Progressive Love For Rand Paul Is Dangerous For Everyone Else

photo of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

Senator Rand Paul, a ‘libertarian’ darling, is running for President. Some on the left and some progressives seem to love him because he supports a few liberal issues like being against a Big Brother style government and against war. It’s dangerous to support a candidate running for a national office, like President, based only on a couple of narrow issues, especially ones that won’t help 90% of the rest of the country. It might be fun to get high with him but then you would need to put up with his non-liberal views on women, religion, and civil rights.

Most progressive love for Rand Paul goes like this recent exchange on Democracy Now!:

CONASON: Well, I mean, it would be great to bring the whole conversation back to reality, because it seems disconnected. When somebody says, “Well, Seattle is the perfect example of politics in America,” no—and “There’s no Republican Party there,” well, I’m sorry, there is a Republican Party in America. It is in fact the dominant party right now. So, to claim, well, Seattle—we can all be like Seattle—we’re not all like Seattle. That is not what’s happening in the United States politically. So you have to start with where you are and the choices you really have, OK? That’s my view. I mean, it’s fine to have these discussions and fantasize about whatever it is you’d like to see happen, and I share a lot of the aspirations that anybody would have about a more progressive government in the United States. But here we are now. And the choice is going to be somebody like Rand Paul—I guess Bob is OK with him wanting to abolish Social Security and Medicare—great—or someone like Hillary Clinton, who won’t do that, you know, for instance.

SCHEER: Oh, come on. I mean, the fact is, Rand Paul—you know, if you want to have me rise to the bait, Rand Paul had the integrity to oppose the bailout that bailed out the banks but did not bail out Americans. Rand Paul had the integrity—

CONASON: Saved us from a depression, Bob.

SCHEER: —to criticize the Federal Reserve when it was catering to the banks. Rand Paul had the courage—

CONASON: And he’s lifted every regulation on banks, Bob. Be honest.

SCHEER: —and he’s being attacked by other Republicans—wait a minute—for opposing—

CONASON: Be honest.

SCHEER: —an imperial policy in the Mideast—

CONASON: No, he beat—

SCHEER: —that has led to absolute ruin and disaster.

CONASON: He’s changed that view, Bob, because he wants Sheldon Adelson’s money.

SCHEER: He’s had—wait a minute. Rand Paul has—wait a minute, you’re interrupting me, Joe.

CONASON: I’m sorry.

SCHEER: You know, Rand Paul had the courage—

CONASON: I was interrupted so you could rant on.

SCHEER: Rand Paul had the courage to challenge the NSA, that Hillary Clinton has celebrated. Hillary Clinton has celebrated the surveillance state. She has celebrated using this war on terror—

CONASON: When did she do that?

SCHEER: —to take away our freedom. Rand Paul had at least the courage to challenge that. And, by the way, why aren’t you mentioning Chafee? Why aren’t you mentioning more moderate Republicans?

CONASON: I would—I’ll mention Chafee, or Chafee, actually.

SCHEER: And why are you so happy with a lesser evil that is truly evil?

The First Great Debate: Amy Goodman Opens The Window

I’m like most people, I don’t like the Patriot Act and other efforts by the government to data mine my life. I don’t think fishing with such a broad net makes us safer from terrorism and I don’t trust the government when they say I have nothing to worry about.

Even if I lean toward supporting privacy and reigning in government overreach into my privacy, and even though I am against war in general, I still will not vote or support Rand Paul. I also think it’s dangerous for any progressive to support him.

Paul is not a progressive. He has come out against church and state separation, against LGBT rights, and is anti-abortion. He is also a cheap labor conservative.

Rand Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky and a prospective 2016 presidential contender, told religious leaders at a private prayer breakfast last Thursday that the First Amendment “doesn’t say keep religion out of government.”

“The First Amendment says keep government out of religion. It doesn’t say keep religion out of government,” Paul said, according to video captured by CBN News. “So, you do have a role and a place here.”

He went on to say that the Senate opens every day with an invocation, which shows that there is a place for prayer in government.

“Religion is part of our daily life and a part of our government,” Paul said. “It always has been.”

Paul went on to call Washington, D.C. the most “disconnected city on the planet from the people,” and said that America is desperately in need of “another Great Awakening” that sees thousands of people seeking and calling for reform in unison.

Rand Paul: ‘The First Amendment…Doesn’t Say Keep Religion Out of Government’

He suggested during the event that the debate about legalizing same-sex marriage is the result of a “moral crisis” in the country: “Don’t always look to Washington to solve anything. In fact, the moral crisis we have in our country, there is a role for us trying to figure out things like marriage, there’s also a moral crisis that allows people to think that there would be some sort of other marriage.” 

“We need a revival in the country,” Paul said. “We need another Great Awakening with tent revivals of thousands of people saying, ‘reform or see what’s going to happen if we don’t reform.'”

Rand Paul Suggests Gay Marriage Is The Result Of A ‘Moral Crisis’ In America

Sen. Rand Paul said he doesn’t buy into the concept of gay rights because they are defined by a gay person’s lifestyle.

“I don’t think I’ve ever used the word gay rights, because I don’t really believe in rights based on your behavior,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters in a videotaped interview that has received little attention since it was recorded in 2013.

But it’s unclear how far — and to whom — Paul extends the argument that rights cannot be defined by behavior.

Rand Paul Said He Doesn’t Believe In The Concept Of Gay Rights

With his liberal stances on prison reform and marijuana legalization, Rand Paul could face trouble reaching the social conservatives of the Republican base. This week, though, may have nudged him closer to their good graces. Bloomberg’s Dave Weigel reported that Paul hit a home run with conservatives on Wednesday when he gave a characteristically brusque answer to a series of questions about abortion:

“Here’s the deal—we always seem to have the debate waaaaay over here on what are the exact details of exemptions, or when it starts,” said Paul, waving his hands to the left. “Why don’t we ask the DNC: Is it okay to kill a 7-pound baby in the uterus? You go back and you ask Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she’s OK with killing a 7-pound baby that is not born yet. Ask her when life begins, and you ask Debbie when it’s OK to protect life. When you get an answer from Debbie, get back to me.”

At The American Conservative, Jon Coppage praised Paul for his savvy approach: Rather than sparring with the media about their biases in abortion coverage, he directly criticized Democrats, and in so doing affirmed conventional Republican wisdom on abortion. Paul concisely advanced the kernel of the pro-life position, namely that “life is special and deserves protection,” in his phrasing. He seemed frustrated with the tendency of abortion debates to spiral into arguments over exceptions and rare cases, saying, “The thing is about abortion—and about a lot of things—is that I think people get tied up in all these details of, sort of, you’re this or this or that, or you’re hard and fast (on) one thing or the other.”

Why Pro-Lifers Should Sweat the Details of Abortion Penalties

While I might agree with Paul on his views about Big Brother government, prison reform, and war, his limited support for civil rights, opposition to the 1st amendment, and his anti-women views are deal breakers.

The sum of Rand’s parts make him a terrible candidate for the left or progressives even if you might enjoy a toke (or many) with him.

Rand Paul is dangerous for the majority of this country.