Monday, March 30, 2015

Should Libertarian Party members support Rand Paul?

Should members of the Libertarian Party support Rand Paul this election season?  It’s a question making its rounds among Libertarians and libertarian Republicans.  The answer to that question depends on a person’s conscience.

If you want an answer from me, folks, I’d say yes.  It’s my opinion that Libertarians should stand with our brothers and sisters in the Republican Liberty Caucus, for the simple reason that Rand Paul’s message will advance the libertarian cause.  For me, this is above Party loyalty—I left the Republican Party because “Party loyalty” doesn’t fly with me.

Not everybody in the LP will agrees with me on this, and I’m at peace with that.  I understand the Party will run its own presidential candidate or risk irreparable weakness of the organization.  Party members and other alienated voters will vote for that candidate, and they have every right to do so.

My personal strategy walks the line between the LP and RLC. I’ve been a dues-paying LP member since March of 2014, but I’m still registered to vote as a Republican.  I’ll hold onto my GOP registration (and hold my nose in the meantime) so I can vote for Rand in the primary election.  The minute my vote is cast, I’m changing my voter registration to Libertarian.

Regardless of Rand making it to the general election (God willing he does), I’m changing my registration the minute my primary vote is cast or the minute he ceases to be a presidential candidate—whichever comes first.

Yes, I understand that Rand Paul is not libertarian.  He never claimed to be—we just wanted him to be.  But his old-school brand of Goldwater conservatism contains enough libertarianism that his presidential candidacy would be an asset to the liberty movement.

Who else filibustered for 13 hours over the government assassinating American citizens?  Who keeps introducing Audit the Fed into the Senate?  How many ranking Republicans have been saying that national defense probably shouldn’t involve going to war just for the hell of it?

Even his most recent stunt calling for increased defense spending, paired with budget cuts of equal weight, was a successful effort to troll neoconservatives into looking like the liberal spenders they really are.

By the end of his campaigning, more Americans will be “conservatarian,” guaranteed.  Making people less neoconservative and more conservatarian is not a failure to make them libertarian.

I, Zach Foster, never would have become libertarian or a student of Murray Rothbard if it wasn’t for the breathing room I had being a conservatarian in my transition away from being a young neocon.

Not everyone who votes for Rand Paul will be libertarian.  I understand that.  Rand will have to look more and more Republican as Super Tuesday draws near.  I understand that, too.  He has to play the game, and is playing it a lot better than his father did.

Some neocons turned paleoconservative will require more time to become conservatarian, and still more time to become full-out libertarian, but every step forward is one step closer to a freer society.

I believe that more people will be libertarian after Rand Paul’s candidacy.  Many Party members will join me in campaigning for Rand, and I think that’s wonderful.

Other LP members have no room for Republicans in their vision of the ideal liberty movement.  There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as they work on building up the Libertarian Party instead of tearing down libertarian Republicans.

For me, the Rand Paul campaign is about living free by helping others to see that they have an equal right to live free and can’t terminate my right to do the same.


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