The Corner

Growing Up Libertarian

Mark Leibovich profiles the Pauls:

In keeping with their position as the First Family of Libertarianism, the Pauls of Lake Jackson, Tex., did not have many rules around their home.

“Behave yourself and be polite” is how Representative Ron Paul describes his regulatory philosophy about rearing five children. Mr. Paul, a Republican, and his wife of 53 years, Carol, never believed in assigned chores or mandates.

They did not give out allowances, which they viewed as a parental version of a government handout. They did not believe in strict curfews; Mr. Paul says that unintended consequences — like speeding home to beat the clock — can result from excessive meddling from a central authority.

While Mr. Paul’s laissez-faire views produced a family of likeminded thinkers — “We’re all on board,” says the oldest son, Ronnie Paul — they inspired the middle child, Rand, to follow his father’s career path, first into medicine and now politics. If he prevails in November after winning the Republican nomination for a Senate seat in Kentucky last month, he and his father would form a two-man libertarian dynasty.

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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