Election 2016

Rand Paul Isn't Perfectly Libertarian, But He's the Best Presidential Contender We've Got

Yes, he avoids alienating conservatives. But has he violated his principles?

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It's not smart to get too enthusiastic about any politician. I've been disappointed often. I believed Bill Clinton when he said, "the era of big government is over." I thought George W. Bush was a "small government guy." And Barack Obama …

Well, never mind.

If I want limited government and individual freedom, to whom do I turn?

Ted Cruz? I want to like him. He's smart. He's read economists Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, etc. He confronted Obama's attorney general about constitutional limits on killing Americans with drones. He fought hard against Obamacare. 

But he also seems so eager to go to war. It also bothers me that he praises states' independence but then criticizes President Obama for giving states a tiny bit of free rein to set drug policy. 

I like Jeb Bush personally. I like Govs. Walker, Kasich and Perry. But they also seem eager to go to war in the Middle East and continue the destructive drug war in America. 

So I plan to vote for Rand Paul. 

Sen. Paul confuses people. Some Ron Paul fans say Rand is not as committed to liberty as his father. But some of their complaints seem ambiguous. Yes, Rand avoids alienating conservatives because he wants the Republican nomination. But has he violated his principles? 

He doesn't call for drug legalization but wants to decrease penalties, and he doesn't rule out legalization. 

He voted for sanctions on Iran, which bothers hardcore libertarians, but of the policies under consideration, sanctions were better than war. 

And Rand wants the Senate to fulfill its constitutional role by approving any war. That's libertarian. 

He supported increases in defense spending, but at least he said they should be offset by reductions in other spending. 

Paul disappoints me by opposing gay marriage and saying a "moral crisis allows people to think there would be some other sort of marriage." What? If anything, there are fewer "moral crises" in America: Crime, teen pregnancy, teen sexual activity and use of marijuana are all trending down. I wish politicians would get off their "moral crisis" pedestal. 

At least Rand did not ask the government to ban gay marriage. It's a relief when a politician draws a line between what his religion tells him and what government ought to do. 

Where Rand Paul shines is in the clarity of his plans to shrink government. When elected to the Senate, he said his big priorities were "the debt, the debt and the debt."

Good. With the federal government $18 trillion in the hole, we can't afford another big-government president. 

Paul presented budget proposals (visible online) that left-wing critics like Vox say are "the most radical vision of limited government ever presented by a major American presidential candidate (apart, perhaps, from Paul's father, Ron Paul)."

He wants to eliminate the Department of Education, Amtrak subsidies, the Department of Energy, foreign aid and other programs that do more harm than good. He would privatize Medicare and partially privatize Social Security.

Paul criticizes crony capitalist subsidies, and, unlike most politicians who suck up to Midwestern farmers by offering ethanol subsidies, he proposes merely eliminating regulations that inhibit ethanol production. That's libertarian.

Paul's practicing politics, but it's still pretty libertarian politics. In fact, he seems to lean over backward to stick to libertarian principles—even while trying to sound like a mainstream politician. 

Most politicians just change their "principles" to fit the needs of their campaign. And maybe keeping things vague is the way to win. Hillary Clinton's website doesn't even give any specific policy positions. 

Liberals should consider voting for this Republican. Paul's been more vocal than any Democrat in his warnings about civil liberties violations by police, the Dept. of Homeland Security, and the NSA. His criticism of policies that disproportionately harm minorities let him reach out to groups that Republicans have often ignored. A recent poll of swing states found Paul would beat Hillary Clinton in Colorado and Iowa.

Rand Paul is not perfectly libertarian, but of those who might be president, he's the best thing we've got.  

In 2012, I voted for Gary Johnson. Next year: Rand Paul.

© Copyright 2015 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. Queue the Paul bashing in 3 … 2 … 1 …

    I don’t really understand the libertarian’s heartburn over Paul. I’m with you Mr. Stossel. Penn Jillette thinks he wants to establish a theocracy or something. If you think anyone can win the Republican primary without at least expressing a personal religious sentiment and not taking military action off the table, you’re crazy. Ron Paul was great but what direct impact did he make in his long career? Politics unfortunately requires a politician. That this is news to readers of Reason is a little silly.

    1. They’re holding out for the pot smoking Mexican ass-sex Republican candidate

      1. I quite literally lol’d at this. Good job.

    2. Penn Jillette has lost all credibility with me. The same man who said that it would be a rights violation for an atheist to even see a nativity scene next to a courthouse(even if it were put there by private citizens at their own expense) basically said that as long as Christians aren’t being forcibly sodomized, the government can force them to do whatever.

      1. Yes. I don’t mind church-state criticisms, but consistency is critical when making them. Mr. Jillette joined the “morality for me but not for thee” crowd by suborning his libertarianism to the leftist altar of “equality”.

      2. Penn’s position on this isn’t as bad as it first seemed; in one of his recent “Sunday School” podcasts, he explains that his concern isn’t that the law would allow people to avoid the actions based on religion, but rather that it would allow them to avoid the actions based only on religion — that is, if the objections to participating in some action is other than religion-based (and that’s also generally interpreted by government to mean established religion) then the objections are not considered valid. He has a point in that this grants special privileges to those members of accepted religions that are not available to all.

        He initially stated it very poorly, and no media (other than his own) seems to have published anything about the clarification.

    3. What the heck is up with Penn lately? Did he lose too much weight? Bring back the libertarian!

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  2. I’d love to see Paul win, but that’s only for the salty tears that comes with that. The trajectory the US is on means it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets any better. Maybe Paul could stave off the rot a little longer. Maybe he shouldn’t. Addicts don’t realize their problem until they hit rock bottom.

    1. straffinrun — I agree completely with your analysis. America is now made up of a majority of stupid people. They want their free stuff and future generations be damn!

      As taxes go higher to support all of the “free stuff,” the Americans with intellect and money will go else where. At that point Socialism/Communism will step in to run things.

      The irony of this situation is the evangelical/religious right are the ones who brought all of this about with their Wars on Women, Gays and Drugs, dividing the country into one group who wants to live their own lives in peace and another group who believes in ghosts and want to force everyone else to believe in those same ghosts.

      1. At no point in your rambling, blithering, nonsensical post did you anything to the discussion. The brain cells that died while processing your brand of hysteria are lost forever. The room is now dumber for having read your drivel. May (insert your favorite deity here) have mercy on your soul.

      2. The irony of this situation is the evangelical/religious right are the ones who brought all of this about with their Wars on Women, Gays and Drugs, dividing the country into one group who wants to live their own lives in peace and another group who believes in ghosts and want to force everyone else to believe in those same ghosts.

        Truth!

  3. Spot on! Well said, Mr. Stossel.

  4. He’s got my vote. He’s by far the best chance libertarians have had for the White House. I’ve already donated money, which I almost never do.

    1. Before Mr. Paul is allowed anywhere near the presidency, the ruling class will require him to reverse his position on war, imperialism, and universal surveillance. I am told he has already begun the switch.

  5. I’m voting for Gary’s johnson.

    1. Stop being so polearizing.

  6. Another point of view:

    I won’t be supporting Paul:

    1) {Standard Anarchist boilerplate against voting for people}

    2) Rand Paul in the Senate has a lifelong tenure and a chance to rein in and significantly curb executive excesses

    3) Rand Paul in oval office will likely be a 1 term president who is sabotaged and run amock at every turn by the civil service.

    1. Even an unpopular, idiotic president has more power than the Senate combined.

    2. #3 is silly. If a libertarian wins running mostly on libertarian principles (and as someone outside the establishment), he’ll have considerable opportunities to slash and burn government. Sure, Congress could impeach him, but that’s unlikely.

      1. 1) Do you think it’s opportune so soon after the election to slash and burn government with so much to do already?

        2) Of course reducing government is the right thing to do but it slashing and burning it the right way to do it?

        3) The idea of slashing and burning government is good but is this the right time?

        4) We’re working on various technical, legal, and logistical difficulties which are being sorted out.

        5) With the upcoming election, we don’t think anything will be to get done until after the election.

        1. Well done, Sir Humphrey would be proud!

        2. Oh, sure, they’ll bitch and moan, but I don’t think wholesale opposition will occur right away. If nothing else, they’ll want to test the winds of his popularity before going nuclear.

        3. puddinstick-
          1) Yes.
          2) Yes.
          3) Yes.
          4) Fire them all.
          5) Rand will never get my vote again.

  7. I’m voting for Rand too. But I wonder if my optimism is warranted. My Dad doesn’t think Rand is electable and wants to vote for Scott Walker. Electable!? This damned electibility nonsense is what gets us another Romney or heavens forbid Bush/Clinton. It’s time to stop riding that horse and put it down.

    1. I never understood the denigration of “electability” in backing a candidate. Isn’t getting elected pretty much the sine qua non for making anything change?

      I apologize if my irony meter is miscalibrated again.

  8. I will caucus for Rand. Hopefully, I will get a chance to vote for him in a real election.

  9. As I am in the Land of Lincoln, the whole shootin’ match will be over before I get to vote in any primary. Turns into a “vote against” usually….

  10. He has my vote.

  11. He has my vote.

    1. Do the voting machines have squirrels?

  12. A related commentary by Glenn Reynolds:

    I’m here at the NRA Convention, where people are happy? But the real reason they’re happy is because they’re winning. It hadn’t always been that way.

    I have been writing about gun rights for 20 years, and 20 years ago people weren’t winning. And they weren’t happy. Twenty years ago, the media was all against people interested in gun rights, they were losing battles and there was a real temptation to hunker down and to see how long you could hold out. Instead, they fought back. They won?

    The reason why they are winning is simple: it’s because they fought. You can’t win without fighting and they fought. They fought everywhere, they didn’t give up, they made arguments year after year, they campaigned in elections, when all they could get was half of what they wanted, they took it and went for the rest later. They fought and they won.

    The squirrels won’t let me link to the video, but it is succinct two-minute clip on how to get things done in politics: https:// ricochet.com/ glenn-reynolds-the-nra-won-because-it-fought /#

    1. …when all they could get was half of what they wanted, they took it and went for the rest later

      This is how Progressivism has spread. They think long term. They are willing to accept 10% of what they want knowing that moves them 10% closer to their goal. They then fight for everything the next time and smile and walk away with 10%. Those that want more freedom and less government intrusion keep taking their toys and going home if they can’t get 100% of what they want.

      It’s fine to argue principles and try to win every battle but sometimes it’s better to accept moving the needle towards freedom and fight again next time. Maybe you’ll move the needle some more. In no way am I arguing that people should give up their principles or fall in line with TEAM. Argue and fight for your beliefs but be prepared to accept just a little of what you want if the alternative is the opposite of your beliefs.

      1. Agreed!

        It’s a two way street.

        Don’t even get me started on the CA peripheral canal that just won’t die. Every time it is turned down, the proponents resurrect it in one form or another. They just rename it and tell us “it’s different”.

      2. They are willing to accept 10% of what they want knowing that moves them 10% closer to their goal. They then fight for everything the next time and smile and walk away with 10%.

        Exactly. And the entire time, they’re making puppy dog eyes at us and whimpering, “why won’t you compromise here? We just want 10 percent; that’s all! Just give us this one thing and we’ll leave you alone!” Others will be mocking our concern over the slippery slope: “What are you talking about?? Nobody wants to take away _____! We just want some common-sense regulations to make it safer!”

        Repeat that 10 times, and you’ve soon lost 100 percent of the right.

        1. We can see the tactics that they use and how successful they have been, but unfortunately most people on the other side are afraid to use the same tactics. If we can move the needle 10% in the right direction, we should go for it. For example, just because we want to eliminate several federal departments doesn’t mean we can’t support legislation that only reduces their power. It moves the needle in the right direction.

          In other words, while I would love to immediately reduce the size of government by 60%, wipe out 80% of our laws and regulations, and switch to a flat or fair tax that eliminates the IRS, I don’t think that could ever happen overnight. Instead, we need to keep those as long-term goals and think of ways to get there even if it will take an entire generation. If the progressives/socialists tried to implement everything at once, they wouldn’t have made any progress.

  13. It’s my understanding that Rand Paul opposes abortion; that by itself indicates to me how strong his commitment to libertarian principles is. Would the male commentators on this board feel as supportive of him if his stance on gun control was less than they wanted?

    1. Opposes but wouldn’t do anything about it I believe is his stance, leave it up to the states would be the policy.. IIRC.
      If he were morally opposed to serfs owning guns but committed to not acting on his belief I’d be comfortable I think.

      1. /// opposes but wouldn’t do anything /// – as long as he thinks the political winds are blowing that particular direction. (someone – further down in this set of comments?) has actually posted something purporting to be a Rand E-mail on the topic of abortion; if that is indeed him, he must feel pretty strongly on it). And how can you trust someone to be “committed to not acting” on that. Again, specifically with regard to the abortion issue, I think it is something that guys feel a lot more comfortable compromising on than women ever will. (and yes, most of the GUYS on this comments board would probably be less willing to compromise their stance on gun control. That’s okay, I’ve got one too.

    2. There is no litmus libertarian position on abortion. No one can define when something in the womb is a person deserving of rights. There are valid libertarian arguments from the moment of conception to when it’s bathed in the magical vagina juices. If his stance on gun control was anything other than 100% right of an individual to keep and bear arms then that would be not be a libertarian position.

    3. From my readings of his comments on it, he’s merely recognized a legitimacy to pro-life concerns, in that perhaps at some point a fetus becomes more than just a collection of cells. He hasn’t expressed any absolutist views on it to my knowledge.

      Regardless, we’ve had staunchly pro-life (much more so than Paul) executives in the past who have been unable to do much in restricting the practice. To vote solely on the issue strikes me as more of an absolutist position than any Paul has expressed.

      And I’m puzzled as to how gun rights are a “male” issue.

      1. “And I’m puzzled as to how gun rights are a “male” issue.”

        Abortion isn’t a gender issue either. It takes two to tango. Thus two to decide.

        1. I don’t disagree. But that’s not the way she likely views it. Men don’t get to provide input, but still obviously obligated to accept whatever responsibility should she bring the child to term.

          But gun rights REALLY have nothing to do with gender. At all. Hence my puzzlement.

    4. It’s my understanding that Rand Paul opposes abortion; that by itself indicates to me how strong his commitment to libertarian principles is.

      That’s he is firmly in line with the libertarian-approved “outlaw murder” movement? Libertarianism says nothing about when life begins.

      1. Okay, another way to come at this issue is this: in a much more libertarian nonregulatory/licensy economic/social climate, how would agents of the government even find out that an abortion is going on? Would this be a matter of someone on hospital staff finding out that an abortion is scheduled in room XXX at YYY time and calling the police to come prevent such an action? So if people (doctors/nurses/schedulers) are very discrete, they probably can get away with a lot of safe abortions anyway; and anyone who is not in on the information flow (or does not have enough money) may have to settle for the old back alley botcher; c’est la vie; those who would live by the abortion (and have no money) can die by the abortion. That’ll show them.

      2. Another approach to the “libertarian” aspect of this question is this: In a society that is considerably more libertarian (a lot less regulation and licensing of medical establishments?) how do government officials even discover that an abortion has even occurred? How could abortions be prevented? I think about the most such a government could do is occasionally stop an abortion, but for the most part they would go on, by word of mouth if necessary. About the most parents with anti-abortion values can hope for is to instill those values in their children. Good luck (both ironically and sincerely).

        1. The reality is that abortion is likely to start being outlawed except in certain cases past the point of viability.

          There will be very few medical professionals who will risk their freedom and career to violate the law.

    5. Libertarianism does not automatically mean pro-choice. It all comes down to when someone is entitled to rights. This is why we have organizations such as Libertarians for Life (http://www.libertariansforlife.org/) and Pro-Choice Libertarians (http://pro-choicelibertarians.net/)

    6. I am sure he also opposes driving 100 miles an hour on your property while intoxicated. He probably also opposes keeping your kids home from school and teaching them nothing. There are thousands of things that each person can oppose and believe is wrong, but that doesn’t mean you are no longer libertarian. The difference is when you believe that you need a government to force your beliefs on other people.

      The abortion issue is a grey area. Your rights to do what you want end when they affect another being. I know libertarians who are supportive of laws against abortion because they feel like you are harming another life. Regardless of how you believe on the issue, since Rand Paul is not calling for any government involvement, especially on a Federal level, you can still support him without betraying your conscience in this area.

  14. Will Stossel’s statements gain FdA’s admiration though? That’s the real question.

  15. Has it ever occurred to people that an antiabortion stance is a statement like this: People should not have sex if they don’t want children. So if you support an antiabortion presidential candidate you are voting for someone who says you shouldn’t be having sex if you aren’t willing to care for any embryos/fetuses that might accidentally occur. (I suppose the “libertarian” response to that is that guys shouldn’t have to worry about this; nobody should be able to force them to disprove paternity; only women have to bear the consequences of the antiabortion stance).

    I think it’s long past time that American women go all Lysistrata: If a guy is opposed to abortion, he’s not getting any.

    1. Very interesting – by chance do you have a newsletter we could subscribe to?

      1. LOL! No – just me on a tirade. I have to say, I’m really surprised by the amount of antiabortion sentiment in Reason’s comments. Back in the day (I cast my first vote for president for Hospers – and at that time I think being proabortion was de rigeur for anybody to call himself/herself a libertarian (I know – no legislation to that effect). It just seems interesting that a bunch of guys who are adamant that no one should force them to support some one else’s child through taxation are pretty open to forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy for nine months. I really do believe that women should have more sense than to have sex with guys who are jerks – which would preclude a lot of the abort/not abort issues; but it’s also interesting that for a lot of male “so called” libertarians, a woman’s body becomes community property when she becomes pregnant. (It seems to me that a woman’s right to enter a building pregnant and exit not pregnant should be a right as sacrosanct as the right to bear arms – and I’ll shoot anyone who tries to prevent her!). When I was carrying around petitions to get libertarian candidates on the presidential ballot, I ran into a lot of female socialists who said: “Libertarians, oh those guys. They want freedom for themselves and F*** anybody else’s freedom.” Maybe this is what they meant?

        1. Not at all.

          My right to freely swing my fist through the air ends where the nose of another person begins.

    2. People should not have sex if they don’t want children.

      100% true and accurate. Fucking produces children. It’s biological.

      So if you support an antiabortion presidential candidate you are voting for someone who says you shouldn’t be having sex if you aren’t willing to care for any embryos/fetuses that might accidentally occur.

      Again, 100% accurate. You can’t have freedom without responsibility. You will not die if you don’t have sex. Fetuses don’t magically appear in the womb. Fucking is usually involved.

      (I suppose the “libertarian” response to that is that guys shouldn’t have to worry about this; nobody should be able to force them to disprove paternity; only women have to bear the consequences of the antiabortion stance).

      The libertarian response is that people are responsible for their actions. If a man and woman decide to have sex then they are equally responsible for the care of any child that may come from that.

      I think it’s long past time that American women go all Lysistrata: If a guy is opposed to abortion, he’s not getting any.

      Every woman has that choice. Sex is a choice. You can choose to not have it. You can choose to minimize your risks with birth control.

      1. Okay, just a measure of your consistency: Do you think that when a woman becomes unintentionally pregnant and names a male as her partner in this endeavor, he should be forced to submit to paternity testing and to pay child support if such paternity is proven?

        1. I realize you didn’t ask me the question but my answer is nevertheless: yes.

          As PFUQ said, people are responsible for their actions–and I would add–should be held so by society. It use to be shame and the father’s shotgun that instilled a sense of responsibility, but we’ve given up on personal accountability, anymore, and want everything free.

          I happen to have two adopted children, so I think adoption is a pretty good resolution to an unwanted pregnancy. Various methods of birth control work with various risk levels and abortion is available when drastic measures are needed. But abstinence (or anything short of coitous) works really well.

          1. (or anything short of coitous)

            O.K. Now I’m off daydreaming…….

            possibilities. Possibilities…..

        2. “If a man and woman decide to have sex then they are equally responsible for the care of any child that may come from that”

          I don’t know how much clearer than that I can make it. If thats not clear enough then try this.

          If a man and a women decide to have sex and the women says she is using the pill and the man uses a condom and she still becomes pregnant then if a child is produced they are equally responsible for the care of the child. There is no 100% way to guarantee, besides not fucking, to not become pregnant. If a man sticks his penis into a vagina he is taking a risk that he will be supporting someone for the next 21 years. He chose to take that risk and he has the responsibility for the consequences.

          Of course the reverse sometimes happens and a women claims paternity and when a man later is proven to NOT the father he still gets to pay for it. So yes, a man should submit to paternity test if he A) admits to having sex with her or B) if he doesn’t admit it then it can be proven he did. Of course if after paying child support for 10 years its proven he isn’t the father the child he should have every right to get every dime plus interest back from the woman and/or the real father.

          1. I would definitely agree that making a guy pay child support even after a test has proven he is not the father is wrong (Has this actually happened? Sorry if I missed it); and yes, if he has been paying and then it is proven he is not the father, he is certainly owed back what he paid in (preferably by the real father; but I’m not going to protect the woman in this case if she can’t remember or track down). Intriguingly, what if he and the kid bonded during that period; should he be forced to give up the relationship they developed?

            1. It is fairly common for men to be forced to pay child support for kids that aren’t theirs, even if the woman admits to lying about the child’s paternity. And men are routinely denied access to their own children they ARE financially supporting, too.

              1. Have there been any law suits over this? I know that a father who has been judged abusive can be denied access; but if a guy has passed the “you are NOT the father test,” — especially a lot of guys – and are still being required to pay child support, somebody ought to be talking to the ACLU (or some other group if you can’t stand the ACLU – although I really think they would be sympathetic on this issue).

                1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..72474.html

                  http://dadsrights.com/index.ph…..d-support/

                  I believe the term is cuckholdom. Only, males get to pay for it.

    3. I think it’s long past time that American women go all Lysistrata: If a guy is opposed to abortion, he’s not getting any.

      Abstinence works.

      It used to be: “if he’s not willing to marry me, then he’s not getting any.” But I guess that’s progress. Amirite.

      1. Now it’s…”Why pay for the cow when you get the milk for free”

        1. That saying has been around for a long time. It goes way back in my Portuguese wife’s ancestry. Her mother even used it in reference to me when we were dating.

          But, I have to admit, the milk was so much sweeter when it was free. 🙂 Now, if her father had been alive and owned a twelve gauge……………………

      2. Amirite: I’ve actually asked many of my female friends/acquaintances, “why the heck are you even having sex with this guy?” and realize that if women either waited for marriage or at least did not have sex with jerks, much of the abort/don’t abortion Issue would not come up. However, women are fallible (sometimes in this area more than in others), and I just don’t get people (predominantly males?) calling themselves “libertarian” and then wanting to go all government enforcement/regulatory over the issue of whether a woman is allowed to enter a building pregnant and exit nonpregnant. As I have said previously, this seems an issue that is at least as central to libertarianism as the right to bear arms — and just don’t enter my gun sight if you are trying to prevent women from exercising this right.

        1. A gun is a thing. A fetus is an organism. One can argue about when that organism becomes “human”, deserving of its own rights, but it’s intellectually dishonest to suggest that the act of birth is the obvious and only possible moment. Is it viability? Conception? Depends on how you define life. Libertarianism isn’t in the business of defining such things. A pregnant woman is 2 people according to some, both deserving rights and the fetus’ right not to be murdered, trumps the mothers right to not be inconvenienced. Not sure what’s confusing about that. Threatening to shoot pro-lifers? Charming

          1. A human embryo is human; it is part of human development. But in my early 20s I had a friend who was pretty careless about her sex life, and I asked myself: if T gets pregnant, what is going to happen. She will probably have an abortion. Would I rather that she have a nice, safe legal abortion; or that she have a possibly crippling, possibly fatal back alley abortion? And I chose legal abortion. I chose T over her imaginary embryo, and I think that is what the vast number of Americans have done in similar situations.

            Do you believe that you have a legal as well as moral obligation to prevent the starvation of every child in America (let alone the rest of the world?). If your stance is “no welfare” either you are saying that just because an entity is a living human being, that does not mean that you have an obligation to enslave yourself to their welfare. This is a stance that just because a woman acted in a way that created a life inside her, she has no moral obligation to become the nine-month slave of that person. Also, I have read that even today labor and delivery have a somewhat higher fatality associated with them here in the US of A than abortion; so add to that as well; does she have the moral obligation to take on these risks. (Oh, and I’m only threatening to shoot pro lifers who actually try to prevent women from exercising their right to abortion; hmmm, does that extend to voting for antiabortion politicians/laws? Interesting question).

            1. If you accept the premise that a fetus is a human life, abortion is the conscious act of terminating a life without the consent of the life being terminated. AKA murder. A child starving to death is not murder. All of your hypotheticals and equivocations are meaningless if you consider the same scenario with a 1 month old. Is there a “moral obligation” to not murder your 1 month old?

              99.99% of people consider the physical life of the mother to be an exigent enough circumstance to warrant an abortion. But at the end of the day the associated risks are known prior to conception. If I jump out of a plane without a parachute it’s no one else’s fault but my own what happens

      3. Just for the record, I believe that two consenting adults should be allowed to have all the sex they want, married or not.

        But it’s funny: leftists and the “Free Love” movement are the ones that made premarital sex far more permissible. Nowadays, most women have sex with several partners before marriage, yet they complain that men don’t want to “commit” and get married.

        Wonder why.

    4. kayp-

      Has it ever occurred to people that an antiabortion stance is a statement like this: People should not have sex if they don’t want children.

      I know a number of sexual acts that have a zero chance of resulting in an embryo…

      “Reagan’s teen pregnancy prevention initiative, “Hey, girls, suck more dick!””- Richard Belzer

      1. Very cute; okay, edit to “potentially reproductive sex.” (So what do you think, is Rand Paul in favor of nonreproductive sex? (I actually have an old fashioned sense of what sex is – it’s potentially reproductive; anything else is sensuality – how’s that for being old fashioned? (62-year-old Grandma).

    5. People should not have sex if they don’t want children.

      This is a bit simplistic. A better statement would be, “If you choose to have unprotected sex, take some goddamned responsibility for the entirely predictable consequences of your actions.”

      When my wife and I were dating we decided it would be no p in v until we were married. There was no fucking way we were gonna have a kid before then so we practiced something called “self-discipline” (look it up). In our early 20s even! Crazy! It wasn’t too bad, in fact it was a lot of fun.

  16. It’s almost like Stossel thinks there’s only two parties to choose candidates from.

    1. Did his admission of voting for Gary Johnson in 2012 give this away?

  17. I’ll vote for Rand if he gets the nomination, but I think his anti-abortion stance renders him unelectable in the current climate. Here’s a copy of an email (one of six identical emails I’ve received thus far) from him:

    +++++++++++
    Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, 55 million abortions have taken place in America.

    The question remains, can a civilization long endure if it does not respect life?

    It is the government’s duty to protect life, liberty, and property, but primarily and most importantly, a government must protect life.

    In order to protect the unborn from the very moment life begins, I introduced the Life at Conception Act. (emphasis mine -Baelzar)

    Today, our nation wavers and our moral compass is adrift.

    Only when America chooses, remembers and restores her respect for life will we re-discover our moral bearings and truly find our way.

    As a physician, I’ve looked into the eyes of one pound babies. I’ve cradled their small precious bodies in the palm of one hand.

    And I defy those who are careless – who disregard life – to come to the neonatal nursery with me and look at these tiny little miracles and say “we’re not going to protect that.”
    +++++++continued below

    1. +++++continued from above
      That’s why I hope you’ll sign your “Right to Life” petition today.

      During my time in the Senate, I’ve led the fight to end abortion on demand in America.

      I’ve voted to repeal the funding for abortion under ObamaCare, and I’ve also voted to stop taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest provider of abortion.

      Not only that, but I’ve also introduced the Life at Conception Act in the U.S. Senate. (emphasis mine -Baelzar)

      (My name redacted), as long as I’m in the U.S. Senate, I pledge to continue fighting for the life of the unborn.

      I believe the Right to Life is granted by our Creator, and it must be protected by our government.

      Our nation was founded on the principles of individual liberty.

      And without life – there can be no liberty.

      So please take action and sign your “Right to Life” petition today.
      In Liberty,

      Senator Rand Paul

  18. He’s trying for and end-run around Roe v. Wade. In the current political climate, this is ap ammo for the left, especially if a woman gets their nomination.

  19. Mr. Stossel, you question if Mr. Paul has violated his principles, but , with all due respect, I ask the same of you. Are you not violating your Libertarian principles by not voting for the Libertarian candidate, let alone not even mentioning his name in an article in which you articulate for whom you are voting? Shouldn’t we as voters vote for the candidate that we feel is the best candidate, not the candidate that we can most tolerate that has a chance of winning? A vote for a Libertarian candidate under a Republican (or Democratic, if one existed) ticket does the Libertarian movement two injustices. First, it helps to reaffirm the legitimacy of the Republican Party and keeps our “two party system” in tact. Secondly, by voting Republican and not Libertarian, you harm the Libertarian Party in their efforts to become a “legitimate’ third party in our political arena. Mr. Gary Johnson has as good (and I would argue better) credentials than Mr. Paul. In 2016, I will vote my conscience; I will vote my principles; I will vote Libertarian. Mr. Stossel, will you do the same?

    1. You obviously didn’t go to page 2 where he clearly said he voted for Johnson in 2012

    2. If the major party candidates are blowhards, vote LP. That’s what I did last time. If a major party candidate is pretty goddamned close to a libertarian, run to the polling place and punch his ticket.

      It’s a pretty simple cost/benefit economic calculation.

  20. I think Rand is electable and is going to surprise people. If he gets some kind of Millennial groundswell he’s really going to be potent. As a long time libertarian and a person who values intellectual consistency it worries me that Millennial’s would vote for Obama then Rand Paul, but that’s my problem. I think Paul’s foreign policy stands are going to be a big plus. People see that nation building doesn’t work, they want a president who believes in America but isn’t eager to get involved in foreign lands. I think Paul can pull some votes that Republicans don’t normally get. What’s going to be interesting is when people understand that he really doesn’t believe in Food Stamps for all and wants Social Security to stay within it budget. What’s he going to say in the debate with Clinton when she says we should raise the taxes on the rich to pay for a 25% increase in social security? He should just relax and start playing the role of the winner. He’s a little prickly.

    1. Millennials just haven’t had time to mature yet. But, they are way ahead of where we were at their age.

      The Burke paradox!

  21. OFF TOPIC:

    Where do we sign a petition for Reason to come up with a better comment posting platform?

    It reloads every time I post and I have to scroll around trying to find where I was.

    1. I agree. Discus is really good. National Review has discuss. I love the tracking of Discus. I don’t know what it costs a magazine to use it though.

      1. I have Disqus on my blog and it was free. I dunno about a more professional site.

        You can download an extension for Google Chrome called “reasonable” which I guess a member of the commentariat coded a while back. It doesn’t do a whole lot but is does but allow for html shortcuts in comments and when you reload a page or comment it highlights all new posts written after the last time you loaded. Makes it so you don’t have to read everything all over again.

        1. Muzzle, thanks that’s interesting. Maybe it’s easier and less expensive than we think.

  22. What if Gary Johnson runs again? We’ve got some time. It’s too early to make a decision. But I’ll agree Rand is the best choice among the other gross candidates.

  23. 2016 Rand Is The Brand

  24. What I want to know- who is Stossel’s mustache voting for?

  25. People like Sen. Mc Cain and Lindsey Graham (team replacement for the late Sen. Joseph Lieberman) were dealt in the past by historian and philosophers.
    Already in 42 B.C. Cicero said:
    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not traitor, he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.”

    http://www.wavevolution.org/en/humanwaves.html

  26. If he ever had principles the answer is ‘yes’.

    Stossel has no credibility when he fesses up that he was conned by Clinton, Bush and Obama.

    1. Dunno, man… I think it’s usually better to admit when you were wrong. It’s much better than busting out some bullshit rhetorical trickery like most politicians and political commentators do.

      Stossel admitted up front that he was wrong. That counts for something, at least.

  27. Don’t tell me about it; tell Fox News.

  28. For those who are misinterpreting Rand Paul’s agenda, please learn to read between the lines. It may help you in life.

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