Libertarian-leaning Republican Sen. Rand Paul decided to skip the slow motion trainwreck that is the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and he has a pretty good excuse: he's in Kentucky, performing pro bono eye surgery on blind patients.
I'm in Paducah, KY doing pro-bono eye surgeries all day. Continuing to practice medicine has been a blessing. pic.twitter.com/bWDm3UgWqK
— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 19, 2016
"I get to scrub in and help Rand Paul while he literally restores vision to a legally blind person and performs surgeries all day," wrote Marianne Copenhaver, Creative Director for the senator, on Facebook. "Yeah, I'm definitely not upset about missing the RNC convention."
That's probably a better use of Paul's time, although the Republican Party's short-sighted 2016 platform is in need of at least as much medical help. Under the leadership of Donald Trump, the party has pivoted away from anything resembling libertarianism, or even small-government conservatism. Two days in, the RNC is little else but a reminder that Trump's GOP is reflexively anti-immigrant, anti-trade, and pro- law and order—a political organization consisting mainly of lies and overwhelming incompetence.
Paul isn't the only notable GOP leader to skip the convention. John McCain, Mitt Romney, and all of the Bushes bailed as well. Former President George W. Bush recently told friends that he's worried he might be "the last Republican president." Given the current ideology of the Republican Party, that might be an aspirational prediction.
Watch a video of Paul performing the surgery below.