Libertarian Rand Paul sounds much like a moderate Republican lately, challenging GOP right-wing orthodoxy. According to Politico, Paul, speaking from a Republican National Committee event in Memphis, suggested the GOP boldly go where it has not gone before.
“Sort of like what Captain Kirk used to say, we need to boldly go where no Republicans have gone before. So we need to go to Harlem, East L.A., Berkeley, maybe even Hollywood, though that may be dangerous,” Paul said on Fox News, making a crack about Hollywood as a liberal hub.
When “I’m at the Republican National Convention in Memphis, and I’ll tell them that the party needs to be bigger, bolder and better, more inclusive,” Paul reportedly said on Fox.
He added that the GOP cannot target the same constituencies as it did in 2008 and 2012, when the party lost presidential elections to President Barack Obama. But he said that if Republicans can reach out to a more diverse group of people, “we’re going to be the dominant party again.”
Paul does seem to be going where other Republicans fear to tread. He
- Supports some form of immigration reform
- Opposes extreme requirements for voter ID
- Would raise the minimum wage, but not enough to make it a “living wage.”
Paul is said to be interested in the GOP presidential nomination. His campaign strategy, to run against extremists in his own party rather than Democrats or by promoting his own extreme views is remarkable. Rick Santorum says Paul is a libertarian, not a conservative; that seems an unlikely attack on one whose extreme conservative views on state’s rights, foreign policy, and economics are well known. That Paul might have liberal views on social justice issues is a surprise. Perhaps Paul is suggesting he would blow-off GOP wingnuts courting moderates instead. One wonders if Tom Reed might abandon his dogmatic Republican creed to follow Rand Paul’s lead.
© William Hungerford – May 2014