This past Friday, Republican Senator Rand Paul was getting off of his riding mower, with his noise-muffling earphones still on, when he was tackled by his neighbor and sustained five broken ribs in the process. This immediately made people wonder, what the hell happened? Initially some speculated that the cause of the dispute might be political; after all Paul’s neighbor, Rene Boucher, is a Democrat and Rand Paul is very much not, but Boucher’s attorney was quick to try to dispel that idea, saying politics had nothing to do with the attack. I say “try to dispel” as opposed to “dispel,” because having now seen the actual cause of the dispute, I’m not so sure you can claim it was totally apolitical.
So, according to interviews conducted by the New York Times, it seems as though the root of the dispute between the two men is landscaping. Yep. Of all the possible causes for these two to dislike each other, it’s the oldest neighborly issue in the book: “I don’t like the way you take care of your lawn.” Now, you might be wondering how that has anything to do with politics? Well, it turns out that Rand Paul is a bit of an asshole about his yard.
Mr. Paul, 54, has long stood out in the well-to-do gated neighborhood south of Bowling Green, Ky., that he calls home. The senator grows pumpkins on his property, composts and has shown little interest for neighborhood regulations.
But the spectacle of the incident — one former doctor attacking another in broad daylight — was altogether different. Competing explanations of the origins of the drama cited stray yard clippings, newly planted saplings and unraked leaves.
Asked about long-leveled allegations that Mr. Paul had disregarded neighborhood regulations, Mr. Skaggs, who is also a former leader of the county Republican Party, said that the senator “certainly believes in stronger property rights than exist in America.”
So, let’s read between the lines a bit here. Rand Paul is an asshole neighbor.
He bought a house in a neighborhood that has certain rules with regard to lawns, and he decided that he doesn’t need to follow those rules because of his belief in “property rights” that don’t actually exist. This is, at its core, the problem with libertarianism. Libertarians don’t want to follow the rules that we as a society have agreed upon, because they feel those rules step on their freedoms. And sometimes they might even be right, but that doesn’t mean that they are above those rules and can do whatever they want.