Still Standing With Rand?

Senator Rand Paul says the obligation of society to care for its less-well-off population is a form of servitude and government overreach.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) equated government programs that prevent people from dying of starvation with slavery in a new profile of his medical practice published today, revealing himself to hold a view of the role of government so limited as to nearly define the state out of existence. [...]

“As humans, yeah, we do have an obligation to give people water, to give people food, to give people health care,” Paul allowed, “but it’s not a right because once you conscript people and say, ‘Oh, it’s a right,’ then really you’re in charge, it’s servitude, you’re in charge of me and I’m supposed to do whatever you tell me to do.”

If you’re such a rugged individualist that you view humane society as a burden or form of servitude, I don’t believe you have any business serving as a member of Congress or even the city mayor. And this call to free ourselves from the chains of the SNAP and Medicaid programs comes in the form of a pitch for his medical practice which, I’m guessing, probably relies on customers receiving some form of government aide to stay in business.

If you can get over your contempt for Rand Paul for a moment, a feat I struggle with, you may realize this is somewhat amusing in that a man who may be a Republican presidential contender in the near future believes access to food and water are not a right.

I could see today’s Republican base running away with that idea, but I don’t think the party establishment will like the results at the ballot box.

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  • Draxiar

    Next he’ll say that employers shouldn’t have to pay their employees because it makes the employers slaves to the masses.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Jeebus fleebing cripes.

    Someone explain to this nitwit the difference between property and contract. Slavery, “servitude,” or “conscription,” implies the former. Relationships between people where one is obligated to do something for the other, in exchange for valuable consideration, are the latter.

    I don’t hear Rand Paul whining about how the constitutional right to counsel amounts to the “conscription” and enslavement of attorneys. Attorneys are obligated to represent indigent defendants, and they are also entitled to be compensated, by either those defendants themselves or by the taxpayers. Hell, the obligation to pay taxes is a contractual obligation between you and the state/federal government.

    What is it about libertarians who love property so much that they can only conceptualize the world in terms of property? [Except guns, of course….]

    • D_C_Wilson

      No, they consider guns to be sacred property, too.

      Randy has made similar bleats about laws that require physicians to treat patients (like in an ER) as a form of “slavery” even though the doctors are paid for their efforts. He’s a perfect example of this:

      • JMAshby

        How have I not seen that cartoon before? Totally using that.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        Re: Guns, that’s not what I meant. Of course they love their guns, but they regard them as more than property. They bristle against the notion, whenever I raise it, that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a property right, not a civil right (i.e., a “liberty” interest in the “life, liberty or property” rubric).

    • BernardKingIII

      What state is that where attorneys have to represent a client who can’t pay their bill, and then are left to be compensated by the state? I know indigent criminal defendants have a constitutional right to counsel that is usually provided by a public defender, but I have not heard it go beyond that.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        Right to counsel only applies to criminal defendants. Usually they get a public defender but a court can appoint any attorney admitted in its jurisdiction. The defendant does not get to choose which one.

  • i_am_allwrite

    I’d like to see the douchebag eye doctor take a stand against eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions expiring after one year. Twelve consecutive years I’ve had to pay a dick like him $75 to have my contact prescription renewed with no change in my vision. But I’m sure his principled libertarianism has exceptions for government regulations that help make him wealthy.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Twelve consecutive years I’ve had to pay a dick like him $75 to have my contact prescription renewed with no change in my vision.<

      I absolutely get your point regarding Paul.

      But I don't understand the part about you being obligated to pay to renew your prescription each year. Eyeglass prescriptions aren't driver's licenses. If you don't renew each year, nobody declares you can no longer legally wear glasses.

      I've gotten new glasses many times using prescriptions that were several years old and never had a problem. So, I'm puzzled.

      • kushiro -

        From what I understand, the Federal Trade Commission passed a Contact Lens Rule requiring expiration dates on prescriptions. The length of term is subject to state law. So far I can’t find anything about eyeglass prescriptions.

        • Christopher Foxx

          Ah. Contacts vs glasses might be the distinction.

      • i_am_allwrite

        I have a hard time believing that–I’ve never been able to get new glasses with a prescription that was more than a month or two expired. And with contacts, you need to order new lenses several times a year, and while most distributors will let it slide if you’re close, you still need to have a new prescription every year for it to be valid.
        Kushiro, check out the laws on prescriptions in general, and the lack of exceptions for those involving glasses and contacts.

        And really, you’re kind of being dicks.

        • Christopher Foxx

          And at what point am I “being dicks”? Was it where I absolutely agreed with you? Or is it just because I mentioned that my experience differed from yours?

  • Richard_thunderbay

    That’s Assange’s boy, fighting for freedom.

  • trgahan

    So a society with a noticeable abundance of food shouldn’t “enslave” itself by using a small amount of the public wealth to feed the needy, but sending a drone with a hell fire missile to kill a liquor store robber is good Government?

    Spoken like a person who has truly never had to struggle or think critically about anything is his life.

    • nathkatun7

      “So a society with a noticeable abundance of food shouldn’t “enslave” itself by using a small amount of the public wealth to feed the needy….”

      What amazes me about libertarians is their claim that they base their whole ideology on the U.S. Constitution. Apparently, they’ve never bothered to read the preamble of the Constitution:

      “WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, in order to form a more perfect union, establish JUSTICE, INSURE DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY, PROVIDE FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

      Exactly how do you “insure domestic tranquility” and “promote the general welfare” by letting people starve or be exploited by their employers?

  • Victor_the_Crab

    I could see today’s Republican base running away with that idea, but I don’t think the party establishment will like the results at the ballot box.

    That’s why Republican controlled states are passing new voter ID laws. To make sure the “wrong people” can’t vote so that, once they steal win elections, their horrible ideas become the law of the land.

  • Christopher Foxx


    “As humans, yeah, we do have an obligation to give people water, to give people food, to give people health care,” Paul allowed, “but it’s not a right because once you conscript people and say, ‘Oh, it’s a right,’ then really you’re in charge, it’s servitude, you’re in charge of me and I’m supposed to do whatever you tell me to do.”

    Uh, no. You are perfectly free to choose not to be a doctor. Nobody is forcing you to be one. But if you exercise your choice to be one, then (and you know this going in) there are rules you have to follow and obligations you have.

    If you choose to live in this society (and you can choose not to) then there are rules and obligations you have. You don’t get to take the benefits and then complain about the obligations.