How can you not see that the whole presidential process is a fucking circus? We take the legacy of a great libertarian thinker and we turn him into a republican. It wins over the small government base but also feeds into the money stream of corporate interests. We then take this politician and feed him to the bought-out media to sell consent to the masses.
Rand Paul is far from a libertarian candidate. He’s flip flopped on a number of major issues to play nice with the establishment Republicans. I hate to admit it, but it worked. It gave this young senator from Kentucky the wings to take on his own run for the highest office in the land. But it took sacrifice. It took dismantling the cores of liberty. It took The TODAY Show’s Savannah Guthrie, yes Savannah Guthrie, to challenge the presidential hopeful on his detours from libertarian principles.
The interview is a mouthful, but it was all the tactic of a puppet, not a free-market pioneer we hoped for. You can see the establishment using his limp, frail, weird looking body almost as a sock puppet. He hit every main issue that the conservatives care about right now: Iran, Israel and the funding of our military. But instead of answering these questions straight up, he decided to show how “thin-skinned” (as the media is calling it) he really is. He decided it was better to argue with a news anchor whose own personal life, say her new baby Vale or her engagement, deserve more hits on Google than any other interview she’s ever done. And yes, I Googled her.
Let’s first start with Iran. Guthrie went right for the throat and asked Paul if he still believed Iran was a threat. The senator was in support of normalizing relations with the nation 8 years ago. And that’s actually his only excuse for completely backtracking on his original convictions and joining the neo-cons in congress who are pounding the war drums. Even though Iran hasn’t started a war since the early half of the 18th century.
Paul claims 2007 was a long time ago when he was in favor of demilitarizing against Iran. How did his views change so much in this small time frame when not much changed in Iran except Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? In this short span, Iran swapped out a hard-lined president whose presidency was rife with corruption and militarism for a president who vowed to reform western relations in his election run. What Iran didn’t do was start a war or pose a threat to American lives. “I wasn’t running for office,” Paul says of the time when he didn’t see Iran as a threat. But whose campaign was he on? His fathers. This is clear evidence that Rand Paul is merely interested in the votes, and not the principles of liberty.
The reporter’s next point was about Israel. Rand Paul supported cutting aid to foreign countries early in his career but has since backtracked substantially especially in regards to Israel. This is, of course, important because the right has tried feverishly to secure the Jewish vote. The GOP poised itself as a constant supporter of Israel, a nation stuck in a sea of Muslim nations, to play into the Evangelical voters.
However, Paul said his position didn’t change. He still believed that we shouldn’t “borrow money from China” (aka, he’s doing the same plea for a balanced budget as Paul Ryan tried) and give it to nations like Pakistan. What an interesting choice: because Pakistan and Israel aren’t exactly on the best of terms. In fact, citizens of both counties are barred from entering each other’s borders. So instead of unilaterally disassociating ourselves from giving money to any country, we should only “reduce foreign aid to those who burn our flag.” It’s like we’ll start with cutting off nations who don’t have the support of the American electorate while continuing to funnel millions to those who stand in contrast to the perceived “Islamification” of the world. It’s a great way to keep the Evangelical vote that the GOP needs while throwing a bone to the libertarians.
And finally, the question Paul failed to answer in a respectable way was his views on cutting defense spending. How could this hopeful young senator dare to touch military funds when “ISIS destroying ancient artifacts in Iraq” is making headlines?
In reality, the interview wasn’t an example of Rand Paul’s sexist sympathies as the left has valiantly tried to construct. In fact, all Savannah Guthrie asked Rand Paul was did your time in DC make you “mellowed out”? That’s a pretty innocent question for a response like the senator gave. He did try to make amends. This was a covenant moment for him. “Washington is horribly broken,” he said before aimlessly hitting his taking points such as term limits and unclogging the pipes of congress. Later in the day, he used this media spotlight for a convenient interview with Megyn Kelly on FOX.
This all proved as a perfect divergence from answering the actual questions about his flip-flopping on key issues. Instead, the right decided to turn it around and just blame the left for making sexist claims. Megyn Kelly (while it was actually pretty fucking awesome) shoots down comments from those like Chuck Todd who were quick to point out that Rand Paul was blowing up on female news anchors.
This adds to exactly what Paul needs for his voter base. He’s staving off any negative press about being a misogynist; a key concern of the young electorate, while also aligning himself with Kelly’s valiant crusade against easily offended feminists. It’s a win-win. But Paul never really answered any of the questions that were presented to him. He just created a bunch of micro-news stories that have a short shelf life on Twitter’s radar to avoid the fact that he isn’t really a libertarian. He’s an establishment republican now, but he’ll gladly take Ron Paul’s votes.