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 2018-08-15
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
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

VIEWS Cardinal Cupich on sexual abuse: Clerical culture, not gay priests, at fault 2018-08-15 - A top U.S. cardinal has expressed strong skepticism that gay priests are the cause of clerical sexual abuse, saying instead the problem stems ...


Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Calling for change 2018-08-15 - Dear Editor: Recently, Pope Francis changed the catechism of the Catholic Church to make the death penalty entirely unacceptable, saying it is ...


Gay News

Youth activist Mack Guthrie talks 'My Body, My Story' campaign 2018-08-08 - In the months after the November 2016 election, Mack Guthrie decided he had to get involved with issues he was passionate about. That ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Creator of study on LGBTQ familes talks about new findings 2018-08-08 - Thirty-two years ago, Nanette Gartrell, M.D., launched a project to follow the first wave of lesbian families created through donor insemination. Now, her ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Mishea' Davinae's Chronicles 2018-08-01 - Someone kidnapped me, took me from my home planet and placed me on earth. At 10 years of age, I was learning ...


Gay News

ESSAY The Battle Within, Cis and Trans Women, Can We Get Along 2018-08-01 - This is the essay I never wanted to write. The focus of this piece is the women's community, but I could easily write ...


Gay News

VIEWS Our lives do depend on it 2018-08-01 - I've heard whispers of hopelessness, rising in some quarters to a clamor of despair. Despair? Not an option. I certainly sympathize, but I ...


Gay News

LETTER Safety stance anniversary 2018-08-01 - Dear Editor, As we approach a significant milestone date here in Boystown/Lake View, we would like to share the following information with ...


Gay News

LETTER Valiant effort 2018-07-25 - To whom it may concern: On the evening of May 25, 2018, my dear friend Karl Szwet and I had ...


Gay News

SOUND THE ALARMS Supreme Court pick could dismantle LGBTQ rights 2018-07-18 - The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court should alarm every member of the LGBT community. His record demonstrates that if he ...


 



Copyright © 2018 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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

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 produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.