Rand Paul’s campaign is faring poorly these days, sitting at just 4% in Republican primary polling. Much to the chagrin of libertarian-leaning Republicans who were sure that Rand Paul was proof their ideas would finally break out into the mainstream of party politics, it seems like hardly anyone is taking him seriously.
It’s certainly no wonder why Republicans are ignoring him, due in part to his sensible stances on issues like criminal justice reform and domestic surveillance. Of all the candidates in the GOP race, I think Rand Paul may be the least insane, which says a lot about how out of touch with reality the other contenders are.
The problem is that while Rand Paul is right on some issues, like his father, he’s horribly wrong on others. It’s also obvious that like many other conservatives, he doesn’t know anything about history – or how other world governments work.
Via Right Wing Watch:
“It amazes me and it actually kind of scares me,” Paul said. “I’ve been spending more time going after Bernie and socialism because I don’t want America to succumb to the notion that there’s anything good about socialism. I think it’s not an accident of history that most of the times when socialism has been tried that attendant with that has been mass genocide of people or any of those who object to it. Stalin killed tens of millions of people. Mao killed tens of millions of people. Pol Pot killed tens of millions of people. When you have a command economy, when everything is dictated from one authority, that’s socialism, but it doesn’t come easily to those who resist it.” (Source)
Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were all communists; they were not democratic socialists as Bernie Sanders has proudly admitted to being. All of them oversaw oppressive regimes that killed tens of millions of people, but the genocide that Rand Paul is talking about has not happened in democratic socialist societies.
Vox explains what a social democracy is, and it is nothing like communism:
Social democracy is a version of socialism that emphasizes the need to achieve socialist goals — worker empowerment, a more even distribution of wealth and income, universal access to health care, education, and other essential services — through representative democracy rather than through revolution. It’s the version of socialism that’s enjoyed the most real-world success, both in the Nordic countries and in other rich nations, and it’s the version that the main left-of-center parties in all European countries, many Latin American ones, and Australia and New Zealand embrace. (Source)
If Rand Paul doesn’t know the difference between socialism and communism, how can anyone outside of the equally ignorant members of the right-wing base take him seriously as a presidential candidate?
The problem for Rand Paul and other Republicans is that people who know what democratic socialism is aren’t afraid of it. If Rand Paul was being honest about Bernie Sanders and what he’s proposing, it would not scare anyone other than the richest people who are currently benefiting the most from the status quo. How anybody could connect the Bernie Sanders platform to mass genocide is so far beyond the pale that I’m not sure how one properly registers how disgusting it is.
America is capable of being the world’s greatest economy and taking care of the poor. We can be a global military superpower and still make sure that our veterans can get the care they need when they come home. Corporations can still make healthy profits while paying a little bit more in taxes so that the workers they hire aren’t saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan or medical debt.
America is capable of all of these things and more, but conservatives like Rand Paul want to claim that we aren’t capable of them – and they have no problem lying about history in order to scare people into believing them.
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