Paul’s Barnburner & BBQ: Republican or Democrat, We Are All Americans

Paul’s Barnburner & BBQ: Republican or Democrat, We Are All Americans

October 12th ushered in the Rand Paul’s Barnburner & BBQ in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where Republicans gathered for an old style stump event, where politicians could speak honestly to their constituents about the challenges facing our country.

Unlike most partisan gatherings, Paul’s Barnburner & BBQ had a refreshingly less combative feel and more of a conciliatory air. Paul himself opened up at the BBQ with an honest appraisal of Democratic efforts for our country:

“Many people, not many of us in this room, but people did vote for President Obama because they thought he was going to bring something different. You remember what he said? He was going to be for hope and change. He was going to be beyond race, and beyond partisanship, and beyond all of this. But it turns out he is right in the middle of all of this. And unfortunately, the things he said he was going to rise above, he really didn’t rise very far…”

Paul goes on to acknowledge something rarely heard, and oddly so…that Democrats want to build a positive future for America as well. I point this out, not because I agree with Democrats, but I agree with Paul. It is so very easy to forget the people we disagree with are Americans too. And they want what is best, at the end of the day, for this country as well. They may be wrong in their policies and approach, and I agree they are as does Paul. But it is a lesson in democracy that Paul reminds us that their voices are no less American and no less patriotic than ours – just of a differing opinion.

You may wonder where in the world I’m going with this Democratic “love fest”. A recent NPR article cited political partisanship as the greatest divide in America – beyond race, religion or gender. With so many striving to greaten that divide and demonize the “other side” in politics, it is refreshing to me to see someone such as Paul stand up and declare our oneness as Americans. Our government is based on plurality, something many have lost sight of. Are we not a greater nation for our differences and the legitimate voice we give those?

I, for one, say yes. Paul speaks with the soul of a Founder in his address. Someone who can remember and respect those first debates on liberty in our coffee houses and pubs. He speaks as someone who can remember we all have a voice and we all want the best for our nation.

We frequently speak of great leaders who brought us all together in times of crises: FDR, Reagan, even Clinton. But we all too often forget the spine and resolve it takes to not roll over our opposition, as our current president has been all too eager to do, and instead listen and value the opposition’s words. Paul makes a promise that such plurality could exist again.

I, for one, think Sen. Paul’s Barnburner & BBQ speech might be the start of a new dialogue. What do you think? Give us a tweet or follow us on Facebook to let us know your thoughts.

Written by Mark Davis


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