Sen. Rand Paul is no liberal. (He's no libertarian, either, if you ask certain libertarian purists.) But if he wins the Republican presidential nomination and the Democrats offer up Hillary Clinton, there's little question that Paul would be the better of the two on civil liberties, NSA spying, the war on drugs, criminal justice reform, and military non-interventionism.
Will honest liberals and Democrats recognize this? Or will anti-war leftists happily march to the beat of Hillary's war drums? That's the question.
Thee has been an encouraging development on that front, however: H.A. Goodman, a columnist for Salon and The Huffington Post, wrote a sobering and intellectually honest review of Paul and Clinton and boldly announced, "I'm a Liberal Democrat. I'm Voting for Rand Paul in 2016. Here Is Why."
The relevant section:
I've never voted for a Republican in my life, but in 2016, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul will be my choice for president. On issues that affect the long-term survival of
this country; grandiose concerns like perpetual war that could send generations of Americans fighting and dying in the Middle East, domestic spying that could eventually lead to a police state, and numerous other topics, Rand Paul has shown that he bucks both the Republican and Democratic penchant for succumbing to public opinion, an overreaction to the terror threat, and a gross indifference to an egregious assault on our rights as citizens.
Yes, I'll have to concede some of my beliefs and roll the dice as to whether or not he'll flip-flop on issues, but Hillary Clinton and President Obama have changed their views on everything from gay marriage to marijuana legalization and Iraq, so I'm taking an educated gamble with Sen. Paul. Hillary Clinton alone has gone back and forth on enough issues to make the former Secretary of State a human version of Pong, so I'm not too worried about voting for Paul. Below are ten reasons this Democrat is voting for Rand Paul in 2016 and if my liberal membership card is revoked, I'll live with that; I'm not an ideologue like Sean Hannity, I'm an American.
Full thing here. Goodman cites Bill Maher's recent interview with Paul in which the liberal comedian praised many of the senator's positions and promised to consider supporting him.
"I think it's only a good thing for America when I'm not sure who I am going to vote for next time," said Maher at the conclusion of the interview.
Goodman and Maher deserve credit for recognizing that a libertarian Republican might be a better choice than an authoritarian Democrat. The coming showdown between Paul and Clinton will provide liberals plenty of opportunities to draw similar conclusions. We live in exciting times.
Watch the Maher segment below: