Selling Rand Paul

Mondays are rough for blogging. The new cycle hasn’t ramped up to the weekly top speed so we’re left scraping the bottom of the barrel. In my quest to give you guys some content to read I’ve decided to go for the low hanging fruit of politics. Specifically the popular (in libertarian circles) political topic of Rand Paul.

Something has been bugging me about Rand’s supporters that I couldn’t quite figure out until now. Whenever Rand’s name is mentioned on a libertarian discussion board a handful of people always try to sell him. Any seemingly poor decision (poor in regards to libertarianism) made by Rand is justified as him needing to play the political game in order to generate neocon support that is necessary to win the presidency. When somebody expressed ideological differences with Rand one of his supporters invariably shows up to talk about how libertarians, whether aligned with Rand or not, must support Rand because he’s the only small government option on the board (it’s rather ironic that so-called libertarians feel that it’s appropriate to tell other people what they must do).

And this is what bugs me about Rand Paul’s supporters. In my experience if a politician has to be sold to an ideological group than that politician doesn’t support that group’s ideology.

In fact Rand’s supporters remind me of a sleazy used car salesman in a way. They approach you when you’re browsing their lot and point out a few cars that will supposedly fit you well. Listening to the salesman would lead you to believe that every car you’ve looked at is in excellent mechanical condition even if the body looks a little banged up. You’ll also be lead to believe that the previous owner (of which he assures you there was only one) was very strict about performing scheduled maintenance and drove like an old man. But when you run a CARFAX report you find that the vehicle was actually rebuilt after being totaled out due to an accident with a semi that pushed it into a river.

Like the used car salesman above, Rand’s supporters are being deceptive in the hopes of selling him to libertarians. The only part about this entire exercise that I don’t understand is why. Libertarians, unfortunately, make up a small percentage of Americans. A presidential candidate can easily win without their support. So why are Rand’s supporters investing so much time in trying to sell him? My guess is self-reassurance. If they can convince a majority of other libertarians that Rand Paul is in fact a super secret libertarian then his libertarian supporters can sleep well at night convinced that they are supporting a candidate who reflects their ideology. Either that or they’re just trolling the libertarian community, which would be hilarious.