Rand Paul got a standing ovation at Berkley University in California, one of the most liberal universities in the nation when he railed against government surveillance. According to one report “That Paul decided to take his libertarian-leaning message to one of the most liberal campuses in the country is no mistake. He is actively making an effort to appear before crowds that have not been supportive of Republicans to demonstrate his ability to appeal to a broader electorate.” [Daily Caller]
Appealing to a ‘broader electorate’ is certainly a good November strategy, but I’m not sure the republican base that Rand needs to convince in the primary season are going to be impressed by some of the moves he has been making lately.
Rand has been widely quoted as saying
"I think that the Republican Party, in order to get bigger, will have to agree to disagree on social issues," Paul told vocativ.com. "The Republican Party is not going to give up on having quite a few people who do believe in traditional marriage. But the Republican Party also has to find a place for young people and others who don’t want to be festooned by those issues." [Washington Post]
I get it. He sees a future where young people don’t want to be “festooned” by prohibitions against abortion for example. But that sounds dangerously close to what Barack Obama said when he told an audience he wouldn’t want his daughter to be “punished with a baby.”
And Rand says that young people need to be embraced by the Republican party if it wants to win and that means accepting their moral standards on a variety of issues or face losing to the liberals who those same youth find more appealing. In other words, to win as republicans we need to think and behave like liberals.
I get the whole notion of running a big campaign across a broad spectrum of American cultural differences and how the desire to be liked by everybody can be intoxicating. And when you find a way to get that kind of adoration it is easy for those around you to convince you that you have found a populist appeal that will transcend the mendacity of politics, set you apart as a true visionary and lift you upon the shoulders of your countrymen into the White House. And they may be right. But you would be presiding over an Idiocracy.
Leaders lead. Conservative leaders only qualify if they have a firm conservative core. I doubt many of the kids a Berkely will be voting in republican primaries. And I doubt that the social conservatives are the crippled elephants headed to the grave yard that the mainstream media would like to think we are.
If you think the TEA party folks get riled up when their principles are not met, think for a minute what those of us who place a very high value on life are capable of when compromise on that front is being urged by those who would have us choose them as leaders.
No, as much as I like and respect Rand, somebody is giving him some very bad advice. Caving on social issues and courting liberals in California are not steps on the path to a republican nomination. He needs to go into those places more like Reagan went to Germany, not the way Lord Chamberlain did.