Maybe the political spectrum isn’t flat. Maybe it’s round and we’re all perceiving political philosophies incorrectly. Like when everyone used to think the world was flat – a guy hopped on a ship and left east, only to return from the west.
Hey, maybe this thing is round, huh?
And maybe that’s the case with Rand Paul and his politics. He may have gone so far to the right that he’s starting to lean left.
Paul, a junior Senator from Kentucky, has often been lumped with the hardcore right wing Tea Partiers by the media. And as David Freedlander of The Daily Beast writes, that’s far too simple. Paul’s libertarian approach is winning supporters from the progressive wing as well, because he’s taking on issues they are passionate about: Issues like drug law reform, decreased military spending, less foreign intervention, and more.
“This lefty hero is Rand Paul, the Republican from Kentucky, who during a period of liberal retreat has somehow emerged as one of the nation’s most articulate defenders of progressive values.”
Nobody would describe Paul as a hippie though. Instead, he manages to find a balance by taking very strong views on both conservative and liberal issues.
“Coming from the furthest right reaches of the conservative movement on regulatory and economic issues, he is to the left of even most Democrats in Congress on issues of national security and surveillance. And if you are a liberal yearning for a Democrat to speak out against the War on Drugs or the voting rights of felons, Paul is, at the moment at least, the only candidate you’ve got.”
Paul is filling a vacuum. In a place where common sense seems to have been sucked out and replaced with partisan air, Paul is relying on common sense. And that’s refreshing.
There’s something admirable about Paul’s consistency, his willingness to take a position on an issue that doesn’t get molded by what other people in a political party think – but instead, are derived only from his well-thought out philosophy on adhering to the Constitution.
Maybe that’s the true beauty of Paul, distilled in its simplest form. Both the left and right have veered away from the Constitution. Paul exited the docks heading to conservatism, but suddenly he’s pulling up on the liberal beaches, on the other side of the island.
The political spectrum isn’t flat – it’s round, and the common point for everyone is the Constitution. Paul is making a home – and quite a name for himself – right there.
Photo courtesy of Mark Taylor, via Flickr Creative Commons
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