As Robby Soave reported, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) did a bang-up job as the only guy on stage at the GOP presidential debate tonight with consistent sense on foreign policy.
He did not advocate pointless punching of Russia in the nose for not doing everything we'd prefer they do, or sending more massive troop deployments to knock over more Middle Eastern governments and clean up some of the bloody messes that resulted from the last time we knocked over some Middle Eastern governments, repeat forever.
But the most radical libertarianism expressed during the CNN show tonight came from questioner Hugh Hewitt.
One of Hewitt's questions to Dr. Ben Carson contained some intensely morally serious thinking about foreign policy and the heart of government, from a perspective that Americans are almost never required to confront in normal political coverage.
Hewitt asked Carson:
We're talking about ruthless things tonight—carpet bombing, toughness, war. And people wonder, could you do that? Could you order air strikes that would kill innocent children by not the scores, but the hundreds and the thousands? Could you wage war as a commander-in-chief?
That's the heart of the matter. It's a perspective mostly libertarians have on government: calling out its essential nature as the power to kill for goals chosen by the people running it, sometimes constrained in certain ways by the wishes of citizens.
In modern American foreign policy particularly, Hewitt got to the nub of the question. What we are asking of these potential presidents, especially given the narrow range of their incredibly fearful beliefs about the world, is: are you ready to gruesomely murder thousands of innocent children, out of that fear? That's the story. That's what's going on.
Pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, as he knew he must, said yes, he would, he would kill those thousands of innocent children across the ocean because many people in this country seems very, very afraid of what some of the adults surrounding those children might do to harm Americans. (Another key question was unasked: do you think killing thousands of children will end the supposed problem of people overseas yearning to kill Americans?)
"The job of the president of the United States is to protect the people of this country," said Dr. Carson, "and to do what is necessary in order to get it done."