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It’s no secret that Rand Paul is considering a bid for the 2016 presidential bid. He’s doing all the right things including the right speeches, the right public appearances, and standing up to to President Obama in filibuster.
Rand Paul is tough enough on Obama – that’s easy to do with public statements and the opposing votes, but when push comes to shove is he enough of a fighter and interventionist to actually stand up and stare down Iran, Korea, or other state enemies out there?
Here’s the deal: Rand Paul is a stated non-interventionist. He doesn’t think we should be getting into fights in places like Libya or Iraq. Many Americans feel the same way. But sometimes if you don’t stand up to a bully (cough cough *Hitler* cough cough) bad things happen. Like 9-11. Which brings up the hypothetical question, would he have gone into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden?
So where does Rand Paul draw the line? His father, Representative Ron Paul of Texas, has opposed virtually every international foray he has had the opportunity to cast a vote on. Rand Paul has become a voice of non-interventionism in politics. While Rand Paul and Ron Paul are different people, the legacy will still create a headwind for Rand Paul.
Will Rand Paul’s non-interventionist outlook and Ron Paul’s legacy hurt be enough to hurt him in an race for votes with conservative hawks? Will it hurt him with the pro-Israel crowd? Or worse yet will Rand Paul, should he become a nominee for President, carve off enough conservatives who are sick of American interventionism but not enough conservatives who are comfortable with a policy of strong defense? Can anyone say Ralph Nader?