Rand Paul is Good
I don’t agree with Rand Paul’s assertions that Obama is too hard on BP. If anything, Obama has let BP slide as they have let the oil slide. Nor I do think private businesses are holy and should discriminate based on race if they should choose so. However, I am a rational and thinking man, and the more I read of Rand Paul’s positions, the more I am beginning to like him. He is against the Iraq War. He is against Wall St theft. And he is against corporate crime. His remark that the oil spill was merely an accident can be forgiven because it seems that he is not fully knowledgeable about the whole situation, and of BP’s past transgressions. And his defense of private business is an example of a person being true to a particular philosophy to a fault, but the fact that he is so principled as to jeopardize his entire Senatorial campaign proves that he is not a politician who sticks his finger to the wind. He is a man of ideas, and men of ideas are severely needed in Washington.
Disagreeing with Paul is warranted, but demonizing him and distorting his statements is dishonest. Too often people on both the left and right demand politicians to be perfect across the board, but nothing in politics can be what you want it to be, and besides, it is not desirable to elect politicians who only say what their electorate want to hear. If only the corporate media and people were as critical of other politicians as they are of Rand Paul. But, sadly, the media rarely hold political figures to the same standards, and too often people fall for slogans and the usual cliches.
Barack Obama ran on "hope" and "change", but not only did Obama not deliver on his promises to the American people, he went ahead and endorsed many of the policies of the previous Republican administration, the two most obvious being war, and Wall St. theft. Now, contrast Obama’s run for office with Rand Paul. Paul is not running on slogans, but on well-defined positions. If you disagree with some of his positions, fine, but at least you know what you’re getting, unlike Obama. Also, he is not afraid of having a philosophical debate on a highly sensitive issue with a news pundit on cable television the day AFTER he beat a Republican insider in a landslide. Was it politically smart to do so? No. But "politically smart" has hurt the American people in the past and only benefited the professional political class. Its good and brave that Paul is willing to play ball on a dodgy field, and in an arena where the fans scream insults at him.
But don’t take my word for it. Listen to Robert Scheer. He is very eloquent in his defense of Rand Paul. In his article "Who’s Afraid of Rand Paul?" Scheer writes:
Rand Paul, like his dad, is worthy of praise for standing in opposition to the Wall Street bailout, which will come to be marked as the greatest swindle in U.S. history and which was, as he noted on his Website, an unconstitutional redistribution of income in favor of the undeserving rich.
Yes, Rand Paul is bad on a lot of social issues I care about, and no, I don’t embrace his faith in the social compassion of unfettered free markets. But the alternative we have experienced is not one of a progressive government properly restraining free-market greed but rather, as was amply demonstrated in the pretend regulation of the oil industry, of government as a partner in corporate crime.
It is the power of the corporate lobbyists that is at issue, and it is refreshing that candidate Paul has labeled Washington lobbyists a "distinctly criminal class" and favors a ban on lobbying and campaign contributions by those who hold more than a million dollars in federal contracts.
Scheer echoed his opinion about Paul on KCRW’s Left, Right & Center last Friday, in a panel with Tony Blankley, and Arianna Huffington. You can download and listen to the interview here.
I am not asking you to endorse Paul’s candidacy, or agree with his libertarian creed, but remember to put his comments about the Civil Rights Act into context, and refrain from calling him a "moron" or a "racist." Such smears only makes you look foolish and uneducated. If you do your own research, and not rely on MSNBC or any other cable television outlet, you’ll find out that Paul has never called for a repeal of the Civil Rights Act, and he has not made it his political mission to popularize libertarianism in the mainstream. That’s what his father did so well. Unlike him, Rand seems willing to compromise on legislative questions and do battle with his elected colleagues in the Senate. If you read through his website you’ll see that his top priorities upon taking office are ending bailouts to corrupt Wall St. banks, helping to bring home the troops from Iraq, reversing the unconstitutional policies of the last several years, protecting civil liberties, and reducing the national debt. So there’s more substance under the surface. Sure, he’s not perfect, but he’s a lot better than the many corporate neoliberals and neocons who currently hold high office.
"The perfect is the enemy of the good." – Voltaire