Rand Paul has gone from contrarian crank to dangerous threat

4 mins read
Forward Kentucky

Bruce Maples 12 Aug 2021

Senator Rand Paul (photo by Win McNamee, AP)

Let’s face it – it’s been easy for a while to dismiss our junior senator, Rand Paul, as a contrarian crank.

He has regularly been at cross-purposes with his party, with his voters, and with common sense. If you saw a headline saying “One Senator votes No on bipartisan bill,” you were safe if you bet even money it was Rand Paul. His father was known as “Dr. No” in the Senate, and the son has seemed determined to carry on the legacy.

But as the COVID-19 pandemic has surged once again, Rand Paul has gone from being an occasional sideshow in the news, to being an actual threat to the health and safety of the rest of us.

In other words, this latest version of Senator Rand Paul is dangerous.

He has constantly attacked health care professionals and the recommendations they have made about masks and vaccines. We’ve seen him attack Dr. Fauci again and again, even as COVID surges in Kentucky.

But Paul’s latest words and actions are a danger to us all.

First of all, he urged people to “resist” CDC guidance and government policies designed to fight the pandemic. In a video posted on Twitter, Paul said, “It’s time for us to resist. They can’t arrest all of us. They can’t keep all of your kids home from school. We don’t have to accept the mandates, lockdowns and harmful policies of the petty tyrants and bureaucrats. We can simply say: ‘No, not again.'”

Reactions were swift, with John Pavlovitz calling him a “sociopath,” and another Twitter user accusing him of “mass murder.”

But Paul wasn’t done. Urging his constituents to ignore science and risk their health wasn’t enough. He decided to harm anyone who ignored him, especially schools.

He announced that he would amend any bill in the Senate to cut its funding if the bill didn’t force his views on people.

“I will stop every bill coming through the Senate with an amendment to cut their funding if they don’t come back to work in person. If a school system attempts to keep children from full-time in-person school, I will hold up every bill with two amendments, one to defund them, and another to allow parents the choice of where the money goes for their child’s education.”

So if Rand Paul has his way, any school system in Kentucky that has an outbreak of COVID and goes to remote learning to deal with it will have their funding pulled.

There’s your choice, superintendent:  pay your teachers, or risk your children dying.

These are the “policies” that Rand Paul is pushing these days. These are the things our junior senator is focused on. This is how he is “helping” all Kentuckians, even as we struggle with rising numbers of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

How, then, do we protect ourselves from the danger posed by Rand Paul and others like him? There are at least two actions we can take (feel free to add more in the comments):

  • Constantly counter his dangerous rhetoric with the facts, and call out his lies as just that: lies.
  • Vote him the hell out of office in 2022.

We can no longer dismiss Rand Paul as a crank, or a sideshow, or something akin to an old man standing in his yard shouting at a cloud. Because now, that crank has a gun called COVID, and he’s pointing it at all of us.

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Forward Kentucky is an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky. Our objectives are to provide journalism that is objective, policies that are effective, and commentary that is progressive. Our goal is to help Kentucky become all that it can be through government that works, for all. We are "the progressive voice for Kentucky politics."

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