The libertarian-minded Kentucky senator announced Tuesday on his website that he'll seek the Republican nomination for the White House in 2016."Libetarian-minded," is a pretty good term. Maybe libertarian-scented is better. Libertarianism isn't so much a political movement or ideology as it is a bluff. No actual libertarians exist in nature. Or, if they do, we can't see them. They're completely off the grid roaming the hills somewhere making their own clothes and soap and electricity and stuff.
"I am running for president to return our country to the principles of liberty and limited government," he said.
Rand Paul wants to wear the libertarian brand. It is a shorthand way of marking regular assholes as assholes with principles.
Except Presidential candidates don't actually have principles.
WASHINGTON — Rolling out his long-awaited presidential campaign on Tuesday, Rand Paul billed himself as "a different kind of Republican" who would defeat the "Washington machine."The rest of that article enumerates Paul's several flip-flops away from "libertarian-mindedness" during the course of gearing up to become a candidate for President. When you're done reading that, you can stop by his campaign's online store and purchase a pair of official Rand Paul flip-flops.
"That's not who I am," he declared in Louisville, to cheers from an adoring crowd. "Both parties and the entire political system are to blame."
But how different is he from the traditional Republican politician?
As he highlighted in a video message before his remarks, the libertarian-minded Kentucky senator has indeed been consistent in bucking his party on several issues, such as opposing NSA spying on Americans, relaxing punishments for non-violent drug offenses and standing against the prospect of drone strikes against U.S. citizens on American soil.
But on other issues atop the minds of core Republican primary voters, Paul has strayed — some in rhetoric, some on policy as well — from his previous libertarian-minded positions that had set him apart from the pack.