By Kevin Bass
Hi, I’m Kevin Bass and I’m a conservative. I don’t believe I’m a Republican, because I don’t particularly care for party politics. If I had to identify I’d say I’m a libertarian. So when I heard that Rand Paul was on campus, I got pretty excited! A politician who doesn’t seem to like politics? My kind of man. I didn’t want to go alone though, so I guilt-tripped my severely liberal friend into coming. I don’t think she enjoyed it as much as I did.
My favorite part about Rand Paul is that he doesn’t seem like a politician. He didn’t talk from behind a podium, he didn’t even have notes. He just walked along the stage and talked. He seemed sincere. He looked like a regular guy, he was in jeans, a white shirt without a tie and boots. He talked about other candidates a lot, but I didn’t see that as attacking the rest of the nominees. I got the feeling he was just separating himself.
He is a Republican nominee, but he really isn’t like the rest. He’s a Republican that has strong libertarian values, so he can get the respect of Republicans and libertarians and, more importantly, their votes. I don’t always trust the government, or politicians for that matter, so it’s refreshing to see a candidate that feels the same. Very few politicians seem to want governmental transparency like Paul does.
Paul wants America out of the Middle East. I want America out of the Middle East. I think we’ve been involved in too much for too long. Before we went in, it was a mess, but some may argue a contained mess. There seemed to be a balance of power in the region that was upset by U.S. involvement. The opposition seems to love to mention the Rwandan genocide of 1994. It’ll say we have to get involved to save every life we can; when we didn’t, hundreds of thousands of lives were lost. While that’s certainly a noble cause, we cannot always do so.
Getting involved overseas not only costs money, but uses resources like food and medical aid. The job of the United States government is to protect the people of the United States, and right now we have issues of our own on American soil. We should help ourselves first. In initially helping ourselves, we can then successfully help others. How big is the list of potential reforms? Immigration, health care, guns, the economy, police — all of these topics are issues that are heatedly debated here and now. On an airplane they say to put your own mask on before assisting others. We need to get our masks on.
Lastly, I want to compare Paul to the second most polarizing candidate in America right now, Bernie Sanders. People really just can’t get enough of the guy. Do you want to know why? He’s the liberal version of Donald Trump! Both have big bold ideas that are unrealistic, and have pigeonholed themselves into a particular audience. They have acquired a following, and they know exactly what they all want to hear. Looking through a college campus, dollars to donuts you’ll find a lot of Sanders fans. Why? Because he’s offering free college tuition. Young people that are just now getting to vote see that as a free education. What they don’t see is that this will be paid for with higher taxes, which could hurt the economy.
We need a blue-collar work force, and we need a bottom economic class. If everyone in America has a college degree, it is plausible that a college degree will then have less worth. It could be that you could end up paying your plumber half your monthly salary to unclog your toilet because even he too will have a bachelor’s degree. Why not, it’s free, right? It’s all-too possible that free college will accomplish nothing besides diluting the value of a degree. A diploma’s value could shrink just like a $1 bill!
Rand Paul’s speech was a rousing success, and I think he can provide the transparency and intelligence to be a successful president and unleash the American dream.
Kevin Bass studies journalism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @KB_Bassmaster.