The following post is likely to get me flamed by multiple Paul-worshippers and will probably piss off a few people I know and consider myself friends with. One of those I even do business with in the form of paying for advertising on her site. Oh well. These are my views and I think that anyone who can’t read them and see a new viewpoint is as narrow-minded as the most warmongering GOPer or the most died-in-the-wool Socialist in either of the two mainstream parties.
Of course, they have little to fear from me. Were I the voting type who thought that Washington, D.C. could actually change and Potomac Fever could be cured, I’d have a real stake in the game. As it is, I don’t live in Kentucky and I don’t vote in national elections. I stick with local stuff and work to make D.C. irrelevant. So my say has little effect on Rand Paul’s success.
Of course, my voting habits don’t match my reading habits. I follow national politics. It’s the majority of my political focus, in fact, because what I see as my goal (politically) is to show as many other people as possible how fruitless their efforts to “elect so-and-so” are. The idea that we can fix the system by using the system seems pretty absurd to me, but there are a lot of people (probably the vast majority) who think that all they have to do is get this or that magic person elected and all will be well.
When I do get into national politics on a campaign level, it’s only behind candidates that I truly can believe in and who I think are much less corruptible than usual. Ron Paul was one of those candidates and I supported him in 2008. I don’t agree with the man on everything and have met him a few times personally and didn’t really find him to be all that charismatic or even nice. But he’s got strong principles and isn’t a member of the looting class. So I support him.
His son? Not so much.
I’m not going to argue that Rand Paul is a better choice than his competitors. Of course he is. The question is: do you really have to make that choice? As I see it, this member of the Paul family has shown himself to be compromising and untrue to his namesake.
Rand gets his name from Ayn Rand, according to his father. Too bad he’s apparently not read any of her books. He might learn something. Rand Paul is clearly a Republican of the Ronald Reagan bent. That’s better than a Republican of the John McCain bent, of course, but “better” is not “best.”
He’s switched his stance on at least one issue and that make me wonder if he would be willing to switch even more were the right reasons given to him. (That’s a nice way of saying “would he sell out?”)
He’s rightly disaffecting himself from the Tea Parties. They’ve turned into Sarah Palin/Newt Gingrich parrots for the most part anyway and are nothing like they were in the beginning. He’s also distancing himself from libertarians, which I feel is a bad idea – these are his base. But hey, he’s not a libertarian and has said as much anyway.
Another issue, and probably the biggest one for me (though I’m not a smoker nor do I even live where it’s allowed) is his complete reversal on medical marijuana. In fact, it was this issue that really got me questioning the guy. I write for CannaCentral.com and this came up on my radar through that.
Rand Paul, despite all of his medical background (or maybe because of it, doctors aren’t trained to be scientists, you know) and all of the clear evidence in its favor – and most of all despite his supposed stance towards individual freedom – Rand Paul has come out completely against medical marijuana. Let alone legalization outright. Well, according to the Associated Press (which I lovingly call the “Ass’ Press”), he has anyway. The reality isn’t so easy and one blogger actually followed up and got the real story.
That’s a little better, but not by a whole lot in my mind. If he’s unwilling to unequivocally say that the feds should back off from prosecuting state-level medical marijuana uses (which they do all the time, despite Obama’s promises not to), then he’s still anti-rights and is for sure ignoring the states’ rights issue he claims to be supporting in this.
Not a good sign.
Of course, pundits will say that he’s “choosing the issues for his election.” Maybe so, but he’s failed to do the one thing that he should always be doing and that both of his namesakes (Ayn and Ron) have done: stay with the core issue no matter what and stand on that single platform on which all others are based.. personal liberty.
So what, exactly, is his core stance then? It can’t be personal liberty, so it must be something else.
Like I said, I have no stake in this game, so this is the last you’ll hear from me on the issue of Rand Paul. I wanted to believe he is like his father, in which case I could at least mostly support him, but since he’s clearly not, I am going to treat him like I do every other politician at the national level: a curiosity to occasionally poke fun at and always hold up as an object of hatred and derision.
Politicians are, and always will be, the scum at the bottom of the barrel that pollutes the otherwise clear water that is The People.