Politics is a practical business: it is about the gaining and maintaining of power for the purpose of implementing programs and policies that one believes to be beneficial, and for opposing those whose policies one believes to be deleterious. As the Converse Clausewitz Principle has it, it is war conducted by other means. For this very reason, I stay clear of it except for voting and blogging: I am by inclination and aptitude a theoretician, a "spectator of all time and existence" to borrow a marvellous phrase from the Plato's Republic. But part of the theoretician's task is to understand the political. And if I understand it, I understand that the Libertarian Party, though it might be a nice debating society, is a waste of time practically speaking. That's why I approve of and borrow Michael Medved's moniker, 'Losertarian Party.' These adolescents will never get power, so what's the point? It's a party of computer geeks, sci-fi freaks, and adolescents of all ages, the sort that never outgrow Ayn Rand. Open borders, legal dope, ACLU-type extremism about freedom of expression. Out of the mainstream and rightly so.
So Ron Paul made a smart move when he joined the Republicans, and his son Rand seems more conservative than libertarian.
As I said, politics is a practical business. It's about winning, not talking. It's not about ideological
purity or having the supposedly best ideas; it's about gaining the power to implement good ideas. The practical politician understands that quite often Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien, the best is the enemy of the good. (Voltaire's maxim explained here.)
Addendum 11/1. The 'open borders' idea is foolish in itself, but it is foolishness on stilts when note is taken of the plain fact that we have a welfare state here in the U.S., one whose expansion can perhaps be contained, but one which will always be with us until we collapse, most likely, under its weight. Either a welfare state with strictly controlled borders, or open borders and no welfare state. One or the other.