Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) just got a very interesting endorsement. Fox Business pundit and libertarian investigative journalist John Stossel just penned a piece at Reason.com explaining why he will be supporting Senator Paul for President in 2016. In his piece, Stossel did his level best to give reasons for Americans of every political stripe to support Paul – conservatives, libertarians and liberals.
He doesn’t call for drug legalization but wants to decrease penalties, and he doesn’t rule out legalization.
He voted for sanctions on Iran, which bothers hardcore libertarians, but of the policies under consideration, sanctions were better than war.
He supported increases in defense spending, but at least he said they should be offset by reductions in other spending.
Paul disappoints me by opposing gay marriage and saying a “moral crisis allows people to think there would be some other sort of marriage.”
Where Rand Paul shines is in the clarity of his plans to shrink government. When elected to the Senate, he said his big priorities were “the debt, the debt and the debt.”
Paul presented budget proposals (visible online) that left-wing critics like Vox say are “the most radical vision of limited government ever presented by a major American presidential candidate (apart, perhaps, from Paul’s father, Ron Paul).”
He wants to eliminate the Department of Education, Amtrak subsidies, the Department of Energy, foreign aid and other programs that do more harm than good. He would privatize Medicare and partially privatize Social Security.
Rand wants the Senate to fulfill its constitutional role by approving any war. That’s libertarian.
At least Rand did not ask the government to ban gay marriage.
Paul criticizes crony capitalist subsidies, and, unlike most politicians who suck up to Midwestern farmers by offering ethanol subsidies, he proposes merely eliminating regulations that inhibit ethanol production. That’s libertarian.
Paul’s been more vocal than any Democrat in his warnings about civil liberties violations by police, the Dept. of Homeland Security, and the NSA. His criticism of policies that disproportionately harm minorities let him reach out to groups that Republicans have often ignored.
Stossel also notes that unlike many other politicians, while Rand Paul has bent on his libertarian principles, he’s also done his best to stick by those principles. In times past when a politician is forced to shift his positions he simply leaves his original position in the past – like Obama on gay marriage or John McCain on tax cuts.
Rand Paul has shifted his perspective on foreign policy as the national mood has forced him to, but he still endeavors to keep his foreign policy as libertarian as possible while remaining within the Republican mainstream.
There are reasons for your average Republican voter to vote against Rand Paul, but there are many more reasons to support him. The fact that he remains the one candidate who as a conservative can still win libertarian and democrat support should be chief among them. Rand Paul is far to the right of Chris Christie and Jeb Bush, but he still stands a better chance of winning support from traditional Democrat voting blocs than either of them. That alone should be reason to seriously consider supporting his candidacy.
John Stossel’s endorsement will carry weight within the libertarian community. Let’s see how much it will help Rand Paul’s chances at winning the nomination.