Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has taken another step in the opposite direction of his famous father. According to an article published December 5th, 2012 the younger Paul voted to approve the 2013 national defense authorization act (NDAA) to the tune of some $650 billion. This includes almost $90 billion to continue the current state of perpetual war. It also includes the controversial amendment which allows the federal government to detain individuals without trial for an indefinite period of time…up to forever. This is the amendment that raised the ire of so many Ron Paul supporters in 2012.
Some libertarians still defend Rand Paul by saying it was a strategic vote on a bill that was destined to pass regardless. “he’s a Trojan horse, he’s doing what his father wouldn’t or couldn’t,” said Casey Bond, “His dad is a legend, maybe the only honest politician there ever was, but look where that got him. Rand is playing the game and he’s playing it well. It’s food for the liberty movement.
Obviously not all in the movement agree: “Rand should be ashamed of himself. He conned constitutionalists and libertarians and used his Daddy’s name to get elected,” said Alvin Schwartz.
Rand has been very good for liberty on many issues, but he is no Ron Paul, this much we know. Rand first fell out of favor with his father’s supporters when he endorsed Mitt Romney in the general election…before his father withdrew the race and before Romney had officially secured the nomination.
Senator Paul also voted for sanctions on Iran, something his father has repeatedly called an act of war. Now he has voted for the 2013 NDAA, which not only allows the aforementioned indefinite detention, but also includes a federal sales tax on internet transactions. Senator Paul has pledged not to raise taxes and this vote obviously breaks that pledge. Ron Paul never voted to raise taxes and he certainly never broke a pledge.
Senator Paul hasn’t been shy about his interest in running for president in 2016, and a lot of this is posturing to win the GOP base, something his father could never do, but is he alienating the core group of libertarians, the group of young antiwar individualist who spread his father’s message with such a fever, by doing this? Opponents will already have more ammo against the younger Paul than they ever had on his father. Also, if it was true that Mitt Romney couldn’t win without Ron Paul supporters, how in the world does Rand expect to do it?