Dear Rand Paul – What the Hell Are You Doing?!


“The time has come to stop terrorists from walking in our front door!” So said Rand Paul Tuesday in a Facebook post inviting his followers to “co-sponsor” his bill to suspend visas for refugees from 30 high-risk countries.

Rand, what the hell?

This is the kind of tripe one expects from the Bushes, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, or Jabba the Governor … the people who put the stupid in the Stupid Party. But not from you! This bill is based on ignorance of history and irrational calculation of risk, not the level-headed reasonableness you usually display. Not only is this bill ludicrous, it wouldn’t have done a thing to stop the Paris terrorists had they decided to attack the US instead.

Of the eight men involved in the Paris attacks, one is Belgian, five were French, and two have yet to be identified. The Syrian passport found by one of the dead terrorists at the Stade de France belonged to a Syrian soldier who was killed several months ago. The Financial Times reports that as many as eight people are using various copies of this same passport. As far as anyone can tell, none of the attackers were Syrian. Punishing refugees trying to escape the mayhem of their country won’t stop ISIS or any other terror group should they decide to come here.

Rand Paul’s bill also includes a provision to suspend entry for 30 days from countries that are part of the visa waiver program. Included in those countries is France. That’s right, Rand wants to punish the very people who were attacked by ISIS. He would also be punishing the Germans, the British, the Japanese, and a whole slew of other nationalities that have zero ties to terrorism. And of course that wouldn’t have stopped the terrorists from coming here, it would only delay their arrival (maybe).

As justification for his xenophobic legislation, Paul cited the Boston Marathon bombing and the arrest of two Iraqis in Bowling Green, Kentucky as instances of refugees committing terrorists acts. But wait a minute. The Tsarnaev brothers came to the US as children; Tamerlan at 16 and Dzhokar when he was 11. In fact Tamerlan entered the US as a tourist, NOT a refugee. Dzhokar became an American citizen in 2012 and Tamerlan applied for citizenship the same year, two years after marrying an American woman. Is Rand really saying that two men who came to the US as boys and built a life here over a decade were actually planning all along to commit a terrorist attack? And what of Bowling Green’s bungling Iraqis? Their terror act consisted of trying to sell arms to Al Qaeda, except they were never in contact with Al Qaeda. The FBI lured the dupes into a set-up. Posing as Al Qaeda operatives the FBI contacted these boneheads, then FBI agents sold weapons to the two fools before different agents bought them back and arrested the Iraqis. These weren’t real terrorists, they were manufactured by the government so the feds could claim another victory in the War on Terror.

Since World War II the US has taken in millions of refugees and the closest thing to a terror attack from any of them is the Boston Marathon bombing. There have been many attacks in this country starting as long ago as the early 19th century, but nearly all of them were committed by native-born Americans. The rest were done by foreigners who came on short-term work or tourist visa, many of whom used forged documents to enter the country – the 9-11 hijackers being part of this group.

But the terrorists didn’t come in as refugees. You know why? Because it can take years to get into the US as a refugee and requires reams of paperwork. Why go to that trouble when you can easily get a tourist visa with forged documents or sneak in through Mexico or Canada? Of all the methods for getting into the US, disguising yourself as a refugee is probably the dumbest.

A quick side-note: No governor has the authority to restrict who can and cannot enter his state as long as the person in question is legally in the US. They can refuse to cooperate with refugee resettlement but they can’t keep refugees out. This is America, not the Soviet Union. We do not have internal passports and we do not have to register with local authorities when we move to a new town or state. The government has been slowly eating away at our freedoms but they haven’t taken this one yet.

Rand Paul’s bill is “security theater” of the worst kind. It will be ineffective, damaging to the economy, and is flat-out inhumane. He’s doing this to pander to the Neanderthal wing of the Republican Party. It won’t work. Trump, Carson, Cruz, and Rubio have already locked up the support of the morons. All Rand is doing is losing the backing of the few thinkers left in the GOP. This won’t end well for him.

Wayne Middlesteadt is the author of Five Ways to Beat the Market and The Golden Age of Distance Running.

About Author

Wayne Middlesteadt is a 1986 graduate of Georgia Tech and has an MBA from Georgia State University. Currently working as a financial writer and track and field historian, his latest book is Five Ways To Beat The Market.