Monday, December 8, 2014
Dear Rand Paul: Stop trying to lose the GOP primary
Rand Paul, or more likely his advisers, are putting the proverbial cart before the horse. They are focusing more on winning the general election than the primary, but that is in reverse order of what a sensible campaign would do.
To be sure, there is nothing wrong with reaching out to non-Republican voters well ahead of the general election. But do it in a way that actually reaches out to them. (For the most part, he is doing a good job of this.) And don't alienate the conservative base in an attempt to reach out to those non-Republican voters.
I will support Rand Paul for President, but I want him to win. He has done some things lately that have just left me exasperated. So I am going to offer two pieces of constructive advice to Rand:
1. Do not meet with Al Sharpton. Meeting with Al Sharpton will not gain you any votes. Anyone who remotely likes Al Sharpton will never vote for you. He will not support you either. Meeting with Al Sharpton will not improve race relations. No one in the black community causes more racial strife than the despicable Sharpton. He isn't interested in peace or a colorblind society. His own means of existence is dependent on stoking the flames of the racial fires. And for heaven's sake, don't pose for a picture with him, especially if you are going to keep your eyes closed.
2. Do not go boost the Mississippi Republican Party. There are 50 state GOP parties, and you have to pick the one that torpedoed Chris McDaniel. Come on. I won't criticize you for not endorsing McDaniel during the primary, though I think you should have. But I understand why staying neutral makes sense. But under no circumstance should you have gone to help those scumbags. Scumbags who used the race card, intellectually progressive arguments, and downright lies to keep Thad Cochran in office. That, in the eyes of observant voters, is taking sides. All you emerged from the meeting with was a nice picture of you with a good chunk of the "stars and bars" in the backdrop. The MS GOP cronies will not support you either, but they will gladly use your name to fund raise.
If Rand wants to win the primary in 2016, he needs to retain his father's libertarian base while at the same time be able to draw substantially from the conservative base. The conservative base shot Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum to heights of success in 2012, but if he wants the conservative base to remain with him throughout, Rand will need to demonstrate that he is not their enemy or a politician with his finger in the wind, but someone who stands with them.