Ralph Benko

For starters, Rand is short for Randal, not an allusion to Ayn Rand, after whom Sen. Paul was not named by his libertarian (not Objectivist) father Ron Paul. Reportedly, growing up he was called Randy … until his wife shortened the diminutive to Rand.

Washington, ordinarily, is committed to maintaining the status quo or making, at best, incremental changes. As we struggle with the political consequences of the end of an era of all-out war the old political status quo is ripe for transformation.

Paul shows signs of being the key transformational figure. If he himself understands the depth of this proposition he well might become unstoppable.

Washington, naturally, finds him confounding.

As Aaron Blake, a columnist for the ever-conventional Washington Post, says, “Rand Paul is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. And four years after he burst on to the scene in the 2010 Kentucky Senate race, we’re still trying to figure out precisely who he is.”

August was a bit of a roller coaster PR month for U.S. Senator Rand Paul. He caught flak for denying a change of view on foreign aid, specifically to Israel, and got static for including a fundraising trip (for a local library) in the Hamptons during a family commitment to which he gave priority over a Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa.

Then Paul upped the ante with his Time Magazine essay We Must Demilitarize the Police. Particularly noteworthy was his observation that “If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But, I wouldn’t have expected to be shot.”


Ralph Benko

Ralph Benko, author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to use the Web to transform the world. He serves as an advisor to and editor of the Lehrman Institute's thegoldstandardnow.org and senior advisor to the American Principles Project.
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