Rand Paul on Principles & Values
Republican Kentucky Senator
PAUL: Well, you add that to the fact I am also one of the most conservative members of the Senate, in the sense that I vote against spending, I vote against unbalanced budgets, I'm a proponent of lower taxes. So all of those are right within the mainstream of the party. But I do have some additional things--I call them sometimes the libertarian-ish kind of issues--of believing in privacy, believing in criminal justice, that everyone should be treated fairly under the law, no matter the color of your skin. We still have a large problem in our country that, if you are black, you are not always being treated fairly under the law. And I want to fix that.
First, "Defeat the Washington machine." The idea of a less-specific "political machine" is an old one, dating back to 1850. But a candidate in 2012 used the same term to make his case as an outsider: Ron Paul, Rand's father.
Then there's the second line that's glued on to the first: "Unleash the American Dream," [a term which dates back to the 1930s]. Over the course of the Obama administration, the idea of unleashing the American dream--shackled, in the eyes of the Republicans using the phrase, by that Washington machine--has been in vogue. Given its history, then, the slogan is perfect for Rand Paul, fusing together the campaign of his father and the ideas of the Republican mainstream.
So, game over then? Hardly. Paul's best-case scenario appears to be convincing the Kentucky Republican Party to abandon its current May 2016 primary: the state party could instead award delegates through a new presidential caucus that would be held in March 2016. But Paul would find himself back in the same double-listing pickle come November 2016 if he were to win the GOP's presidential nomination. That, of course, would be a problem Paul would love to have.
Even if all else fails, Paul could simply sit out his home state's presidential primary. The Kentucky law prevents a candidate from being listed on the same state ballot twice, but it doesn't bar a candidate from competing in contests in the rest of the country.
It isn't good enough to pick the lesser of two evils. We must elect men and women of principle, and conviction and action, who will lead us back to greatness. There is a great and tumultuous battle underway for the future, not of the Republican Party but the future of the entire country.
Will you, America's next generation of liberty lovers, will you stand and be heard?
There's a battle going on. Don't forget, there is a great battle going on for the heart and soul of America. The Fourth Amendment is equally as important as the Second Amendment, and conservatives cannot forget this.
Q: Is that enough? America still works?
PAUL: Well, I don't think we need new principles. I think the principles we have, we need to be more explicit with. And, instead of saying, "oh, we want revenue-neutral tax reform," I think we need to stand up and say, "we want to leave more money in the economy. We want to reduce taxes--that when Reagan did it, we had 7% growth in one year." That's the kind of bold leadership we need but it's not a new principle. We don't have to reinvent ourselves in that way, but we do have to stand on principle. And unless you really stand for something, people aren't motivated to go out and vote for you.
People say America is exceptional. I agree, but it's not the complexion of our skin or the twists in our DNA that make us unique. America is exceptional because we were founded upon the notion that everyone should be free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.
For the first time in history, men and women were guaranteed a chance to succeed based NOT on who your parents were but on your own initiative and desire to work. We are in danger, though, of forgetting what made us great.
My faith has never been easy for me, never been easy to talk about and never been without obstacles. I do not and cannot wear my religion on my sleeve. I am a Christian but not always a good one. I'm not completely free of doubts. I struggle to understand man's inhumanity to man. I struggle to understand the horrible tragedies that war inflicts on our young men and women.
My first patient as a medical student on the surgical service was a beautiful young woman who unfortunately presented with metastatic melanoma to her ovaries. She didn't die during my time caring for her, but I knew enough to know that her time was limited. And I struggled to understand her tragedy and how tragedy could occur in a world that has purpose and design.
Like most doctors or like most people, really, I struggle with sometimes caring too much and sometimes caring too little. I struggle to understand how evil individuals sometimes reap earthly rewards and saintly heroes are martyred by their fellow man.
I think there is crisis in our country. It's not just a fiscal crisis. I think it's a moral crisis. I think it's a spiritual crisis.
I don't think the answer is in any politician. I don't think the answer is in any particular law. I think the answer really is that we need to somehow find our way back to God. And I think we find that by taking the time from our busy lives, from everything around us, taking the time to reflect what are the important things. I hope we will reflect, and I hope we will find spiritual renewal as a country and a people.
Speaking these words after winning Kentucky's Republican primary in spring 2012, I understood that my victory was part of a much larger movement. Voters outraged by massive debt, spending and an out-of-control federal government had elected a candidate the media and political establishment had deemed too unconventional--precisely because they desired a more unconventional politics. The status quo had failed. Big government had failed. On that warm May evening, Kentucky voters sent a message loud and clear: We've had enough.
While many now look to my father as a champion of liberty, let's just say I caught the liberty bug much earlier and, yes, I admit I had a particular advantage. As a child, when people would come over to the house and start political discussions, I was always very comfortable with the adult conversation.
But one thing I will never forget about our first meeting is that I leaned forward and kissed her in the kitchen of our friend's house, in front of who knows who. I had never been so forward or daring before. I then asked for Kelley's phone number but didn't write it down, which she kidded me about. "Don't worry, I'll remember it," I said.
I called Kelley the next day, we had our first date that night and the rest is history.
But when Kelley became pregnant with our first child she began to think about her home back in Kentucky and how important roots and community are when raising a family. Before becoming pregnant, Kelley had never wanted to move back home. But after a phone conversation with her mother one afternoon, I arrived home and Kelley said, "I've changed my mind."
For 18 of our 20 years of marriage Kelley and I have lived quietly in Bowling Green, Kentucky where we've raised our 3 boys, William, Duncan and Robert, and built my ophthalmology practice slowly, year after twyear, by persistence and word of mouth.
Paul's threat to cancel the Oct. 25 debate with Conway follows the re-emergence of embarrassing allegations about Paul while he was a student at Baylor University in the 1980s. According to an article published last summer in GQ magazine, Paul belonged to the NoZe Brotherhood, a secret society that had been banned on the Texas university's campus because it mocked Christianity and the Baptist faith. Baylor is a Baptist school.
"Why was Rand Paul a member of a secret society that called the Holy Bible 'a hoax,' that was banned for mocking Christianity and Christ?" Conway's campaign asks in a new statewide ad.
Paul has called the claim "ridiculous" and said he was "never involved with kidnapping." During a Saturday debate, Conway repeated the allegation against Paul--triggering one of the angriest exchanges of the 2010 campaign season. "You know, Jack, you know how we tell when you're lying? It's when your lips are moving. OK?" Paul sputtered. "You're going to stand over there and accuse me of a crime for 30 years ago from some anonymous source?" He added: "Jack, have you no decency? Have you no shame?"
Paul describes himself as a "pro-life Christian" and says his faith is "something very personal to me, my wife, my kids."
Paul replied, "I didn't know it was Wendell Ford's seat. I thought it was the people of Kentucky's seat."
The response mirrored an exchange that occurred in MA earlier this year, when a debate moderator made a reference to the late Ted Kennedy's senate seat and Scott Brown, the insurgent Republican, shot back: "It's not the Kennedy's seat. It's not the Democrat's seat. It's the people's seat."
"The people's seat" became the rallying cry for Brown, who won the race. The phrase neatly captured the zeitgeist of a year in which insurgent grass-roots candidates across the country have been a forceful presence.
Wendell Ford, a Democrat, holds a Kennedy-like place in the Kentucky political firmament. He represented Kentucky for 24 years in the Senate, & served as the state's governor.
Q: You say very little about Attorney General Conway on the campaign trail. Now's your chance.
PAUL: He needs to either defend his president or run away. So far he's running away from Pres. Obama and the agenda. He supports Obamacare. He supported repealing the tax cuts before he was against it. Cap and trade, he's been on both sides of the issue.
But the seat should stay in Republican's hand in any event. After all, McCain carried Kentucky by sixteen points, and the Obama administration is waging war against coal, a chief engine of the state's economy. The Rasmussen Poll, taken on February 2, 2010, shows either Republican beating either Democrat.
The Tea Party movement is a populist conservative social movement in the United States that emerged in 2009 through a series of locally and nationally coordinated protests. The protests were partially in response to several Federal laws: the stimulus package; te healthcare bill; and the TARP bailouts. The name "Tea Party" refers to the Boston Tea Party of 1773, the source of the phrase, "No Taxation Without Representation."
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