Rand Paul’s Hypocrisy Shines Through During Shameless Ferguson Trip to Pander to African-American Voters

rand-paul-scary.jpgWhenever politicians say things like “our party needs to reach out to African-American voters,” I cringe. Not because they’re saying that they need to focus more on helping the African-American community, but because you shouldn’t have to make a conscious effort to “push your party” toward policies that don’t discriminate against people. Because if that’s what you’re having to do, well, that pretty much tells you why African-Americans aren’t voting for your politicians.


And when it comes to appealing to African-American voters, Republicans fail miserably. So it shouldn’t really come as any surprise to see probable 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul doing his best to pander to African-American voters hoping that might give him an edge in securing the GOP nomination in two years. He’s already desperately been trying to do it with younger voters, so the next logical steps would be women and African-Americans.

But to see him make a shameless trip to Ferguson, Missouri is just disgusting. And if you don’t think this trip was all about politics, you’re sadly mistaken. He claims it’s because he was in the area already, but that’s nonsense. Paul has made it clear he plans to pander to whomever he needs to if it will win him the GOP nomination.

Sure, during this meeting with African-American leaders in Ferguson, Paul said a lot of great things about increasing the voter turnout in their communities. And while he’s sometimes spoken out against these voter ID laws being passed by many Republican-led legislatures, he’s mostly remained silent since he got into trouble with his party a few months ago when he criticized some of these laws on Fox News.

If only someone had asked him what he thought about the GAO study that showed these new voter ID laws have proven to disenfranchise African-American voters.

That’s why Republicans have to “make an effort” to reach African-Americans – because their party is built upon racism. A candidate has two choices:

  • Push for policies that help African-Americans, ticking off a big part of the GOP base of voters who are racists. – or –
  • Continue to pander to the racists, casting aside almost all support from African-American voters.

And Paul’s realized that in 2016 his best chance to win the GOP nomination isn’t going to be by simply “playing to the crowd,” he’s going to have to get a chunk of voters who don’t traditionally vote for Republicans to support him.


Even during this visit he tried to talk about increasing voter turnout in African-American communities – while still basically supporting the very voter ID laws his party supports that have proven to lower the voter turnout in their communities.

But another area where Paul is an absolute hypocrite besides just voting rights is in his recent calls to “demilitarize” the police. Considering about a year and a half ago he said he would support the use of a drone strike to kill a hypothetical armed individual who had just robbed a liquor store of $50.

At that time, Paul said:

“Here’s the distinction: I have never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an act of crime going on. If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and $50 in cash, I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.”

So, he wants to demilitarize our police – but has no issues with a drone strike killing someone (without trial mind you) who’s suspected of robbing a liquor store of $50.

I’m not sure how someone can say they want to demilitarize the police, when they support using a drone to kill someone over $50.

Am I reading a little too much into this visit? Possibly. But something about this just didn’t feel right to me. A Republican Senator heading to Ferguson in what I think was a blatant attempt to exploit a tragedy, all to pander to the African-American community.

Especially while Republicans all across the country seem to be doing everything they can to ensure fewer African-Americans  actually get to vote.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • strayaway

    What doesn’t feel right to Mr. Clifton might be a Republican threatening to loosen the iron grip Democrats have on black votes. If Rand Paul is “pandering” to black voters, what have Democrats been doing with black voters in places like Detroit for generations? Darned if he does and darned if he doesn’t. I don’t see a lot of other Republican candidates showing up in Ferguson. So who gets criticized in this column: the candidate who does show up. Rand Paul has also been advocating cutting back on the war on drugs which, as he points out, puts a higher percentage of blacks in prison for the same offenses. Rand has also been advocating that released felons, who have served their time, have their voting rights restored. if President Obama can schmooz with white people at $10,000/plate fund raisers, why can’t Rand have dialogue with blacks in Ferguson?

    • LoveArchy444

      I’m not a Democrat (but I consider them allies due there realization capitalism must have regulation to work, there social views and that they’re preferable to the Republican Party), and you’ve built a straw-man by saying they appeal to blacks for votes. Nope. They try to appeal to the working class by providing workers with a minimum wage and social safety nets, which O believe social saftey nets not only work but should stay to give aid to those suffering under private tyranny and can’t work.
      Personally, I prefer jobs that operate under workplace self-management over government regulated private companies since worker controlled enterprises are less subjected to fraud and creates more productivity and incentives to work. However, Democrats know private companies that become big need to be regulated or else they will start hiring small children and denying employment to minorities such as homosexuals and bisexauls. It just so happens a lot of black people were victims of unregulated private business and several of them are still members of the poor class. As such, the Democratic Party does appeal to blacks, but only because many blacks are apart of impoverished minorities that the Democrats seek to help via social saftey nets.
      As for Rands views on the War on Drugs, you do realize that many supporters of the Democratic Party wish to see an end to the War on Drugs, right? I do.
      Also, Rand can speak to them. Its just what he says to them that is imperative.

      • M D Reese

        I really got a kick out of his trip to Howard U to school those young black students about how Lincoln, a republican, freed them…

      • LoveArchy444

        In today’s standards, Lincoln would be a Democrat.

      • M D Reese

        Yup–that’s basically my point. As would Richard Nixon and Saint Reagan. To say that a republican did a good thing 150 years ago is really silly. I’m more concerned with what they’re doing today–which would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.

    • M D Reese

      Rand Paul also thinks that private businesses that are in the business of public accommodation should be able to refuse service to people based on their race, gender, social status or sexuality. He consistently cops out with the libertarian “states rights” propaganda.

  • Steve Brains

    May I edit thusly? From “Not because they’re saying that they need to focus more on helping the African-American community, but because you shouldn’t have to make a conscious effort to “push your party” toward policies that don’t discriminate against people. Because if that’s what you’re having to do, well, that pretty much tells you why African-Americans aren’t voting for your politicians.

    TO:

    Not because they’re saying that they need to focus more on helping the African-American community, but because you shouldn’t have to make a conscious effort to “push your party” toward policies that don’t discriminate against African-Americans who aren’t voting for your politicians. Because if that’s what you’re having to do, well, that pretty much DEFINES the REDPUBLICAN PARTY as THE RACIST PARTY.”

    The louder those pigs squeal, the MORE I KNOW I told the truth about them.

  • Nemisis

    It’s rather sad that the only time the GOP seems to care about any voting group other than OWG is when the GOP needs to drum up votes.