Why am I so critical of Rand Paul as a potential nominee?
Some people have noticed and asked me why I am so aggressively critical of Rand Paul as a potential candidate, and I think it’s only fair that I give an explanation. I’ve made it no secret that I have preferred candidates in this race, but that really isn’t the reason I am so actively interested in pointing our Paul’s deficits (even as compared to several other potential candidates who I see as weak or not preferable: Jeb, Cruz, Christie etc.). The real reason:
Back when Obama started running in 2007, I noticed a concerning phenomenon where he would say things that conflicted with his past positions but a lot of voters and the media refused to challenge them. These new positions clearly weren’t his real views, but they were perceived as such by many uninformed voters. I actively tried to tell my moderate Jewish friends that Obama was not pro-Israel, but they would hear his AIPAC speeches and assume he was no different than Bill Clinton on the topic. The same thing happened with countless other issues ranging from gay marriage to taxes. At the same time, his devoted liberal and anti-Israel followers ignored his public statements because they (rightly) assumed he was just saying what he needed to say in order to win over voters. Looking back now, it is fairly obvious where Obama stood on these issues and how he deceived the public to win over voters. A few years ago, I noticed a similar phenomenon happening with a politician on the right. Once he started running for office, Rand Paul adopted a very similar strategy of avoiding discussion of his controversial views and when cornered, simply denying his more extreme views. Paul always avoids direct answers on those topics that may force him to reveal an unpopular position, often simply ignoring the question and going off on an only marginally related tangent (Ex: do you support ground troops against ISIS? A: I think the President should get Congressional authorization). This is actually a very praiseworthy political move, but it is frustrating to those that are trying to ascertain his real views or put them on record. Recently, he has even started to publicly shift many of these views without actually admitting to any shifts. Like with Obama, many of Rand’s core supporters (libertarian anti-interventionists) have mostly ignored these shifts and his refusal to publicly support their positions because they also assume he is just playing a game. In fact, Rand Paul’s former staffer, Jack Hunter, admitted that Rand Paul was just “playing the game” with his rhetorical concession. Hunter also said that Rand Paul’s views and those of Ron Paul aren’t substance, but just his willingness to play the game and style.
It is in that context that I started researching Rand Paul a few years ago. Admittedly, I was already suspicious of his views based on his associations (not just his father, but almost everyone he surrounds himself with). I watched old speeches on YouTube and researched statements on countless topics. What I found is, as Jack Hunter described, a politician who has always had very similar views to his father on policy questions. In addition, Paul had a long history of engaging and promoting conspiracy theories popular among his fringe base that would traditionally disqualify most serious candidates. The recent video of him saying that a nuclear Iran isn’t a threat is really just the tip of the iceberg as it relates to his controversial and revealing statements before he was in office (Worth noting that even his current moderated position on Iran is fairly inline with the administration and out of the mainstream among other R candidates). I truly believe a President with his actual views would be dangerous and cause serious harm to our nation (as I did with Obama), and as such I feel the need to get his actual views on the record. At the very least, if Paul is going to claim new positions, he should have to explained why he has shifted on these topics. That is why I am particularly aggressive about pointing out Paul’s past statements and flip-flops. Many of those things have yet to be revealed, but they will be. This isn’t personal, but what his fans and others should realize is that even if they aren’t revealed now, the press will surely expose them during a general election.
More to come….