Rand Paul

GOP Debate Interrupted By Cries of 'We Want Rand'—It's a Sad Stage without Him

A Rand-less GOP is a terrifyingly authoritarian spectacle.

|

Last night's Republican presidential debate was very briefly derailed by hecklers in the audience who shouted, "we want Rand!" during an exchange between the candidates and moderators on police issues. The moment was as much an outburst of frustration at the various candidates' strident anti-libertarianism as it was an appeal for Sen. Rand Paul himself to appear.

The decision made by Fox Business to boot Sen. Rand Paul from the main stage may have been justified given his lagging poll numbers, but it was an unmitigated disaster for the integrity of the debate. Paul's absence from the stage deprived the spectacle of any semblance of sanity.

While many libertarians—including many of my colleagues at Reason—have dinged Paul for seeming at times insufficiently committed to the cause and too eager to make in-roads with big government conservatives, his faults appear incredibly small when set against the horrors of a Paul-less GOP slate.

There was no candidate to represent the significant number of war-weary libertarians, Independents, conservatives, and young people. Everyone from Marco Rubio to Jeb Bush promised to bolster the Army and Navy, defend U.S. military interests abroad, reverse President Obama's reckless "retreat" from world affairs, and stir up new conflicts with Syria, Russian, Iran, and China. Nation-building was denounced, but endless nation-building would be the obvious and inevitable outcome of the foreign policies set forth by the entire GOP field minus Paul.

Paul's absence was keenly felt on a host of domestic issues as well. There was no discussion of criminal justice reform last night—instead, Donald Trump and Chris Christie defended the honor of the class of government employees known as police officers.

"The police are the most mistreated people in this country," said Trump. Yes, the police are mistreated, not police victims such as Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and John Crawford. Paul's dis-inclusion meant there was no one on stage to push back against the "War on Cops" narrative.

It was easy to root against Trump when Ted Cruz eviscerated him over his birther accusations. It was similarly easy to root against Cruz when Rubio denounced him as a panderer and a sellout, and to boo Rubio when he called Edward Snowden a traitor. But there was no one on stage to root for, because not a single candidate articulated a platform that had anything in common with libertarianism, or even limited government conservatism.

Where was Paul during all of this? He skipped the undercard debate, and instead livestreamed short videos in which he answered questions on Twitter. The move seems to have paid off for him: he picked up more followers than any other candidate except for Trump, according to Twitter.

That's good for him, but all libertarians should pray he can fight his way back onto the main stage. Absent Paul's influence, the GOP slate is universally hostile to immigrants, more interventionist than ever before, pro-cop, and even skeptical of free trade. In truth, It's really no more libertarian than the Democratic slate.

NEXT: Republican Candidates Offer Incoherent Military Solutions During Debate

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. You are young Robbie and thus u nable to discern the holocaust that your generation has in the next couple decades.

    My 2 nieces are also clueless.

    For anyone with half a brain putting your 12 percent into FICA is asinine, the returns are abysmal.

    If an R tard could articulate that they might have some legs with young people….but that ain’t going to happen.
    R tards have so much to savage the Dtards. Team blue has one arguement…more free shit. That team R can’t take advantage of that reiterates that they are the party of stupid.

    Im not a R fan, though it’s interesting to see epic stupid on both tribes…..hmmm.

    1. The GOP can’t counter the free shit argument because they have no desire to reverse the trend. They know fiscal responsibility buys them few votes and loses them many. This commenter places the blame for all of this squarely on you, the voter.

      1. ^^^^^^ This. People are very often short-sighed, unprincipled, “what’s in it for me” idiots.

      2. Yep!! What’s that quote about getting the government we deserve? But the gimme, gimme shrews don’t care.

      3. But wouldn’t it be nice if Reason managed to mention it more than once a decade?

      4. Of course people want free shit. It is human nature. Do you walk by a bowl of donuts at the office and not take one, because you didn’t earn it? This will never change.

  2. Paul’s inclusion in the discussion forces other candidates and even moderators to address liberty-minded topics, but everyone’s done the math and the votes just aren’t there right now. The Democrats have been successfully portrayed as reckless civil libertarians and peace mongers and Snowden-lovers and soft-on-crimers and almost everything they really aren’t, and the Republican candidates get to/have to counter that fiction.

    The field does need to be narrowed and it’s unfortunate poll respondents are choosing more and more the same quality of big government GOP candidate. But they wouldn’t be poll respondents if they weren’t fucking idiots.

    1. Interestingly, Paul out-polled Kaisch by at least 2% on average over the last few weeks, yet Kaisch was allowed on the “big boy” stage and Paul was left out in the cold. I remember something similar happening to his father in 2012. The media is driving the narrative here, and most people are blind to it.

  3. ” In truth, It’s really no more libertarian than the Democratic slate.”

    Wrong. Obamacare. Most important anti-Liberty issue of this cycle as it immediately and continuously affects us all.

    1. So does the drug war. And it involves assaulting and killing way more people.

      1. Exactly. Obamacare is a minor inconvenience, making health care cost more than it should. The drug war makes criminals out of peaceful people, for no discernible reason.

        1. Thereby increasing demand for prisons and police departments. Stimulus!

          1. I prefer if US presidents got their stimulus like Bill Clinton, not like Obama.

  4. Both the Republicans and Democrats want to take my hard-earned money (and freedoms, for that matter) and give them to someone else. The only difference between them is who they want to give them to. Heads, they win; tails, I lose.

    1. That just about sums it up.

  5. The rebuild-the-military rhetoric boggles the mind. It was sickening watching them try to one-up each other with the war talk. I think Christie said if elected he would personally take command of the Death Star.

    1. And spy on all the Rebels, meaning us.

  6. It’s really no more libertarian than the Democratic slate.

    Why doesn’t Reason ever push for a Democrat to make the Democrats more libertarian?

    1. There is no small government sentiment or interest in that position among the democrats.

      Even the traditional link between dems and civil liberties is no more than a memory at this point.

      Both are the party of big government and invasive government. The only reason for pursuing libertarianism on the D side is to attempt to destabilize that party the way we have the GOP.

      1. Speaking destabilizing major parties, the last couple decades have been an excellent case study of the paradoxical effects of our absurd electoral system. The disunity of the Democrats I remember SNL making fun of at the turn of the century enabled the GOP to win with bush. And the current degeneration of the GOP will all but guarantee the victory of the furthest left Democratic administration we’ve seen yet (not to say Hillary is truly that far left in her actual beliefs, if she has any; but she’ll become that to heed the times). I guess the enemy of my enemy is still my enemy.

        1. paradoxical effects of our absurd electoral system

          As opposed to what? European parliamentary systems? You know, the kind in which you vote for political parties, they go into a back room, and come out with disasters like Hitler?

          Our “absurd” electoral system doesn’t produce good presidential candidates, but it has been pretty good at keeping extremists out of power. And when voting for the executive branch, that ought to be the primary concern.

          When you come up with a better system, let us all know.

    2. the republicans at least talk about shrinking government sometimes. they don’t mean it, but lip service is more than we get from dems. hoping for a more libertarian candidate from the socialist leaning party would be setting yourself up for disappointment.

  7. my neighbor’s half-sister makes $83 every hour on the computer . She has been without a job for 9 months but last month her payment was $17900 just working on the computer for a few hours. why not try this out

    +++++++++++++++++ http://www.Wage90.Com

  8. It brings a tear to my eye that Rand wasn’t forgotten and someone had the balls to voice their disapproval of the current situation. Finally an interruption worth a damn.

  9. The GOP slate, Rand included, is NOT hostile to immigrants.

    It IS hostile to illegal immigration.

    The two are not, and never will be, the same, no matter how often you conflate them.

    1. There’s an issue with what type of immigrants they want to make illegal.

    2. You think Trump is only hostile to legal immigrants? If so you really need to pay better attention.

      1. Well, Sanders is certainly hostile to legal immigrants.

    3. The only difference between legal immigration and illegal immigration is if the government says it’s OK.

  10. You are absolutely right. But let’s face it, no one at FOX likes Rand.

    1. They should. He’s good for ratings and makes the debates better.

  11. Rand Paul 2016!

    1. 2020. that’s the year we need an eye doctor.

  12. RNC and Fox are a disgrace! Rand Paul absolutely did the right thing by not giving Fox that extra body they needed for their stupid 6:00 pm shit show!

  13. ‘”The police are the most mistreated people in this country,” said Trump. Yes, the police are mistreated, not police victims such as Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and John Crawford. Paul’s dis-inclusion meant there was no one on stage to push back against the “War on Cops” narrative.’

    It’s more than a little ironic that the editor of Reason magazine would invoke this juicy tidbit of unreason. You see, Robbie would have you believe that we can gauge the morality (or lack thereof) of our system of policing by invoking (ad nauseam) the names of its outliers, er, I mean “victims.”

    But only for a moment, this unreason. Naturally, Robbie will return to his bread and butter when it is more conducive to his immediate purposes. And if you weren’t paying attention, the purpose of this article was to stump for Rand, specifically, and Libertarianism, generally.

    I support Rand (insofar as I support any of the candidates) and Libertariansim, so what’s the problem?

    The problem is that Robbie has unwittingly stumbled onto the reason for Paul’s dismal polling numbers: hypocrisy. And Libertarians don’t like that.

    1. ‘”The police are the most mistreated people in this country,” said Trump.

      Obvious response: they are free to quit if they don’t like their job. Unfortunately, Paul isn’t libertarian enough to make that simple point.

      1. The police are mistreated. But not in the way that they think.

        By giving them a stupid and hopeless mission – such as enforcing the war on drugs – we set them up for failure.

        By training them to shoot at the first “furtive movement” so that they can go home safely that night, we guarantee that a couple of hundred of them will make a mistake and shoot when they shouldn’t, killing someone. They may get demonized for this, or they may be lionized. Either way they’ll have to live with their mistake, and it will change them, likely not for the better.

        By protecting them at all costs, we create a hostile environment where doing the right thing and turning in a bad cop is a career killer. This obsessive protection also creates a breach of trust with the public that results in more public anger and makes a difficult job almost impossible.

        By hiring big, stupid and aggressive (see court cases about hiring less intelligent officers) rather than smart and skilled in interpersonal communications we guarantee that situations that might have been de-escalated and resolved peacefully will be resolved with violence.

        Their concerns may be entirely focused in the wrong direction, but they are definitely poorly served by their taskmasters and the union.

        1. The police are mistreated. But not in the way that they think. By giving them a stupid and hopeless mission

          Police officer is a voluntary job; if officers don’t like it, they can quit.

          By hiring big, stupid and aggressive (see court cases about hiring less intelligent officers) rather than smart and skilled in interpersonal communications we guarantee that situations that might have been de-escalated and resolved peacefully will be resolved with violence.

          Police officer is a voluntary job; cities have to make due with who they can get, and that is “big, stupid, and aggressive”, because anybody “skilled in interpersonal communication” is going to pick a nicer career.

          Their concerns may be entirely focused in the wrong direction, but they are definitely poorly served by their taskmasters and the union.

          Which part of “police officer is a voluntary job” did you not understand? They don’t have “taskmasters”, and they know ahead what the unions do for them. In fact, that’s why many signed up.

  14. Naw, not so much…. Fine he is the darling of some Libertarians, but not even all of them, and he has failed to communicate that he understand the wants and needs of majority of Americans. He does not understand Americas place in the world and how we should project our power; True,,, he is light-years ahead of Obama on this one… but that is not enough.

    1. some of us want a more peaceful place in the world and a lot less projecting.

    2. He’s weak beer compared to his dad, but he’s not Mormon tea like the rest of the stupid party candidates.

      1. yeah hes not my favorite paul either, but he’s a lot less of a weird little mousey man than his father. that kind of thing makes a difference on tv

    3. “He does not understand Americas place in the world and how we should project our power.”
      How about you go project “our” power wherever you’d like, and leave me and my tax dollars alone. Seriously, I think we need allow, even encourage you guys to form your own irregular units, let you buy your own guns, and go off to whichever third world country you have a boner to ‘project’ onto, and leave the rest of us in peace.

  15. While many libertarians?including many of my colleagues at Reason?have dinged Paul for seeming at times insufficiently committed to the cause and too eager to make in-roads with big government conservatives, his faults appear incredibly small when set against the horrors of a Paul-less GOP slate.

    Dinged, huh? That’s putting it kind of mildly.

    I’m not saying you should abandon your principles, be they to only vote for a candidate you agree with or to not vote at all, but I would put it to you (and I mean the plural “you”) that, realistically, the next president will either be a Republican or a Democrat, and the closest thing to a libertarian in either of those parties right now is Rand Paul. With that in mind, is it really wise to punish someone for only being partly libertarian instead of rewarding someone for being the most libertarian in the field of candidates, especially knowing that if Paul doesn’t get the nomination one of the others certainly will? And if purging partial libertarians for the crime of being ideologically impure is how you want to play this, what then is the incentive for any politician to drift towards libertarianism?

    I suggest that if it’s an all-or-nothing deal rather than a “big tent” movement it will forever remain the Linux of political ideologies.

    1. Maybe it’s time to organize a life-begins-at-erection caucus?

    2. I suggest that if it’s an all-or-nothing deal rather than a “big tent” movement it will forever remain the Linux of political ideologies.

      There are nearly twice as many Android phones (Linux-based) as Windows systems worldwide. In addition that, most routers, clouds, and professional servers run on Linux. Linux has pretty much taken over the world without many people even noticing. If only libertarianism could follow that path.

  16. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do..

    Clik This Link inYour Browser….

    ? ? ? ? http://www.Wage90.Co

  17. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.

    _+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.Paybucket40.com

  18. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do..

    Clik This Link inYour Browser….

    ? ? ? ? http://www.Wage90.Com

  19. Police are mistreated, and they respond with mistreatment. More police are killed by criminals than criminals are killed by police. They,the police, have to deal with the worst of humanity on a regular basis. This does not excuse their abuses, but they too are abuse. The police have become way over militarized and that needs to change, but it will make their jobs more dangerous.

    1. I hope your cart doesn’t get in your horse’s way too much.

    2. More police are killed by criminals than criminals are killed by police.

      You have got to absolutely be bullshitting me. If not, then you’re about as smart as a bag of hammers. About 75 cops were killed last year in duty-related incidents.

    3. “More police are killed by criminals than criminals are killed by police.”

      You say this like fifty-fifty would be reasonable.

    4. the job is, by it’s nature, dangerous – or at least should be, if everyone’s playing fair. the fact that it’s so much safer than, say, being a truck driver should at least prompt some worry about them being too quick to use force.

    5. Being a cop is in fact, less dangerous than being a lumber jack, a garbage man, a construction worker, and a host of other jobs. Sorry, but it’s not like on the TV shows; cops are not a bunch of heros. They are, with the occasional exception, just government employees. They drive around a lot mostly, and a bunch of them just sit in offices all day like other government employees. Like other government employees, they are overpaid, over-pensioned, and over-unionized, and for the latter reason are, like other government employees, frequently rendered too immune from punishment for wrongdoing.

      Seriously, I have more sympathy for the tribulations of garbage men than for police. Police have it better, have less dangerous jobs, get a lot more glory, and are arguably not as necessary. We’d notice after a bit if all the police suddenly disappeared, but not as soon as we’d notice if the same happened to all the garbage men.

    6. Police are mistreated, and they respond with mistreatment.

      Sorry, but that’s not their job.

      More police are killed by criminals than criminals are killed by police.

      Bullshit.

      They,the police, have to deal with the worst of humanity on a regular basis.

      And they are free to quit if they don’t like the working conditions.

      but it will make their jobs more dangerous.

      And they are free to quit if they don’t like the working conditions.

  20. Look they didn’t even really address the debt issue. No mention the present value of promised benefits are well over $50 trillion (money that needs to be in piggy bank today to accrue interest to afford costs tomorrow).

  21. I didn’t even bother watching the debate last night. The first time I missed a debate in a decade at least.

  22. The decision made by Fox Business to boot Sen. Rand Paul from the main stage may have been justified given his lagging poll numbers…

    It wasn’t. Paul has consistently polled ahead of Kasich, and often ahead of Christie.

  23. 2016 will be the year we all start douching with shit.

    1. Wait, we were supposed to wait till this year to do that?

  24. Only exceeded by how sad it is with him.

  25. my friend’s half-sister makes $77 /hour on the computer . She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her income was $12280 just working on the computer for a few hours. browse around this web-site

    Open This Link for more Information…

    ???? http://www.Wage90.Com

  26. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do..

    Clik This Link inYour Browser….

    ? ? ? ?http://www.WorkPost30.com

  27. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do..

    Clik This Link inYour Browser….

    ? ? ? ?http://www.WorkPost30.com

  28. Hasn’t REASON figured out that any post that begins with “My last paycheck” or “Earn money at home” is spam and should be removed?
    I understand the desire to be all libertarian and all, but why post something that isn’t part of any discussion.
    Libertarians need to learn to use some common sense, at times.

  29. “There was no candidate to represent the significant number of war-weary libertarians, Independents, conservatives, and young people.”

    Then maybe, just maybe, it’s time to accept that the Republican Party is not the best fit for such people.

  30. Never fear… when YAF becomes a party, or when the Tea party assemble in convention, I am certain they will clear the stage to make room for such a steadfast opponent of reproductive choice and female individuality.

  31. my neighbor’s half-sister makes $83 every hour on the computer . She has been without a job for 9 months but last month her payment was $17900 just working on the computer for a few hours. why not try this out

    +++++++++++++++++ http://www.Wage90.Com

  32. my neighbor’s half-sister makes $83 every hour on the computer . She has been without a job for 9 months but last month her payment was $17900 just working on the computer for a few hours. why not try this out

    +++++++++++++++++ http://www.Wage90.Com

  33. In other news: Randy Marsh gives himself testicular cancer in order to obtain a medical marijuana card.

  34. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do..

    Clik This Link inYour Browser….

    ? ? ? ? http://www.Workpost30.Com

  35. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do..

    Clik This Link inYour Browser….

    ? ? ? ? http://www.Workpost30.Com

  36. my friend’s half-sister makes $77 /hour on the computer . She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her income was $12280 just working on the computer for a few hours. browse around this web-site

    Open This Link for more Information…

    ???? http://www.Wage90.Com

  37. my friend’s half-sister makes $77 /hour on the computer . She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her income was $12280 just working on the computer for a few hours. browse around this web-site

    Open This Link for more Information…

    ???? http://www.Wage90.Com

  38. The ballpark band struck up “It’s a Lonely Old Town When You’re Not Around for Al Capone,” and the following year booed Herb Hoover with We Want Beer! I am thankful to have one senator better than the rest, setting an example to change his party.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.