Rand Paul in Silicon Valley

Rand Paul in Silicon Valley

This past weekend, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was the featured speaker at a gathering for Silicon Valley conservatives called Lincoln Labs Reboot 2014. The conferencewas devoted to the question: How can technology and liberty exist side by side? Sen. Paul was invited by one of the organizers, Garrett Johnson. When asked why he invited Paul, Johnson told KPIX San Francisco, “It’s not that I agree with him 100% of the time; I don’t agree with my parents 100% of the time, but I go home for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year.”

Paul started off with charming the audience, saying, “said, “Is government inherently stupid? No, but it’s a debatable question.” As a libertarian, Paul seemed to be “in the right place at the right time’ at the conference, where a new term was showcased: “conservatarian,” meaning part-conservative, part-libertarian. Evan Baehr, cofounder of the company Able, liked the term, saying, “I call myself a conservative, with libertarian leanings, maybe, but so conservatarian is new for me, but sure, it’s a fad.”

Paul exhorted the attendees: “I come out here and people say, ‘We loved president Obama; we’re all for President Obama, we’re’ from the tech community.’ Why?  Why would you be? He’s not for innovation, he’s not for freedom; he’s for the protectionism crowd. He’s for the crowd that would limit the activities of these companies.”

Paul pointed out, “Since the NSA scandal, there are people losing money. People who sell stuff in Europe, people who sell stuff in Asia; they’re not very happy with us right now. There have been articles written that said that as much as 22 billion dollars in lost sales.”

Baehr: “I love that Rand Paul is in the mix; I love that he is talking about privacy and really important issues for technologists. What the rest of the country will do? I’m not paid to be a political prognosticator; I’m just trying to build a business.”