Last year, when then-candidate Rand Paul was running for senate, I wrote this about him (in full):
The clarity and the consistency of Ron Paul’s ideology was what convinced me that he is worth listening to. His credibility in my eyes was bolstered by his principled, ethical, and educated positions in everything from abortion to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to his defense of the writ of habeas corpus for even “terrorists.”
Unfortunately, Ron Paul’s intelligent reasoning and ethical defense of individual rights did not rub off on his son, Rand Paul, who is currently seeking the Republican nomination for Kentucky’s senatorial race.
What I am experiencing with Rand Paul is similar to what I experienced with Barack Obama during the early days of his campaign. I gravitated to Obama initially because of what I thought his views were on perpetual, unethical, and illegal wars then and still taking the lives of American service members and innocent farmers and children abroad. As I paid more attention to Obama’s often tepid, vague, and substance-deficient speeches, the more I realize that he was just as bad as any other war-mongering neoconservative out there. He was not against illegal and unethical wars; he was just against the Iraq War for politically convenient reasons.
Rand Paul suffers from the same deficiencies of character and ideology.
I have yet to hear anything definitive about his stance on the war, except on his website where he states that he believes “that defending this country is the primary and most important Constitutional function of our federal government.” His YouTube video titled “National Defense/Foreign Policy” was just as vague. He basically said that he would have pushed for a vote for a declaration of war in Iraq, but would have voted against it. And then says he would have supported the war in Afghanistan! It all sounds very convenient and very much in line what Obama has publicly stated regarding both wars.
And there is this deal-breaker of a quote:
“With regard to: is there ever a time when we can go into war without a declaration? I think most pundit have agreed that in a nuclear age that there certain things that a president can do with either secrecy or immediately in retaliation or prevention of a nuclear attack? So, I think that it is acknowledged.”
And regarding his position on what the president could have done after September 11 attacks:
“There might have been a reason why a president could have sent Special Forces in secretly within a few days and I think that could have been something that would have been justified.”
So Rand Paul’s position is that the president is justified in invading other countries at will and in secret and without a declaration of war and assassinate people to not only prevent nuclear attacks, but also in retaliation for non-nuclear attacks. Sounds familiar? It is called Bush’s Doctrine of Preemptive War.
Maybe I mishearing what I am hearing directly from his mouth. Maybe he misspoke. Yet the Houston Chronicle labels him as being an “interventionist” with “more mainstream conservative on national defense” unlike his “quirky” father.
I remain suspicious of Rand Paul. He does not seem to be cut from the same cloth as his father. How can I throw my support behind a candidate that advocates the continued murder of innocent farmers and children in foreign lands? And it is that simple. There is not such a thing as degrees of non-interventionism. He is either for the deployment of armed troops to foreign countries and for the violence, the drain on the nation’s wealth, and abridgment of liberties and freedom that inevitably follows that intervention; or he is for non-intervention, peace, and liberty.
Through his own words, it seems that Rand Paul is set to disappoint those who value the latter.
It was a scathing rebuke, but I am not one to mince words.
Sen. Rand Paul is not Ron Paul. He is not even in the same realm as his father. Let us be honest, Ron Paul’s ideas are changing the Republican Party from within and without. Ron Paul Republicans are moving up the ranks in local party committees throughout the country and their presence will soon be felt in as little as six years. From outside the party structure, organizations like Campaign for Liberty and a whole host of websites are spreading his ideas and affecting the country’s political discourse. Young people galvanized by his message are proudly propelling the liberty movement forward through such organizations like Young Americans for Liberty. Ron Paul’s populist message has even influenced movements like the tea party and the Occupy Wall Street movement.
But what can we say about Sen. Paul? Well, he won an election.
However, credit must now be given where it is due. The new senator from Kentucky is unlike the candidate that originally filled me with suspicion. In this past year, Sen. Paul has averted a future war with Russia, opposed the intervention in Libya, and defended due process rights in opposing the horrific provisions contained within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). He also proved to be a very articulate political surrogate for his father who is currently campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination. Actions speak louder than words and thus far, Sen. Paul has proven to be a consistent defender of liberty.
Yes, the son is unlike the father. In fact, not once was the “unelectable” charge ever levied against the younger Paul as he is that mainstream enough. It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that the savvy senator from Kentucky is not only as principled as Ron Paul, but might prove to be a more effective standard-bearer for his father’s ideas. Coupled with the rise of the new liberty movement, the face of American politics will not remain the same.
Now, that is real hope and change.