The second GOP debate once again highlighted the difference between the current crop of Republicans and Rand Paul’s refreshingly libertarian and populist views. As usual, the spotlight was on names like Fiorina, Bush and Trump, while Paul’s common sense views on foreign policy and criminal justice got ignored in a crowd of ideological traitors to the Republican ideal.
Unsurprisingly, in a crowd of political yes men, Trump managed to achieve a new intellectual low in the second GOP debate by again focusing on the looks of people he doesn’t like, this time deciding that Rand Paul was deserving of his schoolyard taunting. Personally I’m of the mind a person’s looks shouldn’t matter in a political race, and if that’s the best Trump can come up with alongside his extremist talk radio ideals, we can all hope for the nation’s sake he drops out soon.
What struck me the most about this debate was how little traction Rand Paul’s ideas got. While CNN insists that Paul was “throwing things at the wall” and that “nothing appeared to stick”, this merely highlights the bigger problem within the GOP. Nobody wants to hear what Paul has to say. After all, the crazy notions of small government, personal liberty, non interference with foreign affairs, criminal justice reform, and other such silly ideas have no traction in a party that is priding itself on being able to attract the knuckle dragger vote.
In a right wing culture increasingly focused on demanding the government protect them from any sort of religious and cultural boogeyman, that places security over liberty, and that thinks brutal and unthinking tough on crime laws somehow makes the U.S. safer as we maintain a per capita rate of incarceration greater than that of communist China, Paul sounds like the odd man out. The problem isn’t Senator Paul’s ideals, but rather that they are increasingly rejected by his own party, as they continue to move away from the principles this nation was founded on.
The second GOP debate once again proves that ego and hardline ideological purity will give false Republicans like Trump and Christie the national spotlight, while more rational thought gets tossed by the wayside. I could have listened to three hours of AM talk radio and heard the same mind numbing right wing propaganda, but with the saving grace of hearing it from people trained to have an engaging conversation. Rand Paul’s ideas aren’t “sticking to the wall” not because they are bad, but because his own party doesn’t want to listen. Is the GOP’s increasingly far right bent drowning out the rational voice of Rand Paul and others like him? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter.
Written by Steve Coffman
(Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)
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