The other day some fellow libertarians and I were discussing the strange case of Rand Paul; the man who was expected to carry on his father’s legacy but has faced significant challenges as he runs for president. One libertarian suggested that Rand was undermining or undoing what his father had built by straying from his ideological purity.
The question, of course, as it always is, is why?
I want to be somewhat careful about this, as it purely based on speculation, but something we should consider is that how Rand viewed his father’s political career during his formative years.
We must not forget that Ron Paul was virtually ignored until around 2007; before then he was seen as an outsider or outcast. What I wonder is if this had a significant impact on Rand.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the Youtube video of Ron Paul’s debate with Morton Downey Jr. back in 1988, but in it he was treated like total garbage. It’s disgusting.
I can’t speak to how Rand might have reacted to this whole thing, but if it had been my father I would been extremely impacted seeing him getting ridiculed and lambasted on trashy TV shows like this by intellectual retards. It would be utterly beneath a man of his knowledge, and I would be determined never to allow myself to be in such a position.
One can also imagine how desperate Ron Paul, who will probably go down as one of the last great statesmen in our nation’s history, must have been to go on that show and be subjected to that kind of ridicule, just in the hopes of getting his message heard because he had no access to the mainstream media at the time.Think of how humiliating it must have been for him.
It smacks of powerlessness, when the only audience you get is the bottom of the barrel.
It’s possible that while Rand admired his dad, he also saw how poorly his father was treated, how poorly he sometimes allowed himself to be treated, and was determined not to go through that. Or he felt like his father’s lack of actual achievements in Congress could have been different had he tried a different approach and wants to actually fulfill them.
In other words, there are other possible influences as to why Rand is acting as he is other than being a “sellout.” I personally have no solidified opinion as to why, merely the observation that he’ll water down his libertarianism whenever there is stiff resistance.
For all his political ills, one thing Trump doesn’t do is back down when challenged on what he advocates.
My speculation is that Rand’s goal is to get into a position of power where he can have an impact on the political system and effect change, rather than promote ideological ideas and act as a helpless “no” vote as his father was on many occasions, and he is willing to make the compromises necessary to accomplish this.
I’m not arguing it’s a good strategy, as I’ve noticed how easily D.C. can corrupt the behavior of even the most well intention people who go there, especially when they are open to compromise for the sake of a greater goal.
Again, this isn’t to justify, but to understand why people behave as they do. This is merely a possibility I’ve seldom seen raised elsewhere. Often times what governs a politician’s decisions has less to do with what we see on the surface and more on the unspoken, unseen influences.