Tag Archives: Rand Paul

Primaries and Democratic Reform

The 2016 Presidential Campaign has gotten underway with Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton, and Marco Rubio announcing their campaigns to win their respective party nomination.  The Republican field looks to be the more interesting primary until there is an actual challenger to the Hillary Clinton juggernaut, which may never materialize. In addition to the announced Republican candidates, it is likely that at the very least Jeb Bush and Scott Walker will join the race sometime soon (Ohio governor John Kasich is also looking more likely).

Changing the Republican Party...maybe

Credit: Gage Skidmore, Licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0

As a moderate libertarian/neoclassical liberal, I’ve been looking forward to a Rand Paul campaign for some time. Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns were a much needed challenge to the stale rhetoric seen in campaigns for the past 20 years. Finally hearing a Republican who opposed continuous foreign wars and pulverizing civil liberties was refreshing. Of course, Ron Paul’s challenging of traditional Republican ideas did not mean he was a moderate. Uncompromising might be a good euphemism. Exceedingly reactionary might be more appropriate. His ideological purity on most issues meant his campaign could never move very far beyond its own base. Not that I minded! But it would be interesting to see what a more moderate candidate could do. Continue reading

Libertarian Police Skepticism Goes Mainstream

In 2014, critiquing the police went mainstream. “Police militarization” stopped being a term heard exclusively on libertarian internet radio shows or reddit forums, and instead became a normal talking point mentioned by politicians and news stations.  I believe I have maintained a healthy skepticism of all government, even local police forces, but it felt weird when reality pushed past the limits of fiction and kept going. Back in 2012, many libertarians were wary of the capabilities of the US intelligence community. But then Edward Snowden happened, and suddenly anyone not communicating exclusively in ephemeral Diffie-Hellman key exchanges using Perfect Forward Secrecy while wearing a tinfoil hat looked like a moron.

That same phenomenon has repeated itself in the past year; in the summer of 2014, any civil libertarian worth his or her salt probably believed the War on Drugs had given too much power to police forces at the expense of privacy and individual rights.  But would they have predicted police forces using military grade equipment on city streets, pointing semi-automatic rifles at unarmed civilians, arresting journalists, killing civilians with chokeholds, and then going on semi-strike by not “making arrests unless when necessary”? No one could be paranoid enough to believe that and be taken seriously.  But once again, the crazies were proven right: Continue reading