Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Is Rand Paul a Libertarian?

Rand Paul and the Libertarian Party

Todays topic, Rand Paul and the Libertarian Party, is to enlighten us on libertarian views and those of Rand Paul.
Our first stop was Wikipedia for a quick read;

Libertarianism is a political theory that advocates the maximization of individual liberty in thought and action and the minimization or even abolition of the state. Libertarians embrace viewpoints ranging from a minimal state (minarchists) to anarchists. Libertarians have a variety of views on natural resources and property rights to which the terms "left" and "right" often are applied. Some libertarians reject being described as "left" or "right."

So did that Wiki quote seem slightly confusing, the whole page is is vague and confusing. Then just to add to our confusion there are eight types of Libertarians all similar, yet differing.

I thought at this point it might be interesting to give Rand Paul the acid test, in this case that means does his views hold up to the Libertarian point of view?
Since Sarah Palin jumped right in there to defend him from Rachel Maddow, my first question, what are Rand Pauls opinions on abortion?
From Rand Pauls web page:

I am 100% pro life. I believe abortion is taking the life of an innocent human being.,
I believe life begins at conception and it is the duty of our government to protect this life.

I will always vote for any and all legislation that would end abortion or lead us in the direction of ending abortion.
I believe in a Human Life Amendment and a Life at Conception Act as federal solutions to the abortion issue. I also believe that while we are working toward this goal, there are many other things we can accomplish in the near term.

This seems a little contradictory to the individual freedoms that Libertarians represent, so lets look further into Libertarians and abortion.

On The Issues has this to say about the Libertarian Party on abortion:

Government should be kept out of the matter of abortion

Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

Abortion is a woman’s choice and does not concern the state

Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that libertarians can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept out of the question. We condemn state-funded abortions. It is particularly harsh to force someone who believes that abortion is murder to pay for another’s abortion. It is the right of the woman, not the state, to decide the desirability of prenatal testing, Caesarean births, fetal surgery, and/or home births.

The next website we will visit is simply tittled Libertarianism, and here is their say on abortion:

Abortion is a difficult issue upon which reasonable, ethical people can disagree. Until society can come to consensus about the status of the fetus, libertarians can reasonably be divided on their policy prescriptions. While libertarians still struggle to define when life begins, we all can agree that no government has a legitimate function to spend public funds either providing or prohibiting abortion.


Harry Browne tells Libertarians not to use the term, Pro Choice,

The terms "pro-choice" and "pro-life" should be eliminated from any Libertarian's vocabulary. They give the wrong impression of what Libertarians believe.
In my view, an uncompromising Libertarian position on abortion doesn't have to offend anyone. Whatever we believe abortion is, we know one thing: government doesn't work, and it is as incapable of eliminating abortions as it is of eliminating poverty or drugs.
This position allows us to offer hope to either side of the debate.

To one side we say: we will not let the government impose its way upon you.

To the other side we say: if you want to reduce abortions, there are much better ways than by depending on the government — because it will only disappoint you. Every day you spend trying to get the government to do something to reduce abortions is a day wasted, a day that could have been spent doing something effective about abortion — such as working for less-restrictive adoption laws, encouraging private educational efforts to show young women the alternatives to abortion, repealing the income tax so that parents can afford to spend time teaching their children the values that will minimize teenage pregnancies. Given the results of the government's War on Poverty and the War on Drugs, we can assume that a War on Abortion will lead within five years to men having abortions.


At this point we have learned that, Rand Paul is Pro Life and the Libertarian view on the subject of abortion differs from it is a womans right, to lets just avoid it and avoid the term of Pro Life.

Now that was awfully confusing wasn't it? Lets look at gun rights and see how Rand Paul and Libertarians feel about this issue. Sarah Palin waived her usual speakers fee for the NRA, does Dr Paul agree with her views?

I am a gun owner and defender of Second Amendment rights. I’m an outspoken opponent of gun control, will fight all attempts at gun control in the U.S. Senate, and my candidacy has been endorsed by the Gun Owners of America.

Many candidates only pay lip service to our , but I pledge to the people of Kentucky to truly fight for them.

Dr. Rand Paul


The Libertarianism website has this to say on Gun Rights

The American Founders understood that the right to keep and bear arms was essential for a free, democratic society. Guns are essential for private citizens to protect themselves, their family, and their property from dangerous citizens, or more importantly, a tyrannical government.

Guns are private property, and should not be placed into a specific, regulated class. Like any other type of property, guns can be used to harm another person. Those people that use guns to damage someone else or their property should be punished to the full extent of the law, but they should not be subject to prior restraint.


Here is website, asking what kind of Libertarian are you, they list 10 different types of Libertarians to choose from!

What Kind of Libertarian Are You?


While reading about the Libertarian Party I found descriptions from Shangri La to that of Anarchy, and one or two sites that wanted to avoid the issues. We do see that the Tea Bagger Queen Sarah Palin and DR Rand Paul share the same point of view on abortion and gun rights.
The one ultimate problem I see is money would be the controlling force as to who gets liberty and those that become oppressed by poverty. Our Government has it's flaws, but even I would hate to live in a totally unregulated society. I wish we the people could force a end to corporate welfare, and have our Government place the welfare of our citizens over that of wall street and the banksters!


Intelligent opinions and structured debate are always welcomed, but name calling and personal attacks do not belong here, have fun!