Rand Paul has the mainstream media running in circles, with Ruth Marcus writing in an op-ed at the Washington Post that he is “the most intriguing man in today’s Republican Party.” What, precisely, is intriguing about yet another bigoted Christian nationalist, you ask?
To do her credit, Marcus also called him “frightening,” and that should have been the title of her piece. Paul, far more convincingly than John McCain, has managed to convince people that he is a carefree man of the people. Paul understands that to get votes from outside the GOP’s shrinking tent that he needs to appeal to more than angry old white men. As Ross Kaminsky wrote at that conservative bastion “The American Spectator” recently, “Without the youth vote,” the “GOP can’t win in 2016.”
Rather than reminding everybody of Paul’s far from appealing rhetoric on social issues, the mainstream media has jumped on the Paul bandwagon, repeating every single lie he has told, even when he is known to be a plagiarist and a liar who has bragged about his employment of misinformation. He even has Nick Gillespie at The Daily Beast presenting him as someone refreshingly “different.”
But how different is he? Not much. Paul wants the world – but especially America – to think he is some sort of social liberal, and that is exactly what Charles Krauthammer called him. The mainstream media buys this, because the mainstream media exists to peddle conservative propaganda. But as Media Matters has pointed out, the socially liberal Rand Paul is a media creation.
But not only is he a social conservative, he is a social extremist: a racist, homophobic, Christian nationalist, who says he hates big government but actually loves big government, which it can be used to beat down anything outside of his fundamentalist Christian comfort zone.
Rand Paul has said that “The Constitution wasn’t written to restrain your behavior, it was written to restrain your government’s behavior.” How then does he explain his “Life at Conception Act” (HR 1091), “To implement equal protection under the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person”? If it became law, the act would restrain a woman’s behavior by making it impossible for her to make her own health care decisions. If Paul really wanted to restrain the government’s behavior, he would have never introduced this legislation.
It hardly need be said that social liberals don’t try to tell other people how to live their lives, or what to believe.
Paul also happens to be a guy who, while he says he opposes big government, wants a big strong military, presumably a military that is stronger than the government, as if a small government can manage a large military: the military industrial complex is there for a reason.
And if the Founding Fathers feared government, they feared standing armies more.
Yet Paul, who says he fears drones, wants more Cruise missiles. Like drones, Cruise missiles kill people, so we could have justifiably demanded to know why one is preferable to the other.
As it happens, Paul flip-flopped on drones, not only angering his libertarian supporters, but proving his conservative credentials in the process: a wolf in libertarian clothing.
This is a guy who ought to be praising Obama for his mature, measured response to recent Russian aggression toward the Ukraine. Instead, he is calling Obama “weak” and has become something of an interventionist, hardly something you would expect from a libertarian.
In fact, what Will Marshall wrote at Politico last week, that the Crimea crisis has “exposed the utter incoherence of Rand Paul’s foreign policy—which, despite a reputation for being principled and bold, is in fact all over the place” can equally be applied to Paul’s domestic policy.
It seems Rand Paul is the ophthalmologist who can’t see past the end of his own nose.
How does a so-called libertarian justify so many mutually contradictory stances?
The answer is that though Rand Paul is no more a libertarian than his father, he doesn’t feel he has to justify contradictions. It is far easier to pretend they don’t exist. So while they are both of them conservatives, ideologically and religiously, and racial and religious bigots to boot, Rand Paul just pretends differences don’t exist, much like Republicans pretend George W. Bush never existed.
Paul wants you to pretend along with him that an oppressive state government is less a danger to Americans than an oppressive federal government, but government is government, at whatever level, and the Founding Fathers recognized that without restrains, local government could be as abusive and tyrannical as a king three thousand miles away.
Reality is so much more congenial when you leave out the icky facts: As much as any other Republican since Reagan, Rand Paul longs for big government, a big government that can ram his party’s culture war agenda down Americans’ throats. And the rest of the world shouldn’t presume they’ll get a pass from a Paul administration.
The only real difference between Rand Paul and his fellow Tea Party bigots is that he is far more disingenuous than somebody like the Cuban anarchist, Ted Cruz: Paul is a proven liar and serial plagiarist who glibly pretends he has never been caught out, even though he has, repeatedly. It isn’t a question, really, of how the corporate-owned mainstream media has let him pull the wool over their eyes; they are eager participants in his charade.
The only real question is, come 2016, how many people will be fooled?
I have prepared a Rand Paul poster, which you can find below. Feel free to spread this about as an antidote to the Rand Paul charade:
Click here to view full size (1280×720 pixels) image
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.