When I asked Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) last year about his views on police demilitarization, reforming drug sentencing, and restoring voting rights to non-violent felons, I posed this question:
“Is your brand of republicanism the new civil rights movement?”
Paul replied, “You know, I think you can look at it that way.”
It was around that time when Paul emerged as a new star of the Republican Party. He was featured on the Time Magazine cover as the “Most Interesting Man in American Politics.”
A unique politician, Paul regularly reaches out to minorities and talks about issues that are taboo in most Republican circles. Paul is “a civil liberties-loving peacenik with millennial appeal,” claimed Politico.
In his race for the Republican nomination, Paul has assigned himself the daunting task of transforming the GOP from a party of “stale and moss-covered” war hawks to a party that is more inclusive and embraces new ideas.
This task has created a difficult political dilemma. How can Paul win more traditional Republicans voters without alienating his libertarian base?
One of the biggest turnoffs among the liberty movement is Paul’s stance on Obama’s Iran deal, which would limit nuclear development in exchanged for relief from sanctions. In March, Paul decided to support the threat from Republicans to sabotage the deal. A month earlier, Paul had stated his opposition to any such sabotage.
Then, in April, a nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization tied to Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham published an attack ad against Paul preposterously insinuating that, under a Paul presidency, Iran would become capable of launching a nuclear attack on the United States. By July, Paul posted to Facebook his three reasons why he plans to vote down the deal:
“1) sanctions relief precedes evidence of compliance, 2) Iran is left with significant nuclear capacity, 3) it lifts the ban on selling advanced weapons to Iran.”
Daniel McCarthy, editor of The American Conservative, recently wrote that Paul could turn around his campaign by supporting the Iran deal.
“If Rand dared, instead of being yet another single-term senator vying for the nomination, he could overnight become the most important player in the GOP on the biggest foreign-policy issue of the day. He’d get invited to every talk show as the one Republican with the audacity to side with the president to make a deal for peace,” explained McCarthy.
Scott Horton recently criticized Paul on his hawkish stance on Iran. During a recent episode of Truth In Media’s Beer and Politics podcast, Horton said, “If Rand would just read his father’s articles, roll up his sleeves and get out there and fight, he could win. What he can’t win at is the flip-flop pandering contest. . .”
All this considered makes Dr. Ron Paul’s endorsement of Rand Paul interesting, especially in the timing of the announcement.
After months of speculation, the three time presidential candidate Paul made a pitch to donors over the weekend on behalf the 2016 presidential hopeful Paul.
“There is not one candidate who has run for president in my lifetime who can say they fully share my commitment to liberty, Austrian economics, small government, and following the Constitution, than my son, Rand Paul,” the elder Paul wrote in a post to Senator Paul’s Facebook page. “That’s why I have wholeheartedly endorsed him.”
His fundraising letter acknowledged the similarities and differences in their politics.
“. . . I know the media likes to play this little game where they pit us, or certain views, against each other,” he said.
“Don’t fall for it. They’re trying to manufacture storylines at liberty’s expense. You’ve spent years seeing how the media treated me. They aren’t my friends and they aren’t yours.
So please don’t waste your time or risk the massive gains you and I have made over the past eight years by suddenly believing Big Government apologists in our media are some sort of truth tellers.
Remember, truth is treason in the empire of lies. And nowhere is that more true than when it comes to Washington, D.C. and their media mouthpieces.
Even where Rand and I do have minor differences of opinion, I would take Rand’s position over any of his opponents’ in both parties every time.
That’s because he advocates diplomacy and negotiations, and opposes war.
And Rand is the ONLY one in the race who is standing up for your Liberty, across the board.”
Former Texas Representative Paul directly addressed the treatment of him and of his son by legacy media during their respective campaigns for the presidency, and wrote in admiration of Senator Paul’s most recent filibuster to force the expiration of the Patriot Act.
“. . . Whether it’s filibustering to stop drones or the Patriot Act, or introducing the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, no one has fought harder for your rights than Rand,” he wrote.
“And that’s why, since the moment he announced his candidacy for President of the United States, our national media and the Big Government establishment has gone all-out to smear him or silence him.
“. . . Rand stood on the Senate floor for ten-and-a-half hours to force the Patriot Act to expire. Rand’s stamina and determination called the nation’s attention to President Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional phone records collection. In the Senate, there is no greater champion of the Fourth Amendment and no one as fearless in staring down the establishment, Republican or Democrat.”
He also reminded prospective donors of his son’s first filibuster, the 13 hours that changed public opinion.
“. . . And don’t forget Rand’s first filibuster exposing the Obama administration’s lawless use of drones, earning attacks from U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and ‘wacko bird’ name-calling from Senator John McCain,” he said. “His historic 13-hour filibuster galvanized the American people unlike anything you and I have ever seen!”
Perhaps acknowledging the opinions of his son held by liberty-minded individuals like Horton and McCarthy, the elder Paul admitted in his letter, “The truth is, Rand needs our grassroots army of liberty lovers more than ever.
“The national media and the establishment of both parties would love nothing more than to drive a stake through the heart of our Liberty Movement and stop Rand at all costs.
“They’re going all-out to destroy him just like they tried to destroy me. And if they succeed, they’ll go on to even more spending, spying, welfare and warfare in Washington, D.C.”