We’re all still dazed from celebrating our nation’s independence, so I’ll just get straight into this.
Doug Wead Joins Paul Campaign as Senior Advisor
From Rand’s website:
Rand Paul for President today announces the addition of Doug Wead as Senior Adviser and Religious Liaison.
Doug Wead is an Indiana native, Presidential historian, New York Times bestselling author and former Special Assistant to the President in the George H.W. Bush White House. He worked on evangelical outreach with both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Wead is a veteran of six presidential campaigns, most recently serving as a Senior Adviser to Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential bid. Doug Wead wrote Ronald Reagan’s campaign biography in 1980 and served three times with Mrs. Reagan as Co-Chairman of the bi-partisan Charity Awards Dinner. In 1988 he authored a book of interviews with George H.W. Bush. Wead is commonly credited with having coined the phrase “compassionate conservative.”
Even though Wead’s inclusion didn’t seem to help Ron’s campaign immensely, the elder Paul was also far more outside the GOP mainstream than Rand and at a different time, when some of the libertarian ideals both Pauls preach didn’t have time to incubate in the minds of future voters. Wead may have some pull with GOP donation bases, and as we well know, Republicans still view Reagan as some sort of groundbreaking saint, as debatable as that may be.
Rand Becomes First Candidate to Raise Money From Legal Cannabis Industry
I would say that Rand is likely the only candidate who would have the balls (or ovaries, in Hillary’s case) to raise money from the marijuana industry, but Bernie Sanders is also pro-marijuana and against the war on drugs, so may yet follow suit. However, let it go down in the history books that Rand was first, as reported by the Denver Post.
Rand Paul, a U.S. Senator from Kentucky running for the Republican nomination for president, raked in thousands of dollars Tuesday when he held a fundraiser in conjunction with the Cannabis Business Summit at the Denver Convention Center.
Later in the day, he rallied with supporters and held a private fundraiser at the Denver Athletic Club.
“We have to be a more diverse party, we have to bring new people in,” Paul told a rambunctious crowd of over 200 supporters at Chopper’s Sports Grill in Denver. “If we become the party of the entire Bill of Rights, if we become the party that believes in the Sixth Amendment as much as the Second Amendment, we are going to win every election.”
Paul also holds the highest grading for the “marijuana friendliness” of candidates from a policy perspective with a grade of “A-“, as noted by the NYT.
Rand’s money woes have been well documented in comparison to his GOP heavyweight counterparts. This strategy will not only give him a foothold in a growing industry, but there is also very little competition for those donation dollars. Additionally, it endears him not only to the voters of Colorado, but also the massive voting block that supports ending the prohibition on marijuana.
Make no mistake, this is a national issue, and while “liberal hippies” are most famous for smoking weed, marijuana is an issue that crosses the aisle in a big way.
Rand Calls for State-ownership & Privatization of Unused Government Land; Meets with Cliven Bundy
Here’s an interesting combo deal from the previous week, wherein Rand made a campaign stop in Nevada to discuss land rights, and made some excellent points. He also met with a man who can be polarizing to say the least.
To start with the positive:
As reported by CNN and many others, Rand spoke about the issue of land ownership, and how vast swathes of land are defacto owned by the federal government rather than the individual states or private individuals.
“You run into problems now with the federal government being, you know, this bully — this big huge government bully,” Paul said. “You would have less of that if you had more local ownership of the land. State ownership would be better, but even better would be private ownership.”
It’s absurd that the federal government has “dibs” over this land, which comprises most of the United States (including 67% of Nevada). We’re not even talking about public parks or waterways (despite some idiotic reporting that Rand was targeting these spaces to try to rile up conservationists who don’t understand the concept of property rights). This is mainly unused open space, which American citizens don’t have permission to use.
Paul also dipped his toe into the pool of property rights and endangered species (read an earlier article I wrote on this here).
Paul suggested that the private ownership of more land would help save some species.
“Sometimes I’ll say flippantly if you sold the chicken to somebody, there’d be plenty of them,” he said. “When things are owned, there’s lots of cows. Cows are not endangered. Neither are chickens, really. The sage brush grouse would probably be less likely to be endangered if somebody owned it and allowed it to reproduce. So there are ways of handling it.”
Well said, Rand.
But, let’s look to Rand’s private meeting with Cliven Bundy after his speech in Nevada as well. Bundy famously held a well-publicized armed standoff with the FBI before over the right to graze on public land before he was outed as potentially being racist due to some truly jaw-dropping remarks.
Paul was a supporter of Bundy before the race remarks, but then pulled back. That was a shrewd move. Meeting with the man for a reported 45 minutes in Nevada was, well, …not so shrewd. Especially considering Rand’s haters love to try to paint him in a race-baiting hue of white.
While I do side with Bundy’s cause, this was a mistake on Rand’s part.
Rand Compares Taxation to Slavery & MSNBC Throws a Fit
Buzzfeed is reporting Rand’s statements at an event in Cedar Rapids, where he compared government taxation to slavery.
Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul, speaking last week in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, said he believes a 50% tax rate leaves individuals “half-slave, half-free.”
“Now you can have some government, we all need government,” the Kentucky senator said while discussing Thomas Paine and the role of government at the local public library. “Thomas Paine said that government is a necessary evil. What did he mean by that?”
Paul said he believes that “you have to give up some of your liberty to have government,” saying he was “for some government.”
“I’m for paying some taxes,” continued Paul. “But if we tax you at 100% then you’ve got zero percent liberty. If we tax you at 50% you are half slave, half free. I frankly would like to see you a little freer and a little more money remaining in your communities so you can create jobs. It’s a debate we need to have.”
I also believe that there is a need for “some government” and thus don’t buy wholly into the anarcho-libertarian point of view, though my appetite for the size of government is still vastly smaller than Rand’s. I also think his statement that coercive taxation is slavery is just fine. Other publications, however, like the screaming harpies at MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show, can’t let this comparison go without crying racist implications, despite the fact that indentured servants were also slaves, and many were simply poor white children who were kidnapped and sold into service.
I’m not going to link to the article, as I don’t want to give garbage more clicks and thus more ad revenue and a higher SEO rank, but here’s a taste from the renown race-baiting blog for Maddow’s show, which goes out of its way to hate Rand Paul.
But once presidential candidates start equating taxpayers and slaves, there’s a more serious problem.This may just have been a clumsy, unfortunate choice of words, but the idea that someone’s top rate is proportional to their slave status is, well, stark raving mad.Slavery comparisons are always problematic – it is a singular, unique crime against humanity that does not lend itself to convenient parallels – but the idea that American taxpayers are enslaving themselves by financing the operations of their government is plainly wrong.
Slavery shouldn’t be a taboo word, impermissible because of the human rights connotations it conjures. If one’s freedom is endangered or inhibited, and one is forced under threat of punishment to work and submit a portion of one’s labor involuntarily, is that not slavery?
MSNBC can cry and whine all it wants, but Rand’s statement passes the truth test.
The Current “Paulus-Minus” Tally:
77 Pauluses / 25 Minuses / 4 Push
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