Rand Paul sometimes says very good things, and I’ll cite them when it’s appropriate. However, I’m not going to support him as a presidential candidate, and I’d be very worried if he became president. He is, by his own statement, not a libertarian, and on an issue which greatly matters to me, he’s less libertarian than many mainstream candidates. He thinks the US border is insufficiently militarized. From his own website:
However, millions of illegal immigrants are crossing our border without our knowledge and causing a clear threat to our national security. I want to work in the Senate to secure our border immediately. In addition, I support the creation of a border fence and increased border patrol capabilities. … Instead of closing military bases at home and renting space in Europe, I am open to the construction of bases to protect our border.
The southwest of the US has been turned into a police state through anti-immigrant hysteria. People are stopped and questioned on major highways without cause. Some are forced to undergo body cavity searches just to satisfy the sadistic wishes of the Border Patrol. So far this hasn’t happened in New England, which falls entirely in the so-called “border region” which the Obama administration has declared to be outside the Fourth Amendment Zone. Attempts to implement this in New England have been relatively rare and have faced strong protest. Under a Rand Paul administration, I might well be living in the same “Your papers, please” world that people in southern California, New Mexico, and Arizona have to submit to. Bostonians recently showed that they’ll submit to suspicionless searches on public streets if the threat of terrorism is waved at them enough; Paul might well conclude he can get away with it here.
Electoral politics isn’t, in today’s world, the path to freedom. No candidate today has a chance of being elected without pandering to people’s desire for other people’s money, hatred of foreigners, or desire to be shielded from the tiniest of risks at any cost. Rand Paul, if elected, will betray the principles of freedom, and the left will say, “See? This is what comes of reducing government power.”
It’s necessary to focus on ideas, not dreams that some candidate will provide a short cut to freedom.