The Rand Paul/Ron Paul Disconnect on Drugs

One of Ron Paul's defining moments on the national stage--vivid proof that this is a very different kind of character we are dealing with here, in a great way--was when, at the first 2012 cycle Republican presidential candidate debate in May 2011, he mocked the notion that legalizing heroin was a terrible idea that would lead everyone to do heroin.

"It's amazing that we want freedom to pick our future in a spiritual way but not when it comes to our personal habits," he said, and advocated leaving drug policy to the states: "Up until this past century they were legal....How many people here would use heroin if it were legal? I bet nobody would!....'Oh yeah, I need the government to take care of me, I don't want to use heroin so I need these laws.'"

C-SPANC-SPAN

That boldness actually was a big applause line. It was a sea change in what was possible in American politics, even if no one has been bold enough to try to occupy the space Ron Paul cleared.

The Washington Post writes yesterday that Paul's son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, while making decent noises in a libertarian direction on drug policy, isn't bold enough to be a legalizer:

The younger Paul has long distanced himself from his father’s pro-legalization stances. While campaigning for his father, Rand defended the states-rights positions, but he has since made a point to note that he does not personally favor the legalization of drugs such as heroin and cocaine. He spent much of last year assuring conservatives -- who will be crucial in Iowa, New Hampshire and much of the heartland in 2016 -- that, when it came to drugs, he was on their side.

But much of the Paul brand is built on the backs of the Libertarian-leaning voters who buoyed his father’s presidential bids, and Paul’s refusals in the past to voice support for state-level legalization has earned him some chiding from them. He has, however, charted out a fairly libertarian -- some might even argue, liberal -- position on drug sentencing reform, calling for the walk-back of federal mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

As 2016 inches closer, Paul may find himself increasingly tugged in two directions. Thus far, Paul has toed the line -- supporting sentencing reform that is considered by many essential to undoing the societal damage done by the war on drugs while deliberately staying far away from his father’s states’ rights crusades with regard to drugs.

I got the sense when interviewing Paul last week and bringing up the topic, even about pot, that he'd rather not be pressed on what he really might philosophically believe deep down in a perfect world on this topic, but just wants to talk about the specific policies he's actually advocating as a legislator to ameliorate some of the worst effects of the drug war, especially when it comes to sentencing and industrial hemp. This certainly isn't satisfying to full legalizers, as Mike Riggs has written about for us here and here.

I'm not even sure, as Rand Paul seems to be, that avoiding legalization head on will make him a more effective change agent around the edges of the drug war, moving the goalposts of the politically acceptable in a way that might make politician Rand Paul of 2018 feel free to say some more interesting things about the legality of drugs--just as Barack Obama has felt politically freed to at least say sensible things about pot.

In the meantime, those who need a national politician who is willing to mock heroin's illegality can know that Rand Paul is not, right now, their man.

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  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Baby steps Brian, baby steps. Once people see that the American civilization has not collapsed from pot legalization some states might more amenable to decriminalizing heroin and other drugs.

    As it is, pushing state's rights and addressing the injustice of mandatory minimums and jailing nonviolent offenders is a good strategy.

  • Jingo||

    Libertarians should just unite with conservatives on a "nullification" strategy both sides can agree on.

    Like nullifying Obamacare. Once there is a PRECEDENT of nullification, other things, like pot legalization, become vastly more likely. And Rand has been 100% on our side on that issue.

    The problem is that we use elections to choose our leaders. So whomever is the most popular wins, like putting a Prom Queen in charge of a nation. It's insanity.

    Rand is doing what he needs to, to be popular with mainstream America.

    You can't fault him for that: it's the structural problem with using a popularity contest to choose leaders.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That boldness actually was a big applause line.

    I remember being pleasantly surprised that a bunch of GOPers who were dumb enough to get tricked into attending a debate would be on the ball enough to understand and appreciate that sentiment. And then Ron Paul was voted out of the primaries.

    I can't tell if Rand Paul is being a pragmatic politician or if he's a drug warrior at heart. Either way probably doesn't do the libertarian cause in this area much good.

  • ||

    I have an incredibly low opinion of politicians but I have a hard time believing that with who his father is, Rand isn't just triangulating and angling for a win.

  • Square||

    I agree - I think he's being quiet because he's a better politician than his father. He knows that pot legalization can be talked about, but heroin legalization still scares people and will get him marginalized the way his father was.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Basically how I feel. It is still political suicide to promote complete legalization of all drugs on a national level. I will just have to hope that if we ever got a President Paul, he would become more forward about legalizing all drugs. This is of course assuming he truly believes they should be. But, as Epi said, it is hard to believe the son of Ron Paul could be a drug warrior.

  • Robert||

    Are you kidding? Think how different your opinions are from your parents'.

  • Square||

    I had the exact same thought in response - I'm a bit shocked Rand's not running as a Peace and Freedom candidate, but the apple really seems not to have fallen too far from the tree in this case.

  • Vincent Milburn||

    It's funny to me because it's merely a federalism issue. It's not as though the states will suddenly legalize heroin.

  • iEagleHammer||

    I agree too, and I don't think it's just wishful thinking. He doesn't want to scare the hardcore GOP people away. That was Ron's problem.

    I know staunch republicans that thought Ron Paul was "dangerous," but like Rand. So what he's doing is working.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Either way probably doesn't do the libertarian cause in this area much good.

    How can you think this? He's going a hell of a lot farther than his father. There is no way Rand is a drug warrior. He just has the sense that father didn't and he knows that outright legalization is a political no-go right now. The Drug War can be sabotaged by defunding and other means before legalization.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I THINK IT WITH MY BRAIN.

    Also, you never know where you will find a public-good-over-personal-liberty guy when it comes to drugs. They're everywhere. I found one under the bed the other night.

  • Dead or In Jail||

    I can't tell if Rand Paul is being a pragmatic politician or if he's a drug warrior at heart.

    At the 1988 Libertarian Party nominating convention, Rand managed his dad's closely-contested floor campaign. So, there's that.

  • XM||

    "I support legalizing heroin" is the fastest way for a legitimate candidate to sabotage his campaign. "Rand Paul is an extremist who wants to legalize even dangerous drugs" will be on every Clinton attack ads.

    I want there to be plenty of disconnect between Rand and his dad, who was a fringe candidate with a penchant for kook. I would have voted for him to kick Obama out of office (Oh no, that's playing "team gamez") but the guy had issues.

    A lot can happen in 2,3 years. If there's even a slightest increase in drug use or pot related accidents in CO, whoever endorsed may look quite the fool. There's nothing wrong with riding the fence on this issue to see how it plays out.

  • Herpes Trismegistus||

    "You can take my heroin from my cold dead hands... shit!"

    - PSH

  • CE||

    Still too soon.

  • Herpes Trismegistus||

    It's never too soon.

    He may have well just died of over-exposure, though.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Not enough sun block?

  • Dead or In Jail||

    It's important to recall that that debate also included Gov. Gary Johnson. He got the drug question first. He took his legalization with a side of consequentialism: "The War on Drugs is a huge failure and a gigantic waste of money." (paraphrased)

    But then M.F. Ron Paul, who doesn't do namby-pamby, outflanked him from the libertarian side.

    As I remember that night, it was a lot like losing my anal virginity after prom, glorious.

  • iEagleHammer||

    "As I remember that night, it was a lot like losing my anal virginity after prom, glorious."

    This may become one of my new favorite sayings.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I have an incredibly low opinion of politicians but I have a hard time believing that with who his father is, Rand isn't just triangulating and angling for a win.

    Yes, and this puts me in the somewhat uncomfortable position of thinking Rand is just another politician happy to lie his ass of to get elected, but maybe this time, he's lying to them and not me.

    My expectations are low.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Well put.

  • Square||

    I have to admit in one interview I saw where the interviewer used the phrase "President Paul" Rand was a little too quick to say "I like the sound of that."

    That made me nervous. Nevertheless I take my small pleasures at least in the choices he makes regarding the positions he panders to, even if he is being cynical. It's someone testing the waters with those ideas on a national scale, and if he gains momentum, the ideas gain momentum, too.

    I feel the same way about Obama's and Holder's recent empty comments about pot.

  • Sinclair||

    Maybe the audience applauded Ron Paul's answer in that debate, but the reaction by mainstream pundits tells you all you need to know about why someone like Rand might be reluctant to fully speak his mind.

    If I remember correctly, the questioner referred to heroin and prostitution, and Paul sort of generally said that the legality of such things should be left to the states, for which he was widely mocked and ridiculed by both conservative and liberal pundits. Prostitution! Prostitution already is left to the states. And if given the opportunity, not a single state would even consider legalizing heroin right now. So, basically, Paul argued for the status quo, and it still got him painted as a nutty libertarian extremist. Meanwhile, I don't think any other candidates (except Johnson) were even asked the question.

  • KalkiDas||

    If you want to make progress, you have do do what leftists do: a little bit at a time. Boil a frog and all, and I think that's more his strategery (intentional misspell)

  • wareagle||

    yup...eating the apple is one bit is a tall order. The left is quite content incrementally moving the needle in its direction. Some here have a tough time with that.

  • Mongo||

    I've noticed that Rand Paul sez different things to different audiences.

  • OneOut||

    Different audiences are different.

    Some are interested in one thing and others something else.

    Doesn't make him a bad boy.

    At least he uses the same accents and speech patterns.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Worked for Obama.

    See clingers, bitter.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Well, the thing is, is he saying CONTRADICTORY things to different audiences? If not, I'm okay with that. If you're selling something, you emphasize the features you think are going to most resonate with your customers.

  • wareagle||

    a radical thought probably, but seems Rand is drawing some space between his personal beliefs on legalization and what state laws on the subject should be.

  • Joao||

    A couple of years ago, the leftist state of Massachusetts "decriminalized" pot. They made it a misdemeanor, so hardly worth arresting or fining a person over.

    I feel that this took the pressure off the issue and would do so for Mr. Paul's politics.

  • Dead or In Jail||

    MASS history on the topic

    - 2008: Question 3 decriminalized cannabis (1 oz)

    - 2012: Legalized medicinal marijuana

    - 2016: Tax and Regulate bill (e.g., WA and CO) will be on the ballot

  • Robert||

    It makes no difference anywhere, except regarding cannabis, if the president even directed the federal decontrol of all drugs, because there's nothing like a movement in any state to decontrol them. As long as even jurisdictions like D.C. & Puerto Rico are allowed to make laws restricting them locally, there would be no practical effect.

  • Vincent Milburn||

    That's what I was thinking.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Literally the only way to hold office at a high level in this country is to appeal to the largest number of people who will actually vote for you. No matter the political stripe the largest number of people in the only voting blocs that matter are authoritarian simpletons- the same pathetic Walmart-addicted lunkheads who sit on juries that exonerate cops who murder homeless people in cold-blood.

  • ChrisO||

    My guess is that Rand is choosing a different hill to fight on (and hopefully not die). From a practical standpoint, being enthusiastically pro-legalization isn't going to get him elected to anything. From an ideological standpoint, he probably believes there are much bigger problems that potentially jeopardize the continued existence of the USA as a western democracy.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Well done, Brian! I have been harping on this for quite some time now, how Rand always gets a pass here, particularly from Nick. Nick is fond of asking the President to declassify pot, but yet Rand could also get the ball rolling on that and he gets a complete pass.

    And I think you are right that he avoids the topic, but I think its just because he does not want to alienate the Republican base. He knows it will, and that will cost him any chance at the nomination.

    He also does the same on immigration. He voted against the "gang of 8" bill because it did not go far enough on border security. He wanted MORE federal government involvement. And when they compromised and put more security in, he still voted no. Again, another vote that would alienate the base.

    Alas, not much courage there.

  • The Last American Hero||

    So, better to have Hillary vs. Santorum in 2016 so you can worship a failed but more libertarian candidate?

  • Jackand Ace||

    Its kinda hopeless when libertarians expect Republicans or Democrats to implement the libertarian agenda, but can't even get the supposed libertarian to make an attempt.

  • Will Nonya||

    Right now on its own the libertarian agenda fails for a number of reasons, ballot access, public perception etc etc.

    The only strategy working even a little bit is the infiltration of the GOP. Ideally we would have a libertarian option being groomed on the Dem side as well. I look forward to the day we have a "wacko bird" libertarian republican running against a "moderate" libertarian democrat.

  • wwhorton||

    There's a very subtle difference in that Barack Obama is in his second term, whereas Rand Paul has yet to even announce his campaign. That gives Barry a little bit more leeway with the voters when it comes to airing potentially divisive views. That, and the fact that he appoints the head of the DoJ and stuff.

  • Jackand Ace||

    All true. It would be easier and more effective for the President to do it. But it seems that libertarians should be taking other libertarians to task when they don't belly up to the bar. Kudos to Brian for doing that.

  • wwhorton||

    Fair point, but I don't fault him for not fessing up as a doctrinaire libertarian (if he is, in fact) when he has to win over the Romney and Huckabee wings of the Republican party. After all, he might be a libertarian, but he's not running as a Libertarian.

  • Jackand Ace||

    True.

  • ||

    This cannot be true. I heard Thom Hartmann say just yesterday that Rand Paul advocated legalizing heroin and having it sold on the aisles at Walmart. And Hartmann is a Bringer of Truth. Therefore, you lie.

  • Firstname||

    Dad is a class act ... the son, not so much.

  • Waffen Hans||

    That's because you don't understand how politics works.

  • Firstname||

    Politics has nothing to do with character traits such as honesty/compassion/integrity, etc.

  • Will Nonya||

    Ron made it too easy for too many people to ridicule and ignore his stances on things largely because of how he presented them. He used a political context without any apparent understanding of politics. It may have just been disdain but it came across as naivety.

    Intellectually Ron is someone I would love to have in the white house but you cant be politically tone deaf and expect to play at that level.

    Rand is an unknown and that's what I think makes libertarians uneasy. He leans their direction without fully and openly embracing their views. He is however a much more astute politician than his father with at least a chance of someday being elected.

  • thom77||

    Sorry, this is a completely wacky fucking issue for libertarians to waste time with. Heroin legalization is NOT the way to convince people that this isn't a bizarre ideology completely detached from reality. And there are about a hundred million more things that need to happen from a libertarian/government perspective before heroin legalization is even worth talking about in an academic sense, much less a practical one.

  • CE||

    It's an ideology based on reality, and there's nothing bizarre about wanting civilization to be civilized. Just because the majority of people are violent, fearful statists doesn't mean we should give them a pass, or label common-sense ideologies "bizarre".

  • wwhorton||

    Yeah, but I see thom's point. You're looking at a population of people who've been taught from birth (and whose parents have, as well) to believe that the solution to any real problem comes from the government. "There oughtta be a law," originated with these folks. It's going to take a few generations to undo that collective brainwashing.

    Imagine kidnapping a loyal North Korean and immediately tossing him on to the Vegas strip. He'd run straight back to Pyongyang. You've gotta start small, ease him into freedom. Let him drive a car, maybe, or not shoot him if he complains about a long line at the DMV.

  • Brian Drake||

    You realize you're just regurgitating old arguments against abolition? Better ease the slaves into freedom, they're too child-like to be able to handle being free.

    Sanctimonious paternalism; one expects it at Salon.com. Reason.com? Well, I guess anyone can masquerade as a libertarian.

  • Will Nonya||

    So how did that work out?

    And I've seen many sanctimonious comments on reason.

    Where I think wwhorton went wrong is after he said "to believe".

    You're looking at a population of people who've been taught from birth (and whose parents have, as well) to believe that drugs are bad and that making them illegal is the only thing protecting their children from them.

    What we should be focusing on are the two separate parts of this issue.

    1. At which level of government should the question of legalization be decided.
    2. Should the government be regulating this at all.

    I think the first question is easy in that the answer is clearly not at the federal level. The obvious default answer is that the states should determine this for themselves.

    The second one is a bit more involved. I think the answer is yes but in a very different way than it is now. If you're shipping heroin across the country you fall under interstate commerce under which the feds can regulate, restrict, tax etc. All other uses fall under intra state regulation.

  • Will Nonya||

    Oh, and Brian, the idea that only a "true" libertarian can embrace libertarian ideals is an approach that I thought was reserved for the "real" parties.

  • bassjoe||

    Thing is, the War on Drugs is a symptom of a MUCH larger problem. Focusing on the legalization of all drugs -- while seemingly radical (today) -- is meant to force people to think about how far government has encroached on what used to be personal decisions.

  • wwhorton||

    Yeah, but it does the opposite. It equates personal freedom and privacy with hardcore drugs. For Joe Sixpack, who wants to know just what you intend to do with all this personal freedom, you've just told him that the only thing keeping you from grabbing an eight-ball, a midget hooker, and a donkey and heading for a weekend in Vegas is the responsible, paternal state.

  • MSimon||

    Can I trade the midget hooker and donkey for two 6' tall D cup (no implants please) bi hookers and the 8 ball for a kilo of weed? Oh. Yeah.

  • Will Nonya||

    What I want to do with my "personal" freedom is none of their business. That's the point that is constantly missed in this discussion.

  • CE||

    Ron Paul rocks. But if Rand Paul wins, cuts federal spending by 5 percent a year, stops murdering people with drones, sacks the criminals in the NSA and IRS, and revives the economy through federal inaction, I'll count it a big win for liberty.

  • Waffen Hans||

    The only "libertarians" (more likely 20 year old kids calling themselves "Anarcho-Capitalists") to be pissed off about this article are those that don't live in the real world or don't even freaking vote. For the rest of us, we know that you can't make Libertopia happen over night. We also know that Rand has to play the other side to make those policies vanish that diminish economic and personal freedoms. We have to pick those fights we are most likely capable of winning: Marijuana v. Heroin.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    As others have suggested, how did we lose so much of our liberty? Incrementalism. Every step was just a minor infringement on liberty. Hardly worth noticing. And, anyway, it only affected a few people. So we let it go, for whatever the good cause happened to be that day. Until we found our liberties severely restricted.

    Well, why can't it work in the opposite direction? Why can't the rights of the individual be expanded just a little bit at a time. I'll grant, it's hardly what I'd like best. But, it strikes me that such a strategy is at least workable. You can call it "just trying to get elected". But, lets face it, President Ron Paul hasn't exactly gotten us out of the drug war, has he? A politician willing to move the needle in the right direction just enough to build a consensus is going to move the needle much more than one who wants to move the needle so much that he gets marginalized.

    And, really, a slow approach actually works on a policy level much better. People have time to adjust, to figure things out.

  • bassjoe||

    While this will be a long road, I won't be happy until: 1) everything is legalized; 2) all of those convicted of drug "crimes" are pardoned; and 3) instead of spending/losing untold billions because of the criminalization of personal victimless choices (public AND private costs), we spend a small fraction of that on treatment programs for those who need help quitting.

  • wwhorton||

    I'm willing to take Rand Paul not eliminating the federal government on day one if it means we'll have a president who isn't actively expanding the state's role in people's lives. Seriously, we've had how many years in a row of governments that have expanded regulation on every level? If Paul gets elected and manages to not make it worse, that's a victory of sorts. If he actually starts a serious dialog in mainstream politics about governmental overreach and the moral arguments for libertarianism, that would be a sea-change in American politics. So, yeah, hedging on legalizing heroin is a compromise I'm willing to accept if it means fewer drones, less surveillance, etc.

  • american socialist||

    yeah right... ask him what his position is on abortion. he'll have his right-wing christianists reaching up inside your wife's vagina to give the fetus a back rub.

  • american socialist||

    god, the frickin' RP water carrying continues... yes, he's a pro-life authoritarian, gay marriage bigot who doesn't have any conceivable political courage or principles who cribs from the wkipedia page... of the worst fucking science fiction movie in the 90s, but as long as he's not a Democrat (the horror!) we'll crap ourselves to vote for him. Brav-fucking-o "libertarians"

  • Libertarius||

    Fuck off, non-American "socialist" coward. No one else can live your life for you, you collectivist pussyfart.

    Rand Paul is acting as a bridge from the religious right to the future of a secular libertarian right. That's why he scares you, btw.

  • Tony||

    How do you convince the religious right to go along with this master plan? They have more conviction than you, as evidenced by your pathetically ready willingness to tolerate RP's hypocrisy.

    Besides what's the point of boarding the Titanic mid-sink?

  • ziggy||

    It's nice to see the majority here understand that it would be political suicide to come out even in favor of decriminalizing all drugs. I remember closely following both the 08 and 12 republican primaries and remember you have to deal with the Huckabbee/Santorum voting idiots.

    Even if Rand Paul said he would favor a discussion on different approaches to the war on drugs this would be interpreted by some in the right as "Rand Paul wants to inject your kids with heroin".

    The legalization train is well on it's way in 2 years we will be voting in a country that has 2 states that legalized marijuana and didn't become Sodom and Gomorrah. No need to shoot yourself in the foot now.

    Let's also not forget the first primary state is Iowa and winning it would go along way to legitimizing his campaign. Now lets also remember Huckabbee won Iowa in 08 and Santorum in 12.

    I don't think Paul is 100% libertarian but he is much better than any candidate who's had a real chance at winning in a long time.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Can Rand at least concede that pot is less dangerous than alcohol? His father's superior understanding of the plant made me tolerate his belief in creationism a little.

  • Wintermute||

    Yeah, and he went heavy against abortion rights recently, too; so I dropped his ass. Him AND Justin Amash. And now Napolitano. Wake up, you Fascist fux!

    I hoped he would be an improvement on his dad, but now it's increasingly apparent he's not even the man his father is.

  • Kevin47||

    Yes, opposition to legal abortion is tantamount to fascism. No room for disagreement there. The only reason people oppose legal abortion is because they want the central planners to control everything. Good point.

  • Tony||

    Abortion was settled in the 60s. The only reason some didn't get the memo is religion.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    And the inability of African Americans to be citizens was settled in the 1850s and the legitimacy of Jim Crow was settled in the 1890s.

    Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, you really are drooling imbecile, Tony. And I say that as someone who considers himself moderately pro-choice on abortion.

  • Tony||

    Libertarians have no business being anything other than completely pro-choice. Fetuses with rights is specious cover for religious bullshit.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Considering that libertarianism itself has nothing to say about the viability of a fetus I would rather argue that outlawing abortion is impractical, extreme and costly.

    Free market abortion with no subsidies or price controls should be the universal libertarian POLICY (not personal) position. Outlawing abortion would kill the job creation, wealth and parking spaces that would result from that.

  • Boehm Houle||

    If only your mom had exercised her rights to the same, we would have been spared some drivel...

  • Kevin47||

    I think people here are massively underestimating the degree to which drug legalization plays poorly with moms. If you are going to win the Republican nomination (or any election at all) you pretty much have to have the support of mothers, and he cannot afford to alienate them at this stage.

    That said, I think this might become more like the gay marriage issue. If/once Paul is elected president, he had room to de-prioritize drug enforcement at the federal level, make statements in favor of decriminalization and, if re-elected, have his toady VP say something untoward about legalization that he is obliged to reinforce.

    It might not be that dramatic, and the moms might not be ready for legalization by, say, 2021, but I think it's the next best step.

  • Boehm Houle||

    I think we are forgetting the the third 'Paul' in the libertarian Paul triumvirate: Ru Paul:

    “You want to know the truth about drugs? You can only go one or two ways. You can go up, or you can go down. That's it. After a certain point, though, no matter what you do, what you take, you don't go anywhere, and that's when you've got to sit down and face yourself.”

  • Tony||

    You people have got to be kidding. All of a sudden you're for politicians lying and pandering for the sake of political ambition, because it's RP?

  • Boehm Houle||

    You not understand de English so much? You practice read much better and then try comment again heh...

  • Tony||

    “I don’t see libertarianism as, you can do whatever you want. There is a role for government, there’s a role for family, there’s a role for marriage, there’s a role for the protection of life.”

    Well as long as big government stays in the bedroom where it belongs.

  • Boehm Houle||

    I don't think you see libertarianism (period).

  • american socialist||

    I will say this about Brian Doherty... At least he seems to take his libertarian principles somewhat seriously. This, in contrast, to 85% of the commentators here who seem to be willing to put up with whatever big government conservative the RP crams down their throat because, God forbid, a democrat may get elected.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Doherty is an AnCap.

  • ||

    Rand will be fine until he starts pandering to gun-control advocates. At that point, the short-dicked gun-fetishists that haunt these boards will abandon him en masse. The rest of his easily abandoned principals are easily overlooked as long as he pro gunzzz.

  • jimpeel||

    Thus far, Paul has toed the line ...

    Thank God! Finally! Someone who knows it it "toed" the line and not "towed" the line.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Here, it's "tow the lion".

  • Vx38||

    Rand is a total douchebag. I much prefer Barney Frank. I believe Barney favors legalizing pot, he's pro abortion and gay rights. I doubt we can elect anyone more libertarian than Frank in the next 20 years. I have absolute contempt for the assholes pretending to be libertarian who support a total fraud like Rand. Let's face reality. The republicans might have had a few pretensions to libertarians under Reagan but that is now ancient history. The modern Republican Party is now 100% anti libertarian. As sad as it is to say it even the Democrats are probably more libertarian than what the republicans have become.

  • Azathoth!!||

    The infestation is getting serious.

  • Jonathan G||

    Personally as someone who's completely in favor of legalizing drugs, Rand Paul's position doesn't bother me much. While he doesn't take it full way on drugs, I'm more than satisfied on mass surveillance, Obamacare and out of control spending. I think eventually he'll come full out for marijuana legalization. Just give it some time.

  • Ben1234||

    I think legalizing heroin is the way to go long term, but even as a strong libertarian I have to admit to some major hesitation on heroin. It's not like pot where the dangers have been overblown, and the government has straight out been lying about it for decades. No, heroin is a very dangerous drug from pretty much any perspective, and while I don't think legalizing is going to make a bunch of people suddenly try heroin for the first time (anyone who might consider it probably wouldn't worry about legality)... Well, it's just kinda scary, that's all. Heroin is magnitudes scarier than pot.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Right. Heroin is almost as dangerous as alcohol.

  • PureNirvana||

    While I realize that my opinion is invalid in the grand scheme of things, I will endeavor to put in my two cents worth anyways. It is my firm belief that the Democrats will run either Hillary or Joe Biden. Both of which will be difficult candidates to defeat for the GOP. The ONLY and i mean ONLY chance we've got is to run Rand Paul (I think he's a sell-out but we're talking about winning the election people!) Winning an election is strategic. I wrote a treatise last semester on the idea that if the GOP wants to have any future, they have to be willing to drop their RINO egos, and capture the independent vote. See, us Republicans cant beat those damn Democrats unless we can formulate a Libertarian/Conservative hybrid majority. The reason why Obama won so compellingly was because he captured the independent vote. So how about us Libertarians and Conservatives endeavor to get along? Because in the end, we hold MANY the same principles. LIBERTY!

  • PureNirvana||

    Almost forgot,

    David Pennington for the State of Georgia Governorship!

    For decreasing the size and scope of the local government near you!

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