When my wife and I began dating about 14 years ago, it didn’t take long for me to realize that she was the one for me. Being the affectionate type, I had no trouble verbalizing my feelings to her. She rarely reciprocated and this caused tension in our relationship. She kept telling me that she came from a background where saying “I love you” did not come naturally. Instead her love for and commitment to me could be discerned from how she treated me on a daily basis. In other words, her actions spoke louder than any words.
And so it is with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Many members of the Freedom Movement, better known as rabid followers of Republican Presidential Candidate Congressman Ron Paul, were stunned and then subsequently devastated when Rand announced on the Sean Hannity Show that he was “happy” to endorse Mitt Romney for president of the United States. On the internet, their devastation was expressed in blogs, comments boards, and facebook postings that oozed venom toward Rand. On the surface, Rand’s misguided support for the neo-con, big government, bankster puppet Mitt Romney appeared to be a treasonous act to those that have given so much to the cause of liberty and the Ron Paul for President Campaign. But, as it was in my own case, this situation also needs to be analyzed from an actions speak louder than words standpoint.
There is no question that Rand Paul did endorse Mitt Romney for president which could be construed as a betrayal of everything his father has fought for these last thirty-five years. But let’s not forget how the endorsement was delivered. It was not done on the steps of the Capitol or even with Romney at a campaign rally somewhere. It was done way more low key than that on the Sean Hannity Show on Fox. This venue was chosen no doubt to appeal to traditional Republicans who have been the people most hostile to his father’s movement and whose support in the future may be beneficial to both Rand and the Liberty Movement. In his endorsement, he spoke first about how his father was still his first choice for president. When asked about what he had in common with Romney, instead of fudging the truth and saying they agreed on economic and foreign policy, Rand talked about their fathers and shared family values.
To me, this was hardly an endorsement of Romney. It was more of an obligatory political move meant to benefit Rand way more than Romney. After all, most if not all of Rand and Ron Paul supporters will never vote for Romney. Many Republican officials only care about winning elections. Even Rand’s hollow support for Romney makes him look like a team player which could benefit him in a future presidential run.
But what really matters most are Rand’s positions on the issues. With the exception of his support for sanctions on Iran, Senator Paul’s record on the issues most important to the Liberty Movement is sterling. He opposes the Patriot Act and was one of only two Republicans to vote against renewal of some of its provisions. He favors abolition of the Federal Reserve and is on record as endorsing H.R. 120, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act. He has proposed a plan that would cut $500 billion from federal spending in one year and agrees with his father that the U.S. can only go to war with a declaration from Congress. He opposes campaign spending limits, subsidies to industry, and the TSA.
At the end of the day, Rand Paul’s feeble endorsement of Mitt Romney is completely overshadowed by his pro-liberty voting record and stance on many of the issues important to libertarians. Let’s not forget that in his career Ron Paul actually voted for John Boehner, Dennis Hastert, and Newt Gingrich for Speaker of the House. He did it not because he had anything of substance in common with them; he did it to try to work with his party’s leaders in an attempt to further his own agenda. No one has ever accused Ron Paul of being a sell-out. And that is because actions do speak louder than words.