Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-10-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Open To Thinking: Rand Paul, Libertarian!?
A recurring column
by Nick Patricca
2015-05-06

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Paul Varnell, a gay writer and activist, was the first libertarian I ever met. He wrote a nationally syndicated column in gay media. Every time he and I bumped into each other on the streets of New Town, he would drill me on the work of Leo Strauss because I received my PhD from the University of Chicago while Strauss was teaching there. I had never heard of Strauss but I soon developed a mini-expertise on him just so I could navigate my next encounter with Varnell.

Curiously, as far as I could tell, Strauss had little to say about libertarianism and a lot to say about what is wrong with modern classical liberalism, which fails to see man as a political animal deeply involved in the pursuit of virtue in the polis—not a libertarian theme. In expanding my research into other alleged sources of libertarian thinking, I discovered another curiosity: Ayn Rand, often cited as an iconic font for libertarian thought, frequently voiced her loathing of libertarians, all sorts of libertarians, in strikingly acerbic rhetoric ( See: Mayhew. Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A. p 72. 2005 ).

Varnell, a true public intellectual, was capable of negotiating the philosophical and political traffic jams of theory and practice. Not easily flummoxed by contradictions in principles and policy statements, Varnell understood that politicians often change their minds and positions in order to get elected. But I think that even Varnell would have some trouble explaining how Rand Paul can be considered a libertarian.

Rand Paul calls himself "libertarian-ish." He told Sean Hannity on FOX that he is "either libertarian conservative or constitutional conservative." www.newsweek.com/rand-paul-real-libertarian-319959 .

Let me quote from the Libertarian Party Platform 2014:

"Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate … ." 1.1 Self-Ownership.

And: "Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government's treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships." 1.4 Personal Relationships.

Yet, Rand Paul says that the idea of gay marriage "offends him" and that the legalization of gay marriage should be left to the states. One can imagine the legal chaos that would ensue from such a scheme. In my judgment, were Rand Paul an authentic libertarian he would hold that the two consenting adults marry each other and that the state is the legal witness to this contract not the "validator" of it.

"Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration." 1.5 Abortion.

Yet, in March 2013 Sen. Paul introduced S.583 a bill that would extend to the unborn the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: "The Life at Conception Act legislatively declares what most Americans believe and what science has long known that human life begins at the moment of conception, and therefore is entitled to legal protection from that point forward," Sen. Paul said. "The right to life is guaranteed to all Americans in the Declaration of Independence and ensuring this is upheld is the Constitutional duty of all Members of Congress." www.paul.senate.gov/files/documents/LCA.pdf .

Admittedly, there are all types of libertarians: communist libertarians, socialist libertarians, anarchist libertarians, neo-libertarians, capitalist libertarians, libertarian-ish libertarians, and confused libertarians. ( See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism . ) And, admittedly, politicians must do what they have to do to get elected. Nonetheless, it would be good for Sen. Paul to clearly inform us on what his policies will be should he be elected president.

The best that I can determine about Paul is that he is opposed to big government and in favor of maximum freedom for the individual. But these two "principles" are next to meaningless if they are not explicated by specific policy proposals that demonstrate to us their practical meanings in our society.

It would be dangerous for us to underestimate Paul and his supporters. Do not comfort yourself by thinking that he has no chance of winning the Republican nomination for president. We must hold Paul to a high standard of accountability for his statements and public policy positions. That is how we show him respect and require him to respect us by speaking clearly to what matters most to us—our liberty.

Nick Patricca is professor emeritus at Loyola University Chicago, president of Chicago Network and playwright emeritus at Victory Gardens Theater.

© nicholas.patricca@gmail.com


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

MOMBIAN LGBTQ-inclusive books, and hope, in rural schools 2019-10-16 - LGBTQ students in rural schools are more likely to face bias and discrimination than those in urban and suburban ones, but their schools ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Ignorance and shortsightedness lead us to the Supreme Court 2019-10-02 - We will always find ourselves going back to the courts to fight for inclusion until we place the needs of the most vulnerable ...


Gay News

LETTER Attorneys needed 2019-10-02 - Dear Editor: According to the report "The Justice Gap," low-income Americans receive no or inadequate legal help for 86 percent for ...


Gay News

Activists halt U.S. Conference on AIDS to protest CDC 2019-09-18 - Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) surely saw it coming. Protests are part ...


Gay News

VIEWS Visibility isn't the goal 2019-09-18 - In mid-July, I interviewed non-binary rapper CJ Run. In discussing the coming out of gay country rapper Lil Nas X, Run articulated something ...


Gay News

REELING 2019 The reviews are in 2019-09-17 - Reeling 2019: The 37th Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival will take place Sept. 19-29 at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema and Music Box Theatre. ...


Gay News

VIEWS A straight man's foray into an LGBTQ world 2019-09-04 - My first assignment for Windy City Times looked something like this: I hopped in my car and drove from my white, middle-class, cookie-cutter ...


Gay News

Remembering Michael Bauer, a call to pick up the baton 2019-09-03 - Remarks as prepared for delivery at the memorial service for community leader Mike Bauer, Sept. 3, 2019. I'm here to speak for ...


Gay News

Kinley Preston previews Lips Chicago dinner theater 2019-08-21 - Lips, billed as "the ultimate in drag dining," is locating its fifth location in Chicago. The South Loop venue, opening to the public ...


Gay News

We need to talk about the 'Pose' hospital episode right now 2019-08-07 - The TV show Pose, on FX, is nothing less than astounding to me. So much could have gone wrong, with the era, the ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

script type="text/javascript">document.BridIframeBurst=true;
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.