puts them on the opposite side of the spectrum when indeed they are two sides of the same coin. The OTHER side is the free-market one where you will find someone like Rand Paul who actually believes a great deal in less statist interference, warmongering, regulation, etc. Here's what we wrote the other day:

We try to analyze the elite's dominant social themes here at the Bell; but it has occurred to us that when it comes to the victory of Rand Paul in Kentucky, we would tend to believe the elite doesn't know how to spin it. Rand Paul is an anti-foreign war, anti big-government kind of guy, and this is the establishment's nightmare. The rhetoric and substance of the views of Rand and Ron Paul are increasingly popular in America. They represent a profound challenge to the powers-that-be – or so we would have to believe. Their popularity is driven by the Internet, and their message is resonant with a culture that is still instinctively small-r republican …

The elite has played Western democracies and especially US citizens for suckers for nearly a century – sorry to sound harsh but it's true in our opinion. In America, the strategy has been apparently to build up the number of voters who favor big government – and then, alternatively, present candidates who verbalize the rhetoric of small government but turn out to be big government spenders when it comes to the military. The result has been that the American voter never gets smaller government.

Click here to read full story: US War Crowd Losing Steam

The recent attacks on Rand Paul (casting him as some kind racist or corporate shill) only serve to illustrate the intellectual bankruptcy of those making them; they will not retard, even a little bit, the continued unraveling of the elite's democratic (right versus left) meme. Inexorably, American voters are being drawn to various types of libertarian platforms, conservative or not. We are on record as saying this questioning attitude will eventually spread to the military industrial complex. This is the ultimate fear of elite controllers of course – aside from losing the current paper-money/fiat monopoly to a renewed de facto gold and silver standard.

In fact, Rand Paul is being attacked not for what he is saying currently but for what we believe are deeper beliefs that may resemble those of his father. In a recent interview with Alex Jones, he reportedly said the following: "I'd say we'd be very, very similar (Dr. Rand and Ron Paul). We might present the message sometimes differently. I think in some ways the message has to be broadened and made more appealing to the entire Republican electorate because you have to win a primary."

So the belief systems may be roughly compatible. Yet we have noticed (as indicated in the Time article) that Rand Paul's rhetoric seems occasionally at variance with his father's, and perhaps in a non-libertarian manner – possibly as a result of the criticism he is receiving, or might receive. The result is that he is being attacked anyway (predictably) by the elite's media-based foot-soldiers; but also may be in danger of discouraging the vital and growing libertarian base that his father has cultivated at great personal and political expense.

Yes, we understand how difficult it is, and that there is a race to be won – and even Ron Paul is no libertarian purist, especially during the heat of a campaign. But if Rand Paul is voluntarily choosing a kind of politically correct speech (especially where it comes to foreign affairs), he is possibly throwing away an important opportunity to use his painfully gained platform to educate American voters about free-market thinking. Of course, on achieving final victory perhaps he would become more open, assuming – reasonably? – that he is being guarded now. But we would also note that his father, in our humble opinion, has had more influence on the nation's politics via truth-telling than from winning the presidency via the usual institutional pandering.

After Thoughts

We have the deepest admiration for his father, and Rand Paul certainly has our best wishes as he continues his difficult journey. But it seems to us that Ron Paul has gained a vast and growing following throughout the United States because within certain limits he has used the bully pulpit of both his congressional office and a presidential electoral campaign to educate America about its historical Jeffersonian free-market tradition. We think Ron Paul must ask himself (from time to time) the following question, as many of us do: "For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?"

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