Despite his penchant for pandering to them, libertarians are increasingly unwilling to trust Rand Paul’s commitment to their principles, MSNBC reports.
During a speech at the Liberty Political Action Conference (LPAC) — a group featuring activists aligned with the liberty movement of his father, former Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul — Paul provided his libertarian audience with the usually litany of complaints.
He began by noting that it’s “Constitution Week,” which “Barack Obama celebrated by doing one more unconstitutional thing — he started an unconstitutional war.”
“That’s not an unusual week for him,” Rand continued, to the audience’s delight.
He then turned to the subject of Ferguson, Missouri, but instead of addressing the problem of white officers shooting unarmed black teens, he focused on the police department’s response to the protest.
“Was anybody else bothered by the sight of mine-resistant vehicles and guns pointed at unarmed men in Ferguson?” he asked, without mentioning the racial make-up of the police or the protesters.
However, despite his attempts to appeal to the libertarian ideology, many LPAC attendees are unsure whether they can trust Rand Paul. “I like him,” one said, “but my hesitation is that I want to see what he stands for. It might be the only way you can do it. He won’t win by sticking with the Ron Paul platform all the way. The question is where are the compromises.”
Such compromises are exactly what conservative columnist Ann Coulter has been begging libertarians in general, and Rand Paul in particular, to make in order to win in the general election.
In August, she told CNN that Paul had to stop trying to appeal both to “15-year-old Ayn Rand readers” and “the mainstream.”
Earlier this week, she published a column in which she argued that the only way the Republicans don’t win the Senate is if “idiots…vote for Libertarian candidates in do-or-die Senate elections[.]”
“When we’re all dying from lack of health care across the United States of Mexico, we’ll be deeply impressed with your integrity, libertarians,” she wrote, before openly threatening libertarian voters.
“If you are considering voting for the Libertarian candidate in any Senate election,” Coulter wrote, “please send me your name and address so I can track you down and drown you.”
Reason.com’s science correspondent, Ronald Bailey, took Coulter up on her offer, even providing the conservative firebrand with Google Map directions to his home.
“In Virginia, I am voting for the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, Robert Sarvis, this November,” he wrote. “So O.K., Ms. Coulter, come give drowning me a try. My home address in Charlottesville is marked on the map. Google Map directions to my house from your digs in Palm Beach are below. See you soon.”