A Libertarian in the 6th

IMG_2633On Saturday, Virginia’s 6th district Libertarians gathered in Lexington to decide if and who the party would nominate to challenge Bob Goodlatte in the November election.  This year Representative Goodlatte is seeking his twelfth term in the House of Representatives.

Only one candidate sought the Libertarian nomination, Will Hammer of Staunton.   However, he was not a shoo-in as it should be noted that Libertarians have the option to choose “none of the above” rather than have a party nominee.  In what turned out to be a very close vote, the 6th district Libertarians did give Mr. Hammer their party label.  The last time the Libertarian Party nominated a candidate for this office was with Stuart Bain in 2010.

Also at the convention, the Libertarians picked a new 6th district chairman.  Jonathan Parrish from Lynchburg, who ran for a seat in the House of Delegates in 2013, was elected without opposition.

With Mr. Hammer’s nomination, there are at least two candidates that are challenging Representative Goodlatte: Will Hammer as a Libertarian and Paul Bevington as an independent (who previously was running against Goodlatte for the GOP nod).  The Democratic Party has not nominated anyone and will not do so.  There are rumors of another third party candidate, possibly a Green Party candidate, but they are unconfirmed at this time.  The next hurdle will be to collect the thousand plus signatures required to appear on the November ballot.

Who will make the cut?  Who will fall short?  On June 10th, we will have that answer.

What’s Up With Rand?

Photo from Rand Paul's Facebook page.
Photo from Rand Paul’s Facebook page.

In 2010, I can remember being exceedingly excited about the prospect of Rand Paul, the son of Ron Paul (my former boss), serving as a United States Senator from Kentucky.  As a result, I made a multitude of calls and emails into the bluegrass state, looking forward to the opportunity to help elect this new champion of liberty.  Unfortunately, the chance to serve on this new Dr. Paul’s campaign eluded me.

Nevertheless, in the early years of Senator Paul’s term, I retained this same enthusiasm.  Like his father, he railed against the abuses of the federal government through the TSA and the NDAA.  As a result, many of us thought that he was and would be a fine heir to Ron Paul’s legacy.  But, unfortunately, that facade is beginning to crumble.

Now, it is no great secret that Rand Paul is eying the Republican nomination for president in 2016.  However, with each passing day some people are beginning to wonder if he is jettisoning the principles of his father in order to achieve this goal.

For example, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Senator Paul called for sanctions against Russia.  Ron Paul, by contrast, argues that imposing sanctions is tantamount to war.

There’s the issue of Middle Eastern aid.  Rand Paul attaches a number of strings to further funding the Palestinian Authority rather than simply opposing the general idea of handing out the wealth of American citizens to foreign governments.

And Senator Paul recently made a trip to Maine and declared, “I wholeheartedly endorse Senator Collins for re-election” despite the fact that she has a downright awful record when it comes to civil liberties and is not particularly grand at trying to curtail the growth of the federal government either.  Yes, Republicans endorse Republicans all the time, but for Paul to endorse someone who seems so diametrically opposed to what he stands for seems particularly curious.

Today, Steve Deace declared Senator Paul to be part of “the surrender caucus” based upon Paul’s statement regarding Obamacare while speaking at Liberty University.  Paul stated that, “I think it is going to be difficult to turn the clock back.”  As Deace wrote, Patrick Henry didn’t say, “give me all the liberty I can pragmatically attain.  It’s better than nothing.”

give me all the liberty I can pragmatically attain. It’s better than nothing.
Read more at http://stevedeace.com/news/surrender-caucus-gains-new-convert/#RWt4PzdpsiRMHWUX.99
give me all the liberty I can pragmatically attain. It’s better than nothing.
Read more at http://stevedeace.com/news/surrender-caucus-gains-new-convert/#RWt4PzdpsiRMHWUX.99
In the meantime, give me all the liberty I can pragmatically attain. It’s better than nothing.
Read more at http://stevedeace.com/news/surrender-caucus-gains-new-convert/#RWt4PzdpsiRMHWUX.99
In the meantime, give me all the liberty I can pragmatically attain. It’s better than nothing.
Read more at http://stevedeace.com/news/surrender-caucus-gains-new-convert/#RWt4PzdpsiRMHWUX.99

Yes, I have read the multitude of positive stories coming from Jack Hunter and others over at Rare.  Although I’ve been one of Rand Paul’s ardent supporters these last four years, given recent events, I’m starting to grow concerned.  Is Senator Paul starting to place his personal ambitions over his principles?  Will his run for president scuttle or pervert what his father helped create?

Like Fox Mulder in the X Files, I want to believe.  But I have to admit that my faith in the senator from Kentucky is starting to waver.