There are some issues where libertarians have agreed to disagree but there are other plumb line issues where the principles of liberty are so clear that a true libertarian must concur. One example would be price controls. No real libertarian can support prices controls. Another issue is the war on drugs. No libertarian can support the war on drugs. Drugs are private property and their use or voluntary exchange is protected by the right to liberty. Worse yet, drug prohibition is premised on the principle of paternalism which allows the state to use force against people allegedly for their own good. Once that principle is admitted, a virtually limitless number of violations of liberty have been sanctioned.
Where does Rand stand on this key issue? A story entitled, “Sen. Rand Paul aggressively courting evangelicals to win over GOP establishment, Washington Post,” (May 12, 2013), states:
“At a lunch Friday with about a dozen evangelical pastors in a Cedar Rapids hotel, the younger Paul assured the group that he disagrees with libertarians who support legalizing drugs. . . . Instead of advocating for legalized drugs, for example, he pushes for reduced penalties for many drug offenses. ‘I’m not advocating everyone go out and run around with no clothes on and smoke pot,’ he said. ‘I’m not a libertarian. I’m a libertarian Republican. I’m a constitutional conservative.’” * * *‘He made it very clear that he does not support legalization of drugs like marijuana . . . ’, Pastor Brad Sherman said.”
So, on this key libertarian issue, Rand explicitly takes the opposite position. In doing so, he endorses a key program first touted and enacted by progressives, then adopted by conservatives as they are wont to do. The drug war is a policy that has created a crime wave in America for decades, leads to massive incarceration, aggravates racial tensions, diminishes civil liberties, funds terrorism, wreaks havoc in other countries, busts budgets, raises taxes, and becomes a model for coercive intervention and central planning in other areas of society and the economy.
The Liberty Movement must actively separate from such an alleged libertarian presidential candidacy lest we be tainted!