Libertarianism is like an ice-cream cone with three flavors, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry; you are bound to find something you like if you keep eating.
Dr. Rand Paul is the junior United States Senator for Kentucky. Elected in 2010, he has proven to be an outspoken champion for constitutional liberties and fiscal responsibility, and a warrior against government overreach. Among his first legislative proposals: cutting $500 billion in federal spending and a plan to balance the federal budget in just five years.
Meet Rand Paul, the curly-haired darling of the Libertarian movement. Champion of less government, individual rights, term limits, a balanced budget amendment, my God, it just goes on and on. This conservative ubermensch is fruit that does not fall far from the Ron Paul tree. And that is the part of the problem. You can’t help but like Ron. It was refreshing to hear a man that didn’t talk trash on the stump, but of course, in a presidential election, there is no greater sin.
Rand has figured this out, and wants you to consider him in 2016, but this ice cream cone has many flavors. Education you ask? Abolish the federal department, let the states run it, local leaders and mom knows what needs to be done, not some bloated federal mistake.
The existence of the Department of Education is an overreach of constitutional authority by the federal government. State and local governments, parents and teachers are far better equipped to meet the needs of their students than the red-tape-laden department, which was established for and tends to benefit teacher’s unions rather than students.
What kind of education would that be? Not bad if you are well off, and live in the right neighborhood, although it is anyone’s guess whether evolution ever comes up in class, or Keynesian economics. The problem with decentralized education is that it is decentralized. The image you get is teachers and parents developing curricula, working together in a harmonious collaboration. Before you get too excited, you can see this in action at your local school board, where some of the subjects your elected leaders come up with are far more frightening than anything the Department of Education could conjure up. And they have conjured up some real doozies.
We are already in two wars that we are not paying for. We are waging war across the Middle East on a credit card, one whose limit is rapidly approaching. And to involve our troops in further conflicts that hold no vital U.S. interests is wrong.
Okay, so now things get a little cloudy. This is not your daddy’s Republican conservativism. War is like viagra to the old dogs. They got to have it. Not so with Rand, just like his Daddy. One thing for sure, Libertarianism has a vicious isolationist streak in it. You solve your problems, we will solve ours. Notwithstanding whether you think there is some common sense behind this, it flies in the face of two centuries of meddling in everyone’s affairs. The results of that meddling have led to some notable catastrophes, and they haunt us to this day, but there have been many overlooked successes. We do a lot of good, despite our horrendous screw-ups.
The Founding Fathers warned of a Federal Government bent on usurping the power, rights, and privacy of its States and citizens. In the last nine years, the Federal Government has expanded the scope of its power at an alarming rate, while blatantly ignoring the Constitution.
This is where it gets creepy. The basic fear that conservatism constantly nurtures is the fear that your government is out to get you. They have built this fear into a mantra, and after hearing it for decades, it now just goes without saying. They are inspired by the words of our founding fathers, warning of the dangers of government, even though they were fairly obsessed with breaking away from a monarchy at the time, and had good reason to fear governments. Ironically, followers see no contradiction in hearing these rants from, well, the government. Our leaders are only capable of treachery if we don’t elect them ourselves. It’s very nonsensical, and a bit silly.
I have introduced legislation to try and address this fiscal problem with immediate action. I introduced a bill (see the release here) to cut this years deficit by $500 billion, and I have also introduced a plan that balances the federal budget in 5 years.
Of course, the country would come to standstill, and the only growth industry would be breadlines. Oh, wait, not allowed in the Rand-ian universe. Austerity has been tried all over Europe and in Japan. It didn’t work except in one instance in of all places, I forget, Lithuania, or somewhere like that. To hold an agrarian economy up as the model we all should strive for is frightening, but they continue to believe that lowering taxes and cutting everything is the answer to prosperity.
To stop the Washington bureaucrats from limiting our energy choices and waging their war against affordable and abundant forms of energy like coal, I have co-sponsored S. 468 the Mining Jobs Protection Act along with Senate Republican Leader, and fellow Kentuckian, Mitch McConnell
Kentucky is coal country, and things begin to fall apart when Rand has to defend the Coal Industry. You probably remember the ‘clean coal’ mottoes that were rolled out in the last election? Coal is not clean, and not cheap. Getting it out of the ground pollutes the entire mining area and all the clean water around it. Using coal is even worse. Visit a tailing pond and see what the by-products look like. Or just look up. Rand can’t walk away from this industry, it’s vital to Kentucky, and one of the reasons Mitch McConnell is no friend of Barack Obama. If you thought it was about principles and politics, you were wrong. It’s mostly about coal.
Is this libertarianism? Well, kinda. You see, libertarians eat the chocolate and ignore the strawberry. They don’t debate it. They just ignore it. Can you run a presidential campaign this way? We shall see.