Politics

Who Is Rand Paul? Narrated by Chloe Woodward

The Congressman has a liberal view on marijuana, but has voted to defund Planned Parenthood, take away compensation from 9/11 first responders, and once worked for a racist college newsletter.

Randal Howard Paul was born in 1963 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His dad is the three-time failed presidential candidate Ron Paul. In 1981, Rand attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, the largest Baptist university in the country. 

Racist Beginnings

He was part of a secret society on campus known as the NoZe Brotherhood, which put out a “satirical” newsletter, like the Onion, if the Onion was unfunny and racist. In one newsletter, there’s a “joke” about a chimpanzee giving birth to a person of color. In another piece, the newsletter claimed Latino culture is taking over “Anglo-Saxon” values. “First Mexican food, then Mexican dresses, and now Latin lifestyle is overrunning the established, Anglo-Saxon ideals…” Another NoZe Brotherhood “joke” seemingly got out of hand when Rand was alleged to have kidnapped a woman, whom he blindfolded, tried forcing her to take bong hits, and then took her to a creek to worship it as the “Aqua Buddha.” 

A member of the NoZe Brotherhood, William John Green recalls, “Randy smoked pot, he made fun of Baptists, none of us ever heard him pontificating about religion.”

Rand left Baylor before graduating. He went on to Duke Medical School, where he got an M.D. in 1988. After finishing his residency in 1993, he started his own practice, specializing in eye surgery. 

Nightly Show:“As an eye surgeon, what’s your take on Donald Trump?”
Paul: “Well, you know, Larry, have you ever had a speck of dirt fly into your eye?”

Pivot to Politics

All the while, Rand was dipping in and out of his father’s libertarian-centric, anti-establishment campaigns. In 1996, Rand helped steer his father to a winning election in Texas’ 14th Congressional district after what should’ve been career ending news broke. Four years earlier, the elder Paul wrote and sold an explicitly racist newsletter which was dug up in the campaign. One entry said, “We are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational. Black men commit murders, rapes, robberies, muggings, and burglaries all out of proportion to their numbers.” Despite the open bigotry, and with the help of Rand’s electioneering efforts, Ron won.

Later, Rand helped his dad when he decided to run for president in 2008. Ron didn’t win, but Rand gained enough notoriety to slither into the spotlight. In 2009, Rand Paul decided to run for U.S. Senate. But if he wanted to win, he’d need help from some of the best and most trustworthy news sources— like radio host Alex Jones. 

Rand seemingly gained enough support from the InfoWars crowd to win the vacant Kentucky Senate seat. Even after winning, he popped up on InfoWars. While Alex Jones would go on to claim the Sandy Hook massacre was a total hoax, Rand went on to question whether or not he would’ve voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Paul took an issue with title 2 of the act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or religion in public places, like restaurants. 

“One deals with private institutions, and had I been around, I would have tried to modify that,” said Paul. “What about freedom of speech? Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent? Should we limit racists from speaking?”

Paul, a self-described Libertarian, holds some views the left would possibly support. He’s fairly lax on marijuana issues and believes you shouldn’t be locked up for possessing it. He has a good record on criminal justice issues, like pushing to restore voting rights to felons and working to expunge non-violent felonies from criminal records. But that’s about where his aisle reaching ends.

He also spews a ton of positions the left abhors. In the Senate, Rand has consistently voted against gun control measures. Perhaps most notably, he voted “no” on banning high capacity magazines of over ten bullets.

He’s voted to defund Planned Parenthood and believes the science behind the climate crisis is not conclusive.

“So, somebody tell me what 100 years data is in an earth that’s 4.6 billion years old. My guess is that the conclusions you make from that are not conclusive,” said Paul.

In 2013, Rand spoke in support of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli. Rachel Maddow pointed out that Rand had plagiarized part of his speech from Wikipedia’s page on the 1997 sci-fi movie Gattaca, starring Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke.

“In the movie Gattaca, in the not too distant future…” 

Relationship with Trump

But, copy and pasting a sci-fi movie wiki entry to argue what could happen if you support pro-choice policies didn’t seem to slow Rand down, because in 2016 he ran for president, where he was slowed down by the now-president. 

“First of all, Rand Paul shouldn’t even be on this stage. He’s number 11. He’s got 1% in the polls. And how he got up here, there’s far too many people anyway,” said Trump.

“His visceral response to attack people on their appearance: short, tall, fat, ugly. My goodness, that happened in junior high,” said Paul. 

“I never attacked him on his look. And believe me, there’s plenty of subject matter right there,” Trump said. 

Rand—of course—didn’t win. He went back to the Senate, where he somehow went from a never Trumper to supporting him. 

“I consider President Trump a friend. I support him often and continue to defend him against the ongoing witch hunts that the democrats have launched,” Paul said.

Voting No for 9/11 First Responders

Surprisingly, what Rand is most famous for isn’t his newfound love for Trump, nor the Beats by Dre headphone skins he sold on his campaign website. Rand is known for blocking the 9/11 victims compensation fund, which was a bill that guaranteed 9/11 first responders who faced health problems after the attacks, compensation for their economic losses and medical costs. The bill eventually passed 97-2. Mike Lee and Rand Paul were the only two Senators who voted in opposition. Rand pointed to the national debt as his reasoning.

Rand’s sudden and extremely abrupt shift to what Jon Stewart calls “fiscal responsibility virtue signaling” is interesting considering just two years prior, Rand voted for the Senate tax bill, a massive tax cut for the richest families and biggest corporations. His vote for this tax cut will add over $1 trillion to the deficit. Vanity Fair pointed out, “...apparently, when it comes to making exceptions to his faux principles, 9/11 victims dying of cancer don’t make the cut.”

Paul isn’t up for reelection until 2023, and it’s unclear what decisions he’ll make from here, but that’s one he’ll have to live with forever.
 

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