The hardest part about identifying as a libertarian is how poorly the general population understands the term. Here in the United States the term is generally applied to any self-declared conservative or Republican that pays lip service to small government, civil liberties, and the need for being fiscally conservative. Unfortunately the core of libertarianism, the non-aggression principle, is almost unknown outside of libertarian circles. This is why a man like Rand Paul gets called a libertarian:
Led by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), libertarians hope to become a dominant wing of the GOP by tapping into a potent mix of war weariness, economic anxiety and frustration with federal overreach in the fifth year of Barack Obama’s presidency.
I fail to see how a man who voted for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the amendment to the NDAA that placed additional sanctions on Iran, provided funding for a neoconservative that stated women rarely become pregnant from rape and wants to based policies on said statement, introduced meaningless drone legislation, and endorsed Mitt Romney is going to lead libertarianism in any way. Heck, Rand Paul doesn’t even consider himself a libertarian:
“They thought all along that they could call me a libertarian and hang that label around my neck like an albatross, but I’m not a libertarian,” Paul says between Lasik surgeries at his medical office, where his campaign is headquartered, with a few desks crammed between treatment rooms.
Unlike his father, Rand isn’t a libertarian and we would all do well to stop referring to him as such.