What Do Punk Rock Libertarians Really Think About Rand Paul?!


It seems to me that every time the good folks over here at Punk Rock Libertarians post any article pertaining to Rand Paul, we get a whole slew of complaints and baseless criticism due to merely sharing articles pertaining to liberty issues invoking Rand. Is Rand a libertarian? He himself has said that he’s not. I believe a good way to describe Rand would be as a “libertarian- leaning constitutional conservative”. It seems to me that no matter what your views of Rand are, like it or not for many he is the face of libertarianism in modern mainstream American politics. I’ve compiled a question and answer session for all of the Facebook moderators of PRL explaining their views on Rand. Let’s alleviate the confusion: “What do Punk Rock Libertarians really think of Rand Paul?!”

What is your overall opinion of Rand Paul?

Matt Bergman: I thoroughly believe Rand to currently be the best thing libertarians have going for us in the Senate. However that doesn’t really say much does it? Mostly for me, Rand falls way short in the subject of getting the government out of the marriage business. Rand seems to be perfectly comfortable (and prefers) the government defining marriage by his own beliefs and denying others the right to define marriage by their own. As a voluntaryist, if Rand and I were locked in a room together discussing ideas we would be sure to not see completely eye to eye on many subjects. However I totally give him props on his recent public criticisms of prohibition and the racist prison industrial complex. It seems that many times when I actually hear of a good bill coming out of the Senate, Rand is the author. I believe that he addresses issues that most others don’t and then often times precedes to get those issues mainstream press. As far as comparing Rand to his father, I mostly feel like the apple fell far from the tree. However it could also be said that Rand’s more palatable brand of libertarian-leaning conservatism might reach a broader demographic and may be more successful at bringing issues of liberty to the mainstream.

Jared Schneiderman: I’ve always thought of Rand Paul as like a libertarian Trojan horse to the GOP. He has been able to appeal to the religious conservatives of the party while still being liberty-minded and an advocate of the free market. There are still several issues I disagree with him on, including his stance on gay marriage and abortion. But I’d like to think that he is just playing the political game, and that upon being elected for President he would flip the switch and go full bore libertarian. It’s hard to say though.

John Vibes: I am not a political person, so I rarely trust politicians. However, Ron Paul was one of the few who actually spoke the truth about war, economics, the drug war, and the state in general. His son Rand Paul seems to compromise much more, a strategy that I don’t believe will make any progress for freedom.

Brian Combs: Rand Paul is my favorite senator. He could use some work on a number of social issues but he’s really the only person in the Senate that I find myself frequently agreeing with. I also think he’s the best chance that libertarians have in 2016. He may not be the most ideologically pure candidate but he’s proven himself to be politically viable, even outside of his fathers supporters.

Do you think that you would consider voting for Rand Paul in 2016?

Matt Bergman: Personally I don’t think I would ever vote for Rand Paul. However I don’t think less of people who would. I’m thankful that he’s around. I just don’t think I like him enough to sign my name under his. If he ever got elected President I’d probably be secretly happy on the inside because ultimately I feel like he’s probably the best guy out of everyone who could possibly get the job. While at the same time,the side of me that is very weary of two party politics fears that he may forever stain the term “libertarian” in two party politics. However, that concern may be a little far fetched considering that I still feel it would a be a vast and nearly impossible feat to be worse than any President that we’ve had in recent years.

Jared Schneiderman: I’m torn about whether I would vote for him or not. On the one hand, I don’t like to vote because I don’t want to endorse the system. If no one voted, the system would cease to function. But on the other hand, as that outcome is rather unlikely, I would be interested to see what would happen if Rand Paul were elected and if any progress would actually be made. Is it enough to have a libertarian in office, or is the system so fucked that it wouldn’t even matter? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

John Vibes: I would not consider voting for Rand Paul.

Brian Combs: I plan to vote for him.

About Author

Matt Bergman

Matt Bergman founded Punk Rock Libertarians in 2010. Formerly played guitar and sang in the Baltimore punk band "TENWATCH" and currently plays guitar and sings in "post freedom".

  • Seth586

    Jared Schneiderman, Not voting is dangerous, and here is why: Progressives are patient socialists. They accept small changes over time. I like to think of Libertarian-Rs as patient Voluntaryists. Unless civil war erupts, your vision will never come true. If we could evolve our government into a Libertarian ideal, wouldn’t you want to be part of that? Take the first step. Vote.

    • Jared Schneiderman

      I disagree. I like the concept of the government being analogous to the mafia – you don’t take down the mafia by infiltrating it and changing its behavior, you get rid of it by acknowledging that it’s an immoral institution and outright ending it. And it doesn’t require a violent revolution to end it either (in fact, that usually results in an even worse government). It can be brought about through peaceful means by practicing agorism, opting out of government programs (like voting), peaceful parenting, and living by the non-aggression principle. Relying on one person to dismantle an entire system built on violence and predation is wishful thinking at best. It’s more effective to try to convince people that government is evil and that we don’t need it – it can’t survive without the consent of the people.

  • Mike

    Rand Paul 2016!

  • Matt wrote, “ If he ever got elected President I’d probably be secretly happy on the
    inside because ultimately I feel like he’s probably the best guy out of
    everyone who could possibly get the job.

    I agree for the most part that it’s the best we could realistically hope for. My concern is not so much him but who he’d appoint to cabinet positions. I suspect he’d pretty much choose run of the mill Republican types if only to please the Republican establishment.

    That wouldn’t be much of a change and I question whether Rand would try to shake things up too much with an entire staff made up of mainstream conservative types.

    • Chuck Reichenbach

      Take this into account. I am a Conservative. I believe every drug should be legal and available over the counter. If I were running for president I would take the exact stance Rand is taking because baby steps. In a few years the landscape will change. Baby steps. 😉 Abortion is killing babies, if you support it your a fucking killer and evil bastard with no honor and your argument is not taken into consideration.

    • Jared Stearns

      Hmmm. good point. I was thinking, “I’m from Connecticut, our five electoral votes will go to Hellary (sic) no matter how I vote. So I’ll vote (big L) Libertarian, but hope for Rand even though he is a Republican”. But then, if he feels the need to pay people back with his appointments, would it be much different than Bush 43?

  • Wayne Middlesteadt

    I’ll put a Rand Paul 2016 bumper sticker on my car next to the Libertarian one. Then when the Stupid Party nominates Rick Perry, Paul Ryan, or some other social authoritarian, I’ll vote for Gary Johnson again.

  • Kyle Schroeck

    I would vote for Rand. He is the closest viable candidate to Libertarianism. If the GOP nominates another statist, my vote will go to the Libertarian candidate.

  • Nathanael Ginn

    I would vote for Rand Paul. Completely believe the government is beyond saving and so corrupted that it is all pointless, but at least I can say I tried to make a peaceful non aggression based tactic to try to make a difference. Ultimately, the US government will at some point falter and then we can make a difference out of the ruins if possible. Voting is important cause if enough people stop exercising that right, then they can easily get rid of it.

  • raine

    In my 8th grade science class, the teacher announced that the final assignment was to be graded on a strict curve. so we students organized a meeting and decided that when NO ONE turned it it, we would all get at least a C. everyone agreed to give this plan a try. while i didn’t really like the idea, i couldn’t resist seeing how things turned out, so i went along with it. but guess what? one jerk turned in his assignment for an easy A, causing everyone else to fail. (he was beaten to a pulp after school, but the damage to our grades was already done)

    i do not believe in the current system at all, but if you don’t vote, you run the risk of letting some jerk tell you who your next president will be. if nearly everyone opts out, then it only takes a few very bad apples to make a very bad choice. Rand isn’t my favorite choice, but I’d consider voting for him.

  • Jon Helpingstine

    Not sure if I’m posting in the right place, anyways, Rand Paul should have stood against Netanyahu and Boehner and the “letter” to Iran. It was a constitutional issue and he overlooked it. His speech at CPAC was inspirational, but now sounds contrived. He’s not his Father’s Oldsmobile.

  • Bob Mitchell

    I don’t have time for puritanical elitist libertarianians trying to dictate their smug and self righteous code of beliefs. Rand is just who he is and that’s miles ahead of anyone else in the GOP, as far as I’m concerned. If he gets the nomination and goes up against Clinton, you bet I’ll be voting for him.